Online Sports Betting in the US 2021

If you are among the many eager travelers searching for the ideal planet to help you indulge in online sports betting in US states, PlayersBest is here to guide you. Our comparison covers all the essential topics plus much more.

By the end of this comparison, you’ll know everything you need to know about online sports betting. Which sports can you bet on? How many betting types are there? Can you find any bonuses to use? Let’s begin our trip into the sports betting stratosphere to discover the delights that await us there.

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Why you need to read this comparison before betting on sports

If you’ve already journeyed around the PlayersBest US site, you’ll realize that we are dedicated to bringing you the latest and most accurate information we have about many forms of online betting. However, we are zooming toward even more detail here – this time about sports betting. It’s a giant area to explore, with many excellent features to share. Yet there can also be tripping hazards and wormholes to avoid – and we’ll help you do just that.

While some countries allow online sports betting, in US states it’s a totally different proposition. Depending on where you live, you may be able to bet on your favorite sporting events… or you may not. If you’re confused about whether you can do this, relax. We’re about to guide you through the possibilities, so you’ll understand where and whether you’re legally allowed to place bets. We’ll also cover many other topics though, including the range of sports you can expect to see, along with details of the betting types you might spot along the way. If you are ready for the journey ahead, settle in and enjoy the view.

Who can take advantage of our comparison?

Put simply, this PlayersBest sports betting comparison is perfect for any US resident looking to learn more about the current situation with sports betting. Whichever sport you’re keen to place some wagers on, there is no better gambling comparison site than this. You could be new to the idea of online sports betting in US states, in which case you can discover how it all works here. An online sportsbook can be an overwhelming view for many newcomers, but we’ll steer you safely through whichever one you care to visit. We’ll tell you what to look for when you’re there, too.

However, we have also put plenty of effort into making sure our comparison guide is also a great resource for more experienced bettors in America today. Even if you have experience in betting on events by visiting a bookie or even a live event, you’ll find betting online is something altogether different. We’ll make sure you have a list of features to look for, so you know you’ll only ever join the best and most trusted sportsbook online today. If you want to find the best online sportsbook for US bettors, keep on reading.

Sports to bet on in the US

From legions of football fans in Washington State to entire armies of basketball fans in Florida, it’s clear that the USA is a sports-mad country. As such, it’s no surprise that all US sportsbooks will aim to cater to this phenomenal demand. Here are just a handful of the most popular sports to bet on in the US.

  • NFL football
  • NBA basketball
  • MLB baseball
  • NHL hockey
  • NASCAR racing
  • Soccer
  • Tennis
  • Golf
  • Boxing

State-specific online sports betting in US

The first piece of positive news we can bring you is that after a change in legislation, all US states now have the power to legalize online sports betting. However, not all states have decided to exercise their powers in this manner. So, your state of residence decides whether you can legally use an online sportsbook to place bets. We’ll look at a few examples here – ones you may already be familiar with – to see how you might fare when looking to place some wagers on sporting events.

Do all states that allow online gambling allow sports betting?

No. You can certainly dive into some casino, poker, and sports betting online if you live in New Jersey, Pennsylvania, or Michigan, along with a couple of other states. However, Delaware only offers casino and online poker access, and doesn’t legally allow sports gambling. In contrast, you can happily dive into the best sports betting online in Tennessee and Indiana, yet you won’t find access to the poker or casino alternatives. So, while some states allow websites to offer a range of betting services, others are more limited. The bottom line is to check your state to find out the laws there right now. We expect more states to allow online betting on sports in future, but it’s anyone’s guess as to when they might make those decisions.

We should also mention that being a resident in your state is not always enough to legally use a relevant site. You should also be physically within its boundaries to bet there. For example, let’s assume you live in New Jersey. You know you can use sportsbooks legalized for use in New Jersey, so you sign up and log in. You can place as many bets as you like while physically in the state. However, if you go on vacation to Michigan, you cannot bet on your usual New Jersey-based site while you’re there. Even though sports betting online is legal in Michigan, only residents of that state can use those relevant sites.

To help you on your betting adventure, we’ve put together a useful guide to US states where you can enjoy legal sports betting.

