Sports Betting in the USA
So, you’ve decided to chuck some bucks down on tonight’s game but you’re uncertain where to start?
Well, betting online in the USA can be a minefield I’ll give you that. But once you know where legally you can and can’t play, the sites offering the best value and the different bonuses on offer, the dollar bills should begin to stack up, relatively speaking.
- How to find the best online sportsbook
Settling on the best online sportsbook will depend on you and what you prefer when it comes to wagering.
There may be a particular bonus which has caught your eye, or, you may be looking to deposit money through a certain means such as Bitcoin for instance. The odds offered by one sportsbook may not be as competitive as another may be another reason to opt for a certain betting firm, after all the aim of the game is to make the best possible return on your investment, right?
High on your list also could be the sportsbook owning a solid reputation within the world of betting and maintaining a good level of customers service, important to consider when parting with your money.
- Customer Service
- Deposit methods
- Competitive pricing
- Staking restrictions
- Stats and Match Previews
- Easy to use website
- Withdrawal limits
In the main, the various sportsbooks feature all sports, both American and European. However, focusing on sports based solely in the US isn’t so uncommon either, 5Dimes a good example of this.
Online Sports Betting
The undisputed home of major league baseball, basketball, ice hockey and American football, sport is at the core of everyday life in the US. 2017 witnessed Americans spend a mind-blowing $56 billion on attending sporting events alone, an indicator of just how well received sport is across the country.
The quality of player on show goes some way to raking in the crowds with America regarded as the pinnacle for the afforementioned sports and the magnet for the best talent. Half of the world’s highest-paid athletes ply their trade in either the NBA or NFL; Lebron James, Kevin Durant, Andrew Luck, Steph Curry and Drew Brees among them.
Half of the world’s highest-paid athletes ply their trade in either the NBA or NFL
Such popularity coincides with online sports betting which can add that extra ounce of excitement when checking out a game.
There are a whole bunch of online sportsbook options available including Bet365, BetOnline, sportsbetting.ag.
Bovada is considered one of the best for its easy to use website platform and ability to tap into a vast collection of stats and comprehensive match previews.
American football is the most popular sport in USA
Setting up an account
Once you’ve considered all of the options available it’s time to set yourself up with an account on the sportsbook you’ve chosen - this is straight forward and takes no time at all.
Needed from you will be your personal information such as name, address, email etc, while you’ll be required to create a username and a password for your account – it’s important to make this memorable for you but at the same time, secure and hard to be hacked. In essence your sportsbook account is like an online bank account with access to valuable information so needs to be treated in similar fashion.
You’ll need to provide a credit/debit card by means of depositing money safely to your new account and sending money back the other way should your betting purse become heavy!
It’s very rare for this whole process to take more than ten minutes. However, if this is not the case the most common problems encountered tend to centre on the availability of funds on the card you have provided so bear this in mind. If you’re still experiencing difficulty then it may be worth getting in contact with the customer service offered by the bookie you’ve gone with who should have the knowledge and expertise to have the matter resolved in next to no time.
If all is well with your account and, most crucially, there are funds to wager, then the betting may begin.
American Betting Odds
Just before you get going, you’ll need to get become familiar with American odds which are presented differently from Britain and the rest of Europe yet will always offer the same when it comes to a potential payout.
- British: 2/1
- European: 3.00
- American: +240
Using the American format, you can distinguish the placing of the odds straight away - the favorite is assigned a minus (-) symbol, while the underdog a plus (+) sign.
We can take a closer look at how the odds come into play when applied to the most common betting method in the US – Moneyline betting, which is used frequently in baseball and ice hockey, and more recently, basketball also.
All you’re doing here is picking the winning team - the team you lay your money on has to win for you to yield any returns. Wagering this way is popular more so when betting on the underdog with the attraction of winning a significant amount.
In the case of wagering on a favorite the odds relate to how much you’ll be expected to risk in order to win $100.
- NY Knicks are favorites placed at -110 to win.
- Placing a successful bet $110 bet on NY Knicks earns you $100 winnings
- Your stake amount of $110 is also returned to you
- Into your purse: $210
In terms of an underdog, the positive number allocated indicates the amount that you can win, if you risk $100.
- Atlanta Hawks are the underdogs at +220
- Placing a successful $100 bet will win you $220
- Your stake amount is also returned to you
- Into your purse: $320
Point Spread Betting
This form of betting is typically used in the NFL and NBA and is comparable with the Asian Handicap method used across Europe and England in particular.
The idea here is to reduce the perceived difference between two sides and level the playing field so the underdog is handed a headstart.
Various factors are considered before applying each team with the correct point spread. This can include form, home field advantage, weather or player availability.
For example, the following two sides may have the following point spreads.
New England Patriots -10
Oakland Raiders +10
So, New England Patriots are viewed as ten-point favorites over Oakland Raiders and will require to win the match by more than ten points if they’re to win the wager.
