You cannot have missed the fact that there has been a sports betting revolution in the US over the last few years, following the repeal of PASPA by the Supreme Court in 2018.
A little over five years later, sports betting is booming across the US, with a majority of states either having legalized sports betting or being in the process of doing so. Sports betting companies have been making the most of these new opportunities, and the wide range of sports betting sites and odds-checking platforms has given sports betting fans more options than ever before.
Many sports betting customers opt to bet on the sports that they know best, or those that they will be watching, but this raises an interesting question. Are some sports more conducive to successful betting than others? Here are the top five sports to consider betting on in 2023.
Basketball in the US, of course, means the NBA. In fact, the NBA is by some distance the most popular basketball tournament in the world, but that doesn’t mean that US basketball fans should restrict themselves to betting solely on the NBA. There are plenty of popular events out there, including the FIBA World Cup and an array of European basketball competitions.
So, what makes basketball so good for betting on? Well, basketball is a high-scoring game with an abundance of official stats, both team and individual, which makes it ideal for prop betting on individual players. It is also an excellent sport for betting on the spread, as teams can score as low as 70, or over 150 in games that go to overtime. With such a packed schedule, there are always opportunities when favored teams prioritize certain games over others.
The NFL is big business for bookmakers and provides opportunities for sports betting fans. For a start, more markets are offered on NFL games than for any other sport, which means that whatever market you want to bet on, it is very likely that you will be able to find it.
The NFL’s popularity can also provide good betting opportunities, as plenty of customers will bet on a whim or on their team every weekend, without any particular insight. In some sports markets, you can find yourself betting against a relatively small number of largely professional or shrewd bettors, but there is plenty of “casual” money in NFL markets.
Like basketball, the high-scoring nature of football means that betting on the points spread as well as the moneyline is always an option, and the intense physicality of the game puts more emphasis on fitness, so bettors who are up to date on player injuries can have a small advantage.
If you’re a stats fan or are comfortable with relying on numbers to power your sports betting, then baseball is the sport for you, as it is simply awash with statistics.
In baseball, perhaps more so than any other US sport, everything is counted and every aspect of the game can be turned into a statistic. It is not a coincidence that the phenomenon of sports analytics began in baseball with the Moneyball revolution, and every MLB franchise now employs teams of analysts using numbers to identify the best recruits and the best game strategy.
The MLB has the busiest schedule of any of the major leagues, with teams playing multiple games back-to-back on some days. This means that there are thousands of betting opportunities every week, and baseball fans who can stay up to date with the fitness, wellbeing and form of the key players for each team can often get ahead of the crowd in the betting markets.
Both basketball and baseball have followings outside the US, but neither is a truly global sport like soccer. Played in every nation on earth, soccer is a sports phenomenon and the biggest soccer tournament, the World Cup, is rivaled only by the Olympics for the size of its audience.
Like the NFL, soccer offers a huge variety of markets, but it also provides a wide range of tournaments, from international competitions such as the World Cup and European Championships to domestic leagues and tournaments such as the Champions League and the FA Cup, so the soccer fan will always have something to bet on.
The other advantage of betting on soccer is that it is a relatively low-scoring game. The lower the average number of points scored in a sport, the more likely it is to provide an upset. For most bettors, high-scoring sports are preferable as they are more predictable, but if you really know your soccer, you may find that the more unpredictable nature of the outcome of the games suits your betting style.
Tennis does not have the same high profile as some of the sports listed above, but it is an excellent and greatly underrated sport to bet on.
It is a global sport, with tournaments taking place all over the world, and with a packed schedule that runs from January to December, there is always a competition ongoing and matches to bet on. In fact, considering all of the world’s tennis tours, there are over 1,500 tournaments every year.
As an individual sport, tennis allows bettors to become familiar with the competitors, and, for instance, understanding the strengths and weaknesses of the top 50 players on the WTA Tour is knowledge that can pay dividends for years, as players typically have long careers.
Tennis is also a very popular sport with those who like to bet on a game that is in progress. Tennis matches have regular pauses at the end of games and sets, allowing live betting customers to adjust their strategy and live betting on tennis is one of the sports betting sector’s fastest-growing areas.
The five sports we’ve listed here all have plenty to offer for the sports betting fan; however, it is important to remember that betting on sport is not a shortcut to wealth and that the vast majority of sports betting customers do not make a profit in the long run. It is important to never bet with money that you cannot afford to lose, and always put strict limits on the time and money you devote to it.