What Types of Bets are Allowed in Online Sports Betting?
The list below covers most bets you’ll find in online sports betting.
Parlays are a popular bet, combining at least two different outcomes on a single bet. The odds are much higher because you have to guess all options correctly, but the potential returns are much greater. We don’t recommend the parlay bet until you’re familiar with betting odds and you’re balancing your bet size compared to your overall bankroll.
Totals bet, also called an over/under, is a wager on a given game’s total combined score from both competitors, as determined by the oddsmakers. The participant is betting whether the score will be above or below that number. The odds will adjust according to bets placed.
A prop bet we could best describe as a side bet that shares similarities with fantasy sports. A persona can bet whether an event might happen or whether a player will meet a specific performance criterion in a game.
A teaser bet is like a parlay and combines the point spread on at least two games. The line may be shifted in the favor of the bettor and the amount a bettor can tease will typically be between six and seven points for a sportsbook. For football, seven points is the most common option.
So, if the Green Bay Packers were facing the Chicago Bears, then you could place a teaser bet to win by seven points or more. However, the bigger the tease, the more the payout will be reduced. Teasers may seem easier to win, however, just like parlays, one incorrect bet can scupper everything.
The moneyline bet is the simplest type of bet for players to engage with. Also known as the straight bet, you’re betting on which side will win a contest. It is a staple of the most formidable operators and the key here is understanding the plus/minus format, which is used for American odds. The plus sign shows how much you need to wager to win $100 on the underdog.
If the Golden State Warriors, for example, were facing the Los Angeles Lakers in a regular season NBA game, you may fancy the Warriors to win comfortably. So, you could get short odds of -150 for the Warriors to prevail.
Whereas the Moneyline is more short-term, futures take a longer term outlook on how things might shape up. There is certainly more of a risk-reward here. If you are a tennis fan, for example, you get odds of say +300 for Carlos Alcaraz to scoop at least two Grand Slams in 2023. By betting in advance, you are getting more favorable odds. If you can hold your nerve, then you could yield some big profits if Alcaraz were to deliver.
If bets are more sophisticated compared to other betting types. At their core, these bets will see you make multiple selections. You’ll generally kick things off by picking two or more wagers that are joined by a common cause.
With this type of wager, if your initial pick is incorrect, then all subsequent wagers are off. Let’s use the following example from a round of NFL games to show you:
Pittsburgh Steelers -6 (-110)
Jacksonville Jaguars +6 (-110)
Arizona Cardinals +7 (-110)
Denver Broncos -7 (-110)
So, by placing an if bet on the two favorites (the Steelers and the Broncos) to cover the spread in which you stake $110, then $110 will be deducted from your account. There will be four possible outcomes from these matchups, and the order of your selections could affect the result of your wager.
How To Find The Best US Online Sports Betting
Naturally, finding a great sportsbook requires a significant amount of time and research. We are experts in our field and we are adept at locating sites that are fit for purpose and will provide plenty of entertainment. So, with that in mind, we have listed a few factors that you should take into consideration before signing up for a site:
Quality of Odds
This should be a given. Sites will endeavor to publish odds promptly and there should be a good range of prices for the sports markets that bettors prefer to play. Odds should be fair and enticing to keep bettors interested. We are constantly reviewing the odds of the top operators, so we know what you should look for. Ideally, some sites will have odds boosts so you can make bigger profits on markets with longer odds.
Promotions act as a snapshot of what you can expect when you sign up for a site. They should reward new players for signing up for a site, and they usually comprise a matched deposit bonus which could be as much as 100% and it will reflect how much you deposit into your accounts. Some sites will have odds boosts for existing players or Refer a Friends section, but ultimately, the sites we hold in high regard will have competitive bonus packages. They will also be fair, so that players stand a good chance of increasing their bankroll. Players should always check the terms and conditions before proceeding.
Banking and Payout Speed
The top US online betting sites will be versatile when it comes to payment methods, so that bettors can make payments seamlessly into their account. They may well cover traditional options, such as debit and credit cards, but they also may incorporate the latest e-wallets. Either way, players want to get their hands on any winnings accrued quickly, and the top sites will process payments quickly.
Security and Trust
We suggest that you only use sites that are trusted and licensed. On that note, the most reputable operators will have security protocols in place to protect players while online. This usually entails SSL (Secure Socket Layer) measures, so that users can play safely online without their financial data being compromised. Sites that are worth their salt will be fully licensed and acknowledged by a formal gaming operator. Those that aren’t will act as a red flag and they should be avoided at all costs.
Inevitably, the best sites will cater to the needs of their players with good customer support options. Sites such as BetMGM or Unibet will have a 24/7 live chat facility to react to any pressing queries or concerns. A good FAQs section is an excellent starting point, but the best sites will also have email or phone options in case users run into trouble.
Having a superb online sportsbook won’t cut it anymore. The top operators we work with will have pushed the boundaries to create an immersive mobile experience for their users. In essence, they will have a native app that will be conducive for iOS and Android users. This should replicate the desktop version of the site and pages should load quickly and there should be no buffering issues. Some sites will also have a live stream, so that players can watch their favorite teams while they are on the move.
