Harry Gagnon's hints for sports betting without football

Harry’s What to Wager on While Going Through Football Withdrawal

With the Super Bowl over and done with, we as sports fans, we as gamblers on football, are going through withdrawal. Well, I’m here to help where I can. Here is a list of things to continue to wager on. Look, it’s not the NFL, but it’s still something to hold our attention until that first NFL Hall of Fame Game the first week of August. This is my Top 10 list of sports or non-sports that we can still feel good about betting on.

10. PGA’s FedExCup Champion

You have action throughout the golf season almost every week, so this is a futures wager. This gets really exciting once the four majors are finished. The top six golfers favored to capture the cup are:

Rory McIlroy +1000
Jon Rahm +1300
Justin Thomas +1400
Tiger Woods +1400
Brooks Koepka +1600
Dustin Johnson +2000

9. Politics … Odds to Win the 2020 Presidential Election

If politics is your thing, you can actually bet on who will be the next president of the United States. This wager will keep you focused on the caucuses and the campaigns as they come up.

Current Odds On Presidency

Donald Trump -165
Field +135

8. Boxing

In a little over two weeks, on February 23, we have a rematch that should be explosive and action-packed.

Tyson Fury -150
Deontay Wilder +110

7. XFL

Who says football is over? We have the XFL starting this weekend. I know you are all saying that isn’t football, but I’ll bet you check out the lines and watch and wager on a few of these games just because you’re bored.

Favorite to win the XFL championship

Dallas Renegades +300 (OVER/UNDER Wins 6)

6. Major League Baseball Spring Training

In a month, we will have the chance as gamblers to really gamble on something that is truly a guess and that’s spring training baseball. It is morning action during the week on teams when we have no idea who is playing for them because of lack of information. Spring training wagering is possibly the most authentic form of sports gambling.

5. French Open Tennis

The second major of the year runs May 24 to June 7 in Paris. Australian Open runner-up Dominic Thiem hopes to finally take down Rafael Nadal (he has lost to Nadal in the French Open final the past two years) at Roland-Garros. As for the women, double-digit odds on defending champ Ashleigh Barty are awful tempting.

Men’s Odds

Rafael Nadal -120
Novak Djokovic +300
Dominic Thiem +300

Women’s Odds

Simona Halep +500
Serena Williams +800
Ashleigh Barty +1000

4. Kentucky Derby

The Kentucky Derby is always the first Saturday in May. This and the Super Bowl are the two events that are bet on by people who usually never bet. If I had a dime for every time someone asked me when I worked at sportsbooks in Vegas how to bet on the derby during derby week, I’d have more money than our own Odds Shark spokesman Joe Osborne (and believe me, that is a lot of money).

Some early odds on the Kentucky Derby:

Nadal +800
Mickelson +4000
Arizona +7500

3. PGA Tour

Look, betting on golf may not be your cup of tea but believe me, it can be exciting. There are many different ways to bet golf, such as to win, matchups and top 20. This week’s event is at stunning Pebble Beach. Here are the odds on the favorites, plus I’ve thrown in two underdogs I like in matchups for the entire tournament.

Dustin Johnson +700
Patrick Cantlay +1100
Paul Casey +1800
Phil Mickelson +2200


Mickelson +115 vs Brandt Snedeker (Phil is defending champ and fans love him)
Casey +135 vs Cantlay (Casey finished 2nd last year and +135 … yes please)

2. NASCAR’s Daytona 500

On February 16, Daytona kicks off the NASCAR season and this race is absolutely a fun watch and it never hurts to throw a couple bucks on some of these drivers. Chase Elliott enters his fifth season and will be a top finisher in plenty of races this season. Denny Hamlin has won two of the last four races at Daytona and last season’s Cup Sportsbook Kyle Busch won there in 2017. Here are the odds on the favorites for this year’s race.

Joey Logano +1000
Chase Elliott +1300
Denny Hamlin +1300
Kyle Busch +1300

1. NCAA Men’s Basketball … aka March Madness

In just over a month, the madness will begin (March Madness). There is really nothing like the crazy three-week spree of people betting on their brackets on schools they frankly have never heard of but gamble regardless. It is kind of gross, but beautiful at the same time (through the eyes of a degenerate, of course). Here are current odds on the favorites to win the championship.

Baylor +1000
Kansas +1000
Gonzaga +1000
Duke +1200
Louisville +2000

That is my list of things to bet on while we all go through NFL wagering withdrawal. It’s not the NFL, I get it, but give some of these other events a shot and maybe you might get lucky.