What Are the Best Sports to Bet on? Full Guide

One of our favourite things about betting online is the incredible number of sport and market variety that is available. But which, out of all these, are the absolute best to bet on? And who are the best operators to bet on them with? Check out our exclusive article and list of top bookmakers below to find out.

Best Betting Sites For Beginners

#1
bet365
  • Immense selection of sports
  • Equally impressive market selection
  • Competitive odds
T&Cs APPLY, 18+ ONLY

Up to £100 in Bet Credits for new customers at bet365. Min deposit £5. Bet Credits available for use upon settlement of bets to value of qualifying deposit. Min odds, bet and payment method exclusions apply. Returns exclude Bet Credits stake. Time limits and T&Cs apply. #ad

#2
Betfair
  • Great traditional sportsbook
  • Biggest and most famous betting exchange
  • Incredible selection throughout
T&Cs APPLY, 18+ ONLY

New customer offer. Place 5 x £10or more bets to receive £20in free bets. Repeat up to 5 times to receive maximum £100bonus. Min odds 1/2 (1.5). Exchange bets excluded. Payment restrictions apply. T&Cs apply. #ad

#3
Ladbrokes
  • Great for local and international sports
  • Especially impressive for American options
  • Well-deserving of their reputation
T&Cs APPLY, 18+ ONLY

18+ Eligible UK+IRE players. Paypal & some deposit & bet types excl. Min first £5 bet within 14 days of account reg at min odds 1/2 = 4x £5 free bets. Free bets valid for 7 days, stake not returned. No cash-out, restrictions & T&Cs apply. #ad

#4
BetVictor
BetVictor
  • All around top-tier betting experience
  • Great odds on horse racing
  • Broad selection of alternative sports, including virtuals
T&Cs APPLY, 18+ ONLY

18+ New customers only. Opt in, bet £5 at odds 2.00+ within 7 days of registering, no cashout. Get 2x £10 Free Bets, set events at odds 2.00+. Plus £10 Game Show Bonus, selected games, wager 40x to withdraw max £250. 7 day bonus expiry. Card payments only. T&Cs apply, see below. begambleaware.org | Please gamble responsibly #ad

#5
Colossus_Logo
Colossus Bets
  • Great alternative options
  • Pool-based betting
  • Broad selection of sports provided in a unique way
T&Cs APPLY, 18+ ONLY

Colossus Bets will match the value of your first 72 hours of play in bonus funds up to £100 (or currency equivalent). The time starts counting from the point when you make your first real money (not FreePlay) bet and the maximum amount of bonus funds that can be awarded to each new player is £100. You can use your bonus funds to fund any bet into a Colossus pool. Colossus Bets will automatically use bonus funds ahead of cash to fund your bets. You can use a combination of bonus funds and cash to fund a bet. Bonus funds may take up to 3 working days to be credited to your account after the completion of the 72-hour period and you have 12 months to use them. T&Cs apply. 18+ #ad

The Best Sports to Bet on: Our List

There’s a lot of reasons why one option can be considered among the best sports to bet on, and we’re going to go through some specifics of what makes the best sports for betting a little later in this article. For now, though, we will say all our considerations boil down to which we think you will enjoy the most. With that in mind, here is our top ten list of the best sports to bet on.

1. Football

In terms of what is the best sport to bet on, where else could we possibly start? Football is the sport that has captured the hearts of fans throughout the world, and is one of the most popular globally to watch and bet on. This popularity has benefits from a betting perspective too, with the number of competing operators out there vying for your attention, resulting in consistently great odds on major events from top bookmakers.

Additionally, football betting is also home to some of the most interesting markets in betting, thanks to its deep, strategic nature. There are also a huge number of promotions to be found, as well as great odds on numerous events.

