Many sports bettors wonder what is the best sport to bet on when it comes to profits, difficulty, availability, and so on.
Well, wait no longer. This article will rank every major sport (and then some) when it comes to sports betting.
We will dive into what sports are most profitable overall, the best ways to attack these sports, and which sports you should avoid entirely.
Keep reading if you want to know the sports that offer the most bang for your sports betting bankroll.
Choosing The Right Sport To Bet
Best Sites To Bet On Sports
Top 10 Sports To Bet On In 2023
There are quite a lot of options when it comes to betting sports but we will go over the top ten most popular options.
We’ll let you know how easy they are to profit from, how difficult it is to become a winner, and some of the basic strategies and pros and cons for each sport.
1. Football (NFL, NCAAF)
A lot of people may disagree with me here that football betting should be number one. The primary point of contention would be that NFL sides and totals are sharp and hard to beat.
It’s true to NFL sides and totals, but football betting markets offer so much more than that.
Every Saturday, there is a plethora of opportunities to bet on college football with multiple divisions and more player and team props than one can imagine.
Add in live betting, preseason, and halftime betting, and you have a massive amount of edges with football, even if major markets are sharp.
Should You Bet On Football?
- Massive betting limits for Americans, are larger than any other sport.
- Huge amount of props, futures, and everything in between.
- Super Bowl Props!
- Sides and totals for NFL can be extremely sharp.
If you’re someone who just wants to play NFL sides, totals, and moneylines on Sunday mornings, well, you’re going to have a bad time. For the rest of us, the NFL is one of the best sports to bet on.
NFL prop bets are available throughout the week at many sportsbooks, and betting limits are far higher than others. Also, the Super Bowl is a prop bettors’ dream!
Propositions should be a major focus if you’re betting on NFL, but these are followed closely by halftime wagers and NFL live betting.
There is so much liquidity with NFL that getting down is much easier than in other sports in all betting markets.
The world’s most popular sport is also the sport with the biggest betting handle. Though the sport lacks significant popularity in the United States, betting opportunities with soccer are nearly unlimited.
Not only do we have the major leagues of Europe, such as the English Premier League, Serie A, and Bundesliga, but there are so many other leagues across the world it’s impossible to count.
There are various ways to bet on soccer, including 3×1 betting, but the biggest draw in recent years has been Asian handicaps, a two-way market that offers less vig than 3×1 betting.
Propositions are immensely popular in soccer, and live betting is available for almost every soccer game on the planet.
Should You Bet On Soccer?
- A nearly endless number of leagues and betting opportunities.
- Large betting limits, especially with major leagues.
- Lots of props and live betting.
- Can be hard to follow multiple leagues.
Knowledge of soccer is a must here, but there are simply too many leagues and matches for oddsmakers to always be on the top of their game.
If you’re an expert in Colombian, Argentinian, or Finnish soccer, for example – you likely know more about the sport than most oddsmakers.
Betting limits can be lower for a lot of these leagues, but you will still be able to get down a lot of money across multiple sportsbooks.
Then, there are even more opportunities with props to handicap and the world of live betting.
Soccer is one of the best sports to be skilled at as a bettor because there are games year-round across multiple leagues, many of which are soft.
3. Basketball (NBA, NCAAB)
No sport has risen more in popularity than the NBA in most recent years.
The sport of basketball also has many other options besides the professionals, including college basketball and a variety of international leagues.
Betting opportunities are plenty with just the NBA, but some college basketball Saturdays may have 100 games on the slate.
As far as secondary markets, there is no shortage of props or live betting opportunities with these available every night for the pros and during tournament season for NCAA basketball.
Should You Bet On Basketball?
- Lots of games to bet on.
- Less variance than other sports.
- Props are widely available for a long regular season and playoffs.
- Large betting limits.
- Sides can be difficult to handicap.
Basketball is one of the best sports to bet on if you want to wager daily.
Props offer value, there is injury news to capitalize on, and even preseason has decent size limits compared to elsewhere.
Totals offer more value than sides, but it’s easy to get down on either. NBA prop bets are extremely popular and one of the best markets to attack if you’re into the sport.
Price shopping can uncover a lot of value, and there is potential injury news to capitalize on with slow-moving books.
4. Hockey (NHL)
Hockey is the least wagered sport out of the four major American sports, including baseball, basketball, and football, but there is value to be had if you’re skilled enough to understand it.
Ice hockey betting markets are notoriously lower than other sports, with most sportsbooks keeping them at $2,000 or $3,000 on sides and even lower on totals.
There are props and NHL live betting, but betting limits are also much lower than in other sports that may be more appealing to casual bettors.
Should You Bet On Hockey?
- Lots of games to bet on 82 regular-season games, preseason, and playoffs.
- Opening lines can be soft if you’re knowledgeable about hockey and its betting markets.
- Props and live betting are also available.
- Tough sport to handicap for most.
- Betting limits are far lower than in other major sports.
There are few excellent hockey handicappers, but they are out there. NHL openers are not the sharpest numbers, and the elite hockey originators will always have an edge there.
