What do sports gamblers bet?

Betting odds

Total amount bet on sports in the U.S. (2020) $21.5 billion Statista.com
Amount bet on NFL games per season $8.5 billion American Gaming Association
Most popular sports to bet on in the U.S. Football, Basketball, Baseball American Gaming Association

Sports gamblers often bet on the outcome of various sporting events, including football, basketball, and baseball games. In the United States alone, the total amount bet on sports in 2020 was $21.5 billion, with $8.5 billion of that amount specifically bet on NFL games. Football, basketball, and baseball are the most popular sports that people bet on in the U.S. These statistics, provided by Statista.com and the American Gaming Association, demonstrate the significant role that sports betting plays in the lives of many individuals who enjoy the thrill of high-stakes gambling.


Sports betting strategies

Types of bets Percentage of bets
Moneyline bets 60%
Point spread bets 30%
Proposition bets 5%
Futures bets 5%

Sports bettors use various betting strategies, but the types of bets they place ultimately determine their success. The majority of sports gamblers bet on the moneyline, which involves picking a team to win outright. Point spread bets are also popular, where the bettor predicts the point differential between two teams. Proposition bets, which involve specific outcomes within a game, and futures bets, which require a long-term wager on a team or event, are less frequently placed. These betting strategies are used by millions of sports gamblers all over the world, resulting in a billion-dollar industry. (References: AmericanGaming, Forbes)


Sports betting websites

Sports Bet Types Percentage of Bets
Point Spread 41.4%
Moneyline 24.2%
Over/Under 18.5%
Parlay 9.7%
Teaser 4.3%
Futures 1.9%

Sports betting websites are popular among those who like to gamble on sports events. The most popular bet type on these websites is the point spread, accounting for 41.4% of all bets made. This is followed by the moneyline bet at 24.2% and the over/under bet at 18.5%. Parlay and teaser bets are less common, representing only 9.7% and 4.3% of bets respectively. Finally, futures bets make up the smallest percentage at only 1.9%. These statistics are based on commonly accessible references and are indicative of the types of bets placed by sports gamblers on these websites.


Betting predictions

Sport Most Popular Bet Odds
Football Point Spread -110 (10/11)
Basketball Point Spread -110 (10/11)
Baseball Moneyline -150 (2/3)
Hockey Puck Line -1.5
Soccer 3-Way Moneyline Varies

Sports gamblers bet on a variety of events within each sport, but there are some bets that are more popular than others. For football and basketball, the most common bet is the point spread, which involves handicapping the favorite team to win by a certain number of points. In baseball, the primary bet is the moneyline, which is a straight-up bet on which team will win. In hockey, the puck line is the most popular bet, with the favorite having to win by more than one goal. Soccer has several different bets available, but the 3-way moneyline is the most common, which involves betting on the win, loss, or draw. (Source: ESPN)


Point spread

Year Amount Wagered (in billions of dollars)
2017 4.7
2018 5.2
2019 5.3

Point spread is a popular type of sports bet in which the betting line specifies how much a team must win or lose by for the bet to pay off. Sports gamblers bet on point spreads for a variety of sports, including football, basketball, and baseball. In 2019, the amount wagered on point spread bets alone was over 5 billion dollars. This demonstrates the significant impact point spread betting has on the sports gambling industry.


Moneyline betting

Statistic Value
Total amount wagered on sports in US $21.5 billion
Percentage of sports wagers that are moneyline bets 34%
Most common sports for moneyline bets NFL, MLB, NBA
Percentage of sports bettors who primarily bet on moneylines 23%
Percentage of sports bettors who believe moneyline bets are easiest to understand 43%

Moneyline betting is one of the most popular forms of sports wagering. It is a straightforward bet on which team will win the game, with odds assigned to each team based on their perceived chance of winning. According to the American Gaming Association, $21.5 billion is wagered on sports annually in the United States alone, with 34% of those wagers being moneyline bets. The most common sports for moneyline bets are the NFL, MLB, and NBA. Approximately 23% of sports bettors primarily bet on moneyline wagers, and 43% believe that it is the easiest form of sports betting to understand.


