The North American continent is home to the strongest four leagues on the planet in their respective sports, including the NFL, the NBA, the MLB, and the NHL. These leagues attract the very best athletes on the planet. These athletes then attract popularity, money, glamour, and everything else that follows.
With the recent changes in the way in which the American states can treat gambling, it is no surprise to see the whole industry flourishing in such an environment. The US people love sports and now the vast majority of them can legally place wagers on their favorite teams and players. We have thus decided to take a look, with the help of the experts at bettingpicks4you.com, into the most popular sports and leagues for betting in North America.
1 – NFL (Football)
It was never a doubt, NFL takes the top spot on this list. According to some surveys, four out of five sports bettors in the United States prefer NFL as the sport of primary sport. The variety of betting options available for NFL games only boosts the sport’s appeal. Nowadays, you can bet on almost anything you can imagine that is related to a game.
Point spread, totals, and moneyline remain three of the most popular betting markets due to simplicity. With spreads, you can get the same odds for both possible outcomes. This increases the popularity because most bettors generally like to keep things simple, and you can hardly go any simpler than just two possible outcomes and the same odds for either option. Totals are also very appealing, especially in the games in which you don’t fancy either team to win. With NFL games, you can easily check each team’s offensive and defensive data throughout the season and wait for the perfect matchups. Lastly, moneyline is the most basic betting market in any sport. It is not as popular as spread betting in NFL because of the low odds offered for some matches. Let’s say you have the clash between the Chiefs who have been one of the most consistent teams in the last decade and the Lions who have regularly struggled to make it to the playoffs during the same period. The sportsbooks will favor the Chiefs and price them at -400 odds to win. The fact that you need to wager $400 to land $100 does not seem right and this is exactly why the bettors flock toward spread betting.
On top of the standard betting options, we have to mention the markets such as team and player props. These allow you to predict the number of points scored by a certain team in a match. In the players’ props department, you can bet on a wide array of options, including the touchdown scorers, the number of received yards, thrown yards, rushing yards, sacks, etc. You can also bet on the outcome of each quarter.
Super Bowl is by far the most popular single sporting event in the United States. Naturally, as such it attracts the largest number of bets. The range of markets available is significantly wider for Super Bowl and it includes the off-pitch events such as the duration of the national anthem or the number of TV commercials that include dogs. The range of options is wide indeed.
2 – NBA (Basketball)
Basketball closely follows football in terms of popularity among sports bettors. Interestingly, the gap between the two sports is significantly lower for younger bettors which clearly shows the trend. The older punters still prefer football, though.
In terms of the markets, pretty much everything mentioned for the three basic betting markets for the NFL works the same for the NBA. The appeal for spread bets is even greater for basketball games because more points are scored. You can thus see spreads as big as 20 points in some matches during the NBA season. The same works for totals.
As for the other markets, you can bet on pretty much any statistical parameter for the players, including points, rebounds, assists, blocks, turnovers, steals, etc. Team props and quarter scores are also there.
3 – MLB (Baseball)
Baseball may not offer as many markets as the aforementioned two sports but it certainly brings a plethora of possible options for the admirers of the game. Just like the case is with the above-discussed sports, moneyline, totals, and spread (here is called run line) are the primary betting options. The main difference is that moneyline picks are more popular for baseball games because the gap in quality between the teams is not as big as in football or basketball. The lower number of points scored (in baseball these are runs) only helps the case for moneyline picks.
The list of players’ props is equally exciting for MLB games because you can bet on player runs, home runs, hits, singles, doubles, triples, runs batted in, total bases, stolen bases, earned runs, hits allowed, etc.
4 – NHL (Hockey)
The fourth place in the list is reserved for the best hockey league in the world although we must say that it is closely followed by soccer without a significant difference between the two in terms of popularity among the US bettors according to the latest polls. Moneyline is the most popular betting market for NHL games by a mile. If one team is heavily favored against the other, you can bet on the puck line (hockey’s spread). Similarly, if you have a match between two offensive-minded outfits with poor defensive lines, the Over is the way to go in the Totals market.
The range of other betting options is very similar to the one of baseball. Player props are getting more and more popular each year. Nowadays, you can thus bet on players’ goals, points, shots on goal, assists, powerplay points, blocked shots, etc.