Sports bettors know that there’s no such thing as an “easy” sport when it comes to gambling. Of course, it’s always beneficial to bet on the sports you know the best, but does that really translate to more money in your bankroll?
While a number of factors go into what makes a sport harder or easier to bet, there isn’t necessarily one that stands out as easier than another. In the end, it’s mostly personal preference. In this article, I’ll outline the pros and cons of betting each major sport.
Betting on baseball is unique in that it’s the only sport that receives the vast majority of its action on the moneyline.
Though there are options available for those who want to play using a point spread, it’s undoubtedly the exception to the rule for most gamblers.
Add in a 162-game per year schedule, and you have the volume required to make real money.
Pro: The Number of Games + Moneyline Odds
Not everyone likes using the moneyline, but I think it’s one of the most underrated options in the world of sports betting. This is especially true when it comes to baseball and its 2,430 regular season games per year.
In addition, because there are so many games there isn’t as much action on each game as say, the NFL’s regular season. This means that you can occasionally benefit from holes in the odds – but you need to do your research to find them.
Remember when I mentioned that even the best teams in the league lose 60+ times a year? That’s not always a good thing.
If you’re trying to pick your spots, baseball might not be the sport for you.
The NBA’s regular season is notoriously difficult to bet on simply because it’s a challenge to predict what type of effort you can expect from teams on any given night.
Things like “load management” and tanking have made navigating betting waters a little more difficult than in other sports.
Though the NBA can be tough, those who follow the league closely can use the chaos to their advantage. Bear in mind that it does require some attention to detail and constant evaluation.
Pros: Live Betting and Prop Opportunities
Typically I would suggest staying away from prop bets, but the NBA is one of the rare sports where it can be a profitable component to your overall strategy. That doesn’t mean you should ignore more traditional betting options like totals or point spreads, but props have the potential to complement your team-based bets.
Cons: Rest, Tanking, and Nights Off
As I mentioned previously, the NBA has struggled with incentivizing each team to put their best product out on the court on a nightly basis. It’s no secret that most quality teams are simply using the regular season as a way to get in shape for the playoffs. That means key players can take nights off for no other reason than getting their bodies in top shape for the postseason.
In my opinion, more than other sport it’s critical to stay on top of the latest news when it comes to betting on the NBA.
America’s most popular sport in terms of viewership is also the popular sport to gamble on, whether it’s through traditional betting, daily fantasy, or a multitude of other methods that I won’t name here.
With that being said, football isn’t just loved by the fans – it’s a major revenue-driver for online sportsbooks. Whereas you may be able to occasionally find holes in the odds in NBA and MLB games, you’re getting the sharpest lines possible when it comes to the NFL because there’s simply too much money at stake.
Even though most bettors recognize how difficult it is to win money betting on football, the amount of action continues to grow every year.
Pros: Entertainment Value
Most sports fans know that every Sunday from mid-September through January is already marked on the calendar as a “football day.” Though the NFL has games on Mondays and Thursdays, there’s nothing like submitting your picks on a Sunday morning before the action kicks off.
Cons: Low Volume of Games
The NFL has risen to the top of the sports world in the U.S. because every game is meaningful. Unfortunately for bettors, that means it’s more difficult to make money because sportsbooks only have to focus on 15 or 16 games each week, meaning the odds are as sharp as can be.
Hockey doesn’t have the popularity of the other three major sports on this list, but that doesn’t mean it should be ignored by bettors. The NHL provides bettors with a range of options that go beyond typical moneyline or puck line offerings.
Pros: Live Betting
Cons: Familiarity with the Sport
It’s undoubtedly a challenge to master the art of betting on all sports, but if focus on one or two, things become a little bit clearer.
Regardless of the sport, gambling success starts with putting in the time to understand the matchup and the odds. If you’re diligent, there’s no reason you can’t win money betting on any of the four on this list.