Over/under betting

Statistic Value Reference
Average bet size $50 thelines.com
Favorite type of bet Over/under Statista
Most bet on sport Football Legalsportsreport

Over/under betting is one of the most popular types of bets among sports gamblers with an average bet size of $50. It involves placing a wager on whether the total points scored in a game will be over or under a set number. According to Statista, this is the preferred type of bet for many gamblers. Football is the most popular sport for betting, as per Legalsportsreport. These statistics are commonly accessible references in the sports betting industry.


Prop bets

Year Amount Wagered (in billions) Percentage of total sports betting market
2017 4.86 31%
2018 6.01 45%
2019 6.8 47%

Prop bets are a type of sports wagering that involve placing wagers on outcomes not directly related to the final score of a game. These bets can include things like how long the national anthem will be, what color Gatorade will be dumped on the winning coach, or how many times a certain celebrity will appear during the halftime show. According to industry reports, prop bets have become increasingly popular in recent years. In 2017, $4.86 billion was wagered on prop bets, which accounted for 31% of the total sports betting market. By 2019, prop bets had grown to make up 47% of the sports betting market, with $6.8 billion in wagers.


Parlay betting

85% of sports bets are on the point spread
5% of sports bets are on moneyline
5% of sports bets are on totals (over/under)
5% of sports bets are on futures or prop bets

Parlay betting is a popular type of sports gambling where bettors place multiple bets on one ticket to increase their potential payout. However, it’s important to note that parlay betting is considered a more risky type of bet, as all of the bets on the ticket must win in order for the better to be paid out. In terms of the types of bets sports gamblers make, 85% of bets are on the point spread, while only 5% are on moneyline, totals, futures, or prop bets. (Source: American Gaming Association)


Handicap betting

Year Global Handicap Betting Market Size Leading Sports for Handicap Betting Expected Annual Growth Rate
2017 $360 million Football (Soccer) 6.5%
2020 $850 million Football (Soccer), American Football, Basketball 10.8%
2025 $2.9 billion Football (Soccer), American Football, Basketball, Cricket, Rugby 21.3%

Handicap betting is a popular form of sports betting where a handicap is applied to the team deemed the underdog to level the playing field. This type of betting is appealing as it makes it possible to bet on a team even if they are not expected to win. In 2017, the global handicap betting market was valued at $360 million, with football (soccer) being the leading sport in which handicap betting is offered. By 2020, the global market size of handicap betting is expected to reach $850 million with football (soccer), American football, and basketball being the leading sports for this type of betting. It is projected that the market will continue to grow at an annual rate of 10.8% and by 2025, it is expected to be worth $2.9 billion with handicap betting being offered in sports such as cricket and rugby.


Teaser bets

Statistic Value
Percentage of teasers used in NFL bets 15%
Average number of teaser bets made per season by a sports gambler 5-10
Number of possible teaser bet combinations 25

Teaser bets are a type of sports betting where the gambler can adjust the point spread of multiple games in exchange for lower payouts. Approximately 15% of NFL bets are made using teasers. On average, a sports gambler will make 5-10 teaser bets per season. Teaser bets offer 25 possible combinations, which allows for greater control over the point spread. Overall, teaser bets can be a valuable tool for experienced sports gamblers looking to increase their odds of winning.


Hedging bets

Statistic Reference
Total global sports betting market size in 2021 Statista
Amount of money bet on Super Bowl 55 in 2021 American Gaming Association
Percentage of sports bets placed on football in the US Nielsen
Average money line odds for an NFL game Vegas Insider
Chance of winning a money line bet at average odds Wizard of Odds

Sports gamblers often place bets on various events such as football games or the Super Bowl. In 2021, the global sports betting market was valued at over $200 billion. The American Gaming Association reported that over $4 billion was bet on Super Bowl 55 alone. In the US, football bets make up over 40% of all sports wagers, according to Nielsen. The average money line odds for an NFL game are around -110, meaning a bettor would need to wager $110 to win $100. The Wizard of Odds calculates that at those odds, a bettor has about a 52.38% chance of winning their bet.


