In today’s world, you can find information online about almost anything, and it can help guide your decision-making so that you can make the best choice for you. Choosing one of the top real money sports betting sites in the US is kind of like buying a car.
Just because an online betting site looks flashy and fabulous doesn’t necessarily mean it’s the best one out there. Just like a Ferrari doesn’t get as good gas mileage as a Prius.
We’re going to be diving deep into what makes a great sports betting site, and how you can find the right online sportsbook for you.
|Rank||Betting Site||Key Info||Bonus Info||Visit Site|
In this article we’ll discuss everything you need to know about sports betting online! If you’re interested in something specific use the below buttons to jump to the section that will be most helpful to you:
Criteria for Ranking Betting Sites
Our Top US Betting Sites
Mobile Sports Betting Apps
The Kinds of Sports to Bet On
Tips for Betting on Sports
Sports Betting FAQ
Is Sports Betting Legal in the US?
In the United States, it’s perfectly legal for individuals to place bets with a bookmaker in a brick and mortar establishment. The United States has had a troubled relationship with sports betting—and many other kinds of gambling—for a long time.
But recently, when the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PASPA) proposed banning sports betting, many Americans were up in arms.
Thankfully, PASPA did not come to pass, and the federal government left gambling regulation up to individual states.
Depending on where you live, sports betting might be outright illegal or completely accepted. To learn more about individual states and their online gambling regulations, check out our handy directory.
The short answer however, is yes, sports betting is legal on a federal level, but there may be some hurdles to jump over depending on what state you live in. However, many offshore sports betting sites provide services across the country, so residents from hardline states can take advantage of their offers.
Online Sports Betting Is Growing in Popularity
In the past few years, online betting and gambling as grown significantly, especially in the United States. Previously, sports betting was done at sports venues or in casinos. But now, the internet has allowed people to wager wherever and whenever they want.
Plus, the advent of mobile betting sites has made it even easier for bettors to win big no matter where they are.
In the future, as individual states start to offer sports betting online within their borders, we expect to see sportsbook revenue continue to grow.
Is Your Online Betting Site Really the Best?
There are a lot of factors to consider when choosing a new online sports betting site. Not all sites offer the same sports, and even then, not all of them have the same betting lines.
And to top it off, you have to look at the site’s security, bonuses, banking methods, and customer support. It can be a lot to juggle if you don’t know where to look.
Below, we’ll detail the five critical factors you should research before signing on the dotted line.
Site Safety and Security
Though there are several videos online designed to scare you into believing that all sports betting sites are scams, this isn’t the case.
There are hundreds of licensed, legal sportsbooks that can be trusted to pay you your winnings at the end of the day. That being said, the sports betting scare is based on a tidbit of truth, so knowing which sites are gold and which ones aren’t is critical to your online safety.
The best sports betting sites aren’t only licensed by whatever governance they operate within, but they also employ third-party contractors to protect their sites.
SSL encryption has become a standard for online gambling sites, casinos, and sportsbooks alike. This 128- or 256-bit encryptions neatly locks up your info behind a firewall to prevent hackers or betting site employees from running off with your credit card data.
Most sites will display their security certificates in the footer of their website, but you can also check the legal or terms and conditions pages.
Bonuses and Promotions
Online betting sites offer bonuses for a variety of reasons, but the overriding theme is to keep you gambling.
These bonuses are designed to increase your betting activity and keep you interested in the sportsbook’s products. While these are good things on some level, if they come with cumbersome play-through requirements or obscure rules, then you’re probably better off not taking advantage of them.
The best sports betting sites will offer some form of deposit bonus; sometimes it’s a 100% match of your first deposit, sometimes it’s higher.
Plus, all good sportsbooks will have a loyalty bonus that rewards you for making bets and consistently using the site. The right sports betting website should make their promotions very clear and easy to understand before you sign up.
Variety of Online Banking Methods
As with any consumer-driven product, the best sports betting sites offer a wide range of online banking methods.
Almost all online betting sites offer deposits and withdrawals using credit or debit cards, but they are far from the best option for online gamblers.
You’ll want to see if the sportsbook you’re considering offers faster banking methods like e-Wallets or cryptocurrency.
Crypto is quickly becoming a hot ticket banking method for online gambling because it’s fast, secure, and has the potential to make you more money even after you’ve cashed out all your wagers. Just check out our deep dive into the seven most popular cryptocurrencies for online gambling.
