Since the legalization of sports betting in 2021, Arizona has transformed into a hotbed for thriving activity. The Grand Canyon State has wholeheartedly embraced the world of wagering, offering a wide range of betting options to both residents and visitors. The state’s vibrant sports culture spans professional leagues and college sports, fostering a passionate fan base that extends to the betting market.

This enthusiasm for sports has bolstered the local betting scene, with various popular sports attracting the attention of bettors across the state. In this article, we will examine the most popular sports to bet on in Arizona, taking a closer look at their impact on the local betting market. Through this exploration, we aim to provide insights into the growth and trends within the Arizona sports betting industry.

Factors Influencing the Popularity of Sports to Bet On

Several factors contribute to the popularity of sports for betting purposes, with at least three major aspects being the presence of local teams, the sport’s overall popularity within the region, and the variety of betting options available. Additionally, the level of media coverage, the competitiveness of local teams, and the accessibility of betting platforms also play a role in driving interest among bettors. In the subsequent sections, we will delve into the most popular sports to bet on in Arizona, highlighting these factors and exploring their impact on the betting market.


NFL Betting in Arizona

Arizona Cardinals

As the Arizona Cardinals undergo significant changes in their management and coaching staff, the team’s betting prospects may be affected. With Steve Keim stepping down as general manager and Kliff Kingsbury being relieved of his duties as head coach, the Cardinals have entered a period of transition. They have swiftly addressed the situation, signing Gannon as their new head coach and seeking new personnel from the Chicago Bears and San Francisco 49ers. Bettors looking to wager on the Arizona Cardinals should take these changes into account, as they may impact the team’s performance and dynamics in the upcoming season.

Gannon’s hire as the new head coach of the Arizona Cardinals is a promising development for the team, given his extensive experience at both professional and collegiate levels. His defensive expertise and motivational abilities could potentially improve the Cardinals’ performance on the field. 

As bettors assess the team’s prospects, they should consider how Gannon’s leadership may influence the Cardinals’ play and adapt their betting strategies accordingly. With the coaching, search concluded and the new management structure in place, the Arizona Cardinals are set to embark on a new chapter, which may bring fresh betting opportunities for sports enthusiasts in the state.

NFL betting in Arizona offers a diverse range of wagering options, including:

  • Moneylines 
  • Point spreads
  • Prop bets, and 
  • futures.

College Football Betting

Arizona State University Sun Devils and University of Arizona Wildcats

Arizona is home to two major college football programs: the Arizona State University Sun Devils and the University of Arizona Wildcats. These teams have a long-standing rivalry, known as the “Duel in the Desert,” that has captured the attention of fans and bettors alike. Each year, anticipation builds for their showdown, with bets placed on the outcome of the game, point spreads, and various prop bets. Betting on college football in Arizona is not limited to this rivalry, however, as bettors also wager on other matchups and conferences throughout the season.

Betting Strategies and Trends

When betting on college football, Arizona bettors often take into account factors such as team form, injuries, and coaching changes. Furthermore, they monitor conference standings and College Football Playoff rankings to make informed decisions. In addition to traditional betting options like point spreads, moneylines, and over/unders, bettors also partake in futures betting, which involves wagering on events like conference championships and national titles. Such bets typically have higher odds, providing the potential for greater payouts.


NBA Betting in Arizona

Phoenix Suns

With the sudden trade of Kevin Durant to the Phoenix Suns, the team’s odds to win the 2023 NBA championship have skyrocketed. The addition of a superstar like Durant, who has proven himself as one of the league’s most dominant players, significantly bolsters the Suns’ chances of capturing their elusive first NBA title. Bettors in Arizona and beyond should take note of this development, as the Durant trade transforms the Suns into a formidable force in the championship race.

As a result of this blockbuster trade, the Phoenix Suns are now seen as one of the top contenders in the NBA, making them an even more attractive betting option for sports enthusiasts. With the combination of Durant’s scoring ability and the existing talent of Chris Paul, Deandre Ayton, and Devin Booker, the Suns are poised to make a strong run for the championship. For bettors in Arizona, this development presents an exciting opportunity to capitalize on the heightened prospects of their home team.

NBA betting in Arizona provides a wide array of betting options, with most of the AZ online sportsbooks providing more exotic bets for NBA games. Point spreads and props are still popular, but integrating the bets through parlay is preferred by most bettors.

College Basketball Betting

Arizona State University Sun Devils and University of Arizona Wildcats

In addition to professional basketball, Arizona has a thriving college basketball scene with the Arizona State University Sun Devils and the University of Arizona Wildcats. Both programs have passionate fan bases and strong basketball traditions, which translate into a robust betting market. Arizona residents closely follow these teams throughout the season, particularly during the NCAA Tournament, when betting interest peaks.

