USA Betting Sites & Best Sportsbooks for Americans in 2021

Last updated March 1st, 2021

Why Trust USA Betting In Your Search For An Honest U.S. Sportsbook? Our team of writers has years of professional experience in the sports betting world. Our contributors have written for national newspapers and big online media companies. However, just like the average bettor, we also wager and bet with the full choice of USA betting sites every day. That means we know the bookies to count on and which American-friendly sportsbooks to keep away from. We take our responsibility as advisers seriously because your security, safety and enjoyment is of paramount importance. If you want to know who writes this site, then meet a team you can trust.
We passionately believe that we are best-placed to clarify the uncertainty and point you towards the honest, solid and secure bookies’ websites. Our recommendations are safe for American players to join. So you can enjoy online betting without sweating about the payout. The top rated bookmakers we approve have an unblemished and long history of good customer service. They have demonstrated fair behavior towards their U.S. based bettors.

This month of March has a wide range of sports for bettors to pick from when looking for a wager. The highlight has to be the March Madness basketball tournament. After suffering cancellation last year, this competition is now set to generate more interest than ever, but there is more than just March Madness action this month. The Players Championship golf and the NBA All-Star Game are also grabbing headlines. Add to that a smattering of tennis, Nascar and further golf and there is plenty to whet the appetite. So before you pick one of the oddsmakers to register with, check out our favorite stateside betting sites and racebooks. Browse the list of major odds-setters, along with our independent and brutally honest reviews. If you want to know who you can trust, these are the best United States-friendly online sites for sports gambling:

USA Sports Betting with Bovada SportsbookNo.1 Bovada: Top rated U.S. sportsbook, casino, poker ✔

Bovada is the largest and most famous of the USA online sports betting sites. This firm has been in operation since 2011, when it morphed out of Bodog. The latter named sportsbook was split according to its geographical target markets and Bovada was the brand created purely for the American players. Here at USA Betting, we were a touch worried at the time that the tremendously high standards of customer service and care might suffer. Fortunately, quickly it became apparent that was not going to happen and that Bovada was moving forward as an improved platform in all aspects.

Who Can Join Bovada?

Only Americans can join up and no other nationalities. Four states are excluded: Delaware, Maryland, Nevada, New Jersey. All others are welcomed.

What Bovada Welcome Bonuses are on offer?

Visit BovadaIf you want a bonus, be aware that with any firm there are terms and conditions. These are designed to make you earn out bonuses, by getting you playing. So bonuses can be beneficial but you need to be in it to the end to benefit. Remember, you don’t have to take a bonus. You could just join up, bet and avoid the bonus codes. Bovada offers several welcome bonus options, one of which may appeal to you:

  1. 50% bonus on first deposit up to $250. This has a x 5 rollover requirement on sports and x 30 on casino. What this means is that if you deposit $100, you get an extra $50 to play with. However the rollover requirement means you would need to wager a total of $750 ($150 x 5 in sports and horses) before withdrawing your resultant winnings / funds. You can simply redeem or opt into this via your betting account, there is no need for a bonus code.
  2. 75% Bitcoin Bonus up to $750: Using promo code BTCSWB750, you can claim tis when depositing via BTC. To get the maximum you need to deposit $1000 or more of BTC. Rollover is 5 x on sports and racebook.
  3. $3750 Casino Bonus: This can be gathered across your first three deposits and it is for casino play only. It has 25 x turnover requirement. See our free bets page for relevant bonus codes.

What Are The Pros Of Betting With Bovada?

