Best Sports Betting Sites in 2024 for US Players

Choosing one of the top sports betting sites in the US is kind of like buying a car.

Just because an online betting site looks appealing doesn’t necessarily mean it’s the best. A Ferrari may look sharp, but it certainly doesn’t get the gas mileage of a Prius and doesn’t have the safety features found in a Subaru Crosstrek.

Our team has carefully test-driven the most popular US betting sites to help you find the perfect sportsbook. We’ve looked at security, bonuses, deposit methods, odds, and other qualities of the best sports betting sites available today.

This page is an exhaustive (not a car joke) resource for 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’ll be most helpful to you:

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:

RankBetting SiteLicenseLive BettingBonus OfferStates RestrictedReview
#1BetOnline Logo



BetOnline
PanamaYes100% Crypto deposit up to $1,000NJ, NVBetOnline Casino Review
#2Bovada Logo



Bovada
CuracaoYes50% deposit bonus up to $1,000DE, MA, NV, NJ, NYBovada Review
#3BetUS Logo



BetUS
CuracaoYes200% Crypto deposit up to $2,500NoneBetUS Casino Review
#4Everygame Logo



Everygame
AntiguaYes100% deposit bonus up to $750KY, LA, MD, MI, NJ, NY, WABetUS Casino Review
#5MyBookie Logo



MyBookie
CuracaoYes100% deposit bonus up to $1,000NY, NJ, NV, PAMyBookie Casino Review
#6SportsBetting.ag Logo



SportsBetting.ag
PanamaYes50% deposit bonus up to $1,000NJ, NVSportsBetting.ag Review

Blacklisted Sports Betting Sites

Unfortunately, not all US sportsbooks are created equal. If they don’t meet our high standards, which are clearly explained in the next section, they should never appear on any top-10 betting site list.

If they are rogue sites to rip players off, they’ll be blacklisted for their bad behavior. We recommend you bookmark our list of blacklisted gambling sites so you know to avoid them at all costs.

Reasons why top sports betting sites get blacklisted include:

  • Withholding winnings
  • Delayed withdraw times
  • False advertising
  • Licensing issues
  • Unfair games

How We Rank the Best Sports Betting Sites

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 difficult 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 several videos online are designed to scare you into believing that all sports betting sites are scams, this isn’t the case.

Hundreds of licensed, legal sportsbooks can be trusted to pay you your winnings at the end of the day. That being said, not all sites are as safe and secure as they should be.

At this point, there are only a handful of sites that aren’t registered with a legal authority. Don’t use these sites. It’s like going to a doctor without a medical license.

The best offshore sports betting sites available to US players have the following characteristics:

  • Licensed by whichever governance they operate within and employ third-party contractors to protect their sites
  • 128- or 256-bit SSL encryption that secures your info behind a firewall to prevent hackers or site employees from running off with your credit card data
  • Security certificates are displayed in their website’s footer or on their terms and conditions pages

Bonuses and Promotions

Online betting sites offer bonuses for various 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, you’re probably better off not taking advantage of them.

The best sports betting sites in the USA will offer a deposit bonus; sometimes it’s a 100% match of your first deposit, and 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 its promotions clear and easy to understand before signing up.

Variety of Online Banking Methods

As with any consumer-driven product, the best sports betting sites offer various online banking methods.

Almost all betting sites offer deposits and withdrawals using credit or debit cards. Still, 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.

The more banking options an online sportsbook offers, the better. This shows that not only are they dedicated to providing the best service possible for their players, but it also indicates that they’re reputable.

Financial tool companies like PayPal or Skrill are sometimes picky about who they let use their service, so if a sports betting site offers many big-name money-moving options, chances are those companies have vetted them.

Types of Sports Betting Offered

It’s important to know exactly what types of wagers a betting site offers before deciding whether or not to use their service.

Before you start gambling online, you should have a plan that details all the sports and leagues that interest you. Good sports betting sites will offer to bet 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 available sports 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 knowing what types of bets each site offers is important 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.

Once you figure out all of the types of games and events that are offered at an online bookmaker, compare them to what you’re looking for. If your desired game isn’t available, you might want to keep looking.

Suppose you’re into niche sports like table tennis, professional chess, or darts. In that case, 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.

