Lack of Sporting Events Leads to Weird Bets

March 26, 2020

- Grant Whittington

We’re living in unprecedented times indeed. Modern man simply isn’t equipped to deal with everything that the coronavirus outbreak is firing at world economies. And because of this, industries across the globe have had to get exceptionally creative in the hopes of surviving the worst of the storm.

The sports betting industry is taking creativity to the next level and exotic bets have never been quite this, well, exotic. The fact that most of the sports events across the globe have been cancelled due to the coronavirus outbreak is no small challenge to sports franchises and bettors alike. Everything from March Madness to the Olympics have either been postponed or downright cancelled, leaving precious little to bet on by professional and recreational sports bettors alike.

The Computer Is Out The Gate

That mankind has now taken to wagering money on computerised horses racing around a digital track is simply mind-boggling. But its real. Virtual horseracing is apparently the next best thing next to real thoroughbreds storming out the gates. Whether the computer says “yes” or “no” doesn’t seem to feature into the equation at all. Just so long as there’s an outcome requiring savvy prediction work, there will be folks willing to put money on the table.

And virtual horse racing bets aren’t even the craziest bets by a long shot. Major fantasy sports betting bookie FanDuel recently offered a line tied to the next likely words to be spoken by presidential democratic debate hopefuls Bernie Sanders and Joe Biden. Points are scored for a range of likely trigger-words. The words “Trump” and “coronavirus” were obviously firm favourites among those willing to go out on a limb.

What’s The Weather?

Costa Rican sportsbook Bovada really does take the cake when it comes to bet lines offered in the absence of traditional sports events. Bovada is offering bettors the opportunity to literally bet on grass growing. Climate change is at the heart of the lines offered and bettors are expected to wager on maximum temperatures for cities and regions around the world. Which really is a bit like watching paint dry!

The amazing bit is that according to the co-founder of, Jesse Rowe, even when major sports events do resume a regular schedule, betting on the weather is in all likelihood here to stay. And it all comes down to the likelihood of making a buck or two. Bettors are more likely to guess the max temperature for the city in which they live than what they are to have a go at predicting the outcome of a future football event, to name but a simple example.

Some Like It Weird

Some fans are in the meantime looking to underground sports events for their weekly betting fix. For the first time ever, events like the KHL Russian Hockey League and the Turkish Soccer League are experiencing what it feels like to be the talk of the betting town. Not to mention television shows like Survivor and the Batchelor. Apparently predicting who gets the rose and who doesn’t is pretty much a thing now in the world of sports betting.

But even though the majority of unconventional bets doing the rounds right now are just plain weird and at times even plain old stupid, the fact that the industry is rallying together in an attempt to help soften the global pandemic’s blow on the industry is a real boost all round. And perhaps it’s the feeling of us all being in “this” together that should be the main focus point right now. A bit of innocent weirdness hasn’t really ever harmed anyone, after all.

And right now, its proving to be somewhat of a lifesaver.

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