Many sports bettors stick to betting on a couple sports, or just wagering on their favorite team. That’s like only eating one flavor of ice cream, and that’s clearly wrong. There are so many betting opportunities out there, and enormous chances to win big bucks!
We’ve gathered the details of the biggest and best sporting events to bet on, so you don’t have to. Put these in your calendar and make sure you have a bankroll ready!
1. NFL Playoffs
Proving that you can never have too much football, the playoffs kick off after 17 weeks of regular season action. The postseason playoffs see six qualifying teams from the American Football Conference (AFC) and six from the National Football Conference (NFC).
The winner of each division is guaranteed a place in the playoffs, plus two “Wild Card” spots. These teams battle it out to make it to the Super Bowl.
The first round of the NFL playoffs is the Wild Card Weekend also known as one of the most exciting betting events in any online sportsbook’s calendar. Eight teams meet, but only four will make it to the Divisional Round.
Whether your team makes it or not to the post season playoffs, there’s still plenty of betting action to be had. Slightly different to your regular season, the single-elimination tournament, is fast and furious and makes for some interesting bets!
2. Super Bowl Sunday
Of course, the playoffs are just an appetizer to the Super Bowl. This single event brings in over $138 million in bets and that’s just the figure from the Nevada sportsbooks. Bets placed illegally (or in friendly office-pools) add an estimated £3.8 billion on top of that.
Betting on the Super Bowl always attracts many recreational bettors with its array of props bets, which can range from the normal—like bets on the coin toss or the first offensive play of the game—to the downright peculiar, like what color liquid will be thrown on the winning coach or the words a broadcaster will say.
3. March Madness
If you prefer the court to the field, then basketball’s biggest event will be at the top of your betting list.
March Madness is a single-elimination tournament for the NCAA men’s Division 1 schools. 68 teams compete through seven rounds, all for the single goal of winning the national championship.
This NCAA tournament is the most popular event for American sports bettors (second only to the Super Bowl). It brings in a whopping $10 billion in bets, however, only about 3% of that figure is actually legal. $300 million in bets is still pretty respectable though!
March Madness features 67 games in the space of three weeks, a short run that’s packed full of basketball and betting action. Betting on a March Madness match offers a plethora of odds and markets, from the straight-up winner to the point spread (plus a huge variety of fun future props).
4. The World Series
Major League Baseball (MLB) is a sports bettor’s dream, with a whopping 2,430 games during the regular season. The ultimate baseball betting event is, undoubtedly, The World Series. This annual championship is decided by a best-of-seven playoff, which takes place each fall.
Take your pick from some of the most popular baseball bets, including runline bets, moneylines on the series’ individual game winners, plus a wide variety of propositions.
5. The Summer Olympics
The summer season can be a little quiet in the Vegas sportsbooks, as regular-season baseball or pre-season football are really your only options. What’s a dedicated sports bettor to do in order to fill those long summer days? How about placing a patriotic bet on American athletes to bring home the gold?
In 2016, a 15-year ban on amateur competition betting was overturned, putting the Olympics back on the books. It’s slowly gathering momentum, with the Rio Games bringing in the same betting revenue as a big regular-season baseball game.
Since some of the sports are quite obscure, there’s a good chance that bettors know more than the bookies, meaning you might have a sporting chance of a sweet win. The Summer Olympics happen every 4 years, so you have plenty of time to brush up on your knowledge of events like fencing, skateboarding, or shotput!
Put the Dates in Your Calendar
By following our list, you’ve got a full year of sports betting fun ahead of you. To make the most of them, make sure your betting budget is up to the task. Check out our guide to managing your sports betting bankroll and make sure you stay in the game!