Top Five Most Bet on Sporting Events

By Nicholas Sterling in Sports
| November 25, 2021 6:41 am PST

Every year, it seems like sports betting continues to get more and more popular. It gives sports fans more incentive to watch a game that maybe they wouldn’t have interest in otherwise.

While it’s fine to bet on another regular-season game, the real excitement comes from the marquee games and events. That’s where sports bettors feast.

So, what are the most bet on sporting events? Let’s check them out.

Super Bowl

Not much of a surprise to see the Super Bowl among the most bet on sporting events.

In the US, football is by far the most popular sport. Just think about how many fans watch their favorite team in another regular-season game.

When it comes to the Super Bowl, almost everyone tunes in.

No football fan is going to miss the game, but a lot of people who don’t typically watch football will tune into the game.

The Super Bowl owns the top six most-watched events in United States history. Check out their numbers.

  • Super Bowl XLIX – 114.4 million
  • Super Bowl XLVIII – 112.2 million
  • Super Bowl 50 – 111.9 million
  • Super Bowl XLVI – 111.3 million
  • Super Bowl LI – 111.3 million
  • Super Bowl XLV – 111.0 million

With the Super Bowl, there are so many betting options. Your ordinary game has moneyline, spread, point total, and player prop bets. Because the Super Bowl has so many eyes on it, there are a ton of people hitting those bets.

But for people that maybe don’t care about the game as much, you can bet on things like the halftime show or commercials. If you’d like to see more, here are some of the craziest bets from the 2021 Super Bowl.

Because sports betting continues to grow every year, it’s no surprise to see Super Bowl LV bring in record numbers.

According to the American Gaming Association, 23.2 million Americans bet on the Super Bowl. The amount of money bet was over $4 billion.

And that’s just in the United States. I know football isn’t the most popular sport in other countries, but people still bet on the Super Bowl.

When the next Super Bowl hits, check out our Super Bowl betting guide.Best Super Bowl Betting Sites

World Cup

While football is the most popular sport in America, soccer rules supreme across the world.

The biggest reason for this is that the majority of the world has a soccer league in their country. No other sport can say that.

There may be more popular soccer leagues in the world, but nothing is bigger than the World Cup. The World Cup happens every four years and pits countries against each other.

So, let’s take the Premier League for example. Fans in England may root for different teams but once the World Cup comes along, everyone will band together and root for England.

Check out the total viewership of the most recent World Cups.

  • 2018 – 3.572 billion
  • 2014 – 3.2 billion
  • 2010 – 3.2 billion
  • 2006 – 3 billion

When you compare the World Cup vs. the Super Bowl, the World Cup has the advantage in that there are 64 games. I know you can expand on the Super Bowl and talk about the NFL playoffs, but non-football fans are only tuning in for the Super Bowl.

With the World Cup, most people tune into the whole thing, as opposed to just the final.

In the 2018 men’s World Cup, FIFA estimated that $2.4 billion was bet on a single match. For the final, that number rose to $8.2 billion.

And that doesn’t even account for the money people bet on the potential winner ahead of the World Cup. In 2018, Croatia nearly won as a +3000 long shot. They made it to the final before falling to France.

People from all around the world tune into the World Cup. Over the last few years, we’re starting to see more and more people bet on the event.

When that time comes, you can use our World Cup betting guide.World Cup Betting Guide

Kentucky Derby

Horse racing isn’t a mainstream sport, but people surely come out to watch the Kentucky Derby.

The Kentucky Derby pits 20 of the best three-year-old horses against each other in the first leg of the triple crown. The race takes place at Churchill Downs in Louisville, KY.

In 2021, 14.4 million Americans tuned into the race. That’s more viewers than any of the six NBA Finals games, as well as the final round of the Masters.

What makes betting on the Kentucky Derby so appealing is all the different options. Most horse races will have seven or eight horses. As I mentioned earlier, there are 20 in this race.

While we usually see one of the favorites pull through, it’s not unprecedented to see a long shot pull off the upset. Let’s check out a few.

  • 2019: Country House (65-1)
  • 2009: Mine That Bird (50-1)
  • 2005: Giacomo (50-1)

I know it’s not common but imagine hitting one of those bets.