Customer Support

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 that’ll 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 an excellent place to gauge the effectiveness of a sportsbook’s service team.

UI & Mobile Experience

While a top-tier UI isn’t a make-or-break quality, having a no-hassle mobile experience is vital to the success of an online sportsbook.
That said, a top-tier UI and an excellent mobile experience often go hand-in-hand.

When an online sportsbook can port its desktop site over to mobile without sacrificing navigation, making everything easily accessible and removing lag, this facilitates an experience that keeps players coming back.

When testing different platforms, this is something we look out for.

Sports Betting Apps for Real Money

Placing sports bets on your favorite teams from your home or office security is great. Still, mobile wagering allows you to bet wherever you are.

Many of the best online sports betting sites also offer a mobile app that lets you take your wagers on the move.

Mobile sports betting may be the future of the industry with its convenience of having an online sportsbook in your pocket, but here is a list of attributes for both mobile and browser:

Browser

  • No download required
  • Won’t use up your device’s memory
  • Sometimes certain games aren’t compatible
  • Mobile-exclusive bonuses can still be awarded
  • You can play anywhere on the go

Mobile App

  • Download required
  • Takes up some of your device’s memory
  • Usually, most games are compatible
  • Mobile exclusive bonuses can still be awarded
  • You can play anywhere on the go, with an interface formatted especially for small screens

How to Download the Best Sports Gambling Apps

With these alternative sports betting sites, you will not be able to download them from the Apple App Store or Google Play Store like other apps.

If you’re an iOS user, here is a step-by-step guide on how to download the top online sports betting apps:

  1. Visit the mobile site on your web browser.
  2. Click the middle icon along the bottom of the browser that looks like a square with an arrow facing up.
  3. When the window opens, scroll down and click “Add to Home Screen.”
  4. Click “Add.”
  5. From here, the best us mobile sportsbook apps will then be added to your phone home pages.
  6. Simply click on this icon to be immediately brought to the mobile app and start betting.

For Android users, sadly, there is no method similar to iOS. Instead, players with Android devices will need to use the mobile browser, which is the same as iOS, only with an icon added to the home page.

Best US Betting Sites By Sport

The US is by and large the sports hub of the entire world, with more people watching and participating in sports than in every other country.
It only stands to reason that sports betting has a massive following for all of America’s favorite sports.

Football Betting in the USA

The NFL is one of the highest-grossing sports leagues in America. Millions of people watch football games yearly, either on TV or in person. Football betting is one of the most popular types of sports betting out there, and here are a few tips about how to reap the rewards of a well-placed wager:

  • Bet the spread. This is the most straightforward 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 to our next section, the best football betting sites for US residents:

Best Football Betting Sites

Betting SiteBonusesAvailabilityLicense
BetOnline LogoBetOnline100% Crypto deposit up to $1,000All states except NJ, NVPanama Gaming Commission
Bovada LogoBovada50% deposit bonus up to $250All states except DE, MA, NV, NJ, NYCuracao Gaming Authority
BetUS LogoBetUS200% Crypto deposit up to $2,500All 50 statesCuracao Gaming Authority
Everygame LogoEverygame100% deposit bonus up to $750All states except KY, LA, MD, MI, NJ, NY, WAAntigua
MyBookie LogoMyBookie100% deposit bonus up to $1,000All states except NY, NJ, NV, PACuracao Gaming Authority
SportsBetting.ag LogoSportsBetting.ag50% deposit bonus up to $1,000All states except NJ, NVPanama 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 its 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 massive for basketball because players have many 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 available for baseball betting. Plus, the unique baseball bet, the runline!

Runline is essentially a point spread with elements of the moneyline bet. You can bet on how many runs a team will win or lose over the course of the game. Often, the runline is has a +1.5 for the underdog and -1.5 for the favored team.

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 prevalent in Canada, Americans still have plenty of options for betting on their favorite NHL teams.
And hockey sportsbooks offer a variety of exciting bets that are unique to the sport.

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 winning the most periods, highest-scoring period, and double chance results.

Soccer Betting in the USA

Like hockey, soccer is more prevalent in other parts of the world. However, 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 excellent for soccer because it offers some unique betting options.

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 significant viewership in both the US and abroad, so it’s only logical for sports bettors to take advantage of the craze.

