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Global casino giant MGM is doing its best to stay up with the expansion of legal sports betting within the US.

Bet MGM Sports is now available in a number of states, including New Jersey, West Virginia , Indiana, Tennessee, Colorado and Pennsylvania. Michigan and Virginia also are slated to ascertain BetMGM Online Sportsbooks shortly, but there’s no definitive date set.

The platform was developed and launched by Roar Digital, the joint online gambling venture between MGM and GVC. When new players join BetMGM here, you’ll cash in on a generous 100% deposit match worth up to $500 at BetMGM Sports. Just use the bonus code PLAYBONUS.

Before depositing, you want to attend your account then opt in to the welcome offer on the bonuses page. Once you’ve made a deposit, you’ll receive a matched amount adequate to your initial deposit.

Checkout BetMGM :

In what states is BetMGM Sportsbook legal?

As sports betting expands across the US, BetMGM is extending its reach. The sportsbook is now legal in several US states, both as a web sportsbook and a retail operation. So, if you’re trying to find how to wager with BetMGM on the brink of you, look below for the closest BetMGM location to you.

BetMGM Online Sportsbook

BetMGM Sportsbook is online in five states at this point . This list is for certain to expand within the coming months, however, as several states – like Michigan and Virginia – are expected to launch online sports betting sometime in 2020.

BetMGM Colorado

BetMGM Colorado launched in May 2020. MGM partnered with Midnight Rose & Casino in Cripple Creek so as to work with a Colorado licensee. At this point , it’s impossible to form deposits into your account from the casino cage at the Midnight Rose. Colorado law allows depending on most sporting events, but doesn’t permit proposition wagering on collegiate athletics. Esports are acceptable if they’re administered by a legitimate administration .

BetMGM Indiana

BetMGM Indiana became active in February 2020. MGM Resorts operates under an agreement with Belterra Casino Resort in Florence because the in-state licensed property. Unfortunately, it’s impossible to form cash deposits at the Belterra cage into your BetMGM account. Indiana law doesn’t leave esports betting at this point , and therefore the gaming commission is additionally taking a critical eye toward in-game betting.

BetMGM Nevada

BetMGM launched (or relaunched) in Nevada in March 2020. There are numerous MGM properties in Nevada that would function as the site’s license holder, except for what it’s worth, the relaunch party happened at the Park MGM. it’s possible to form deposits into your Nevada account from the cage – actually , you’ll likely need to do so the first time you register thanks to Nevada state law. Nevada is the home of sports betting within the US, and apart from highschool sports, you’ll back almost anything within Nevada .

BetMGM New Jersey

BetMGM opened its virtual doors to the general public in September 2019 as a rebrand from its previous incarnation, PlayMGM. Unsurprisingly, BetMGM operates in New Jersey on Borgata’s license. Because Borgata is additionally an MGM property, it’s possible to deposit into your BetMGM account from the cage Atlantic City . New Jersey law prohibits depending on both collegiate events occurring inside the state and collegiate events involving New Jersey schools, no matter where they’re played. Aside from that, you’re liberal to bet however you wish .

BetMGM West Virginia

BetMGM opened its virtual doors in West Virginia in January 2020. The sportsbook operates in partnership with the Greenbrier Resort. However, it’s impossible to deposit into your account if you happen to remain at the Greenbrier, unfortunately. The great news is that you can simply back almost anything in West Virginia .

BetMGM Tennessee

Online sports betting arrived in Tennessee on All Saints’ Day , 2020, and BetMGM was one among only three sportsbooks to travel live that day. There are not any retail sportsbooks or casino partners in Tennessee, so all legal sports betting activity is online. One restriction in Tennessee is in-play wagers aren’t permitted on college games. you’ll still be ready to back college games before time, and a full range of betting options are going to be available for professional sports.

BetMGM Pennsylvania

The BetMGM online sportsbook arrived in Pennsylvania in mid December, 2020, in partnership with Hollywood Casino. We’ll update the review with more detail because it is revealed.

Next online books to launch

BetMGM isn’t resting on its laurels, but aggressively expanding into other states as regulated online sportsbooks are still being launched. Here’s where we expect to ascertain them next.

BetMGM Michigan

The BetMGM retail sportsbook launched earlier this year. It’s located at the BetMGM Sports Lounge, inside the MGM Grand Detroit. 1777 3rd Ave, Detroit.

