As sports betting has evolved over the years, the selection of sporting events to bet on has consistently grown. Bookmakers are always looking for action to take, which typically includes taking a bet on nearly any sport you can think of.
To emphasize just how many unique events a bookmaker will lay odds on, we picked out the most unique categories that are offered by most online and in-person sportsbooks. This top eight list of interesting and surprising sports categories is bound to make you consider the endless possibilities that come with sports betting.
The sport of badminton kicks off our list of interesting sports that bookies take action on. A sport unfamiliar to most casual sports fans, badminton is played with a shuttlecock and rackets. In a nutshell, the sport is played on a tennis court-like surface with a net in between.
Players in the match hit the shuttlecock back and forth, with a point being rewarded each time it lands on the ground on the opponent’s side of the net. The sport of badminton is very similar to tennis, but much less popular on an international scale.
On a professional scale, badminton is organized and governed by the Badminton World Federation, or BWF. The BWF hosts a number of tournaments and events throughout the year. When betting on badminton, wagers can be placed on which team/player will win the event (money line betting), and by how much he/she will win (spread betting).
The sport of badminton is also recognized as a Summer Olympic sport, with China, Japan, and Indonesia representing the most talented and consistent competitors on the global stage.
The next significant competition in the sport is the Thomas Cup, which will take place in the late spring of 2020. As of now, sportsbooks have China as the strong favorites to win the tournament, with the odds currently at (-170).
Bettors who are looking to add another sport to their sports betting repertoire should consider adding badminton. With a limited amount of popularity and exposure, some time and research may indicate that this sport may turn out to be a predictable one, which is an ideal situation for sports bettors. Nonetheless, this sport caught our attention while browsing online sportsbooks, earning it the number eight spot on our list.
Up next, we have the sport of snooker. Much like badminton, snooker is a niche sport that has limited global exposure, especially in the United States. Snooker is a billiards variation and is played on a pool table.
The object of the sport is to “pot” the numbered balls in the correct order, earning points with each made shot. There are different colored balls that are worth different amounts of points, making each ball play a unique role in the game.
A more in-depth explanation of the rules of snooker can be found by clicking the following link: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Snooker
The professional world of snooker is controlled by the World Professional Billiards and Snooker Association, or WPBSA. This governing body is responsible for the hosting and promotion of snooker tournaments, as well as ranking the sports’ top competitors.
The professional tour is held each year, with the results deciding which players are qualified to compete in the biggest annual tournaments. As of summer 2019, the top-ranked player in the world is Ronnie O’Sullivan, who has won five world titles in his career.
Sportsbook around the world take all kinds of action on snooker. With leagues in multiple European countries and seasons that are year-round on some tours, snooker is a sport that has high sports betting volume potential.
This can be useful to a bettor, as many events can often offer many sports betting opportunities. Snooker bettors have the option to bet on which player will win the snooker match, and the over/under on how many turns it will take for the game to conclude (when all balls have been potted). If you know your snooker, consider placing some wagers on this eccentric sport.
6. European Handball
Sixth on our list of interesting sports that anyone can bet on is European handball, or just handball. The sport of handball is a simple one to understand. In a handball match, two teams of seven players square off to see which team can put the ball in the back of the net the most.
Attacking players pass the ball in the offensive build-up, while the defense attempts to disrupt the possession while the opposition has the ball.
Handball is like soccer in the sense that it is played on both a club and international level. At club level, PSG, Barcelona, and THW Kiel are three teams that are dominant in their own leagues. Internationally, the German Handball team is number one in the world, beating out second-ranked Russia and third-ranked Denmark in the International Handball Federation rankings.
Betting on handball is very similar to betting on any other sport. Bettors will have the option to choose to bet on the money line, spread, and over/under in a handball match.
Unlike the previous two sports on our list, the over/under and spread betting lines in handball are applied the same way as they are in baseball, basketball, and soccer. With countless matches and interesting betting lines, handball might be your next favorite sport to bet on.
Up next on our list is the sport of poker. While many sports bettors know how to play poker, not all of them know the ins and outs of betting on poker. The most popular form of poker is Texas Hold’em, and this is the variation we will be focusing on in this section.
The world of professional poker is an interesting one. In recent decades, poker has increased in popularity. With the biggest poker tours earning TV deals with ESPN and other big networks, the star power of the sport began to grow.
Well-known stars like Phil Ivery and Daniel Negreanu have brought attention and credibility to the sport. Each year, there are poker tours and circuits set up to allow players to qualify for the biggest and best poker event: the World Series of Poker Main Event.
While this is not the only professional poker event that can be bet on, it is by far the most significant and popular poker event on the planet.
Sportsbooks offer countless bets on the World Series Main Event. Since scoring is not an option in poker, bookies offer different bets for poker. Some examples of bets that are offered on a poker match include:
- Betting on a player making the money
Each Main Event has an in-the-money cutoff limit, meaning that only a certain number of participants end up making any money. While the exact cutoff is dependant on the number of buy-ins, sportsbooks are already offering odds on certain players making this cutoff. This is a very popular wager, as it is considered one of the most predictable aspects of poker betting.
