The sports betting boom continued in 2023 as more states legalized sports wagering, and the number of US bettors increased drastically.
Nearly 23 million people placed a wager online by the end of the year, and six states legalized sports betting.
Of course, with the increase in popularity, sports betting apps are seeing more action.
Check out the most popular bets placed at bet365 in 2023.
Most Bet NBA Teams: Nuggets, Lakers and Celtics
The Denver Nuggets, Los Angeles Lakers, and Boston Celtics were the NBA teams that received the largest betting handles at bet365. “Three most popular teams as well being on TV more often,” said a report from bet365.
The report also noted an uptick in Cleveland Cavaliers action.
According to the report, the most bet on NBA players were Nikola Jokic, Luka Doncic, and Giannis Antetokounmpo.
“They take more overall than say a prime scorer who dishes or primary scorer who rebounds. These players can have action on all three main stats as well as the combo lines of them,” the report said.
Most Bet NFL Teams: Chiefs, Eagles, 49ers and Cowboys
“Top teams for the last two to three years, more for KC, and teams that oblige paying out on often (favorite) status, and more than a few times as heavy (favorite) status, meaning bigger parlay action as well,” the report reads.
The report also said Ohio saw an uptick in Cincinnati Bengals and Cleveland Browns action and that the Buffalo Bills saw a lot of action as well.
“Given that the [Bills] are somewhat Ontario’s unofficial NFL team, that brings a lot of region-specific action,” the report said.
Anytime touchdown scorer, passing yards, and receiving yards were the most common play prop bets made at the book.
“With the more vertical game, the performance props are heavy to QB/WR/TE, as many teams don’t run the ball as used to, so the tight ends are taking more of the action than the running backs, which is a flip from longer-term norms,” the report read.
Most Bet MLB Teams: Yankees, Phillies, Dodgers and Blue Jays
“Huge fan bases for the Yankees and Dodgers, and both being the main tickets for East/West Coast. Toronto is very popular due to the Canadian base backing them often, especially in Ontario,” the report explained.
Per the report, player hits/milestones (mainly where Over/Under 0.5 or 1 or more), player home runs, and pitcher strikeouts were the most popular MLB player prop bets.
“Main stat lines for hitter and pitcher, namely the home run … and the best strikeout pitchers or backing lesser pitcher under,” the report read.
Most Bet NHL Teams: Bruins, Rangers, Maple Leafs and Golden Knights
“Toronto is most popular overall, with the popularity they have throughout [North America], and the obvious Ontario/Canada specific support they see, always on TV as well for main markets. Boston, New York Rangers, Vegas, Toronto have been solid teams in [regular] season, so the more they win, the more they pick up bandwagon players,” the report said.
Player shots on goal, player points, and anytime goalscorer were the most popular prop bets.
“Largely focused around the top players in the league, like Connor McDavid, Auston Matthews, Nathan MacKinnon, David Pastrnak — lots of players see action obviously, but they are most backed,” the report said.
Most Bet NCAAF Teams: Georgia, Michigan, Alabama, Ohio State
“Always on big TV, often heavy favorites that have obliged both moneyline and spread action given the amount of losses between them. Ohio State definitely sees huge support in Ohio market; Michigan is the most popular team for Ontario,” the report explained.
Like the NFL, the most common player prop bet was anytime time touchdown scorer followed by receiving yards. The only difference is more people bet on rushing props in college than they did for the NFL.
“Similar to NFL, but given how many dominant running backs that are still huge part of NCAA game, they still see a lot of action compared to say tight ends in NFL,” the report read.
Most Bet WNBA Teams: Aces and Liberty
“No other teams in the league come anywhere close to the action these two teams receive, especially given that most of their games against each other were national TV,” the report said.
Points, rebounds, and assists were the most bet WNBA player props.
“As with NHL, it’s largely focused on the main name players in the league. So A’ja Wilson, Breanna Stewart, Sabrina Ionescu, Alyssa Thomas were the most backed players,” the report said.
Most Bet Euro Teams: Soccer, Basketball and Hockey
Most bet soccer teams: Real Madrid, FC Barcelona, FC Bayern, and Juventus.
Most bet basketball teams: Real Madrid, Olympiacos, Barca, and Partizan Belgrade.
Most bet hockey leagues: Swedish Hockey League, Czech Extraliga, and Finnish SM-Liiga.
“Given the nature of Euro clubs as overall sports clubs, Real Madrid, Barcelona stand out for many of the sports played due to overall popularity of brand, and of course resources to support the other teams from soccer to hoops to volleyball to handball and all else in between,” the report read.
Most Bet English Premier League Players: Haaland, Salah and Son
No information was provided about the most bet teams. But for props, anytime goalscorer, player shots on goal, and score two or more goals were the most popular.
“Erling Haaland, Mo Salah and HM Son (used to be Harry Kane) most popular players; no surprise given the amount of goals they score and the consistency in doing so,” the report says.
The Messi Effect
The report’s author, Aron Wattleworth, notes that in his more than 21 years in the business, he has not seen a player have an impact on betting the way Lionel Messi did by going to Inter Miami.
“I haven’t seen another example of a player going to a newer league that isn’t considered amongst the top leagues in the world, have such a seismic impact on the betting action, if not the league itself,” Wattleworth writes. “If Messi was playing or possibly playing, that was the most popular bet of the day.”
While Messi dominated the player props while he was playing, his arrival at Inter Miami also led to more action on the team.
“Action on Inter Miami was exponentially massive compared to prior action often by thousand fold. Messi performance markets often took more than the whole game action for FT result and other match markets,” Wattleworth said.