Basketball Bettors Dig Deeper For Data, Take More Deliberate Approach Than Those Who Wager On Other Sports

By | October 21, 2021


Basketball bettors are wired differently than those who wager on other sports, according to data from a recent survey commissioned  by Pickswise, a leading U.S. digital platform for free betting analysis and advice. While it is still a recreational pursuit for them, they are highly engaged and take a more serious approach, as they are more interested in winning as a primary motivation and more comprehensive in their preparation and execution in order to realize that.

Among basketball bettors, inclusive of those who bet on college and professional games, 73% say winning is a major reason they bet, and 43% say winning money is their most important reason, compared to 67% and 36%, respectively, to those who don’t bet on basketball. Additionally, 77% bet weekly, compared to 56% of non-basketball bettors, and 35% average more than $100 per bet vs. 28% of those who don’t bet on basketball.

These behavioral differences were identified as part of a comprehensive survey of U.S. sports bettors. The Inaugural Pickswise Annual Sports Bettor Survey, which was conducted by Beacon Research this summer, included 1,500 self-identified U.S. sports bettors residing in states with legal sports betting.

“As legal sports betting continues to expand across the U.S., it’s becoming increasingly clear that betting profiles vary by sport,” said Dan Pozner, VP of Content for Spotlight Sports Group, which owns Pickswise. “Fans are highly engaged across a number of sports, but those with interest in basketball stand alone with a uniquely diligent approach.”

Football remains the most popular sport to bet on with 73% of survey respondents saying they bet on the sport. Basketball was second with 62%.

Some specific differences in basketball bettors compared to other bettors include:

Basketball bettors spend more time and effort preparing:

  • 33% spend more than 2 hours per week on research and analysis, compared to 26% of non-basketball bettors
  • More are interested in betting insights and analysis (83% vs 76%)
  • More are likely to research bets (83% vs 77%)
  • 61% view video insights and analysis vs 48%

Basketball bettors play more angles:

  • They are twice as likely to say getting the best odds is important when choosing a sportsbook (20% vs 11%)
  • They are more likely to have several betting accounts — 40% have three or more U.S.-based accounts, compared to 26% of those who don’t bet on basketball

They are different demographically:

  • More likely to be male (78% vs 69%)
  • More likely to be under age 45 (81% vs 73%)
  • Slightly more likely to be single (37% vs 33%)
  • More likely to be Black (17% vs 10%)


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