Sports Betting made Easy, Convenient and Fun!
Find the best sportsbook and mobile betting platforms, discover easy hacks, read our honest sports betting reviews, keep up with the latest sports legislation news, and much more.
You have come in at the right time for sport betting in the US. Unless you have been living under a rock, then you are no doubt aware of the changes in the sports betting landscape. The industry is going through significant change (understatement of the year), not only within legislation for each State, but also within advancement in technology for sports betting delivery, and of course gaming in e sports.
Where to begin with all this change happening?
Here we explain it simply, from the basics to give you the best understanding to make your decisions.
Current Sports Betting landscape
Did you know that nearly ALL the sports book providers in the US are planning on making losses INDEFINITELY at the moment?
That’s right, sports book providers are planning on losing money for years to come in order to win market share. They realize, just like you, that there are great opportunities in the sports betting industry, and they are willing to bear losses through marketing, sign up bonuses, loyalty bonuses and lastly through great odds. The market is extremely competitive, and this is great news for you as a sports bettor.
This means, you get to have better odds, better customer service, better sign up and loyalty bonuses. AND indirectly, you get to have more creative betting opportunities spurn by sports book providers becoming more innovative.
This is great news for me as a Player, so what betting platform should I use?
It can be very confusing at the moment. There is a whole suite of methods that you can use to place a bet. Let’s start with the least convenient and work out ways down to the most.
Sports Betting Terminals
Naturally the least convenient method of placing a bet is physically attending a sports betting terminal or kiosk. You physically must go there, click on the selections and deposit your money. Within placing physical bets there are various levels of complexity. Some offer bar codes, pre-betting placements with mobile phone with physical deposits made at the kiosk or terminal. Some have hard printed betting cards that can be filled out and submitted at the counter with cash in hand.
Although, this may seem cumbersome, particularly the use of pen and paper to complete a bet, but it is the old school way that many bettors are used to. (If they were allowed to bet)
Online Sportsbook Sites
Online sports betting through a website is the next level of convenience. Often you will be able to connect to a website via desktop, tablets or mobile phones. But it lacks on two fronts when compared to mobile sports betting. First you have to use a website HTML view. This means it may not be as smooth and fast as an betting app. Secondly, the same functionality won’t be available as an app such as push notifications, safe payment details storage, and general user friendliness.
Mobile Sports Betting App
Via iPad and tablet or smartphone is the way to go!
This is the ultimate in convenience. Anytime, anywhere, as long as you have internet connection and your smartphone you will be able to place the bet. What makes this the best is that you can bet real time and live betting. Currently the new forms of betting allows for quick fast betting which is exciting and awesome. No longer do you need to wait for a long outcome. You would be crazy not to look for mobile sports betting platforms, by far this is the most fun and convenient way of betting on the majority of sports, particularly for basketball, baseball, football and hockey.
So, obviously the most convenient and the mode is a sports betting app. 8 out of 10 Players take up the offer of using a mobile app when compared to online or at a terminal.
BUT WAIT! There is a caveat! Not all US States have the same sports betting laws. It currently is a mixed bag at the moment – not only for you as a Player but also for the Sportsbook operators, software developers, and retail outlets like casinos.
This means, where you reside, you may not be able to use a mobile app because operators are not permitted to offer them. Some states, aren’t even legal to offer sports betting, so you need to be completely aware of the sports betting legality in the state that you reside in.
US State Sport Betting Guides
For further insights for sports betting for each State refer to the links below:
Arizona Sports Betting
California Sports Betting
Colorado Sports Betting
Connecticut Sports Betting
Delaware Sports Betting
Florida Sports Betting
Georgia Sports Betting
Hawaii Sports Betting
Idaho Sports Betting
Kansas Sports Betting
Kentucky Sports Betting
Louisiana Sports Betting
Maine Sports Betting
Maryland Sports Betting
Massachusetts Sports Betting
Minnesota Sports Betting
Missouri Sports Betting
Nebraska Sports Betting
New Hampshire Sports Betting
New Mexico Sports Betting
New York Sports Betting
North Carolina Sports Betting
North Dakota Sports Betting
Ohio Sports Betting
Oklahoma Sports Betting
Oregon Sports Betting
Pennsylvania Sports Betting
Rhode Island Sports Betting
South Carolina Sports Betting
South Dakota Sports Betting
Tennessee Sports Betting
Texas Sports Betting
Utah Sports Betting
Vermont Sports Betting
Virginia Sports Betting
Washington Sports Betting
West Virginia Sports Betting
Wisconsin Sports Betting
Wyoming Sports Betting
Understanding the Odds
Naturally, if you are unaccustomed to seeing odds, it will take a while for you to quickly come to understand of what is a good bet and what is a bad bet. With time, you will become familiar, and knowing the meaning of odds will be like knowing one plus one.