The online app in Michigan is predicted to launch within the coming months.

BetMGM Virginia

Like the sportsbooks now sleep in Tennessee, Virginia sports betting won’t involve land-based casinos or retail sportsbooks. Virginia bettors will get to download a mobile app when the industry launches within the coming months. We expect a full range of betting options on the approaching BetMGM app, although Virginia rules don’t leave depending on in-state college teams.

How to download the BetMGM Sports app

For most people, the simplest thanks to access the BetMGM Sportsbook app are going to be through their mobile device. The BetMGM Sportsbook app is out there for both iPhone (iOS) and Android customers.

The best thanks to downloading the app is to click this link to go to BetMGM. Once on the location , click on either the Apple or Android button. The path to downloading the location should be fairly straightforward from there. Android customers will have to set their devices to permit downloads from other sources, however. The few stalwarts who still prefer a laptop aren’t out of luck, either. it’s possible to back the BetMGM browser version through your computer . However, browser-based wagering through a mobile device isn’t supported by BetMGM at this point .


Why the BetMGM Sportsbook is great

BetMGM Sportsbook is superb for tons of reasons. It’s very simple to use, and there are many options to settle on from when looking to put a sports wager.

The sportsbook provides almost every possible sport back and provides you many different betting types. Both the mobile app and website are well organized and really easy to navigate. It uses tabs across the highest to separate bets by sport. Once you decide on a sport, your options are weakened by each specific league. The homepage is useful also . It shows which “boosted parlays” are available for the day in each sport. Everything is clearly presented so there’s no confusion on what you’re watching and what options you’ll select.


What’s not so great about BetMGM Sportsbook

The BetMGM Sportsbook could improve in several areas.

The first is that there are minimal daily or weekly promotions. After the initial deposit bonus, there aren’t really the other promos besides a few boosted parlay offerings. Live wagering is additionally fairly limited. Most of the web sportsbooks within the state have robust in-game betting for games that have already started. Even though there are an honest number of ways to bet, there might be a couple of more. Teasers and round-robin parlays are popular betting types not offered. BetMGM WV has very few deposit options and only one option for withdrawals (online banking).

Get up to $500 when you join BetMGM Sportsbook here! Sports to bet on at BetMGM Sportsbook

There are many sports to back . They include:

  • Aussie rules football
  • Basketball
  • Baseball
  • Boxing
  • Cricket
  • Football
  • Golf
  • Hockey
  • Mixed martial arts
  • Motor racing
  • Rugby union
  • Soccer
  • Tennis

The most popular leagues within these sports are:

  • NFL
  • NBA
  • NHL
  • MLB
  • NCAA collegiate sports
  • MLS
  • Champions League
  • English Premier League
  • Ultimate Fighting Championship.

Bet selections at BetMGM Sportsbook

There also are a variety of bet types options. These include:

  • Futures
  • Game props
  • Moneylines
  • Straight bets
  • Totals (over/under)
  • Parlays
  • Player props
  • Point spreads

BetMGM Sportsbook’s loyalty program

BetMGM features a loyalty program for its online casino; however, sports bettors using the sportsbook won’t earn iRewards Points or contribute to their MLife tier credit status.

Banking at BetMGM Sportsbook


Depositing funds into your BetMGM account is straightforward . you’ll use any of the subsequent methods:

  • ACH/echeck
  • Credit card: Mastercard and Visa
  • Online banking transfer
  • PayNearMe
  • PayPal
  • Skrill


You’re ready to withdraw in many equivalent ways. These include:

  • ACH/echeck
  • Cash at cage (where there’s a retail book)
  • Check by mail
  • PayPal
  • Skrill

Customer support at BetMGM Sportsbook

BetMGM’s customer service team is out there 24/7 to assist solve any issues. they will be reached via phone at 609-248-9531 or through email at [email protected]

Security at BetMGM Sportsbook

“Strong Authentication” is an option you’ll enable to form your account even safer . When activated, BetMGM will send a four-digit code to your email that you simply must enter — additionally to providing your username and password — to log in.

Responsible gaming at BetMGM

BetMGM preaches responsible gaming. Gamblers can set limits for themselves for daily, weekly or monthly limitations for both deposits and bets.

