Which Sports Attract the Most Bets in the US?

In the United States, sports betting is expanding quickly and becoming ingrained in popular culture. Americans are avid sports fans who spend more than $5 billion per year betting on sports.

It is hardly surprising that sports betting has seen a significant increase across the country.  There are several sports leagues and competitions in the United States that are well-known across the entire country.

Some of the sports that attract the most bets in the US include:

Football (NFL)

Football is the most popular sport in the United States. More than 50M Americans watch the NFL each season. Interestingly, football is also the country’s favortie sport among bettors.

Every year, over 30 million Americans spend more than $2 billion betting on the Super Bowl. Some of them bet through these sportsbooks recommended by smartbettingguide.com. Others bet in-person in states like Nevada and New Jersey.

Either way, every NFL game draws a lot of betting interest. You can place wagers on both professional football (NFL) and college football in select states.  The variety of bets offered includes anything from live betting to money-line sports.

Almost fifty percent of all sports wagers in the US are placed on the NFL. The NFL season is shorter than other sports’ seasons, thus each game is played with a greater sense of urgency, which heightens the intensity.

In terms of individual events, the Super Bowl is by far the most favored sporting event on the calendar. Super Bowl wagers in 2018 totaled a record-breaking $158.6 million. But it is just the reported number.

In terms of illicit sports gambling, the figure is more likely to be a staggering $4.76 billion. According to estimates, millions of individuals wager on the Super Bowl each year using mobile or internet platforms.

Basketball (NBA)

One of the top professional sports leagues in the US is the NBA. It is regarded as the world’s best basketball league. Founded in 1946, the league comprises 30 teams. Each of the teams plays 82 games during the regular season. These are 1,230 games in all, providing huge wagering opportunities for punters throughout the season.

In addition to being well-liked in the US, the NBA has a large global following that surpasses even that of the NFL. The league is one of the country’s favorites among bettors.

This is because sportsbooks can provide a broad variety of betting markets on it. The NBA is the second most bet on sport in the United States. It boasts 58% of sports bettors who actively wager on it.

Baseball (MLB)

The MLB is the world’s oldest significant professional sports league and was founded in 1876. In the US, baseball is an extremely well-liked sport. Every season, the MLB provides tremendous entertainment to the nation’s fans, as it has for generations.

A season in the league has 162 games for each of the 30 teams. Thus, 2,430 games are played in total during the MLB season, which lasts for six months. With a large number of games available for wagering, the league is undoubtedly huge for sports betting.

The World Series is one of the sporting events that receive the largest wagers in America. The MLB ranks third among the sports with the most bets in America, with 53% of bettors participating.

Hockey (NHL)

The NHL is among the top American sports leagues. This ice hockey league has a large following in North America. The league, which was established in 1917, has 32 teams. 25 of the participating teams are from the United States while the remaining 7 are from Canada.

In the NHL, each team plays 82 home and away games throughout the regular season. On each side, they play 41 games. With 1,312 games played each season, the NHL offers a wide range of alternatives for sports bettors.

In the realm of betting, the Stanley Cup finals are incredibly popular. It is the final that determines the winner of the oldest professional trophy in North America. With 32% of American gamblers taking part, the league registers one of the highest numbers of wagers in the country.

Horse Racing

Horse racing has a long history in the United States, dating back to 1665. It is a widely practiced ancient sport. The game first appeared in New York City and then spread across the rest of the nation.

All around the United States, new horse racing courses began to pop up. There were 314 active tracks across the nation by 1890. Horse racing has so continued to be a well-liked sport in the US for generations.

Horse racing is among the most popular sports for gamblers in the United States in the post-PASPA period. The sport boasts of hosting well-known events including the Kentucky Derby, Preakness Stakes, and Belmont Stakes. In the sports betting market, the sport has a 35% participation rate.


In the United States, boxing is a highly well-liked sport. In the 18th century, the sport made its way to America from England. The US has been the hub of professional boxing since the 20th century.

Many of the top professional boxers have come from this nation. Among them are Joe Louis, Ray Robinson, the legendary Muhammad Ali, Mike Tyson, Floyd Mayweather, and a plethora of others.

Betting on high-profile boxing matches is very common in the United States. They are among the most popular annual events for wagering. A significant amount of people participate in live betting during the games. It is not surprising that boxing ranks among the most wagered on sports in the nation with a 42% participation rate from bettors.


In recent years, eSports has become increasingly well-liked in the United States as well as worldwide. The video game industry is generating enormous market income nationwide. More market choices on sportsbooks are coming up as a result of the introduction of eSports to the sports betting business.

In the world of sports betting, eSports wagering is still a developing trend. However, in recent years, it has experienced remarkable expansion outside of athletics. Sportsbooks keep expanding their selection of eSports possibilities across various video games.

However, the eSports sector continues to boast significant development potential and considerable involvement in the sports betting market. The percentage of bettors that participate in the video game sport countrywide is 23%.