Yes, the top online bookmakers cover a wide and lucrative range of market options. But which are the best sports to best on? Find out in our detailed guide below!

What most bettors choose to wager on usually depends on personal preferences and knowledge of the sport in question. However, some popular sports that are commonly bet on include:

1. American Football

American football offers the perfect blend of strategic depth and high intensity that will have you on the edge of your seat.

Of course, the NFL is unquestionably the king here, with the Superbowl the biggest sports event of the year in the USA.

An added bonus is that there are plenty of great bookmakers to pick from for placing your NFL bets. And, because American football is so popular in the States, you can find quality odds and great promotions online while the season is ongoing.

Pros

  • Excellent Superbowl coverage
  • Unique, and exciting betting markets
  • Sport continues to gain in popularity across the globe

Cons

  • Lower volume of games than many other sports

Popular Betting Markets

  • Superbowl Winner: This betting market speaks for itself – you pick who you think will be the winner of the entire Superbowl. Bringing home this title is the dream of every player who hits the field, and making your pick right from the start gives you an excellent reason to remain invested all throughout the season.
  • NFL Draft Specials: NFL Draft Specials covers a range of various outcomes and events related to the annual NFL Draft. Here, you can wager on aspects like the first overall player selected, which team will draft a specific player, or the position of a player's selection.
  • Over/Under Points: Over/Under markets are one of the most exciting options out there. This is particularly the case when you have a high-scoring game on your hands, making it the perfect pick for American football. Here, you predict the number of points that will be scored in total by the end of the game.

2. Soccer

Soccer is one of the most popular sports globally, and has gained popularity in the US market in recent years.

There are a large number of prestigious leagues around the world such as the English Premier League, La Liga, MLS, and the UEFA Champions League.

Due to the sport's popularity, there is a long list of competing bookmakers who are looking to grab your attention, resulting in consistently great odds on major soccer events all across the board.

And it doesn’t stop there – there are always plenty of great soccer promotions to snap up, too!

Pros

  • Massive selection of soccer events throughout the year
  • Extremely competitive odds
  • Tremendous range of exciting betting markets

Cons

  • Wide amount of choice might be overwhelming

Popular Betting Markets

  • First Goal Scorer: This market requires you to pick which player you believe will be the first to score. It is a great way to add excitement to the opening minutes of a match.
  • Double Chance: Here, you can select two options instead of one from the three key options usually offered in the ‘To Win' market. With a Double Chance bet, you can choose either of the two teams to win or even bet on the match resulting in a draw. By expanding your choices, your chances of winning are significantly enhanced, providing you with greater opportunities for success.
  • Both Teams to Score (BTTS): Ideal if you are not sure of the game's overall outcome, BTTS involves predicting whether both teams will score at least one goal during the match. If you bet “Yes” and both teams score, you win; if you bet “No” and at least one team fails to score, you win.

3. Basketball

Basketball is one of the most watched sports in the USA and has gained popularity around the world in recent decades. When the game is played at its highest level, its lightning-fast nature makes for pure entertainment. .

Basketball is a sport where fortunes can rapidly change in a short amount of time, games are often decided at the buzzer, and dramatic comebacks occur regularly.

These factors make it a lot of fun to watch – and to bet on.

Interested bettors will be treated to a variety of prop and live bets, as well as markets on legacy teams with established histories and rivalries between each other.

Pros

  • Teams play each other regularly
  • Games often run close till the buzzer
  • Perfect for live betting

Cons

  • Livestreaming generally not available due to licensing rights

Popular Betting Markets

  • Conference Winner: Place your bet on the team that you think will win either the NBA's Eastern or Western conference. This is a great market to combine with an overall NBA Finals winner pick.
  • Quarter Winner: NBA games are divided into four quarters. You can create a game within a basketball game when you bet on which team you think will score the most points in a specific quarter.
  • Race to 30 Points: This is an exciting betting market where you wager on who you think will be the first team to get to a set number of points. Even if the team doesn't win the overall game, you can still win your bet. 30 is just an example, as it could be for any set number of points.