Financial tool companies like PayPal or Skrill are sometimes picky about who they let use their service, so if a sports betting site offers a lot of big-name money-moving options, chances are they have been vetted by those companies.
Types of Sports Betting Offered
It’s important to know exactly what types of wagers a betting site offers before you decide whether or not to use their service.
Before you start gambling online, you should have a plan in place that details all the sports and leagues that interest you. All good sports betting sites will offer betting on the major American sports leagues, college football and basketball, NFL, MLB, NBA, NHL, and soccer.
It’s good to be selective when choosing the sports that are available to bet on at a given bookmaker because you don’t want to end up settling for the only sport they offer. This is why it’s important to know what types of bets each site offers before signing up. For example, if you’re used to betting on the spread, but a sportsbook only offers money-line bets, then it’s probably not the right fit for you.
If you’re into niche sports like table tennis, professional chess, or darts, you’ll have to do some extra digging to find the right sportsbook. And if you’re interested in esports, just know that not all online betting sites offer the same competitive betting on esports tournaments. Some are very limited, while others have a wide variety of props to choose from.
And finally, we come to customer support. It’s last on our list, but it’s far from the least important.
If you ever come across a problem with your account, you want to know the sportsbook’s customer support will be there to lend a helping hand.
You should find out their hours of availability, how to contact them (email vs. call), and what types of problems can be resolved via their site (ticket numbers, etc.).
Also, pay attention to the betting site’s online reputation because this will give you an idea of whether or not they care about providing quality customer service. Other players usually post reviews online about their experiences with customer support, and they might be a good place to look to gauge the effectiveness of a sportsbook’s service team.
Best Real Money US Betting Sites
Some of the best real money sports betting sites for US players are often right under their noses. Using the above criteria, we picked our five favorite sports betting sites that you can use today, tomorrow, or for the rest of your life!
|Rank||Betting Site||License||Live Betting||Bonus Offer||Online Casino?||States Restricted|
|#1||BetUS||Curacao||Yes||200% Crypto deposit up to $2,500||Yes||None|
|#2||BetOnline||Panama||Yes||100% Crypto deposit up to $1,000||Yes||None|
|#3||MyBookie||Curacao||Yes||100% deposit bonus up to $1,000||Yes||NY, NJ, NV|
|#4||SportsBetting.ag||Panama||Yes||50% deposit bonus up to $1,000||Yes||NJ|
|#5||Bovada||Curacao||Yes||50% deposit bonus up to $250||Yes||DE, MD, NV, NJ|
Sports Betting Apps for Real Money
Placing sports bets on your favorite teams from the security of your home or office is great, but what if you could wager wherever you are—the subway, the airport, or the bar?
Well, many online betting sites also offer a mobile app that lets you take your wagers on the move.
Mobile sports betting is really the future of the industry. The convenience of a sportsbook in your pocket far outpaces the traditional online betting methods, like your laptop, desktop, or tablet.
Related Article: Real Money Casino Apps
What Sports to Bet On?
The US is kind of the sports hub of the entire world, with more people watching and participating in sports than pretty much every other country.
It only stands to reason that sports betting has a massive following for all of America’s favorite sports.
Types of Sports Bets
Sports betting is a big part of the gambling industry – bigger than most people realize. And I think everyone has placed a friendly wager on a Sunday NFL game here or there with a buddy. But that’s not the type of bets that we’re talking about here.
If you want to start betting on professional sports games, then you will see lots of different names for specific types of bets floating around, some of which can be confusing.
So if you’re looking to expand your knowledge of different types of sports bets, then look no further than this list of the different types of sports bets you will come across on your sports betting journey!
The spread refers to how many points each team is expected to win or lose by. Spreads offer an equal payout on two uneven teams. Not all sports teams have the same rankings, and by betting the spread, you’re hedging your bets.
For example, if the Chicago Bears are playing the Detroit Lions, a spread bet might be -5.5 to +5.5, respectively. In this example, the Bears have to win by more than 5.5 points for you to win the spread. If the Lions lose by more than 5.5 points, you would win the spread.
Spread betting is a great way to even the playing field, and almost every good betting site offers spread betting.
A parlay bet groups multiple bets together into a nice bundle. You’re betting on the outcomes of various matches, and you must win each smaller bet to win the parlay. This kind of sports bet is high-risk, high-reward because the odds are increased. Each match you add to the parlay pushes the odds higher, making it more difficult to win.
