What are the most popular sporting events for betting?

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Some people are frequent bettors, who will just as happily put money on a weekend football match between two lower-division sides as they would bet on a Champions League final. In truth, they may be the smarter bettors, as it is often in the less-vaunted contests that you’ll find the best odds. Other people will have an occasional bet, but will need to either already be interested in the event, or have their interest roused by a lot of publicity around that contest.

The typical bookmaker will definitely prefer the second type of bettor, because they’re often less aware of the mechanics of betting on sport and make a rash prediction. The type of bettor who already has accounts with bookmakers and will know to find some more options here for new offers and markets, might or might not take any particular interest in the big events, but they will be aware that there are often special offers linked to them that can help augment their betting income. And for bettors of both kinds, the most popular events for bettors of all kinds are listed below.

World Cup (Football)

Coming around once every four years, the global festival of football attracts a huge amount of money through betting. According to FIFA, $7.2billion was bet in 2018 on the final alone, and more than $150billion on the tournament as a whole. As well as betting on the eventual winner of a World Cup, sports fans will also bet on markets like the Golden Ball (for the tournament’s outstanding player) and the tournament’s leading scorer, as well as dozens of other markets connected to the different countries, players and groups involved.

Grand National (Horse Racing)

Although the National is just one race run at Aintree in the North West of England, it is viewed worldwide by upwards of 600million people. Upwards of 4million bets are placed on the race on the day in the UK alone, and the global number is far higher. Primarily, betting is on one specific market – the race winner – and bets are placed by keen punters and first-timers alike. Some pro bettors may give the National a miss, though – the huge field and irregular movements in prices due to overwhelming numbers of bets placed mean that it’s a hard one to call, tactically.

Super Bowl (American Football)

Super Sunday is a huge day in the American calendar even if you’re not a particular fan of the NFL. Major companies spend upwards of $5million just for a short advertising segment in the breaks between play. With the relaxation of betting laws gathering pace in the USA, it is likely that each passing year will see an increase on the $7.6 billion bet on the most recent Super Bowl globally. As well as betting on the winning team, bettors will also try to predict the game’s Most Valuable Player, the scorer of the first touchdown, and even the result of the coin toss.

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