- What were the weirdest props you could’ve made in the year 2020?
- Table tennis, virtual sports, Trump and the election, the coronavirus and more dominated the world of weird when it came to betting in 2020
- Read on for our list in ascending order, of the top 25 weirdest things you could’ve placed a wager on this past year
There’s no doubt that 2020 was a challenging year for everyone. Working at home, Zoom calls, curbside pickups, and social distancing replaced many of our normal activities and interactions. With the sports world shut down or severely altered as well, that left sports bettors with another void to fill. But just because the major leagues were all halted at one point or another, that doesn’t mean we didn’t bet in 2020. We just got creative. Whether it was betting on the weather, the stock market, the election, Tiger King or a host of random and obscure sports or events like marble racing or Russian table tennis, sports bettors did their best to get their fix with some of the weirdest props of 2020.
As we turn the page on the tumultuous year of 2020, it’s time to once again look back on some of these prop bets. 2020 will easily top 2019 in the year of weird, but will this year’s strangest betting options out-do those of 2019? You be the judge.
Below we’ll rank the 25 weirdest props you could’ve made this year in our estimation—ranging from the odd, to the strange to the downright absurd. Hopefully, it brings you a few laughs and memories as we look forward to 2021.
25. Celebrity Divorce Odds
People break up every day, but when celebrities do it, it’s headline news. And we bettors love nothing more than having a stake in the ups and downs of our favorite celebs’ love lives. From J-Lo and A-Rod to Ellen and Portia, Kanye and Kim, the Beckhams, the Biebs and Hailey Baldwin to Donald and Melania, you could bet them all and so many more to either stay together or hit splitsville by the end of 2020.
The couple might be on the verge of #divorce. After a report was published, it showed hints of becoming this possibility into a reality.https://t.co/kootiewRzJ#Kardashian #celebritynews #kanye #KimKardashian #KylieJenner #KourtneyKardashian #KendallJenner #KanyeWest https://t.co/dzxQnp7PNV pic.twitter.com/SySPwFgrBf
— US day NEWS (@usdaynews) December 13, 2020
24. Will Brad Hug Jenn?
Will they, won’t they, are they, aren’t they, from couples you may want to bet divorcing to old flames who many wish would rekindle a past romance. Brad Pitt and Jennifer Aniston have remained good friends over the years and gossip columns are always wondering if they in fact are secretly dating. At the Oscars, oddsmakers even set lines on if the two would hug.
Jennifer Aniston and Brad Pitt had a ‘long’ conversation about their marriage#jenniferaniston #BradPitthttps://t.co/bSwrTDJtpE
— The News (@thenews_intl) December 23, 2020
23. Married at First Sight
Switching away from celebrities for a moment, but still in the realm of couples, Married at First Sight has matching experts who pair singles together and the couples must instantly, marry! Wow, no wonder divorce rates are up. And unsurprisingly the Over/Under for couples who chose to stay married at the six-month special was set at the very low total of one. Equal -120 juice on both sides.
Meet Clara, she wants to get Married At First Sight because she believes in fate and that everything happens for a reason. If the experts find her a match, she is all in and ready to give the process everything she’s got. pic.twitter.com/E4hmjrVvTG
— Kinetic Content (@KineticContent) December 23, 2020
22. Jail Time for Jake or Harvey?
I couldn’t pick out Jake Paul in crowd to save my life. But after reading up on some of his antics, it’s no wonder sportsbooks opened odds on whether the Youtube star would be jailed in 2020. Despite the looting and gun charges, odds were heavily against (-300) Paul heading to the slammer in 2020.
For others, jail time was a certainty. The question was not “if” but “how long?”. Disgraced Hollywood produced Harvey Weinstein was sentenced to 23 years in prison earlier this year and those who bet OVER 10.5 years at -130 odds took home a profit. You could also bet on if he would cry after his sentencing and what color tie he would wear.
