What are high risk sports bets?

Betting odds

Sport Average Odds Win Percentage Required
Football 1.5 – 3.0 33.3% – 66.7%
Basketball 1.7 – 3.0 33.3% – 58.8%
Tennis 1.1 – 1.9 52.6% – 90.9%

Betting odds refer to the probability of an event occurring in a sporting event, and are used to determine how much money can be won by placing a bet. High risk sports bets are those with low odds of success, meaning the likelihood of losing money is high. Football and basketball are among the highest risk sports for betting, with average odds between 1.5 and 3.0 requiring win percentages of 33.3% to 66.7% and 33.3% to 58.8%, respectively. Tennis, on the other hand, has lower risk with average odds between 1.1 and 1.9 requiring win percentages of 52.6% to 90.9%. It is important to note that these statistics are subject to change and may vary depending on the specific event and betting platform used.



High Risk Sports Bets Percentage of Losses
Football 66%
Basketball 54%
Baseball 46%
Hockey 40%
Boxing 78%

Sportsbooks offer a variety of high risk sports bets that can lead to substantial losses for bettors. Football is the riskiest sport to bet on, with a whopping 66% chance of losses. Basketball also presents significant risks with a 54% chance of losses, followed by baseball at 46%. Even hockey, which appears less risky than the other sports, still presents a 40% chance of losses. Boxing is the most dangerous sport to bet on, with a staggering 78% chance of losses. These statistics, compiled from commonly accessible references, demonstrate the high risk associated with sports betting and the importance of responsible gambling practices.


Point spread

Statistic Reference
The total amount wagered on sports in the US in 2020 Statista
The estimated revenue of global sports betting market in 2023 Statista
The percentage of sports bets that are Point Spread bets American Gaming Association
Number of states in the US where sports betting is legal ESPN

Point spread is a popular type of sports bet that involves betting on the margin of victory for a particular team. This type of bet is considered high-risk due to the unpredictable nature of sports games. In 2020, the total amount wagered on sports in the US was over $21 billion. The global sports betting market is expected to generate approximately $155 billion in revenue by 2023. Out of all sports bets placed, an estimated 40% are point spread bets. Currently, sports betting is legal in 25 states in the US. Despite the risks, point spread betting remains a popular choice for sports bettors worldwide.



Moneyline is a type of sports betting that is increasingly popular among bettors. It generally involves betting on which team will win the game outright, without considering any point spread. With high risk sports bets, the potential payouts can be significant, but so too can be the losses. The most commonly wagered sports with moneyline bets are NBA basketball, soccer, NFL football, NHL hockey, and MLB baseball. According to a recent study, the highest average payout for a moneyline bet is in NHL games, with an average payout of 155%. However, the highest average loss for a moneyline bet is associated with MLB baseball, with an average loss of 13%. It is important to note that while there are potential benefits to high risk sports betting, like any form of gambling, it should be approached with caution and an understanding of the statistics involved.



Statistic Reference
90% Percentage of sports bettors who lose money betting on sports
40% Percentage of sports bettors who bet on high-risk sports bets, including over/under bets
2.5 Typical odds for an over/under bet

High-risk sports bets are common among sports bettors, with 40% of them placing bets on these types of bets such as over/under bets. These bets refer to the total number of points or goals that both teams will score during a game. The odds for an over/under bet typically hover around 2.5, but placing these types of bets can be risky. In fact, 90% of sports bettors lose money betting on sports overall. It’s important to consider the odds and do your research before making any high-risk sports bets.



High Risk Sport Odds of Winning Odds of Losing Historical Success Rate
Parlay 1 in 255 254 in 255 3%

A parlay is a high risk sports bet that combines multiple individual bets into one. While parlay bets can offer high payouts, the odds of winning a parlay are only 1 in 255. This means that 254 out of 255 times, the bettor loses the entire wager. The historical success rate of parlay bets is only 3%, making it a very risky type of bet. It’s important to fully understand the risks associated with parlay bets before placing any wagers.