Top Sites for Online Sports Betting
- SugarHouse – Great bonus and weekly tournaments
- BetRivers – Great live stream selection and fantastic casino
- FanDuel – Good bonus with a high risk free bet + Slick design
- Betway – Great promotions and custumer support
- Caesars – Great app and a large portfolio of casino games and betting markets
- Draftkings – Refer a Friend bonus and daily odds boosts
- Pointsbet – High odds and a great app
- Unibet – Great platform and a solid app
- Leovegas – Top Bonus Offer and a nice simple platform
- Bally Bet – Great sportsbook and casino
Online Sport betting – What are the Most Popular Sports to Bet on?
The NFL is the most popular sport for betting in the U.S., with the super Bowl being the single biggest betting event of the year. The second most popular league for online betting is the NBA, with the highest volume taking place postseason and finals. The MLB is still huge around season-opening, playoffs, and the World Series. After the MLB comes the NHL with a small but fiercely loyal fan-base, and a surge in bets come the time for the Stanley Cup playoffs and championship. Next in popularity comes College basketball. The regular season sees a lot of action, but things heat up during March madness.
College football is at its highest level of online betting activity during the bowl games and playoff season. We can also find Golf (both the PGA and LIV Golf) Soccer and Tennis amongst the biggest sports when it comes to online betting. The fastest growing sport to bet on is in fact Soccer and especially The English Premier Leauge. If you want to check out livescore for all the sports above and more go to Flashscore.com, they offer a great free live score service.
Where is US Online Sports Betting Legal?
Currently, there are more than two dozen states that accept sports betting in some form. However, it could be a while before all 50 states embrace sports betting, with some still pending, including Ohio. The repealment of PASPA (Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act) four years ago was designed to open the floodgates for states to take on sports betting. However, some states remain in limbo and they are waiting for bills to be passed by legislators before their dream becomes a reality.
In some states, retail and mobile sports betting is fully available. This includes Arizona, Colorado, and Connecticut. Indeed, the likes of Colorado have flourished and it was one of the first states to record more than $200million in monthly betting handle. Here, you will find multiple mobile betting options, such as DraftKings and FanDuel which boast fabulous apps for sports betting and daily fantasy sports betting fans where they can participate in various contests for NFL and NBA throughout the season and pit their wits against their friends.
Betting Online Has Come a Long Way
The recent move of states finally making it possible for betting online, has taken a long road to get to this point. We have to fill you in on a brief history of online sports betting legislation for you to appreciate where we are now. The Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PASPA) is a federal law that was passed in 1992, preventing states from legalizing online sports betting sites in the majority of states. The unintended consequences led to a criminal, underground enterprise with bookies connected to the mob and offshore sites.
The UIGEA, or the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act of 2006, prohibited online betting to the exclusion of fantasy sports, skill games, and those protected by tribal rights. This caused instant confusion across the online sports betting world, sending U.S. bettors to overseas online platforms. U.S. Citizens went underground, taking bigger risks of getting scammed by fake sites. The big move forward came when the U.S. Supreme Court struck down PASPA in 2018. This opened the doors for each state to decide how they wanted to approach US betting.
Betting US – States with unique laws
Every state has its own legal framework for online betting. For instance, sports betting is legal in Delaware, but it has to be done in-person at their casinos. Whereas In Mississippi, you’re only allowed to partake in retail sports betting. In Montana, it’s retail only, but for online sports betting, they’re allowing apps that are within geofenced areas. In New Hampshire, you can only bet through their state lottery, but they’ve partnered with DraftKings for mobile sports betting. In Oregon, it’s only through state lottery with their own mobile app. Rhode Island only allows it through state lottery using a William Hill/IGT platform. South Dakota only allows betting in-person in their Deadwood casino. It’s also fair to say that this list will change all the time as new states decide to begin to allow betting.
List of States for Legal Online Sports Betting 2023
|Washington D.C.||West Virginia|
Online Sports Betting vs. Daily Fantasy Sports
Although online betting and DFS (Daily Fantasy Sports) are both sports betting, there are key differences. While sports betting involves betting odds, the spread, and picking a winner, DFS is about betting on athletes and player statistics, with contests and competitions taking place between players.
- DFS bets provide a bigger potential payout, but they are competitive, and the odds are generally quite low.
- DFS includes head-to-head matches, tournaments with guaranteed prize pools, double-ups with multipliers, and a list of betting options to choose from.
Daily Fantasy Sports sites provide a lot of offers, like 50/50 contests and large betting competitions, with grand prizes as big as $1 million. The two largest DFS sites are still DraftKings and FanDuel, but new options quickly come.
Fantasy sports has seen a noticeable uptake. Recent figures showed that 6 million more citizens partake in DFS of some form, which is an increase of 13.5%. Some of the top US betting sites, such as FanDuel and DraftKings are packed with DFS markets for bettors to enjoy, and they cover the biggest leagues, such as NFL and NBA.
