What Are The Most Popular Sports to Bet on in the US?

What Are The Most Popular Sports to Bet on in the US

3 minutes

Last Updated: March 5, 2024

Alex Zlatanovic

According to recent data, US bettors wagered nearly $120 billion on sports betting in 2023. This is about 27% more than what was wagered in 2022 and less than what experts predict will be wagered in 2024. 

With that in mind, what do US bettors like to bet on the most? In this article, we’ll go over the most popular sports to bet on in the US to get a closer understanding of the favorite betting options for sports fans in this country.

American Football

American football, more precisely, the National Football League, is the most popular sport to bet on in the United States. Americans bet on this sport more than on any other, as over 80% of all sports bettors have placed a bet on the NFL at least once in their lives. This is a mind-blowing statistic that shows how truly prevalent the sport is in the country.

Compared to many other sports, the NFL season is much shorter, lasting only 18 weeks, with each of the teams playing only 17 games. In other words, only 272 games are played in total for the entire season. This brings great intensity and excitement to the game, making every game a must-see experience.

Of course, when you add to this the element of sports betting, the NFL never fails to deliver incredible entertainment value. Plus, many of the top sportsbooks put heavy emphasis on NFL betting markets. For instance, the best North Carolina Sportsbooks offer various rewarding sign-up promos that can add great value and help you boost your bankroll when betting on the NFL.

Basketball

US betting on basketball

In contrast to the fairly short NFL season, the NBA season lasts from October until June. This means that a team that goes deep into the playoffs and potentially wins the title will play upwards of 100 games in a single NBA season. There are plenty of betting options and constant action almost every night during this period.

Additionally, basketball is inherently a very fun sport to bet on. The games are fast, there are often many lead changes, and bettors can choose from a variety of exciting bets. One of the most popular bets in basketball is the spread, although you can make various other bets on a team and individual level. This various selection of sports bets ensures there’s something for every bettor.

Soccer

Football, or as most US sports fans call it, soccer, is by far the most popular sport in the world. While it hasn’t quite reached the same popularity in the US that it enjoys in many other countries, this sport has undoubtedly been on the rise in the past decade.

That said, soccer is surprisingly more popular than many other sports in the US. Perhaps the most unexpected one is hockey, as the NHL is one of the major sports in the country. And, as the MLS only grows in popularity in the next few years, more and more sports betting fans are certain to flock to betting on the beautiful game.

Baseball

US betting on baseball

Historically, baseball has been the national sport of the USA for well over a century. Betting on baseball is most popular with hardcore sports fans, as this sport is arguably the most difficult one to bet on out of the ones featured in this article. Betting on baseball is not recommended to casual fans, as it requires a deep understanding of both the sport and betting strategy.

That said, if you’re an avid baseball fan, the good news is that there are plenty of top-quality baseball leagues to bet on. From the leading MLB to college baseball, Japan’s NPB, and many more. With thousands of games played between these competitions combined, there are always interesting betting markets to pick from.

Tennis

Tennis players from the US hold the record for most Grand Slam wins in both men’s and women’s singles categories. With a combined record of over 350 Grand Slam titles across men’s and women’s competitions, the USA holds a firm first place, far ahead of any other nation.

With this in mind, it’s not hard to see why tennis culture is deeply ingrained in a significant part of the country’s population. By extension, many fans who enjoy this sport also relish the unique betting opportunities and markets it provides.

One of the main reasons why tennis is such a popular sport to bet on in the US is that it’s available year-round. From Grand Slams that are held from January to September to Masters tournaments and various other events, tennis offers constant action that keeps the bettors coming back for more.

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