Most reputable online betting sites will offer wagering on UFC, MMA, and boxing matchups. These kinds of sports have different betting options than most conventional sports, namely because the gameplay is so different.

Of course, you can still bet the moneyline and over/under, but you might find additional bets more enticing.

Example: You can bet on the method of victory, the number of knockouts, and the 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 to bet on a variety of esports tournaments.

Some of the most popular esports include:

  • Counterstrike: Global Offensive
  • DOTA 2
  • League of Legends
  • Valorant
  • Rainbow Six Siege
  • Overwatch
  • Apex Legends

While we’ve outlined how props are essential for other sports like hockey and soccer, they are trendy for esports.

BetUS offers a lot of different wagers for esports 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.

Niche Sports to Bet on at US Sportsbooks

Other select sports 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. You might want to place a bet on a dog race or a chess match every once in a while, so it’s nice to have the option.

Plus, betting sites have wagers for non-sporting events, like political campaigns or the halftime show of the Super Bowl. This is easy for someone not into sports betting to still get in on the action.

Types of Sports Bets

Sports betting is a big part of the gambling industry – more significant 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 we’re talking about here.
Here, we’ll cover the different sports bets you’ll come across on your sports betting journey.

Spread

The spread refers to how many points each team is expected to win or lose. 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.

Example: The Chicago Bears play 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. You’ll win the spread if the Lions lose by more than 5.5 points.

Spread betting is a great way to even the playing field, and almost all the best sports betting websites offer spread betting.

At sportsbooks, the spread is decided initially by using algorithms and other mathematical sources to arrive at an initial number. This number can change based on the action the sportsbook receives. When a spread is first used, the sportsbook hopes that this will receive nearly equal wagering. So, when this doesn’t happen, the sportsbook will shift its spread.[

At the end of the day, the spread is designed to account for the strength of each team.

According to BetOnline, the origin of the spread is not precisely known, but something referred to as the “Minneapolis Line” existed along the same lines as the spread we know today.

Furthermore, Sports Illustrated cites Charles McNeil, a Connecticut math teacher, who further popularized the concept, even developing his own bookmaking operation. The main reason for this was that betting on the moneyline winner had less action for games expected to be blowouts.

There are four elements of a sports betting spread we’ll explain:

  • Half-points
  • Push
  • Plus numbers
  • Negative numbers

How Does a Half-Point Spread Work?

Half-point spreads, also known as “the hook”, are essential for sports spread betting because there’s no way for the contest to end in a draw — also known as a push.

There will be a definitive result with this line, and depending on the line, it can drastically alter your analysis.

For example, a 3-point line is fairly standard in the NFL to account for home-field advantage when the two teams are equal in stature.

However, when you add that extra half-point, or the hook, you’re then going from what’s essentially a bet of who will win to something more nuanced.

Plus Numbers

In spread betting, the plus number denotes the underdog team.

Example: If you pick the Dallas Mavericks at +10, you need that team to lose by no less than 10 for, at minimum, a push.

If the line is +3.5, and that team loses by four or more, they won’t cover and you’ll lose the bet.

Negative Numbers

Conversely, the negative number indicates the favored team. This could be due to plain-old superiority, or special factors such as injuries or travel schedule.

Example: If the Pittsburgh Steelers have a line of -3.5, the team must win by four or more to cover the spread. If the final score is 20-17, that favored team will lose the bet because the margin of victory (3) was less than the spread (3.5).

Push

When a spread carries a line without the hook or half-point spread, there’s a chance it could result in a push.

The push means that, with the spread included, the teams ended with “even points.”

Example: The Green Bay Packers are -3 against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, and the final score is the Packers prevailing 27-24. This would result in a push after you take away the 3-point spread.

Parlays

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 and high reward because the odds increase. Each match you add to the parlay pushes the odds higher, making winning more challenging.

However, if you play your cards right, you can stand to win a lot of money.

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.

Teasers

Teaser bets are a bit more complicated than other sports bets because they involve more math and logic.

In essence, a teaser bet is a parlay that uses modified point spreads. You’re giving a standard point modifier to help balance the odds a little. For example, the modifier for football bets is six points. Say the odds for a Pittsburgh Steelers game are +2.5. Using the modifier, your odds would be +8.5.

