By Phil Simon
When people think of betting and oddsmakers they almost always associate them with sports. It is with good reason: there are usually sporting events taking place every day of the year with billions of dollars wagered on the outcomes. When you think about it sports are entertainment, so why can’t you bet on entertainment? For those of us who would rather watch The Bachelor than basketball, well guess what? There’s a market for you. Most top sportsbooks offer entertainment betting options from television shows to awards and even politics. If you’re not into sports you still have an outlet to enjoy the gambling experience.
Every top sportsbook makes it simple to place a wager. The growing popularity of reality TV is making entertainment betting a thing. Whenever there’s an outcome in an event, be it a winner or loser, going over or under, or picking X over Z, there is a market. We’ve seen odds surface for such shows like the Bachelor and Bachelorette, Dancing with the Stars, The Amazing Race, American Idol, The Masked Singer, and Survivor to name plenty.
And just like the folks who tune into every sporting event, those who watch the reality shows religiously can probably surmise which contestants have a chance of winning and which ones will be the first off the island. Being an avid viewer is the first step in becoming a profitable entertainment bettor. It doesn’t guarantee cashing a winning ticket, though.
Odds for all the contestants are posted before the start of the particular show’s season. As the season progresses and players are eliminated the odds for the remaining contestants change losing some value. It’s better to get your pick in sooner rather than later.
Another form of entertainment betting comes in the way of major awards shows. Now we’ve all been to or heard of someone attending an Oscar Party where you pick award winners and win prizes, or some variation of that. Well, sportsbooks have taken it to another level. Movie buffs have their own ideas, and discussions over a winner are commonplace with friends. Prove them all wrong by throwing down at your favorite sportsbook.
You can always bet on the winner of a certain category. Some shops go more in depth with the categories than others, but options are there. The best sportsbooks that post award show odds will also have a list of props. The color of the dress worn by the Best Actress winner is an example. These are all fun ways to spice up a lengthy show while entertaining friends or family.
However, there is no silver bullet to picking a winner. Just like sporting events, awards shows and reality TV can be very unpredictable. Unlike sporting events there are no recent trends and outcomes to pour over that could help you make a more informed wager. What will help is reading the entertainment pages. They could present a few informational nuggets that get you leaning in a particular direction.
A hot-button issue in America is politics and sportsbooks have taken notice. The political landscape has become divisive leading to increased interest. We typically see odds surface in an election year with lines on who gets elected, a party candidate or a running mate. Sportsbooks post different odds so visit your preferred site to see what’s available.
If you don’t want to hear what’s coming out of a politician’s mouth, you can watch what professional eaters are putting in theirs. It’s entertainment and sport all rolled into one. It’s the Nathan’s Hot Dog Eating Contest which takes place every Fourth of July. And of course there are odds at most sportsbooks on who wins the men’s and women’s titles and how many dogs they consume.
When it comes to entertainment betting the wagering limits are usually very low. There are reasons for this. One is the uncertainty. Sportsbooks are as much in the dark about outcomes as bettors are. And oddsmakers don’t like that feeling of helplessness. Another is that the outcome in reality shows is already known. Contestants sign an agreement not to let the cat out of the bag, but internet trolls have a way of digging stuff up.