However, if you play your cards right, you can stand to win a lot of money. For example, if you were to make a parlay of eight teams, you might win $18,000! But the odds for such a bet are 180 to 1, much riskier than many sports bettors are comfortable with.
Teaser bets are a bit more complicated than other sports bets because they involve a bit more math and logic.
To bet a teaser, you have to choose multiple teams, sometimes up to 15 teams. But usually, teasers are used for three to four teams. Many people choose to stick with parlays because the payouts for teaser bets are quite low, sometimes not even 1:1.
A moneyline bet is the simplest kind of sports bet, and the bet most people think of if they’re not familiar with sports betting. To bet a moneyline, you simply choose the team you think will win and bet money on them.
Of course, betting on the underdogs will net you more winnings, but betting on the favored team will still give you some cash, just not as much.
The over/under bet is another popular sports bet for many gambling enthusiasts. This kind of bet functions independently of who wins the game, which makes it a good choice for people betting on teams they aren’t entirely familiar with.
For example, if there Steelers were to play the Bills, and the score was predicted to be 12-30, then the over/under bet would allow you to decide if the total points scored would be over 42, or under 42. It doesn’t matter who scores the points, or who wins, as long as the combined total is either over 42 or under 42.
Props is an umbrella term for all kinds of bets that aren’t based on game totals, spreads, or moneylines.
Prop betting is a great way to spice up your sports wagering activities. You can bet on all kinds of events, like rebounds, foul shots, player performance, and more.
Yes/no props are fairly simple; for example, “Will the team that scores first win the game?” is an example of this.
Prop betting is often used for more than just sports. It’s a popular function for esports, political campaigns, and other entertainment events, like game shows.
Football Betting in the USA
The NFL is one the highest-grossing sports leagues in America, and millions of people watch football games each year, either on TV or in person. Football betting is by far one of the most popular types of sports betting out there, and there are a few tips about how to reap the rewards of a well-placed wager.
- Bet the spread. This is the easiest kind of football bet.
- Know the stats. Never go into a football bet blind.
- Read picks. Many sites offer free picks about upcoming matchups.
- Pick a sports betting site meant for football betting.
And that leads us into our next section, the best football betting sites for US residents
Best Football Betting Sites
|BetUS||125% deposit bonus||All 50 states||Curacao Gaming Authority|
|MyBookie||50% deposit bonus||All states except NY, NV, and NJ||Curacao Gaming Authority|
|BetOnline||50% deposit bonus||All 50 states||Panama Gaming Commission|
Basketball Betting in the USA
Basketball is probably the second most popular sport in the US, making it an ideal sports betting opportunity. Every sports betting site worth their weight offers some kind of basketball betting.
Most sites at least offer NBA betting, but others also include WNBA, college basketball, and international basketball.
Prop betting is very big for basketball because players have a lot more opportunities to make certain plays and improvise. There are props for rebounds, foul shots, blocks, and individual player performances.
Baseball Betting in the USA
Baseball may have been labeled as America’s Favorite Pastime, but we’d say that sports betting now claims that title!
With that being said, baseball is still a popular sport for bettors. Moneylines, over/under, and parlays are all available for baseball betting. Plus, the unique baseball bet, the runline!
To win a runline on the underdog, they have to win/lose by exactly 1 run, whereas the favored team will need to win by 2 or more runs.
Hockey Betting in the USA
While hockey is more popular in Canada, Americans still have plenty of options for betting on their favorite NHL teams.
And hockey sportsbooks offer a variety of interesting bets that are unique to the sport. For example, the puck line bet is the hockey equivalent of a spread.
Puck lines allow you to bet on teams you expect to lose and win, while a reverse puck line has the underdog and the favored team switching places.
For hockey, the moneyline bet is called the to-win bet, which is a much easier way to describe the moneyline. Prop betting is also a favorite option for NHL fans, with exciting props like teams to win the most periods, highest-scoring period, and double chance results.
Soccer Betting in the USA
Just like hockey, soccer is more popular in other parts of the world, but it still has a solid standing with American viewers.
American Major League Soccer games aren’t the only kind of soccer you’ll expect to find at big sportsbooks. Most online betting sites also include wagering for Premier League, FIFA, Champions League, and many regional soccer tournaments.
