For US facing companies like Morris Mohawk Gaming’s Bodog.com, football dominated their list of most bet games of 2010. Of their top-ten most bet on games of 2010, football accounted for the top eight sports. The NCAA Men’s basketball final between Duke and upstart Butler and the 2010 World Cup final game between Spain and the Netherlands occupied the final two spots.
To clarify, my statement football is king really means, the NFL is king as the only college football game in the top 10 was the National Championship game between the Texas Longhorns and the eventual Champions, the Alabama Crimson Tide.
*Overall Top 10 games of 2010:
1. Superbowl: Saints @ Colts
2. BCS Championship: Texas @ Alabama
3. NFC Championship: Vikings @ Saints
4. NFC Wildcard: Packers vs Cardinals, highest scoring post season game of all time
5. AFC Championship: Jets @ Colts
6. AFC Divisionals: Jets @ Chargers
7. NFL Opening day: Vikings @ Saints (The rematch)
8. Monday Night Football, Week 2: Saints @ 49ers
9. NCAAB March Madness Final: Butler @ Duke
10) Netherlands vs Spain, World Cup Final
Really, it’s not surprising as the North American facing books cater to their audience’s insatiable appetite for the National Football league. Provided along with the top 10 most bet games of 2010, Bodog.com forwarded along their most bet games in each of the other major sports they offer. Most of the biggest games of the year were what most would have expected but we can glean a few gems from the list.
The biggest golf event of the year was the 2010 Masters. It marked the return to action of Tiger Woods after his self-imposed break from the game. The television ratings were up 47% over 2009 and it wasn’t just biggest golf betting event of the year, it was the most bet on golf event ever.
The Men’s Olympic Hockey tournament topped all hockey games in the television ratings and in bets place. The 2010 Olympic Gold Medal Hockey game between the US and Canada was the third most viewed game in US television history. It trails only the 1980 Miracle on Ice semi finals against the USSR and the gold Medal Game against Finland. We obviously don’t have betting numbers from 1980 but we can tell you the Canada-US game attracted more hockey punters than any other game in 2010.
The final two I’ll highlight are the top events in the Ultimate Fighter Championship and from the World of Boxing.
The UFC is huge, in the past few years they have become the global brand of Mix Marital Arts. Along with their growth, betting on the sport reached an all time high at UFC 124 when Champion Brock Lesnar lost his UFC Heavyweight title to Cain Velasquez. The former champion Lesnar was a huge star before he jumped into mixed martial arts. His name value played a huge part in the impressive year, as he’s all but guarantees the UFC will garner a 1m pay-per-view buys and online gaming companies big handle on fight day. It remains to be seen how new Champion Cain Velasquez’s numbers will fare as he doesn’t have the same mainstream notoriety but he is the first Mexican Heavyweight Champion in combat sports history.
In Boxing, Floyd “Money” Mayweather lived up to his name as his fight with Sugar Shane Mosely was the most bet on boxing event of the year. Despite trailing Manny Pacquaio in the pound-for-pound rankings and dodging him him in the ring, his love of drinkin’, gamblin’ and Carryin’ on have endured him to boxing bettors.
*Top games by sport for 2010:
NBA All: Celtics @ Lakers, June 17 (Game 7, NBA Finals)
NBA Regular Season: Heat @ Celtics, Oct 26 (Opening day 2010-11)
NCAAB: Butler @ Duke, April 5 (March Madness Final)
NCAAF All: Texas @ Alabama, Jan 7 (BCS Championship)
NCAAF Regular Season: Boise St @ Virginia Tech, Sept 06
MLB All: Rangers @ Giants, Oct 27 (World Series Game 1)
MLB Regular Season: Yankees @ Red Sox, April 04
Hockey All: Canada @ US, Feb 28 (Olympic Gold Medal)
NHL Regular Season: Penguins @ Flyers, Dec 14
Soccer: Netherlands vs Spain, World Cup Final
Tennis: Federer v Murray, Australian Open, Jan 31
Boxing: Mayweather v Mosley, April 25
UFC: Lesnar vs Velasquez, Oct 23 (UFC 121 – Lesnar vs. Velasquez)
Golf: US Masters, April 8-11 (Tiger Woods Return)
*provided by Bodog.com