What's Going On In Sports Betting This Summer?

Every sports bettor has their favorite season. Many love football season. They look forward to fall and winter. Others like hockey or basketball. Those are also winter sports.

Unless you're a baseball bettor, odds are the summer isn't your favorite sports season.

But if you're in the habit of skipping the summer months, you're missing out on some great betting opportunities.

I don't know when you'll be reading this so I've included the major sporting events that happen every summer. If some of them have already passed this year, they'll be rolling back around next year or in the near future.

Her's a list of some of the biggest sporting events that take place every summer:

Kentucky Derby

Traditionally held the first Saturday in May, the Kentucky Derby is the most popular horse racing event in the United States. It's held at Churchill Downs in Louisville, Kentucky. It's one of the races included in the triple crown of American horse racing.

The Kentucky Derby is the only horse racing event many Americans watch every year. The only possible horse racing news that can compete with the Derby is if a horse wins the first two legs of the Triple Crown and is going for the final leg.

Tour de France

By far the most popular bicycle race in the world, the Tour de France has multiple stages and was first conducted over 100 years ago. It's traditionally held in July. Fans from around the world follow the results on their local news and online day by day.

Though he was involved in cheating activity, American Lance Armstrong did as much to popularize the Tour de France in the United States as anyone. When he was competing and winning year after year more and more people tuned in and started following the sport of cycling.

The Internet has also had a lot to do with the worldwide appeal of the Tour de France. When I was growing up, the only news we received about the Tour was when it was completed. After all of the legs had been completed, the Sunday paper sports section would include an article about the winner.

Years later, when Armstrong was competing, I was able to get news on at least a daily basis about who was leading and how far back different cyclists were in the field. I was even able to follow along online during some stages with reporting from minute to minute.

While it's not a competition that can be televised in its entirety, the advanced news coverage made available by the Internet has helped the popularity of the sport.

British Open

The British Open is the oldest, most well-known, worldwide major golf championship event. Played in July every year, the tournament originally started in 1860 and is on the European Tour, the PGA Tour, and the Japan Golf Tour. Golfers from around the world strive to earn the right to compete at the British Open.

US Open

The US Open is the name of both a tennis and golf event. When you're dealing with a common name like "open", it stands to reason more than one event can end up using it.

Here's a quick overview of each event:

The US Open tennis championship started in 1881 and is the fourth and final event of tennis's grand slam every year.

The US Open golf tournament is played in June every year and is the second of the four golf "majors" held each year.

Rugby World Cup

If you live in the United States, you might not know about the Rugby World Cup. But it's an internationally known competition. Unlike most events listed here, the Rugby World Cup takes place every four years. The 2015 event was hosted in England, and the 2019 event is in Japan.

Another rugby competition with a similar name is the Rugby League World Cup, also held every four years. It's being held in 2017 and 2021.


Wimbledon is the most famous tennis tournament in the world and was started in 1877. Held at the All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club in England, Wimbledon is the oldest tennis tournament in the world. It's one of the four tennis tournaments, along with the Australian Open, the French Open, and the US Open, that make up the tennis grand slam.

FIFA Women's Football Soccer World Cup

Held every four years, the FIFA Women's World Cup is the premier football / soccer match for female sports in the world.

If you aren't a soccer fan you might be interested in how teams earn spots in the World Cup field. National teams spend three years competing to earn spots in what's called the qualification phase. The final field of 24 teams includes the host nation's team and 23 other teams who earned spots through the qualification phase.

Most sports focus on seasons that last half a year or less. Competing for three years may seem like a long time to most sports fans, but football / soccer fans won't be surprised at all.

NBA Playoffs and Finals

The NBA finals cap a long season covering the winter and spring months. The NBA regular season seems to drag on for months. It also seems like the real season doesn't start until the playoffs.

Placing wagers on NBA playoff games and the finals is almost as easy as placing Super Bowl bets. All of the land based and online sports books offer lines and large betting limits. The main difference is you can find people willing to bet on the Super Bowl easier than ones willing to bet on the NBA. (I'm talking about placing bets with individuals, not sports books or bookies. If you only place wagers with books or bookies you won't have to worry about finding places to place bets.)

Stanley Cup Playoffs and Finals

If the NBA season seems like it doesn't really start until the playoffs, the NHL season is even worse. Over half the people I know who are hockey fans pay little attention to the regular season. But they transform into super fans during the playoffs. You have to be a true fan to watch all the regular season games of your favorite team. I know people who do, but I'm not one of them.

Another thing that hurts hockey is how hard it can be to follow the action on televised events. If you've never watched a live hockey game, you should take one in as soon as you can. Even if it's just a local college team, the in person experience is much better than on television.

Sports books offer plenty of betting opportunities for the NHL, but it isn't as popular as the other three American sports.

French Open

Another of the "Opens" on the list, the French open is an International tennis competition that first took place in 1891. Part of the tennis grand slam of events, the French Open host both female and male events every year.

Master's Golf Championship

Held in Augusta, Georgia every April, the Master's Golf Championship is one of the four big golf championships and is famous for awarding a green jacket to the winner every year.

The first Master's was held in 1934.

March Madness

March falls firmly in the spring category, but the amount of money wagered on the NCAA basketball tournament is only eclipsed by the amount wagered on the Super Bowl. Some believe even more is wagered on March Madness, but it can't be tracked because most of it is in private office pools.

The tournament was started in 1939 and has 68 teams in the opening field. The field was made up of 64 teams for many years, but four teams were added in 2011.

March Madness is a single elimination tournament, and the winner is crowned the NCAA men's basketball champion no matter what took place before the tournament. Team records or previous ranking aren't taken into account. The team who wins the tournament is the champion.

Baseball Playoffs and World Series

Technically this one takes place in the fall, but baseball season lasts all summer, creating thousands of wagering opportunities. You also need to spend a lot of time during the summer preparing for the playoffs and World Series if you want to place bets on them.

Preparing for Football Season

The NFL and NCAA football seasons only last a few months, but in order to be a successful sports bettor you need to spend most of the year preparing for the season.

During the summer you need to follow player movements, the NFL draft, suspensions, injuries, and work on new statistical models. A winning sports bettor's work is never done.


The summer offers many large events for sports bettors. The best thing about large events is the ability to get large wagers down without too much trouble. You might have a hard time getting a couple hundred thousand down on a mid-season baseball game but betting on the NBA finals won't be a challenge.