DelawareNevadaNew JerseyArkansasOregon
PennsylvaniaWest VirginiaMichiganNew YorkIndiana
MississppiNew MexicoRhode IslandIowaNew Hampshire
IllinoisMontanaColoradoWashington D.C.Tennessee
North CarolinaVirginia

PlayersBest guides for players living in New Jersey

If you’re a resident of New Jersey, you’re ideally placed to dive into some sports betting in New Jersey without heading outside your home to do so. We’ve covered this in a special comparison report on that niche topic, so head over there to read more about the type of online betting services a New Jerseyan might find online today. It’s best to learn about all this before you begin online gambling New Jersey at any of the available and approved sites. You’re certainly ideally placed to get a chance to choose from a range of betting sites.

PlayersBest guides for players living in Pennsylvania

Do you live in Pennsylvania? If so, you may already be aware of the change in the law that allows residents of this state to try online sports betting in Pennsylvania. As is the case with New Jersey, you’re legally allowed to access online casinos and poker sites too. If online gambling Pennsylvania appeals to you, you can use our PlayersBest guides and comparison reports to understand more about the available services and features you might find there. We’ve got the experience and know-how to help you out if you’re a resident Pennsylvanian.

You may have heard of offshore betting sites. As the name suggests, these online operators are based offshore, i.e., in another location other than in America. Due to the varying state restrictions, offshore betting sites are deemed completely illegal and no American resident can legally use them, no matter which state they’re in. Despite this, many US citizens do just that, making bets on sporting events across illegal offshore bookmakers and breaking the law as they do so. Now, bettors make potentially millions of wagers this way, and our research has failed to uncover evidence of anyone being hauled into court over it.

With a chance of getting away with sports betting like this, it may seem like a good idea if your US state doesn’t legally allow you to bet online. However, you’re still using an offshore betting site that has no legal standing in the USA. This means there are several notable risks connected to your online gambling activity. Still tempted? Read our advice below and you may want to reconsider your position if you’re thinking about using these offshore entities.

Offshore bookmakers don’t hold a valid license to operate

The states that have decided to open the way for legal online sportsbooks to operate have strict rules and regulations for them to follow. This means that whichever legal bookmaker you choose in your state, you know they’ve needed to jump through plenty of legal hoops to offer their services. It also means you may only have a handful of services to choose from, but you can trust them all. That wouldn’t be true of any offshore providers, as they can offer whatever services they wish as they’re outside the law. No license means zero protection for you as the bettor.

Your money isn’t secure

It’s true that some offshore sports betting sites have been around for years. They’re well known among those who bet with them and have an established audience. However, offshore platforms could still disappear without a trace. Since these sites have no license to run operations in America and do not need to adhere to the laws surrounding their use, you could find your chosen offshore site suddenly vanish, taking your money along with them. You can see the risk here. Even with a small balance, you could lose it. If you won big, you might not be able to get to your winnings… and you couldn’t do a thing about it.

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We’ll steer you toward the best sportsbook online for you

Let’s assume you are in one of the ever-increasing groups of American states that now allow online sports wagering. If so, you need to know how to spot the best online sportsbook for US bettors. Fortunately, that’s something we can help you with. There are several safety elements to be aware of before you begin, so let’s go through those now before we go deeper into other sports betting features you should look for too.

Check the licensing details

These are usually at the bottom of the sportsbook site. You need to check if the site is legalized and regulated to supply sports betting in your state. This should be quite clear from the details, with some sites supplying links through to the regulator for that state too, so you can check on the details.

Look for the padlock

You’re familiar with this from other sites, no doubt. It should appear in front of the URL in the search bar on your browser. This means the site is secure and fine to use. Most reputable sites do use https:// now rather than an unsecured protocol, but double-check to be sure.

Look for other safety features

Most bookmakers and sportsbooks have other software in place to give you peace of mind whenever you’re depositing funds in your account. Your information should be safely encrypted and protected from hackers. Many sites include details about software in their terms and conditions or help areas for banking services.

Know the terms and conditions

These are the backbone of any site, including a sportsbook. When you find a site that you can legally use, it makes sense that you’d want to get on and place your first bet. However, we’d recommend you read the terms and conditions beforehand. These let you know more about what you’re agreeing to before you get underway.