American odds can appear very confusing if you are used to fractional or decimal odds, but they are in fact one of the easiest sets of odds to work with once you understand how they work. US odds always come in the shape of a three digit number that starts with a plus or a minus sign, each representing a figure in relation to a $100 bet. If the figure has a plus sign in front of it, it shows how much you win on top of your $100 bet, and if it has a minus sign in front of it, it shows how much you have to risk to win $100.
Here are some simple sports odds examples:
You see a US price of +500. This means that the odds of the event are 5 to 1 in fractional odds, or 6 in decimal odds. You have to risk 1 unit to win 5.
You see a US price of -200. This means that the odds of the event would be 1 to 2 in fractional odds, or 1.5 in decimal odds. You have to risk 2 units to win 1.
How to find the odds?
There are several ways to find the odds for a sport.
In the old days, odds were displayed on a sports board which were hand written and thus manually updated. Nowadays, these have now been replaced with terminals, digital boards, mobilephones, tablets and PC desktops.
Odds are conveniently categorized by sport. This helps you search for the sport that you would like to look for easily. Most sports bettors first look for their sport first then find the event and the odds.
As an example, odds may be grouped by Basketball – NBA, College Basketball, NFL College Football and so on.
Naturally each sport has different rules and objectives. And with that, there can be an enormous number of different betting options available. Let’s explore the betting options of each of the major sports in the US.
Sports Betting NFL and College Football
When reviewing sports betting odds for football, usually they are presented in pairs.
The home team and the away team. The “home” team, usually is regarded as having an advantage due to being at their local ground. Whilst the away team, has had to travel to the opposing team’s location.
Often a team will have a small number against it, whilst the other team will have a larger number. The smaller number represents the “spread”, and the larger number is the “total”.
As explained previously, the spread is for the team that is favored to win, whilst the total is for the underdog.
In addition to the spread and total, the money line for each team will be displayed.
Sports Betting NBA and College Basketball
Similar to football betting, basketball also has spreads, totals and money line.
You can also bet on a whole range of other options, such as regular season MVP, Rookie of the Year, Defensive Player of the Year, the list goes on and on.
Sports Betting Major League Baseball and College Baseball
Sport betting on baseball does not use spreads, rather they only use totals and money lines.
What makes baseball so unique compared to other sports is that focus on pitching. Betting on a baseball game is dependent on the known starting pitchers for each team to throw at least one pitch. If this does not hold true than all bets are cancelled and money is refunded.
There is an option with the sports book to sometime permit the money not to be refunded and to adjust the sports odds accordingly.
Thus betting on baseball, can be very exciting. A pitcher can make all the difference and if pitchers are constantly changing in the lead up to a game, it makes for a potential wild ride on the odds.
Sports Betting NFL and College Ice Hockey
Ice hockey similar to baseball does not use spreads, but offers money line and totals.
Sportsbooks will have a massive variety of other sports available to place bets on. Some even now include esports, which of course will have difference relevance for home and away.
Some other popular sports betting sports are golf, boxing, soccer and tennis. The list goes on and on.
Which sportsbook has the best odds?
Sportsbook providers offer a fun way to wager on your favorite sports. We evaluate various sportsbooks that cater to bettors from the United States in order to give you an idea of which ones are valuable. On our site, we give you an overview of USA betting providers with the best odds. This is by far not easy, as odds continually change. Some providers may offer better odds for some types of games and not for others. It also depends on how much exposure they are taking in for particular bets, and their want to parlay the risk. Therefore on individual bets we cannot provide you with which provider is the best, it simply is impossible. But we can give you insights as to which sportsbook in general offers the overall better odds.
Having said that, you would be crazy to not open up several sportsbetting accounts with various sportsbooks. In signing up to more than one sportsbook you will be able to compare sports odds and to choose the best odds for you.
More often than not the odds seem to be the same across sports books, but on closer examination they in fact differ on many occasions.
The difference in odds can vary greatly, particularly on big events that have enormous differing opinions. Odds also adjust by sportsbooks if they have too much exposure to a particular position. Hence odds will swing and differ greatly between sportsbooks.
