If you live in a state with legal sportsbooks, chances are you already know you can bet on the big sports. Football, baseball, basketball, hockey, golf, tennis, and soccer. And those are just some of the more popular sports. Other niche sports many enjoy betting on include MMA, NASCAR, and rugby.
But what about the more obscure (or weird) options? Sportsbooks tend to advertise the money-makers. If you dig deeper, you’ll find a slew of lesser-known sports that can be a blast to bet on. Here are five of my favorites.
Take it from me, a guy who used to play on the competitive circuit (I never won a single game): it’s fine if you call it ping pong. My friend Brian likes to brag that I’ve never beaten him; we stopped playing each other before I started training and competing in sanctioned events.
Sure, it’s a popular basement game. But table tennis is a legitimate sport with an international governing body. If you know what to look for, it’s a great game to watch, too. My personal favorite bouts are between chop defenders and strikers (these are my own terms and not technical ones). Table tennis is fast-paced and dynamic. And you can bet on it!
Table Tennis bets usually include moneylines, aka wagering on the outright winner of a given matchup. You might find more diverse bets for higher-profile events like the Olympics.
It may seem like a bar game. I’ve been known to enter heated matches with my friend Brian at our local dive.
We might think our games are close, but professional darts is incredibly competitive. Players from around the world enter tournaments in the hopes of winning big. Many sportsbooks take bets on darts leagues.
As of this writing, the Modus Darts Live League had more than a dozen matches up for betting on FanDuel. DraftKings had lines on the Nordic Darts Masters league.
The Professional Darts Corporation World Championship won’t happen until December this year, but various sportsbooks already offer futures odds on who will take home the trophy.
You can find darts matches for viewing online, and they’re riveting. The accuracy on display is positively insane. Place your bets and give a match a watch for a unique rush.
You might know it as Ultimate Frisbee or the American Ultimate Disc League. If you’re me, you know it as “the sport your friend Brian plays instead of hanging out with you.” Kidding (a little).
You can bet on the AUDL at DraftKings in a few states: Illinois, Michigan, West Virginia, and Tennessee have approved the league for betting. It’s not in season at the time of publishing, but come summer you can get back to betting on the AUDL.
Ultimate is a dynamic sort that makes incredible plays possible. It’s low-impact and relatively safe for players, but it also incentivizes speed and athleticism. You’ll see some insane throws and even juicier layouts when you watch a hotly-contested game between top-tier teams.
Much to the chagrin of my East Coast friends, I call it “bags.” You throw bags! But alas, the official moniker of the sport is “cornhole,” and I’ll bow to the whims of the league and call it the correct name here.
Chances are you’ve seen this game at a graduation party, beach, park, etc. You might think you’re pretty good. Hell, I think I’m pretty good. I can take down many of my friends regularly (lookin’ at you, Brian).
I can assure you your backyard cornhole games are nothing compared to the pros, who can sink four-baggers like it’s nobody’s business. It makes for a captivating viewing experience, and you can bet moneylines for American Cornhole League match-ups at DraftKings.
I’m assuming you have three questions:
- What is that?
- How do you pronounce it?
- Where can I bet on it?
I’ve got you covered.
Jai Alai is a game played on a court with three walls, called a fronton. Players use a cesta — a large scoop-like apparatus — to fling the ball at high speeds against the wall. After it bounces, the opponent needs to catch it and make their own throw. If a player misses or lets the ball bounce too much, the opposing player wins a point. It shares some similarities with racquetball or squash. This explanation is very bare-bones, so I recommend checking out YouTube videos of professional play to get up to speed.
It’s pronounced “high uh-lie.”
You can bet on it at BetRivers! Magic City Casino in Miami, Florida has a Jai Alai court. The casino has an exclusive partnership with BetRivers, allowing the sportsbook to take bets on Jai Alai matches at the location.
Brian and I have yet to give Jai alai a try. Maybe it’s in the cards on our next trip to Florida?
Bonus Sport: Snooker
I’m gonna level with you, folks. I have no idea how snooker works. But you can bet on it! FanDuel has moneyline markets live for the snooker World Grand Prix. I thought “Grand Prix” was a racing term, but here we are at a billiards table with a surplus of red balls!