Betting online offers a huge list of sports and markets to bet on. But how do we choose the best sport to bet on? What are the characteristics and bet types for each sport? What are the easiest and hardest sports to bet on? What are the best online betting sites for each sport?
Read our exclusive and in-depth list of sports to bet on with the guide on how to choose the right one.
List of most popular sports to bet on right now:
- Soccer (football) – Soccer (or football) is the most popular sport in the World and it is also the most popular sport to bet on.
- American Football – NFL and College Football are the most popular leagues to bet on in the USA.
- Tennis – is the most popular individual sport to bet on
- Basketball – is the third most popular team sport to bet Worldwide. NBA and College basketball are big markets in the USA
- Horse Racing – is traditionally very popular among bettors, especially in the UK, Asia and Australia
- Baseball – is one of the best sports to bet on statistically
- Fighting – (UFC / MMA / Boxing /WWE )has been a favorite among many gamblers around the world for decades
- Ice Hockey
- Esports – is the future of betting and is the fastest growing market
How to Choose the Best Sports Market to Bet on
The best way to choose a sport to bet on is to focus on sports betting markets with profitable opportunities and not focus on sports that we love as fans. To choose the best sport to bet on, we must first research markets at available sportsbooks based on our locations and then look for available information and statistics, that can help us analyze games. Based on our level of betting knowledge we decide either for softer or sharper sports betting markets.
Sports and betting markets are not the same.
Let’s take for example an average sports bettor.
An average sports gambler or a bettor starts betting on the league, that he loves the most. And this is one of the biggest traps in sports betting.
Bookmakers know this and they fully understand sports gamblers’ psychology. They know that most people who will bet on sports will pick a league, where they think they know the teams, and players and because of that, they think they can pick winners.
But sports betting is not about picking winners, but about how you bet on the value, how you can outsmart the betting market.
Sports betting market
There is a big difference between sport and betting markets.
- Sport is a form of competitive physical activity or game.
- Sports betting markets are focusing on the numbers and the prices, that we pay. Sport is used just as a pool of information and data.
Without the odds, there is no market. In such markets, the knowledge about the players or teams is useless if we don’t know how to connect this information with the odds on the market and pay the “right” price.
One sport or the league can have different markets.
NFL is a league and American Football. This is what most sports fans and gamblers pick. But this league offers different markets. NFL spread betting. NFL under-over betting. NFL players proposition betting. Half-time betting. And many others.
Every such market is different and has different rules. Also, bookmakers offer different margins based on different markets.
You will not choose the sport, but the market. Know the difference!
What’s the easiest sport to bet on?
The easiest sports to bet on are the smaller markets, lower leagues, and not-so-popular sports. Because sports betting is a relative competition not only against bookmakers but also against other sports bettors.
Why professional bettors don’t bet only on the easiest sports?
Sports that are easiest to bet come with limitations. There is less liquidity, fewer sharp bettors, and less money involved. Because of that bookmakers accept smaller bets and bigger margins.
What’s the hardest sport to bet on?
The hardest sports to bet on are NFL, English Premier League, and NBA. They are considered as very sharp markets because it is betting against the most sophisticated sports betting models, data scientists and smartest minds in this industry.
What sport is the most predictive?
The most predictive professional sport is basketball because the contribution of luck is the smallest among professional leagues. This concept is created and explained by Michael Mauboussin in The Success Equation. Based on quantitative and qualitative analysis, the Luck-Skill continuum shows how much luck can explain the variance in results in different fields.
Contribution of Luck:
- NBA basketball: 12%
- English Premier League (Football/Soccer): 31%
- MLB baseball: 34%
- NFL American Football: 38%
- NHL Ice hockey: 53%
However, to win at sports betting we must find mispriced opportunities and have the edge against the market. This is different from predicting the winners of a game.
What are soft and sharp sports betting markets
Not only that we have different markets under the same league, but we also have sharper and softer markets. Sharper markets are always the markets that are widely popular and are harder to beat. Because sports betting is always a relative competition against other bettors, not just against bookmakers. Bookmakers usually offer lower margins and bigger bet limits on sharp markets. Because of good liquidity, they can afford this.
Soft markets are less popular markets or low-hanging fruits if you like. They are in most cases ignored by novice bettors. Soft markets can be useful because they are easier to beat, but bookmakers usually offer bigger margins and lower limits.
This is why it is so important to understand different sports betting markets and then choose one not because of the love for the sport, but because you can beat that market.