Online sports betting in the US is a popular pastime, and there are many good US online sportsbooks from which the American sports bettor may choose from. The best US online sportsbooks deliver an outstanding selection of sports wagering options, with all major US sports and international sports available in the sports betting section, and you’ll even find politics betting, exotic wagering and more, and today almost all of these books will also provide a mobile sportsbook too, which we’ll talk about a little later on.
On top of the huge amount of sporting events on which you may place your bets you’ll also find many different lines with moneylines, totals, spreads, half times and plenty more all on offer, including parlays and teasers, and each sportsbook will attempt to get your attention with a big welcome bonus, plenty of ongoing promotions and varying player rewards programs. As a US online sports bettor, it’s pretty safe to say that you’re spoiled for choice and many people will have multiple sportsbook accounts simply to take advantage of bonuses and promotions. Here we’ll take a look at all that’s important to you, the sports betting fan, and provide info on all aspects of US online sportsbooks, and exactly what they offer.
Are US Online Sportsbooks Legal?
There is no law that prohibits a resident of the US using an online sportsbook, fact. There are laws in place that prohibit operating and managing an online sportsbook in the United States, however no US online sportsbook is based in the US, they are all offshore and are therefore safe places to wager. There are also laws against US banks making transactions with offshore sportsbooks however no sportsbook would dream of using a US bank to make financial transactions. There’s no doubt that the US Government would like to have a little more control over US online sportsbooks however since they are located outside of their jurisdiction and legal reach, then again, they are safe places to wager online.
There’s been a change of attitude to online gambling in the US recently, in fact wagering on horses online is legal, and in three US states, playing online poker is 100% legal, and in New Jersey you can also play real money casino games online, and just a few years ago that would have been unthinkable, however rather than attempt to criminalize an activity that creates no issues, it seems the US is in general changing the way it sees online wagering and gambling. Depositing into a US sportsbook can at times be troublesome due to blocks on some credit cards, however for good online sportsbooks this is not an issue and there many ways in which to get your money in, and more importantly, get your winnings out.
Depositing into a US Online Sportsbook Account
Opening up your online sportsbook account is a simple two minute task and as we’ve mentioned, there are plenty of great well established places to choose from, and once that’s done you’ll find that funding your account is simple too. All of the best online sportsbooks will accept major credit cards and a large percentage of players will use Visa or MasterCard, however there are many options available, and each establishment will differ slightly. Using credit cards to fund your account is as simple as shopping for anything else online, booking a hotel room or renting a car, and you simply head to the safe and secure cashier, enter your card details along with the amount you wish to deposit and you’re done. Should your transaction be declined then don’t despair and contact customer support, as they will do all they can to assist, as it may be a case of verifying a few of your personal details in order for them to be able to complete the transaction. There are now many players that use prepaid Visa cards too, and these pre-loaded cards that can be obtained from gas stations, Walmart’s, grocery stores and even online will always work in a sportsbook cashier, as they act just like debit cards. Once you have a card such as a Paypal card, Reloadit or Moneypak then you may use that card over and again with simple, swift top ups.
There are many other options available to you should you not wish to use your credit card. Most good sportsbooks will offer a cash method, maybe Western Union or MoneyGram, and there’s also bank wire or one of the many e-wallets that are available. In the cashier you’ll find all of the options listed and it’s your call as to what method you use, and should you ever have a problem then your first point of contact should always be customer support as they will do all they can to assist.
Online Sportsbook Welcome Bonuses
When making your first deposit in your online sportsbook of choice you’ll almost always be provided with a welcome bonus of some kind. Of course, all sportsbooks will have different bonus offers, however it’s standard to receive a percentage amount of your deposit in the form of free bets, a freeplay or simply cash into your account. It’s important to remember that all sports betting bonus offers will come with terms and conditions, usually in the form of rollover or wagering requirements, and all good sportsbooks will have these clearly stated so that you can check them out. There may also be bonus qualifying terms such as a minimum deposit that you must make in order to receive the bonus, but again, these will be clearly stated for you.
There are some books that offer welcome bonuses without rollover requirements and simply credit your new account with a freeplay, and should your new place to wager online offer multiple products such as a racebook, online poker or a casino, it’s usually the case that you’ll be provided with separate welcome bonuses for those, but again, sportsbooks will differ in their welcome bonus offers and it’s always a good idea to check out the amounts and the terms and conditions before you make your deposit. There are many US online sports bettors who prefer not to take a welcome bonus as they feel that the bonus terms and conditions can tie up their cash in wagering requirements that may stop them from making a withdrawal, and it’s 100% your call as to whether you accept a bonus or not or whether you wish to take the free betting cash and make the wagering requirements.