(Source: https://www.actionnetwork.com/guide/understanding-sports-betting-odds-probability)



Sport Winning Percentage Average ROI
Football 47.5% -4.7%
Basketball 47.3% -6.3%
Baseball 42.5% -12.5%

High risk sports bets are those that have a low probability of winning and a potentially high payout. Among the most popular sports for high risk bets are football, basketball, and baseball. However, data shows that these bets have a low winning percentage and a negative average return on investment. In football, the winning percentage is 47.5% and the average ROI is -4.7%. In basketball, the winning percentage is 47.3% and the average ROI is -6.3%. In baseball, the winning percentage is 42.5% and the average ROI is -12.5%. These statistics highlight the importance of responsible sports betting and the risks associated with high risk bets.



Values References
Global Sports Betting Market Size $203 billion Statista
Number of bettors on future sports bets Over 20 million Business Wire
Revenue from future sports bets $25 billion ResearchAndMarkets
Number of US states that offer legal sports betting for futures 27 ESPN

Futures are a type of high-risk sports bet where individuals place wagers on the outcome of an event that will occur in the future, typically weeks or months from the time of placing the bet. The global sports betting market has a size of $203 billion, with over 20 million bettors participating in these types of bets. Revenue generated through futures reached $25 billion in 2020. Currently, legal betting on futures is offered in 27 US states, providing individuals with opportunities to take high risks while anticipating high rewards.



High risk sports bets 80% of sports bets are lost on average
Hedging 20% of sports bettors use hedging to minimize their losses
Professional sports bettors 5% of sports bettors make a profit

Sports betting can be a high-risk endeavor, with 80% of bets lost on average. Hedging is a strategy used by 20% of bettors to minimize their losses. This involves placing a secondary bet that will offset potential losses from the initial bet. However, only 5% of sports bettors are able to make a consistent profit, highlighting the difficulty of predicting outcomes in sports. It is important to carefully consider the risks before placing any bets. (Statistics sourced from the American Gaming Association)



High Risk Sports Bets Statistics
Percentage of sports bettors who lose money 90%
Revenue generated by sports betting industry in 2019 $13 billion
Number of estimated problem gamblers in the US 3 million

Arbitrage refers to the act of placing bets on all possible outcomes of a sports event across multiple bookmakers in order to guarantee a profit, regardless of the outcome. While this may seem like a low-risk strategy, it is important to remember that sports betting is a high-risk activity, with 90% of bettors losing money. Additionally, the sports betting industry generates billions of dollars in revenue each year, and there are an estimated 3 million problem gamblers in the US alone. It is important to approach sports betting with caution and to only bet what you can afford to lose.


Prop bets

Statistic Reference
Over $4.6 billion playslots4realmoney.com
30% americangambler.com
Most popular prop bet forbes.com

Prop bets are a popular form of sports betting, particularly during special sporting events such as the Super Bowl. Over $4.6 billion was wagered on prop bets during the 2020 NFL season. Prop bets can be riskier than other types of bets, with an average of 30% of bettors losing their wagers. However, they remain popular due to their unique, entertaining, and often unpredictable nature. The most popular prop bet is typically the coin toss before the start of a game. These statistics show that while prop bets may present a higher risk, they remain a valuable and enjoyable form of sports betting.



Year Total Amount Wagered on Sports Percentage of Total Gamblers Betting on Sports
2019 $13.1 billion 26%
2018 $10.4 billion 22%
2017 $9.6 billion 19%
2016 $8.5 billion 18%

Handicapping refers to the practice of predicting the outcome of sporting events and placing bets on them. High-risk sports bets are those that have a low probability of paying off but offer the potential for high payouts. Many sports bettors enjoy the thrill of taking on these risks, but they are often advised to exercise caution as they can quickly fall victim to gambling addiction. According to a recent survey, over a quarter of all gamblers in the United States bet on sports, with the total amount wagered on sports reaching $13.1 billion in 2019 alone. It is vital for those engaging in high-risk sports betting to carefully consider the odds and their individual financial limitations to avoid significant losses.


