If you like to get freaky, this is the time of year to do it. Niche sports hit their peak right about now and there’s money to be won if you know what to look for.
If you’re not in tune with these ‘other’ sports, as the Nevada Gaming Commission would call them, don’t sweat it. There’s no shame in betting them if you’re going to watch for fun with a little lunch money at stake.
If you’re like me, you need to put some chump change on something in order to give a crap. So I like to have a fun account for those times where I’m going to watch an event for fun when I don’t know a whole lot about it. If you don’t have a fun account, here are the ones we recommend if you want to get one started.
And here are some freak sports coming up over the next week along with the reasons I like to bet them and some picks:
Daytona 500 Can-Am Duels – Thursday, Feb. 23:
Reason to bet it: More intense than a regular race and way shorter.
Analysis: I watched Days Of Thunder nine times. I appreciate NASCAR. I just can’t sit there that long to watch a whole race.
Enter the Can-Am Duels. 60 laps and 150 miles of mayhem. Races are now Thursday night prime time. I bet this one every year because it’s loud and fun.
Pick: I don’t know shit about racing but I got Kyle Busch 6-1 to win Can-Am Duel 1 and Denny Hamlin +425 to win Duel 2. I got Dale Earnhardt Jr. +450 and Martin Truex Jr. 14-1 to win on Sunday in the big one. Yeehaw!
Women’s Curling – All Week:
Reason to bet it: Two daytime draws mean you can have action all day.
Analysis: Some of the biggest TV sports ratings of the year in Canada go to the men’s and women’s national curling championships. Don’t laugh. I really feel that if you like baseball, you’ll love curling. It’s a methodical game that’s easy to stream and awesome for your degenerate daytime action needs with daily draws at 9:30 a.m. ET and 2:30 p.m. ET.
Pick: Ontario to win it all.
Oscars – Sunday, Feb. 26:
Reason to bet it: You can watch and bet it with your wife.
Analysis and picks: The closest races are Best Actor and Best Original Screenplay. Take your risks in the close categories unless your pool rewards long shots.
Last year I correctly picked Spotlight on Sportsnet Radio on the Fan 590. So I’m kind of awesome at this. Don’t bet against La La Land for best picture at -1000 this year. I didn’t see it but the odds alone tell the story. I did, however, see Rogue One and I think it’s a crime that it is +450 to win best visual effect. Could be some value there.
Boxing, Kirkland-Cotto on HBO pay-per-view – Saturday, Feb. 25:
Reason to bet it: Violence.
Analysis: Kirkland-Cotto fight is the highlight bout in Frisco, Texas for this event. It’s on HBO pay-per-view so it’s a big one.
Pick: I don’t know, man, I feel that all fighting is fixed. But I might bet it if I get bored.
Rugby 6 Nations Cup – Feb. 25 and 26:
Reason to bet it: It will be on TV early in the day and world-class rugby is awesome.
Analysis: Scotland-Wales is the featured match this weekend. Both are -110 on 3-way betting. Honestly, I watch rugby at this level to see if I can figure out the rules. Sometimes I get it and then I forget until the next time it comes on. But the World Cup is next month so this is a great warm-up because I will be betting the shit out of that.
Pick: Are you serious? I have no idea.
Honda Classic – Feb. 23-26:
Reason to bet it: You will watch some of the best players in the world struggle on a gong show of a course that requires precision accuracy. It’s also a great preliminary to your evening betting.
Analysis: There is so much water at PGA National that Jordan Spieth and a few other top players just skip it. It’s still an amazing field, though, and a really challenging course makes this fun to watch. The stats I’d recommend you pay close attention to for this one are: proximity to hole on approach, greens in regulation and scrambling.
Picks: I took Rickie Fowler 20-1, Oosthuizen 25-1, Paul Casey at 32-1 and Charles Howell III 45-1.
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