4. Baseball

Known as America’s pastime, baseball is recurringly one of the most popular sports in the United States. Major League Baseball (MLB) is one of the world’s most storied and established sports leagues, made up of teams that have played each other numerous times over the years.

The sheer number of games in a baseball season, along with the fact that any team can win on any given day, makes it one of the best sports to bet on.

In baseball, most bets are Moneyline-based. Though run lines and prop bets are available, they are not as popular. It is a great sport for those who are simply interested in picking a winner for each game.

Most MLB seasons consist of more than 2,400 games, resulting in ample opportunity for stats-obsessed bettors to gain an edge with MLB betting.

Pros

  • Long season adds up to plenty of betting opportunities
  • Large number of games provides an opportunity for a variety of bets
  • Wealth of data/information to track

Cons

  • Can be a highly unpredictable sport

Popular Betting Markets

  • Moneylines: Moneylines are the most popular option with those who enjoy betting on baseball. It is popular to wager on underdogs, as this can reap significant rewards in the case of a win.
  • Totals (Over/Unders): In baseball betting, totals are based on the number of runs scored in a game. You can bet on whether the total number of runs will be over or under the number that set by your bookmaker.
  • Live/In-Game Betting: In-play betting on a live baseball game is a popular option for punters in the US and around the globe. The odds continually update as the game plays out providing plenty of opportunity to place bets late into the action.

5. Hockey

Fast-paced and aggressive, ice hockey reigns supreme with fans in Canada and also enjoys a significant following in the United States as the country's fourth most followed sport. It is also popular in Europe and is steadily gaining a following in other regions of the world.

With these points in mind, it is no surprise that hockey is fast becoming a strong favorite among online bettors, with the highlight being the National Hockey League (NHL).

Pros

  • Excellent sport for live betting
  • Great for statistics
  • Plenty of history to factor in when placing bets

Cons

  • Can feel intimidating if you’re not well-versed in the sport

Popular Betting Markets

  • Puck Line: A puck line bet in hockey is a type of point spread bet. These bets are fixed at +/-1.5 goals, given the low-scoring nature of the sport. Bettors commonly bet on puck lines whenever the favorite is expected to win by two or more goals.
  • Goaltending Bets: Goaltending bets are a strategy that involves wagering money on a team that is currently on a losing streak. These bets focus on placing wagers on a goaltender who consistently concedes. They are commonly placed when an underdog is going against a heavily favored team.
  • In-Play/Live Betting: In-play bets, which are placed while the action in a hockey matchup is ongoing, are among the most popular wagers on hockey. To maximize your chances of success here, be sure to search for and utilize statistics effectively.

6. Boxing

Boxing is another of the world's favorites, but it differs in many ways from other options on this list. In boxing, it is all about the big-money events that take place during the year.

This means that you can take advantage of a variety of promotions that are run by bookmakers who are looking to stand out from their competitors.

Though livestreaming is not generally available for major events, the top boxing betting sites can can make you feel like you're experiencing an exciting Pay-Per-View fight night.

Pros

  • Some of the biggest betting events of the year
  • Great fight promotions focused on major events
  • Unique betting markets and rulesets

Cons

  • Betting opportunities less common than with many other sports

Popular Betting Markets

  • Round Group Betting: Picking the round that you think the fight will end in is another exciting market for fans of betting on boxing.
  • Go the Distance: If you think the fight will go to the final bell with a winner decided on the scorecards, you can bet on it going the distance.
  • Method of Victory: In this market, you bet on how you think the fight will end. This includes options like a knockout or a decision winner. You can also pick who you think the winner will be, regardless of the method.

7. Mixed Martial Arts (MMA)

As a sport, Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) offers huge fights and major events, together with competitive odds and special promotions.

