Sports betting is perhaps the most widely available and socially acceptable form of gambling. Millions of people all over the world have tried it at least once, and there are many who routinely use it to enhance their experience watching their favourite sporting events.

The activity is generally referred to as “sports betting” because it is usually associated with sports. Different regions have their own preferred “markets” – in the US, most bets are placed on NFL and perhaps boxing, soccer (association football) is preferred by punters in Europe and followers of most betting news Vietnam has to offer, and cricket is the absolute favourite of bettors in India.

But sports are by far not the only things you can bet on. There are many other “markets” available that may, at times, seem freaky – and perhaps funny.

The Oscars

One of the most popular markets at bookmakers that has nothing to do with sports (except in very rare cases) is betting on the awards offered by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. Yes, the Academy Awards, better known as The Oscars.

People are already speculating on which cinematic production of 2021 will be worthy of the Best Picture in February 2022. The movie with the biggest chance to win, according to the bookies, is Kenneth Branagh’s “Belfast”, followed by the remake of the musical “West Side Story”, Netflix’s “Power of the Dog”, and Guillermo del Toro’s “Nightmare Alley”.

There’s a bet on the statuette for the Best Actor (Will Smith in King Richard is in the pole position), Best Actress (Kristen Stewart in Spencer), and Best Director (Jane Campion – The Power of the Dog).

The next James Bond

When a 007 retires, a replacement is found – and every fan of the James Bond franchise is sitting on the edge of their seat in anticipation of who it may be. And they bet on it, apparently.

With Daniel Craig out of the (next James Bond motion) picture, MGM is looking for a replacement – and there are some names already linked with the part.

Currently, the actor with the best chance to get the part (according to the bookies, anyway) is Tom Hardy, known for his role in “Mad Max: Fury Road” and “Venom”, followed by Richard Madden, Rene Jean Page, James Norton, and Idris Elba. The (not quite) actor with the longest odds to get the part is former soccer superstar David Beckham.

Christmas #1 in the UK

Finally, a traditional betting market that’s increasingly popular now that the holidays are upon us: which song or performer will be #1 in the UK on Christmas Day?

The options are in: Sir Elton John and Ed Sheeran are the contenders with the best chances, followed by “Have a Word Pod” (apparently, a podcast can be #1, too), Adele, The Lathums, and ABBA. The artist with the longest odds (so far) seems to be English singer Tom Grennan – betting on him would pay out a stunning 201 to 1.