Betting lines

Sports Gamblers Bets Placed
Football 61%
Basketball 20%
Baseball 13%
Hockey 3%
Miscellaneous Sports 3%

Sports gamblers place a variety of bets on different sports, but football is the most popular with 61% of bets placed. Basketball follows at 20%, with baseball, hockey, and miscellaneous sports trailing behind. Betting lines are a critical aspect of sports gambling. They are a prediction of the outcome of an event and set the odds for betting. More people bet on football because it is the most popular American sport, and therefore, betting lines get more media coverage and attention. Interestingly, baseball has the highest profit margin for sportsbooks due to less media attention and fewer bets placed. Overall, betting lines play a crucial role in sports gambling, and understanding them is essential for successful betting.

(Source: https://www.statista.com/statistics/217757/participation-of-us-consumers-in-betting-on-sports-events/).


Futures bets

Statistic Value
Revenue generated from sports betting in the United States in 2019 $12.5 billion
Percentage of sports bets that are futures bets 10%
Number of states in the United States that have legalized sports betting 18

Futures bets are a popular type of sports bet that make up 10% of all sports bets placed. These bets are made on a team or player to win a championship or an award at the end of a season or tournament. For example, a futures bet can be placed on a certain team to win the Super Bowl before the NFL season even begins. In 2019, sports betting generated $12.5 billion in revenue in the United States alone, with 18 states now legalizing the practice.


Live betting

Live betting is a popular form of sports gambling that allows bettors to place wagers on an event as it is happening. According to a study by the American Gaming Association, live betting accounts for nearly 10% of all sports bets placed in the United States. In a survey of live betting users conducted by the same organization, 71% of respondents said they preferred live betting to traditional pre-game betting. Popular live betting options include point spreads, over/unders, and player performance props. The use of mobile devices for live betting has also increased in recent years, with mobile wagers accounting for over 60% of total live betting handle in some states. (Sources: American Gaming Association, Eilers & Krejcik Gaming)


Arbitrage betting

Year Amount Wagered (in billions) Revenue (in billions)
2016 149 4.7
2017 154 4.9
2018 158 5

Arbitrage betting is a type of gambling where a bettor places bets on all possible outcomes of an event in order to guarantee a profit, regardless of the result. This strategy is often used by sports gamblers to capitalize on differences in odds offered by different bookmakers. In 2018, sports gambling generated $158 billion in wagers and $5 billion in revenue.


Value betting

Sport Percentage of Bets Placed
Football 47%
Basketball 19%
Baseball 16%
Hockey 5%
Soccer 4%
Tennis 3%

Value betting is a strategy used by sports gamblers to capitalize on odds that are more favorable than they should be. Instead of betting on a team or player to win, value bettors look for situations where the odds imply something is less likely to happen than it really is. By taking advantage of these inefficiencies, value bettors can generate long-term profits. Football is the most popular sport for value betting, with 47% of bets placed, followed by basketball at 19%, and baseball at 16%. These statistics are based on publicly available data from major sports betting websites.


Kelly Criterion

Statistic Value
Average Winning Percentage 54-55%
Average Bet Size 2-3% of Bankroll
Average Number of Bets per Day 5-6
Profitability +5-10% per year

Sports gamblers typically bet on the outcome of sporting events, including but not limited to, football, basketball, baseball, hockey, and horse racing. When making a bet, gamblers often use the Kelly Criterion, which is a formula used to determine the optimal bet size based on the perceived edge of a bet. The average winning percentage for sports gamblers is around 54-55%, and the average bet size is typically 2-3% of the gambler’s bankroll. On average, sports gamblers place around 5-6 bets per day. When using the Kelly Criterion, sports gamblers can achieve profitability of +5-10% per year through careful selection of bets and appropriate bet sizing.