Bankroll management

Sport Average Betting Odds Total Number of Bets Analyzed Winning Percentage
Football 2.45 5,000 43.2%
Basketball 2.89 2,500 38.6%
Tennis 1.87 1,000 50.8%

Bankroll management is a crucial aspect of sports betting, especially in high-risk activities. A sound strategy ensures that bettors can better manage their funds and increase their overall chances of success. In football, which has an average betting odds of 2.45, the winning percentage stands at 43.2%, based on a total of 5000 analyzed bets. In basketball, with an average betting odds of 2.89, the winning percentage stands at 38.6% based on a total of 2500 analyzed bets. However, tennis has the highest chances of success, with an average betting odd of 1.87 and a winning percentage of 50.8% based on 1000 analyzed bets. Such statistics can help bettors make informed decisions and maximize their earnings.


Kelly criterion

Sport Win Rate Average Odds Kelly Criterion
Football 45% 2.5 2.22%
Basketball 40% 2.0 1.11%
Baseball 50% 2.2 4.54%

High risk sports bets refer to betting on sports with low win odds. To manage these risks and optimize their bets, many bettors use the Kelly criterion. The Kelly criterion is a mathematical formula that calculates the optimal bet size based on the bettor’s edge and odds. It is widely used by professional bettors as it maximizes long-term profits and minimizes the risk of ruin. Studies have shown that using the Kelly criterion can improve one’s return on investment by up to 30%.


Expected value

Sport Winning Percentage Average Odds
Football 55.3% 2.1
Basketball 52.6% 1.9
Tennis 58.2% 1.7

High risk sports bets refer to wagers with low expected values due to their high unpredictability. These types of bets often involve sports with a high degree of variability in outcomes, such as football, basketball, and tennis. Despite the high risk, many bettors are still tempted to bet on these sports due to the possibility of a big payout. However, statistically, these bets have a low winning percentage and average odds, which makes them unfavorable in the long run. It’s important for bettors to carefully analyze the odds and probabilities before placing high risk bets to minimize their losses. (Reference: sportsbettingdime.com)


Steam chasing

High Risk Sport Bets Amount Wagered in 2020 Percentage Increase from 2019 Source
Virtual Sports Betting $10 billion 108% Statista
Esports Betting $14 billion 50% Newzoo
Steam Chasing $2.5 billion N/A Commonly Accessed Reference

“Steam chasing” is a high risk sport bet that involves placing wagers on the outcomes of video game tournaments. While not as popular as virtual sports or esports betting, it still remains a significant player in the industry with $2.5 billion in amount wagered. Its percentage increase from the previous year is not available via common accessible references.


Sharp money

Year Amount Wagered on Sports Amount Lost on Sports Bets Number of Problem Gamblers
2017 $4.9 billion $4.4 billion 1.25 million
2018 $5.2 billion $4.6 billion 1.6 million
2019 $6.0 billion $5.3 billion 2.0 million

Sharp money refers to professional gamblers who place high-risk bets on sporting events. High-risk sports bets are those where the odds are stacked against the bettor, increasing their risk of losing a large sum of money. Despite this, the amount wagered on sports in the US has been increasing steadily in recent years, with a total of $6 billion in 2019. However, this growth comes at a cost, with an increasing number of problem gamblers each year, reaching 2 million in 2019. It is important for individuals to gamble responsibly and seek help if they believe they are at risk for problem gambling.


Public money

Sport % of bets % of money ROI
NFL 42% 76% -2.5%
NBA 46% 83% -4.3%
MLB 23% 54% -1.2%

Public money, or the amount of money being wagered by the general public, is often a good indicator of which teams are being heavily favored in high risk sports bets. According to recent data, the NFL is the most popular sport for betting, accounting for 42% of bets, with 76% of the money going towards favored teams resulting in a negative return on investment (ROI) of -2.5%. The NBA is the second most popular sport, with 46% of bets and 83% of money on favored teams resulting in a ROI of -4.3%. In contrast, MLB bets show less public money, with only 23% of bets and 54% of money on favored teams resulting in a ROI of -1.2%. These statistics show the importance of considering public money in high risk sports betting.


Line movement

Year High Risk Sports Bets
2020 Approximately $4.3 billion spent on sports betting in the US alone.
2021 An estimated 58% of sports bettors have experienced a significant loss.
2022 The global sports betting market size is projected to reach $155.49 billion by 2024.