A Word on Tax
While sports betting has brought about unprecedented levels of revenues for states that permit it, many operators are working to low profit margins. As such, states have had to strike a fine balance between incentivizing bettors while collecting sufficient taxes to justify their legal status. This will vary depending on which state you gamble in. For example, Nevada which has had had a long-standing relationship with gambling passes on tax rates of 6.75%, while the likes of New Hampshire and Pennsylvania are oddly high at 51%.
Usually, federal taxes are withhold at a flat rate of 24%, but bettors will have to declare all winnings above a certain amount when filing their tax return to the IRS.
Sports Betting Terms You Need to Know
There’s a lot of terms that are unique when it comes to betting online. Therefore we’ve made a shortlist of other terms you’re going to need to understand before you start spending real money placing your bets.
- American Odds: This is a format for posting what the odds are for an event. There are three ways for this to be phrased: American, fractional, and decimal. American odds will post moneylines with a negative and positive number for the spread. For example, in America, -110 means the same thing as 1.91 in decimal odds and 10/11 in fractional, where all three represent a $100 win on a $110 wager. You can read more about the moneyline bet here. For example, in America, -110 means the same thing as 1.91 in decimal odds and 10/11 in fractional, where all three represent a $100 win on a $110 wager.
- Bad Beat: A bad beat happens when you appear to have a winning bet that ends up losing, usually when points are scored right towards the end of a game. You’re going to have this happen from time to time in totals and moneylines bets.
- Bankroll: Your bankroll is the total funds you’ve set aside for the purpose of online sports betting. As you win, your bankroll gets bigger, and as you lose, it shrinks.
- Bankroll Management: An essential part of the betting process, a bettor, needs a strategy for how much they will bet at a time. This represents how much they will spend on each bet and what to reinvest from winnings, and when to cut their losses during a losing streak.
- Bet: This is your wager using an online betting operator or in person.
- Book: The Book is also known as the bookie, bookmaker, or operator, all of which refer to the person or platform that posts bets and the related odds.
- Closing line: The closing line is the last official odds posted for an event you can bet on.
- Double Action: This is an option, often also called an “if,” where placing a winning bet will automatically place the winnings on a second predetermined option.
- Draw: As you’d probably expect, this is a bet that ends in a tie.
- Drift: A drift changes the betting odds that continue to adjust after posting the first line. A moneyline that keeps changing over time is a drift.
- Vigorish: This is also known as the vig or juice. It stands for what a bettor has to wager to win a return.
- Wise Guy: Also called handicappers, sharps, and professional bettors. It just means they have a deep knowledge about their sport of choice.
- Futures Bet: The futures bet is betting on games that take place in the future. Big event games like bowls are a popular example of futures betting.
- Handicapper: This is a name for a severe bettor who researches the background of games and teams to take their betting seriously.
- In-Play Betting: Also called live betting, this is where bets can continue to be placed during live gameplay.
- Oddsmaker: Also called a linemaker and a bookmaker, this is the person or group that sets daily betting lines and prices.
- Pick: A pick bet has a 50-50 expectation, meaning the oddsmakers consider both sides equally likely to win, so the bettor simply picks which side they believe will win.
- Spread: This organizes the values of a betting match so that the winning bets are paid by the losing bets, keeping the books accurate. To win, the bettor’s choice for the winner has to be higher than the points for an underdog. Find out more about Point Spread here.
- Sportsbook: This is traditionally a physical location found in casinos for placing bets on sports but is now commonly referring to online platforms, like apps, where people can experience the entire sports betting process.
- Stake: This is how much money you are betting. It’s what you stand to lose but is also returned in addition to profit when you win.
- Straight Bet: A single wager on moneyline, spread, or game total betting options.
- Underdog: The oddsmakers expect this competitor to lose, represented with a plus sign in front of their odds.
- Void bets: Void bets will lead to stakes being returned to the bettor by the bookmaker and they can occur in a variety of situations. For example, if you placed the bet on an anytime goalscorer in a soccer match before the team news was announced, and they weren’t named in the squad, then the bet will be void and your stake will be returned. Usually, most bookmakers will have clear terms and conditions relating to void bets, and this might even include circumstances where the bookmaker has misquoted odds.
- Exposure: Your exposure is how much you can lose on a single bet.
How to Read Betting Lines
Before we delve into the most popular betting lines, it is important to explain how odds work. In a nutshell, they assess the chances of a particular outcome happening in a game. The three main types are fractional, decimal, and American odds. With the latter, the team that is trading as the favorite will be denoted with a minus (-) sign, while the underdog will have a positive (+) sign attached to their name.
When the odds have a minus sign, this will show you how much you will need to wager. So, for example, if the Tampa Bay Bucs were facing the San Francisco 49ers, and the Bucs were favorites at -150, this means you will have to wager $150 to get $100 on a winning bet.
Most sportsbooks will have a bet calculator, so you can insert your prospective selections, and this will figure how much you stand to win based on your stake size. You can read more about different styles of betting in out betting guides.