Oddball Sports That Might Come To Michigan Sportsbooks Soon

Someone once said, “Everything is a gamble, even love.”

No one bets on love. But thanks to the expansive market of online sports betting now available in Michigan, you can wager on many oddball events, and these opportunities are growing.

Most gamblers have placed bets on football, hockey, horse racing, etc. But when’s the last time you laid down $100 on a hot dog eating contest? How do you even know where a hot dog eating contest is taking place? Look for a stack of Pepto Bismol bottles?


If you haven’t been paying attention to cornhole, you’re “behind the bags,” as they say. Alright, only I say that. But it’s true.

Cornhole is now a professional sport, and one of the fastest-growing participation sports in America. Currently, you cannot bet on cornhole in Michigan, but seeing as how DraftKings has an official gaming sponsorship with the professional sport, and they are offering wagering on it in New Jersey and Pennsylvania, it shouldn’t be long.

The American Cornhole League was formed in 2015, and they organize and sanction tournaments and leagues throughout North America. Since 2017, ESPN has televised several cornhole tournaments on their channels, with strong ratings among younger viewers.

According to their website, the ACL “promotes and develops cornhole as a sport for any age and any skill level. The organization establishes the rules and regulations to govern the sport around the world.” As the ACL says, “anyone can play, anyone can win.” It really does seem that easy: tossing bags at a slanted board in the backyard. Cornhole is something to keep an eye on.

Eating Contests

One of the most famous cultural events in the United States is Nathan’s Famous Hot Dog Eating Contest, which is held at Nathan’s Famous in Brooklyn every July 4. Uncle Sam, fireworks, and loads of hot dogs, that’s America, baby!

Gamblers in Michigan, take note. This year, you may be able to place a wager on which glutton will swallow the most Nathan’s dogs. While Michigan has not announced yet that eating contests are eligible for betting, three states have legalized wagering on eating contests: Colorado, New Hampshire, and New Jersey.

DraftKings has an established partnership with Major League Eating, the organization that puts on Nathan’s Famous Hot Dog Eating Contest. In prior years, DraftKings has offered a free-to-play contest to choose the winner in states where eating contests are not yet kosher. (Thank you very much)

Table Tennis

In the Oscar-winning movie Forrest Gump, the titular character learns to play table tennis while recuperating from an injury he suffered in Vietnam. He becomes one of the best table tennis players in the world, and travels to China to face off against the best players in that table-tennis-crazed nation. Based on this portrayal, you may think just about anyone could play table tennis really well. Not so.

The greatest players compete in the International Table Tennis Federation (ITTF) and the European Table Tennis Union (ETTU), or in Moscow Liga Pro.

Currently, only the states of Colorado and New Jersey allow gambling on table tennis, though it hasn’t come without controversy. In recent years, accusations of corruption have temporarily halted table tennis gaming on sportsbooks. But the sport has returned to those two states. Expansion is bound to occur in the future.

Championship-level table tennis matches are a best-of-5 or best-of-7 game affair. Because player serve alternates, a game can see wild shifts in momentum. This makes the sport an exciting one to wager on.


Pour someone a pint of beer, dim the lights, and hand them a sharp instrument. Sound like a fun Friday night? Sound like a recipe for a visit to the emergency room? Or is it a darts league?

The best dart-throwers in the world sharpen their game in the Premier Darts League, which operates in the United Kingdom, Ireland, Netherlands, and Germany, four old-school countries who have figured out how to combine points and pints.

The Premier Darts League competes weekly from February through May, and is back in action in 2021 after a limited season in 2020 due to the pandemic.

As of yet, Michigan’s licensed sportsbooks have not opened for betting on darts, but gamblers who have registered with William Hill can bet on the Premier Darts League in New Jersey. Predictably, DraftKings has also shown interest in offering darts as a sportsbook in the United States. Look for more on this in the future.

About the Author

Dan Holmes

Dan Holmes has written three books about sports. He previously worked for the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Major League Baseball. He enjoys writing, running, and lemon bars. He lives near Lake Michigan with his daughters and usually has an orange cream soda nearby.