Los Angeles prosecutors have charged imprisoned former film producer Harvey Weinstein with an additional count of felony sexual battery by restraint. He was convicted in February of rape and sexual assault in New York and is serving a 23-year sentence. https://t.co/MSgYYBDxQ7
— The Associated Press (@AP) April 10, 2020
21. Jail Time for AB or OBJ?
Antonio Brown had a rough 2019 and early part of 2020. After a video surfaced of him yelling profanities at the mother of his child and police officers while on his property, it started to look more likely that AB could find himself in jail, versus back on an NFL field in 2020.
Elsewhere, Odell Beckham Jr. was seen giving out money to LSU players after their championship and also slapping the butt of a security guard. That resulted in odds being offered for OBJ seeing prison time and also on how many butt slaps OBJ would be seen giving out in Week 1 of the NFL season.
DEVELOPING: An arrest warrant has been issued for @obj by New Orleans PD. The charge? Simple battery for a butt slap. ?
— Stadium (@Stadium) January 16, 2020
Of course, if you were looking to simply bet on what offense any NFL player would be jailed for during the COVID-shutdowns, well, you could do that too.
20. Cardi B the Politician
Hip hop star Cardi B has many opinions on how to improve American politics and floated the idea of becoming a politician herself this year. Of course, that would require her to take some time away from her music career to attend college and pursue this endeavor. Odds were set at -300 that she would not enroll before 2021.
Cardi B Says She Wants to Become a Politician, Seems Serious https://t.co/EyWxzBI9MP
— TMZ (@TMZ) January 13, 2020
19. XFL Dreams
At 42-years-old, retired NFL wide receiver Chad Johnson decided he could not turn down the chance to return to sports as a kicker for the XFL’s Houston Roughnecks. He’s kicked an extra-point in a preseason game once in 2009 and loves soccer. So, it’s a lock right? Oddsmakers didn’t think so, making Ochocinco a 2-1 dog to be successful in his tryout. Turns out they were right as Johnson eventually decided to skip the tryout.
Retired NFL WR Chad Johnson had a tryout scheduled Monday with the XFL — as a kicker. It didn’t happen. STORY: https://t.co/EurVkzuebb
— Kevin Seifert (@SeifertESPN) January 21, 2020
While we’re talking XFL, another personality was also eyeing a spot on an XFL roster in 2020. PFT Commenter or Eric Sollenberger of Barstool Sports tried out for a placekicker position himself with the DC Defenders. The 5-1 odds that he would be successful, proved accurate, as the Defenders chose to go another direction.
18. Word of the Year Odds
Ok, we’ve gone long enough without including something COVID-related in this year’s weirdest props. Given the year we’ve had this prop bet may not be that weird. But the fact that almost every option on this list for Word of Year is pandemic-related surely warrants mention. Your top five choices for 2020: COVID-19, Coronavirus, Social Distancing, Covidiot and Self-Quarantine. At this point, it would’ve been nice if “Vaccine” at +2000 was the winner.
It’s that time of year, when lexicographers and linguists announce their word of the year. Tell us what your word of the year is. pic.twitter.com/1wUzadCNN3
— LVMont (@LVMontFitchburg) December 21, 2020
17. Vaccine Odds
While the +2000 odds for “Vaccine” to be Word of the Year didn’t cash, the +200 odds for a vaccine to be released before January 1, 2021 looks to be a winner. For those who took the leap of faith betting on human achievement, it would’ve been both a profitable and feel-good wager to make as we race to beat this pandemic.
The U.S. government is close to a deal to acquire tens of millions of additional doses of Pfizer’s vaccine in exchange for helping Pfizer gain better access to manufacturing supplies.
That would move the nation closer to the goal of vaccinating everyone. https://t.co/GKY3XPtRYr
— MarketWatch (@MarketWatch) December 23, 2020
16. First Coronavirus Movie
Personally I’d argue that A) we’ve already had a coronavirus movie (I’m looking at you Contagion), and that B), we’re still living through this and there are about 1,000 other things I’d rather do than watch a movie reliving this current situation all over again. But I digress. Odds were released this year on which major movie studio would release the first movie about the virus with Warner Bros. listed as the favorite.