To bet a teaser, you must choose multiple teams, sometimes up to 15. But usually, teasers are used for 3-4 teams. Many people stick with parlays because the payouts for teaser bets are pretty low, sometimes not even 1:1.

Moneyline

A moneyline bet is the most straightforward kind of sports bet. To bet a moneyline, you simply choose the team you think will win and bet 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.

A moneyline bet is meant to present both teams or competitors without sports betting modifiers, such as the spread.

The moneyline odds are presented in two ways, plus and minus numbers.

Explaining Plus Numbers

Whether it’s a moneyline wager or something else, a plus number is always presented to indicate the underdog in the contest.

For example, let’s say the Boston Bruins have a moneyline of +120. This means that when you wager $100 on them winning the game outright, you’ll receive $120 in winnings (plus your original money back).

Betting a plus number is riskier, but carries higher reward.

Explaining Minus Numbers

Conversely, the minus numbers indicate the team or competitor is favored. You’d have to risk more to earn the same winnings you would by betting on an underdog.

For example, a line of -120 indicates you’d need to wager $120 to win $100. Again, you’d also get your original wager back.

Even/Pick’Em Moneylines

In some circumstances, the online sportsbook will view two teams/competitors so equally that they’ll receive the same line.

This line will usually be -110, as this is the typical “juice” (house edge) offered. This means that each team will require a wager of $110 to win $100. There are times when the lines can be different from -110, but they’ll continue to be equal.

Over/Under

The over/under bet is another popular sports bet for many gambling enthusiasts. This kind of bet functions independently of who wins the game, making it a good choice for people betting on teams they aren’t entirely familiar with.

Example: The Steelers were to play the Bills, and the score was predicted to be 12-30. 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 or wins, as long as the combined total is either over 42 or under 42.

Online sportsbooks use math algorithms to determine the over/under line. For the equation, however, elements such as:

  • Pace of play
  • Weather
  • Star players
  • Home field
  • Efficiency
  • And more!

With all bets, sportsbooks do ample work to offer balanced lines they can still make money on.

While over/under betting is most well known when it comes to the total points scored in a game, there are still many other over/under bet examples to mention.

  • Total Points at Halftime
  • Single-Player Props: Total Points, Touchdowns Thrown, Catches, Assists, Hits, etc.

There’s another popular prop in which the over/under is defined a bit differently — draft position.

Example: In the NFL Draft, if a player has an over/under on their draft position of 7.5, the over indicates the player will be drafted later, whereas the under indicates the player will be drafted earlier. If you think a player will be drafted to the Atlanta Falcons at #8, you’d take the over.

What About Whole-Number Totals?

Like the spread, the total can be presented as a whole number or with an added “0.5.” There’s a guaranteed result with the half-point, as no game can finish with half-point total.

With a whole number, there’s a chance the game could end exactly on that number.

When this happens, it results in a “push” — or draw — and you’ll receive your original wager back.

What If the Contest Goes to Overtime?

When you bet on the total of the game’s final score, the result factors in any overtime points scored. Generally speaking, if you bet the over, overtime is a good thing.

Over/Under Betting Payouts Explained

When you’re betting on the over/under, there are betting line odds associated with it.

Example: You bet the over on the Pittsburgh Steelers and Chicago Bears for a line of 39.5 total points. The line odds are -110, and you bet $110. The final score is 24-20. You win the bet, and with the $110 wager, you’ll win $100.

In the example above, we looked at negative lines, however, there will be positive lines available as well.

Example: You bet the over on the Baltimore Ravens and Los Angeles Rams for a line of 54.5 total points. The line odds are +110, and you bet $100. The final score is 35-31. You win the bet, and with the $100 wager, you’ll win $110.

Here’s the best way to think about betting odds:

  • Negative Lines: You must bet the number the line shows to win $100. Whether it’s -110 or -1000, you’ll need to bet $110 or $1000, respectively, to receive $100.
  • Plus Lines: On a $100 bet, you’ll win whatever the line is. If the line is +135, you’ll win $135 if you bet $100. If you bet $200, you’ll earn $270.[DT1] 

Props

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 events like rebounds, foul shots, player performance, and more.

Yes/no props are pretty 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.

Some of the best online sports gambling sites offer better bonuses than others in size and wagering requirements. Others strive to provide their players with fast and accurate payouts that are hassle-free. The following three US betting sites offer both.