Betting Tips and Trends

When betting on college basketball, Arizona residents often consider factors such as team form, injuries, coaching changes, and conference standings. March Madness, the annual NCAA basketball tournament, is an especially popular time for placing bets, as fans try to predict the winners of each matchup and ultimately the national champion. Bracket challenges and prop bets add extra excitement to an already thrilling event, drawing in both casual and seasoned bettors.


MLB Betting in Arizona

Arizona Diamondbacks

Although the Arizona Diamondbacks may not be garnering much attention this season, they have the potential for a breakout season in the coming years, thanks to their highly ranked farm system and an impressive selection of young talent. With budding stars like Zac Gallen, Alek Thomas, Drew Jones, and Jack McCarthy in their ranks, the Diamondbacks are steadily making strides toward improvement. As a result, bettors should keep an eye on this team as they work towards ending their playoff drought and making an impact in the major league.

For those considering MLB betting in Arizona, it is crucial to take into account the team’s progress and the contributions of their promising young talents. With the new 12-team playoff format, the Diamondbacks have a better chance of making a postseason push, and bettors may find value in wagering on their potential success. As the Diamondbacks continue to develop their roster and hone their skills, Arizona sports enthusiasts can look forward to an exciting future for the team and potentially rewarding betting opportunities.

MLB betting offers a diverse selection of wagering options, including unique proposition bets tailored specifically to the sport. Arizona bettors often look for opportunities to bet on specific events or achievements within a game, such as the first team to score, the total number of home runs, or which player will have the most RBIs. These specialized wagers add excitement and depth to the betting experience, allowing fans to engage with the intricacies of the game.

One betting option that stands out for most bettors is the parlay. Parlays involve combining multiple bets into a single wager, increasing the potential payout while also raising the level of risk. Arizona bettors frequently choose parlays in MLB betting because they allow for higher returns on smaller wagers. 

Minor League Baseball Betting

Arizona’s Minor League Teams

In addition to the Arizona Diamondbacks, the state is also home to several Minor League Baseball teams, such as the Reno Aces, the Visalia Rawhide, and the Hillsboro Hops. These teams offer additional baseball betting opportunities for Arizona residents, who often enjoy wagering on prospects and following the development of future major leaguers. While the betting market for Minor League Baseball is smaller compared to Major League Baseball, it still provides a unique and exciting experience for bettors.

Betting Opportunities and Strategies

Minor League Baseball betting offers options like moneylines, run lines, over/unders, and prop bets, similar to MLB betting. However, bettors need to approach these games with a different set of strategies, as factors like roster changes, call-ups, and player development play a more significant role in Minor League Baseball. Arizona residents who bet on Minor League games often research team and player statistics, monitor prospect rankings, and keep an eye on player call-ups to make informed decisions on their wagers.


NHL Betting in Arizona

Arizona Coyotes

Despite the Arizona Coyotes finishing 5th in the Honda West division last season with a 24-26-4 record and their 2022 Stanley Cup odds starting at +50000, the team still garners attention from local bettors. Even though the Coyotes are considered underdogs in the race for the Stanley Cup, a victory would make for an incredible story, marking their first championship in franchise history. Arizona bettors may find value in supporting their home team, even if the odds appear to be stacked against them.

While the Coyotes’ preseason expectations resemble last season’s odds, bettors can still explore futures bets as a way to wager on the team. Futures bets focus on long-term achievements that a team or player might accomplish, such as the Coyotes winning the Stanley Cup or a player like Clayton Keller earning the NHL MVP title. These bets allow Arizona bettors to stay engaged with the team’s progress throughout the season and potentially capitalize on the success of their local favorites, despite the challenges they face on the road to the championship.

NHL betting in Arizona provides numerous wagering options that cater to the unique aspects of the sport, allowing bettors to immerse themselves in the exciting world of hockey. Some of the more distinctive bets available in hockey betting include first-period betting, where bettors wager on the outcome of the initial period, and the team or player to score the first or last goal in the game. These specialized wagers enable fans to engage with the sport’s intricacies and add an extra layer of excitement to their betting experience.

In addition to the more common betting options, Arizona residents often explore bets on individual player performances, such as predicting which player will score the most goals or make the most saves in a game. By keeping track of factors like team form, injuries, and goaltender performance, bettors can make informed decisions on their wagers, enhancing their enjoyment of the game and potentially leading to successful outcomes on their bets.