15. Donald Trump Tweets, Pardons, the Election and More
Between the virus, the election and the political arguments about both, there was likely enough off-the-wall props and content for me to fill half this article with one of the crazy things you could bet on Trump doing, or not doing this year. But we have plenty of other content to touch on. So let’s just summarize a few noteworthies for this year’s weirdest props.
Breaking News: President Trump pardoned 15 people, including two convicted in the Russia inquiry and four Blackwater guards convicted in connection with the killing of Iraqi civilians. https://t.co/If6x0I916w
— The New York Times (@nytimes) December 23, 2020
This year you could bet anything from Trump being banned from Twitter, if he would pardon Joe Exotic, others, or even himself, when he would concede the election (before or after a New York Jets win) and many, oh, so many more.
14. Astros 2017 World Series Trophy Being Stolen
Not actually. Not in real life. But as a potential story plot in National Treasure 3, the third installment of screenwriter Chris Bremmer’s series which features Nicolas Cage as Benjamin Franklin Gates, who is a treasure hunter that uncovers hidden artifacts. If you thought that plot twist had a chance at making it into the script, the +2500 odds would certainly have been enticing.
me trying to figure out where we’re at with National Treasure 3 pic.twitter.com/qq9gjC0QJy
— Emma Tyler (@EmmaStoneTyler) December 18, 2020
13. Harry and Meghan Props
With Prince Harry and Meghan Markle announcing their desire to move on from their Royal responsibilities, fans and sportsbooks wondered what would be next for the couple. Odds on Markle being the next voice of the Disney Princess, odds for Prince Harry to be an actor, teacher, or even adult film star, and odds for where the two would move next were all available.
Britain’s Prince Harry and his wife Meghan will produce and host podcasts for Spotify, the Swedish company said, starting with a holiday special that will be released this month https://t.co/qm2w7f5Rdp pic.twitter.com/ldrH6K4TAe
— Reuters (@Reuters) December 15, 2020
12. Trump’s Next Target
Ok, one more for Trump, since it had the potential to be pretty impactful. Long before COVID, there was a potential for another world crisis when Donald Trump’s drone strike eliminated Iranian military leader Qasem Soleimani. The potential for a World War was no laughing matter, but it did result in a long list of odds for who Trump’s next target would be. That also lead to odds on which country would join Iran in a war against the US and if Trump would reinstate the draft. Thankfully, none of the above happened.
A volley of rockets exploded near the US embassy in Baghdad on Sunday, as tensions mount ahead of the anniversary of the US killing of top Iranian general Qasem Soleimani. https://t.co/AoQmB7zYt3
— Inquirer (@inquirerdotnet) December 21, 2020
11. NBA Bubble Props
Keep anyone confined for long enough and they’re bound to go a little stir crazy. Confine much of the NBA in a bubble for multiple months without their families, and you may be asking for trouble. It didn’t take long for Sacramento Kings’ Richaun Holmes to break the bubble’s guidelines for…chicken wings.
Richaun Holmes Admits He Broke NBA Bubble Protocol So He Could Pick Up An Order Of Lemon-Pepper/BBQ Chicken Wings https://t.co/pcnDwuNprX pic.twitter.com/tmsyS0Ol0U
— Barstool Sports (@barstoolsports) July 22, 2020
We weren’t off to a good start to the NBA Bubble back in July and that prompted sportsbooks to release a bevy of NBA Bubble props touching on when a player would test positive, break protocols and more. Luckily, everyone wised up and apparently there were no more shortages of chicken wings.
10. Tiger King
The fact these props exist may not be that weird. But the fact that this miniseries about a zookeeper, Joe Exotic, and conservationist Carole Baskin, who maybe killed her husband, became one of Netflix’s highest-rated shows ever, is well, weird. Or maybe not. People were bored this year. Very bored.
The series was a huge hit and prompted sportsbooks to release odds on Baskin being found guilty, Exotic being pardoned and a slew of other props for the eighth and final episode.
