Most Popular Sports for Betting: USA VS Australia

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Most Popular Sports for Betting: USA VS Australia

Seems like sports betting has been around forever. It is getting bigger and bigger with every new season, and it’s not going anywhere. Millions of people around the globe are placing bets on all kinds of sports. Now depending on the country, people tend to enjoy some sports more than others – and this directly relates to the volume,, or if we’re being more technical, the “betting handle”.

Generally speaking, Europe’s football is the most widely-known sport for betting in the world. But there are also many others like NFL, NBA, baseball, handball and horse racing – which is very popular in Australia. Let’s see what sports are good for betting if you’re living in USA or in Australia.

One note before we move on though. We won’t focus on Europe’s football in this article, as it is the most popular sport for betting in almost every country in the world. Rather, we’ll cover a number of sports for betting that are more specific to USA and Australia. So, let’s get started!

Popular Sports to Bet on in the USA

Is Sport Betting Legal in the US?

Before we start talking about sports betting in the US, there are few things to know. States have differing laws when it comes to sports betting, and this can make it challenging to place wagers. Not impossible, just challenging. People in the US overcome these regulations by going either in the casino, or simply playing online with offshore sites.

The only states where sports betting is permitted by law are Nevada, Oregon, Delaware and Montana. But that can change really soon – as there are implications about getting sports betting widely legal in the US.

Football Sports Betting in the US

Football is the most popular sport you can bet on in the US. NCAA and NFL start roughly at the same time each year. That’s why on NCAA’s first kicks off, bettors start to get a feel about the upcoming year. NFL on the other side, is divided in a few stages that build up the suspense as the year progresses. We’ll go over the main US football competitions that provide most excitement for the fans and highlight the betting season.

NCAA Bowl Games

The NCAA bowl games kick off the weekend before Christmas, as the regular NFL season is coming to an end. In 2017, there were 40 bowl games played in total. The major bowl games start around mid-December each year, and this is where betting handle get significantly bigger.

NFL Playoffs

The biggest sport betting action in the US happens on the Wild Card Weekend in the NFL playoffs. There are 4 games in total, and they generate massive handle for sports books. Las Vegas especially shines this time of the year, because there is increasingly more gambling and tourism.

Super Bowl

The Super Bowl is the main betting event, and this is where sports handle books are going off the charts. The betting volume in Nevada is over $100 million for a single game, and this doesn’t include online betting sites. How big is the handle worldwide, you may ask? Well, the handle in Nevada equals to roughly 1% of the total volume of bets that are placed on the Super Bowl. You do the math.

Basketball Sports Betting

Basketball is another popular sport for betting in the US and around the world. There are many leagues, but the NBA and NCAA are by far, the most popular ones. In terms of betting, there are 2 main evets that draw a large betting noise. Let’s see what they are.

March Madness

The NCAA basketball tournament known as March Madness is 2 weeks long, and full of college basketball action. March Madness is the second most popular event for wagering in the US. Even though it is not as big as the NFL, it does have a decent volume in placed bets across the tournament.

NBA Playoffs

The NBA playoffs have a large viewership worldwide – especially for the main event, which is the NBA Finals. This makes NBA the third most popular spot for betting in the USA. And even though it can’t be compared with football or March Madness, there’s still a decent betting handle in Vegas.

Popular Sports to Bet on in Australia

Compared to USA, Australia is a different planet when it comes to sports betting. It is much loose when it comes to legal regulations, and people have a slightly different taste in sports. Let’s find out what are some popular sports for betting in Australia.


Cricket is known as the British gentleman’s sport, and it took the world by storm in sheer player and betting volumes. Australians enjoy watching cricket and betting on it – since it is one of the top sports by number of placed bets annually.


With more than a billion fans in the world, basketball comes closely behind cricket, as the second most popular sport for betting in Australia. The hype is especially big during events like NBA playoffs – which are one of the biggest events to bet on annually.


Tennis is the most enjoyed individual sport for both: watching and betting. It’s one of the fastest growing sports to bet on in the last few years. There are many tournaments through the year, but one that stands out is the Wimbledon – which is extensively covered by most boookmakers.

Horse Racing

Being one of the oldest betting sports, horse racing continues to entertain people from around the world. It is fairly popular in Australia, as it takes a large portion of the sports betting volume – right up there alongside cricket, basketball and tennis.