ESPY Awards Betting Odds, History and Trends

Updated: 735 Entertainment & TV

A complete guide for betting on the ESPY Awards now betting odds are available at most online sportsbooks. You'll want to consider a few things before making your wager.

ESPY Awards Betting Odds, History and Trends
Michael Calabrese US Content Manager

Experienced sports journalist, College sports expert and broadcaster, hailing from Pennsylvania

Betting on the winners of awards shows across TV, Film, Music and Sport is growing in popularity with the growth of online sportsbooks in the US. The ESPYS are no exception and here we have a guide to the current odds, what to consider when making a wager, and the history of trophy winners at the ESPY awards.

Odds for the 2023 ESPY’s are limited before the summer, but male athlete of the year is already listed by sportsbooks.

Male Athlete ESPY Awards Betting Odds

What is Betting on the ESPYs?

There are a handful of awards you can bet on at the ESPYs. You can wager on the outright winner of awards like male or female athlete of the year, team of the year or best game of the year. These longterm future markets are updated throughout the spring and summer leading up to the award ceremony. 


4 Popular ESPY Betting Markets

The 2023 ESPY Awards will be held in mid-July at the Dolby Theatre in Hollywood, California. Before the ceremony kicks off there are a handful of opportunities for bettors to get in on the action. A few awards have odds provided by sportsbooks on an annual basis, providing odds on all finalists. Those four awards are given to the best male and female athletes, the best team and the best game. 


1. Male Athlete of the Year

Tiger Woods - 3 times winner of Male Athlete

image: Debby Wong/Shutterstock

Michael Jordan, Tiger Woods, LeBron James and Tom Brady have all won this award. It’s a “heavy hitter” award if there ever was one. This year’s projected finalists include a former NFL MVP, the American League record holder for single-season home runs, an international sensation at point guard, a two-timer Hart Trophy Award winner and arguably the greatest American born soccer player of all-time. There’s no room for Cinderellas on this list.  


2. Female Athlete of the Year

Ronda Rousey, the most recent dual winner in the female category

PedroGaytan, CC BY 2.0 , via Wikimedia Commons

While it’s easy to narrow in on the potential male athlete of the year, there is an athletic diversity that makes predicting the female athlete of the year more challenging for bettors. The last seven award winners have played seven different sports ranging from mixed martial arts and gymnastics to snowboarding and swimming. 


3. Best Team

nikk_la, CC BY 2.0 , via Wikimedia Commons

The Best Team, also known as The Outstanding Team ESPY Award, has been awarded at every single ESPYs dating back to 1993. Since 2011, six NBA championship teams have taken home the honor, two Super Bowl champions, a pair of USWNT World Cup champions and one World Series winner. Beyond the pure statistics, this award is generally bestowed upon teams that have either won in dramatic fashion or dominated their competition on their road to a championship. 


4. Best Game

Much like the Best Team category, the Best Game award attracts a list of finalists that perfectly mix stakes, historic statistical performances and a heaping helping of drama. Last year’s winner, for example, was the AFC Divisional Playoff game between the Kansas City Chiefs and the Buffalo Bills. There were 31 points scored in the final 1:54 of regulation and overtime, which amounted to five lead changes between the two teams. The game itself also sparked debate about overtime rules.  

How to bet on the ESPYs

The process of betting on the ESPYs is as straightforward as betting on any other sporting event. 

Betting apps and websites provide an entertainment section in the menu. Once you’ve arrived you can select “ESPYs” from a host of other entertainment events. Once you’ve selected futures, you’ll see “ESPYs” where you’ll be able to place wagers on individual award futures. 

If you do not have an active online betting account, you’ll need to set one up. You can head over to our sportsbooks where you will see a list of bookmakers available in the US, arranged by state.

We have in-depth sportsbook reviews so you can see what other users think of them before deciding, or you can access a list of Sportsbook promos currently available from all US betting sites. 