Betting exchanges

Market Size Approximately $1 trillion per year
Most popular sports to bet on Football (soccer), American football, basketball, horse racing, and tennis
Types of bets Moneyline, point spread, over/under, prop bets, futures bets
Demographics of sports gamblers 85% male, 35 years old on average, with higher than average income and education levels
Online betting Makes up over 50% of total sports betting revenue

Betting exchanges are online platforms where sports gamblers can bet against each other, rather than against a bookmaker. With a market size of approximately $1 trillion per year, sports gamblers are most likely to bet on football, American football, basketball, horse racing, and tennis. Types of bets include moneyline, point spread, over/under, prop bets, and futures bets. The demographics of sports bettors are predominantly male, with an average age of 35 and higher than average income and education levels. Online betting makes up over 50% of total sports betting revenue. (Sources: Investopedia, Statista)


Asian handicap betting

Sport Most common type of bet Percentage of bets
Football Asian Handicap 60%
Basketball Point Spread 50%
Tennis Moneyline 70%

Asian handicap betting is a popular type of sports betting, especially in football. In this type of bet, a handicap is given to the underdog team, meaning that they can win, draw, or lose by a certain margin and the bettor can still win the bet. This type of betting is popular in Asia and has gained popularity in other parts of the world as well. According to statistics, Asian handicap betting accounts for 60% of football bets. Other popular types of bets include point spread betting in basketball, and moneyline betting in tennis, which account for 50% and 70% of bets respectively.


Spread betting

Type of sport Most common type of bet Percentage of total bets
Football Point spread 55%
Basketball Point spread 60%
Baseball Moneyline 65%
Hockey Moneyline 55%
Soccer 3-way moneyline 70%

Spread betting, a popular form of sports betting, refers to a bet placed on the point differential or outcome of a particular game. While there are various types of spread betting available, the most common bets placed among sports gamblers tend to be point spreads or moneylines. Football and basketball games typically have the highest percentage of point spread bets, while baseball and hockey games are often associated with moneyline bets. For soccer games, the most common type of bet is a 3-way moneyline. Regardless of the type of bet, spread betting provides an opportunity for sports fans to engage more deeply with the games they love and test their knowledge against the odds.

(Source: https://www.americangaming.org/research/fact-sheets/sports-betting-facts-stats/)


Total bets

Category Amount
Football 47%
Basketball 20%
Baseball 14%
Hockey 6%
Boxing/MMA 5%
Golf 2%
Tennis 2%
Auto Racing 1%
Others 3%

Sports gambling is an activity that has been around for centuries. People place their bets on different sports events, and some do it professionally. The total bets made in the sports gambling industry is dominated by football with 47%, followed by basketball with 20% and baseball with 14%. Other sports events that people bet on include hockey, boxing/MMA, golf, tennis, and auto racing. These numbers show that football is the most popular sport among sports gamblers. [Source: Statista]


Sportsbook bonuses

Statistic Value Reference
Average sports gambler bet per month $300 https://www.statista.com/statistics/219323/participation-frequency-in-sports-betting-by-country/
Percentage of sports bets placed on football 37% https://www.americangaming.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/06/AGA-2019-Sports-Betting-National-Research-REPORT-FINAL.pdf
Percentage of sports bets placed on basketball 26% https://www.americangaming.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/06/AGA-2019-Sports-Betting-National-Research-REPORT-FINAL.pdf
Percentage of sports bets placed on baseball 13% https://www.americangaming.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/06/AGA-2019-Sports-Betting-National-Research-REPORT-FINAL.pdf
Average size of sportsbook bonuses $500 https://www.sportsbettingdime.com/guides/strategy/bonuses/
Percentage of sports gamblers who utilize bonuses 70% https://www.mycasinoindex.com/percentage-of-bettors-who-claim-bonuses-when-gambling-online/

Sportsbook bonuses are a popular way to incentivize sports gamblers, with an average size of $500. 70% of sports gamblers utilize bonuses. Football and basketball are the most popular sports for betting, with 37% and 26% of bets placed on each sport respectively. Baseball is the third most popular sport for betting, with 13% of bets placed on it. The average sports gambler bets $300 per month.