BetUS

BetUS, one of the overall best sports betting websites, offers a 125% match bonus up to $5,000 for its welcome bonus and only a 30x wagering requirement.

There are five other bonuses offered as well, with the potential to earn thousands of dollars each. Again, the wagering requirement is low – 10x to 30x.

When it comes to payouts, BetUS also has you covered. It offers various cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin and Ethereum that come with instant payouts and no added fees.

MyBookie

MyBookie offers a 150% match bonus up to $750 for new players, with a 40x wagering requirement. There are an additional five bonuses for existing players to take advantage of. All come with a 40x wagering requirement; the largest one is worth up to $1,500.

Regarding payouts, MyBookie never charges fees on withdrawals, and they’re all processed in 2 days or less. They are processed instantly when made with Bitcoin, Bitcoin Cash, or Litecoin.

BetOnline

It’s no wonder BetOnline is one of the top 10 betting sites. Check out its generous 100% match welcome bonus that offers the chance to take home $3,000.

It also offers four other bonuses for existing players that range from $250 to $1,000. All bonuses come with a standard 40x wagering requirement.

All payout options made at BetOnline come with a 0% fee. You have various options to choose from, including Visa, Neteller, Skrill, and Bitcoin. Payout maximums are also higher than we typically see offered at other legit sports betting sites.

How to Bet the Over/Under

No matter which way you want to wager on your favorite games, there are strategies that’ll, over time, result in more money in your pocket.

Here, we’ll discuss easy-to-understand strategies you can use right now:

Line Shopping

Line shopping is going to numerous online sportsbooks, finding the most profitable line, and winning more money in exchange for a little detective work.

Parlays

You can take a stance on who’ll win each game and the over/under. You can make a two- (or more) leg parlay with the moneyline, spread, over-under, props, and more. If you feel confident about a game and have an idea of the final score, you can generate even more profit by creating a parlay.

Live Betting

Live betting odds and lines change rapidly, but that doesn’t mean there isn’t value to be had. You can evaluate the weather, injuries, player performance, and team strategy. From there, you can adjust your initial thought process.

Weather Conditions

You should never let it be the only deciding factor, but high winds or torrential downpours should be noted when they may affect scoring output. Keep in mind that weather is often factored into the online sportsbooks’ over/under line already.

Evaluate the Defense

With over/under bets, we’re focused on the total points scored, and with that, the first thing we think about is the offense. However, the defense plays a direct role in how many of those points are scored. Here are critical defensive metrics to look at for the four major U.S. sports:

  • Baseball: Fielding percentage, Fielding Runs Above Average (FRAA), Outs Above Average (OAA), and Ultimate Zone Rating (UZR).
  • Football: Expected Points Added (EPA), Completion percentage allowed on short, medium, and long plays, Defense-adjusted Value Over Average (DVOA), Total Yards Allowed, Total Touchdowns Allowed.
  • Basketball: Defensive Rating, Defensive Rebound Percentage, Opposing Points Per Game Allowed.
  • Hockey: Goals Allowed Per Game, Saves Per Game, Save Percentage.

Spread Betting Strategy

Spread vs. Moneyline

Spread and moneyline betting are two different wagers. The first thing you should do before making any wager is ask yourself who you think will win. You can arrive at this result however you deem best for you.

From there, check the moneyline. If you think a team that will win is an underdog, that will always be a higher-paying bet than the spread. After all, you think they’re going to win outright on longer odds.

However, if you think a favored team will win, the most monetary upside comes with the spread. So, you then need to ask,

“Sure, I think this team will win, but by how much?”

If you think the team will win, but not by more than what the spread indicates, you should bet on the underdog “getting” points.

Alternate Lines

At some online sportsbooks, you can look to alternate lines to find a bet you’re more comfortable with. This will allow you to perhaps bet on a +6.5 spread instead of +16 to squeeze more value out of a big underdog you think will exceed expectations. You can do the opposite too – bet that a slight favorite will win handily.

Use Multiple Betting Sites

The beauty of online sports betting is that there are so many platforms to choose from. With that, you’ll always find different odds and spreads throughout.

Double-Up On Your Wager

Depending on the circumstances of the sport you’re wagering on, there are times when doubling up could make sense.

