8 Most Popular Sports to Bet On

Sports has become the biggest form of entertainment there is. Professional leagues like the NFL, MLB, NHL, and NBA bring in billions of dollars every single year through ticket sales, television deals, and merchandise, among other things. Sports betting has also become popular.

Though you may be aware of the litany of sports out there, which ones get the most action? Here are the most popular sports to wager on in the world.

1. Football aka Soccer

Whether looking at a sportsbook in Arizona or anywhere across the world, soccer is going to be near the top of the list of “most bet on” sports.

As one of the most popular and profitable sports in the world, it only stands to reason that millions of people would place regular wagers on leagues across the globe.

International soccer is one of the most popular sports happening throughout the year, with more than 3.5 billion soccer fans worldwide. With so many leagues across the world to wager on, it becomes quite easy to see why bettors are so drawn in.

2. Basketball

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Despite being primarily featured in America, basketball has become one of the most popular sports in the world. The NBA has expanded its presence into Europe and Asia, growing in popularity all the time. So naturally, it is one of the most popular sports to wager on.

FIBA events, as well as the Olympics, bring together the best international teams in the world. Combined with a full 82-game NBA season and the vast college basketball season, there is nearly an unlimited selection of games to bet on throughout the year.

3. Golf

The game of golf has always been quite popular. In recent years, it has grown exponentially, especially with the launch of the Saudi-funded LIV Golf League. The best and most popular players in the world are getting to ply their trade on another level aside from the PGA Tour.

Golf is also played all year long, which is something that the vast majority of sports do not do. Tournaments are happening several times per month, which provides a chance to wager on golfers to win, place in a particular position, and so much more. The opportunity to wager on golf may be far vaster than it is for any other sport in the world.

4. Cricket

Source: theguardian.com

Though its popularity isn’t so much in the United States as it is abroad, crickets is estimated to be the next-biggest sport on the planet. It is estimated that there are more than 2 billion fans across the world who follow cricket to some extent. Of course, a good deal of those fans are placing wagers on matches.

Even some American sportsbooks have a comprehensive offering of cricket matches. For games happening in Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Pakistan, India, and other South Asian countries, there is action happening all the time. What better way to enjoy a global sport than to wager on it?

5. Boxing

Back in the 1980s, there may have not been a bigger sport in the world than boxing. Premier matchups would draw millions of buys on pay-per-view and featured legendary names like “Sugar” Ray Leonard, Mike Tyson, George Foreman, and other memorable pugilists. Though the sport has taken a hit in recent decades, it is still one of the most popular sports to wager on.

Boxing might be the oldest sport out there and the tradition is unmatched. Times may have changed but it is still a sport that is quite popular to bet on. Premier fight cards will feature several undercard and main card bouts to wager on throughout the evening. Wager on how the fight will end as well, including whether it will go to a decision, end in a KO, or if there will be a draw, among other things.

6. Tennis

Source: time.com

Similar to golf, tennis is a sport that flies a bit under the radar in North America but has a global presence that few other sports can match. It is easily one of the five most popular sports in the world, drawing in millions of views for even minor tournaments happening throughout the year. Some of the most popular athletes on the globe are players like Novak Djokovic, Roger Federer, Serena Williams, and others.

With that kind of profile, there are hundreds of thousands – if not millions – of bettors out there wagering on match and tournament results. The experience of wagering on an up-and-coming star or a legendary name adds a little something more to an already popular sport. You would be hard-pressed to find a major sportsbook that doesn’t offer tennis betting in some form.

7. Horse Racing

Along with boxing, horse racing goes back centuries of human history. Early civilizations used horses as transportation, so it only became natural to have races. That popularity has endured throughout the years, remaining quite popular even in modern times.

While there is a litany of local racetracks to place wagers at, online sportsbooks are becoming a go-to for betting on horse racing. Some local events are available but just about anyone can wager on major events like the UAE Derby, Royal Scot, Preakness Stakes, and the vaunted Kentucky Derby. Predicting the finish order can also lead to some seriously big payouts as well.

8. American Football

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Though it is primarily popular in the United States, professional leagues like the NFL have grown in terms of global presence. Franchises are worth billions and tens of millions of fans flock to watch NFL games each season. Even given the limited global presence, American Football remains one of the most popular sports to wager on.

For 18 weeks (and playoffs), billions of dollars in betting action flow through the NFL. Money lines, points spreads, over/under, and a huge array of player props are available for games happening Thursday, Sunday, and Monday afternoons and nights. There is an entire industry dedicated to predicting these outcomes, indicating just how popular the NFL and American Football have become in terms of sports betting.