Betting on Events – Top Popular Events and Trends

Gambling isn’t restricted only to casinos, sports books and poker rooms. Essentially, if a competition or prediction exists, you can make a wager on the potential outcome. For centuries, betting on events has been big business. Today, you can bet on everything from the Olympics, the Super Bowl, Reality TV Shows, and the Oscars, to who will win the next Nobel Prize or become the next U.S. President.

The internet has made gambling on world events easier than ever. With a few simple taps on a mobile device or clicks of a mouse, gamblers from across the globe can make wagers on just about anything and everything. With that in mind, here, we will explore some of the most popular and trending bet events.

sport event to bet on

Gambling on sporting events is probably the most common and arguably one of the world’s oldest forms of gambling. Wagering on which team will win a game or championship or which athlete will win a competition, makes watching these types of events all the more thrilling. What sports can you bet on? The short answer: all of them. Take your pick from hockey, basketball, football, soccer, horse racing, auto racing, rugby, cricket, volleyball, baseball, tennis, badminton, water polo snooker, darts, and the list goes on and on.

With that in mind, however, the following are some of the top sporting events that attract gamblers.

Super Bowl

The Super Bowl is the annual championship game of the National Football League (NFL). Dubbed the “Big Game,” it is one of the most-watched events in America and around the world, drawing over 100 million viewers each year. In fact, in 2015, Super Bowl XLIX averaged over 114 million viewers.

In addition to the game, itself, the event is also known for broadcasting unique commercials, often featuring high-profile celebrities, as well as for its musical guests who perform during pre-game and half time ceremonies. Past performances from popular musical artists have included Michael Jackson, Whitney Houston, Prince, Madonna, The Rolling Stones, Janet Jackson, Justin Timberlake, Katy Perry, Beyoncé, Bruno Mars, and Coldplay.

With so much hype around one sporting event, it should come as no surprise that huge bets are made on the Super Bowl. Both online and land-based sports books take bets from gamblers, letting them bet on just about anything.

For instance, aside from the most obvious bets, such as which team will win, how many points they’ll win by, which player will receive the MVP award, etc. people can also make some crazy proposition (prop) bets during the game. These may include placing wagers on how long it will take to sing the national anthem, who will win the coin toss, and even which color Gatorade will be dumped on the winning coach when the game is over.

The most recent Super Bowl, Super Bowl 50, proved to be a massive betting success for Nevada sports books, which took in a record breaking $132.5 million in Super Bowl bets.

March Madness

March Madness is one of the most popular sporting events in the U.S. It is a single-elimination college basketball tournament that is played every spring in America. Presently, the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Men’s Division Basketball Tournament features 68 teams, which compete to determine the national championship of the major college basketball teams.

Due to the length of the tournament, and the number of teams involved, it generates lots of interest, high television ratings, and plenty of interest from bettors who often take part in March Madness pools or brackets.

A bracket is a form that participants fill out, predicting the outcome of each game in the tournament. A participant’s predictions are compared against others in the pool. Whoever has the best predictions, wins the contest. Filling out the brackets is so popular during the event that even non-sports fans take part, with many mainstream American media outlets hosting online tournaments where participants can enter for free.

In addition, popular bets that can be placed online for March Madness include, but are not limited to: spread betting, moneyline betting, over under betting, prop betting, parlay betting and teaser betting.

FIFA World Cup

Held every four years, the FIFA World Cup (often simply called the “World Cup”) is the largest event for soccer in the world. It is an international association football (soccer) competition, in which the senior men’s national teams of the members of FIFA (Fédération Internationale de Football Association) compete. The final game of the Cup is the single most viewed sporting event on the planet.  The tournament involves 32 teams plus the host nation(s) team, which automatically qualifies. The entire tournament typically lasts for about a month.