  • They pay in a timely manner. In the American betting space this can not be guaranteed with all outlets. Payments have always been the sticky issue and sometimes the source of bottlenecks at lesser brands. Bovada know how good, honest and speedy payouts engender trust from their client player base. One of their biggest rallying cries has always been: “Don’t sweat the payout.”
  • The fact they are long established, with an unblemished record should never be underplayed when seeking out a USA sportsbook to join. Years of consistently good service to their clientele separates the good bookies from the bad.
  • You can hold your betting account in Bitcoin if you wish. There is a choice when you join between having a pure USD account or a pure Bitcoin account. You can fund these accounts with many currencies but the value of the Bitcoin account is the ease and speed of deposit and most particularly, withdrawals. While many of their rivals accept and payout in crypto currencies, not so many actually allow you to wager in BTC. With this operator, you can stay in crypto all the way through and never need to swap to USD or vice versa at any stage.
  • The software is great. It is state of the art, proprietary and unique. It works so well and is so user-friendly. Our only gripe is the menu system, which works well, is a touch complicated and needs improvement.
  • The breadth of sports markets available to bet on is streets ahead of their immediate rivals in the US-friendly sports betting space. What we mean is that for one game, say an NBA, MLB or NFL game, there will be 200 different markets and prop bets available. That is not a soundbite as the staff at USA Betting just counted up the options for one imminent NFL game. The other offshore bookmakers we recommend don’t come anywhere near that. They are good but they offer little more than the moneyline, spread and total points on a matchup.
  • Their odds setters are competitive and the betting lines are up early. This site leads the field in the American-friendly space.
  • Bovada has more than just sports betting. The poker site is the largest offshore network for USA players in the world. It has been lauded across the industry for its unique anonymous tables, which means the pros can’t keep track of the weaker players. It goes without saying, not everyone is fond of that aspect. However, in practice, it works a treat and makes the poker ecology less brutal than it otherwise might be. Also, the online casino is world class. It has a range of slots and table games from several of the leading suppliers, including RTG, Rival and BetSoft. With over 300 games, you won’t play anywhere better.
  • This is maybe the most important: you can trust Bovada. They don’t con or scam players. They are fair and honest and they have been since their origins in the days of Bodog. They manage the site with integrity. Just like you need to be able to trust that this review of Bovada by USA Betting is genuine, you also then need to trust the sportsbook you decide to join. We hope you feel you can trust us and we firmly believe that you can trust Bovada. It is not just us saying it, it is no secret across the internet that the Bovada website is as good as gold to its players, garnering very few genuine complaints over the years.

What Are The Cons Of Wagering With Bovada Oddsmaker, for USA Sports Betting?

  • Maybe it is us, and it is definitely because they have such an amazing range of sports betting lines on offer, but their menu system is annoying. It works fine, but sometimes we find ourselves repeating instructions on the menu. There is room for improvement, for sure, though in a sense it is a victim of its own success: The more events you have to peruse, then the more complex the menu system becomes as you drill down through it. However it just doesn’t work as well as it should. We have used it for years now and haven’t grown any fonder of it.
  • The other big issue, is that this oddsmaker has four restricted American states: New Jersey, Nevada, Delaware & Maryland. If you are from those locations then we suggest you join either BetOnline Sportsbook or the long-established Bookmaker. Neither of those sports gambling sites have any restricted states.

Should Bovada Head The List Of Best USA Betting Sites?

In a word, yes. You can see they don’t just do their job well, they do it in an outstanding way across all aspects of their exceptional service. Their name is synonymous with outstanding and deservedly so. It truly is top of the American betting sites.

Bovada Review Go to Bovada ➙

Intertops SportsbookNo.2 Intertops: One of best US online sportsbooks ✔

Intertops sportsbook has been at the forefront of online betting in the USA since 1996. Yes, that is when they accepted the first sports wager placed on the internet. So Intertops was the earliest and they are still one of the best.

Despite having some German heritage, Intertops set themselves up to serve American players right from the get-go. The reason USA Betting has them so high up in our rankings is that they have been scrupulously honest all this time. Trust should be their middle name. We know, having bet with them for many years.

All stateside sports are offered with football, basketball, baseball, soccer, hockey, golf, tennis and college football big on their agenda. They’ve got a lot besides, including motor racing: NASCAR, Formula 1 and more.

As well as the traditional and classic cashier payment methods, Intertops has also embraced crypto. We know there is a strong demand from bettors for United States’ sportsbooks to deposit and payout with cyber cash. The three digital currencies Intertops handle are Bitcoin (BTC), Bitcoin Cash (BCH) and Litecoin (LTC).

Who Can Join?

Forty-three states of America are accepted. There are, annoyingly, seven restricted states: Washington, New York, Louisiana, Missouri, New Jersey, Kentucky, Maryland. We suggest joining Bookmaker sportsbook if you are from any one of those.

Intertops Sign-Up & Welcome Bonuses

If you want a welcome bonus from Intertops, then you can have the pick of this trio of offers:

  • 50% of your first deposit up to $200 free (promo code ROOKIE50); 8 x rollover requirement on bonus and deposit.
  • 100% up to $100 extra (bonus code ROOKIE100); rollover is x 6.
  • 200% up to $50 bonus (ROOKIE200); 4 x turnover condition.