Don’t dismiss the percentage gain that would get from shopping around for the best odds. 10% difference on wagering an accumulation of $10,000 bets is $1,000. That’s means something, so don’t treat this as insignificant.
Continually shop around for the best odds, and you will be better off in the long run.
Also if you were to place multi bets, that is, to bet on the outcomes of many game correctly, your winning % will also be significantly be reduced should you win.
Often when placing a bet, a sports book will only allow a certain maximum bet. Sometimes, if the bet is significant the sports book will need time to follow a process internally to approve the bet being accepted. If the amount is too large, the sports book may reject the bet as it presents too much of a risk for them. If this occurs you will need to find another sports book or reduce the size of your bet.
Please be aware, that if you are betting at a terminal and you have been issued a physical receipt, that is a time period that you need to cash in your winnings. Many sports book will not honor the winning if cashed in after an expiry date. So, remember, if you have won, to cash it in immediately. Don’t wait as this increases the risk of losing your receipt or forgetting and passing expiry.
And what about the bonuses?
It is extremely important to look at the bonuses, but is it as important as finding the best odds? If you are a long term player, this poses a dilemma, should you go with the sportsbook with the best bonus or find the sportsbook with the best odds?
Once again, you would be crazy to not to sign up to various sportsbooks to obtain the best odds and in doing so, you will also be entitled to the sign up bonuses that come with opening up new sports betting accounts.
Sign Up Bonuses
There are an innumerate number of sportsbooks that offer sign up bonuses either via download an app, through online or creating an account at a retailer. Some can appear to be well over the top, however, bear in mind competition for your sports betting account is fierce! These bonuses to attempt to draw you to their sportsbook instead of going to others. With apps and online accounts conversion rates are extremely important. If sign up bonuses are priced too low, sportsbook providers know they could lose you easily and quickly. One click and you can sign up with a competitor quick smart.
Typically bonus offers may be displayed as a percentage. Take for example 20 percent bonus for deposits up to $1,000. $200 is your free money when you deposit $1,000. Often there will be terms and conditions applied to the free money, to prevent you from immediately withdrawing $200 and walking away without placing a bet. Terms and conditions may include requesting you to wager a number of times before you are permitted to withdraw. Others request that you must reach a certain dollar amount of bets placed, before you are entitled to withdraw.
Once you open your sports betting account and through any deposit method drop in $1000 (don’t forget to enter the bonus code), your account will be credited with $1,200. Normally sign up bonuses are only for your initial deposit, they won’t extend for subsequent bonuses. (some sportsbooks, however, do have a lower bonuses percentage for second, third deposits and so on, these are called Reload Bonuses).
Bonuses, in the current sports betting environment, are not to be sneezed at. There are many Players, who I know, have opened several sports betting accounts simply to maximize their bonuses and then place sports bets according to which sportsbook offers the best odds for each individuals sports bet that they place.
Another form of a bonus is the referral bonus. A referral bonus is given for introducing another Player to the sportsbook. Often the referral bonus is based on a percentage of your initial deposit that can reach to 20 percent. This is a nice little kicker bonus, but I personally find this hard to go around promoting sportsbooks simply to obtain a referral bonus. You may find that you lose “friends” quickly. This bonus is a nice to have, but I wouldn’t be impressing this socially.
Match Play Bonuses
Some sportsbooks offer match play bonuses whereby the sportsbook will match your bet. In this case, the sportsbook has effectively boosted the amount wagered for you. If you win, you win more! You don’t need to deposit real money into your betting account to achieve this. It simply is the sportsbook giving you more bang for your buck. Often these match bonuses are offered for high interest sports betting events, and can generate a lot of publicity for the sportsbook.
Some say deposit and withdrawal options are important
Some sports betting review sites tout deposit and withdrawal methods as an important criteria to consider, and to a degree I agree. But let’s put this in perspective, you make one deposit to your account and maybe withdraw once. My point is, this doesn’t occur as often as placing the bets, hence higher up the priority is getting the best odds. Don’t worry too much about the deposit and withdrawal methods, unless you highly value protecting your privacy.
But just in case you were wondering, just like the sports betting industry so too is significant change being experienced with deposit and withdrawal methods. No longer confined to credit cards (which I would never ever recommend) you now have various e wallets, vouchers and direct to bank account transactions. In general, most of the methods are processed within the same time frames and have similar processing transaction fees. The industry is transforming rapidly with the advancement of technology. Bitcoin is one great example.
But to reiterate my earlier comments, don’t spend too much time over analyzing the pro’s and con’s of each method. Usually the most convenient and simplest is the best way to go.