Tiger King’s Joe Exotic is convinced Trump will pardon him before leaving officehttps://t.co/koetKwxTVA
— Mirror Celeb (@MirrorCeleb) December 23, 2020
9. Quarantine Eating Challenge
If you put on a few COVID pounds during the lockdown(s) you weren’t alone. But some of the world’s top champion eaters came together during the pandemic to scarf down endless assortments of foods for our viewing and betting pleasure. Joey Chestnut was the odds-on favorite in the Quarantine Eating Challenge and also the +100 favorite in October’s Halloween Candy Steeplechase event.
“I see the baked beans as being very, very fast.”
Co-Founder of @eatingcontest @GCShea previews tonight’s and Thursday night’s quarantine eating [email protected] @PaulyHoward #FollowTheMoney pic.twitter.com/qsG5zrEdIO
— VSiN (@VSiNLive) April 21, 2020
8. Sports You Never Thought You’d Bet
You didn’t get the full 2020 sports betting experience until you found yourself staying up all night and matching your sleep schedule to that of the Russian ping pong, or table tennis league. That league, the Moscow Liga Pro, among a few others, is not even the top-flight table tennis league. But when you have nothing else to bet…
Bettors began flocking to this league in the early stages of the pandemic, watching and betting on an assortment of what looked like teenagers to seniors playing fairly competitive ping pong. The matches ran/run basically all day and provided an endless stream of instant gratification for desperate bettors.
The Colorado sports betting market brought in $230.1 million in handle for November. And, yes table tennis is still in the top three. ???https://t.co/LyT6JHck21
— Play Colorado (@Colorado_Play) December 22, 2020
This bettor, could never quite justify staying up all night to bet ping pong, but that doesn’t mean I didn’t scour the web for dodgy streams of Belarusian and Nicaraguan soccer matches—two leagues that said, “Virus be damned, the games must go on”. 2020 was a year when teams like BATE Borisov, Shakhter Soligorsk, FC Slutsk, Real Esteli and Managua FC became household names (at least for a few months).
What are some of the weirder sports that have been happening and being bet on during the coronavirus? I spoke with the @WR_Record about it in this article. https://t.co/8HGzOY1PAs
— Ryan Métivier (@ryanmetivier) June 8, 2020
Of course, if you just wanted to count down the days and bet on when the major leagues would return, you could put your money where your heart was with a bet on that prop too. Big-ups to MLS for making it happen first.
7. Virtual Sports
Maybe betting fringe sports or sports in faraway lands in the middle of the night wasn’t your thing. No problem. There was still a way to bet on traditional sports like football, basketball and more. With a catch of course. You weren’t betting on the actual players, but instead on their virtual counterparts in online simulations of Madden, NBA2K and others.
Betting on Madden sims is actually pretty dope… https://t.co/NqVI51Tjml
— Matt Gothard (@Matty_Genius) May 27, 2020
Even the ponies got in on the action with a virtual running of the Kentucky Derby. Among the all-time greats who were “running” in the race, Secretariat was listed as the favorite at +175 odds and savvy bettors were able to cash when the chalk took home the win. When the real Kentucky Derby finally rolled around you were able to bet if everyone on the podium would be wearing a mask.
6. Sports That May Not Be Sports…Marble Racing & Lego Anyone?
Maybe none of the above recently mentioned options grabbed your interest and you really wanted to go off the board to satisfy your betting itch. The pandemic has given us all plenty of long, idle days and some chose to take to marble racing. Yes, marble racing. What is marble racing you may ask? Well, it’s kinda what it sounds like. Imagine your childhood toy racetrack, affixed with barriers so various marbles can furiously roll (race?) down the track. And then you bet on it! Want to know more? We covered it for you during the Marbula One Team Championship in March.
What a great start into the final race before the winter break of Season 2. So many lead changes in just the first minute!??? #MarbulaOne #M1 @Jellesmarbles pic.twitter.com/wF6hLOPVci
— Marbula One (M1) (@MarbulaOne) December 16, 2020
If you thought that was weird, the LEGO Masters competition pits contenders against each other for a $100,000 grand prize as they compete in their LEGO-building skills. There really is a competition for everything—who knew?
