In the early days of sports betting, the markets were limited to Spreads, Results and occasional Totals. With the introduction of online betting, we were introduced to a little more variety. Then came mobile betting and live betting. The markets increased, as did the demands of the customer.
As a result, there are now countless bets you can place on sporting events. Some of which are a little more unusual than others.
Special Sports Betting: Requesting Bets
The RequestABet service goes by many names, but the idea is always the same: the customer requests a specific bet from the bookmaker. This is often down via social media. The customers use specific tags on Twitter or Facebook, and these are then picked up by the site and added to the betting markets.
These can range from fairly short-priced bets such as a certain player to score with his left/right foot or his head, to long-priced bets, such as a certain player to hit the post or to score a goal and to get a red card, all in the same game. These bets don’t really generate a lot of money for the betting sites, but they are great for creating a buzz during a certain game or game-week.
There are many sites that offer this service, but the biggest players are UK-based SkyBet and WilliamHill. In Canada, our options are a little more limited. But if you contact sites like Sports Interaction and make a request, then you may have some luck.
These bets are not restricted to online customers. In fact, for many decades now you have been able to walk into a WilliamHill bookmakers in the UK and ask to place a specific bet. They would then do some calculations and give you a price. During the 1990s, many gamblers placed bets on their children or grandchildren to one day score a goal for their country, and it was these bets that kick-started this trend. For Canadian gamblers, however, this is just an interesting aside, as it’s not something you can do in this country.
Special Sports Betting: Bad Behavior Bets
During the 2014 World Cup in Brazil, Uruguayan striker Luis Suarez sunk his teeth into the Italian defender Giorgio Chiellini. This wasn’t the first time the prolific goal-scorer had tried to grab a bite out of one of his opponents, which is what led one lucky gambler in Sweden to place a bet on it happening again. He placed the equivalent of around $13 on the bet, and in return he received around $1,500.
This incident was not the first time an online bookmakers had offered bets on such outlandish occurrences. But this incident made these bets considerably more popular. In the years since that date there have been bets on everything from certain players to get into brawls on the soccer field, to NFL players to end up in prison.
The bookmakers are really starting to push it on this one as well. Bookmakers like Paddy Power, who are forever pushing buttons and getting into trouble, have been offering all kinds of outlandish bets, raising plenty of eyebrows and no doubt a few lawsuits.
These bets can also be found on sites like 888Sport and BetWay—albeit in smaller numbers—where Canadians are allowed to gamble. Of course, you won’t get great odds on a fight to breakout in a game of hockey, but there are huge odds available for fights and off-the-field problems in other sports.
Special Sports Betting: Award Shows
Some of the more common “non game related” sports bets are ones that provide odds on award shows. From the winner of the Heisman Trophy in college football, to MVP awards across most sports. One of the awards that attracts the most bets is the Ballon ‘D’or. This is an annual soccer prize given to the best player in the world.
Because soccer is the world’s biggest sport and because gambling is mostly legal in the countries that follow it, there are millions of dollars place on this sport. If you want to follow suit, you can find bets on most betting sites. These include sites that allow Canadian players.
There is also the FIFA Football Awards, which attracted a lot of bets in 2016 and will likely do the same in following years. The biggest trophy here is the FIFA Puskas Award, which is also given to the best player. If you’re betting on this it’s important to understand how the draw takes place. The winner is not picked by fans or by a team of “experts”. First a shortlist of the best players is drawn, and the players in this shortlist then choose a list of three who they deem to be the best, second best and third best.
The player with the most choices wins, followed by the second and third. This changes things a little, but it makes it easy to predict a winner for any fans of the sport who understand the politics of the game.
Special Sports Betting: Prolonged Prop Bets
If you’re prepared to wait a long time for your bet to settle then there are a number of other prop bets that you can take advantage of. These are often available only on the biggest sites, but they can also be requested on the smaller sites. Common bets in this category are for certain franchises to move by a certain date; for certain teams to get promoted one year and relegated the next; and even for certain young players to break longstanding records.
These bets are really only for true experts of the game. They are for gamblers who watch the games week-in week-out; gamblers who watch the sport from high-school to college and professional level. They have a good idea of the stars of the future. They are for gamblers who never miss a game and know everyone’s record and history.
So, if you fancy yourself as an expert, take a look and see what you can find. You may have to wait for a few years, maybe even longer. But the big payout at the end will make it worth your while.