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What Sports Are the Most Profitable to Bet on?

You already know that the best sports to bet on are the ones that you are the most familiar with, as you are likely to place a more educated bet on a sport you know. However, if you are familiar with multiple sports, you may be wondering if there are sports you should focus on because they are generally more profitable than others.

The truth is some sports do tend to make sports bettors more money than others. Read on to discover which sports are the most profitable to bet on.

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What Sports Are the Most Profitable for Bettors?

The profitability of betting on sports can be highly variable and depends on multiple factors, including your knowledge of the sport, understanding of statistics, ability to analyze teams and players, and a bit of luck. While no sport guarantees consistent profitability, some sports tend to be more popular among bettors due to the availability of information and the nature of the games.

Here are a few sports that are often considered profitable as long as you are familiar enough with the game to place educated bets:

Football (Soccer)

Football is the most popular sport in the world, and its extensive coverage and large number of games make it a common choice for sports betting. Major leagues like the English Premier League, La Liga, Serie A, and the UEFA Champions League attract a lot of attention from bettors.

It’s easy to follow soccer players and look up their stats, even in less developed countries, making it an excellent option for placing bets if you know what you are doing.

American Football

In the United States, the National Football League (NFL) is immensely popular for both watching and betting. The Super Bowl, in particular, attracts a significant amount of betting activity. While it isn’t as widespread as Soccer, it is currently rising in popularity, and most sportsbooks will offer at least some football bets. Football games, while they have a lot of variables, tend to be more predictable based on stats than other team sports. 

Something unique about American football is that you don’t just have to bet on games in a sportsbook, as there is also something called Fantasy Football. Fantasy Football leagues allow you to make your own team and go through a virtual season with a group of friends to see whose team prevails. While the prize pools aren’t massive on the fantasy side, they can be a good exercise to learn how to read football stats and make calculated decisions for your team.

Related: Can You Bet on Preseason Games?


The NBA (National Basketball Association) is another popular option for sports betting, with its fast-paced nature and numerous games providing plenty of opportunities.

Basketball can be a difficult game to track the stats of, but if you are dedicated and knowledgeable, it is possible to make some well-educated bets when betting on basketball.


Tennis is popular for individual match betting, offering clear head-to-head matchups. Major tournaments like Wimbledon, the US Open, the Australian Open, and the French Open draw a lot of attention.

While there aren’t as many aspects of a Tennis game to bet on, many bettors report it is easier to predict the outcomes of Tennis matches because there are fewer variables. Rather than tracking a whole team and worrying about injuries, you are tracking one or two players for the season.

Horse Racing

Horse racing has a long history of betting, and various types of bets are available. Major horse racing events like the Kentucky Derby and the Grand National are significant betting occasions.

Horse racing often has fewer variables than team sports like football or soccer, but they can be difficult to predict just because horses are a major aspect, and they can’t communicate as their human riders can. Many people have famously lost thousands of dollars betting on horseracing, so proceed with caution.

Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) and Boxing

Combat sports like MMA and boxing also attract betting interest due to their one-on-one nature and clear outcomes. It is also easy to track and watch the stats involved with MMA fighters and boxers.

However, there are many famous matches where thousands of bettors have lost their money due to an underdog unexpectedly winning the fight. Because of the physical nature of boxing, it can be difficult to predict how an individual will respond to an injury, which is very different from sports like Tennis, where an injury isn’t more than a twisted ankle. In boxing, a single well-placed hit can knock your boxer out alongside your hopes of winning your bet.


Major League Baseball (MLB) provides a good number of games during its long season, offering opportunities for bettors. Famous for its easy-to-track stats that have proved to be valuable in the movie Moneyball, those who devote time and effort to baseball can truly place some well-placed bets that could be profitable.

Related: The Fundamentals of Sports Betting for Beginners

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What are the Worst Sports for Betting?

Now that you have an idea of which sports are the best and most profitable for betting, let’s look at the sports you definitely shouldn’t place bets on unless you know what you are doing.

Ice Hockey

Ice hockey can be volatile in terms of scoring, making it harder to predict outcomes accurately. Factors such as goaltending performance and injuries can significantly impact the results of games.

Ice Hockey is also highly influenced by the calls of various refs, whose stats aren’t tracked the same as players, so you will have a hard time placing educated bets on the sport.

Related: Can You Bet on NHL Games?


Golf tournaments have a large number of participants, and the field is often competitive. Betting on golf involves predicting individual player performances in a sport with a high degree of variability.

Golf performance is simply difficult to track and highly dependent on uncontrollable variables, such as the wind and weather. You’re better off sticking with betting on something like Tennis than betting on golf.

Boxing (Lesser-Known Fighters)

While major boxing events can attract a lot of attention, betting on lesser-known fighters or undercards might be riskier due to less available information and potential surprises. Spend your time betting on large matches with well-known contenders.

Exotic or Niche Sports

Some sports that are less popular or well-known might lack sufficient information and data for effective analysis, making betting on them more speculative.

Of course, if you have some niche knowledge about an exotic sport and are able to attain your own stats, then betting on an exotic sport might be a good option for you.

Overall, the most profitable sports to bet on will vary widely depending on your sports knowledge and stats access. Remember never to bet any money on sports that you don’t intend to lose, and if you are having problems stopping, seek help immediately.

You May Also Enjoy: Common Sports Betting Terms Explained

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