People wager money on sports around the world every day, and it is becoming more and more popular with each passing year. Though sports books receive most of their action during football season, there are still a number of other sporting events spread throughout the year that bring in a huge number of bets. With that said, there are just a small number of these events that stand out from others and draw in massive crowds every year.
We will mention what is called the “handle” throughout this article. If you are unfamiliar with sports betting, the handle is simply the total amount wagered by bettors on any given event, weekend, or sport. This stays relatively level during the regular season of college and NFL football, and spikes during a handful of other sporting events. On this page we’ll discuss the most popular sports betting events that occur on a regular basis. Read on to learn more or follow the button below to place a sports bet online in the USA.
Sports betting all starts with the NFL preseason, as bettors start to get a feel for the new season of football action. The first Saturday of NCAA football actually kicks off the major sports betting season. The next weekend is also the first week of the new NFL season. This occurs the weekend after Labor Day. Consequently, this is the time of year that both Las Vegas and online sports books live and die by.
After week one, the big action starts to pick up again with bowl games. In 2014, there were a total of 39 bowl games. These start the weekend before Christmas and coincide with the last two weeks of the NFL regular season. The handle gets bigger as the major bowl games start on New Year’s Day. The new NCAA playoff structure has created even more action for sports books in the United States. This has helped add futures bets to the full slate of bowl games.
The biggest sports betting action of the NFL season starts with Wild Card Weekend. This brings players that may otherwise be entertained by fantasy football wagering into the picture. These four games generate a massive handle for sports books. Las Vegas even enjoys additional tourism during this time. This helps fill hotel rooms and brings other ancillary income to the Las Vegas Strip.
The handle increases with each playoff week as the excitement picks up again. The NFC and AFC Championship games bring in as much action as the playoff weeks with four games.
The Super Bowl is the largest sports betting time for both Las Vegas sports books and online betting shops. The handle in Nevada alone is over $100 million on this single event. This equates to roughly just one or two percent of the overall handle bet in the world on the Super Bowl.
Ridiculous prop bets help with the success of the Super Bowl. These include wagers on the coin toss, player prop bets, who wins Super Bowl MVP, and over/unders on passing and rushing yards for teams/players. Long shot bets that are available include whether there will be a safety, defensive touchdown, fumble, or interception (to name a few). With these crazy tips, sports betting tips become less relevant.
Offshore sports books are able to take this a step further. Nevada sports books can only offer bets that can be verified by Associated Press reports. Offshore sports books spread absurd wagers. These include halftime bets on the performer, the length of the Star Spangled Banner, and even who the Super Bowl MVP thanks first during his speech.
Another popular sport both in America and across the globe is basketball. Of all the leagues, the NBA and NCAA are far and away the most popular when it comes to basketball. At both the professional and college levels, there are just a few events that draw in the most crowds and that is playoffs (including march madness), and finals.
Football season is not the only major betting time for sports books. The NCAA Basketball Tournament is the second most popular event for sports bettors. There are two weeks filled with four-day weekends full of college basketball action. The next two weeks bring in just as much action, even with fewer games to attract action.
The third most popular sport for betting is the NBA, and specially the NBA Finals. While it is not something that draws the type of action that football and March Madness bring, it comes at a time when there is little else to wager on in Las Vegas. This helps draw bets from players that may otherwise stay on the sidelines.
With one of the longest seasons in all of sports, baseball still only really has one major event each year, and that is the World Series. With that being the case, Major League Baseball is nowhere near as popular as it once was. The strike of 1994 is the most likely cause for this. Consequently, the MLB playoffs do not bring in much action these days, but the World Series still draws a decent amount of bettors.
With over 160 games spread across a standard MLB season, more bets are probably placed during the World Series than the rest of the season combined. Bettors often take a shot at the moneyline on the series winner or bet each individual game. Much like the Super Bowl, there are often prop bets offered by some offshore betting sites. This can include everything from whether the first pitch reaches the plate or not, to what the length of the national anthem will be.