Pros

  • Incredibly broadly available
  • Extremely competitive odds
  • Home to some of our favourite betting markets

Cons

  • Amount of choice may be overwhelming to some

Notable Markets

  • Double Chance: There are three key options in To Win (also known as 1X2) markets – these include either team winning or a draw. This market allows you to select two instead of one of those options, drastically changing your chances.
  • First Goal Scorer: Exactly what it sounds like – pick which player scores first to win. A great way to inject excitement into the opening minutes.
  • Both Teams To Score: No idea what team to back? No problem. This is one of many markets where you bet on what kind of match will occur, rather than a winner.

2. Horse Racing

Based on another one of the most popular sports in the world, horse racing betting frequently offers great odds. This is especially true thanks to the prominence of BOG promotions, which are unique to these types of races and present a huge strategic advantage.

Away from strategy, though, this will just always feel like the purest form of sports betting for many, and therefore the best sport for betting, with widely available live coverage making you feel like you’re right there near the starting line. Of course, the number of competitors makes horse racing very different to many others on this list of best sports to bet on. But the equally epic range of great markets make the most of those possibilities, turning this into a big positive.

Pros

  • One of the most popular sports to bet on
  • Huge live streaming availability
  • Unique and vital promotions

Cons

  • Smartest bets require intense research

Notable Markets

  • To Win: Pick the winner of the race. Couldn’t be simpler.
  • To Place: Expands your winning possibility with your pick winning if it makes the top three (or more through some promotions).
  • Forecast Bet: Predict both the top two horses in the exact order – an incredible test of skill.

3. Tennis

Back to the one-on-one (or two-on-two) competitions now with tennis, considered by many fans to the best sport to bet on, and the most exciting too. To be fair, there’s little else that can match its action-packed ferocity. Having a wager on such a sport just further sweetens the deal, with punters able to bet on every point, set and game. While not quite as popular as our top two picks, you can get some sensational odds-on big events like Wimbledon, and quite often, live streaming of some amazing contests, as licensing rights aren't quite as strict as other sports.

Pros

  • Some amazing live coverage available
  • Markets expertly break down game across different segments
  • Betting on tennis amps up an already thrilling game

Cons

  • Remains not to everybody’s tastes

Notable Markets

  • Handicap betting: Big tournaments often see mismatched players, a perfect chance for a market to even out that difference through one or more game handicaps.
  • First Set Winner: A simple choice of who will win the opening set, or any individual set, this market breaks the game down into its elements.
  • Total Games Betting: Also known as the Over/Under market, here you need to predict how many games you think the match will go on for.

4. Cricket

If you’re looking for a sport to sink your teeth into then there’s nothing like cricket to lose yourself in. Not only is it incredibly deep and strategic, but it also comes in several different forms, such as Test cricket and Twenty20. Even better is that the best cricket betting sites allow you to pretty much choose what type of cricket you want to bet on. A terrific selection of well thought out and creative cricket markets further make you consider the game from all kinds of different angles, with the best betting sites out there ensuring that all the updates and details you need are provided across long matches. Cricket betting does exactly what all the best sports for betting should, and that is improve the experience of the sport, whether you win or lose.

Pros

  • Unmatched depth
  • Incredibly clever selection of markets
  • Enhance your understanding and enjoyment of the game

Cons

  • May simply go on too long for some

Notable Markets

  • Innings Runs: Great example of rich stat-based markets, this is where you predict the number of runs in the first innings alone.
  • Team Of Top Bowler: Pick the team you think will be the one the bowler who takes the most wickets in the game will play for. You win even if the team goes on to lose.
  • Coin Toss Winner: Just to show off the diversity, pick the winner of the games opening coin toss.

5. Rugby

While rugby isn’t popular all over the world, the countries that do take it up have an incredible passion for it. We think that there’s a unique blend of depth of tactics mixed with an immediacy and physicality, making it distinct from a betting perspective. This is because you can enjoy both more thoughtful markets suitable for experts, while newcomers still can go with their heart and pick something simple at the best rugby betting sites. It is also a high-scoring game, so there’s plenty of opportunities when it comes to over and under markets as well. We only wish live streaming were more commonly available, in which case it would have placed even higher on our list.