PGA Tour Betting in Arizona

Waste Management Phoenix Open

The Waste Management Phoenix Open is an annual PGA Tour event held in Scottsdale, Arizona, and is a highlight on the golf calendar for both fans and bettors. The tournament attracts a strong field of professional golfers, providing an exciting betting opportunity for Arizona residents. With various betting options available, including outright winners, top-10 finishes, head-to-head matchups, and prop bets, bettors can tailor their wagers to suit their preferences and strategies.

Betting Strategies and Common Wagers

When betting on golf in AZ, it is recommended to consider factors like player form, course history, and weather conditions. They may also analyze past tournament results and player statistics to make informed decisions on their wagers. Some bettors prefer to focus on outright winners, while others opt for more conservative options like top-10 or top-20 finishes. Additionally, head-to-head matchups and prop bets, such as predicting the top American or European player, add extra excitement and variety to the golf betting experience.

Horse Racing

Turf Paradise and Arizona Downs

Arizona is home to two notable horse racing tracks, Turf Paradise in Phoenix and Arizona Downs in Prescott Valley. These tracks host thoroughbred and quarter horse racing events throughout the year, drawing the attention of horse racing enthusiasts and bettors alike. Arizona residents enjoy the thrill of wagering on horse races, whether they attend the races in person or place their bets through online platforms.

Betting Types and Strategies

Horse racing betting offers a variety of wagering options, including win, place, and show bets, as well as exotic bets like exactas, trifectas, and superfectas. Win, place, and show bets are popular among casual bettors, as they involve simply picking a horse to finish first, second, or third. Exotic bets, on the other hand, require bettors to predict the exact order of finish for multiple horses, which can be more challenging but also offer higher potential payouts.

When betting on horse racing, Arizona residents often consider factors like a horse’s past performance, jockey and trainer statistics, and post position. They may also analyze race conditions, track surfaces, and the horse’s pedigree to make informed decisions on their wagers.

Other Sports to Bet On


Soccer betting has gained popularity in Arizona, especially with the growth of Major League Soccer (MLS) and the increasing interest in international soccer events like the FIFA World Cup and the UEFA Champions League. Arizona residents enjoy betting on their local MLS team, Phoenix Rising FC, as well as international teams and leagues. Soccer betting offers various wagering options, such as moneylines, point spreads, over/unders, and prop bets.

MMA and Boxing

Betting on Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) and boxing is also popular in Arizona, with events like UFC and major boxing matches drawing significant interest from bettors. Wagering options include moneylines, over/unders, and prop bets, such as the method of victory and round betting. Arizona residents often research fighter records, styles, and recent performances to make informed decisions on their wagers.


Motorsports betting, particularly on NASCAR and Formula 1 events, has a dedicated following in Arizona. Bettors can place wagers on race winners, head-to-head matchups, and various prop bets. Motorsports betting strategies often involve researching driver and team performances, track records, and race conditions to make informed decisions on wagers.

Impact of Popular Sports Betting on the Local Market

Economic Effects

The popularity of sports betting in Arizona has had positive economic effects, generating significant revenue for the state through taxes and licensing fees. This revenue is often used to support important services and initiatives, such as education, public safety, and infrastructure improvements. Additionally, the sports betting industry has created jobs in the state, both directly through employment at sportsbooks and indirectly through increased tourism and spending at local businesses.

Legal Developments and Regulations

The legalization of AZ sports betting has led to the implementation of regulations and oversight to ensure responsible gambling practices and protect consumers. The Arizona Department of Gaming oversees the licensing and operation of sportsbooks, working to maintain a fair and transparent betting market. As the sports betting landscape evolves, further legal developments may be necessary to address emerging technologies and trends.

Responsible Gambling and Support for Problem Gamblers

With the growth of sports betting in Arizona comes the increased importance of promoting responsible gambling and providing support for individuals who may develop gambling problems. Arizona teams and organizations frequently join forces to raise awareness and show their support for responsible gambling initiatives.

For instance, during Responsible Gambling Education Week, Arizona sports teams, such as the Arizona Cardinals, Phoenix Suns, Arizona Diamondbacks, and Arizona Coyotes, may partner with the Arizona Department of Gaming and other organizations to promote responsible gambling practices. These collaborations often involve public service announcements, social media campaigns, and in-stadium messages aimed at educating fans about the risks associated with gambling and the importance of betting responsibly.

The state works closely with organizations and initiatives that educate the public about the risks associated with gambling and offer resources for those who need help. This includes:

  • Setting up self-exclusion programs
  • Providing access to counseling services, and 
  • Ensuring that sports betting operators implement responsible gambling measures, such as setting deposit limits and offering tools to help bettors track their betting activity.

By promoting responsible gambling and supporting initiatives that address problem gambling, Arizona sports teams and organizations play a crucial role in maintaining a healthy and sustainable sports betting market for fans and bettors alike.