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Online Sports Betting in the US

 

Sports betting in the United States alone generates billions of dollars of revenue every year. One of the fasted growing segments of this industry is online sports betting. There is a wide array of online sportsbooks that cater specifically to US players. This makes it easy to generate some action on Sunday’s big game or any other live sporting event.

Recent changes in the law have enabled individual states to offer legal sports betting within their borders. Many of these states are also expanding the sports betting market with online access to sports betting sites.

Top US Sportsbooks: How We Review and Select Online Betting Sites

The online sportsbook industry is filled with options when it comes to betting on the games. Just like any industry; some do their job much better than others. Our job is to break this industry down on a book by book basis. Our goal is to find the best online betting sites for US players.

Comprehensive and unbiased online sportsbook reviews are the best source of information for today’s avid bettors. By analyzing online sports betting sites over a wide array of criteria, we can drill down into features they provide. By testing their services, we can verify this information to a very high degree.

With so many online betting options to choose from, sports bettors can benefit from these expert reviews. However, we also recommend that bettors perform a personal search. The ultimate goal is to find a quality online sportsbook that best meets any bettor’s overall sports betting needs.

To make our list as the “best of the best”, simply being good is not good enough. Areas such as overall customer service, betting options, bonuses and incentives and ease of use are closely examined. One of the most important aspects is a bookmaker’s payment record on requested withdrawals.

Everything that goes into running an online sportsbook is under review and graded on an unbiased basis. This adds a very high level of authenticity to every online sportsbook review we produce.

Online Sports Betting in the USA: What’s Legal?

Legality issues when it comes to betting on sports is always a hot topic with US players. This is a global industry that offers legal betting in a number of different jurisdictions.

The Caribbean and Central America were some of the earliest markets. This gave rise to the offshore sportsbooks that started the first online sportsbooks that serviced the US market. Other hot spots for legal sports betting over the years have been the UK and Canada.

Legal sports betting in the US is currently broken down on a state by state level. The federal government still has certain laws on the books aimed at bookmakers (not actual bettors). For the most part, they are unenforceable and obsolete.

Individual states now have the right to determine the legality of sports betting within their borders. Some states are more progressive than others. Utah, Vermont, Alaska and Hawaii have laws on the books prohibiting state-regulated sports wagering. However, in today’s favorable sports betting environment everything is subject to change.

Nevada was the only state with legal sports betting in the US. That all changed in May of 2018 with a landmark decision by the US Supreme Court. This paved the way for more states to join the mix.

New Jersey Online Betting

The Garden State is a pioneer in the modern sports betting industry. New Jersey took on the federal government and major US sports leagues such as the NFL in the courts. In the end, it won the right to offer legal sports betting.

New Jersey is also in the forefront of legal online sports betting. Partnerships have been formed between the Atlantic City casinos and New Jersey racetracks with online operators. Companies such as DraftKings, FanDuel and Betstars now play a prominent role in NJ online betting.

Recent sports betting revenues show just how fast the sports betting industry in New Jersey has grown. Reports for 2019 from state gaming commissions showed that NJ revenue outpaced Nevada in certain months.

This trend should continue with more and more sites coming online in time for the upcoming football season.

Pennsylvania Online Betting

New Jersey’s neighbor to the west waisted little time in going live with legal sports betting throughout the Keystone State. Following in the footsteps of NJ, the PA online betting industry is up an running.

Legal sports betting in PA also got its start in the state’s casinos and racetracks with land-based sportsbooks. State legislation from a comprehensive gambling expansion bill in 2017 also paved the way for online betting sites.

SugarHouse Sportsbook PA was the first to offer sports betting online. Parx and BetRivers launched their sites in June and FanDuel was up and running a month later. The online sites are also tied to land-based casinos and racetracks through strategic partnerships. This is another state with fast growing revenue figures in its early returns.

Tennessee Online Betting

Legal sports betting in the Volunteer State was approved by lawmakers in May, 2019. Since there are no land-based casinos in the state, the plan was to go online from the start. TN online betting should be up and running in time for football season. This endeavor is being overseen by the Tennessee Gaming Commission.

For now, state residents can turn to popular offshore sportsbooks as legal online sports betting outlets.

Illinois Online Betting

As part of a massive expansion in overall gambling, sports betting was approved by lawmakers in June, 2019. The way the law is written, Illinois online betting will be legal in state casinos and off-track betting parlors. These land-based facilities can also house a brick-and-mortar sportsbook.

Anyone 21 and older will have to go to a land-based venue to create an online betting account. Similar to Tennessee, residents can turn to offshore books to legally bet on sports while Illinois gets its in-state business up and running.

Indiana Online Betting

The process to offer legal sports betting in Indiana is underway. This is another state that will use an existing land-based casino industry to run its sportsbooks. There are a total of 13 casinos in the Hoosier State. Each one will have the opportunity to offer three mobile platforms.

The Indiana Gaming Commission has targeted the start of the new NFL regular season as its time frame be up and running. This covers both land-based sports betting and online sports betting.

