We traveled through cyberspace, looking at the top-rated offshore sportsbooks in search of the strangest futures props bets available. Here are the six weirdest we uncovered.
1. Will Tim Tebow Play in MLB in 2018 or 2019 Regular Season?
Former Heisman Trophy winner and ex-NFL quarterback Tim Tebow has been trying to make it to Major League Baseball since being signed to a minor-league contract by the New York Mets in September 2016. After struggling to gain any real momentum in getting to The Bigs, Tebow had a noticeable year for the Class A (Advanced Florida State League) St. Lucie Mets in 2017. He had a 12-game hitting streak, five home runs and a .231 batting average, prompting the Mets to invite Tebow to their MLB camp. Tebow, 30, made his spring training debut Tuesday in Port St. Lucie, Florida. The outfielder, limited to batting because of an ankle injury sustained when he tripped over a sprinkler head last week, pinch-hit in the sixth inning and struck out against talented Houston RHP prospect Rogelio Armenteros. Tebow, as the designated hitter, then flied out in the eighth.
So, will Tebow ever get a spot on the Mets’ roster and play in an MLB game this or next season? Bovada has odds on Tebow making it to MLB in the next two seasons, with the “Yes” priced at +500 and the “No” at -800, meaning oddsmakers give him little chance of making it. But with Tebow helping St. Lucie set an attendance record last season and the possibility the Mets (+3775 to win 2018 World Series, 5Dimes) could have another depressing and injury-filled season and be out of the playoff race by mid-August, maybe the organization gives Tebow a spell in the fall. With a two-year window, sitting on a “Yes” ticket at 5/1 seems better than possessing a “No” bet at 1/8.
2. Will Rich Eisen’s 40-Yard-Dash Time be "Over" or "Under" 6.05 Seconds?
There’s nothing like betting on a journalist running in a suit, and that’s exactly what SportsBetting.ag is offering with NFL Network’s Rich Eisen running the 40-yard dash at the NFL Scouting Combine from March 2-5 in Indianapolis. The choice is Eisen (in a suit) running the sprint “Faster Than 6.05 seconds” or “Slower Than 6.05 Seconds,” both priced at -115.
Eisen first ran the 40 in 2005 when Broncos running back Terrell Davis challenged him to a duel. Eisen, now 48, has turned the annual suit-sprint into the #RunRichRun campaign, raising well more than $300,000 for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. Last year, Eisen ran the 40 in 6.02 seconds. His best time was in 2016 (5.94), and his worst time was in that inaugural year (6.77). So, Eisen has hardly been slowed by age and still seems to be motivated. The fastest 40 time at the Scouting Combine since 2008 came from University of Washington product John Ross (4.22 in 2017), a wide receiver drafted by the Bengals last year. You can set your computer or mobile device to remind you to watch Eisen’s attempts at NFL.com/runrichrun. Expect Eisen’s best time to be extremely close to the 6.05 seconds posted.
3. How Do You Say "Lock" in Russian? Putin Huge Chalk to Get Re-Elected
There’s chalk, and then there’s Vladimir Putin chalk, comrade. We don’t use the word “lock” on this scared keyboard, but if we ever did ... Creative sportsbook SportsBetting.ag is offering up "Odds to Win the 2018 Russian Presidential Election," with current Russian president and Independent Party candidate Vladimir Putin priced at -2000 to be re-elected on March 18 and the “Field” (Any Other Candidate) priced at +1000 (10/1) to shock the world. Putin, 65, seeking a second straight term and fourth overall, is running against seven major candidates.
Putin easily won the 2012 race with 63.6 percent of the vote as the United Russia Party candidate, followed by Communist Party candidate Gennady Zyuganov (17.2 percent) and Independent Party candidate Mikhail Prokhorov (8 percent). A recent Kremlin poll for the election showed Putin leading with 69.5 percent, followed by Communist Party candidate Pavel Grudinin (7.5 percent), LDPR (formerly Liberal Democratic Party of Russia) Party candidate Vladimir Zhirinovsky (5.3), Yabloko Party candidate Grigory Yavlinsky (1.4) and TV anchor, journalist, actor and socialite Ksenia Sobchak (0.9).
4. It's Lynx Against the World For 2018 WNBA Season
Like we saw in the NBA with similar Golden State Warriors vs. The Rest of NBA Futures offerings, the oddsmakers at 5Dimes respect the Minnesota Lynx enough to book a “Minnesota Lynx Win WNBA Championship” (+118) versus “Field Wins WNBA Championship” (-158) futures line. Either the Lynx or the Los Angeles Sparks have won the L3 WNBA titles, with Minnesota winning it all last season and in 2015. The WNBA season is scheduled to tip off May 18, and two days later the Lynx host the Sparks.
The Las Vegas Aces (125/1 to win 2018 WNBA championship, 5Dimes), formerly the San Antonio Stars, are the longest shots in the 2018 WNBA Championship Futures Book. Contemplating a futures bet with the Sparks (+155 to win championship) and the rest of the WNBA Field outside of Minnesota (+120 to win championship) at -158 compared to the +155 price for probable Western Conference winner Los Angeles is the big question — to take one team or 11? Potential bettors of the league’s 11 teams outside of Minnesota would probably be best served taking the “Field” wager at -158, while Lynx fans and potential backers are 2 cents better off backing the Lynx in the futures book (+120) at 5Dimes compared to this futures props offering there (+118).
5. Spelling Bee Props Best Shot to Find Winner? Not So Fast, Venkatachalam ...
The 91st annual Scripps National Spelling Bee is May 29-31 in National Harbor, Maryland, with 5Dimes offering up four different props offerings. Last year, 12-year-old Ananya Vinay of Fresno, California, won the event by nailing “marocain,” a dress fabric made from silk or rayon. In the three previous competitions there were co-winners -- two boys in 2016 and 2014, and a boy and a girl in 2015.
Thus, five of the L7 champions or co-champs were boys (a small handicapping edge?). Backing a lone boy (+155) to win it all is the route I would prefer to take, especially at the current +155 price.
6. Future 007 Tough Call: Who'll Be Next to Portray James Bond After Craig?
BetOnline has a unique special futures prop on who the next James Bond will be after current actor Daniel Craig ends his run as Agent 007 (2006-present, four Bond films). Craig is slated to play Bond again in "Bond 25," tentatively slated for release on November 8, 2019. Here is who BetOnline has available for betting in this market at current (Feb. 27, 2018) odds:
This is a tough market to handicap. Currently, the Bond franchise — the longest continually-running movie series that started with "Dr. No" in 1962 — is produced by Eon Productions, which has made 24 Bond films and racked up the fourth-highest gross of current film series. With the release of 2015’s "Spectre," Sony Pictures’ contract to produce the 007 series with Eon and MGM expired, with the "Bond 25" distribution rights then put up for negotiation, with only Eon and MGM offering a one-movie deal. So Eon Productions, and whoever directs "Bond 25" — Danny Boyle was named frontrunner this month — and the success of that film at the box office might best determine the futures direction, and what potential actors or actresses (Any Female to be Next James Bond 10/1, BetOnline), might be candidates to play Bond in a theoretical 26th film.
Free MLB Futures Props Pick: Will Tim Tebow Play in MLB in 2018 or 2019? Yes +500 (Bovada)
Free 2018 Scripps Spelling Bee Futures Props Pick: Boy is Lone Champion +155 (5Dimes)