Meanwhile, the Oakland Raiders would have to defend their head start and lose by less than ten points in order to see the point spread go in their favor.
There’s also the option to wager on more or less points than assigned, for instance -10 set for the New England Patriots may be considered too high by one punter who may feel they’re only capable of posting a margin of over 6 points.
In the event of a tie – this would happen if New England Patriots won by ten points – the match is considered a push which will see your stake returned. A draw isn’t applicable here with the match being marked down as neither a win, nor a loss.
Totals – Over/Under Bets
Perhaps the method easiest to explain is totals betting where you lay a wager on the combined points total of both teams.
Here, it’s a case of putting money on whether the final runs/points total racked up, is likely to be under or over a predetermined total set by the oddsmakers.
For instance, if you bet on a NBA game between the Brooklyn Nets and Miami Heat to finish Under 210.5 points you’ll want the combined match points total to come in under 210 for you to win the bet.
Legal Online Sports Betting
In light of the recent landmark ruling which has seen New Jersey win their case to lift a long-standing federal ban on sports betting, the handful of states in which wagering on sports is legal, is set to dramatically increase. Only in Nevada, home to Las Vegas, Delaware, Montana and Oregon is sports betting currently permitted by law.
However, US players wanting to bet manage are able to bypass the ban through using betting websites headquartered overseas, Malta, for instance. It’s important to remember that while this still remains technically illegal, the chances of you being caught and prosecuted for online betting remain extremely slim.
Common sports to bet on in USA
Gambling on sports in the US is usually done across the biggest four sports in the US: baseball, basketball, football and hockey. Although these are the most common, many still bet on other events, such as horse and car racing, fights and soccer to name a few. Many also offer odds on events that are outside of the US with soccer being the largest.
Online Football Betting
Formerly known as Bodog prior to 2011, Bovada is the ‘go-to’ site in terms of betting on football online and is renowned for being the industry leader. Even its name change hasn’t affected its standing as the most reputable sportsbook in the US, while its ability to cater for all needs including sports at home, sports overseas, as well as dipping into film, politics, business, celebrities and reality TV, has seen Bovada take its place as top dog across the industry.
Why’s it the best? Well, bettors are known to particularly enjoy the generous opening bonuses and the ease and quick speed in which money can be deposited, both attractive features for new and existing players.
When it comes to betting on the NFL, you’re betting journey will start with the Match Previews section. This first-class tool is available to tap into at your own leisure, providing you with all the stats, team reports, standings, game logs etc. you may feel are important to check out before betting.
This comprehensive database of in-depth facts and figures gives you an insight into how a certain team is performing, whether they’re in form or out of form, more defensive than offensive, scoring at a good rate or not. Ultimately, you’re investing your money, so it’s essential to wager on the right team at the right moment to increase your chance of success.
The ability to use Bitcoin when betting also plays a major part in some deciding to open a sportsbook, with Bovada offering even bigger bonuses when betting with the digital currency.
Registered in Panama City, Betonline.ag has a high standing in the industry with over 15 years of experience.
If you go with BetOnline, odds are guaranteed to be available online earlier than perhaps any other rival sportsbook which can make all the difference when it comes to maximizing your potential winnings.
In terms of the NFL, be sure to receive substantial bonuses while enjoying a range of different line spreads.
The site is always looking to introduce new, unique features to its platform, the halftime surrender a perfect example of this. Here, you can decide to effectively turn in your bet if you feel there’s zero chance of success and have half your bet returned to you.
The firm’s dedication to providing around the customer service around the clock also sees BetOnline ranked high in terms of feedback and reviews.
You may see some similarities with the aforementioned BetOnline because SportsBetting is a site managed by the same group and so are also licensed and registered in Panama.
Sportsbetting.ag are known to be one of the most aggressive players in terms of bonuses across the industry and unlike others, the sportsbook hasn’t pigeon-holed itself to affairs strictly at home and so offers wagering options on a variety of sports around the world including soccer, darts, lacrosse, cricket and boxing.
Of course, the weekly specials on the NFL are always a ‘”do not miss’’, while they also offer the 5% juice Fridays. Like its older brother BetOnline, Sportsbetting is well regarded when it comes to dealing with customer issues and so remains a popular choice for betting online.
- GT Bets
GT Bets focuses primarily on sports betting, casino and horse racing and are #1 ranked when it comes to bonus offers. Player have the choice of a 100% cash bonus up to $250, or a 50% bonus up to $500. Jeeez, right!
The firm have been on the scene since 2011 and possess a safe and stable status in the industry. In addition to the traditional sports, NBA, NFL, Hockey, Baseball, lines are also offered on sports abroad including soccer, MMA/Boxing, Tennis, Rugby and cricket to make GT Bets one of the most attractive sportsbooks in the country.
The vast array of wagering types – straight wagers, money lines, parlays, totals, teasers, round robins – these to name a few, also serves as a major pull for customers.