Pros

Cons

  • Doesn’t have the coverage of some sports

Notable Markets

  • Tournament Top Scorer: The high-scoring nature of rugby leads to some very lively top scorer leader boards across a tournament or season.
  • Winning Margin: Again, the big numbers lead to interesting markets. Don’t just pick who wins, but by how much they win, too.
  • Team To Score The First Try: Points can come early in rugby, making this a positively nerve-shredding market.

6. Boxing

For most of the other sports on this list, we can base our betting calendar around events that take place every year, or once every few years according to schedule. Boxing, however, is a little bit different – it's all about the big-money events. You never know when one is going to take place, meaning the best can culminate in a sports spectacular and betting extravaganza.

These types of events often mean lots of great dedicated promotions for operators trying to stand out from the rest. Apart from all this, boxing in itself is a pretty unique sport to bet on. Although live streaming is generally not available for such fights, there’s no doubt that the best boxing betting sites can help give that PPV a big fight night feel.

Pro

  • Huge betting events
  • Dedicated fight promotions
  • Unique ruleset and betting markets

Cons

  • Betting opportunities just not as common

Notable Markets

  • Method of Victory: You can bet on how the fight ends, via decision or knockout, as well as who wins.
  • Round Group Betting: Choose not who wins, but when the fight ends.
  • Go The Distance: If you think the fight is going to be an epic one, you can bet on it to go all the way.

7. MMA/UFC

We mentioned that one of the cons of boxing for punters is that there aren’t always events available to bet on. MMA is like a perfect compromise in that regard – not only does it provide the huge fights, the big events, the competitive odds, and the promotional opportunities, but they also have a schedule and planned fight cards, allowing you to enjoy the best combat athletes in the world on a more regular betting basis.

Furthermore, MMA's more scheduled nature means that the smart bettor can spend that time considering the cards and doing their research before putting their money down on the best UFC betting sites. This is one sport where the bets benefit from passionate fans.

Pros

  • Better schedule than boxing
  • Still retains big fight benefits
  • Logical booking means investment across multiple fights

Cons

  • High PPV costs

Notable Markets

  • Method of Victory: This is the first time we have double-dipped in notable markets, but we couldn’t resist thanks to the addition of a submission victory.
  • First Round Victory: MMA fights can end very early should one fighter dominate. If you see that happening, this is the market for you.
  • Draw No Bet: This market removes the option of a draw, meaning that if neither man walks out a winner, it’s like the bet never happened.

8. Esports

It’s not with any disrespect that we lump all of esports together here. Rather, it’s because there are so many different amazing games to choose from. If we were to take all of these on their individual betting merits, we think we’d need a whole new article just to do them justice! From CS: GO to League of Legends, with plenty of other titles in between, the diversity you’ll find at the best esports betting sites is simply sensational.

Instead, we’ll simply say that esports, in general, reflects an entirely new school of betting, with incredible feats of skill and strategy the likes of which the sporting world has never seen. It has opened up sports betting to a whole legion of new fans, even giving birth to sites purely dedicated to these games. Having said that, esports betting are still in its infancy, and we expect even more markets and better odds in the future. In the meantime, there is still quite a diverse selection to enjoy, and widely available live streaming as well.

Pros

  • Whole selection of amazing games to bet on
  • Live streaming widely available
  • Brought a whole new range of fans to the sporting/betting world

Cons

  • Odds can be less competitive than some more established sports

Notable Markets

  • Map Winner: Instead of betting on a team to win the whole game, instead bet on them winning an individual map. Kind of like an esport version of first half betting.
  • First Blood: In first-person shooters, pick who you think will pick off the first kill, and get yourself immediately invested in the match.
  • Handicap Bets: As in many other types of sports betting, handicap markets hand a disadvantage to the favourites of a matchup to level the odds. Alternatively, the underdogs are given an advantage.

9. NBA

Perhaps because America has a more complicated history with online gaming than their European counterparts, we don’t always think their sports get the respect in the betting community that they deserve. Nowhere is this truer than with betting on the NBA.