Intertops Pros & Cons

  • The Good: Easy to use software, a larger number of betting lines than most, honesty and integrity since 1996, good and trusted payout system, competitive odds, good customer service record and a fast site. As well as sports betting they have two great casinos and a top poker room.
  • The Bad: Intertops could sometimes be faster publishing their betting lines and there is room to offer a wider range of markets on some sports. The sign-up bonuses are smaller than many competitors, but their turnover requirements tend to be fairer. It is hard to find any serious fault with Intertops.

Should I Join Intertops?

The staff members at USA Betting have accounts with Intertops. We like their site and the fact they run a smooth operation where the payouts are guaranteed. Honor can be in short supply with offshore bookies, yet Intertops has it in abundance. We give it a vote of approval and our recommendation.

Intertops Review Go to Intertops ➙

Bookmaker.eu SportsbookNo.3 Bookmaker: All United States can join ✔

Bookmaker.eu was one of the first online sportsbooks. Their origins go back to 1996 while the current ‘Bookmaker’ brand has been around since 2007. This offshore betting site operates out of Costa Rica, a fairly typical locale for this type of industry participant.

Who Can Join Bookmaker.eu?

The key question should actually be, are there any restricted U.S. states at this offshore oddsmaker? The answer is no. Residents of all 50 states are able to register with the website. So this should be your first choice if you are in a state that other firms refuse.

As for precluded countries, there are very few. The main restrictions are Costa Rica, where they are located, and France. However the brand is aimed at the North American market primarily and little consideration is given to other cultural sport types. Hence this is a great option for all Americans and Canadians. Beyond that, other nationalities should look for more local sportsbooks that are tailored to their national sporting preferences.

What Is Good About Bookmaker.eu? Discover The Pros.

  • The first positive about this firm is also the biggest number one priority required by all operators that we at USA Betting recommend. Without this attribute, a company goes straight onto out blacklist: Trust, honesty and integrity. It all boils down to the same thing: Is this sportsbook fair in its dealing with players? The answer is ‘yes.’ Bookmaker.eu has a long history of fairness when dealing with their clients. They pay out and they don’t try to take unfair advantage.
  • The second aspect is also quite important to us, because it is quite a rare quality: they will take a chunky bet. Are you a whale? If you are a bettor who has been running into limits and restrictions on your bet sizes, then Bookmaker.eu is the place for you. So many online betting operators, and we are talking about across the globe and in all geographical markets, only want ‘recreational’ customers. That is the term used across the industry when a firm is plain scared of taking large wagers. Many of these bookies equate big bets with ‘sharp’ players. Often, nothing could be further from the truth. Bookmaker.eu provides a welcome antidote to this malady with their high limits. Of course, if you bet small, this is still a great option.
  • The cashier system is good. Like many in this space, the use of Bitcoin and the other crypto currency options certainly speeds things up. Requesting checks, which can be done, does now feel quite ‘last decade.’
  • The betting lines are fair and good. They will often take a stand, and so many times are bigger on one side of the spread or moneyline for a game than their rivals. They do not take liberties with the odds.
  • If you are into bonuses, then Bookmaker does offer plenty of options dependent on what might suit you and according to how you have deposited. There are specific offers for crypto deposits. These extras are all opt-in promos.

What Are The Bookmaker Sportsbook Cons?

  • We have learnt that Bookmaker.eu has set up shop to attract and serve larger-staking U.S. clients. Possibly a direct consequence of this admirable policy is that there are limited prop bets on USA sporting events. When you come to bet on a big game, if that be NFL, NBA, MLS, NHL or similar, you will find the moneyline, spread and total points betting lines but you won’t find much else. Those are the lines big bettors want to wager on. Our analysis is that Bookmaker.eu feels comfortable accepting the weighty wagers on those markets that other bookmakers will not service, yet would not be happy taking huge bets on some of the more obscure props that other operators do offer. It is an understandable omission given the circumstances and they are a victim of one of their biggest positives, the acceptance of heavy stakes.
  • The site design is simple and a little more spartan than some of their rivals, but that helps with ease of use and speed of navigation. It needs to because the website itself can be a touch slower than rival firms from some locations. Given there are less markets to populate, this is strange.

