Betting Experts Answer: Best Sport To Bet On? | PART 1

Welcome to the 8th question in our series: “Betting Experts Answer The Industries Biggest Questions.”

Nowadays, you can bet on just about everything from Football to Esports to Table Tennis and so on. So, we asked 12 experts the question:

Q8: Is there a best sport to bet on? If so, why?

Check out Part 2 of our answers here, where we get the opinions of pro sports bettor - Spanky, betting analyst - Joseph Buchdahl, Smart Sports Trader - Ryan Bruno, and betting blog - Day 25.

Check out Part 3 of our answers here, where we get the opinions of former odds compiler - Matthew Trenhaile, Pete Ling from Smart Betting Club, Nenko from the Church of Betting, and football trader - Alex Ong.


There are a number of different interpretations to this question and most revolve around your sports betting goals. It’s perfectly acceptable to treat betting as entertainment/fun and to budget for it accordingly, as you would a pint in the pub. If that’s your aim then you’re probably more interested in making your sport viewing more enjoyable. In which case, your betting patterns will likely be driven by what games/sports you want to watch in your free time. Twenty20 cricket is a great starting point for wannabe traders, its volatility means there are often plenty of chances to “green” the book. I’m guessing the readership of Trademate Sports is a little more serious about their punting strategy, so I’ll approach an answer from that direction.

If by “best” we mean most profitable, then that probably depends as much on the individual bettor as the operator presenting the pricing. Taking horse racing as an example, there are many different niches that can be targeted and most of the sage advice you’ll read about how to approach professionally betting horse races will suggest focussing on just one particular facet of the game. The thinking is that a sport with so many competitors and daily events is impossible to keep track of without a specialism. By concentrating on, for example, UK nursery races, it may be possible to gain an edge on the bookmakers who are having to cover all of the races without, in many cases, adequate labor cover.

One of the key weapons a bettor has over an operator is that they can be selective and only choose to bet the prices and selections that they wish to. Operators must present blanket coverage across all manner of sports and events. Soccer is another mammoth wide-reaching sport that has multifaceted betting angles and I’d suggest that finding a suitable niche is again the best strategy. Soccer is so large a product that it could be deemed the best and worst sport to bet on! Its popularity ensures that at the top level, nothing is really hidden from the bookmaker. There is a very high likelihood that any angle you have unearthed will already be compensated for in the pricing, which is ultra sharp for the most popular global leagues. However, the further down the pyramid you delve, the better the chance you have of finding out information, usually team based, that hasn’t yet been appreciated by the wider market. Therefore, the best hope of finding value is probably at that level, the downside to that approach is that you are far less likely to be successful in keeping your accounts open. The exchange markets aren’t really a factor for some of the lower level leagues or derivative style props wagers and so the only real chance of getting on is with soft books who will limit your action very swiftly.

Put rather more concisely, I don’t think there is a definitive answer here, lesser sports will feature looser pricing and could offer an opportunity for finding fairly large edges, but the nature of betting into some of the less popular sports/markets means you’ll spend most of your time struggling to get a bet on. I believe the best sport to bet on depends very much on the individual and his passions as much as anything, and that focussing on one sport is probably too broad. I’d encourage trying to find a niche and master it.

Follow Jeevan on Twitter here.


The snarky answer is the one you make the most money from, but that's trivially true. There are so many sports and leagues or tournaments, that your best is for you to decide. If you are a recreational player who wants to become a sharp handicapper, choose the sport and league you love and know best. Presumably, you're following it closely anyway; just take the extra step to quantify your opinions, that is, to handicap, to put a number on your estimations, and see how it goes. Enjoy what you're doing. If you enjoy the sport and league, that enjoyment is a payoff in its own right. But if you're really trying to do this professionally, there are no best sports or leagues, if you're line grinding, you don't even have to understand the sport.

Follow @TruePokerJoe on Twitter & check out his book ‘Sharper: A Guide to Modern Sports Betting’.


Theoretically, with profit being the only priority, I'd say horse racing is the best sport to bet on.