BetMGM Sportsbook corporate history

BetMGM Sportsbook began its life as PlayMGM Sportsbook in August 2018. it had been one among the primary online sportsbooks to open in New Jersey and, outside of Nevada, the whole US. Of course, the sportsbook is one among the company properties of MGM Resorts International, or MGM for brief . MGM is one among the most important casino operators within the world, and owns several casinos along the Las Vegas Strip.

The PlayMGM name lasted until September 2019. The name change to BetMGM happened concurrently with a platform upgrade for the location and therefore the site’s launch under a venture between MGM and partner GVC Holdings. The venture is now doing business under the name ROAR Digital. The BetMGM brand now is the engine that the corporation is using to thrust its way into other markets.


BetMGM Sportsbook FAQ

Is there an age requirement?

Yes. you want to be a minimum of 21 years old to wager with BetMGM.

Do you have to be a resident of the state to form a wager?

No, but you want to be physically located in New Jersey, West Virginia , Indiana, Tennessee, Pennsylvania or Colorado at the time of placing a bet.

Which devices are you able to use to access the BetMGM Sportsbook app?

You can access the BetMGM Sportsbook during a number of various ways. Firstly, you’ll go online through an internet browser on either a Mac or PC. an alternative choice is to download the mobile app on any iOS or Android device including smartphones, tablets, iPhone or iPad.

Where do I view my account balance and transactions?

You can access all of your account information, including current balance and transaction history, by clicking “My Account,” which is listed under your name within the upper-right-hand corner of the page.

Can you cancel a bet once it’s been placed?

No. You can, however, call the customer service number within quarter-hour of placing the bet to ascertain if they will adjust it.

In August 2017, MGM Resorts International launched PlayMGM, a web casino and poker platform. Since then, GVC Holdings and MGM partnered to make Roar Digital helping grow MGM’s online gambling presence with the BetMGM mobile app. And beat one mobile gaming that features casino games, poker, and sports betting arrived. BetMGM Casino and Poker started in New Jersey before expanding its casino platform in West Virginia . Now, BetMGM’s online casino is out there in Michigan, making it the third state they need expanded too. BetMGM is going to be one among the primary gaming platforms to launch online casino operations in three states. Although online casino regulations aren’t moving as quickly as sports betting, BetMGM still wants to be at the forefront of the web gaming industry by launching products in every state as early as possible.


BetMGM’s sign-up bonus is one of the best on the market, and they are bringing that same bonus to Michigan. The first bonus is a free $25 added to your account before you even deposit money. The bonus can be used to test casino games. You cannot withdraw the $25 bonus until you earn 150 rewards points.

The sign-up bonus is a 100% deposit match bonus of up to $1,000. To take advantage of the full offer, you can deposit $1,000 or more and receive an additional $1,000 into your account. You will see the bonus funds instantly. BetMGM has play-through requirements to withdraw the funds, where you will need to earn six times the amount of the bonus in iRewards points.


BetMGM Casino Review and Games Offered

betmgmpacasinoBetMGM is available for IOS phones and also available on desktops as well. You can download the BetMGM Casino mobile app from the BetMGM website or download it in the App Store. The BetMGM Casino app almost has all games and features available on the mobile app.

Unfortunately for Android users, you cannot find it in the Google Play Store, but you can download the mobile from BetMGM’s website. Just click the “Download for Android” button and allow it to install onto your phone. You will be able to start playing on the app in minutes. Fortunately, the app is straightforward to work, and games run smoothly on your phone, including live dealer games. Everything you need to do can be done on the mobile app, from creating an account to depositing and withdrawing money.

A majority of games on the BetMGM Casino app are slots and also include jackpot slots. Slots are by far the largest gaming section on the app compared to other games. BetMGM also offers blackjack and roulette games as well as different video poker games. BetMGM Casino also offers Live Dealer games on the app. BetMGM conducted a full revamp of its mobile app in September 2019, and the results did not disappoint. The app runs a lot smoother, with faster games and accurate location checks. They also added more features, including a revamped promotions and iRewards section. BetMGM also made a three-in-one gaming app allowing you to go to the BetMGM Casino, Poker, and Sportsbook all in one app.

If you are a BetMGM customer, you can sign-up for all three gaming departments if they are operating in that state. The BetMGM app also shares one digital wallet, so you do not need to download multiple apps or deposit funds into all three BetMGM app sections.

