Most Popular Sports Betting Markets in the US and UK

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News Americas, NEW YORK, NY, Weds. Sept. 30, 2020: Online sportsbooks in both the United States and United Kingdom provide betting across many different sports. However, their different versions of football attract the most interest and three markets in particular are responsible for many bets.

UK and US bookies use different terms but the ‘match winner’, ‘handicaps’ and ‘totals’ generate the most betting turnover. Punters also like to place ‘props’ or special bets on NFL and soccer.

The most popular football betting competitions are the Premier League in England and the NFL in North America. Betting and bookmaking may be universal but the two countries use very different betting terminology.

Betting Odds Formats

There are also a number of odds formats. European sportsbooks show odds in decimals by default but this can be changed to fractions. Historically, British bookies show odds in fractions but the growth in betting exchanges has seen a shift to decimals.

US sportsbooks use the ‘American odds’ format which look different but express the odds just as well. Tables are useful for punters who want to convert the odds from one format to another. There are also a number of Asian formats not used in the UK and US.

Match Betting

Both US and UK online bookmakers offer odds to customers on a whole range of bet possibilities but by far the most popular odds market around the globe is the simple overall match winner. In soccer, this is the final result after 90 minutes which is a 3-way market as there’s always a strong possibility of a draw.

The US version of the overall winner is known as the ‘Money Line’ and is a simple two-way betting market. The Money Line market includes any overtime because US bettors prefer a definite outcome and do not like betting on the tie. If matches are tied at the end of regular time in the NFL there is overtime to decide the winner.

Handicap & Spread Betting

If there is a big favourite there are also various handicap betting markets where the underdog receives a virtual head start to make the betting odds more even.

The objective is to attract two-way business on a one-sided match where the bookies favorite is expected to win easily and too short to bet on the basic win. These markets are known as handicaps in soccer and points spread in the NFL.