- Head-to-head player results
While it is difficult to choose the winner of a poker tournament, it is slightly easier to pick which players will last the longest. Bookies give bettors the opportunity to bet on which poker player will last the longest in the Main Event. For example, online sportsbook Bovada is currently taking bets on “Which Player will last longer in the Main Event: Shaun Deeb (-130) or Daniel Negreanu (-110).
- Winner characteristics
Sportsbooks offer bettors the chance to place wagers on certain characteristics of the winner of the Main Event. Bettors can choose an over/under of the age of the winner of the main event, as well as the nationality of the winner.
- Winning hand details
When betting poker, bettors are given the option of betting on the details of certain winning poker hands. Online sportsbook Bovada is currently taking bets on the strength and color of the winning hand. Bettors can bet on if the final winning hand is stronger or weaker than two-pair, as well as bet on which suit(s) the hole cards are.
The future of betting on poker is bright. As the sport increases in popularity, so will the ability to bet on it. As of now, only odds on the biggest and most popular poker tournaments are offered by sportsbooks.
Look for sportsbooks to offer odds on an increased selection of poker tournaments in coming years. Considering the popularity of Texas Hold’em and the star power that is associated with the sport, don’t be surprised if betting on poker is much more common in the near future.
If you know a thing or two about poker, look into the odds of the 2019 World Series of Poker Main Event, which is set to start in July.
4. Virtual Sports
The fourth most interesting sport to bet on in 2019 is virtual sports. If you have never heard of this, it is because it’s not actually a real sport! Instead, the term “virtual sports” is literally referring to sports that are computer generated games. Sportsbooks have game simulators that generate results, which are bet on like regular sports by those looking to take some action.
Virtual sports give bettors many of the same options that they would be given if they were betting on the actual sport. Virtual soccer, basketball, football, and baseball games offer bettors over/under, money line, and spread bets, just like the real game.
Virtual betting was created to allow bettors to be able to place wagers 24/7. The accessibility of these virtual games never stops, as a new game is constantly being generated.
There are pros and cons that come with betting on virtual sports. One negative about betting on virtual sports is the fact that there are not many ways to predict a virtual sports outcome. Since each game is computer generated, the players and teams are not real, taking advantage of handicapping the event out of the picture.
Despite this, the popularity of virtual sports betting is on the rise. Look for this market to continue to grow as sports betting becomes more mainstream in the future.
Coming in at number three on our list of the most interesting sports to bet on in 2019 is esports. Esports, or electronic sports, refers to the competition between two or more gaming teams. These teams will face off against one another on a video game console, usually XBox 1, PS4, or PC.
The rapid development of esports is truly unheard of. With the reach of social media, esports is considered to have one of the most lucrative and unpredictable futures in sports Some of the biggest sporting clubs in the world have begun to get involved to ensure that they are not left out when esports goes absolute mainstream.
Organizations like Paris St Germain (PSG) has invested significant amounts of money to have a team represented in the biggest esports competitions in the world. Games such as League of Legends, Overwatch, Fifa, Call of Duty, and much more are played competitively between the top teams in the world, with the results of these matches open to be bet on.
Betting lines will depend on the video game that is being played. Bookies will offer different betting options for each game played.
While this category may not interest the older crowd of sports bettors, the younger demographic will likely find esports to be very interesting and potentially profitable. Considering the newness of the sport, there may be loopholes and possibilities for profit if the bettor is witty enough. Make sure to check out more about esports betting if this is a niche that you are interested in.
The second most interesting category to bet on in 2019 is politics. Sportsbooks everywhere have taken bets on politics in the past, but the popularity of this betting category has never been bigger than it is now.
President Donald Trump has brought much conversation to the topic of politics. Almost everywhere you go, someone has an opinion on the president or the political climate of the United States.
The widespread interest in politics has gotten sportsbooks involved. Now those people who have such strong opinions on politics can bet on certain political outcomes. For example, a number of online sportsbooks are offering betting odds on who will win the 2020 US presidential election.
Donald Trump is currently the favorite with (even) odds, while names like Dwayne “The Rock Johnson (+100000) and Joe Rogan (+150000) are listed with other longshots. In addition, some bookies are taking bets on who will represent the Democratic and Republican candidates in the election.
Sportsbooks will offer different betting options on different political events throughout the year. If this betting category appeals to your interests, make sure to always check in with the political betting options given by your favorite sportsbook.
Our number one most interesting sports category to bet on in 2019 is entertainment. While it is not exactly a sport, the entertainment category is becoming one of the most popular genres of betting. The reason for the growth of this niche can be credited to the wide demographic that is interested in the entertainment that is being bet on.
For example, the most popular show of this decade is Game of Thrones. While this show was on the air, a number of sportsbooks were offering odds on the outcome. Online bookies such as Bovada were letting bettors place wagers on which characters would live longer, how each character would die, and who they thought would control Westeros at the end of the season.
Game of Thrones is just one example of entertainment that can be bet on. Sportsbooks will also place odds on the results of movie and music awards shows, like the Emmys and Grammy Awards.
With an ever-growing betting library to choose from, the entertainment category of betting is bound to have something for everyone!
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