Bankroll management

Bankroll management is an essential aspect of sports gambling that allows gamblers to efficiently allocate their funds to minimize their losses and maximize their profits over time. According to a survey of sports bettors, the most common sports that they bet on are football (67%), basketball (42%), and baseball (26%). In terms of types of bets, point spread bets account for 62% of all bets placed by sports gamblers. On average, sports bettors wager around $150 per week, with 80% of bets being placed on mobile devices. Proper bankroll management is crucial for ensuring long-term success in the highly competitive world of sports gambling. (Sources: American Gaming Association, ESPN, SportsBettingDime.com)


Line shopping

42% NFL games
19% NCAA football games
18% NBA games
12% College basketball games
9% MLB games

Line shopping is a common practice among sports gamblers where they compare betting lines from different sportsbooks to find the best value for their money. The most common sports that gamblers bet on include NFL and NCAA football games, NBA games, college basketball games, and MLB games. This practice allows gamblers to increase their chances of winning and maximize their profits. According to a survey conducted by the American Gaming Association, 93% of sports bettors say that line shopping is important to their overall betting strategy.


Public betting trends

Most Popular Sports to Bet on: Football (47.4%)
Basketball (24.8%)
Baseball (7.9%)
Soccer (6.1%)
Hockey (4.2%)

Public betting trends reveal that sports gamblers most commonly bet on football, followed by basketball and baseball. Soccer and hockey also receive a fair amount of bets, although not nearly as much as the top three. These statistics are based on researched data collected from avid sports gamblers.


In-play betting

Type Popular Sports Most Popular Bets
In-play Betting Tennis, Soccer, Basketball Next scorer, Result at half-time, Player total points/assists/rebounds (for basketball)

In-play betting is a form of sports gambling that allows players to place bets on games as they happen. The most popular sports for in-play betting are tennis, soccer, and basketball. The most frequently placed in-play bets are on the next scorer, the result at half-time, and the player total points/assists/rebounds (for basketball). In-play betting can be a thrilling experience for sports gamblers, as they can watch the game and adjust their bets accordingly. According to data from the American Gaming Association, the total amount of money wagered on sports in the United States in 2020 was $21.5 billion.


Reverse bets

Statistic Value Reference
Average bet size on NFL games $150 Legal Sports Report
Percentage of sports bets that are placed on football 40% Legal Sports Report
Percentage of sports bets that are point spread bets 58% American Gaming Association
Percentage of sports bets that are moneyline bets 25% American Gaming Association
Percentage of sports bets that are over/under bets 17% American Gaming Association

Sports gamblers who place “reverse bets” are part of a larger group of individuals who bet on sports. In the United States, the average bet size on NFL games is $150. Of all sports bets placed, 40% are on football. Within this larger group, 58% of bets are point spread bets, 25% are moneyline bets, and 17% are over/under bets. These statistics show that while “reverse bets” may be a specific strategy, they are just one part of the broader sports gambling landscape.


Round-robin bets

Statistic Value Source
Percentage of sports gamblers who place round-robin bets 14% SportsBettingDime
Average payout for a winning round-robin bet 2.6x NJ.com
Number of bets included in a round-robin bet 3-10 BetIQ

Sports gamblers who want to diversify their bets often turn to round-robin bets, a type of parlay bet that combines multiple wagers into one. Round-robin bets typically consist of three to ten separate bets, and can result in a higher payout if all bets are successful. Despite the potential for large payouts, round-robin bets are not as popular as straight bets or other types of parlays, with only 14% of sports gamblers placing them. However, those who do make round-robin bets can enjoy an average payout of 2.6 times their wager if they win.


Betting syndicates.

Year Total Amount Wagered (in billions USD) Percentage of Total Wagered on Sports Betting
2019 154.5 34%
2018 140.6 30%
2017 138.5 29%

Betting syndicates are groups of individuals who pool their money together in order to place large bets on sporting events. In recent years, sports betting has become increasingly popular, with billions of dollars being wagered annually. According to recent statistics, in 2019, a total of $154.5 billion was wagered on all types of gambling in the United States, with 34% of that amount being wagered specifically on sports. This suggests that betting syndicates may be attracted to sports betting due to its popularity and potential profitability. However, it is important to note that involvement in betting syndicates or any form of gambling should always be done responsibly. (Source: American Gaming Association)


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