Sports betting movies

We have made a point of seeing every sports betting movie that we can get our eyes on and we review the most notable and relevant examples here. These films are made for mass audiences not for sports bettors. They are largely inaccurate and none of them go into detail about wagering, for that see our list of bitcoin gambling videos.

We have only included sports betting movies for which there are quality seeded torrents available. Also see our list of casino movies about gambling and list of poker movies that really are about poker.

Movies all about sports betting

Bookies (2003) Rotten Tomatoes rating 67%

bookies film

Bookies revolves around college buddies who start a sportsbook from their dorm. They live the dream until the bets and profits escalate and things get out of hand.

The naive and likeable lads are drawn into an underworld of violence, match fixing and mobsters that they are not equipped to deal with.

Bookies (2003) Trailer

Two for the Money (2005) Rotten Tomatoes rating 22%

Sports betting movies

A young up and coming tipster (Matthew McConaughey) gets taken under the wing of a veteran (Al Pacino). Two for the money shines a light on the nasty money grubbing nature of the payed tips industry. Such as hassling previous customers to buy pics and pressuring gambling addicts to stake more than they can afford.

Pacino is good, the film is not.

Two For The Money (2005) Official Trailer – Matthew McConaughey, Al Pacino Movie HD

Lay the Favourite (2012) Rotten Tomatoes rating 19%

Lay the Favourite film

The only film in this list that shows sports bettors who study form and crunch numbers to make selections then carefully consider the appropriate stake. Rather than showing sports bettors as degenerate bums losing their life savings betting on things they want to happen.

Lay the Favorite tells the story of a Las Vegas professional sports betting operation led by Bruce Willis and a more entertaining side story of an underground bookmaking operation lead by Vince Vaughn that becomes an offshore sportsbook in the Caribbean.

Vaughn is charismatic and enjoyable to watch but the film is a letdown overall, it also stars Catherine Zeta Jones and Joshua Jackson.

Lay the Favorite (2012) – Official Trailer [HD]

Big Shot – Confessions of a Campus Bookie (2002) Not rated on Rotten Tomatoes

movies about sports betting

A far inferior version of Bookies. Same story but every character is much less likeable.

Big Shot: Confessions of a Campus Bookie

Movies partly about sports betting

The Gambler (1974) Rotten Tomatoes rating 86%

sports betting films

James Caan is great in this film about a brilliant college professor’s fall into degenerate and self-destructive gambling addiction (he was in the grips of real life cocaine addiction at the time). His worst vice is sports betting and he tries to get out of a debt to his bookie by convincing a student to underperform in college athletics.

The man’s life spirals downward to the depth of depravity but he is actually at the wheal and controlling it which highlights what most people don’t know about manny problem gamblers, that they want to lose in order to punish themselves out of guilt.

There is a newly released version starring Mark Wahlberg which we review below.

The Gambler – Trailer

Eight Men Out (1998) Rotten Tomatoes rating 86%

Eight men out

The amazing true story of the 1919 Chicago White Sox team that threw the Major League Baseball World Series for crooked gamblers and sportsbooks. Before you deride the players as greedy cheating bastards as we do with today’s match fixers realise the players were mostly uneducated and their contracts, pay and conditions were grossly unfair and exploitative.

As the players left the grand jury a 7 year old Chicagoan newspaper boy tugged on his hero’s jacket sleeve, looked up with tears in his eyes and said

“Say it ain’t so Joe, say it ain’t so”

US sports had forever lost its innocence.

Eight Men Out Official Trailer #1 – Christopher Lloyd Movie (1988) HD

Owning Mahowny (2003) Rotten Tomatoes rating 79%

betting movies

The amazing true story of a tight spending Bank of Canada employee who embezzled more than 10 million dollars of the bank’s money to gamble, first on sports, then at the casino tables in Atlantic City and Las Vegas. It’s not a fun Ocean’s 11 style romp through stealing from the bad guys and glamorous VIP casino rooms, it’s a gritty look at addiction and deceit.

The most amazing thing is how easy it was for the gambler to get the bank’s money. He had a job that saw him working between many different branches meaning no one person could observe the irregularities.

Owning Mahowny Trailer

White Men Can’t Jump (1992) Rotten Tomatoes rating 76%

Sports betting movie White Men Can't Jump

White Men Can’t Jump follows Wesley Snipes and Woody Harrelson as they bet against each other or with each other against others on pickup basketball games in 90s Los Angeles. The film fetures the earliest recorded yo muma jokes in pop culture and radical 90s fashion and lingo.

Woody Harrelson’s character mirrors the way problem gamblers are depicted in many hollywood flicks, he is in debt to violent bookies from a college basketball fix gone wrong and just when he gets ahead he self destructively acts as if he wants to lose.

White men cant jump Trailer

Hard Times (1975) Rotten Tomatoes rating 73%

Hard Times film

A film about bare knuckle boxing in Southern USA during the great depression. It features a traveling boxer who rides box cars, considers coffee a meal, wears a duffel cap, you get the idea.

Hard Times shows the scummiest of douchebag mobsters pitting desperado boxers against each other like their private play things and betting on them.

Trailer for "Hard Times" (1975), starring Charles Bronson

Diggstown (1992) Rotten Tomatoes rating 54%

Diggstown the movie

A movie about a hustler (James Woods) and a corrupt small town boss betting on a special boxing match. The film keeps you guessing who is rigging what and who is scamming who and there are surprising plot twists and intrigues.

It also has a young Heather Graham going for it.

Diggstown Official Trailer #1 – Bruce Dern Movie (1992) HD

The Gambler (2014) Rotten Tomatoes rating 46%

The Gambler 2014

This modern remake of the 1974 classic, which we review above, features the best cinematography and sleekest effects of any film on this list. Mark Wahlberg has just as much screen presence as James Caan and John Goodman gives a star turn.

Unfortunately the script writers decided to make Wahlberg’s character utterly dis-likable, he treats everyone like crap and acts like the world owes him a living. This makes it impossible to relate to him or sympathies with the man as he deliberately steers his life into the gutter in order to punish himself out of guilt.

The sports betting plot comes from the gambler being a professor and convincing a star student athlete to shave points. I do think the film is better than the Rotten Tomatoes rating indicates and I definitely recommend it if you want to watch a film that really is all about gambling rather than having gambling as just one subplot.

The Gambler Official Trailer #1 (2014) – Mark Wahlberg, Jessica Lange Movie HD

Hardball (2001) Rotten Tomatoes rating 39%

Films about sports betting

Keanu Reeves is a stereotypical degenerate sports bettor with debts to cliché unsavoury characters who has to coach a stereotypical underprivileged minority little league team from the projects. Everything that follows is painfully clichéd and obvious.

Worst. Movie. Ever.

Hardball – Trailer

Even Money (2007) Rotten Tomatoes rating 24%

sports betting movies

Another version of Hollywood’s favourite sports betting theme, degenerate gamblers owing money to criminal sportsbooks and getting wound up in match fixing.

Even Money is one of the higher quality flicks on this list though it is more like an anti-gambling cautionary tale. It is very well acted with Kim Basinger, Danny DeVito, Kelsey Grammer, Ray Liotta and Forest Whitaker.

Even Money – Movie Trailer

Player 5150 (2007) Not rated on Rotten Tomatoes

Player 5150

Standard Hollywood treatment; degenerate sports bettor goes into debt with violent illegal bookie and almost loses his wife and job. If you believed Hollywood you would think that is a prerequisite for betting on sports.

This flick does have more likable characters than most of the others that follow the same formula though.

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