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The Duke Blue Devils bench cheers on the reserves during the final minute of the second half of the game against the Louisville Cardinals.
The Duke Blue Devils bench cheers on the reserves during the final minute of the second half of the game against the Louisville Cardinals. Photo by Grant Halverson/Getty Images via AFP.

The North Carolina sports betting landscape continues to take shape, with the launch planned to happen on March 11, just in time for the ACC Men’s College Basketball Tournament and NCAA March Madness.

Those events will certainly be popular in the Tar Heel State, but we expect other sports to be popular betting options among North Carolina sports betting apps.

We're breaking down the entire North Carolina sports betting scene - which you can get involved in by using the best North Carolina sports betting promos - ahead of its launch.

College basketball

North Carolina is likely to be one of the most popular states with our best March Madness betting sites. Last year, an estimated 68 million Americans bet on March Madness. That was without sports betting being legal in the state which is home to the Duke Blue Devils, North Carolina Tar Heels, and numerous other big-name programs.

Both of those big programs will be involved in March Madness, but the state will start to see many college basketball bets before that. The ACC Championship will be held from March 12-16, and teams from North Carolina are likely to hold the top two seeds and three of the top six.

NFL and college football

It’s out of season right now, but North Carolina bettors should flock to our best sports betting sites to meet or exceed the national average when it comes to football, at both the collegiate and professional levels. A study conducted by MyProtein earlier this year determined that professional football is the most popular sport in North Carolina.

Even with the Carolina Panthers finishing with the worst record in football last season and none of the college teams vying for a national title, football still reigns supreme in the Tar Heel state. Research from 2023 suggests that nearly 30% of American adults made at least one NFL bet last season. That number should go up considerably because of North Carolina.


Numerous studies and polls suggest that North Carolina is the top state for NASCAR fandom in the U.S.

NASCAR has become an increasingly popular sport for bettors in recent years, though it still has a long way to go to pick up a meaningful percentage of the overall sports betting handle in a given year.

With the most obsessed NASCAR state in the country legalizing betting, it’s safe to say that NASCAR will see another massive increase in handle at our best sports betting apps in 2024. Look for a major uptick at the end of May when North Carolina hosts the All-Star Race and the Coca-Cola 600.


We know that college basketball is incredibly popular, but what about the NBA? The Charlotte Hornets are one of the least popular teams in the NBA, and they are nowhere near the playoff picture this season.

Yet, even with the Hornets struggling, we project that the NBA will be popular among the best sportsbooks in North Carolina come the playoffs. It may lag behind other states when it comes to the regular season, but North Carolinians love basketball.

Nearly every state with legalized gambling saw an increase in bets handled when the postseason began in 2023. With that being said, college basketball should be more popular than the NBA in any given year.


North Carolina is also home to one of the least popular NHL teams in the country, the Carolina Hurricanes. However, popularity has been increasing for the team and the sport in recent seasons, mainly because of how much success the Hurricanes have had.

The Hurricanes are destined to make the playoffs this season after making it to the Eastern Conference Finals last year. Though a successful run in the playoffs would certainly create more interest at our best NHL betting sites, it is unlikely that North Carolina receives anywhere near the number of bets as northern states where NHL betting is most popular.

MLB and other sports

North Carolina isn’t home to an MLB team, which makes it unlikely that betting interest will be very high at our best MLB betting sites. However, there could be an increase in baseball betting at our sites with the best sportsbook promos when the College World Series takes place later this year, as North Carolina is home to numerous baseball programs and minor league teams.

North Carolina hosts a few PGA Tour events, so interest at our best live betting sites should increase on the weekends when those events are taking place. As for sports such as UFC and tennis, it’s hard to make an educated guess. UFC rarely comes to North Carolina, though there was an event there last May. With tennis, it’s likely to depend on the weekend, but North Carolina is unlikely to become one of the most popular states for the sport.