Which Sports Are Easiest and Hardest To Bet On? – A comparison by sport

The ease or difficulty of betting on sports can vary depending on various factors such as the bettor’s knowledge, available information, and the specific sport’s unpredictability. It is important to note that gambling can be addictive and should be approached responsibly. Here is a general breakdown of the easiest and hardest sports to bet on:

Easier to bet on:

Football (Soccer)

As the world’s most popular sport, football offers a wealth of betting opportunities. With countless leagues and matches taking place around the globe, bettors have a myriad of options to choose from. Moreover, football’s straightforward scoring system and various markets, such as match outcome, goals scored, and individual player performance, make it an ideal sport for beginners.

  • Match outcome (1X2): 33.3% chance of winning for each outcome (1 – home win, X – draw, 2 – away win) in a perfectly balanced match. However, the actual odds vary depending on the strength of the teams.
  • Over/Under goals: The odds can vary significantly based on the average number of goals scored by both teams.


  • Research teams and players: Familiarize yourself with the teams and their recent performance before placing a bet.
  • Look for value bets: Compare odds across multiple sportsbooks to find the best value for your wager.

Basketball (NBA)

Basketball is another sport that offers an abundance of betting opportunities, particularly with the NBA being a globally renowned league. The fast-paced nature of basketball games provides many in-play betting options, which can make for an exciting betting experience. Basketball, particularly the NBA betting, offers a large amount of data and statistics for bettors to analyze. Moreover, there are fewer players on each team than in many other sports, which simplifies analysis.

  • Moneyline: Winning odds depend on the team’s performance, injury reports, and other factors. In a perfectly balanced match, each team would have a 50% chance of winning.
  • Over/Under points: Odds vary based on the teams’ average points scored and allowed.


  • Focus on specific markets: Betting on point spreads or over/under totals can be easier for beginners than predicting outright winners.
  • Consider home-court advantage: Teams often perform better on their home court, so factor this into your decisions.

Baseball (MLB)

Baseball has a large number of games per season, providing ample opportunities to analyze trends, team performance, and individual player statistics. Additionally, pitching matchups can be a major factor, making certain bets more predictable.

  • Moneyline: Winning odds depend on the teams’ performance, starting pitchers, and other factors. In a perfectly balanced match, each team would have a 50% chance of winning.
  • Over/Under runs: Odds vary based on the teams’ average runs scored and allowed.


Tennis betting revolves around head-to-head matchups, which can simplify the betting process. Bettors can focus on individual player performance, and tennis is less impacted by team dynamics than other sports. Tennis is an individual sport that offers a relatively simple betting structure. Bettors can choose to wager on match winners, set scores, or the total number of games played. With frequent tournaments and head-to-head matches, tennis provides ample opportunities for bettors to make informed decisions.

Match outcome: Odds depend on the players’ performance, head-to-head history, and other factors. In a perfectly balanced match, each player would have a 50% chance of winning.


  • Research player form: Look at recent performances to understand a player’s current form.
  • Analyze head-to-head records: Investigate past matchups between players to predict how they might fare against one another.

Harder to bet on

Horse Racing

Horse racing is notoriously difficult due to the number of variables at play, such as track conditions, horse form, jockey performance, and breeding. Additionally, the sport’s unpredictability means that long-shot bets can sometimes win, making it difficult to consistently make accurate predictions. The sheer number of participants in a race adds further uncertainty to the mix. Even the most informed bettors can struggle to consistently pick winners in this sport.

Win: Odds depend on the horse’s past performance, track conditions, and other factors. In a perfectly balanced race with 8 horses, each horse would have a 12.5% chance of winning.

Factors affecting odds:

  • Horse’s form: A horse’s past performance, including its recent races, can impact the odds. A horse with a strong winning record will usually have lower odds (less payout, higher probability to win) than a less successful horse.
  • Track conditions: Weather, track surface, and distance can influence a horse’s performance, which may be reflected in the odds.
  • Jockey and trainer: A successful jockey or trainer may increase a horse’s odds of winning, leading to lower odds.
  • Weight carried: Handicapping rules assign specific weights to horses based on their past performance to level the competition. The handicaps can affect the odds.

American Football (NFL)

While American football is a popular sport to bet on, it can be difficult due to the limited number of games per season and the many factors that can impact game outcomes, such as weather, injuries, and team dynamics.

  • Moneyline: Similar to basketball, the odds depend on each team’s performance, injury reports, and other factors. In a perfectly balanced match, each team would have a 50% chance of winning.
  • Over/Under points: Odds vary based on the teams’ average points scored and allowed.

The outcome of NFL bets can be affected by a variety of factors, including:

  • Team performance: The performance of the teams involved in the bet is a crucial factor. Factors such as injuries, recent form, and team morale can all impact the outcome of the game.
  • Home field advantage: Home field advantage can also have a significant impact on the outcome of NFL bets. Teams tend to perform better at home, as they are more familiar with the playing conditions and have the support of their fans.
  • Weather conditions: Weather conditions can also impact the outcome of the game, particularly for outdoor games. Rain, snow, wind, and extreme temperatures can all have an effect on the performance of players and the outcome of the game.
  • Betting lines: The betting lines set by bookmakers can also impact the outcome of NFL bets. If the lines are heavily skewed in favor of one team, it can be an indication of the expected outcome of the game.
  • Coaching strategies: Coaching strategies can also impact the outcome of the game. Coaches who make effective decisions and adjust their strategies based on the opponent’s strengths and weaknesses can give their team an advantage.
  • Refereeing decisions: Refereeing decisions can also have an impact on the outcome of NFL bets. Referees may make questionable calls that can impact the game’s outcome, leading to a win or loss for a particular team.


Golf is another sport where the number of participants can make betting a challenging endeavor. With large fields in tournaments, picking a single winner becomes a daunting task. Furthermore, factors such as course difficulty, weather conditions, and a golfer’s current form all contribute to the unpredictability of the sport. Golf betting often requires bettors to weigh the odds and consider multiple options to increase their chances of success.

There are several factors that can affect the outcome of golf bets, including:

  • Player performance: The performance of individual players is the most important factor in determining the outcome of a golf bet. Factors such as recent form, course suitability, and injuries can all impact a player’s performance.
  • Course conditions: The condition of the course, including the weather, course layout, and greens can also impact the outcome of golf bets. Some players may excel on a particular type of course, while others may struggle.
  • Field strength: The strength of the field can also impact the outcome of a golf bet. If a tournament features a large number of top-ranked players, the competition may be more intense, making it more difficult to predict the winner.
  • Betting odds: The odds offered by bookmakers can also have an impact on the outcome of golf bets. If a player is heavily favored, the odds may not be very attractive to bettors, while a long shot with high odds may offer a better payout.
  • Luck: Like any sport, luck can also play a role in the outcome of golf bets. A player may get a lucky bounce or a favorable wind that can impact their score and ultimately the outcome of the bet.

MMA (Mixed Martial Arts)

MMA betting is a challenge due to the sport’s dynamic and unpredictable nature. With numerous fighting styles, strategies, and techniques in play, it can be difficult to predict the outcome of a fight. Furthermore, a single well-timed strike can change the course of a match, rendering pre-fight analysis and predictions irrelevant. Betting on MMA requires bettors to have a deep understanding of the sport and the individual fighters involved to find potential value in the odds.

Ultimately, the easiest or hardest sport to bet on depends on the individual’s expertise, knowledge of the sport, and familiarity with the teams and players involved. The key to successful sports betting is understanding the sport, conducting thorough research, and managing one’s bankroll responsibly.

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