The Best Sports and Betting Markets To Bet On in 2023
Discover the most popular sports to bet on in the UK and get to know the top 5 best bets to make in football and tennis, horse racing etc.
Although discovering the most popular sports and the best betting markets may not change your fortunes, learning a few things from the connoisseurs could potentially improve your betting experience.
Mug punters bet outside their limits, focusing mostly on accumulators; they often chase losses, wager on events they know little about, bite the bait set by social media tipsters, frequently throw out money betting randomly when they are tired, stressed or emotional, and they fail to keep records of their bets, hence why they aren’t able to look back and improve their model.
In contrast, sharp bettors are highly organised: they’re strictly following a viable staking plan, they don’t ever place a bet without having value on their side, they only wager on singles, and they continuously go back to analyse their past results and tweak their model in their seek for perfection.
Quickly navigate to your desired topic:
- Most Popular Sports to Bet On in the UK
- Top 5 Best Bets to Make in Football
- The Best Betting Markets For Various Sports
Most Popular Sports to Bet On in the UK
Football is the most popular sport in the world, and obviously, football wagers have the highest overall betting volume.
Nonetheless, most famous pro punters prefer to bet on other sports such as basketball, tennis, horse racing, cricket, eSports, handball, ice hockey, volleyball etc.
The reason behind this trend is that football (or soccer as our American friends like to call it) is a low scoring game, and even though less scoring isn’t necessarily dull, the occurrence of random results is higher, thus making the sport challenging to predict.
Tennis is another trendy sport to bet on, but because it’s an individual sport, avoiding shocks requires a lot of constant research and attention.
There isn’t a day without some huge favourite being eliminated from a tournament: odds of 1.10 and lower are often losing in tennis betting. This happens because there’s nobody else to cover for one athletes’ bad day at the office.
As things stand, there’s little surprise in the fact that most pro punters that are specialised in tennis tend to prefer underdogs over firm favourites.
Many punters consider betting on horse racing as being the nucleus of gambling. Although it takes no more than a couple of minutes to understand how it works, it cannot be wholly mastered in a lifetime.
Several details enable the top horse racing punters to predict unlikely winners with very long odds, like: stats, physics, animal breeding practices & behaviour, equestrian skills, weather, track condition, human psychology, the market behaviour etc.
Are you willing to spend a lot of time following races to spot all these clues? To outsmart the crowd, you have to be able to store a massive database of related information in your brain, because no horse racing stats website can tell you which position will be better for the next race unless you’re inspecting it yourself.
Bookmaker margins are usually higher for niche sports. Still, as they don’t benefit from so much attention from the media and the bookies, they tend to offer more value betting opportunities than mainstream sports but less betting options.
Should You Bet on Only One Sport?
There’s no right or wrong number of sports to bet on.
If your father’s a cricket coach, your brother’s a young footballer, your grandfather was a water polo referee, your mother was a pro basketball player, and you’re a table tennis player yourself, it wouldn’t be wrong if you would regularly bet on those 5 sports.
And let’s be frank, if you’ve got a passion for eSports, you might be entitled to wager on that as well. The easiest sports to bet on vary from one punter to another…
What counts is your ability to find true value in the odds offered, following the chosen money management to the letter and making the right adjustments in the long run – of course, constantly seeking the best odds on the market (including betting exchange) and the best sports betting sites that are available in your region is definitely a part of that.
Betting on only one sport and only a couple of leagues may allow you to better specialise in some areas, but there at the same time, you’ll have fewer opportunities to find value bets.
Should You Bet on Individual or Team Sports?
Which are more profitable, team or individual sports?
There’s no right and wrong here either. Individual sports have fewer variables going on, so they should be easier to analyse and predict. Yet, only a slight decrease in a player’s form can quickly turn a big favourite into a loser.
Team sports will offer you a lot of homework as you’ll have to monitor chemistry, atmosphere, relationships (amongst the players, staff, board etc.), line-ups & injuries, tactical approaches and so on. If one footballer has a bad day or gets injured, he can be replaced, not condemning his team to defeat, whereas, in tennis, such situations will obviously result in a defeat.