Is Trust a big factor?
Sports betting is one of the most trustworthy forms of betting. Unlike online and mobile casino games, with sports betting you can verify whether you have legitimately won or lost. There are, however, instances where a sports player may be influenced to “steer” the direction of the game. Fortunately, this is not often and is found usually with the smaller sporting events. A more recent attempt to throw a game away, occurred in the e sport Overwatch League.
With casino games that are driven by RNG, often players will question the legitimacy of the randomness. It is impossible for any Player to confirm this, thus sports betting has the advantage over casino games in terms of transparency and fairness.
If you have a complaint with a sportsbook, the first thing to do is to make sure you have discussed it with the sportsbook. Make sure to record all evidence and proof of communication and betting. If further action is required, contact the regulatory body that overseea the sports gambling industry in the State. Alternatively there may be a consumer watchdog which can help escalate a resolution. If the industry is well regulated, complaints and disputes are far and few.
Just like corporates there have been Ponzi sportsbook operators who took Players deposits through offering excessive sign up bonuses to pay for existing Player withdrawals. Unsustainable with poor odds pricing and huge expenses, the sportsbook would collapse when Players caught wind of the sportsbook inability to payout winnings and therefore no new Players would sign up. A long distance in the past, current regulators are more attuned with profitability and sustainability of the industry.
This too is rare whereby a sportsbook operator does not have sufficient capital and is running at a loss. However, in this current landscape with a number of new operators on the sports betting scene, just be wary and careful. Look out for sportsbook providers which are new, and need capital raising. That’s not to say they aren’t capitalized, just be cautious
The Language of Sports Betting
Some sportsbook review sites ask that you consider the number of languages on offer from the provider. Ummm… ok. A mobile app provider should offer a service that is intuitive enough such that you don’t need to understand English, Chinese, French, Spanish, or whatever language of your choosing. Sports betting is sports betting, nothing more and nothing less. If they can’t use icons to guide you the sport you want to place a bet on, then something is wrong, don’t choose them! And even if you can’t understand it, use Google Translate. You will be able to quickly pick up how to use the app or online site. My point is, languages is the lowest of priority on the list for selection criteria. Focus on the odds, the bonuses and gaming variety, not on the languages.
Game offering and betting options is truly important
Now this is important. Much more important than languages and trust, and more specifically tailored to your preference. Now if you like your e sports, or the lesser known sports and want to place a bet, then you need to look for a sportsbook that provides odds for those games. You may also like to place bets on unique betting options. If you like the unusual “exotic” bets then choose a sportsbook provider that offers it.
Managing your sports bets
Managing your sports bets is important whether you are a casual player or looking for a real edge in sports betting.
For casual players often it is sports betting to augment the entertainment factor of watching the sports event. Or that there is a sentimental value for betting on a particular person or team.
For those who are more serious with their sports betting, you would only place a bet if you think you have an edge. If your odds are less than 50/50 plus an allowance for the sportsbooks buffer, then do not place a bet. It’s as simple as that.
How much to wager if you have an edge?
Many sports bettors will not bet on a 50/50 plus buffer split purely because it results in a break even. I.e. there no long term benefit in betting on this scenario, i.e. you won’t come out ahead. Hence, they have in their minds an edge of at least greater than 55% win. In theory, it doesn’t matter how large above 55% the edge is, as long as there is an edge great enough that a bet can be placed on to come out ahead on the long run. But how much should be wagered if the edge variance is only at 1%?
If your bank roll is large enough, then placing a minimum bet on the 1% edge variance is a fair bet. But if you are limited in capital, then what’s the point of betting on a 1% gain? You might as well search for better odds with a better edge and place a bet that is commiserate with your bank roll.
Your wagering should vary in accordance with the edge that you find. Typically if the edge is strong, you would bet a larger amount, if the edge is minimal or weak, then a smaller wager is placed. Of course, this again depends on your bank roll. If you have limited capital then keep bets to a minimum.
As with all betting, please do NOT bet such that it impinges on your lifestyle that you want or you want for your family. Do NOT bet, if you know you will be asleep at night thinking about the bet, or if you know if the outcome is adverse you will severely regret it for the rest of your life. Watching sport doesn’t need to have sports betting along side it, for it to be fun.