While there are many ways in which a player can bet on the World Cup, the most common types of bets include:

  • Point spread – a gambler wagers on the number of goals by which a team will win or lose. If the team wins by exactly the number of goals bet by the punter, their money is returned.
  • Moneyline – This is the most basic and popular bet. Gamblers wager on which team will win or whether or not the game will end in a draw (tie).
  • Totals – bets made on the number of goals that will be scored in a match.
  • Proposition bets – A wager made on an individual player or event, usually when the game is being played. Examples of popular World Cup Prop bets include the time the first goal is scored, which team will score the first goal, group winner, top goal scorer, etc.
  • Future bets – a punter makes a wager on the outcome of an event or series that will not happen for several months or years (for instance, the next World Cup event)

For more information on how betting went big in the world cup you can read VegasMaster's profile article of Victor Chandler.

Olympic Games

The Olympic Games, or the Olympics, is a leading international sporting event that involves both winter and summer sporting competitions. It is the second most viewed event in the world. Thousands of athletes from around the world compete and more than 200 nations participate. The winter and summer games are held every four years, with the winter and summer games alternating two years apart.

When it comes to betting on Olympics, you’ll find that you can bet on any of the games. That said, in terms of the types of bets you can make, the most common include:

Betting on who will win the gold for any of the events.

  • Future bets placed months before the event, which may include outright bets such as wagering on which country will top the medal tally and other similar broad propositions that are not dependent on precise match-ups or head-to-head results.
  • Props wagers during events. For instance, betting on whether one basketball team will score a certain number of points over another. Prop wagers focus on betting on the game itself and less about the end result.
  • Multibets or parlay bets, which let you combine several different wagers on a single ticket.

esport events

e-Sports, also known as electronic sports and competitive (video) gaming, are types of organized multiplayer video game competitions in which professional players usually compete. While there are several different types of e-Sport competitions for various game genres, including fighting, first-person shooter, real-time strategy and multiplayer online battle arena, the major tournaments typically include League of Legends World Championship, the Evolution Championship Series, Battle.net World Championship Series, the Intel Extreme masters and The International.

League of Legends (LoL)

League of Legends is a Multiplayer Online Battle Arena (MOBA) game and is arguably the most popular e-Sport, especially when it comes to betting.  Each month, tens of millions of people play the game. Massive LoL tournaments are held where the competitors not only compete for prizes, but those who watch the event can bet on it, as well.

The types of bets that can be made on e-Sports like LoL are similar to those that can be made for live action sports. For instance, you could bet on the winner of a tournament or the winner of a single match. You could also make prop bets, such as how many matches a certain team will win in a tournament, or a handicap bet on a series outcome. An example of a handicap bet is if you were to bet on a team with a handicap of minus 1 goal, they must win by more than 1 to cover their handicap, so you will win your bet.

Dota 2

Dota 2 is a free-to-play MOBA video game. It is played between two teams consisting of five players. Each team occupies a stronghold in one corner of the playing field. The object of the game is to win by destroying the other team’s “Ancient” building, which is located within their stronghold. Each player on a team controls one of 111 playable “Hero” characters. Each of these characters features unique powers and playing styles. During the match, players collect items, gold and experience points for their Hero, while they fight Heroes from the opposing team.

Professional competitions of Dota 2 are held every year. Teams from around the world compete for prize money in various tournaments and competitive leagues. The biggest professional tournament is called The International. This is an annual event that is hosted by Valve (the developers behind the game), in Seattle, Washington. The 2015 edition of the famous tournament set a record for having the biggest prize pool in e-Sports history. The prize pool totaled over $18 million. Bets placed on Dota 2 tournaments are not unlike those for LoL.