A prime example of this is betting on a spread at the beginning of the week, days before an NFL game. If you have a strong feeling about that wager, and find it’s got the same numbers just before kickoff, this could be a great opportunity to double up and win even more money.

How to Strategically Bet the Moneyline

The moneyline wager is most straightforward because you’re simply picking which team you think will win. Try these tips for evaluating when and how to bet on the moneylines:

Narrow Home Underdogs

“Home field advantage” strongly applies to all team sports. The roar of the crowd and the sea of fans energize the players on the field in a way that can be difficult to measure.

One of the best moneyline wagers to make is targeting home underdogs.

Low Spread with a Positive Moneyline

Every once in a while, you’ll find spreads that are low enough that when you see a plus moneyline, it makes sense to wager.

Using the NFL as an example, a -3 line is standard for the home team when competing against a similar-strength team. Whenever the spread in an NFL game goes under 3, this is where the moneyline can come into play. According to Business Insider, NFL games finish with a margin of victory of two, one, or zero less than 4% of the time each.

Statistically speaking, betting a spread of less than three can be a loss of value. It’s not uncommon to see a team with a spread of -2 have a moneyline of, hypothetically, -130. Conversely, a spread of +2 could have a line of +100, +105, or more. Each game or situation is different.

Don’t Totally Ignore the Favorite

Sometimes the favorite and that minus line can make you reluctant to wager, but that’s not always the case. Sure, with a favorite that you believe will win, it’s always a great idea to evaluate the spread. While you may feel the team will win, the question then becomes, “Sure, but by how much?”

In this case, the spread could be too lopsided for you to wager. The moneyline, though the value isn’t the same as a plus line, could still be the best marriage of risk and reward.

Remember: Winning a -175 moneyline wager is much better than losing a -4.5 spread with a line of -110.

Live Moneyline Betting

Live betting is another form of wagering in which you can bet on games in progress. However, totals and moneyline will not reflect the pregame lines for the spread.

During live betting, odds and lines shift pretty rapidly.

For example, when a team scores its first run in baseball, first three-pointer in basketball, or first touchdown, the moneyline for the scoring team gets quite skewed.

When this happens, think on the fly and consider multiple factors:

  • Who did you think would win beforehand?
  • Who would you have sided with, spread-wise, before the game?
  • Did an injury to a critical player happen?
  • Was a key player surprisingly made inactive just before the game?

With these variables and many others in mind, you can sometimes grab favorable moneyline odds. Live betting is much faster-moving, but this can be a highly profitable betting method.

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, many Americans were up in arms when the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PASPA) proposed banning sports betting.

Thankfully, PASPA didn’t come to pass, and the federal government left gambling regulation up to individual states.

This also presents somewhat of a problem, because certain hardline states like Texas are completely against sports betting of any kind, while other states like Pennsylvania quickly adopted the new policies.

Depending on where you live, sports betting might be outright illegal or wholly accepted. Check out our handy directory to learn more about individual states and their online gambling regulations.

The short answer, however, is yes, sports betting is legal on a federal level. Still, 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.

Tips for Using Sportsbooks & Betting Sites

Now, just like any hobby or job, you don’t get good at sports betting in a single day. If you’re just starting, consider these helpful tips to keep you on the right path.

 

Read Up!

There’s a bit of a learning curve if you’re a sports betting rookie. Thankfully, there’s a lot of great info 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 you play 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’ll 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 miscalculate. Take a slower approach, and 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 legit sports betting sites can help know where to stake your money.

Stick to What You Know

Unless you’re a sports guru, chances are you’re more well-versed in one or two sports than others. Don’t overextend yourself when putting money down at US betting sites. Stick to the games you know the most about because your knowledge will pay off.

Pick 100% Legit Sports Betting Sites

And above all, stick to the expert-reviewed best sports betting sites in the USA. 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.

 

More Sports Betting News and Info

There are many other aspects of sports betting information and news to learn about, and we have the resources for when you’re ready:

Sports Betting Sites FAQ

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • In our opinion, cryptocurrency is the best banking method for online gambling, whether a sports betting site or an online casino. They’re fast, secure, and relatively easy to use. If crypto isn’t your style, we suggest using an e-Wallet like Skrill or Neteller.

