This online sports betting guide will show you how to bet on sports and assist you in choosing a trusted online sportsbook for real money. Let our team show you the types of sports bets you can make, how to bet on sports online and tips for choosing the best online sports book.
Of course, football, basketball and baseball are not the only sports you can bet on. You can also bet on these sports, and many more.
In the ten+ years we’ve been running this site, we’ve gotten one question more than any other: can I make sports bets online? You absolutely can, and it’s much easier than you might think. You have three options: take a trip to one of the Las Vegas sportsbooks, find a local sportsbook , or make a sports bet online by signing up at on of our recommended online sportsbooks. Of the three options, online betting sites are definitely the easiest and most convenient way to bet money on sports.
Betting real money on sports is one of the world’s favorite pastimes. By some estimates, people wager over $250 billion a year on sports betting sites, with $100 million bet on the Super Bowl alone.
The reason for the exponentially increasing popularity of the industry in the United States? Not only does the hobby provide an extra layer of excitement while watching sports, but it can also be a lucrative pursuit for those who take time to learn about odds, picking winners, line shopping and how to use online bonuses profitably.
There are a massive number of scams on the net, so please do your homework before joining any sportsbook. Rest assured, however, that the online betting sites mentioned above are all highly reputable. Our list of trustworthy sportsbooks will subsequently help you avoid the time consuming and confusing process of comparing the various sportsbooks against each other in order to match yourself with the best sportsbook site for you.
After reviewing the top sports betting sites in the USA, these did not pass the high standards set by Gamble Online. For more information, please check out our How We Rate section.
Read everything you can about the online sports betting platform, the betting opportunities it offers, all available sports promotions, whether it is available for mobile betting and its various payment options. You should also take time to check out its customer service options, as well as familiarize yourself with the ease of its user interface.
Furthermore, you should read through the terms and conditions of the betting site, especially in regards to the various bonuses in offers in order to avoid any unwelcome surprises. Most bonuses and site offers (for example, the sign up bonus) have a wagering requirement (sometimes called a rollover requirement), which means you would have to bet a given amount to make the bonus complete. It’s smart and prudent to find out exactly how much you need to wager before being able to cash out your bonus money.
Also, be sure to check the minimum and maximum deposit and withdrawal limits to ensure that they fit your bankroll.
If you are a complete novice sports bettor and wish to learn how to place bets, plenty of betting sites will provide you a step-by-step guide to betting. These are generally very useful and will help you start betting quickly, whether its betting on the Super Bowl in the NFL, March Madness in NCAA college basketball, Stanley Cup in the NHL, the MLB World Series, the Kentucky Derby or any other sports event.
When learning how to bet on sports online, start with small stake bets and gradually increase the amount only after you understand how that particular bet works. In other words, manage your bankroll wisely. After all, it is your hard-earned money that is at stake here. Moreover, only bet the amount you can afford to lose, which should be funds that you have left over after you have met your other regular bills and expenses.
Keeping this in mind, you can now begin looking for sportsbook sites or other betting platforms and products that make online betting for beginners easy.
There is a lot to love about Bovada, from the incredible range of sports to the separate casino and poker rooms. There is no download required – the site is compatible with the vast majority of mobile phones browsers and the top-of-the-line encryption is piece of mind that your information is safe.
Please note, Bovada does not operate in the following states: Delaware, Maryland, Nevada, New Jersey
Intertops is one of the oldest and most trusted sportsbooks online. With 20 years of experience in the industry, Intertops have stayed at the forefront of sports betting by offering exceptional customer service, great mobile configuration and plenty of deposit and withdrawal options.
Please note, Intertops does not operate in the following states: Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Missouri, New Jersey, New York, Washington
Betnow offers a fantastic range of sports and a generous welcome bonus to get you started. Don’t let the old school look of their site fool you – their odds are frequently better than competitors and their seasonal events/bonuses are great fun.
Betnow operates in all US states.
Well-known and trusted world-wide, BetOnline have made a name for themselves by staying ahead of the curve. Their sleek site is mobile and cryptocurrency friendly, offers live betting and contains a full array of sports and pop culture events to bet on.
Please note, BetOnline does not operate in the following states: Nevada, Pennsylvania
An international operator with big withdrawal limits and an enormous library of propositions, Sportsbetting.ag is one of the best online sportsbooks out there. As well as being optimized for mobile users, the sportsbook offers future and live betting options across sports, entertainment and politics.
Please note, Sportsbetting.ag does not operate in the following states: Nevada, Pennsylvania
Having decided on your chosen sportsbook, the first step towards placing a bet is to register for a free account – it only takes a few minutes. That done, log in and head to the sportsbook’s cashier to make your first deposit. Make sure to pick up a free bonus to boost your bankroll.
