As a change of pace from legal sports betting legislation and because we’re about sports betting culture, too, SportsHandle is presenting a 20-part series on The Best Sports Betting Scenes in Television and Movies. There’s a lot of high-quality movies centered on gambling, including on horse racing and poker (“Let It Ride” and “Rounders”). All quality gambling scenes, whether strictly sports betting or not, the focus of the film or a short aside, will be included/considered.
In the third installment of our series, we steer back into the comedy aisle (sort of) for a scene from the Keanu Reeves-led Hardball released in 2001. The synopsis for the watchable but not very good movie goes as follows: “An aimless young man who is scalping tickets, gambling, and drinking, agrees to coach a Little League team from the Cabrini Green housing project in Chicago as a condition of getting a loan from a friend.”
He ends up having to coach this team because of a gambling debt, which leads to a “covering the spread” scene where Reeves’ character Conor O’Neil watches a college basketball game through the window of a sports bar. Preview: Reeves was NOT nominated for an Oscar for this performance. (Note: contains NSFW language.)
If you have a suggestions for a great sports betting/gambling scene in movies or television, please send it to firstname.lastname@example.org or Tweet us at @sports_handle. If it’s not already on the rundown, we’ll be happy to give a shoutout. And if you’re on Facebook (often but not always a cesspool), give us a like.