The Best Sports Betting Movies

A group of friends watching a soccer match on TV in the living room.

When they’re not following Major League Baseball or playing a game of tennis, what do online sports betting fans do for fun? Watch the best sports betting movies, of course! While serious bettors may find sporting events nerve-wracking and even stressful, just add some popcorn and movies to the mix and the pressure is lifted.  

Here are a few of our favorite betting films, all worthy of your watch list when planning your next movie night.

The Hustler (1961)

It is appropriate to start our round-up with a classic, The Hustler – after all, it’s probably the most iconic sports betting movie of all time. This black-and-white classic was released towards the end of the Golden Age of Hollywood, so while there’s the usual amount of melodrama, both the acting and plot are excellent. 

Based on Walter Tevis’ 1959 novel of the same name, the story follows “Fast” Eddie Felson – played by Paul Newman – who is a small-time pool shark out to defeat the legendary Minnesota Fats, played by Jackie Gleason. The film has a slow buildup that leads to an emotional ending as we witness the ambition, self-destruction, defeat and surrender of Felson. Fast starts out limited by his own inflated ego and follows a character-building journey in the world of pool halls, bars and cheap motels.  

The movie announced Newman’s arrival in Hollywood and received a number of major awards in addition to being selected for preservation in the United States National Film Registry for being “culturally, historically or aesthetically significant.”

Eight Men Out (1988)

Excited and tense couple sitting on couch at home watching a sports event on TV.

Eight Men Out is based on the real-life events of the 1919 Black Sox Scandal in which a gambling syndicate was rumored to have bribed eight members of the Chicago White Sox to lose the MLB World Series against the Cincinnati Reds.

The film was wildly popular among critics and viewers alike as it explored the events of the scandal and trials of the people involved. Viewers can expect excellent production, an accurate portrayal of the era and some quality sports betting action.

Let It Ride (1989)

Horse racing fans, this one’s for you! Let It Ride is a slightly cheesy but very entertaining comedy. While many movies about gambling are really gambling addiction movies that portray punters as reckless and explore the dangerous side of the popular pastime, this light-hearted film takes a look at the positive side of things, the victory and excitement of horse racing.

Let It Ride stars Richard Dreyfuss as Jay Trotter, a taxi driver who has the greatest day of his life when he ends up winning big after a tip on the horse races. And once he starts winning, he just doesn’t stop. For a feel-good trip to the racing tracks, this is the one. 

Diggstown (1992)

For those who enjoy the suspense of boxing, Diggstown (also known as Midnight Sting) offers just that, along with some class-A comedy. This 1990s classic has developed a cult following because of its epic one-liners, strange twists and unexpected ending – no spoiler alert required, we wouldn’t dare! 

Meet smooth-talking con man Gabriel Caine (James Woods) who’s fresh out of prison and ready for his next gig. Caine teams up with Fitz and the two travel to the boxing-obsessed city of Diggstown. The two bet John Gillon – a former boxing champ who owns most of Diggstown – that they “know a guy” who can knock out 10 Diggstown men within 24 hours … and so the grift and chaos begin. 

For some unforgettable characters and acting to match, be sure to swing down to Diggstown.

Hardball (2001)

Another gambling addiction movie, Hardball is a dramedy that follows gambling addict Conor O’Neill (Keanu Reeves) who secretly bets a large amount of money on his dead father’s account. As a consequence, he lands up in the deep, unforgiving waters of debt. O’Neill must find a way to pay his dues, and he takes the advice of a friend who suggests he sign up to coach a local kids’ baseball team consisting of troubled African-American children desperate for a positive role model. 

The movie is extremely heart-warming and despite a couple of scenes guaranteed to get the tears flowing, ends on a high note. A fantastic choice for a feel-good Friday night film and definitely one of the sports films that need a sequel

Bookies (2003)

Kicking it old-school in the time before online betting became so popular, is Bookies – an entertaining, easy-to-watch movie about three American college students who, having lost a bet, start their own bookmaking business in which bettors’ money is collected in randomly chosen, unused library books. Not before long, the college bookies start raking in the cash, only to catch the (very much unwanted) attention of the local mafia.