Once the deposit has cleared, spend a little time familiarizing yourself with the terms, conditions and betting rules on the site. Then it’s time to research your bet. If you already have a prediction in mind, right on! If you need a little help, check out our expert picks.
Navigate to the event, match up, and bet you want to make. If you like the odds, click on it the bet and populate the generated slip with the amount you’d like to wager. Double check the entire betting slip, and confirm it to place your bet. Congratulations, you just made your first bet! Now sit back, relax and wait for the match up to see if you won!
Three of the most popular forms of online sports bets are moneyline, point spreads and totals (over/under). The information below explains each of these betting options offered at the sportsbook in simple to understand terms.
A moneyline bet is a sports wager on which team will win a particular game. The moneyline wager is the most popular way to bet on hockey and baseball, but exists also for basketball, football and other sports. In this type of bet, the payout is the same regardless of how many runs or points scored by the team you wagered on.
Placing moneyline bets requires that you first understand the American odds system, which always uses a 3-or-more digit whole number expressed as either positive or negative. The reason there are positive and negative moneylines is that the two teams are often not equally matched.
A negative moneyline, for instance, represents how much a bettor must stake to profit $100, with a line of -180 requiring a $180 bet in order to profit $100. Therefore, if your bet is successful, you keep the $180 you staked plus the extra $100 in winnings. Meanwhile, a positive moneyline is how much a $100 stake will pay. For example, if you stake $100 on a line of +160, if your bet wins you keep the $100 you staked, plus an extra$160 in winnings.
Point spread betting is the most popular way to bet on the two most frequently wagered upon sports in the United States, namely football and basketball. The basic idea behind point spread betting is to make the sports game closer to a 50/50 proposition by adding a handicap.
For example, you could find they New York Giants +10.5, and the Philadelphia Eagles -10.5. How this works is that the favorite team always has a negative value alongside it, and the underdogs a positive value. In our example, the Philadelphia Eagles are the favorites to win by 10.5 points in this game. Meanwhile, the underdog in this game are the New York Giants, which has a +10.5 value, meaning online sports bettors will profit if the New York Giants win the game outright or lose by 10.5 points or less.
All point spread wagers also have a price or commission, which otherwise not stated by the sportsbooks, or Las Vegas sports books is assumed to be -110. In other words, risk $110 to profit $100, or if simplified, every dollar bet you bet, the sportsbook receives 10 cents, rather than an even 50.50 line in which you bet a dollar to make a dollar. This extra price you’re charged is referred to as vig or juice and is how the sportsbooks make their profit.
When betting online, you’ll commonly find point spreads that have half points involved (example -2.5 / +2.5), thus ensuring there is no way for a sports bettors wager to be tied.
Totals betting is the one of the easiest sports bets to understand. Here you bet on whether the total number of points scored by both teams combined during a game will be over or under the posted betting total.
For example, this bet might be over/under 8.5 runs in baseball; over/under 5.5 goals in hockey; over/under 40.5 points in football; over/under 200 points in basketball, etc. Similar to point spread betting, unless otherwise stated these bets are assumed to be offered at -110 (risk $110 to profit $100). Also similar to point spread betting, it’s also quite common in totals betting to see each option have a different price, such as over 5.5 -130 / under 5.5 +110.
This online sports betting guide is meant to help you understand the basics of the industry.
Just know that betting on sports is extremely competitive, and people often beat the odds by exploiting leaks presented by online betting sites. Nevertheless, this is in an industry where it is hard to be profitable in the long run,and very few are destined to make a living betting on sports. In fact, the majority of sports bettors tend to be what we call recreational bettors.
On the plus side, there are tons of good bonus offers and promotions available with online sports sites that can make your hobby profitable. Just be sure to stay disciplined, though, and never risk any more than a couple percent of your bankroll on any given game.
The online sports betting industry continues to grow across the United States, with an increasing number of states offering legal, regulated options. This includes Pennsylvania, West Virginia, New Jersey, Delaware, Rhode Island, Mississippi and New Mexico. New York, Indiana, Iowa, Illinois, Michigan, Arkansas, Oregon and of course, Nevada, have also largely legislated legal online sports betting.
Meanwhile, the rest of the country have bills that have been introduced, but not passed, or bills that have been recently passed. The only places that have no interest in legal online sports wagers are Utah, Wisconsin and Idaho.
If you’re not a resident or visiting one of the legal online sports betting states, or are not comfortable using online gambling sites, you could always use either a Las Vegas sportsbook or alternatively, a local sportsbook to take your action.
Many of the top sportsbook sites will post sports-like odds for non-sporting events. Popular events to bet on outside of the sports arena include Oscars & Awards betting, betting on the stock market, the weather and politics. such as US Election betting odds.