Bookmaker.eu Welcome Bonuses

We have deliberately put the welcome bonus information quite far down this listing. The reason is, while good bonuses are offered by Bookmaker.eu, it simply isn’t what this firm is all about. As a sportsbook that makes big appeal to non-recreational gamblers, trying to work through the rollover requirements to grab a bonus on your first deposit seems inconsequential. Those clients attracted to this firm are thinking a bit bigger and beyond the benefits of a bonus. This site is not about trying to get something for nothing, it really is all about the wagers.

USA Betting is a little opposed to the take up of bonuses at any site. Some players dedicate all their recreational time to this habit. That is fine, but you need to work through the offers to gain anything at all. Once you have read the terms, sports betting bonuses are never as attractive as the headline offer suggests. Remember, you don’t have to take a bonus – it is not always the best option if you only joined to bet the New York Giants on the spread. These promotions are also the single biggest cause of acrimony between players and their bookies and it is all because those bettors have failed to comprehend the complex turnover requirements on bonuses. There is quite a learning curve for newbies with this, so our advice flies in the face of what the industry tends to suggest: If in doubt, don’t sign-up to a bonus.

Those comments were a general observation and not specific to Bookmaker and it would be remiss of us not to inform you about the welcome offers they do have, so here goes:

  • Their default opt-in sports welcome bonus option is: 15% cash bonus up to $600 in bonuses with 5 x rollover requirement on deposit and bonus amount. This is a cash bonus, which is good.
  • There is a 50% casino bonus up to $1000 (40 x turnover). Bonuses are optional and the terms are stated on their website.
  • Bookmaker does tinker with its bonuses, often offering time-limited alternatives. They also offer promos designed for crypto depositors and reload bonuses are also available. Check their site for the current relevant promo codes.

Is Bookmaker.eu Worth Joining?

We do recommend Bookmaker.eu due to its good ethics, high limits and clear and simple website. The odds are often up early and are always competitive. It is well established and encourages the use of crypto. If you bet on the main betting lines, and don’t seek out obscure prop bets, then there is plenty of appeal.

Bookmaker Review Go to Bookmaker ➙

Bet USA at BetOnlineNo.4 BetOnline: USA sportsbook for All American states ✔

BetOnline is a great sports, casino and poker site for USA betting markets. All US sports are covered including NFL, MLB, NBA, NCAAF, NHL, NASCAR, boxing, golf & so much more. BetOnline gives the option of a 50% first deposit bonus up to $1000 (promo code: BOL1000) and then an extra 25% on every deposit you ever make after that up to $1000 a time (code: LIFEBONUS). If you choose to take up the offers then be aware that there is a 15 x rollover requirement on the first bonus and 6 x for the reloads offer. Also each deposit needs to be for a minimum of $25 if you are claiming the first deal and $50 for the reloads. Plus get a 50% cryptocurrency first deposit bonus to $500 (14 x rollover & use code CRYPTOBET) with a minimum deposit of $20. This applies to deposits in Bitcoin, Bitcoin Cash, Ethereum, Litecoin or Dash. The great thing about this firm is that they accept players from all states. There are no annoying exceptions. They do offer the same excellent service for other nationalities too, so it is a good bookie for Canadians as well as Americans. Their website is very intuitive and simple to use. There is no need to join in order to browse all the betting lines on offer, so have a good look around before registering. BetOnline, established in 2004, is a huge firm with a large client base and is of good character.

BetOnline Review Go to BetOnline ➙

SportsBetting SportsbookNo.5 SportsBetting: Good for betting in America ✔

SportsBetting.ag is a trusted offshore sportsbook nowadays. They did get some bad publicity under their previous ownership but everything changed for the better when the excellent BetOnline took over the management in June 2012. Now this is a firm favorite of ours. The welcome bonus on offer is pretty big at 50% up to $1000 (use code: SB1000) while you can also get 25% up to $1000 on reloads (code: FORLIFE). SportsBetting.ag offers online betting markets on all events and they compete impressively with the longer established operators in this field. There are no restrictions on US states that can join, while the only country restriction is the one they are legally licensed in, Panama. Payout times are good so they are certainly worth trying out, even if you have other betting accounts. All regular bettors should have several bookies’ accounts in order to get best odds on their betting picks.