CS:GO & Call of Duty

Counter-Strike: Global Offensive (CS:GO) and Call of Duty (CoD) are multiplayer first-person shooter (FPS) video games. Counter-Strike and Call of Duty are also popular video game franchises, each featuring multiple games. Although they are different games with different storylines and objectives, developed and published by different companies, in essence, they are similar in that they are both objective-based FPS that offer players different game modes in which they shoot their enemies (other players on the opposing team). In terms of being an e-sport, both games are played professionally with multiple teams that engage in object-based matches and compete to win a prize pool. The goal is to beat the opposing team(s), usually by shooting and killing opponents. Gamblers can wager on online tournaments that occur all over the world and place bets on matches. Some of these bets may include which team will win, prop bets, and so on.

tv shows to bet on

Do you have a favorite television show that you like to watch? Did you know that there’s a good chance that you could likely bet on it? That’s right, if you want to have a more interactive TV-watching experience you can make predictions on what will or will not happen. In fact, with so many Reality TV Game Shows currently airing, betting on TV programs has only grown in popularity. After all, most reality shows are competitions, making them ideal bet events.

Reality TV

American Idol, Dancing with the Stars, X Factor, The Voice, Big Brother, and Britain’s Got Talent are only some of the reality shows available for interested gamblers. While bets may vary from one show to the next, primarily the gambling odds designed for these shows is relatively similar, since the point of each series revolves around one contestant or a group winning the competition. Essentially, depending on the show, you might choose to bet on events like:

  • Who will be eliminated?
  • Who will receive the highest score from the judges?
  • Who will receive the lowest score?
  • Who will win the main event?
  • Will a male or female win?
  • Who will be evicted?
  • Who will win a challenge?
  • Who will lose a challenge?

Non-Reality TV

While reality shows definitely take the top spot in terms of being the prime TV betting events, other television series, such as Game of Thrones and Dr. Who, also have quite the following. For instance, regarding Game of Thrones, you can wager on who will be the character to die next or who will be the one to sit on the iron throne. While, Whovians (fans of Dr. Who), might bet on who will be the next companion or the next Doctor, etc.  In essence, odds and predictions are tailored to be suitable for each show.

award shows to bet on

Whether you’re into movies, television, music, beauty pageants, sports or science, there’s an award show for it. Lots of people love to bet on which celebrity or professional will win the award(s) for these thrilling annual events. That being said, two of the most popular awards genres for gambling are those that focus on film and music.

Movies

The Oscars, the BAFTAs, the Golden Globes and the Razzies are all famous awards shows. Most celebrate the best in film, while some, like the Razzies, celebrate the worst. Any time these award ceremonies are close to their event date, people can start to gamble on awards and check out, for instance, the famous Oscar betting odds.

With that in mind, however, for the most part, if you were to gamble on the BAFTAs, it would be similar to the Oscars. In other words, the types of wagers you would make would focus on topics such as who will win best actress, best actor, best supporting actor, best picture, best film editing and so on and so forth.

Music

Bet on the Grammys, the Brit Awards, the MTV Video Music Awards, the Mercury Prize and other kinds of popular music events. You’ll find betting odds for all sorts of awards including album of the year, best new artist, song of the year, record of the year, etc.

Nobel Prizes

The Nobel Prizes is any of six international awards that are awarded annually by Swedish and Norwegian committees from a fund bequeathed for that specific purpose by Alfred Bernhard Nobel, a Swedish inventor and industrialist. These awards are regarded around the globe as being the most prestigious awards given to honor intellectual achievement in the world. The recipients of these awards are recognized for their outstanding academic, cultural and/or scientific achievements/advances. When the awards are close to being announced, bookmakers offers odds for the favorites, giving gamblers the opportunity to bet on who they think will win. While there is more than one Nobel Prize on which a person can bet, the most famous award that receives the greatest betting attention is the Nobel Peace Prize.

Miss World

The Miss World pageant is a major international beauty pageant and the oldest one in the world. It was first established in 1951 in the United Kingdom. Along with Miss Universe and Miss Earth, is it one of the world’s three most publicized beauty contests, held annually. Young women from countries across the globe participate, with each woman representing one country. The contestants compete for the Miss World title. When the event is close to taking place, bookmakers post odds for favorites. The most common bet is wagering on who will win.