Reload Bonuses and Player Rewards
So you’ve chosen your sportsbook, made your deposit and claimed your welcome bonus. As well as the huge amount of wagering options that you’re now presented with, which we’ll take a look at below, you’re also provided with many sports betting reload bonuses and ongoing rewards. On further deposits you’ll be offered reload bonus deals and these are similar to the welcome bonus in that they are usually a percentage on top of your deposit and given as a freeplay. There are some sportsbooks that will give you a bonus on all deposits, some will offer special deals as to the sporting season, for example almost all books will provide special NFL bonuses at the start of the season, and you’ll also get similar deals for NBA season and NBA playoffs, as well as MLB offers too.
Many of the best US online sportsbooks will also provide you with a rewards program that provides you with points for every real money wager that you make, points that you may exchange for cash to use to wager with. You’ll also see cashback offers that provide you with a weekly or monthly percentage amount of any losses that you have accrued, and you may also find that your sportsbook offers different or better bonuses as to the payment method you use when making your deposits. There’s no hard and fast rule as to what a sportsbook can provide in the way of promotions, and the best will provide you with a good choice of deals and offers.
Mobile Sportsbook Wagering in the US
The use of smartphones and tablets in the US has grown massively over the last few years with almost everyone now owning a device that connects them to the internet from anywhere. Many people use a tablet or phone more so than they do their home PC and of course, the best US online sportsbooks also offer a mobile sportsbook too. Advances in technology and internet speed mean that mobile sports betting in the US is now enjoyed by a large percentage of online sports bettors and you’ll find that a great US sportsbook will also provide you with a mobile friendly offering that runs perfectly on Android tablets and phones, as well as iPhone and iPad. The superb navigation and ease of use, with great software that allows you to tap and swipe your way around the sports betting offering is simply brilliant, and once you’ve used a good US mobile sportsbook it’s easy to see why they’re so popular.
Android and iOS sportsbooks that are provided by the best books allow you to wager from anywhere on a fast and secure mobile wagering platform that provides all of the lines and wagering options that you’d find in the regular online sportsbook, and you’ll be able to access the mobile site with the same login details as the regular site. You can also see your wagering history, claim the same bonuses, rewards and offers and the mobile sportsbook cashier will have the same banking options available, allowing you to deposit and make withdrawals from your handheld device. A good US mobile sportsbook will in fact offer you everything that you’ll get in the online sportsbook, and so many people are now switching to the mobile platform, as the convenience of getting your bets on from anywhere is hard to beat.
The use of mobile sportsbooks in the US is only going to increase and that means even better mobile wagering platforms and better navigation, although with some of the best mobile sportsbooks around today, it’s hard to see where and how they could be improved.
Live In Play Betting Online
Live in play online betting simply wasn’t heard of a few years ago but now it’s available in all of the very best US sportsbooks. You’ll find that most books have a separate in play live betting section and all of your live bets are made there on a different betting slip. Live betting is superb and something that many sports bettors now enjoy, with many wagering options available as the game is being played. You’ll find NFL live betting, NBA live wagering and just about everything else on top, and all upcoming sporting events that are available to be wagered on in play will be listed in the live betting section.
Advances in technology mean that you will also be offered live mobile betting and that really is great, being able to bet in play from your phone or your tablet is so convenient and adds a whole lot more to the betting experience.
Safety and Security in Online Sportsbooks
It’s natural to be concerned about your personal details when making any financial transaction online. It goes without saying however that US online sportsbooks take the security of your personal details extremely seriously. Sportsbook cashiers use the very latest technology that ensures every transaction that you make is well protected, and your credit card details remain secure at all times. The SSL security is the same as that used in major financial institutions and means that all data is encrypted and that your details are always safe.
NFL Online Betting
NFL betting online is of course extremely popular with US online sports bettors. The season is a relatively short one and the action is fast and NFL season is the busiest time of year for US sportsbooks. It’s also the time of the year when many sports bettors open new accounts and therefore there’s always plenty of special NFL betting bonuses and promotions around, however as we’ve already covered choosing a place to play and sports betting bonus deals, we’ll now take a look at why online NFL wagering is so popular.
Football is America's favorite sport and it’s also the sport on which the most wagers are made and the best US online sportsbooks will offer a whole lot more than simple full time game lines. The NFL points spread is the wager that’s most talked about and the wager that’s most often made, and that spread is designed to even out the playing field, provided by the bookmakers as to who they believe are the better team and by how many points. An example could be Dallas Cowboys -3.5 @ New York Giants +3.5 and that line would mean that the Cowboys are a 3.5 favorite to win the game, and as an online sports bettor it’s your task when betting the spread to either go with it, or against it, i.e to pick the favorite with the minus points, or the underdog with the plus points. There are also moneyline bets which provide the same line but with no points spread at all, and whereas when betting the spread you’d usually get odds of around 1.90 either way, the moneyline odds will vary as to who is the favorite for the game, and in the case of the above example, as Dallas is the favorite then you’d get shorter odds on them to win the game.
