I know what every new sports bettor or online poker player is thinking. They’re thinking they’re really good at picking games or beating their buddies at poker and they might as well get paid to do it.
You might be one of those people and it understandably extends to the world of daily fantasy sports and eSports. Always winning your fantasy football league and crushing your pals in League of Legends can do that for your confidence.
It’s often a whole new ball game when you actually get to the big stage, though. You find the online betting sites you prefer, put the money down and suddenly you’re not quite as good as you thought.
Some people figure it out and crush those genres, but they’re painfully difficult to master over time and to come away with profit consistently, you need to truly treat it like a job.
There might be a betting genre that can make up for the losses, though: entertainment betting.
In fact, I’d argue entertainment betting is the best wagering genre you’ll find. Here’s why:
It’s, Well, Entertaining
The first reason entertainment betting is superior to anything else you wager money on is the fact that win or lose, you’re going to end up having a pretty good time.
The very thing you’re betting on is built to entertain you.
Whether it’s a competition where highly skilled professionals go against each other, an awards show honoring great accomplishments or a television show killing off big characters, you’re bound to be pleased in some fashion as you watch everything unfold.
That isn’t always the same with sports. The team you bet on might lose and it might go down in horrific fashion. That, or you’re forced to sweat your way through an excruciatingly boring contest.
It can be bad with online casinos and poker, too. You might get a bad hand every single time or every pull of the slot draws none of the bonuses.
With entertainment betting, though, you’re just adding to an already glitzy affair.
You’re watching the Oscars, The Walking Dead, American Idol or Game of Thrones anyways. Trying to make a few extra bucks by putting your knowledge to the rest is just the cherry on top.
It Can Be Pretty Predictable
Another big perk with entertainment betting is that it’s actually rather predictable.
It’s always going to depend on what the actual wagers are and what you’re targeting, but a lot of it can be seen coming a mile away.
The Oscars are a great example, as Vegas usually makes you eat serious money if you roll with a big favorite.
The favorites generally win, which may make the profit margins small and force some risk via hefty plays, but the conversion rate is pretty good.
Not everything is as up front as The Oscars, of course. There are other events and shows that will crush your soul if you’re not careful.
There are other things where research or past history can help lead you to the right bet.
All kinds of novelty bets dealing with celebrity marriage, pregnancy and basically anything you can think of existing. If you follow the Hollywood life, you might come off as a socialite but you also could make some serious coin.
However, betting on a favorite in entertainment betting isn’t like hoping the Patriots win or a horse doesn’t break its leg in a race. If you pick the event right, the favorite costs a lot to back, but it has a solid chance of making you some cash.
Vegas Doesn’t Always Understand It
Even if an entertainment wager isn’t obvious, you still should have the leg up when trying to make money off of the top entertainment betting websites.
Aside from a few award shows where the favorites are obvious and Vegas can demand serious money to eat chalk, there are a lot of competitions and entertainment prop bets that are difficult to price.
Like, how do you price Game of Thrones death odds? The top entertainment betting sites give you a long line of characters, yet they’re not privy to who the first GOT character being killed off will be.
They’re even risking things further by giving bettors so many options with fat odds.
If you look at TV show competitions like Top Chef, who can possibly know for sure which chef will win in the end? Or how about American Idol, where talent is subjective and so many viable contenders could emerge.
Another fun one is Survivor, where the final three contestants are often fairly random and the ultimate winner isn’t necessarily chosen based on merit.
Some of these things are tough to peg and that isn’t a difficulty Vegas is immune to.
One of my favorites to bet on is Dancing With the Stars. Vegas often pegs a few athletic contestants as viable threats, but if you do your homework, you’ll quickly catch some sleeper picks that could work their way to the top.
You still have to pick your spots and nail the bets, but if you do the research and have the right insight, you can potentially school Vegas in this genre.
Chasing an Underdog is Fun
Backing the obvious favorite and cashing in is always one play, but it isn’t always the winning method and even when it is, it isn’t overly profitable.
That brings the notion of chasing underdogs to the table, both because they can be highly profitable and cheering on an upset pick is a ton of fun.
This isn’t like picking the Browns to beat the Patriots or the Suns to take down the Warriors, though. Those are viable upset picks in the right setting, but they’re usually wagers Vegas knows they’re going to win.
Instead, referring back to the idea that Vegas doesn’t always fully have entertainment events pegged, you can take serious advantage of their lack of knowledge and exploit the odds.
The upside is through the roof, as Vegas tends to offer an array of prop bets to consider. This does not mean to always aim high for the longshot on the board, but it can mean to stray from the clear favorites a bit.
Win or lose, you’re going to have fun cheering on the underdog and you just might win big in the process.
The Prop Bets Are Awesome
One thing I love about all kinds of betting are the options.
I really like having various outs in any given wager, meaning I can go hard at my main favorite, throw a little cash at my top sleeper and then take a few fliers on high upside bets.
The options as far as entertainment and novelty prop bets alone tend to be endless.
Whether you’re betting on events or shows already listed, the Nathan’s Hot Dog Eating Contest, Royal Wedding wagers, celebrity boxing or box office numbers, the only real restriction comes from the entertainment betting sites themselves.
Once they list wagers, the options within those wagers are often pretty daunting, too.
That is obviously to pull in more losing bets (only one wins, and all), but it also opens the door to some crazy upside if you can correctly nail a high-value upset pick.
One great example is the ongoing James Bond prop bet, which asks bettors to figure out who will eventually replace Daniel Craig as the new face of the Bond franchise.
Tom Hardy has been the tentative favorite for over a year now, but what if he doesn’t take the job? Suddenly a laundry list of James Bond options take on even more value and one of these sleepers you place cash on could pan out in a big way.
This tends to be the case for basically any entertainment prop bet you stumble against – especially if it’s one Vegas isn’t exactly sure of.
They’re giving themselves more outs by driving out bets in a variety of directions, but if you can figure out the right winner, it’s really only aiding your cause.
Entertainment Betting is the GOAT
In the end, I just don’t think any form of online betting offers everything that entertainment betting does.
This isn’t sports, where Vegas is insanely good with point spreads and somehow knows exactly how to price you into picking either an inflated favorite or a losing underdog.
Your outcome in sports is usually decided by things well outside of your control, too.
That isn’t to say entertainment betting is always easy to gauge and doesn’t harbor its own risks, but it’s more subjective and on the surface rather wide open.
It’s not online poker or casino games, either.
Here you’re playing against a computer or you’re battling luck, having to correctly wager at the right time to really benefit from the times when your hand or slot hit could break big.
You’re still going to take your lumps in entertainment betting, but it’s a more palatable betting scene. You can enjoy yourself while watching these shows, competitions, and events and even if you don’t win, it doesn’t really feel like you’re losing.
Sports bettors and casino gamblers alike tend to refer to online betting as a form of entertainment. It can be, but with entertainment betting, that’s actually truly the case every time you put money on the line.
With the ability to place bets on wagers involving American Idol, Game of Thrones, The Oscars and the like, you’re only doubling down on said entertainment.
Some people watch sports to cheer on their favorite team or because they love that sport. Others just want to win money.