Features to look for at the best online sportsbook for US bettors

The PlayersBest team has scoured many an online sportsbook, looking for those specifically catering to US residents in many states. We’ve noticed there are several features you should always look for before signing up to your chosen sportsbook. We’re going to run through them all for you here now, so you’ll have a checklist of features to hunt down the next time you land on a new sportsbook planet.

Does the site boast strong navigational features?

Expect a decent sportsbook to give you plenty of links, information, and regularly updated data every time you visit. Make sure you can get around quickly and without becoming confused or lost. Fortunately, most reputable sportsbooks base themselves on a solid platform, so you can avoid the issues you may get with other less successful sites.

American football, baseball, tennis, soccer, golf… you name it, if you bet on all the popular sports, they should be on every sportsbook you visit. Some even have a popular list at the top of the menu, along with an A-to-Z listing lower down. You might also see popular links to current events in the most popular sports, further making life easier for you.

Are there any unusual sports there too?

This may not matter if you’re only interested in a couple of the world’s leading sports. However, some sportsbooks do have more unusual sports such as lacrosse and handball, among others. If you’re interested in something a little more off the wall such as these, you should check the list of sports before you sign up.

Can you access live betting and streaming?

Most sites do have live betting, but streaming live events is something else. The bigger sites do tend to offer this, but again it may not cover all sports or matches. Some bettors don’t worry about accessing live streaming, but if it matters to you to be able to watch matches live while assessing your next wagers, make sure you can do so at the site that you’re looking at more closely.

Are there plenty of sports-specific bets?

Some wagers are commonly seen in almost every sport. For example, the outright winner wager is a popular choice among those with little experience of betting. The famous horse race called the Grand National in the UK always attracts bets from people who never bet for the rest of the year. Some people also bet on the team they think will win the Super Bowl each year. Others guess the potential winner of the four tennis Grand Slams. But there are sports-specific bets too, such as guessing the number of completed sets in a tennis match or what the final score will be in a football match. These bets can have better odds too, with more potential for you, so if that appeals, check out the possibilities before you sign up.

Know your odds: Facts, features, and facilities

Let’s move on to odds now, because these are crucial to understanding the best sports betting online today. If you’re going to try some sports betting, you need to know how various odds work, whether you’re looking at reasonable odds or not, and the assorted types of odds available to use too. we’re going to cover this topic now, so when you’re ready for some betting on sports, you’ll already have the details you need at your fingertips.

There are three kinds of betting odds

Before we get into the differences between them, we should make it clear that using one type over another is not going to make a difference to anything you might win. For example, if you see one type and switch to another, all that happens is the format changes. The potential payback from that bet is no different. Once you have that straight in your mind, all you need to do is to work out which type you prefer. This is purely down to personal preference, so one isn’t better than another. Just look for the one that makes the most sense to you.

  • American odds – also known as moneyline odds, these show a number with a plus or minus alongside, i.e., +430 or -200. It works according to a $100 bet (assumed for the purposes of the example – you can still bet whatever you wish). For example, odds of +430 would get you $430 on your $100 bet. With the -200 odds, you’d need to wager $200 to receive $100 in winnings. In both cases, you’d receive your original bet back on a win.
  • Decimal odds – commonly used on European sites, you’ll also see them as an option on US-based sportsbooks. These appear in decimal format as 4.00 or 2.3, for example. You’d multiply your bet by the decimal given to work out potential winnings.
  • Fractional odds – so called because they appear as fractions. Bookmakers commonly use these odds at British sites, but again, you’ll get the chance to switch to these on a US sportsbook if you wish. You’ll see these as 6/1 or 6-1, but both mean the same. This means every dollar would get you $6 in return. Odds of 4/3 mean you’d need to bet $3 for a $4 return if you won.

Can you change the odds format on a sportsbook?

Yes, all leading US sportsbooks should have the facility for you to switch from one to another. Even though American odds would make more sense for a US-based sportsbook, you won’t always see those in action. Some major sites still use fractional odds, for example. However, you can switch to your preferred odds if you wish. You can usually look for an odds format drop-down either at the top of the site or near the bottom, usually in the menu. There is no specific area for this to be situated. If you can’t find the tool, check the FAQ area, as they’ll usually answer this query there. If you still can’t find it, hop on live chat, or send a message to get your answer.

