Sport is beloved in Nigeria. The West African Nation has a rich history in sport, from Dambe Boxing to Hausa Martial Arts.  Today, the sporting landscape has changed somewhat, and betting on sports has become very popular.  With the help of the top 50 betting sites in Nigeria, we will summarise the most popular sports in Nigeria.


Football is the most popular sport in the world – by far! And, it’s no different in Nigeria, where football is a strong passion for millions.  The Nigeria Professional Football League is the top division in Nigeria, which has been running for 50 years now.  However, it is the Premier League that is most watched in Nigeria, as well as being a league that receives a lot of bets.

Nigeria has had their fair share of top-level talent. Jay-Jay Okocha is perhaps the most popular, with his flair lighting up the English league gaining him a lot of fans. However, Nigeria is also the birthplace of the likes of Rashidi Yekini, Victor Osimhen, Nwankwo Kanu, Victor Moses, and Alex Iwobi.


Basketball is a huge part of Nigeria’s national identity.  The sport has been popular in Nigeria since the 1950s, with the country joining FIBA in the mid-1960s.  The name of their national team is D’Tigers/D’Tigress, and they have seen some success over the years.

The Nigerian Premier Basketball League is watched by millions across Nigeria, with 16 teams divided into two conferences.  However, the US’s NBA is of course another league that captures the eyes of many in Nigeria, as well as some bets.


Dambe is a traditional martial art of Hausa people in Nigeria.  The martial art is very old, centuries in fact, but the traditional sport hasn’t died out.  In recent years, it has even seen a resurgence, where millions of people gather to watch the old boxing style.  The events are held on sand and watched internationally around the world.  In fact, over 60% of its viewers on Youtube are from overseas.  A national league was almost created before being interrupted by COVID-19, so this is something that we could see over the next few years.


When the Olympics comes around every four years, Nigerians mostly tune in for the track and field events, where they are perhaps at their best.  Some of their previous medal winners include Ese Brume, Chukwuebuka Enekwechi, and Tobi Amusan.

Boxing and UFC

Boxing has been around since the 1940s in Nigeria.  It grew in popularity in part because of their background and interest in Dambe, but grew into its own thing where they had a few world-beaters: Dick Tiger, Bash Ali, and Hogan Bassey.  However, there are hundreds of professional boxers in Nigeria, and they also watch international events with the likes of Tyson Fury.

The UFC is a fairly recent invention, with it taking the sport of MMA and making it mainstream.  Up until recently, the UFC’s two best champions were Kamaru Usman and Israel Adesanya.  To have two UFC champions, a sport that is quickly becoming more beloved than boxing, in one go is very special, and Nigerians didn’t ignore this fact.