These promotions involve organizations that host and organize professional MMA events, serving as platforms for fighters to compete against each other in sanctioned fights, showcasing their skills and abilities to a wide audience. These events typically take place in arenas, stadiums, or dedicated MMA venues.

The leading organization here is the UFC, who are also the industry leader. Other events are also organized by the likes of Bellator MMA, One Championship, and the PFL.

Where MMA really shines is the fact that there is an actual schedule with fight cards planned well in advance and readily available all year long. This makes it easy to enjoy watching your favorite combat athletes.

Pros

  • A much more extensive schedule than boxing
  • Big fights/major events benefits
  • Great availability of investment across multiple fights due to logical booking

Cons

  • High Pay-Per-View costs

Popular Betting Markets

  • First-Round Victory: Due to the nature of MMA as a sport, it is common for fights to end early. It is also common for one fighter to dominate the action. This is the market for you if you think that an early victory is inevitable.
  • Method of Victory: Just like in boxing, the victory market is one of the most popular for MMA betting. So popular that we had to add it even though we covered it in the boxing section. In MMA, you get to add the exciting possibility of a submission victory into the mix!
  • Draw No Bet: The option of a draw is removed in this market. What this means is that if neither fighter leaves as the winner, it is like the wager was never made.

8. Racing Sports (Motorsports)

Motor racing sports are another popular option for many punters. There is something absolutely thrilling about predicting who you think will be the first to go across the finish line.

Top motorsports leagues include NASCAR, the IndyCar Series, and Formula 1.

Pros

  • Rules are simple to understand
  • Widely available at top online bookmakers
  • Plenty of available markets

Cons

  • Can be complicated to develop a betting strategy

Popular Betting Markets

  • Outright winner: Pick the winner of the race to win.
  • Lap Time: You can place bets on lap times for the qualifying rounds at motorsports events.
  • Overall Season Champion: You can also bet on who you think will win the overall points title for a racing season.

9. Horse Racing

The availability of great odds is a key factor that makes horse racing the go-to option for many punters. Best Odds Guaranteed (BOG) promotions have played a major role in this. They are unique to these types of races, and they also offer a significant strategic advantage.

Pros

  • One of the world's most popular sports to place bets on
  • Great availability of livestreaming
  • Huge variety of markets and promotions

Cons

  • A lot of research needed for making well-informed bets

Popular Betting Markets

  • Forecast Bet: You can predict who you think will be the top two horses in their order of finish.
  • To Win: Decide who you think the winner of the race will be.
  • To Place: This market expands your winning opportunities. Your pick wins if it makes it into the top three (or more through some promotional offers).

10. Tennis

Tennis is a back-and-forth matchup between two competitors. The fact that you can get some good odds on the sport only adds to its appeal. This is particularly common for major events like Wimbledon.

Pros

  • Good availability of livestreaming coverage
  • Betting adds excitement to an already thrilling sport
  • Various markets break the game down into different segments

Cons

  • Sport may not be to everyone's taste

Popular Betting Markets

  • Handicap Betting: It is common for mismatches to occur in big tennis tournaments. This provides the perfect chance for a market to even out that difference through the use of one or more handicaps.
  • Total Games Betting: This market is also known as Over/Under. You must predict the number of games you think the match will involve.
  • First Set Winner: This market is very straightforward. You decide who you think will win the opening set or any individual set within the overall match. The fact that this market breaks tennis down into its various elements is a major reason why so many love it.

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While some sports are indeed more complex and familiar than others, the details of a bet are more important than the sport itself.

In other words, doing research beforehand makes betting easier, so it helps to bet on sports you know well.

Moreover, developing a solid sports betting strategy greatly increases your chances of success.

The NFL

The NFL is the pinnacle of American football and the most popular league to bet on within the sport. Its history dates to 1920, so there is plenty of statistical data that punters can utilize.