Make sure your selected sportsbook offers great odds

Odds can differ from one sportsbook to the next. While most fall around the same area, it can be useful to compare one with another. Regular odds can also receive boosts from various deals, so look for other offers such as ACCA bets too, which have better returns if you complete an accumulator bet.

How many different bets can you find there?

Online sportsbooks offer odds for all kinds of wagers. As we discovered earlier, there are popular bets that attract attention even from those who don’t regularly bet on sporting events. Picking a winner of an event is the best-known example of this. It helps to know a little about players or teams or even runners and riders in the case of horse racing, but it’s not necessary. Some people choose based on an appealing name or even on the colors worn by players or teams!

That said, there are many more bets to look for as well. The best way to work out how many you can access is to check the potential for each sport you intend to bet on. This is where in-depth knowledge of your preferred sports comes in handy. Team performance, injuries, and track records all come in useful. Look for live betting options too. You could bet on the outcome of the second half of a match, guess the score in the second set of a tennis match, or bet on how many shots it takes a golfer to complete the next hole.

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Looking for signup deals and other sportsbook promotions

We’ve yet to mention the idea of picking up a bonus when you join a sportsbook. Just as online casinos offer welcome bonuses, so too do their sportsbook counterparts. This is worth checking on before you sign up, so you can see where the best deals are. Deals do occasionally change, so we won’t give you any specifics here. However, we will cover the basics you should know about to give you an idea of what might lay ahead.

Can you pick up a free bet to start with?

There is a reason lots of people want to know about free bets no deposit deals at online sportsbooks. The no deposit bit is true – the sportsbook could offer you the chance to pick up a free bet simply for signing up and opening an account with them. You may need to verify your location and identity before receiving the bet, or at least before cashing out with it. Watch for wagering requirements on these types of bonuses. There should be a separate bonus terms page to read, and you should do that before staking your claim to the bonus.

Explore the possibilities of other promotions too

One thing we always look for when compiling our sportsbook reviews is the availability of various betting promotions. You’ll find these on a separate promotions page, usually linked to via the menu. If the site in question has a casino and/or poker service too, it may split its promotions into different areas. This means you can choose to see only the sportsbook promotions, making it easier for you to see what’s available. ACCA offers free bets if you lose a wager, and Odds Boosters are all possibilities in this area. Many sportsbooks have seasonal promotions too, linking to specific sporting events or occasions, so stay alert for those.

Our experts requirements for judging intergalactic sportsbooks

The universe is crammed with online sportsbooks of all kinds of different shapes and sizes. However, our experts have found that these betting sites will all have to include a few basic characteristics to succeed in our reviews. Here are just a few key ingredients of a truly interstellar online sportsbook:

  • US regulation: The sportsbook has to be 100% licensed and regulated
  • Digital encryption: So that your personal data and deposits stay safe
  • US-friendly payments: We’d want to be able to make deposits and withdrawals how we please
  • Excellent customer support: So that we can get friendly and professional help 24/7
  • Competitive betting odds: After all, we’d want to get something back from our winning bets
  • Good choice of markets: Nobody wants to be restricted to just putting down money line bets
  • Live and prematch bets: So that you can bet well in advance or even during that big game
  • Quality bonuses: We’d expect good value bonuses and promos for new and existing customers
  • User-friendly betting platforms: Glitch-free betting on a laptop, smartphone or a tablet

Arriving safely: Reaching the end of our sports betting comparison

If you’re still with us at the end of this journey into the online sportsbook universe of America, we’re glad you made it. You can see there is plenty to think about and check before you sign up as a member of a site legally offering online sports betting in US states. Rather than exploring the many sources of information and advice on how to choose the best online sportsbook, we hope our guide here at PlayersBest has shown you we have tons of information and facts for you when you need them. You can always rely on us to steer you through the stars, bringing you safely to one of the many legal sportsbooks you can use. Avoid the wormholes and the black holes filled with inaccurate information and trust us to bring you to the best offerings online, no matter how many sports you decide to follow and bet on.

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FanDuel Review
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  • Fantastic platform for fantasy sports
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Rating
Credit Card
New Jersey (US)
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BetMGM Sports Bonus
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BetMGM Review
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  • NBA, MLB, NHL
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New Jersey (US)
WynnBET Sports Bonus
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