Washington, DC Online Betting

Sports betting in the state of Washington is still illegal, but it is now legal in our Nation’s Capital. The City Council of DC approved a measure in late 2018. In the absence of land-based casinos, Washington DC online betting will be legal at numerous venues. Stadiums, restaurants and even liquor stores will be able to offer betting kiosks.

The DC Lottery has been designated to oversee these mobile betting apps. The target date to get things up and running with legal online sports betting is by the end of 2019.

Online Sportsbook Bonuses

One of the most effective marketing tools incorporated by the best online sportsbooks to attract new bettors is a welcome bonus. These bonus offers are normally based on the initial deposit made to open a new online account.

A typical example of a welcome bonus would read:

“A 100% Cash Bonus on First Deposit up to $500”

A new bettor could earn up to an additional $500 in cash if all the rollover or playthrough requirements are met. This refers to how many times the amount of the initial deposit must be bet. There could also be a rollover requirement attached to the actual bonus amount.

Sometimes the sportsbook bonus will be designated as Free Play. This means the earnings will be in the form of free bets. There are also bonuses offered for reloads. This refers to additional deposits to an online betting account.

Another popular sportsbook bonus for cash or free play is offered for customer referrals. A referral needs to open an online betting account with an initial deposit that may have rollover requirements.

Some of the other ways sports bettors can stretch their bankroll with incentive offers include:

  • Reduced Juice Betting Options

This offer lowers the amount of commission that is charged to book a bet. The (-110) next to point spreads and total lines designate juice of 10 percent. A reduced juice offer next to a betting line might read (-105). This designates a five percent commission.

  • Risk-Free Bet

This offer is used for various online sportsbook betting options. For example, a book may offer a $20 risk-free bet for a player’s first mobile bet. They have also been used for the first live-in game wager.

Sportsbook bonuses and other customer loyalty incentives are a big part of the way online betting sites promote their business.

Betting Apps - Betting on the GO in the US

Today’s sophisticated sports bettor expects more from the bookmaker where they place their sports bets. Major advances in technology and online gambling software have catered to this crowd with advanced online betting apps.

A mobile betting platform allows bettors to manage their online accounts from the ease of any handheld device with internet access. From checking account balances to placing a bet just minutes before kickoff, this has revolutionized the bookmaking industry.

The best online sportsbooks have led the way with a mobile betting apps that offers:

  • Easy site navigation
  • Real-time betting line and odds
  • Fast access to customer service
  • Live in-game betting
  • Live streaming

These are just a few of the features we pay attention to while performing our online sportsbook reviews. More and more sports bettors are turning to an online betting site’s mobile capabilities for all of their online activity.

With expanded access to more and more betting options, players are looking for the best value on the board. Real-time betting through a betting app is now a big part of many bettor’s overall sports betting strategy.

The best online sportsbooks heavily promote their mobile capabilities as a point of competitive difference. They have created a mobile platform that meets all of their customer’s online needs. This includes fast and easy access to their online accounts and everything else their bookmaker offers.

Betting Odds

A sports betting online site’s heart and sole is its betting board. This contains all the betting lines and betting odds for every betting option. Most books offer betting action for more than 80 different sports on a global basis. A vital aspect of any sports bettor’s online activity is how to read betting odds.

The basic betting lines for most bets are a point spread, total and money line. Baseball also offers a run line as its alternative to the spread. Hockey follows suit with a puck line. Here is a brief explanation of how to read each of the top three betting lines.

  • Point Spread

This is the most popular way to bet on sports such as football and basketball. The favorite in any matchup will “give” points and the underdog will “get” points. For example, if Green Bay is favored to win by seven points, its spread would be listed as -7. Minnesota is the underdog in that game so its spread would be listed at +7.

To cash in on the Packers, they must win by more than seven points. The Vikings would pay off if they lose by six or less points or win the game outright. If Green Bay wins by seven points exactly, the game would be a PUSH or a tie.

  • Totals

Betting the total line in any game is based on the UNDER or OVER on the total combined score. If the total line for the Vikings vs Packers’ game is 50 points, the betting line would read:

Minnesota Vikings at Green Bay Packers - Over 50 | Under 50

If the combined score is less than 50 points, a bet on the UNDER wins. If more than 50 points were scored, the OVER bet wins. If the exact combined score was 50 points, the bet is a PUSH.

  • Money Line

This is a straight-up bet on the favorite or underdog is a particular game. While available for most major sports, they are the primary way to bet on baseball and hockey. A bettor has to risk more to bet on the favorite and they can win more than their bet taking the underdog. This line is listed as follows:

Boston Red Sox +125

New York Yankees -135

Boston is the underdog and a bettor would win $125 on a $100 bet if the Red Sox win the game. New York is the favorite and a bettor would have to risk $135 to win $100 betting on the Yankees.

Markets - Sports to Bet Online

NFL

Professional football in the US is the most popular betting sport. The primary league is the NFL which is made up of 32 different teams. The regular season consists of 16 weekly games played on Thursday night, Sundays and Monday night. The season starts in early September and runs right through the end of the year.