  1. Once you’ve signed up, simply click on the award future you wish to bet on. 
  2. This will open up the bet slip, at which point you will see confirmation of the betting odds being offered.
  3. Now you choose your stake - most betting sites will show you how much you can expect to have returned if your prediction is correct.
  4. If you are satisfied, hit PLACE BET, to confirm your selection, stake, and bet.
  5. You will be given a receipt for your bet and it will appear in your open bets in your account details.
  6. Then it's just a matter of waiting for the ESPY award presenter to announce the winner.


ESPY Contenders

Given that the ESPYs are a celebration of individual and team accomplishments, bettors must wait for the events to play out prior to placing their wagers. Finalists are announced weeks prior to the event through ESPN’s PR wing. Once those finalists hit the market sportsbooks set odds for the major awards.  

Things to Consider When Betting on the ESPYs

Unlike traditional awards in the major sports, the ESPY’s take into account the narrative surrounding individuals and teams that are nominated. How much adversity did they face? How do they stack up historically with other winners in their respective sport? Is there a human interest angle to consider? 

There is also the “newness” factor to consider. Unlike MVP honors that are often given to the same player multiple times in a career, the ESPYs has a history of finding the next best thing. Since 2016, there has only been one “repeat” Male Athlete of the Year, one “repeat” Team of the Year, and zero “repeat” Female Athletes of the Year.

ESPY Awards History

The first ESPY Award ceremony was held in 1993 at Madison Square Garden in New York City. The event provided the sporting world with an answer to the Academy Awards. The first award ceremony handed out 26 separate awards ranging from top male and female athletes to speciality awards like the ESPY’s Outstanding Performance Under Pressure Award and the Arthur Ashe Courage Award.


Over time the event has grown in popularity and sportsbooks have begun offering odds on the major awards. Four awards, in particular, draw interest from fans on an annual basis and incentivize numerous sportsbook to hang odds. Odds for best male and female athletes, best team and best game have been offered by sportsbooks in recent years.

Male Athlete of the Year

You won’t get your foot in the door for Male Athlete of the Year without winning an MVP Award or winning a championship. In fact, every winner since 2010 has either won a championship that year or taken home MVP in the NBA, NFL, NHL or the MLB. 

Female Athlete of the Year

While the Male Athlete of the Year is generally from the four major sports, it’s a free-for-all in the Female Athlete of the Year race. Olympians, tennis superstars, World Cup heroines and WNBA superstars have all been selected as award winners in recent years. It appears that the stage, be it the Olympics or World Cup, has as much to do with determining the winner as their statistical accomplishments. It’s a trend worth following when nominees are announced in 2023.  

Best Team 

By way of trends, the ESPYs love the NBA when it comes to the Best Team of the Year. Since 2011, six NBA champions have been selected as that year’s Best Team. For perspective, NFL teams have checked in just twice during that span. Given the USWNT’s success (2 wins in the last eight years), it’s worth keeping a close eye on how the American men perform in Qatar. A run to the knockout round could put them in line for this prestigious award. 

Best Game

The most unpredictable category remains the Best Game award. It is the only major award that has mixed Olympic, World Cup, Professional and Collegiate nominees in the past 25 years. Despite the variety of winners, it still leans towards American Football. Seven of the last 11 winners have been selected from NFL or college football games.

Author Info

This ESPY Awards Betting article was carefully constructed by Brendan Luck a Bachelor of Arts - BA, Film/Cinema/Video Studies at Carelton University for OLBG on contract.

Brendan Luck

Brendan Luck

Entertainment and reality tv editor

Brendan Luck is a film and television aficionado who began his career working for the Canadian Film Institute and has since expanded his range of coverage to fashion (Aklasu), celebrity news (Your Next Shoes), and the gambling space (CasinoRank). From reality TV and cooking competitions to the red carpet and movie studio buzz, Luck leaves no stone unturned.

👨‍🏫 Specialist Subjects🔬📚

📺🎥 🎬🍿 Brendan has created some of our great content on TV and Entertainment in the US and Canada, with a huge interest in the entertainment industry and betting on it when available.

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