Which Sports are Easiest and Hardest to Bet on?

Man watching soccer on his laptop, cheering for his favorite team, making bets on his phone.

One of the most exciting ways to become even more invested in a sporting event or match is through online sports betting. With the huge growth of online and mobile sports betting platforms, it’s now become a lot easier to place wagers and win money on sports. 

With year-round sporting events taking place all over the globe, sports bettors have plenty of betting opportunities to choose from. Keep in mind, however, that not all sports are equal when it comes to sports betting. The degree of difficulty in terms of placing bets varies with each sport, and inevitably some will be more beginner-friendly than others.

Let’s take a look at the best and worst sports to bet on in terms of difficulty, as well as some tips for choosing the best sports to bet on for your individual needs. Always remember to only make bets that are within your means.

Choosing the right sport for you

Deciding on the best sports bet to make comes down to a couple of factors, but one of the most important ones is undoubtedly understanding the sport you are betting on. You’re most likely to understand a sport that you’re passionate about, so if football’s your thing, then NFL betting is going to be your best choice. However, it’s also very easy to learn more about sports that you want to wager on. So, if you aren’t that clued up on baseball, before placing a bet on the MLB, take the time to learn more about the game by doing some online research. This will enable you to make the smartest decisions when you take a look at the sports betting lines and the accompanying sports betting odds at an online betting site or sportsbook.

Another good indicator of which sports are the most popular to bet on is to research how the betting public typically fares. This provides an indication of the sports that most bettors prefer to place wagers on, as well as the ones that they are most likely to succeed in.

With these aspects in mind, let’s take a look at some sports ranked from easiest to most difficult to bet on for beginners.

Football

A football player is tackled by two members of the opposing team.

Football is undoubtedly the most popular sport in the US, and is a hugely popular betting option too. People who don’t understand football have a misconception that it is a complicated sport, when in reality, it’s actually quite predictable.

One of the things that makes football an easy bet is that underdogs very rarely beat powerhouses. This makes predictions a lot more straightforward than in many other sports. Keep in mind, though, that betting the heavy favorite moneylines doesn’t pay out big wins, even though they’re relatively safe bets – but that all comes down to the odds.

Another thing that adds to the joy of betting on football is that between the NFL, NCAA and other smaller leagues, there are plenty of games to choose from each week. But it’s important to note that betting on college football and other smaller leagues is a little more risky than the NFL, as upsets are more likely to occur at this level.

Basketball

If you’re looking for a top-heavy league for some sure bets, then the NBA is the best place to start. Although it is made up of 30 teams, it’s almost a foregone conclusion that the Lakers, Clippers, and Bucks will be pushing for the top spot.

These NBA super teams make it a lot easier for gamblers to successfully handicap basketball games. Even the most novice basketball bettor can work out which team should win. Obviously, there is some potential for a surprise result – as in all sports – but it’s highly unlikely, and this makes it arguably one of the most predictable sports on which to place a wager.

The simplicity of NBA betting means that it’s easy to handpick the best bets for profit potential, and props bets in the NBA can bring in some good money. On top of this, there are hundreds of sites with data and analytics on NBA teams and players which can help you place a successful bet.

Soccer

Two soccer players dribbling a ball during a match in the stadium.

Soccer is yet to take off in the US in the same way it has in the rest of the world, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t bet on it. This sport offers some of the easiest betting options. The game is free-flowing, with very few stops, unlike football. A goal also counts as one point, so with a bit of research it’s simple to bet an over/under, outright winner, or end of game scoreline.

When it comes to special bets on players, it’s easy too. You know that a team is going to try to get the ball to their best striker, who is most likely to put it in the back of the net. It’s unlikely that the central defender or goalkeeper is going to score a goal. It’s easy to become an expert in soccer betting, because the outrights, first goal, over/under, and futures betting options are all very simple. Plus, there is a huge amount of data and analysis online to help you decide on the best wagers to make.

Golf

Golf betting can be as complicated or straightforward as you want it to be. The PGA Tour runs almost throughout the year, providing ample betting opportunities. There are also several other tours that take place around the world when the PGA Tour is on a break.

The difficulty in golf betting comes in several forms. You have to understand the weather, the recent form of players, and how they usually do at certain courses. It’s incredibly hard to choose the overall winner in golf, as anything can happen. So putting your money on one player to win is very risky, but will pay out well if you make the correct prediction.

It’s much easier to win money on golf by choosing to place bets on a couple of the in-form players to come in the top 10, top 20, or to bet that a certain player will place ahead of another.

Baseball

Baseball batter hits the ball.

Baseball is a challenging sport to bet on for beginners. This is because, unlike most other sports, baseball is actually quite unpredictable. The MLB has a really long and strenuous 162-game season, combined with the streakiness of players and the team form, which makes wagering particularly complicated.

It’s never a foregone conclusion that the higher-ranked team will win in baseball. The long season often allows bad teams to go on winning streaks for a couple of weeks, and strong teams to do the opposite. It’s almost impossible to predict when these streaks will happen and how long they’ll last. 

The one thing that baseball does have going for it is the high-level statistical analysis that can help bettors make the right decisions. Baseball might be one of the worst sports to bet on for beginners, but if you get it right with some savvy decision making, then it can be really profitable.

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