The best sports betting movies have one thing in common: they’re unpredictable. They might be comedies or stories about overcoming adversity. But they’re captivating, action-packed, and inspiring.
Owing to that backdrop, our list of must-watch sports betting movies avoids predictable films. We’ve focused on great masterpieces that will inspire you to bet on sports even if you can’t tell the difference between boxing and MMA.
That being said, never bet on sports you do not understand. If you want to make money in the UFC, read UFC betting tips. Watch a few fights every weekend too. If you want to succeed in football betting, become a fan of the NFL.
Put simply, Diggstown is a movie in which an ex-con tries to scam corrupt bookmakers by arranging 10 rigged fights within 24 hours. It begins as the main protagonist, Gabriel Kane (James Wood), is getting out of a prison in Georgia.
Gabriel has a clear plan for what he intends to do with his life. He’s headed to Diggstown, a small town in the middle of nowhere. He has a $50,000 nest egg made through illegal bare-knuckle fights. And he plans to “invest” the money in his next scam.
To complete his scam, Gabe recruits a team consisting of John Gillon (Bruce Dern) and Roy Palmer (Louis Gossett Jr.), both former boxers. Palmer is to fight and win 10 straight fights, but he doesn’t know of the scam Gabe has in mind yet.
Using his ill-gotten money, Gabe goes on a bribing spree, paying hookers and opponents to ensure 48-year-old Roy wins all his fights. Of course, Gabe bets big money on all these fights. But in the end, he loses it all.
Uncut Gems (2019)
Adam Sandler made a career through his comedic prowess. But in all fairness, some of his greatest films focus on sports. Uncut Gems is also about sports. But in this story, Sandler’s character, Howard Ratner), is obsessed with winning basketball bets.
Howard doesn’t just predict match winners. He risks his diamonds on multiple bets, from player points to spreads. To spice up the story, Howard is deeply in debt. He needs to win his sports wagers to pay off his debtors.
Will the addicted gambler succeed with his bets? In the usual style, Uncut Gems paints the picture of life through the lenses of an addicted bettor. Howard has a shop through which he sells precious gems. He’s even attracted the likes of Boston Celtics legend—Kevin Garnett—to his shop.
Still, the man knows no peace. He’s constantly running away from loan sharks and friends to whom he’s indebted. Then there’s his mistress, who’s addicted to gold and a lavish lifestyle. All these troubles make Howard an incredibly stressed man, the kind of stress that makes you feel compassion for him.
Eight Men Out (1988)
The 1919 World Series is arguably the biggest scandal in sports. A gambling syndicate bribed eight Chicago White Sox players to throw the series against the Cincinnati Reds.
Eight Men Out tells the story without trying to incorporate romance or comedy. It sticks to baseball, offering a detailed account of why the Sox players traded away their professionalism and dignity in the place of money.
As the story goes, Charles Comiskey was the club’s owner at the time. Charles treated his staff like slaves, paying them peanuts while also being cruel to them. For example, he would promise a player a generous bonus for winning 10 games. But then bench the player after nine victories.
So, when the opportunity to throw the World Series came knocking, most players from Chicago were willing to throw it away. Sure, they turned down a few lowballers. But they ended up accepting paychecks to throw the series so deliberately that no one would have believed they lost fairly.
White Men Can’t Jump (1992)
The trailer for White Men Can’t Jump 2 is already out. Some people think it’s a disappointment. But guess what’s not disappointing? The original 1992 film starring Wesley Snipes and Woody Harrelson.
White Men Can’t Jump isn’t the most politically correct title. Yet, it’s a celebrated classic by basketball fans of all backgrounds. It’s a buddy comedy film starring Harrelson as Billy Hoyle, an amateur basketball player wanted by loan sharks.
Then there’s Sidney Dean (Snipes), who’s surprised by Billy’s basketball skills so much that he invites him into his team. Sidney has a simple game plan: he trash-talks his opponents. Then he teams up with Billy into beating them and winning money in the process.
Billy needs the money badly. His beautiful girlfriend is about to break up with him. And the loan sharks are threatening to beat him up. Billy uses his goofy looks into luring black players to bet against him. But he also loses sometimes. Beyond that, White Men Can’t Jump is hilarious, with players taunting and mocking one another constantly.
The Color of Money (1986)
The Color of Money feels a lot like The Hustler, the 1961 movie about pool sharks. Indeed, Paul Newman—the main protagonist in The Hustler, reprises his role as Eddie Felson in The Color of Money.
The only difference is that Eddie is no longer the young, natural pool player he was in Hustler. In The Color of Money, Eddie is older, richer, and still in love with the game of pool.
Eddie also sells bourbon to pool clubs. On one occasion, while he’s pitching his liquor, he spots a young pool player, Vince Lauria (Tom Cruise), doing what he’s best at. Eddie approaches Vince and plays a game of pool with him.
He then offers to coach Vince and turn him into a big-money pool shark. Vince agrees and a friendship is born. Of course, the friendship doesn’t last forever. Like many sports movies, The Color of Money also pits the master against his apprentice.
But that’s not the only reason you should watch it. The film has a few interesting side stories. For example, Vince is an insecure boyfriend. And Eddie uses his insecurity to keep him disciplined to the game.