With March Madness just days away, it’s time to look at some of the potential slam dunks. In 2022, investors bet on gambling stocks because 45 million Americans were expected to wager $3.1 billion on the tournament. In addition, about 21 million Americans were expected to bet on the tournament outside of bracket contests, according to the American Gaming Association.
About 37 million Americans were set to wager on brackets. We can also make an argument there’s more demand for pizza, alcohol, wings, and soda. So, of course, we’ll dive into opportunities there, too. In fact, here are five stocks to watch.
|BETZ||Roundhill Sports Betting & iGaming ETF||$15.50|
|IBET||iBET Sports Betting and Gaming ETF||$9.68|
March Madness Stocks: Roundhill Sports Betting & iGaming ETF (BETZ)
One of the top ways to invest in gambling stocks is with an ETF, such as the Roundhill Sports Betting & iGaming ETF (NYSEARCA:BETZ), which tracks sports betting and iGaming stocks. With an expense ratio of 0.75%, it also offers investors exposure to 41 March Madness stocks, including Entain PLC (OTCMTKS:GMVHY), Flutter Entertainment (OTCMKTS:PDYPY), Penn Entertainment (NASDAQ:PENN), DraftKings (NASDAQ:DKNG), Churchill Downs (NASDAQ:CHDN), MGM Resorts (NYSE:MGM), and many more. What’s nice about an ETF is that it offers greater exposure at less cost.
March Madness Stocks: iBET Sports Betting and Gaming ETF (IBET)
Another hot gambling ETF to consider is the iBET Sports Betting and Gaming ETF (NASDAQ:IBET), which provides exposure to even more March Madness stocks, such as Penn National Gaming, FanDuel, and Caesars (NASDAQ:CZR) to name a few. With an expense ratio of 0.79%, you get exposure to those three and another 30 top gambling stocks. Even better, IBET should benefit from the massive growth in store for the industry. According to Grand View Research, the global online sports betting & gaming market is expected to grow to $153 billion by 2030.
Or, look at March Madness stocks, like DraftKings. In the 2022 March Madness tournament, the stock ran temporarily higher that year. It also ran briefly in 2021, as well.
Even better for DraftKings, DKNG could be profitable sooner than expected, according to Casino.org. That’s according to Morgan Stanley analyst Stephen Grambling, who rates the stock with an outperform rating, with a $20 price target. “We expect an inflection in profitability in 2023 to surface value from the company’s NOL (net operating loss) and decouple the stock from the broader ‘unprofitable tech’ basket,” he added.
Analysts at Argus also upgraded DraftKings to Buy from Hold with a $22 price target. The firm expects DraftKings’ revenue to increase to $3.1B in 2023 from $323M in 2019 as more states legalize online sports betting and consumers allocate more of their income to wagers, as noted by TheFly.com.
Or, you can invest in one of the many sponsors of March Madness, including Coca-Cola (NYSE:KO). With strong demand, dependable dividends, and incredible earnings growth, Coca-Cola is one of the best stocks to consider. Buffett, who drinks about five cans of Coke a day, agrees, once calling KO a “forever” stock. Coca-Cola is also a dividend king, raising its dividend for 61 years. It currently has a yield of 3.09%. In fact, KO just raised its quarterly dividend from 44 cents to 46 cents per common share.
Even better, Citi analysts just initiated KO coverage with a buy rating, with a price target of $68 a share. “Near-term, we also see potential topline/EPS upside with momentum exiting Q4, strong pricing power, and solid emerging markets growth. We view KO’s valuation close to the average of 4 mega-cap peers as compelling given a stronger topline growth and higher margin profile,” they said, as noted on Seeking Alpha.
Or, look at March Madness stocks, like Wingstop (NASDAQ:WING).
Thanks to the virus, when the 2020 NCAA tournament was canned in 2020, the chicken wing business saw a million-pound surplus, which sent prices to less than a dollar. With the tournaments returning strong, chicken wing sales are expected to fly. In 2022, the National Chicken Council (NCC) said a record 1.42 billion wings would be consumed by Americans. In 2023, Americans are expected to do more of the same—which is great news for WING.
Helping, at the end of Feb., several firms raised their price targets on WING. Wedbush, for example, raised its target to $200 from $177. Barclays raised from $167 to $205. Citi raised from $193 to $200. Baird raised by $190 to $195. Stephens raised from $173 to $200. UBS raised from $145 to $190. Cowen raised from $180 to $200.
On the date of publication, Ian Cooper did not have (either directly or indirectly) any positions in the securities mentioned. The opinions expressed in this article are those of the writer, subject to the InvestorPlace.com Publishing Guidelines.