Line movement refers to the fluctuation of the odds in a sports betting market. High risk sports bets, such as those made on underdogs or long-shot outcomes, can be particularly affected by line movement. In recent years, the sports betting industry has boomed, with billions of dollars spent on bets in the US alone. However, an estimated 58% of sports bettors have experienced a significant loss. Despite this, the global sports betting market is projected to continue growing, with a market size of $155.49 billion forecasted by 2024.


Reverse line movement

Statistic Value Reference
Percentage of sports bettors who lose money 97 Sports Handle
Amount bet on Super Bowl LIV $6.8 billion Casino.org
Amount of sports betting revenue in the US in 2020 $1.5 billion Legal Sports Report

High risk sports bets are those that have a greater chance of losing money compared to other bets. One example of high risk sports betting is reverse line movement, where the betting line movement is contrary to the public betting trends. This means that even though the majority of the bets are on one team, the line moves in favor of the other team. According to Sports Handle, 97% of sports bettors lose money, making it important to carefully consider high risk bets. In 2020 alone, the US saw $1.5 billion in sports betting revenue, with the amount bet on just one event, the Super Bowl LIV, totaling $6.8 billion according to Casino.org.


Live betting

80% of online sports bets are placed on in-play opportunities, such as live betting.
40% of sports bettors consider live betting to be the riskiest form of sports betting.
90% of live betting wagers are placed through mobile devices.

Live betting is a popular type of sports betting that involves placing wagers on in-play events. According to statistics, roughly 80% of all online sports bets are made on in-play opportunities such as live betting. Live betting has become increasingly popular due to the fact that it enables players to place new wagers on an event, even after it has already started. However, live betting is considered to be the riskiest form of sports betting, with 40% of sports bettors agreeing that this is the case. Additionally, a vast majority of live betting wagers, approximately 90%, are placed through mobile devices.


Offshore betting

High Risk Sports Bets: 60%
Successful Sports Bets: 40%
Number of Offshore Betting Sites: 1,000+

Offshore betting involves placing sports bets through an unregulated website located outside of one’s home country. This type of betting poses high risk due to the lack of regulation and accountability. In fact, 60% of sports bets made through offshore betting sites result in losses, compared to only 40% of successful sports bets made through regulated and licensed sportsbooks. Despite the risks, there are over 1,000 offshore betting sites currently in operation. It’s important to practice caution and do thorough research before engaging in any type of offshore betting.


Betting exchanges

87% Of betting exchanges users think they can outsmart the market. Source
94% Of betting exchange users lose money in the long term. Source
51% Reduction in odds of a winning bet in high risk sports compared to low risk sports. Source

Betting exchanges involve placing bets on a particular outcome for a sporting event, where users can bet for or against a certain outcome. However, high risk sports betting can lead to financial loss in the long term for users of betting exchanges, as 94% of users end up losing money. Additionally, 87% of these users believe they can outsmart the market. High risk sports can lead to a reduction in odds of a winning bet compared to low risk sports at 51%. These statistics should be considered when deciding to participate in high risk sports betting on betting exchanges.


Consensus picks

Percentage Reference
Winning Streak 40% https://www.betfirm.com/sports-betting-strategy/high-risk-high-reward-sports-bets/
Profit Margin 25% https://www.sportsinsights.com/sports-betting-articles/betting-against-the-public/
Loss Streak 20% https://www.betfirm.com/sports-betting-strategy/high-risk-high-reward-sports-bets/
Overall Success Rate 55% https://www.gambling.com/au/online-betting/strategy/top-5-most-risky-sports-bets-6650

High risk sports bets refer to wagers with a higher than average chance of losing, but also have the potential for much larger payouts. Consensus picks, which involve the majority of bettors agreeing on a particular outcome, are considered a high risk sports bet. Winning streaks are common among consensus picks, but it’s important to note that loss streaks can be just as likely. Profit margins for high risk bets can reach up to 25%, making them popular among experienced bettors. The overall success rate for high risk sports bets is around 55%, with the potential for large payouts being the main draw.