SportsBetting Review Go To SportsBetting ➙

MyBookie SportsbookNo.6 MyBookies: One of our approved US bookies ✔

MyBookie.ag opened its virtual doors in August 2014 and USA Betting waited a couple of years before adding it as an approved sportsbook. We needed to know that they stuck to high standards of service and they do. MyBookie has gained a good reputation as a trusted online bookie for Americans and all states are accepted. While it may be a newer kid on the block, its management team have been in the industry for a good 20 years. MyBookie accepts other countries, but the look and feel is typically North American and that is very much its target market. So all USA and Canadian sports bettors can happily join up and expect the same high service you receive from the other top betting companies that we recommend. MyBookie offers bonuses of 50% up to $1000 (code: MYB50) if you deposit $100 or more to start with. It is 25% extra if you deposit less that $100. Do make sure that you check the usual rollover requirements and the terms on their site before opting into the welcome bonus. Full details are via the ‘bonus’ link on their top menu. There is also a $20 risk free bet: you get $20 if your first bet, which has to be of $20 or more, is a loser. There are reload bonuses for existing customers and rebates on the racebook. Their deposit and payout options are good too and cryptocurrencies can be used. Our verdict: Check it out.

MyBookie Review Go To MyBookie ➙

WagerWeb Sportsbook for USA BettingNo.7 WagerWeb: One of best USA sportsbooks sites ✔

WagerWeb has been accepting US players across its site for many years now. It can trace its roots back to the mid 1990s. Fair, honest and trusted pretty much sums up WagerWeb. They have some of the best sign-up bonuses, with a 50% bonus up to $1000 given on your first sportsbook or casino deposit depending on which option you choose. There are turnover requirements and you can’t withdraw for seven days if you want to keep the bonus. Enjoy coverage of all the United States’ sports events you could wish for like NBA, MLB, NFL, NHL, MLS, boxing, F1, IndyCar and other motor sport. There is also a racebook for fans of betting on the ponies. You can get 1% cash-back on your sports betting handle each week too. For details of all these promos check out the terms via the ‘promotions’ menu link on their site. They have a very slick and well designed website for those that want to bet US. Headquartered in Costa Rica, they offer good customer service. If you are a recreational sports bettor looking for a place for USA betting then WagerWeb is one of the few doing a fair job for North Americans. This is one of the best oddsmakers but they do aim their service at the smaller bettor, so if you are a high roller then one of the firms above may be more appropriate.

WagerWeb Review Go to WagerWeb ➙

GTbets accepts AmericansNo.8 GTbets: Recommended United States sportsbook ✔

We are really pleased to welcome a new addition to our roster of recommended firms, GTbets. Established in 2011, they were created after the closure of VIP online sportsbook. GTbets honored VIP’s players’ funds so nobody lost out. At USA Betting we are a pretty skeptical bunch so we have kept a watching brief on GTbets to see how they got on in the years since and it has been good. They have earned a reputation for honesty and never missing a payout. GTbets openly admits it prefers recreational players, but they do take a decent sized bet. They told us that they are keen to keep updating and improving both the quantity of their sports betting lines and the quality of the website experience. The fact they acknowledge there is room to get better is refreshing. They are licensed in Curacao and they know they are in direct competition with the bigger bookies we list on this page. That is why their odds setters try hard to keep players onside. They know reputation is everything when deciding the best USA sportsbooks. They accept Americans but not from these prohibited states: Delaware, District of Columbia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Mississippi, Missouri, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Nevada, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Washington & West Virginia. The bonuses are good: 100% cash up to $500 on first deposit and 50% up to $250 on your second. Minimum deposit $35 and maximum $500 to claim this bonus. The rollover requirements are fair at 10 x and you get to keep all returns (not just the winnings). Do read all terms and conditions via their ‘promotions’ link. Also rebates are available on the horses in the racebook and for casino play. They do charge fees for all forms of payout except Bitcoin, so it may be worth waiting until your balance is large enough to make a withdrawal worthwhile. We are guessing you may already have an account at one or more of the other firms we recommend. If you do then we think you should try out GTbets as an additional USA betting option. Plenty of American sports bettors only have good things to say about them.

