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The Top 3 Sports betting Movies of All Time

Choosing the Three Best Sports Betting MoviesChoosing the Three Best Sports Betting Movies

Gambling has proven a rich source of entertainment for Hollywood, especially within the niches of sports betting, poker and casino games. Of those, sports betting doesn’t always get the recognition it deserves. And this is why it is time to select the three best sports betting movies of all time.

Online Casinos & Sports Betting

Finding a place to bet on sports is simple. There are now all kinds of sports betting sites on the market, not to mention online casinos. Just check out the detailed review of Springbok Casino for information on the top video slots and casino tables that can be played there.

When looking for the best online sportsbook, it can help to look for the following features:

 Compatibility for mobile devices

  • A valid operating license
  • On-site encryption & security
  • A range of customer service options
  • Widespread coverages of sports & markets
  • In-play betting options


The guys in the following movies did not have such luxurious features. However, they did make the most of what they had available for the time…

Casino (1995)

Although the name would suggest otherwise, Casino remains the finest sports betting movie ever made. After all, sports betting continues to be one of the most popular forms of gambling undertaken in casinos across the US. With bookies unable to operate legally across the entire country, tourists often come to Sin City with the intention of placing several major sports bets on iconic events such as the Super Bowl or the World Series.

In October 1995, crime reporter Nicholas Pileggi released a true crime book entitled, ‘Casino: Love and Honor in Las Vegas’. Just one month later, legendary director Martin Scorsese released a movie inspired by the book. In fact, Scorsese wrote the screenplay in collaboration with Pileggi. Having shot Goodfellas five years earlier, Scorsese’s return to intention to direct another crime epic was highly anticipated.

When it came to cast members, Scorsese found key roles for Robert De Niro and Joe Pesci as Sam ‘Ace’ Rothstein and Nicky Santoro, respectively. Meanwhile, some of the other key players included Sharon Stone, James Woods, Don Rickles, Frank Vincent, and Kevin Pollak. People were always going to see this move on the basis of the cast and crew alone.

While Pileggi’s true crime book told the story of Frank ‘Lefty’ Rosenthal, the movie version instead focused on the fictional Ace, as played by De Niro. In Casino, the movie starts in 1973 when professional sports bettor and Mafia associate Ace is sent by the Chicago mob to run the Tangiers Casino from behind the scenes. Ace, meanwhile, receives support from childhood friend Nicky Santoro, brother Dominick Santoro and enforcer Frank Marino.

All goes according to plan and Ace doubles profits at the Tangiers, thus enabling the Mafia to skim the profits and avoid paying tax on the bulk of earnings. However, there’s trouble on the horizon when Ace falls for Ginger McKenna, played by Stone, and enters into a turbulent relationship with the glamorous Las Vegas dancer. In real life, Lefty fell for Geri McGee, who served to disrupt the operation and provide the drama worthy of a movie.

In what is definitely the best line in the movie, De Niro says of his sports betting skills, “I was so good that when I bet, I can change the odds for every bookmaker in the country. I'm serious. I had it down so cold that I was given paradise on earth.”

Two for the Money (2005)

In Casino, Ace Rothstein prides his ability as a handicapper and this theme extends into the October 2005 releases, Two for the Money. Directed by D. J. Caruso and written by Dan Gilroy, this movie explores the high-pressure business of providing sports betting tips. As if this wasn’t interesting enough, Two for the Money can also count Al Pacino and Matthew McConaughey as the stars of this movie.

Where Ace Rothstein was based on Lefty Rosenthal, Pacino’s Walter Abrams is rumored to be inspired by famed sports betting handicapper Stu ‘The Source’ Feiner. In the movie, Abrams provides a paid subscription service that is not dissimilar to how Feiner has operated over the years.

In Two for the Money, McConaughey’s Brandon Lang gets into handicapping after his career as a pro football star is ruined by a horrific injury. After a string of successful tips, Lang is then contacted by Abrahams, who brings the younger man into his business. Everything goes well at first, though Lang begins to shake up his tips by going with his gut rather than the stats. The viewers then get to watch the player duel in what is a thrilling ride.

On this list, Two for the Money is the weakest as a pure movie-going experience. However, it is a must-see for sports bettors because of the insights that are given. The viewers are treated to an eye-opening experience of how a sports betting consultancy might operate.

The Color of Money (1986)

The Color of Money (1986)</For pro snooker players, the most talented are on a fast-track to potentially earn millions in prize money and travel the world. In contrast, there isn’t anywhere near as much prize money available to the best pool players. In 1986’s The Color of Money, viewers are shown the darker side of how pool players have to hustle to earn their crust.

Before discussing The Color of Money, it’s interesting to note how it’s actually a sequel to The Hustler (1961), which is based on a 1959 novel written by author Walter Tevis. In The Hustler, viewers can see a young Edward “Fast Edie” Felson played by the iconic Paul Newman as he challenges Minnesota Fats, as depicted by Jackie Gleason.

The Color of Money picks up 25 years later with Fast Eddie working in Chicago as a successful liquor salesman. Fast Eddie’s friend Julian then crosses paths with Vincent Lauria, who’s played by Tom Cruise, and girlfriend Carmen, played by Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio, and loses money to them. Fast Eddie then takes Vincent on the road to spend six weeks hustling and betting before participating in a nine-ball pool tournament hosted in Atlantic City.

For guys like Fast Eddie and Vincent, there isn’t a finishing school to learn the ins and outs of hassling and sports betting. While those guys are busy learning from the school of hard knocks and earning their street smarts, the modern bettor can build their knowledge with the help of online gambling tutorials.

The Color of Money is the most successful movie on this list when considering awards. While Casino received a single Academy Award nomination, The Color of Money received four. And one of those was for Best Actor in a Leading role, for which Paul Newman rightly won the Oscar in 1987. Newman and Cruise are magnetic in this film and it’s a must-see for sports bettors, regardless of having an affection for pool.

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