Basketball at its highest level is a lightning-fast burst of pure betting excitement. Everything happens in a few key minutes, and that’s what makes this sport such a great option for different live and prop bets. Moreover, the teams being so well-established and playing each other so often means that this is a dream for those gamblers who love to pour over the stats and really get invested in the game.

Pros

  • Great live betting
  • Teams regularly play with each other
  • Often very close games

Cons

  • Licensing rights generally means no live streaming

Notable Markets

  • Race To 30 Points: This market sees whichever team get to a set number of points be the winner of that market, even if they don’t win the game. 30 here is just an example.
  • Quarter Winner: Create a game within a game by only betting on an individual quarter.
  • Conference Winner: Pick who will win either the East or West conference – great to combine with an overall finals winner.

10. American Football

Much like rugby, the sport that many consider being its international equivalent, American Football offers a wonderful mix of high-octane action and strategic depth. This makes for an awesome betting experience, with markets to suit all kinds of punters. In addition, it has betting benefits similar to the NBA in how well the teams know each other and their shared rich history. Combine this with the Superbowl – one of the biggest sporting events anywhere in the world -and you have a fabulous betting combo. Better still, bookmakers in Europe also appear to be waking up to the potential of NFL betting, and are backing it with quality odds and promotions.

Pros

  • Great Superbowl coverage
  • Plenty of interesting and unique markets
  • Great to see this American juggernaut get the recognition in the betting community

Cons

  • Still doesn’t have the coverage it deserves on certain European sites

Notable Markets

  • NFL Draft Specials: Bet on the future of the sport through the NFL Draft betting picks.
  • Superbowl Winner: The ultimate winner, the king of the mountaintop, the champion. Pick them here and find a great reason to be invested in the whole thing.
  • Over/Under Points: A high-scoring game always makes for interesting Over/Under markets, none more so than American Football. Here, you predict the number of points in total at the final whistle.

 

What Makes a Sport the Best to Bet on?

As you can see from our list of the absolute best sports to bet on, there’s plenty of things that go into making one of our favourites. But, as a quick recap, here are some of the most important elements we look for when it comes to strategy and objective advantages one sport might have other others.

Market Variety – Not only do more markets mean more betting opportunities, but it also allows bookmakers to get creative, and provide punters with new ways of thinking about their favourite games. There are also different types of variables including the number of games and tournaments provided, as well as the markets per each game. Extra points also go to creativity.

Availability – This is a bit like market variety, but on a more basic level. How many operators cover that particular sport? Is it available commonly, or do you have to seek out more niche options? Both can be exceptionally good, but having what you personally consider to be the best sport to bet on at your chosen bookie is very convenient. After all, our top two picks are heavily influenced by popularity.

Research Materials – We always go on about how important research is to ensure you’re making the smartest bets possible. This one is really simple, even if it is about something complex – how easy is this sport to research? The amount of times teams play each other, like in the NBA, or when information is readily available, like with horse racing, are a couple of good examples of statistics punters often look up.

Odds quality – Of course, different bookmakers do have different levels of odds quality – we should know, having carried out a betting odds comparison ourselves. However, when talking about the best sports to bet on, we’re referring to the general generosity of the odds for that sport. Football commonly has very good odds, for instance, as do big events like pay-per-view boxing.

Promotional opportunities: Some sports are simply more likely to offer great promotions than others. There’s plenty of reasons for this, but it usually hits a fever pitch when a market has a lot of competition amongst bookmakers who are trying to get your attention away from all the others. Some, like Best Odds Guaranteed, are only for a handful of sports.

 

What Makes a Specific Sport Right for You?

When it comes to the best sport to bet on, not everything can be objectively calculated. What you consider to be the best sports for betting are, of course, personal to you, and how you like to enjoy your favourites. Although we obviously can’t tell you what your preferences are, we can instead provide you with a list of what we think the best sports to bet on are, as well as some of the finest operators to do so. The rest is up to you. But if you can't decide on the best sport to bet on for yourself, ask yourself the following five questions:

What sport are you most passionate about? Betting should always be about enjoying your favourites, so that should always be a key consideration for your best sport for betting.