  • US betting sites make less money than casinos, so they don’t spend as much to incentivize new players. Online casinos can offer huge bonuses and promotions because they have a large player base constantly making deposits. Plus, the house edge helps them rake in much more than sportsbooks.

  • The top sports betting sites in our list aren’t available in the Apple App Store or Google Play Store. You can enjoy these games from a mobile browser nonetheless.

  • There’s no way to guarantee this, but the best shot you have is to contact the online sportsbook before the bet begins. However, you should operate under the assumption that you won’t be able to cancel.

  • Withdrawals can take varying amounts of time, depending on your chosen method. Generally speaking, cryptocurrency is done relatively fast, whereas requesting a check by mail could take up to two weeks.

  • When looking at odds, it makes sense to look at each type separately — plus and negative odds. Learn about Odds in greater detail.

    Plus Odds: The easiest way to think of plus odds is to consider the line as the amount of money you’ll win if you were to bet $100. Of course, not every bet you make is for $100, but this gives a general guideline.

    Negative Odds: Conversely, with negative odds, the best way to think of these is to identify the negative line as what you need to wager to win $100.

  • As the name indicates, you’ll be wagering about the outcome of a future event. Popular examples of this are the championship-winning teams for each sport. With these bets, there are vast fields of betting options, each having its own odds – sometimes very long ones.

  • It’s difficult to give a black-and-white answer here. Every sports betting wager has a different value aligned with that particular wager.
    However, generally speaking, when betting on a favorite with odds of -500 or higher, the value is so low that the upside is limited.

  • The best sports to bet on are those you can win the most money on!

    In all seriousness, you’ll want to wager on sports you know most. Whenever you have extended knowledge about a sport, you’ll have a far more informed wager than throwing a dart at something random.

  • This is common. Until the game officially starts, the odds are subject to change.  News updates involving players in the game or the weather can change the odds drastically. It can also happen when the online sportsbook gets far more wagers on one bet than another, and it wants to balance bets out to ensure its own profitability.

    In this situation, you’ll have to decide if you wish to bet on these updated betting odds or move on.

  • Absolutely! Live bets present a new opportunity to win more money. In fact, seeing the flow of a game and how the teams are operating is another variable you can consider when placing a bet.

    The odds on live bets change rapidly, however, as they reflect what’s actively happening in the game — think fast! Learn about Live Betting in greater detail.

  • Regarding futures bets, the best wager to make is on that upcoming season’s champion.

    When you bet on the Super Bowl, World Series, NBA Finals, or Stanley Cup Finals before the season, each team has “plus odds” and presents a value that won’t be there closer to the end of the season.

    Additionally, betting on player prop futures, such as leaders in passing touchdowns, receiving yards, home runs, or even the MVP of the league, offers big value.

    Another tip for futures betting is to be malleable and willing to bet on something more than once, even if it involves betting on something different from the original wager. Spreading out your money can also result in long-term profit.

  • For us, ranking the best online sportsbooks is a close race, but right now #1 is BetOnline. At BetOnline, you’ll have an excellent deposit-match welcome bonus and many ways to wager. Plus, it’s one of the fastest sportsbooks to offer odds on games daily.

    However, we understand our favorite may not be for you. We encourage you to check out the rest of our list to see which one fits your priorities best.

  • Generally speaking, yes. As with anything, there are bad actors, but as long as you play at one of our recommended safe online sportsbooks or one that’s licensed and regulated in your state, you’ll be safe.

  • Absolutely! Most sportsbooks will be fairly close to one another, but finding some slightly different lines or spreads won’t be uncommon. Line shopping can help you secure the best odds – and the best payday.

  • If you make sports betting wagers at our top recommended online sportsbooks, we can almost 100% assure you that you won’t have an issue.

    However, if you opt to play at an online sportsbook not on our recommended list, you can make sure it’s not on our blacklisted casino list.

  • Of course! Your ability to make money all depends on your betting choices. However, it’s also essential to keep in mind that you can lose plenty of money if you don’t follow best practices.

  • There are some interesting ways to get involved with sports betting for free. An example is FendOff Sports, a sweepstakes-based online sportsbook. Here, you can make wagers with virtual currency that you can get just from playing, or if you choose to, you can buy additional virtual currency with real money.