Sports betting is a relatively new pursuit for the vast majority of Americans, what with the activity having been prohibited for much of the recent past. However, with recent legislative changes, a picture is now starting to emerge - a picture that could never fully come into focus before: we're learning which sports are top of the betting picks for US bettors.
Of course, everything has now changed, and a picture of American betting habits is starting to come into focus. We've had the chance to analyze a report that details the sports that received the highest volume of bets in June 2020 in Colorado, and the results are rather surprising. The sport that received the highest number of wagers in Colorado in June was...
Yes, really; with a total handle of $9,148,983, table tennis effortlessly outstripped its closest competitor (soccer, $4,136,068.79) to clinch the top spot.
It's fair to assume that few people who clicked on this post expected that table tennis would somehow have been able to rise to the top of the rankings and, in fairness, neither did we. So let's apply two particular caveats to this most surprising of statistics:
- The sports that one would expect to receive a high number of bets - football, basketball, and other timelessly popular options - are not currently functional, either due to being out-of-season or due to coronavirus restrictions.
- This stat is for Colorado rather than the entire country, so it could just be a statistical anomaly - maybe Coloradians just... really like table tennis? We can't find any reason this might be the case, but you never know.
Nevertheless, we have to note that table tennis' popularity in The Centennial State appears to be enduring - the sport was also ranked #1 in May, though with a lower handle.
A quick look at the performance of other sports
So while table tennis - for now - definitively holds the crown when it comes to the preferences of bettors in Colorado, how do other sports fare?
Looking at the month-on-month data, there's mixed news for MMA. In May, MMA bets totalled a handle of $1,742,607; the second highest sport for the month. While bets increased to a handle of $2,159,115 in June, the sport actually fell behind, coming in as the fourth most popular for bettors behind golf, soccer, and - of course - table tennis.
Golf saw a significant uplift between May and June, moving from a handle of $1,423,683 in May to $3,436,743. Interestingly, this increase was enough to move the sport up the popularity charts; from fifth place in May to third-most wagered upon overall for June. With the PGA Championship in August, it seems reasonable to suspect that August may also be a good month.
Continued parlay interest
A final data point worthy of discussion is the enduring popularity of parlays. In May, $3,007,110 was wagered on these types of bets. If parlays were a sport, that volume would mean it was second only to table tennis in terms of handle size. In June, parlay handle saw a large uptick, reaching a total of $4,673,441 - again, only second to the all-powerful table tennis.
Overall, Colorado's statistics make for interesting reading, and demonstrate that even when the "big" sports are relatively quiet, sports betting appears to be capable of flourishing. Total revenue for June reached $3.5 million and one would presume that, as seasons resume, this figure is only likely to grow further in the future.