Time and again, our experts rank Bovada Sportsbook as the #1 betting site for sports, politics and entertainment prop bets. Claim your $750 welcome bonus and use it to bet on the NFL, NBA, NCAA, MLB and more!
What we Love
another word for bet slip in which your wager is printed on
a type of bet where one team must win by a certain amount of points or the other team must lose within a certain number of points. For example, Browns (-7) vs Jets (+7) means the Browns must win by more than 7 points to win or the Jets must lose by fewer than 7 points or win outright. If the final score is Browns 28 Jets 21, the bet is a PUSH.
a sports betting term for a tie and wagers are returned to the player
another term for an outright win sports bet. When betting the moneyline you believe one of the two teams (or player) will win the event.
also know as an Over / Under bet, is one when you must guess whether the total points scored will be over or under a certain number
a multi-game, multi-event bet, in which 2-or-more wagers must be correct in order for the ticket to cash. Because you are betting on more results to happen successfully, parlay bets often enjoy great odds than single bets.
similar to a parlay, a teaser contains multiple event bets where the point spread and/or totals can be adjusted by “buying” points.
An example of this would be a 2-team, 6-point teaser where the Browns are originally -6 (6-point favorites, must win by 7) and Seahawks are -3 (3-point favorites, must by 4), but with the 6-point teaser, you move the spread to Browns (EVEN, all they need to do is win) and Seahawks (+3, they can win or lose by 2 or 1) and still win the bet.
is another term for cost of placing a bet and is easier to show an example than define. When you look at a moneyline bet on an oddsboard, it’ll look something like: Bills -125 Jets +120
these typically have to do with a certain player or team achieving a certain goal threshold within an event. An example of a prop bet would be Todd Gurley OVER/UNDER 65 rushing yards against the Seahawks.
an off-shoot of prop bets, specials are unique to a certain time frame. For example, during MLB playoffs, who will score more points/runs, the Redskins or Nationals?
as the name indicates, exotics are another form of prop bet that gets a little weird sometimes. For example, what will happen first Philip Rivers delivers their next baby or Rivers decides to retire?
the same as point total, but applied to baseball.
a baseball bet term for first five innings
the same as point total, but applied to hockey
shorthand for 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th quarter and 1st and 2nd half bets
shorthand for last five games, last 10 games
when you start betting with uncontrollable emotion
Yes, it is 100% legal to place bets on sports online in the US, but some states do not allow certain online sportsbooks to operate in their state. Residents of these states can still find real money offshore sportsbooks like the ones listed on this page.
Betting on sports is completely safe and legal as long as you use a trustworthy online sports book. Although there are some rogue operators out there, most online gambling sites are run by legitimate organizations with extensive security measures. All online sports books we list on this page are approved by third party independent auditors who have strict regulations on security and fair play.
The most popular bets that you will find at online sports betting sites are moneyline bets, point spread bets and totals (over/under), which are described in detail on this page. You can also parlay picks by choosing multiple games on one ticket for a larger payout. Lots of sports bettors will also place future bets at, predicting an outcome that will come at the end of the season.
What’s the point in gambling online for real money if you can’t withdraw your winnings? Luckily, all of the sites that we recommend offer a variety of safe deposit and withdrawal options, including most major credit cards, Bitcoin, PayPal, e-check and more! We make sure that all sportsbooks that we recommend have a good track record of paying their players.
The spread is how sportsbooks attract bettors to place action on either side of the competition. The spread represents how much one team is favored over another in a given game, match, race or event. Take the following situation:
Team A: -3.5
Team B: +3.5
By betting Team A, you win your bet if they win by 4 or more points. If you bet the spread on Team B, they can lose by 3 points or fewer, or win outright in order to win your bet.
Traditional sports books only allow you to place bets on games before they start. Live sports betting allows players to continuously place wagers during a game with the odds adjusting as the game plays on. With live betting, you can place all sorts of different bets and cash out on some bets before the game even end!
Like any form of gambling, sports betting odds represent how likely something is to happen. If Team A is heavily favored to win, their odds will not be as good as Team B, the underdog. A lot goes into determining the exact odds. Home/road records, rest schedule, weather and injuries play a major role when book makers are determining game odds.
You may have seen some famous handicappers bragging online about how much money they have made betting on sports. A successful sports gambler definitely needs a little bit of luck, anyone who has made a lot of money sports gambling still loses plenty of wagers. However, there are things you can do to improve your chances of turning a profit. By checking schedules, injuries and box scores daily and finding the sportsbook listed here with the best odds, you can maximize the amount of real money you can win betting in sports online.
It is extremely rare that online sports betting sites would allow you to bet for free. If you could, you likely would not win any real money. That said, many sportsbooks offer bonuses or free bets after you have reached a given requirement.