The NFL postseason consists of three rounds of games leading up to the league championship. Known as the Super Bowl, the title game is considered to be the biggest single-day sports betting event of the year.

Most online betting action for NFL games is placed on the point spread and total line. Multiple bets can be grouped together in a parlay wager. To win a parlay, a bettor needs to win every bet grouped together.

NBA

The NBA is the biggest professional basketball league in the US. It ranks second to the NFL in popularity among sports betting customers. The point spread and total line also bring in the most action when it comes to online betting in the USA.

There are 30 NBA teams. They play an extended 82-game regular season that runs from mid-October through early April. There are three rounds of best-of-seven playoff series leading up to the NBA Finals. The top team from the Eastern Conference faces off against the Western Conference Champion in one final best-of-seven tilt.

MLB

Major League Baseball is considered America’s Pastime. Yet, it ranks third on the list when it comes to betting action bookmakers take in for a professional US league. There are 30 MLB teams playing an extended 162-game regular season.

A wild card game plus two rounds of playoffs will designate the American League Pennant and the National League Pennant. Those two winners meet in the best-of-seven World Series. Played in late-October, this championship series is also known as the Fall Classic.

The MLB regular season gets underway in late-March. The most popular online bet is on the money line along with the total. Baseball also has a run line that acts as a spread. The favorite gives 1.5 runs and the underdog gets 1.5 runs. To win a bet on the favorite, that team must win the game by two or more runs.

NHL

The top professional hockey league for online betting in the USA is the NHL. It is comprised of 31 teams with seven franchises based in Canada. There is an 82-game regular season running from October through early April. Very similar to the NBA, there are three rounds of best-of-seven playoffs series leading up to the championship series. This is referred to as the Stanley Cup Finals.

Similar to baseball, the money line and total are the most popular online sports betting activities. Hockey also uses a 1.5 goal spread for its puck line bet. Sportsbooks will set a corresponding money line as part of the puck line bet.

NCAA Sports

Online betting sites will also set betting lines for most college football and college basketball games. Each sport is a huge part of the total revenue generated by bookmakers. Point spreads and totals account for the bulk of the online betting action.

The college football regular season mirrors the NFL with most games played on Saturdays. One of the biggest online betting events of the year is the college bowl season in late-December and early January. There are over 40 different games highlighted by the College Football Playoff National Championship.

The college basketball regular season runs from November through early March. Conference championship tournaments set the stage for the annual men’s basketball NCAA Tournament. Referred to as March Madness, this is the most heavily bet tournament of the year.

Payment Methods - Deposits and Withdrawals

The best online betting sites will offer a wide array of options to fund an online sports betting account. Credit and/or debit cards top the list. Online bettors can also use money transfer services, wire transfers and money orders.

Some of the most popular money transfer services include Skrill and Neteller. Paypal is less commonly used in the online sports betting industry.

One of the fastest growing ways to make deposits is through Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies. The transactions are devoid of personal information and many can made with no added fees.

When it comes to requesting a withdrawal from an online betting site, most of the same methods can be used. Bettors should always consult the banking section of an online sportsbook to determine its available options.

One of the biggest aspects of any sportsbook review of an online sports betting site is its payment records. The best sports betting sites will post clear time frames for each method of payment. More importantly, they will process and pay those withdrawal requests accordingly.

Online Betting Sites in the USA - F.A.Q.

There are some common questions that are frequently asked when it comes to online sports betting. Many of the questions directly pertain to online betting sites in the USA.

1) Are online betting sites legal in the US?

This was considered a grey area in the past. However, since states were given the right to offer legal online sports betting there is more clarity.

Sports bettors should consult their state of residency to determine any legal issues when it comes to betting online.

2) How do I open an account with an online betting site?

There are two simple steps to get started:

  • Complete an online registration form. This will require personal information to confirm identity, age and permanent address.
  • Make an initial deposit using an approved banking method

3) Is it safe to deposit money with an online sportsbook?

You should always perform your own due diligence when it comes to opening any online betting account. Key aspects of the vetting process include:

  • Comprehensive and unbiased sportsbook reviews
  • Rankings and/or ratings for any potential bookmaking service
  • Customer reviews/complaints

4) What are the minimum/maximum betting limits?

Betting limits are determined by each individual sports betting site. Some of the determining factors include:

  • The actual sports bet. Limits may be higher for straight bets on point spreads, totals and money lines. They may be lower for exotics such as parlays, teasers/pleasers etc.
  • The actual sport. There may be limits in place based on the individual sporting event. For example, there may be special limits set for Super Bowl prop bets.
  • Individual bettors. High rollers and heavy bettors can request higher limits based on their overall betting activity.

5) How do I collect any earned bonuses and incentive rewards?

The rules and regulations for any sportsbook bonus offer are clearly stated on the site. However, there are a few key things to keep in mind.

  • Bonus offers are optional. You need to evaluate your own betting habits. This can help to determine if a bonus is even obtainable based on the strict requirements to collect.
  • If you do meet all the requirements, each book will have a different method to collect your money or free bet credit.
  • Most books will add a rollover or playthrough requirement before you can make a withdrawal request.