In addition to these awards-based betting events there are also the Emmys, The NTA, Sports Personality of the Year, Man Booker Prize, RIBA and the Sterling prize.

Politics to bet on

Betting in politics is big business. Although political polling is not always reliable, because many citizens are relatively uniformed, there is election prognostication that people are literally willing to bet on.

Gambling on politics is a pretty hot trend around the world. From referendums to elections to same sex marriage laws, people have a lot to say and some are willing to put their money where their mouth is, quite literally, in some cases.

US Presidential Election

The US Presidential election is one of the most watched elections across the globe because the person voted president is often considered to be one of the most powerful people in the world. According to the University of Kansas research, presidential candidate odds are based on “the wisdom of crowds.”  Odds makers track betting on trends according to and, in reaction to, bet placement, data and algorithms. This surprisingly renders the odds for candidates highly accurate, with hundreds of millions wagered on each major American election in the United States and Europe.  This practice dates back to the early 19th century.

With that in mind, the two major types of bets when it comes to US Presidential Election gambling is a straight up bet, which is basically betting on who will win the election, and the money line bet, which is wagering how much a certain candidate will win by.

life-events

We’re born and we die. These two major life events can’t be avoided and no one can know for certain when they will happen. This is likely why some people feel these events are worth wagering a prediction on. Beyond these life events, some people engage in even crazier forms of gambling.

Unborn Babies

Baby betting pools are extremely trendy. Whether you want to place a wager on your predictions regarding the characteristics of a celebrity’s unborn child or your own, some find this to be an exciting way to await the arrival of the little bundle of joy, while also including friends and family in on the fun.

A baby betting pool typically focuses on making guesses about the baby’s gender, due date, size, weight, name and so on.

Celebrity deaths

Believe it or not, but for those particularly morbid gamblers out there, it’s even possible to bet on which celebrity you think will be the next to die. That’s right, if a baby betting pool is a little too light and cute for you, you can always take part in a far more macabre form of betting and join a celebrity death pool.

The kind of wagers in these pools depends on the site that is hosting it. Some will not only let you pick the celebrity, but also how the celebrity will meet their end.  Research for celebrity death gambling odds is different from other bet events, primarily because you need to research tabloids and gossip columns to determine which celeb will meet their demise. These pools often tend to last for a long time, and may run over the course of a full year, so you could wait a long time before you score a win.

Crazy Gambling

Celebrity death pools may be a little bizarre, but that’s nothing compared to how crazy some people can get when it comes to doing things for money. For instance, in 2007, A Russian gambler, Andrei Karpov, ran out of money during a poker game against Sergey Brodov. Not wanting to call it quits, he decided to bet his wife. Not surprisingly, his wife, Tatiana, wasn’t pleased with his “bright” idea and ended up divorcing him and marrying Brodov.

However, not ever crazy gambler will bet his wife, others, like Phil Hellmuth, bet his friend, former World Series winner, Huck Seed, that Seed couldn’t stand, submerged in ocean water up to his shoulders for 18 hours. If he could, Hellmuth would give him $50,000. Seed took the bet, but lasted only three hours in the water.

Think that’s crazy? Would you get breast implants for a full year to win a bet? That’s what Brian Zembic of Toronto did to win $100,000. Oddly enough, when his year was up, Zembic kept the implants and still has them, claiming that he got used to them and that his “man-boobs” have earned him money from media appearances and from flashing them in public. Zembic also won a $15,000 bet for living in a man’s restroom for a full month.

Betting on events doesn’t end with the ones mentioned here. There are numerous gambling opportunities out there, so don’t be afraid to explore your options and have some fun!

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About The Author

As a member of the VegasMaster writing staff, I pride myself on delivering quality information about my favorite topic: the online gaming industry. In addition to playing a wide-variety of online casino games, I keep up on the latest iGaming news and trends. My passion for the industry has made me both an experienced player and researcher.

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