- August sports betting throughout the country saw bettors hit their worst performance of the year.
- While baseball betting may take the blame, it was actually the NFL preseason that caused this loss for bettors.
- Nevada bettors are the ones to blame for the high margins that sportsbooks profited from during August.
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – Sports bettors throughout the country were doing so well through the summer months of the year.
With only MLB baseball, NBA and NHL playoffs, and a few golf and tennis tournaments thrown in the mix, every legal sportsbook in the country during May, June, and July watched bettors get the best of the books. During these three months, bettors risked just shy of $2 billion ($1.988 billion) allowing the books to keep 5.215%, or $103.7 million.
This hold percentage is the lowest three-month mark in the history of legal sports betting after the repeal of PASPA, and it appeared that bettors were well on their way to perfecting their betting strategies.
However, the month of August rolled around and sports bettors went way off the wagon. During August, bettors (at every reporting sportsbook in the country) risked $731.4 million in wagers.
Still, the sportsbooks were able to keep $60.3 million during the month – the highest revenue mark since March of this year. With a hold percentage sitting at 8.24% for the month, the sportsbooks about the country saw their best revenue margins of the year.
In fact, the hold percentage is so out of the ordinary, that it was the second-highest mark since the month after PASPA was repealed (June 2018). Even further, no collective sports betting month had seen margins over 8%, with the exception of September 2018, which posted a level of 11.18%.
Rhode Island has yet to report their month of August, and other states such as New York and Arkansas do not post full reports detailing the betting handle and hold percentages. Either way, the majority of other states with legal sports betting have shown that August was a rough month for sports bettors. But why?
Many might look toward baseball as the reason bettors were unsuccessful, however, the numbers supporting this claim couldn’t be further from the truth.
In Nevada, baseball bettors during August held onto 96.26% of all money that was risked on the sport. Likewise, New Jersey bettors have shown to have baseball betting down to a science as well. During August, baseball bettors in New Jersey held onto 97.41% of all wagers submitted under the baseball category.
These two states accounted for just under 75% of the entire betting handle during the month of August. Therefore, no other state (or states) could accumulate enough of a handle to make the hold percentage increase to the aforementioned mark of 8.24%
Instead, the attention must turn to NFL preseason football, which started on August 1 and lasted all but the final two days of the 31-day month.
Using the same reports, New Jersey bettors are in the clear, as they held true to their impressive numbers. During August, New Jersey sportsbooks kept only 3.5% of football wagers, but Nevada is in an entirely different situation.
Here, bettors risked just over $72 million on football during the month of August but allowed the sportsbooks to keep 17.5%, or $12.6 million of that total. Whether bettors were excited to get back to betting on the NFL or did not realize that their betting strategies didn’t work during preseason football is unclear.
However, the numbers never lie and August 2019 has officially become one of the worst sports betting months for American sports bettors since the federal ban was lifted. The sportsbooks definitely won’t seem to mind this failed effort, but don’t expect this trend to last forever.
Once the first month of the NFL season is reported, the belief is there that the bettors will be back to their winning ways.
Michael began writing as an NBA content writer and has spent time scouting college basketball for Florida State University under Leonard Hamilton and the University of Alabama under Anthony Grant. A graduate of both schools, he covers topics focused on legal sports betting, betting odds, and casino reviews. Michael likes to golf, play basketball, hike, and kayak when not glued to the TV watching NBA games.