The film premiered at the Sundance Film Festival and is sure to keep viewers on their toes. With some great acting from Johnny Galecki and realistic elements from the sports betting world, this is sure to be an entertaining watch for, well, anyone. 

Two for the Money (2005)

If you’re a drama fan and enjoy movies about the success of an underdog, you’ll enjoy Two for the Money, starring two of Hollywood’s most iconic actors, Al Pacino and Matthew McConaughey. 

The plot revolves around Brandon Lang (McConaughey) who used to be a college football star but whose career hopes were dashed following a nasty knee injury. Still reeling from the blow and keen to continue his involvement in the sporting world, Lang takes a job handicapping football games. He exhibits a knack for predicting winners, capturing the attention of New York gambling tycoon (and recovering gambling addict) Walter Abrams (Pacino) who takes Lang under his wing. The two quickly start raking in large sums of money but can they keep their lucky streak going? Be prepared for plenty of twists, turns and a surprise ending.

Lay The Favorite (2012)

A bowl of popcorn on a coffee table with a movie on the TV screen in the background.

Lay The Favorite is an irreverent Sin City comedy based on the memoirs of Beth Raymer, a failing exotic dancer who moves to Las Vegas and meets a professional sports bettor Dink, who initiates her into the ways of gambling.

While the reviews were mixed, the noteworthy cast, which includes Bruce Willis, Catherine Zeta-Jones and Vince Vaughn, presents some crazy characters and classic Vegas shenanigans that take viewers vicariously through the thrills and disappointments of hot streaks and cold decks.

Silver Linings Playbook (2012)

What would a list of movie recommendations be without some drama and romance? While betting and romance are often thought of as different arenas, Silver Linings Playbook manages to merge the two in this Oscar-winning film. 

The story unfolds in sports-obsessed Philadelphia and revolves around Pat, played by Bradley Cooper, and Tiffany, played by Jennifer Lawrence. Though it’s not entirely based on sports, one of the side stories is about Pat’s father, played brilliantly by Robert De Niro. Pat is an avid bettor and hardcore Philadelphia Eagles fan who even places a wager on the outcome of his son’s dance contest, however unlikely it may seem.

So if not everyone in your household shares your passion for sport but you’re looking for something you can all enjoy, this is a great pick!

Uncut Gems (2019)

Uncut Gems sees well-known comedy genius Adam Sandler stepping into a more serious role as Howard Ratner, a Jewish-American jeweler in New York City.

Ratner is a gambling addict who finds himself drowning in debt as a result of his irresponsible habit. In a bid to pay his dues, he takes on the task of retrieving an expensive gem that he smuggled in and which is currently in the hands of basketball star Kevin Garnett, played by the real-life legend. He makes a number of high-stakes sports bets in the hopes of changing (and saving) his life – but is it too late? 

The plot is packed with adrenalin and the acting is top-notch, particularly from Sandler, who was expected to get a nomination for an Academy Award for Best Actor. Unfortunately, he was snubbed by the academy – a decision that left many fans outraged. You be the judge. 

Place your virtual sports bets with Borgata Online

If reading about the best bet movies of all time piqued your interest and you’d like to know how to bet on sports, you’re in the right place. Whether you’re a fan of baseball, football, swimming or tennis, Borgata Online is one of the best online sportsbooks. Get the latest sports news and betting odds when you register with Borgata Online and download the best sports betting app. We’re known for the best football odds and basketball betting in the US!

Watched your fair share of gambling movies on Netflix and now keen to try your luck at an online casino? We’ve got you covered for classic casino games, too! Feel free to check out our casino table games, online slots, jackpot slots and bingo games to join in on the fun.