For the rest of us, it’s a lot harder. Hockey is a tough sport to beat, but if you can manage to do so, even with low limits, for the most part, it can be highly profitable.
There are no special markets to attack here; though props and live betting may offer value, you’re going with the bread and butter here: sides and NHL totals.
5. Baseball (MLB)
America’s pastime is the country’s oldest sport but is far from the most wagered. Still, baseball offers a massive amount of betting opportunities and a variety of bets besides sides and totals.
Unfortunately, sides are tough to beat, and MLB totals are a question mark, as there are many factors in baseball games that are hard to handicap or quantify.
However, baseball isn’t just limited to MLB. The Korean Baseball League (KBO) became more popular with bettors during the pandemic when US sports were canceled.
Should You Bet On Baseball?
- A wealth of betting opportunities with a 162 games schedule in MLB and other professional leagues.
- High betting limits.
- Lots of props and live betting options.
- It is a difficult sport to handicap due to many unknown factors and high variance.
Baseball is just a hard sport to beat, especially when it comes to sides.
There are some areas to attack that are weaker than others, including spring training games and strikeout props, but as far as major markets – it’s behind the other major sports.
Motorsports, such as NASCAR, wouldn’t be something that most people would immediately think of when it comes to sports gambling. But this sport can be low-hanging fruit.
There usually are just a few events per week, outrights and futures are popular, and many bettors find value in head-to-heads.
NASCAR betting isn’t the only game in town; there are a few other forms of racing, most notably, Formula 1 (F1).
Should You Bet On Motorsports?
- Variety of betting options, including props, outrights, and live betting.
- Various forms of racing, such as Nascar, F1, truck racing, etc.
- Larger betting limits than similar sports.
- Only a few races a week, not a massive amount of betting volume.
Motorsports offer fewer opportunities than other sports, but betting limits on matchups can be high at some sportsbooks.
Those who know the sport well enough can exercise a decent advantage.
Golf is a strange addition to this list but a worthy one.
The PGA Tour isn’t the first thing that comes to mind when betting on sports, but there is a wide variety of betting markets available for golf, including outrights, futures, and a nearly endless amount of props.
It’s worth noting that the PGA tour isn’t the only game in town. There’s not much of an offseason in golf, and there are events to bet on golf all over the world.
One may look at golf as an afterthought for sports betting, but it’s a mistake.
Should You Bet On Golf?
- Variety of betting options, including head-to-heads, three-balls, live betting, and more.
- Events nearly every single week.
- Lots of advanced stats to gain a better understanding of the game.
- Larger events mean tying up your bankroll for many days.
- Nowhere near the massive betting limits of other sports.
There are plenty of options to bet on golf, and many players do well betting outrights and head-to-heads.
Golf can be highly profitable for some, but gamblers won’t have the same betting opportunities as other sports.
Also, it’s pretty high on the variance scale, and there’s no late-breaking news to take advantage of, which is the case with many other sports.
It’s tough only to put “eSports” here, as eSports encompasses a wide variety of games.
Most prominently games like CS: GO, League of Legends, DOTA 2, Call Of Duty, and Fortnite, but there are many more options.
eSports betting (betting on videogames) has grown tremendously in recent years, though betting limits still lag behind major sports, and offerings are not widely available, especially for lesser-known games.
Should You Bet On eSports?
- Lots of eSports to bet on, with nearly a dozen or more options available.
- Ability to “know” more than the oddsmakers about some eSports.
- Massive variety of props and exotics.
- A betting menu and volume that rivals major sports, such as baseball and basketball.
- Betting limits are low.
- Some eSports are not available in a lot of sportsbooks.
Betting limits are low for eSports, but you can find large edges if you’re knowledgeable enough about the games and betting markets.
Many professional-level bettors are profitable eSports bettors, but difficulty with wager limits, accounts being limited, and market availability makes it a more complicated than average sport to beat.
Boxing’s popularity has waned in recent years, losing many fans to MMA, but both sports have similar fanbases due to their obvious similarities.
The sport also has several different organizations and promotions but does offer a bit less when it comes to betting opportunities.
Boxing betting can be a bit more global and has been around longer, giving it larger betting limits and live betting options for sports bettors. However, it lacks a massive amount of props compared to other sports.
Should You Bet On Boxing?
- Large limits on major fights.
- Some propositions and live betting.
- Smaller fights are not a significant focus of oddsmakers.
- Not a lot of events compared to other sports, so low volume.
- Not nearly the variety of prop bets compared to MMA.
Boxing isn’t a necessary sport to be competent in if you want to make money betting sports, but it offers a bit more upside than MMA because the betting limits are higher, and the markets are not quite as sharp.
If you’re a fan and understand the sport, along with the betting markets that go with it – you may want to dabble a bit with boxing.
There are some lower-profile fights and major fights that may offer some value.
10. MMA (Mixed Martial Arts)
MMA, specifically UFC betting, has grown in popularity over the past decade.
It’s now a major sport but still lags behind football, basketball, and other sports regarding betting handle.
There are other MMA promotions aside from the UFC, including Bellator MMA and a few others.
