Tennis is popular for betting
Football is the most popular sport to bet on in the UK, while American football is the favourite in the USA. You only have to look to viewing figures to see the reasons why football dominates the scene. Manchester United games bring in figures that touch on 3 million viewers. Sure, even more people tune in for huge annual competitions like the Grand National and Rugby 6 Nations, but football games are on every week throughout a long season, which keeps the punters coming back.
There are plenty of other sports to bet on aside from football. It’s easy to get stuck in a loop of betting on your favourite Premier League team to win, but it’s also a lot of fun to branch out and explore other options. Here are three sports that each offer exciting betting opportunities.
Tennis is known to be the UK’s second most popular sport for betting. It’s no surprise, given that tennis majors like the upcoming Italian Open and the very-popular Wimbledon provide ample opportunities for betting.
In one way, tennis betting can be very simple. You can place a bet on either player (or team, as is the case in doubles) to win. The only problem is that many matches have a clear favourite, and in this case it’s barely worth making the bet.
This is where handicap betting comes in handy. Let’s say Nadal is the clear favourite to win his match. You can bet on Nadal with a -4.5 handicap. This means that he has to win by 5 points in order for the bet to pay off. Let’s say the outcome is 6 – 4, 6 – 3, for a total of 12 – 7. With the handicap, the total effective score for the bet is 7.5 – 7, and Nadal still wins. You will get higher pay-outs for handicap bets.
You could also consider betting on the correct score for the match, as in the number of sets that each opponent wins. This is tougher for Grand Slams, which have a best-of-5-set format. Betting on the overall tournament winner is also a nice way to go.
There are a total of 1,230 games in the NBA season alone—plenty of opportunities for betting
Basketball is one of the most popular sports in the world, especially in the USA. The NBA is the main league for betting. Each team plays 82 games in the regular season, which is then followed by the playoffs. If that’s not enough for you, college basketball provides thousands more opportunities for betting.
Moneyline bets are the simplest format. All you have to do is choose a team to win. As with tennis, there are often clear favourites, so at times you may want to consider “spread” betting, which is basically just a fancy word for handicap betting. Again, let’s say the L.A. Lakers have a – 5.5 handicap. This means that they have to win their game by 6 points in order for your bet to pay.
Another popular type of basketball betting is points scored. You can bet on the total points for the game, which for the NBA often falls somewhere between 180 – 220 points. It all depends on whether you think it will be a low or high-scoring game. Similar bets include the over-under bet on total points.
The final selection today has a slower pace—less frantic. Take a chill for this one… it’s golf. The PGA tour is the most popular series, and then there’s the European Tour, which takes place in approximately 26 countries, giving it more of an international vibe.
The four majors tournaments are the Masters, Open Championship, U.S. Open and USPGA, and these are by far the most popular to watch, although you will find betting options for most professional tournaments. It’s worth researching each tournament, as well as the players. For example, it’s notoriously difficult to shoot under par at the U.S. Open.
An interesting option is to bet on the overall tournament winner. There are usually around 140 entrants in a golf major, so even betting on a favourite can result in larger payoffs. As this is risky, you may opt for an “each-way”-style bet, i.e., selecting a player and splitting the bet for a win or top-5 finish. The “finishing” bet spreads the risk even further, allowing you to select a player for a top-10, or even a top-20, finish.
Whichever sport you decide to bet on, make sure it’s one that you enjoy, and always bet with money that you are more than willing to lose. That way you get the excitement and the buzz, regardless of outcome.