The BetMGM Casino app has some of the best features in the market. They also make gaming on the app straightforward, as BetMGM divided the games into four different sections.


BetMGM Casino has over 500 online slots games available on the app. Slots dominate the online casino and have multiple categories of games. They also have 14 jackpot slot games available on BetMGM Casino, where one spin can win you over one million dollars.

BetMGM has a minimum of $.10 per spin, allowing everyone to win. The online slots section is organized well, making it very easy to find the one you want to play. Some slots have been known to give better returns compared to the casino floor.

Table Games

Table games are not as broad of a category as slots are on the app. BetMGM Casino does have different blackjack games along with roulette and craps. The blackjack games are Live Dealer games and follow traditional casino rules. The one difference is that when playing Multi-Hand Blackjack Pro, the game makes the dealer hit on a soft 17, which does not help the player.

Beyond blackjack, there is not much more variety with roulette and craps. Roulette is more traditional, although it is not the best game on BetMGM. The online casino is also taking a shot at craps. The game is more exhilarating when played on the casino floor, and it shows online as it hasn’t been as popular on the mobile app.

BetMGM Casino PA Table Games

Video Poker

BetMGM’s video poker section is similar to the casino floor. It also includes Game King products that have been known to give solid returns when playing appropriately. They offer some of the most popular titles like Deuces Wild, Jacks or Better, and Bonus Poker. BetMGM has a total of 12 video poker games.

BetMGM Poker

Live Dealer Games

Live Dealer games on the BetMGM app are among the best gaming sections when replicating the casino floor. The Live Dealer games include baccarat, blackjack, roulette, and Texas hold ’em. Minimum bets are $1, so everyone can get in on the fun. Players find a better gaming experience when playing Live Dealer games, especially with blackjack and roulette.

How to Bet at BetMGM Casino

  • Download the BetMGM App

The first thing you will want to do is download the BetMGM Casino app onto your phone. If you have an IOS device, then head to the App Store, search BetMGM Casino, and hit download. The process should take minutes, and you will be ready to play instantly. If you have an Android device, you will need to go to the BetMGM website to download it. The Google Play Store does not offer the app, but you can still download it at

  • Create a BetMGM Casino Account

Once you have the app downloaded, you can register for a BetMGM Casino account. BetMGM makes it easy to register. They will ask you a few questions like first and last name, date of birth, email, and social security number. This is to confirm who you are and that you are 21 years or older. 

Place Your First Deposit

 Go to your wallet, and add more funds to your account. BetMGM has great options to deposit money, so you can start betting instantly. To take full advantage of the promo code, you will want to deposit $1,000 to get a total of $2,000 into your account instantly. Once you have money in your account, you will be able to start playing right away.

  • Bet Your First Casino Game

With funds in your account, you can start playing! Thanks to LINEUPS MGM, you have a free $25 in your account that you can use to try out different games. Some slots are only $.10 per play, and table games have a minimum of $1. This gives you plenty of opportunities to roam the casino app and see what games you like don’t like. You can hit one of the 500 slots games with your free $25 or try your hand at blackjack.

BetMGM Rewards

One of the best features BetMGM Casino has is that they offer a rewards program that you can use in the online casino app and at MGM owned properties. When you sign-up with BetMGM, you instantly become a rewards player and can start earning credits. MGM has an M Life Rewards Tier Credit that gives you different rewards.

BetMGM Mlife Diagram Casino

Sapphire: Everyone starts here

Pearl: 25,000 Tier Credits

Gold: 75,000 Tier Credits

Platinum: 200,000 Tier Credits

NOIR: Invite only

Hitting different tiers will give you different rewards with MGM from priority check-ins, access to VIP lounges, shopping outlets, and guaranteed rooms and show reservations. Hitting higher tiers will also give you bonuses playing slots and Express Comps.

BetMGM also has an iRewards system that will allow you to exchange rewards points with Express Comps at MGM Resorts or in the online casino. The tiers for the iRewards are:

  • Regular slots: 1 point per $5 wagered
  • Progressive slots: 1 point per $10 wagered
  • Video poker: 1 point per $20 wagered
  • Baccarat, blackjack, craps, roulette: 1 point per $25 wagered

The iRewards system is not the greatest return on investment. The MGM rewards should be viewed as a perk and not something to attempt to level up with as an average player. However, the iRewards system could give you a nice bonus and reward every no and then, so it is also something to be mindful of when playing.