The sport now has a wealth of betting options aside from outright winners and over/under the number of rounds, including props and live betting.
Should You Bet On MMA?
- Big events every month and good enough fights every weekend.
- Underdogs have an unbelievable value.
- More opportunities to find value in the moneyline.
- You must know each fighter’s style to bet intelligently.
MMA betting profitability is a tough hill to climb and isn’t worth it for most bettors even to consider.
MMA prop bets and live betting may offer some value, but limits are low, and you will be quickly limited if you show skill in this area.
As far as major markets are concerned, they are as tough as they get. Moneylines are efficient, and I could count on one hand the number of successful MMA bettors that I know.
MMA is a sport to pick your spots carefully. Make sure you maximize your time and effort.
What Is The Most Profitable Sport To bet On?
The most profitable sport to bet on depends on your skillset and outs. If you’re building from the ground up and have a lot of time to bet, then soccer and basketball make the most sense.
These sports have a massive amount of betting opportunities and more liquidity than baseball or football.
There’s no easy answer to what is the most profitable sport. It comes down to your knowledge and passion for the sport.
What Is The Easiest Sport To Bet on For Beginners?
Football is the easiest sport to bet on for beginners in the United States.
Most Americans are likely familiar with football, so that’s an excellent place to start. For most, point spreads and moneylines are simple concepts, and almost every red-blooded male has a passion for football.
It also isn’t a sport that occurs every day of the week and is something that most people can do in their spare time. It’s the perfect sport to start betting because if you’re already a football fan, you’re most likely watching the games regardless.
What Is The Hardest Sport To Bet On?
I would put Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) at the top of the list for the toughest sport to beat the sportsbooks. The betting limits are low, except for significant fights, and odds are extremely sharp.
The hardest sports to bet on will be those where you can’t bet a lot and you can’t gain substantial edges in betting markets.
The sports listed at 7-10 above certainly fit the bill as some of the toughest sports to bet.
Best Sports To Bet On By Type Of Wager
In this section of our guide, we will divide the best possible sport depending on the different bets available on most online sportsbooks.
Best Sport To Bet On The Moneyline
Soccer is the best sport to place moneyline bets.
Asian handicaps offer low vig, and soccer availability is second to none. One can bet on soccer all year long, nearly 24 hours a day.
Best Sport To Bet On Props
Football and basketball are the best sports to bet propositions. Both sports offer props with high limits, and advantages can be found.
I think both sports tie here, but I’d give a slight edge to basketball and the NBA since the season is much longer.
Best Sport For Live Betting
Football is the best sport for live betting, and by a large margin.
Live betting limits are higher here, and the long commercial breaks give bettors a chance to catch the sportsbooks sleeping if they fail to adjust appropriately – and that happens a lot more than you may think.
Best Sport To Bet On Totals
Basketball offers a lot of value when it comes to totals betting.
In many cases, it’s harder to predict who might win a game versus the pace of play.
Lineup changes and injury news is another way to attack this area.
Best Sport To Bet On Futures
Football and basketball are also tied here. There is a variety of options available, including title futures, conferences, player awards, and so on.
Futures do have a lot of vigorish, but are not the sharpest markets compared to the rest of the betting market.
How To Choose The Right Sport To Bet On For You
If you’re new to sports betting, choosing the right sport to bet on can be a roadblock.
I wish it were as simple as choosing the sport you’re most passionate about, but a lot more goes into it. Before choosing to bet on a sport, you should ask yourself these questions:
What Are My Chances of Making a Profit?
You have to be realistic with yourself here. Chasing your passions is one thing, but even if you’re a massive fan of the sport you want to bet on, you need to be realistic about your ability to earn a profit.
Where Is My Existing Knowledge?
You don’t need to be an expert in the sport you want to bet on, but a decent knowledge base is a good starting point. However, the most important factor is your general knowledge of sports betting odds and markets, and if you can identify value.
How Much Time Do I Have?
Some sports require more daily commitment compared to others.
If you want to wager just a few days a week and don’t have a ton of time to commit to it, it’s best to choose something like football that happens just a few days a week, rather than soccer or basketball.
How Much Money Can I Bet?
Bankroll management is vital to betting on sports successfully, but you need to wager substantial amounts to win a lot.
Depending on your location, sportsbook options and the number of “outs” may dictate what sport you should bet on.
What Is Your End Goal?
Depending on your goals with sports betting, you can take a more leisurely approach or a more active one.
You will need to take it a lot more seriously if you’re determined to turn a profit, but if you’re looking to have fun and mostly breakeven or win a little, then you can treat it more like a hobby than a job.
Ready To Start Betting And Having Fun?
Choosing what sports you want to bet on can be a crucial part of your betting career. However, it’s only one factor. Knowledge of sports betting markets and odds is far more critical to your long-term success.
Be sure to avoid the worst markets and worst types of wagers, such as parlays with a large number of teams and markets with a high house edge. Last but not least, choose trustworthy sportsbooks that will pay you when you turn a profit.
Open a sports betting account at one of our recommended sportsbooks, claim your welcome bonus, and start playing today!