Prop betting is great for soccer because it offers some unique betting options. For example, you can bet on the score at halftime or in total, the first player to score, and double chance.
UFC and Boxing
Hand-to-hand combat events have great viewership in both the US and abroad, so it’s only logical for sports bettors to take advantage of the craze.
Of course, you can still bet the moneyline and over/under, but you might find additional bets more enticing. For example, you can bet on the method of victory, the number of knockouts, and exact rounds.
Esports Betting in the USA
If hot and sweaty sports aren’t your style, consider exploring the world of esports! Many online sportsbooks offer betting on a variety of esports tournaments.
Some of the most popular esports include:
- Counterstrike: Global Offensive
- DOTA 2
- League of Legends
- Rainbow Six Siege
- Apex Legends
While we’ve outlined how props are important for other kinds of sports like hockey and soccer, they are particularly popular for esports.
BetUS offers a lot of different wagers for sports betting, so it’s the ideal pick for American players. Non-US players can use Betway, which has an impressive lineup of sports and esports alike.
Niche Sports to Bet on at US Sportsbooks
There are also other select sports that pop up once in a while that might interest you. Competitive chess, darts, snooker, and cycling, to name a few.
When choosing an online sports betting site, take a second to check out their niche sports. Every once in a while, you might want to place a bet on a dog race or a chess match, so it’s nice to have the option.
Plus, betting sites have wagers for non-sporting events too, like political campaigns or the half-time show of the SuperBowl. This is an easy way for someone not into sports betting to still get in on the action.
Tips for Betting on Sports for Real Money
Now, just like any hobby or job, you don’t get good at sports betting in a single day. If you’re just starting out, consider these helpful tips to keep you on the right path.
There’s a bit of a learning curve if you’re a sports betting rookie. Thankfully, there’s a lot of great info out there about the kinds of bets to place, teams to look out for, and how to get the best bang for your buck.
Establish a Bankroll
You know your finances better than anyone, so make sure that you’re playing within your limits. It’s a fine line to walk if you’re just barely scraping by, so establishing a finite bankroll and sticking to it will help you in the long run.
Don’t Spend It All in One Place
One of the principles of investing is to diversify your portfolio. Staking all your chances on a single stock—in this case, bet—can spell disaster if you miscalculated. Take a slower approach, make multiple smaller bets to increase your chances of winning.
Line Shop Like No Tomorrow
We mentioned this earlier in the article, but shopping around at different sports betting sites can be a helpful practice to know where to stake your money.
Stick to What You Know
Unless you’re a sports guru, then chances are you’re more well-versed in one or two sports than you are in others. Don’t overextend yourself when placing bets. Stick to the games you know the most about because your knowledge will pay off.
Pick a Reputable Betting Site
And above all, pick a great US sports betting site. It sounds corny, but in all honesty, if you’re playing at a sub-par betting site, a lot of the tips above won’t matter if they don’t pay out your winnings.
Sports Betting Sites FAQ
Is Sports Betting Legal?
Yes, the federal government deemed that sports betting is legal on a federal level and then left it up to individual states to regulate their own markets. You won’t get in trouble for using a sports betting site or a mobile app, but depending on what state you’re in, you may not have access to them.
Are Fantasy Sports the Same as Sports Betting?
No, fantasy sports are a whole entity on their own. You can set up a fantasy sports league and bet real money with your friends or family, but you can’t bet on them like you can with conventional sports.
Can I Place Sports Bets in Person?
Yes, many brick-and-mortar casinos have separate sections of their facilities dedicated to sports betting. Most have multiple TVs to broadcast live games and a seating area for you to hang out with other bettors. This depends on your state’s regulations, however, not all casinos are allowed to operate sportsbooks.
What’s the Best Way to Make a Deposit at an Online Betting Site?
In our opinion, cryptocurrency is the best banking method for online gambling, whether it’s a sports betting site or an online casino. They’re fast, secure, and fairly easy to use. If crypto isn’t your style, we suggest using an e-Wallet like Skrill or Neteller.
Why Are Betting Site Bonuses Lower Than Online Casino Bonuses?
Betting sites make less money than casinos, so they don’t spend as much to incentivize new players. Online casinos are able to offer huge bonuses and promotions because they have a large player base that is constantly making deposits. Plus, the house edge helps them rake in a lot more than sportsbooks.