BetMGM makes it easy for anyone to deposit and withdraw money. They have nine depositing options with a minimum of $10 and as high as $10,000 for some. The options are eCheck, MGM Prepaid Card, debit & credit cards, online banking transfers, Paypal, and more. Depositing funds take instantly, so you can start playing right away. There are six withdrawal options in BetMGM. If you deposit with one option, you may not be able to withdraw with that option depending on your deposit process. The withdrawals are eCheck, Skrill PayPal, check by mail. The withdrawal process takes at least 48 hours, so be patient when receiving your funds.

A sportsbook is the same thing as a “bookmaker” or “bookie.” It’s a company or individual who accepts bets from individual sports bettors. Most of these kinds of bets are on whether a team (or individual) is going to win a specific sporting event.

Books accept bets on either side of a sporting event. They’re able to afford this because of the difference between what a bettor has to wager and what a bettor wins. Most bets at most books require a bettor to wager $110 to win $100, although some require $120 to win $100. (And some discount books only require $105 to win $100.) Those numbers, by the way, are ratios. You don’t have to wager $110. You could bet $55 or $11—you’d just see winnings of $50 or $10 for those bets. It’s the ratio that’s important, rather than the specific amount.

Bookmaking in the United States is tightly regulated by the government. Most states don’t have legal sports betting, although that’s likely to change based on Supreme Court rulings. But the Federal Wire Act outlaws using any kind of wired device (like a telephone or an internet connection) to place sports bets, even with legal books. Plenty of online companies are willing to accept sports bets from United States customers, though. These books are located offshore and contend that they’re doing business in their country, where such activity is legal and regulated.

What Kinds of Bets Do Sportsbooks Handle?

Most sportsbooks accept wagers on most major sporting events, especially college and professional events. Some online bookmakers expand the kinds of bets they offer to other, non-sporting events, like the results of political elections and/or the Oscars. The action that these books accept varies from book to book.

The most popular sports bets that bookmakers handle include:

  • Baseball
  • Basketball
  • Boxing
  • Football
  • Golf
  • MMA
  • Racing
  • Tennis
  • Soccer

Of course, in the United States, it’s hard to imagine two sports getting more action than football and basketball. But in other countries, what we call soccer is called football, and it’s the most popular sport to bet on. Also, when I use the term “racing,” I mean both horse races and car races. NASCAR betting is hugely popular in the United States.

But you’re not limited to betting on just those sports. Depending on which book you’re doing business with, you can also bet on smaller and more unusual events, including billiards, bowling, and darts. No matter what sport you’re placing a bet on, the sportsbook has figured out a way to make it profitable for them and unprofitable for you—unless you’re exceptional.

How Sportsbooks Make Their Money

Bookmakers are like any other business. They exist to generate a profit. But you can’t make money if you’re willing to take bets on both sides of the game, can you?

You’d think, if you didn’t know better, that books make their money from being on the right side of the games. That’s not the case. The goal of most bookmakers is to get an equal amount of action on either side of a sporting contest. That way the bettors cover the other side’s losses. The bookmaker doesn’t have any risk that way.

The profit comes from what the bookmaker asks you to wager when you place your bet.

Most bookmakers ask you to bet $110 to win $100. (The amounts can change, but the ratio is the same. For example, you could bet $55 to win $50, or $22 to win $20, or $11 to win $10.) If they get an equal amount of money on either side of the contest, they’re guaranteed a profit.

Here’s how that math works:

100 people bet on a football game, and 50 of them take the home team. The other 50 take the away team. Assume that the average bet size for each of them on each side is $110.

The bookmaker collects $110 X 100 people, or $11,000. The winners get their initial $110 back, so 50 X $110 is $5500. The winners also win $100 each. That’s another $5000. That’s $10,500 in payouts, but since they collected $11,000, they make $500 profit—no matter which team loses. That extra $10 you’re risking on the bet? That’s called “the vig” or “the juice.” That’s what gives the book its positive expectation. It’s comparable to the rake in poker, or the house edge on a casino game. Bookmakers are good at handicapping teams in such a way that a bet on either side has a 50% chance to win. They’re also good at handicapping teams in such a way that both sides see roughly the same amount of action.