I don't take a huge interest in horse racing itself, but I recognize that from a betting standpoint it offers several advantages over most other sports:

  1. The odds move so drastically that you can secure a price that's far better than the current market odds (or closing line).
  2. 'Best Odds Guaranteed' is offered by many bookmakers, providing protection against price moves out of your favour.
  3. Events come in thick & fast (all year round), so there's always more opportunities on the horizon.
  4. Money can be recycled rapidly, as there's (usually) only a matter of hours from bet placement to bet settlement.
  5. Arbitrage and value bets very frequently arise in horse racing markets.

But note that I said 'theoretically'. The fact is, bookmakers closely monitor the horse racing markets for the very reasons I've stated above. So while it may have all the elements that a professional bettor wants, it's often a better proposition to focus on a combination of more obscure betting markets.

Lower league football, basketball, hockey - among many other sports - spring to mind. While the ROI of opportunities found in these markets will almost certainly be lower than in horse racing, part of betting professionally is working out when you're most likely to get your accounts limited, and steering clear of those situations.

However, betting in extremely obscure markets creates problems of its own. Liquidity is often low, meaning you'll struggle to get big stakes away. And let's face it: you'll raise a few eyebrows at the bookies for being so confident on ludicrously niche events! With all this in mind, the 'best' sport is simply whatever enables you to generate the most expected value. Is it blasting your stakes on high yield events and most probably facing the 'chop' in record time? Is it betting on less obvious sports with a lower ROI, but lasting a little longer before restriction? Or is there another approach that enables you to fly under the radar for longer?

If you can find a way to consistently profit from the betting exchange then this entire conversation changes. But until then you'll have to experiment for yourself. I can't give a definitive solution because not all bookies take the same approach to identifying pros, and there's no guarantee any successful method will continue to work in the future.

Follow@Punter2Pro on Twitter & check out the Punter2Pro website here.


There is no best sport to bet on unless you are looking for added entertainment with your betting. If you want to put yourself in a position to achieve long term positive results, you should not think about the betting product as anything other than a vehicle to achieve these results. If you have a +EV opportunity, the sport should be irrelevant.

Follow @BettingPod on Twitter & check out The Business of Betting Podcast here.

Check out Part 2 of our answers here, where we get the opinions of pro sports bettor - Spanky, betting analyst - Joseph Buchdahl, Smart Sports Trader - Ryan Bruno, and betting blog - Day 25.

Check out Part 3 of our answers here, where we get the opinions of former odds compiler - Matthew Trenhaile, Pete Ling from Smart Betting Club, Nenko from the Church of Betting, and football trader - Alex Ong.

Love getting the opinions from experts in the betting industry? Then subscribe to the Trademate Sports Podcast, where we interview the most important people in the sports betting industry.

Here are the other questions we have got our industry experts to answer so far:

  • Q1: Top 3 tips for betting beginners? Part 1 & Part 2.
  • Q2: How do you define “finding value” in betting markets?Part 1 & Part 2.
  • Q3: How do you determine whether your betting results are based on luck or skill? Part 1, Part 2 & Part 3.
  • Q4: Kelly criterion or flat staking: Which stake sizing strategy do you consider to be the best and why? Part 1, Part 2 & Part 3.
  • Q5: What is the best method to use to make money from sports betting? Part 1 & Part 2.
  • Q6: How difficult is it to beat the sports betting markets? How efficient are the odds? Part 1, Part 2 & Part 3.
  • Q7: How to manage risk when betting? Part 1 & Part 2.
  • Q9: Assuming you have an edge, at what point can you start accurately evaluating your results and say that variance has played out? Part 1 & Part 2.
  • Q10: What is the one thing you would like to see a change in the gambling industry? Part 1 & Part 2.
  • Q11: Do you think emotions play a part in people's sports betting results? If so, how should they overcome this? Part 1 & Part 2.
  • Q12: What are the top 3 mistakes people make when betting? Part 1, Part 2 & Part 3.

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