What sport are you most knowledgeable about? Quite often, the answer to this and the last question will be the same, but not always. We always advise you do as much research as you can for the smartest bets, but if you already possess enough knowledge from being a fan, then that’s part of your job already done. If you are still just learning how to place a bet online, however, you may still want to stick to more straightforward markets to begin with.

How much does live streaming matter to you? While we always recommend sites and sports with the best live betting, often live streaming is just not practical. For some of you, that won’t matter, as you'll be used to watching the best sports to bet on elsewhere. Nevertheless, you may want to check your preferred option is available for regular live streaming just in case.

What kinds of markets are you interested in? Different sports naturally have different kinds of markets. Now, one of the great things about betting today is there’s usually a wide variety, but you’ll still want to tailor your chosen best sport for betting to the kinds of markets you are interested in.

Local or international events? The coverage that you want is very personal. Therefore, you’ll want to know that both your considered best sports to bet on and win, as well as the operator that carries them, does so with the relevant markets, whether that’s the other side of the world or your local favourites.

 

Are Some Sports Easier to Predict Than Others?

While there are certainly some sports and some markets which are more complicated than others, the truth is that the specifics of that bet are more likely to be important than the sport itself. For instance, we wouldn’t say rugby or football is inherently harder than the other to predict. However, specific matches may be more challenging based on the differences in team quality. Instead of thinking about what is the best sport to bet on and win, you should instead focus on going with the best sports to bet on in terms of the qualities we’ve discussed, as well as what sports you think you will enjoy betting on the most. Remember too, that the key to making sports betting easier is by properly utilising research. We suggest checking out our football stats platform KickForm and formulating a good general sports betting strategy to identify market opportunities.

 

Out Of Your Comfort Zone: Betting on Multiple Sports

While we think that it is a good idea to bet on what you are passionate about, it's not because we believe you should remain stuck in a betting bubble. Betting on sports you are passionate about will help them retain your interest, and thus all the strategising, researching and thought that goes into the smartest bets will come that much easier to you. To be clear, if a sport interests you, absolutely try betting on it out – maybe in small amounts at first to see if it feels right for you. Don’t bet blindly, but do try and expand your betting horizons if you feel you want to try out more of the best sports to bet on. Remember too, you can bet on as many sports as you like. Feel free to check out our guides on a wide variety of sports, from Formula 1 to Major League Baseball betting, if you want to learn more.

 

Best Sports To Bet On FAQs

❓ What is the best sport to bet on?

The best sport to bet on for you is whichever one you find easiest to strategise for and get the most enjoyment out of. With that said, some sports do have specific advantages highlighted in this article.

⚽ What is the easiest sport to bet on?

We would say that no sport is inherently easier to bet on than another. How easy a sport is to predict largely comes from your own knowledge, although some sports provide better access to statistics and a wider variety of markets that may interest you.

⭕ How many sports can I bet on?

As many as you like! There’s no limit to how many sports you can bet on.

✅ How do I win when betting on sports?

Regardless of the best sports to bet on for you, the fundamentals of how to win remain the same - you need to make accurate and correct predictions on specific markets.

💲 Are all sports available to bet on?

While there are surely some sports that no bookmaker has yet placed markets on, they would have to be very obscure. Nowadays, the majority of sports are available to bet on.

 

ThePuntersPage Final Say

We’d say that finding the best sports to bet on is a mixture of both understanding the advantages some games and markets have over others, as we’ve discussed at length in this article, and also your personal preferences.

The benefits of the objective considerations are obvious. If one sport has better odds than another, for instance, it doesn’t take much to understand why you might consider that higher in your list of best sports to bet on. But never underestimate those personal elements. Not only is betting how you like and on your favourite sports an important consideration when choosing the best sports to bet on, but that natural passion also helps you put together a better strategy.

In other words, most of your favourite sports can be the best sports to bet on, as long as you know how to approach them and you go with the right operator. We hope our selection helped you narrow down the options out there, and maybe gave you ideas to branch out and try out some different sports. You never know what could end up at the top of your list for best sports to bet on.