Nobody can tell you what the best sport to bet on is: You’ll have to figure it out yourself. Just don’t try to specialise in sports you absolutely despise. Otherwise, it will be complicated to maintain a highly competitive level of sports knowledge.
Some broad advice would be for you to consider betting on the more obscure sports and leagues if you can collect enough info to assess probabilities correctly.
The pros say that it doesn’t matter what sports you bet on as long as you have true value on your side. However, don’t ever neglect money management!
Top 5 Best Bets to Make in Football
But regardless if you bet on accumulators or you typically place single bets, it is always a good idea to bet cautiously. Further, having a simple, non-progressive, staking plan could also improve your experience.
These are some of the best bets to place on football:
1 Team Over 0.5 Goals – This bet is much more secure than picking winners; thus, it has the potential to produce longer positive streaks than the regular money line bets. Don’t take anything for granted, though…
2 2nd Half Over 0.5 Goals – It is well known that most goals are scored in the second half – just about 10% more on average. This type of bet should enable a diligent punter to record a decent hit rate.
3 Double Chance & Goal Totals – If grabbing the X2 double chance at 1.22 odds doesn’t seem rewarding enough, you could either grab “X2 & Under 4.5 goals” at a much better price like 1.42 or go for “X2 & Over 1.5 goals” at 1.53. That’s a pretty safe bet there are at decent odds.
4 Draw No Bet – If you happen to be a huge footy acca fan, this betting option can be the cornerstone for many football betting systems. However, this type of bet is useful for single bets as well. Draw No Bet is essentially the same bet as Asian Handicap 0.
5 Asian Handicap +1 – This bet type is even better than the double chance bet as it prevents you from losing even if the selected team loses the football match by just one goal, in which case you will receive your stake back.
Remember that there aren’t any betting strategies that can guarantee a profit. So, please bet responsibly and never wager more than you can afford to lose. Sports gambling is a form of entertainment, so don’t ever take the fun factor out of it!
The Best Betting Markets for Various Sports
It goes without saying that you should select a prediction with short odds if you’re looking to maximise your chances of being happy after the final whistle, so Asian Handicap should be the bet type you want to look for as it applies to every single sporting event and it allows you to:
- dwell on the risk/reward ratio, i.e. if the main line (the spread) on a basketball match is standing at 7.0
- reduce the handicap if you’re going to wager on the favourite, e.g. go for the -3.5 line
- or buy some extra points if you’re planning to bet on the underdog, e.g. +10.5 points on the underdog.
The same principles can be easily applied when wagering on ice hockey and handball, where double chance betting is highly recommended on hot favourites.
In tennis, you can rely on the Total Games, Total Sets, Most Aces markets and even on the “To win a set” betting option to increase the likelihood of hitting a positive outcome.
If you are good at anticipating close matchups in volleyball, you should consider the Total Sets & Total Points markets in the same way you would with Total Maps/Rounds/Points in eSports.
Wagering on your race favourite to place (finish 1st or 2nd) will increase the mathematical probability of any horse racing or greyhounds bet.
In a T20 cricket match, you could be the over 36.5 runs when the hot favourite is going to bat first, but make sure you are well-aware of the pitch condition and weather forecast.
Along the same path, laying bets is a potentially safer route to golf betting than picking the winner. Otherwise, you can rely on the “Top 5 finish” market to be safe. The same goes for Formula 1 and motorsports in general, where on a theoretical level, laying winners could potentially result in a higher hit rate than picking the outright winner. Simultaneously, ‘Top 3 Finish' or ‘Top 6 Finish' bets can also be worthwhile if you’re highly confident in one driver’s chances to succeed.
Generally speaking, don’t consider these betting markets an easy way to succeed because there's no such thing. What you can do is to stop betting with your heart and analyse betting picks very carefully.