Pros

  • Great promotions and wider coverage on the Superbowl
  • Plenty of markets
  • Extensive data and statistics available

Cons

  • Each team only plays 16 games per regular season

Most Common Bets

  • Over/under
  • Draft specials
  • Winner of the Superbowl

The NBA

Given its status as the world’s top basketball league, NBA betting offers many benefits. The league has been around since 1946, and its teams have a tremendous amount of history with one another.

Pros

  • Plenty of close games
  • Teams play each other on a regular basis
  • Many intriguing betting markets

Cons

  • Licensing rights limit livestreaming options

Most Common Bets

  • Race to a certain point total
  • Conference Winner
  • Quarter Winner

MLB

The history of Major League Baseball goes back to the founding of the National League in 1876 and the American League in 1901. It is one of the most popular leagues in the United States and a great option for sports betting.

Pros

  • Massive number of annual games
  • Plenty of available statistics
  • Wide variety of betting markets

Cons

  • Highly unpredictable sport

Most Common Bets

  • Over/under
  • Moneylines
  • Live/in-game betting

The NHL

The NHL is North America’s premier ice hockey league, with teams in both Canada and the USA. It is an organization with a strong fan base and is a popular sports betting option.

Pros

  • Pairs well with live betting
  • Rich history involving many team rivalries
  • Excellent sport for stats fans

Cons

  • Intimidating for those unfamiliar with the sport

Most Common Bets

  • Goaltending bets
  • Puck line
  • Live betting

The UFC

The Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) is the pinnacle of the MMA sport, with the world’s best fighters signed to this popular sports league.

Pros

  • Extensive annual schedule of events
  • Plenty of major events during the year
  • Similar types markets to boxing

Cons

  • PPVs can be quite expensive

Most Common Bets

  • Method of Victory
  • Draw No Bet
  • First Round Victory

The key things that determine the most profitable sport to bet on include:

  • Market variety
  • Availability on sportsbooks
  • Research material availability
  • Odds quality
  • Promotional opportunities

When choosing the best sport to bet on professionally for your specific needs, you need to remember that it is impossible to calculate everything objectively.

With this point in mind, you want to consider the following:

  • Which sports are you the most passionate about?
  • How much does the availability of livestreaming matter to you?
  • Which sports are you the most knowledgeable about?
  • Which betting markets are you interested in?
  • How good is the coverage of the sport you want to bet on?
  • Which sports are you the most passionate about?
  • How much does the availability of live streaming matter to you?
  • Which sports are you the most knowledgeable about?
  • Which betting markets are you interested in?
  • How good is the coverage of the sport you want to bet on?

While the answer to this is often subjective, we'd advise sticking with sports that you are most familiar with, which will in turn will allow you to strategize more effectively for maximum enjoyment. For US bettors, therefore, the top sport here would arguably be American Football.

Though we hesitate to say that any one sport is easier to bet on than another one, your own knowledge of a specific sport makes it much easier to predict outcomes effectively. Some sports offer better access to key statistics than others do, and provide a wider range of available markets as well.

You can place bets on as many sports as you want to when you head to the best online bookmakers.

The fundamentals of how to win on sports bets remain the same regardless of which one you choose. You must make accurate predictions about outcomes within specific markets.

While you will certainly come across some sports where no bookmaker has added any markets, these cases are increasingly rare. The majority of sports are now available for online betting at leading sportsbooks.

Finding the best sport to bet on and win is a mixture of understanding the key advantages that certain markets and games have over others and your personal preferences.

Additionally, there are undeniable benefits to placing bets on sports that you personally follow. You are likely to have a better understanding of the rules, after all, which can help you to put together a better strategy.

At the end of the day, you should follow your passion when choosing a sport to bet on, but we also recommend trying some new sports out as well. You may just end up finding your new favorite!

WRITTEN BY Jeremy Sant Fournier
View all posts by Jeremy Sant Fournier

If there’s one thing Jeremy loves, it’s sports. A football fanatic at heart, Jeremy can always been found watching, playing or talking about sports. It’s in his blood, and with a keen interest in sports betting, sports writing is a match made in heaven.

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