Of course, not all bets use that $110 to win $100 ratio. In some books, the ratio is even worse for the player–$120 to win $100. Others discount the juice and only ask you to bet $105 to win $100. And in some contests, the book doesn’t handicap the teams at all. They just create a money line, where a bet on the favorite wins much less money, while a bet on the underdog wins much more money. When they do this, they set the payout odds in such a way that they’re still going to make a profit regardless of which side wins. This business model is ingenious, and it’s also hugely profitable. Large bookmakers deal with hundreds of thousands of dollars per game. In the case of NFL football, that’s 15 or 16 games per week.

That $500 profit starts to add up fast. Of course, bookmakers need to be well capitalized. In the short term, anything can happen. They’re not guaranteed an equal amount of action on each side. In those cases, they might need funds to compensate. Over time, the law of large numbers sees to it that the book stays profitable, though.


Are Sportsbooks Legal?

The legality of sportsbooks varies based on the jurisdiction that you’re talking about. In the United States, for example, sportsbooks are illegal almost everywhere in the country. A recent Supreme Court decision is catalyzing change in that area.

But as I write this, the only legal sportsbook operates in Las Vegas.

The underground sports betting industry, though, is tremendous. If you’ve spent much time at a local bar, you’ve probably met multiple customers of local bookies. They have a reputation for being part of organized crime, and maybe some of them are, but some of them are just guys who figured out the math behind the business and started taking bets.

Many local bookies use offshore sportsbooks to even out the action on either side of the betting, in order to reduce their risk when the action gets lopsided.

The Wire Act makes it illegal to take sports bets over the phone or the internet, but it’s a rare local bookie that gets prosecuted for this. Of course, in other, more enlightened countries, bookmaking is completely legal and regulated. The UK is an example of a country with this kind of attitude.

The advantages of legal and regulated bookmaking are obvious. For one thing, legal, regulated businesses pay taxes. For another, consumer protections exist for customers of legal, regulated businesses. The amount of tax money the United States is leaving on the table because of the current legal status of sports betting is staggering. In fact, enormous amounts of money fly offshore every day because of customers using online sportsbooks. That money could be kept in the United States economy if sports betting were legal and regulated.

What’s the Difference between a Traditional Bookmaking Operation and a “Betting Exchange?”

A betting exchange is similar to a bookmaker, but the differences are significant enough that they have another name and business model. It’s more of a marketplace model, where customers can buy and sell either side of the action.

This is more or less what a traditional bookmaker does, but with a betting exchange, the customers set the odds themselves. The betting exchange doesn’t care about how good or bad the bets are, because they charge a small commission to the winning side of each bet.The biggest example of a betting exchange is Betfair. You can both go back and lay bets there. With a traditional bookmaker, you can only back a bet.

Here’s what that means:

When you bet with a bookmaker, you bet that something will happen. The bookmaker wins if it doesn’t happen. That’s backing a bet. With a betting exchange, you can play the part of the bookmaker and bet that something won’t happen. That’s laying a bet. All you have to do is find another customer who’s willing to take the other side of the bet at the odds you like.

This creates opportunities for trading and arbitrage that would be almost impossible when dealing with bookmakers. Smart bettors can find plenty of opportunities to take advantage of inequities in the marketplace of a betting exchange and guarantee themselves a profit.

Some traditional sportsbooks criticize betting exchanges for stimulating corruption in sports. It’s easier to rig an event to not happen than it is to rig an event to happen. And traditional books like Ladbrokes and William Hill suggest that giving individuals that opportunity to profit will result in more events being fixed.

How Betting Lines Work

The most common types of sports bets are:

  • Spread bets
  • Moneyline bets
  • Totals
  • Prop bets

Spread bets are bets on a team to win by a certain number of points, or for a team to cover a certain number of points if they lose. The books use handicappers to predict the outcomes of the games. Based on this handicapping, they set a point spread. A favorite must win by a minimum number of points for a bet to win. An underdog can win even if the team loses. All they must do is cover the point spread.