GTbets Review Go to GTbets ➙

BetUS is No Longer Trusted – Avoid Bet US Sportsbook ❌

Unfortunately BetUS can no longer be trusted and should not be considered a safe destination. There are claims galore of wrongdoing towards its customers. We also know that they have ripped off some former business associates. In short, you could seriously regret it if you sign up with this bunch. Sadly we do need to emphasize that Bet US is not to be counted upon. Instead join one of the sportsbooks that USA Betting has recommended previously on this page as they will treat you honestly. They are the best online sports sites for all USA betting action and for placing your wagers.

BetUS Review

Top Sportsbooks & Best U.S. Online Betting Sites in 2021

Here is a summary of our top recommended sportsbooks for American players, along with these betting sites’ new player bonuses and promo bonus codes.

USA Betting Sites Welcome Bonuses Promo Codes
1. Bovada 50% deposit bonus up to $250 extra or 75% to $750 if bitcoin None & BTCSWB750
2. Intertops 200% for $50 bonus or 100% to $100 or 50% to $200 ROOKIE200 & ROOKIE100 & ROOKIE50
3. Bookmaker 15% cash bonus up to $600 Select bonus in cashier
4. BetOnline 50% 1st deposit to $1000. 25% on subsequent deposits to $1000 a time BOL1000 & LIFEBONUS
5. SportsBetting 50% to $1000 & reload bonuses SB1000
6. MyBookie 50% up to $1000 bonus MYB50
7. WagerWeb 50% cash bonus or 75% free play None
8. GTbets 100% up to $500 Not Required

Bookies’ Bonuses & Free Bets from Leading Stateside Betting Websites

As far as the welcome bonuses and free bets on offer from the American-facing bookies go, USA Betting thinks that bettors fall into two categories:

  1. Those gamblers who are keen for a big sign-up bonus and who also have an eye to the ongoing reload offers.
  2. Punters who really don’t care about free bets and are more interested in simply getting on with the betting.

Most review sites like USA Betting concentrate on the benefits of bonuses. We think it is important that you first consider the pitfalls, or rather obstacles, that need to be overcome to profit from the offers.

The big problem with bonuses is the terms and conditions that apply. An enticing headline offer of $250 “free” will likely be accompanied by a requirement to rollover that sum before gaining anything from it.

If you opt into a bonus and don’t comply with the terms, then you may have trouble withdrawing funds until you have. This is the single greatest cause of ill feeling between a bettor and their sportsbook. Both sides believe they are in the right, yet usually it is because the player simply hasn’t read the terms properly in the rush to get what appears to be something for nothing. That it never is.

Typical rollover terms are perhaps x 5 for sports betting and x 30 for casino. That means if you deposit $100 and get a 100% bonus of $100 then you will need to rollover that amount five times before you can withdraw funds. It may be the 5 X rule is of deposit and bonus ($200 in this example), so possibly $1000 of bets have to be placed to earn out the $100 of bonus funds. Is it worth it? Only you can decide.

If all you wanted to do was to join a USA sportsbook to bet on the Chiefs for their latest NFL matchup, then maybe you should have just avoided claiming that bonus altogether. After all, they are mainly opt in and most require promo codes to trigger them. The key boring bit of advice has to be: read the terms and conditions of the bookmakers’ bonus thoroughly before claiming.

If you can negotiate all the hurdles then it could be a profitable exercise, but give these offers proper consideration. There can be frustrating consequences otherwise.

USA Betting has a free bets and bonuses page dedicated to this topic and it includes all the available promos from our top recommended oddsmakers, along with their headline terms and conditions. Please take a look.

USA Sportsbooks’ Top Bet Types Explained

If you are new to wagering at the USA online betting sites, then a rundown of the main types of bets available will prove invaluable. Here are the chief terms explained:

What Is A Moneyline Bet?

The moneyline is the simplest form of betting on a matchup. Imagine Pittsburgh Steelers play New York Giants in the NFL. On the moneyline the former may be at odds of -250 and the latter is +210 to win this football game. You simply choose which team to bet on to win and place your wager accordingly. If the game was a tie, because no draw was offered, then the result is a ‘push’ in terms of betting. That means your stake is refunded and you neither won nor lost. Here is an example of an NFL moneyline at a typical American sportsbook:

Moneyline

With some sports the moneyline will also include an option for the draw. This is always the case for MLS (soccer) games, where a tie is quite common. So there will be no refunds because you could have bet on the draw. Here is an example of the moneyline in that case, which are the odds under the ‘win’ column:

USA betting lines

What is the Points Spread in U.S. Sports Betting?