The long-standing pillar of sports betting in the US having been going since 1985, pretty much since the birth of sports betting.
Of course, there have been a few changes across three decades but people in any walk of life value longevity and it’s no different here. Bookmaker is by the most trusted of all the sportsbooks and is recognized for pulling in the high-rollers, and of course cater for such by offering the highest withdrawal limit – a whopping $50,000.
Bookmaker enjoys rolling out the red carpet and guaranteeing the best possible service for its most loyal customers; ‘free contests’ which enable players to have a free swing at making big money is common, while you don’t necessarily to have to be deal in big numbers to be given VIP treatment. Loyalty is the name of the game here, a value which leaves Bookmaker in a league of its own for status alone.
The guy at the back of the room who doesn’t really contribute much to class but aces his exams every time. That’s 5Dimes.
From first glance, it’s a no-frills sportsbook but the company has steadily grown into one of the big players by channeling its effort into offering a huge selection of lines, some of the most competitive odds around, paying out reliably and placing an emphasis on secure transactions.
Such integrity and credibility plays straight into the hands of the older generation, while its decision to list odds on college football games that most sportsbooks don’t so much as list on their site, has seen 5Dimes stock rise considerably.
What is the best sports betting app?
With the time we spend on our phones rising year on year, an app is all important tool to be able to bet on the move and partake in live betting especially.
BetOnline possess their own app which offers everything available on the desktop platform including betting lines on the popular stuff such as football, hockey, baseball, basketball etc. You’ll have to check out whether they’re offering in-game live betting on certain games as they tend to not offer lines on every match taking place.
SportsBetting.ag entice new users of their app to a $50 free play option, a sure-fire way of guaranteeing downloads of the application, which is free and compatible with all the prime mobile platforms. Of course, access to live betting is a given but as above, not every event will be subject to having a betting line open for you to wager.
Bookmaker has placed an added emphasis on using advanced responsive technology to ensure the app designed works across multiple platforms, including devices less seen now but perhaps still used by some of the players of an older demographic. The welcome bonus attached to the mobile app is also rather gentlemanlike - a 15% match of up to $2500 on your first deposit.
As one would expect though Bovada, comes up trumps in the app stakes, with their slick looking and all-encompassing sportsbook app, which is compatible with all the major phone and tablet providers that spring to mind.
A few chips went into the making of this let me tell you but quality costs and as the leading sportsbook around, Bovada have cornered another part of the industry where, yet again, it’s hard to deny them being considered the best.
FAQ Online Sports Betting USA
Is online sports betting legal in the USA?
Technically online sports betting is only legal in the following states: Nevada, Delaware, Montana and Oregon. However, budding players across the remaining 46 states bypass the law by using betting companies that are based outside of the US in order to complete transactions. Though still not permitted by the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PASPA), the likelihood of getting caught is extremely unlikely in the extreme, while to actually be prosecuted for wagering money on sports online is almost impossible.
PASPA, the act currently in place preventing sports betting from being legal, has recently been challenged and successfully overturned by New Jersey in an unprecedented move that is set to reshape the sports betting landscape across the whole of America.
Which states offer legal sports betting in USA?
The only states that have legal sports betting are Nevada, Oregon, Delaware, and Montana.
How old do I have to be to play?
Depending on which state you are in, the legal age for gambling is either 18 or 21. It is important to check with your state’s gambling board to find out the age in your jurisdiction.
What happens if I play on illegal sites as an American player?
If you are playing on illegal sites as an American you could be charged with a crime if you are caught. However, in practice, the focus has not been on cracking down on the players, but rather on the individuals running these sites.
How do I set up a sportsbook account?
To get started with an account is usually a straight forward process which takes no longer than ten minutes. Prior to this though, it’s important to know exactly what you’re looking for in terms of the best sportsbook account for you and your needs, with the various options each having their unique perks or potential drawbacks. Once you’ve decided, you’ll be eligible to receive a welcome/sign-up bonus that you’ll be to gain access to right away by clicking on the betting sites homepage via BookiesBonuses.
What deposit and withdrawal methods can I use as an American?
Most online sites will offer you the option of making deposits with your bank or credit card, with VISA being accepted most commonly and MasterCard being accepted by some. When making withdrawals the two common ways to receive your winnings are through either receiving a check or a wire transfer.
What is the difference between American odds, British odds and European odds?
Depending on where you are will change the type of odds that you see when making bets. With American odds it is all based on how much you would need to bet to either win $100 or what you would make if you bet $100. British odds use fractional odds for bettors where the number on the right is the amount you would bet to win the number on the left. European odds, on the other hand, typically use decimal odds, which is a number that lets you know the multiple that you would win on your bet. Although each displays differently, the amount you win stays the same no matter which type of odds is being used.
Can I bet on bet365 in the USA?
Unfortunately, the use of bet 365 in the states is forbidden under the current jurisdiction. However, in line with PASPA being overruled, this could be set to change in the not too distant future.