Most popular sports to bet on


The sports betting industry has been steadily increasing worldwide, with the global market worth an estimated $3 trillion. With a large market size, gambling operators are all in a frenzy to get a share of the enormous market, hence the constant introduction of new betting sites. 

Sports betting is an important part of the gambling industry, as it makes up about 40% of the global gambling industry and pulls in a massive €500 million yearly from around the world. 

There are hundreds of sports around, and this article seeks to itemise five of the most popular sports bettors wager on.


Football, also known as soccer, is undoubtedly the most popular sport wagered on. Sports data analyst, Sportradar, reveals that soccer betting makes up 70% of the global betting market. This makes soccer the most popular sports bet on by punters. Although the global market size of soccer betting cannot be accurately estimated as a result of several illegal sites, the UK alone records over £1 billion yearly on just soccer wagers.

There are multiple tournaments and events in soccer, and the most prominent is probably the FIFA World Cup which is held every 4 years. Preparations for the tournament begin 3 years before the actual tournament, with 210 countries vying for a spot to be named world champions. The qualifiers push through only 31 countries, with the host nation having an automatic spot. The world cup tournament gathers millions of fans from around the world, and one of the great perks that come with the event is betting. Fans can bet on their favourite team or nation. The tournament sees about $269 million worth of wagers every 4 years. 

Apart from the FIFA world cup, other local and international leagues are played, such as the English Premier League, Bundesliga, Champions League, La Liga, Serie A etc., which further increase gambling options for gamblers.

American Football/NFL

American football, as its name implies, is extremely popular in the United States and beyond. The NFL is the second sport that attracts most bettors in both legal and illegal sportsbooks. One of the most significant NFL tournaments is the Super Bowl which recorded a massive $4.76 billion from both legal and illegal bets made. The 2020 Super Bowl event wasn’t any different as it recorded an estimated 26 million bettors, staking and wagering from every part of the US and beyond. 


Although popularly believed to be synonymous with America, basketball is one of the most popular sports punters love to bet on. The American Gaming Association claims about $10 billion is bet on the March Madness tournament, although only 3% of the entire figure comes from bets made on top betting sites. The tournament features 68 teams fighting to be champions in a seven-round match lasting over one month.  

According to Eilers & Krejcik, the recorded figure of bets would further increase if the total number of legal sites in all states in the U.S intensifies.


Tennis is another popular sport wagered on; this is no surprise considering the numbering of tennis tournaments held in a year. About 1500 tournaments and 93,000 are held annually by the International Tennis Federation. With this impressive number of game days, there is always something to wager on. 

Wimbledon is the most prominent tennis tournament, with top-notch players vying for the highly coveted title. Over 1 billion fans from across the globe watch the tournament, and with this huge number comes impressive estimates of bets placed. 

The introduction of live betting has also further boosted the popularity of the sport. The tournament comes with low odds, a  large variety of combinations, easy rules and players’ consistency make tennis easy to bet on.


Cricket is a beloved game in Asia, and considering the population of the Asian continent, cricket is another popular sport that receives enormous bets. In 2019, the cricket world cup between India and Bangladesh witnessed about $22 million worth of wagers on England alone. This further shows that cricket isn’t just confined to Asia but the world. The Indian Premier League in 2019 also saw £71 million worth of bets placed. 

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Mohammad Mo
Senior TV Reporter

The former Big Brother contestant has been working with MarkMeets for 5+ years.

Often spotted on the red carpet interviewing for MarkMeetsTV.

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