In many sports the points spread attracts more handle (turnover) with the American bookies than the moneyline. This is certainly true of football. The attraction of betting ‘on the spread’ is that it evens up teams in odds terms by applying a points handicap to the moneyline favorite.

If you look at the screenshot above for the NFL moneyline, you will also see the odds under the ‘spread’ column. In this bet the Steelers are -6pts. If you bet on them on the spread you get better odds than on the moneyline, but they have that six-point handicap to overcome to make your wager a winner. If they win 40-33 then you have won, because after deducting the 6-point spread the score reads 34-33. If they won 35-33 then you would have lost as they didn’t win by seven clear points. Those who bet on the Giants +6pts would be holding winning wagers.

If the spread results in a tie, then it is a ‘push’. As explained, that means you get your wager refunded. A tie would have happened when the Steelers won by precisely six points, for example with this scoreline: 39-33.

Often the spread might have a half point involved, such as +6.5pts. That means, whatever the result, there will be a winner and a loser. It neatly eliminates the tie as a possibility.

Total Points, also called Over / Under Bets, Explained

Take a look at the first screenshot above and its total points column. Here you can bet over 45pts or under 45pts being scored in total in the game. So if the game ends 40-10 then you can see the total was 50pts and the ‘over’ wagers have won. If the precise total is the result (ie: 30-15 in this example) then it is a push and the bet is void and your wager refunded. Similar to the points spread, the U.S offshore sportsbooks may use a half point to avoid a theoretical draw, so offering perhaps over or under 45.5pts.

What are Prop Bets?

A proposition bet is a big catchall phrase for all types other than moneyline, spread and total points on a game. They tend to concern players and events around the event rather than the result of the game itself. The most famous prop bets from the United States’ oddsmakers are on the Super Bowl, where there can be hundreds. These include the more obvious ones like betting on the MVP (Most Valuable Player) and first team or player to score through to the obscure, such as the length of the national anthem or color of the winning coach’s drink.

In standard NFL games a site like the Bovada U.S-facing sports betting firm typically offer over 200 prop bets such as: total receiving yards for a player, total touchdowns and first team to score.

What is a Parlay?

Parlays are when you link a series of wagers on different games or events together. You may link the result of three different MLB games with the results of two NBA games. This would be a five-leg parlay and all your selections would need to win for you to have a winning wager.

The winnings from the first bet automatically go onto the second leg and if that wins then all the money goes to the third leg etc. In this way a parlay bet could make you a lot of money for a small outlay. Of course, that is because the odds of landing parlays are long.

You decide and create the legs of your parlay, there might just be two (also called a double). All our top-rated stateside bookmakers offer this facility on their websites. Outside of America, a parlay may also be called an accumulator or acca for short.

What is Futures Betting?

This is another umbrella term and the clue is in the word. A futures bet is one that is not imminent. Examples of futures betting markets include the outright Super Bowl winner market, to win the NBA championship, MLB World Series, Stanley Cup, Soccer World Cup, US Open Golf or tennis and the list goes on. All those events can be bet on well in advance and throughout that sport’s season. Elsewhere in the world, futures markets are also known as ‘ante-post’.

All our recommended odds setters have separate menu links to the futures bets they offer within the menu for each sport.

Is Online Betting Legal In United States?

If you are planning to join one of the top offshore sportsbooks you probably want to know if online betting in the USA is legal. While the question itself could be the subject of court debate for many years, here are some key facts that should reassure you:

  • There is no federal law against Americans betting with a USA-friendly internet sportsbook.
  • Nobody has ever been arrested or prosecuted for gambling with an offshore firm under federal law.

There are some federal laws that have been used to dissuade online sports betting websites from taking bets and to make it harder for them to process payments, but there are none that stop you from placing a bet.

Some individual states have laws trying to prevent their residents from gambling over the web, but these are almost never enforced. The sportsbooks listed here on USA Betting are licensed in their jurisdictions, so are deemed legal in the locations they operate from. There are millions of fellow Americans wagering with them.

It would be fair to say the USA betting situation is muddied and it sometimes feels like the spirit of prohibition is hard to shake off. One positive is that the tide seems to be turning in favor of offshore gambling sites, judged by the recent dropping of all historic charges against the founder of one of the biggest bookies that served US bettors.