Sports continue to play a pivotal role in society and give people a great way to stay entertained. This might include playing your favorite sport with friends, joining a local sports team or watching your sport of choice on TV. Lots of people also love to keep up with the latest sporting news online or via more traditional media outlets.
Sports betting has also risen sharply in popularity recently and it made huge waves in 2023. Although this was true globally, the US in particular saw interest in sports betting increase as more states began to legalize betting within their borders. The number of top sports to bet on also helps explain why wagering on matches was a hit in 2023 — but which were the most betted on sports in the last 12 months?
Basketball is certainly one sport which proved popular with bettors in 2023 and it cemented its place at the heart of sports betting. Although college basketball and the top European leagues attracted plenty of attention, it was the NBA which remained the go-to choice for most bettors. This is easy to understand when you consider how popular this basketball league is and the millions of people who love to bet on their favorite NBA team.
Accessibility was also key in terms of basketball wagering in 2023 as it was a sport which bettors could easily find at the top sportsbooks. DraftKings is arguably the best option for NBA betting, as it has the most competitive odds and some interesting futures markets. When you also factor in superstar players to make props bets on and the most famous NBA teams to back, it is easy to see why basketball was one of the most betted on sports in 2023.
Any look at 2023’s most popular sports for betting must mention soccer. This has always been a top choice for European bettors, but the sport has risen sharply in popularity among US bettors in recent years. This is largely due to the increased attention the MLS and top soccer leagues now get in the US media. The success of the national US soccer teams has also helped the sport grow in popularity.
As with basketball, competitive odds made soccer a top betting choice in 2023 and the ease with which you could find the latest matches to bet on was also a plus. This is set to continue in the coming year. If you’re looking to bet on soccer in 2024, you can find the best sportsbooks to register by clicking here.
In addition, the estimated global soccer fanbase of around 3.5 billion means that the sport had lots of eager followers ready to place wagers on it in the previous 12 months. Soccer or in europe is called football is also an easy sport to understand which made it easy to place bets on in 2023.
Another of the top sports people betted on in 2023 was football. Although college football continued to be popular, it was the NFL which dominated football-based sports betting. An estimated 45.8% of US bettors were involved with football betting in 2023!
So, why did this sport attract so much attention from bettors in the previous year? To begin with, NFL betting is available at all top sportsbooks, and this is certainly true for the FanDuel sports betting platform. This betting site is also one of the best for NFL wagering thanks to the excellent bonuses it offers and the chance to bet on same-game parlays.
This was also a sport which made major headlines in the media again in 2023 and attracted lots of attention from sports bettors as a result. NFL betting also has lots of exciting markets to bet on and the iconic Super Bowl to get involved with each year. When you consider that an estimated $16bn was bet on the Super Bowl in 2023, you can see how popular this one event alone is with sports bettors.
There is no doubt that baseball is a popular sport in the US and in many other parts of the world, such as Japan, too. Due to this attention, it was also a top choice for sports betting in 2023. Around 22.2% of US bettors preferred to place wagers on baseball this past year.
The MLB is the top baseball league to bet on and this was certainly true again in 2023. A quick glance at the billions which were wagered on the 2023 World Series games is clear proof of this.
MLB betting has always been popular because it is accessible, fun and simple to understand. It also gives baseball fans the chance to back their favorite team, has plenty of stats to mull over when placing bets and provides great in-play betting opportunities. The BetRivers sportsbook is especially good for MLB live wagering and has up to date game data to evaluate when betting in-play.
2023’s top sports to wager on
While there are some other top sports people liked to bet on in 2023, such as golf, UFC, NHL and horse racing, there is no doubt that those listed above were the most popular with bettors over the last 12 months. As we head through 2024, it will be interesting to see if this remains the case or if other sports emerge as more attractive options for bettors.