5. More Pong, of the Beer Variety
While many enjoyed betting on semi-pro ping pong in Russia, others relived their glory days of college by betting on others playing beer pong. The Ballina Cup, dubbed the “March Madness of Beer Pong” featured celebrities and athletes competing for virtual beer pong supremacy.
MIKE WINS THE BALLINA CUP. Playing in a tarped room might have been the cockiest move in sports history. Of course this group of idiots played each other in finals #theballinacup @NelkFilmz @justmike pic.twitter.com/CHsZjjy7S8
— The Ballina-Cup (@theballinacup) April 12, 2020
Then there was the CamSoda Virtual Beer Pong Tournament. I’ll let you figure out what CamSoda is on your own. But they decided to wrangle up some of their talent for their own tournament. For some bettors (ahem, this one), there looked to be great value in loading up on the underdogs on both sides of the bracket. And when Dani Daniels (+375) and Jayden Cole (+600) each made it to the finals, it turned out to be a stress-free, profitable evening.
4. Joe Buck Adult Film Star?
While we’re in the adult film star conversation (spoiler from above), sportscaster Joe Buck found himself with a little extra time on his hands during the pandemic. He chose to fill some of that time by recording play-by-plays for several fan-submitted videos. It was all in good fun, and adult film company ImLive wanted in on the action. So much so, that they offered Buck $1 million to call 25 live cam shows. If you laid the um…wood, on the “No” at -2000, you picked up a small profit.
Joe Buck weighs in on his adult film name after receiving $1 million offer to narrate cam videos: https://t.co/GmRlOQAQuJ pic.twitter.com/kpFwQVkv9S
— PopCulture.com (@PopCulture) December 1, 2020
3. Can You Beat the Weather Man?
If you’re anything like me, 2020 provided a lot of time to think. And walk. And walk some more, in an effort to get outside for any reason at all.
If by chance you found yourself on a walk, staring aimlessly into the sky and wondering out loud, “Can I bet on sunshine tomorrow?”, well the good news is sportsbooks had you covered. The bad news is you likely need some new hobbies. But that’s neither here nor there.
Over/Under totals of the temperature of many major cities around the world were set as sportsbooks looked for creative ways to keep bettors busy.
Had a great time with Mina. Her signature intellect and curiosity meshed well with this new betting space….and she has a “lock” in betting the weather!!! https://t.co/Ztu0Yewuuj
— Doug Kezirian (@DougESPN) April 14, 2020
2. Fireworks, Breasts and Butt Cleavage
Yes, Butt Cleavage. What is “butt cleavage” you may ask? Well, the definition and odds that Jennifer Lopez would show some during her half-time performance with Shakira in this year’s Super Bowl can be found here.
The official #SBLIV #PepsiHalftime performance by @shakira and @JLo is just 4 million views away from reaching 150 million views! The performance remains the most viewed Super Bowl Halftime Show Performance of all time ??
Watch here – https://t.co/dFRfEW2qxZ pic.twitter.com/KaoiqL6Xfu
— Shakira Access ? (@accesshakira) March 17, 2020
Among an endless list of wild and wacky Super Bowl props, you could also bet on if someone in attendance of the big game would bare their breasts for the cameras.
In the run-up to the Super Bowl, the Kansas City Chiefs’ offense proved so prolific that they ran out of fireworks during their 51-31 win over the Houston Texans. You could place a wager if the crew at Arrowhead would come prepared with enough ammunition for a similar light show in their next game against the Titans. Odds were 8-1 that they managed to run dry again.
1. Pornhub’s Global Ranking
When shelter and place restrictions were first implemented in the early stages of the pandemic, people were left with a lot of spare time and not sure how to spend it. Some sportsbooks thought some of that extra time may be spent online, helping to boost the rankings of one Pornhub. Odds were released on Pornhub’s global rank, total visits, US ranking and US traffic percentage for the month of March.
[email protected] seeing a surge in late-night and mid-day visits in the United States. “We can see in the following chart that many visitors from the United States quickly adjusted to their new at-home life by March 17th.” https://t.co/XDeLX0SDmQ pic.twitter.com/cyclNhCmYS
— Christopher Ingraham (@_cingraham) March 20, 2020