The spread is set up to do 2 things:

Create a roughly 50/50 chance of winning

To stimulate roughly the same amount of action on either side of the bet

A moneyline bet, on the other hand, doesn’t take a point spread into account. Instead, the amount you win is adjusted by the likelihood that a team will win or lose. If you bet on an underdog, you’ll win more money if they win. (They’re expected to lose.) If you bet on a favorite, you’ll win less money than you’ve risked. (They’re expected to win.) The amounts are determined by how big a disparity there is between the teams. You might bet $100 on a favorite but only win $20 if they win the game. Or you might bet $100 on an underdog and win $150 if they win the game.

Totals are also called “over/under” bets. These bets pay off if the total scores for the 2 teams are over or under the predicted total. The handicapper sets these totals in the same way they calculate the point spread. They want to create a 50/50 chance of winning, but more importantly, they want to get equal amounts of action on both sides of the contest. Proposition bets are bets you can make on any kind of random event during a game. This might be something as random as who’ll win the coin toss in a football game. Or it might have some element of skill, like a prop bet on who’s going to score the first touchdown in a game.

All of these available bets are called “betting lines.” They’re created by the mathematicians and statisticians working for the books using software and experience. This is the most important job at a sportsbook, and good handicappers can make or break a business.

Different sportsbooks have different handicappers, so it should be no surprise that the betting lines at one book can differ from the betting lines at another book. Shopping lines for the best opportunities is one way smart sports bettors profit from these companies.

How Sportsbooks Handle Bets on Different Sports

The kinds of bets available usually vary from sport to sport. For example, in contests like golf or auto racing, you bet on who’s going to win the race or the golf tournament. The payout is based on how likely it is for your pick to win. These kinds of bets are straightforward enough. Each golf tournament participant or each driver has a payoff associated with him or her. For example, you might win 4 to 1 if Jeff Gordon wins a race. Or you might win 5 to 1 if Tiger Woods wins the golf tournament.

In addition to bets on the individuals participating, you can also place bets on “the field.” This is a bet that someone other than the individuals listed wins. This could be any number of people. Bets on boxing and MMA are similar, but of course, there’s only a single winner in any fight. These are moneyline bets. You pick a winner, and you get paid off based on the likelihood that you’re right. Bets on games like baseball and soccer usually use a moneyline approach. You bet a certain amount of money, and the amount you can win depends on how well the team is favored (or how badly the oddsmakers think the team will lose.)

Sometimes baseball includes a run line, which is similar to a point spread, but the run line is always 1.5. It doesn’t change based on the relative strength of the teams. Further changes based on the strength of the teams are calculated into the moneyline. The most popular way to bet on football, though, is spread betting. The point spread in football is so popular that major publications report on it, even though betting on NFL games is theoretically illegal in most parts of the United States. And, of course, all these bets are set up so that the bookmaker can lay bets from both sides and guarantee a profit. Sometimes this is as simple as requiring you to wager $110 to win $100, but with moneyline bets, the vig is “baked into” the payout odds.

What Do Sportsbooks Do about “Sharps?”

A “sharp” is a skilled bettor—an “advantage gambler.” By shopping lines and doing a better job of handicapping games than the oddsmakers at the books, a sharp bettor makes a consistent profit by identifying and taking advantage of opportunities in the marketplace.

As with any advantage gambler, books don’t like dealing with them. You’ve probably seen movies or TV shows where casinos “backed off” card counters by telling them they were too skilled to be playing blackjack at their casino. Books sometimes do something similar.

When a sportsbook realizes they’re dealing with a sharp bettor, they’ll sometimes refuse to accept more action from that bettor. They might take a softer approach and limit the amount of action they’ll accept from such a bettor. This has become such a problem for some professional sports bettors that they’re forced to employ multiple runners to place bets on their behalf to stay in action. Even though books are supposed to be able to make a profit regardless of who bets on which side, large bets—especially at the last minute—can “unbalance” the action at the book. This can create negative expectation situations for the books. And no gambling company wants to accept any kind of negative expectation situation. That’s not how they stay in business at all.


Sportsbooks, bookmakers, or bookies… they’re all the same thing. These companies provide a much-desired service for people who like to bet on the outcome of sporting events. In some respects, a sportsbook is much like a marketplace.Newer sportsbook models (“betting exchanges”) are even more like marketplaces. You could almost think of them as being the equivalent of Wall Street, only for sporting events instead of companies.