Basketball Eclipsing Football As Most Bet On Sport In USA

  • Sports betting data from New Jersey and Colorado show a strong focus toward basketball gambling over football.
  • Prior to the 2023 NFL season, Colorado sportsbooks had taken in over $1 billion in wagers more on basketball than football.
  • College football was the tenth most bet sport in Colorado during 2023 despite the emergence and media attention of Coach Prime.

DENVER - With monthly reports from local gaming commissions almost all but finalized, yearly data for 2023 shows great milestones for online sports betting. In fact, there was almost $100 billion bet at sportsbooks for US players across all reported states.

But one facet of the numbers comes in more as a shocker - the amount of money bet on basketball in the US.

With March Madness gambling aside from the NBA, college basketball season, and sharp growth of the WNBA, basketball betting handles are beating out that of football.

In New Jersey for example, the 2023 year-to-date betting handle for completed events was $2,680,440,352. In comparison, the amount of money bet on football in New Jersey sat just under at $2,307,511,448.

Not all states with online gambling report their sportsbook data the same, making it hard to know if this is the same across the board. But, in another state where the gaming commission releases data on individual sports, the same outcome is seen, but even more drastically.

Colorado Sports Betting Intake By Sport

Sport Current 2023 Total Projected 2023 Total
Pro Football $667,040,252 $831,040,252
Pro Basketball $1,137,099,250 $1,292,735,395
College Football $185,810,589 $255,322,717
College Basketball $256,054,581 $306,299,178

Without December reported, the numbers aren't official. But, without them, it's still clear that pro basketball is the strong leader at Colorado online gambling sites for sport of choice.

Some factors to consider about these numbers:

  • The Denver Nuggets being crowned champions distorts the numbers as NBA gambling sites offered Nuggets bets well into June.
  • Despite the love for Coach Prime, college and pro football don't have the support in Colorado as they do in other states.

Still A Billion More

Regardless, the Colorado sportsbooks’ report detailed that nearly a fifth of all action since their launch is bet on pro basketball.

In Colorado's three-year report released earlier in 2023, it showed that basketball took in a billion dollars more than pro football.

Top Sports Bet In Colorado

Sport Amount Bet
Pro Basketball $2.98 billion
Parlays $2.11 billion
Pro Football $1.92 billion
Baseball $1.21 billion
"Other" $800 million
College Basketball $792 million
Tennis $509 million
Ice Hockey $468 million
Soccer $451 million
College Football $434 million
Table Tennis $225 million
Golf $145 million

While this can't be confirmed in every state, the patterns emerge that football may not be the king of the jungle anymore. With the pro basketball season much longer, it's easier for sportsbooks to accept wagers for all 12 months of the year. In Colorado, pro football saw action in 10 months (no March, April) with only four of those betting months above the $100 million mark.