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Top Sports to Bet On in NYC

New York remains one of the most fascinating and important cities in the United States. Apart from the food and music, New York is also known for its baseball teams and people who are passionate about the teams they support. Whether you are a seasoned bettor or place only a few bets from time to time, you will be glad to know that retail sports betting was legalized in the state in 2019, and online and mobile bets were approved in 2021, although they are still being rolled out. If you live in New York, there is no shortage of betting options and sports to bet on. Here are the top sports you can place a wager on in the state.


American Football

American football is officially known as gridiron football which differentiates it from soccer, also known as association football, which American football is derived from. It is arguably the most interesting American game played today, with millions of people around the world tuning in to watch games that are held on various days of the week during the season.

The game is played between two teams, each comprising 11 players. The game has unlimited substitutions, and the aim is for the teams to get the ball to each other’s end zones. Players also wear protective gear, which makes the game much more physical than rugby, a game it is closely related to. 

There are three main types of bets you can place in an American football game:

  • Money line – a straight bet for the team that wins the game.
  • Points total – bets on where game points will be over or under a set number of points.
  • Handicap (point spread) – A type of bet where one team is given a point advantage. This makes both teams “even” because the dominant team’s advantage is taken away. This is where most of the betting action usually is.


Basketball is widely considered the second most popular sport in New York after American football. The game is composed of two teams of five players each. The game is played on a rectangular court, with each time trying to score the most points by sinking the basketball into the opposing team’s basket (an elevated hoop).

Basketball is a true American sport because it originated in the country in 1891. Although it has undergone various iterations and changes, the game still has elements of how it was meant to be played. Because of its popularity, there is always a lot of money riding on bets placed on basketball games.

Basketball is such a versatile sport that you can bet on player statistics, quarters and their statistics, halves, full games, and outright winners. There are also different levels to bet on including college basketball, playoffs, and regular season games. Because mobile sports betting in New York is now legal, you should check out the various sportsbooks to see what they are offering (games, bonuses, promotions, etc.) and decide on the types of bets you would like to place.


Although baseball has been overtaken by American football in terms of popularity, it remains the most popular game in NYC in terms of attendance, TV ratings and consistent fan engagement. Baseball is played between two teams using a bat and ball. One team throws the ball (pitches), and the other hits the bat (bats). The hitter has to run around the field unless their ball is caught before it hits the ground, and they are out. Players are also out if they miss three consecutive pitches.

Although basketball and American football see a lot of point spread bets, basketball is primarily a money line sport. Bettors place straight bets on the team to win, although several prop bets (bets placed on occurrences during the game) and run line bets (bets on a winning margin) are also available. However, prop and run line bets are not as popular as money line bets. You can also bet on overs and unders, which is a bet on whether the total runs in a game will be over or under the amount chosen.

Soccer (Football)

Soccer, especially European soccer, is popular worldwide, which is why it attracts so many bettors. The game consists of 11 players playing on a rectangular field. The aim is to score a goal by getting the ball into the opponent’s net (goal). Soccer is very dynamic, and there are so many things to bet on. Some include the overall winner, over or under goals, offsides, yellow and red cards, corners, possession, penalties, and so much more. If you are new to sports betting, soccer is the best place to start because it makes betting easier to understand, and there is a real chance of winning large amounts.

If you are looking for a sport to bet on, you cannot go wrong with the most popular sports in New York. Although everyone has their preferences, the sports listed above remain the most popular ones in New York.

Leomar Umpad
Leomar Umpad
A supply chain operations manager by profession. A technology-lover and a writer by heart. I have the passion to teach and inform.


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