Online Sports Betting Guide: Sites, Tips & More

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.

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How To Bet On Sports Online

online sports betting

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 for sports betting: 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 online sports betting, with $100 million bet on the Super Bowl alone.

The reason for the exponentially increasing popularity of the sports betting industry in the United States? Not only does online sports betting 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.

Finding the Right Online Sports Betting Sites

There are a massive number of scams on the net, so please do your homework before joining any online 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 online sportsbook for you.

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Tips for Choosing an Online Sportsbook

Picking The Right Online Sportsbook
  • Start with our sports betting reviews
  • Learn all you can, do all the research you need to
  • Use any resources the sportsbook offers
  • Bet small, for starters

Gamble Online sports betting reviews are thoroughly researched, detailed and provide excellent information on the overall benefits that each reviewed sportsbooks has to offer. Before diving into a sportsbook or betting site, however, here are a few additional online betting tips to help you get started:

Learn All You Can About the Betting Site

Read everything you can about the sports betting platform, the betting opportunities it offers, all available sports betting 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.

Use the Betting Site’s Resource Section

If you are a complete novice sports betting player 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.

Start with Small Bets

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 online sportsbooks or other betting platforms and products that make online betting for beginners easy.

What Types of Sports Bets Can You Make?

Most Popular Types of Sports Bets
  • Moneyline bets
  • Point Spread bets
  • Totals (Over/Under) bets

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.

Moneyline Bets

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 Bets

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 online 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 online sportsbooks make their profit.

When sports 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 – Over/Under Bets

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.

How Do You Win at Online Sports Betting Sites?

online sports betting

This sports betting guide is meant to help you understand the basics of the sports betting industry.

Just know that sports betting 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 betting 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.

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MMA Matches
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Golf Tournaments

What are Other Ways to Bet on Sports?

The sports betting industry continues to grow across the United States, with an increasing number of states offering legal, regulated sports betting. 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 betting are Utah, Wisconsin and Idaho.

If you’re not a resident or visiting one of the legal 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 sports betting action.

Sports Betting Glossary

Sports Betting Term Definition
Slip / Ticket another word for bet slip in which your wager is printed on
Point Spread 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.
Push a sports betting term for a tie and wagers are returned to the player
Moneyline (ML) 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.
Point Total (Total)  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
Parlay 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.
Teaser 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.

Juice / Vig 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
Prop / Proposition Bet – 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.
Specials 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?
Exotic 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?
Run Total the same as point total, but applied to baseball.
F5 a baseball bet term for first five innings
Puck Total the same as point total, but applied to hockey
1Q/1H/2Q/2H/3Q/4Q shorthand for 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th quarter and 1st and 2nd half bets
L5 / L10 shorthand for last five games, last 10 games
Tilting when you start betting with uncontrollable emotion

Online Sports Betting FAQs