Both the 2020 and 2021 Kentucky Derby had attendance affected by COVID-19. Because of that, I’m going to look back at the 2019 betting numbers.

Just over 150,000 people attended the race, which was actually the lowest amount since 2004. Still, the race set a record with $250.9 million bet.

While events like the World Cup and Super Bowl draw in their betting from online, the Kentucky Derby receives a lot from in person. In 2019, that accounted for almost $80 million.

Those numbers have been on a drastic rise. Check out the total money bet from 2016-2019.

  • 2016: $192.6 million
  • 2017: $209.2 million
  • 2018: $227.5 million
  • 2019: $250.9 million

The “Run for the Roses” is arguably the most exciting two minutes in sports. That’s all it takes for bettors to find out if they won.

At some point before the first Saturday in May, check out the Kentucky Derby betting guide.Kentucky Derby Betting Guide

March Madness

As a sports fan, I’m not sure there is a more exciting time of year than March Madness.

March Madness pits 68 college basketball teams against each other in the quest for the National Championship. People fill out their bracket with their friends, family, or coworkers to see who will have the most correct picks.

What makes March Madness so exciting for viewers and/or sports bettors is the upset potential. It isn’t necessarily the best 68 teams, so you have matchups that favor one team. However, it only takes 40 minutes of good basketball to pull off the upset.

Who can forget No. 16 UMBC knocking off No. 1 Virginia in the 2018 tournament? We’ve also seen nine No. 15 seeds beat No. 2 teams. The most recent came in 2021 when Oral Roberts knocked off Ohio State.

I can’t recall the exact odds for those matchups but I bet they had a big payday for bettors willing to take a chance on the longshots.

Going into the 2021 tournament, 47 million Americans were expected to place a bet. If you go back to 2019, people bet $350 million on the tournament. That’s more than we saw in the Super Bowl that year. As we mentioned earlier, the Super Bowl is the biggest sporting event in America.

Whether it’s individual matchups or picking the champion, it’s so exciting to bet on March Madness. It gives you more incentive to watch the tournament. I mean, how many people are watching a regular-season game between Kansas and Eastern Washington.

March is the best time of the year for college basketball fans. For sports bettors, it’s another chance to earn some money.

Be sure to check out the top March Madness betting sites and more.March Madness Betting Sites

Grand National

I can’t imagine a lot of people are familiar with the Grand National. However, it’s a huge horse race in Liverpool.

The race is a steeplechase, meaning the horses have to jump over fences and obstacles on their way to the finish. It’s a little over four miles and takes a little under 10 minutes to complete.

Because the track is so wide, 40 horses compete in the annual event.

With all the challenges, it’s a grueling race. Only the best of the best can compete.

Betting on the Grand National is similar to the Kentucky Derby, but it takes it to another level. In the Kentucky Derby, one of the favorites almost always wins. In the Grand National, that’s not the case.

Let’s check out the last nine winners and their odds.

  • 2012: Neptune Collonges (33/1)
  • 2013: Auroras Encore (66/1)
  • 2014: Pineau De Re (25/1)
  • 2015: Many Clouds (25/1)
  • 2016: Rule the World (33/1)
  • 2017: One For Arthur (14/1)
  • 2018: Tiger Roll (10/1)
  • 2019: Tiger Roll (4/1)
  • 2021: Minella Times (11/1)

As you can tell, there are a lot of opportunities to look for value when placing your bets.

In 2021, there was $137.4 million bet on the race. Around 13 million people bet on the race.

Like the World Cup, people from around the world watch this race. In 2021, ITV saw 8.8 million people watch the race. That is a bit down from the 9.6 million that watched in 2019.

ITV represents local viewers. The worldwide viewership is around 500 million. With all that interest, you know there will be a lot of people looking to bet.

While we don’t have a Grand National betting guide, you can always check out the top horse racing betting sites.Horse Racing Betting Sites

Future of Sports Betting

Sports betting continues to become bigger and bigger. In a few years, I’m sure some sports will have the same numbers as the current Super Bowl betting.

Over time, more states will continue to legalize retail and online sports betting. When that time comes, we’ll see more and more people bet on the top sporting events.

For now, I would recommend checking out the safest betting sites.



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