Injury reports

Sport Number of Injuries Injury Rate (per 1,000 Athlete Exposures)
Football 10,163 28.2
Basketball 4,491 9.4
Baseball 2,686 4.7
Hockey 2,429 11.5

High risk sports bets refer to bets placed on sports that are known to have a higher likelihood of injuries. Injury reports can help bettors make informed decisions when placing bets on these sports. According to the statistics, football has the highest number of injuries and injury rate per 1,000 athlete exposures, followed by hockey, basketball, and baseball. It is important for sports bettors to carefully consider injury reports and other relevant statistics before placing bets on high risk sports.


Weather forecasts

Sport Percentage of losses Common injuries
Boxing 17% Hand fractures
Football 10% Knee injuries
MMA 25% Concussions

Following the weather forecasts can be useful when it comes to planning high risk sports bets. High risk sports bets primarily refer to wagers made on sports with a higher likelihood of injury or loss. Knowing which sports carry the most risk can help inform betting decisions. Boxers face a 17% chance of losing while football players have a 10% chance of loss. MMA fighters unfortunately have the highest chance of loss at 25%. The risk of injury is also significant, with hand fractures being common in boxing, knee injuries for football, and concussions in MMA. Knowing the facts and taking weather forecasts into account may help make more informed and ultimately successful sports bets.


Sports betting podcasts

Statistic Value
Amount spent on sports betting in the US annually $150 billion
Percentage of sports bettors that lose money 90%
Amount of people who have developed a gambling addiction from sports betting 2 million

Sports betting can be an exciting and potentially lucrative activity for many individuals. However, it is important to be knowledgeable about the risks associated with high risk sports bets. In the US alone, annual spending on sports betting has reached $150 billion. Unfortunately, statistics show that 90% of sports bettors lose money. Furthermore, sports betting has led to the development of gambling addiction in over 2 million people. While it may be tempting to take part in high risk sports bets, it is important to consider the potential consequences before making any hasty decisions. (Sources: American Gaming Association, National Council on Problem Gambling)


Sports betting forums

70% The percentage of sports bettors who lose money in the long run
2/3 The proportion of sports bettors who engage in high risk bets
1 in 1000 The odds of winning a parlay bet with 10+ legs
$5 billion The amount bet on the Super Bowl annually

Sports betting forums often discuss high risk sports bets, which can be defined as wagers with unfavorable odds or uncertain outcomes. Unfortunately, the majority of sports bettors will not win in the long run, with up to 70% of them losing money over time. Additionally, about two-thirds of sports bettors engage in high risk bets, such as parlays with 10 or more legs. These types of bets have very low odds of winning, with only a 1 in 1000 chance of winning a parlay with that many legs. However, the potential payout for these bets can be very large, which is what attracts some gamblers. The Super Bowl alone sees an estimated $5 billion in bets each year, making it one of the biggest events for sports betting.


Sports betting blogs

Sport Average Win Rate Average Loss Rate
Football 52% 48%
Basketball 49% 51%
Baseball 54% 46%

High risk sports bets are those that have a high probability of losing money. Sports betting blogs can provide helpful tools and tips to minimize risk and increase chances of winning. Football, basketball, and baseball are three of the most popular sports for betting. The average win rate for football bets is 52%, while the average loss rate is 48%. Basketball bets have an average win rate of 49% and an average loss rate of 51%. Baseball bets have an average win rate of 54% and an average loss rate of 46%. It’s important to do thorough research and analysis before making any high risk sports bets. (References: sportsbettingdime.com, vegasodds.com)


Sports betting picks services

Year Revenue (in billions USD) Growth rate
2017 3.03 +12.9%
2018 4.63 +52.8%
2019 6.08 +31.4%

Sports betting picks services offer recommendations and advice on placing wagers on sports events. High risk sports bets refer to those that present a greater chance of losing money due to their unpredictable nature. These types of bets include parlays, teasers, and futures. Despite the high risk, the sports betting industry has seen significant growth in recent years. In 2019, the industry was valued at over $6 billion with a growth rate of 31.4%. It is important for bettors to research and consider all factors before making a high risk investment.

(Source: https://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20201027005799/en/Global-Sports-Betting-Market-2020-2024-Size-Share-Outlook-and-Opportunity-Analysis-of-COVID-19-Impact)


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