The other popular bet is that of the total, or under/over as many bettors call it. This is a simple NFL bet that provides a number, and asks you whether you think the total amount of points scored in the game will be over or under a certain number. Using the same example of the Cowboys against the Giants, let’s say that the total is 48. Should you wish to bet the total on that game then you’ll need to decide whether the amount of points scored by both teams combined will be over, or under that amount. The total is a simple yet very exciting bet to play.
There are of course other types of NFL online bets that you may make, and many players enjoy wagering on the Half Time lines, and you’ll see all good sportsbooks offering spreads, moneylines and totals for each half of the game, and the same goes for quarters too. You’ll also see many NFL prop bets, and these are split into two main categories of player props and team props, and here is gets a little complex. Props can be absolutely anything, from how many touchdown’s a quarterback can make, to how many rushing yards a player can make. Not all books will offer prop betting on every game, however you will see an absolutely huge amount of them for Super Bowl betting in almost all US online sportsbooks.
Online Basketball Betting
Basketball betting is huge with online sports bettors in the US, and that includes both NBA betting and NCAA Basketball betting, with even more action during March Madness and NBA Playoffs. As you’ll no doubt know, basketball is fast paced and full of excitement and it’s even more exciting when there’s money on it. There are 3 main types of basketball betting lines, those of the moneyline, the spread and the total...similar to NFL betting.
The spread is a line that gives the underdog a plus points advantage and the favorites a negative starting position, however unlike NFL where you’ll see many small spreads, due to the fact that basketball is a high scoring game it means that the spread are a lot bigger, and it’s not uncommon to see lines of +15 or more, especially in college basketball. The totals are also bigger, but the same wagering principles apply and when betting on a basketball total it’s your task to predict whether the combined score of the two teams will be over or under the amount that the bookmaker has set. The basketball moneyline is a wagering option without a spread and you simply back one team or the other to win the game outright, simple.
MLB Betting Online
Betting on MLB online is hugely popular and the main betting types are those of the totals, the moneyline and the runline. The MLB totals line is wagered on in exactly the same way as that of NFL or NBA and it’s a case of picking under or over the number presented to you by the sportsbook, and the moneyline is a simple case of choosing which team of the two will win the game outright...both are very simple bet types and easy to place. The MLB runline is the same thing as the spread in NFL in which one team is given a minus points figure and the other a positive figure, and just like in NFL, it’s the favorite that has the minus figure. There is a difference however in that the runline is always set at -1.5, +1.5 and relevant odds are given for each side of the line, and good US sportsbooks will offer ‘alternative runlines’ in which you may opt for a -2.5 or a +2.5 line...with the odds reflecting that pick.
Soccer Betting Online
Online soccer betting in the US is growing massively, and while not long ago it was hard to find odds on all league games around the world, it’s now a big deal in almost all US online sportsbooks. The best sportsbooks offer English Premier betting, Spanish La Liga betting, German Bundesliga, the Italian league and almost all South American leagues. You’ll also find lines on the European Champions League and the Europa Cup and of course when the World Cup and the European Championships come around there’s always plenty of action available.
Soccer wagering is now hugely popular in the US due to the increased attention that the MLS is getting, and the increase in live TV coverage, and MLS online betting is now available in all books. Wagering on soccer is a little different as it can be a low scoring game, with totals almost always around the 2.5 mark, and as many soccer games can end in a tie, placing a wager on the draw is a popular bet...totally different than NFL or NBA.
You will see that in the wagering section of your chosen sportsbook there’s a whole lot more than the major US sports being offered to you, and you’ll see golf betting, rugby, tennis, martial arts, darts and so much more. The best US sportsbooks will offer just about all sports that are available and that changes as to the time of year, however rest assured that no matter what time of year it is...there’s always something to wager on.
Parlays, Teasers and More
There is of course a whole lot more to online wagering that simply picking a sport, going to that game in the wagering section and placing your money on either the spread, moneyline or total, and there are many different bet types that you can make. Many sports bettors enjoy making parlays, which are multiple picks on the same betting slip that provide accumulated odds and big payouts, and many players enjoy teasers in which it’s possible to pick your own spread to wager on. There are many more betting options and as you get more familiar with your online sportsbook and sports betting in general you’ll find that it’s simple to place what look like the most complicated bet.
Wager Within Your Limits
We’ll finish off by saying that online gambling and sports betting is enjoyable however you should know your limits and wager with care. It’s easy to get a little carried away and wager more than you can afford to and the most important thing is to always wager responsibly.