Sports Betting Modelling
I personally like to keep track of all my bets and analyze the outcomes to see how close I got to the minimum edge that I was calculating. Naturally, over the long term, your trending will show you how successful (or not) you have been and the real edge that you are calculating with your sports odd modelling. It’s important for me to understand how I came up with the edge, and to not permit changes that occur after the sports odds have been chosen to influence the retrospective analysis. The purpose is to determine how close the sports odds modelling has been to them provide guidance on tweaking the model further to obtain more accurate sports odds.
This also is very personal. How much should you put aside to play sports betting? (Or to make a serious attempt at it). I like to define the bank roll capital as how much you are willing to bet with before you it makes you think it’s too much of an impact on your life. That you have needs and wants that are better placed elsewhere. Hence, if you feel that $10,000 is enough for playing, and anymore will start to impinge on your lifestyle, than set the bar at $10,000. Don’t push the boundaries.
Parlays | Multi Bets
Some sports books may not offer it, however, with today’s modern technology, there are many sportsbooks with offer multi bets. Multi bets are whereby you can place a bet on the outcome of many sports bets being correct in order to win the payout. Of course, when placing a multi bet, the odds of winning diminish because you need to have all outcomes correct. This is a great way, of playing with small bets, but with big outcomes.
Should I believe the free sportsbooks picks?
To win at sports betting at a sustainable clip, means the edge of winning needs to be at least 55%. Often sportsbooks will embed a margin of at least 5%in their favour. As such you have to do better than simply guessing on so called 50/50 bets. The pay out ratios are reduced such that it becomes unsustainable in the long run. Therefore you need to have a higher minimum edge to counter the lower pay out ratio from sportsbooks.
Often you will find free sports picks on the internet. Don’t believe that they will be sustainable for you. There is a reason why they are free, and that is to provide entertainment, discussion and attract visitors to their sites. Take these picks with a grain of salt. Most often they play with the common sense pick, with the “random” against the odds pick
How do you work out your real edge?
In determining your edge, keep in mind that the modelling that you are using is an estimate. As with all estimates, you should incorporate a buffer. Many sportsbook will have “insider” knowledge of the game, and therefore you need to put in a buffer to your estimate.
Managing your bank roll does not give you an edge
Some may believe if they are able to manage their bank roll correctly, say with the Martingale betting system, they will be able to gain an edge. In theory this is correct, however the Martingale system requires and unlimited amount of capital, and balls of steel. If you do have unlimited capital then go for it, but as far as I know, no one has the ability to gamble with an unlimited pool of money.
How to increase your sports betting odds and gain an edge
Increase your chances or sports betting odds against a sportsbook is not easy. There are several ways to gain a better sports betting edge and they are:
Information that you have or are quick to act upon – often players may not disclose injuries or other factors that will influence the odds of a game. At other times, new does filter out publicly but sportsbook odds are not quick enough to react in adjusting their odds. There are just a few examples whereby, you as a player can gain an edge over sportsbooks.
Better statistical modelling of sports odds – this is extremely hard to achieve if your forte is not statistical projections. Most sportsbooks employ a third party to perform their calculations for their sports odds offered to their customers. These third parties are usually mathematical geniuses, such as actuaries, math gurus and expert consultants. But, if you believe you have a more accurate way of modelling risk, then you will be able to gain an edge.
Better psychological understanding of players and coaches – this is a very subjective aspect of sports betting, but it gives you a chance of gaining better sporting odds. As an example, teams that play Home generally perform better than Away. Could it be because of travel, or perhaps because the willingness to perform better in front of a supportive home crowd.
This is a tough question to answer, because it very much depends on your circumstances, but for most new sports bettors, I would recommend strongly to bet on a sport that you love, or a team or player that you avidly follow. In doing so, you have strong knowledge of the sport already, so you will have a better chance of understanding the better odds, and also it if far more enjoyable. There is nothing better that betting on your favorite team or player and seeing them win! And you win!
Many sports bettors don’t have the time or the skill set to create a fancy excel model to assess risk. If you want a very basic and simple strategy, then consider betting for the underdog, i.e. against the favorite. Statistical trends in sports betting shows that players tend to bet on the favorite. Psychologically, many bettors seek reasons of way a favorite would win, rather then why they would lose. Accordingly, with more bettors betting on the favorite, sportsbooks cover themselves by lowering the risk for themselves, by lowering the payout. Now not a perfect sports betting strategy by any means, if in doubt bet on the underdog in order to try and get the best payout for risk ratio.
For some US States it is legal to place a sports bet. For some US States, changes to state sports gambling laws are being proposed and may be passed to legalize sports betting. Other US States remain conservation with no inclination of legalizing sports gambling.