Sports Betting Strategies

5 Best Sports Betting Apps

We've created the ultimate guide to the best sports betting apps in America. See which legal sports betting sites rank best for betting on mobile, all with free bets and welcome bonuses. Download the Best Mobile Sports Betting Apps today.
Alicia Butler
Alicia Butler
3 April 2023
Table of content

    5 Best Sportsbook Apps in the U.S.

    Are you ready to start placing online sports bets? Not all online sportsbooks were created equally, and not all online sportsbooks have apps where you can place bets. 

    A few apps are also much better than others (when it comes to many online sportsbooks, it may just be easier to use the platform’s website than download the mobile app). You’ll find variations in in-app speed, reliability, functionality, and usability in every app. 

    Some of the best sportsbook apps in the U.S. also happen to be developed by some of the biggest names in online sports betting. Our favorites include FanDuel, DraftKings, BetRivers, BetMGM, and Caesar’s. 

    #1 FanDuel Sportsbook

    FanDuel is possibly one of the largest online sportsbooks currently operating in the U.S. 

    This online sports betting operator is currently offering a generous promotion for up to $1,000 worth of risk-free bets to OddsSeeker readers. Simply follow the affiliate link to take advantage of this offer.

    FanDuel is available in;

    • Colorado
    • Illinois
    • Indiana
    • Iowa
    • Michigan
    • New Jersey
    • Pennsylvania
    • Tennessee
    • Virginia
    • West Virginia 

    This real-money online sportsbook features an app for Apple and Android users. You can do pretty much everything on the app that you can do on the website, including account maintenance, deposit money, place bets, watch live games, and withdraw your winnings. 

    You can also play casino games (if you are located in a state where online casino games are legal) right in the same app.

    The app itself is one of the best on this list, and it receives plenty of five-star reviews in the Apple Store. While there were some early bugs detected in the app, the developers have dealt with these issues, and the bugs have been cleared up. 

    Reviewers mention the clean design, seamless navigation, and fast speeds (which is important if you want your bets to go through without a hitch!). 

    #2 DraftKings Sportsbook

    Another one of the largest online sportsbooks in the U.S., DraftKings was also one of the first to offer online sports betting after PASPA was repealed in 2018!

    DraftKings is currently offering OddsSeeker readers up to a $1,000 first-deposit match on sports bets and up to a $2,000 first-deposit match (for bettors in states where online casino gambling is legal) by following the link.

    Draftking's is available in;

    • Colorado
    • Illinois
    • Indiana 
    • Iowa
    • Michigan
    • New Jersey
    • Pennsylvania
    • Tennessee
    • Virginia 
    • West Virginia 

    Users of both Android and iPhones can download the DraftKings app. This app gets great reviews in the Apple Store with positive marks for speed, optimization, navigation, and user experience. 

    This app was created before the DraftKings website, so developers had app users in mind when designing both the app and website platforms.

    It features a long list of sports markets, though it doesn’t offer competitive pricing on less-popular sports and there are some complaints about lack of enough customer support. 

    Since DraftKings is known for both online sports betting and casino games, users that live in states where online casino games are legal will find a variety of betting opportunities within the app. 

    #3 BetRivers Sportsbook

    BetRivers is another popular online sportsbook that emerged as one of the top dogs when online sports betting was legalized in 2018. 

    This online betting platform is legal for residents of:

    • Colorado
    • Illinois
    • Indiana 
    • Michigan
    • New Jersey
    • Pennsylvania
    • Virginia 

    OddsSeeker readers can snag a first-deposit match for up to $250 for sports bets. Simply follow the link and use the code ODDSSEEKER to get this deal when creating an account or making your first deposit. 

    The BetRivers app is available for both the iPhone and Android and offers a streamlined design that reviewers like better than the website. 

    BetRivers offers plenty of ongoing promos and bonuses through its iRush Rewards program. Simply turn on your notifications to be alerted to ongoing deals and discounts. 

    #4 BetMGM Sportsbook

    One of the largest names in casino gambling, BetMGM is MGM Grand’s online sportsbook affiliate. 

    BetMGM is available in;

    • Colorado
    • Illinois
    • Indiana 
    • Michigan
    • New Jersey
    • Pennsylvania
    • Virginia 
    • Washington, D.C.

    BetMGM is currently offering OddsSeeker readers a risk-free betting of up to $1,000 free. Simply follow the link and use the code ODDSSEEKER when you sign up for your account or make your first deposit. 

    This platform also runs several ongoing promos and bonuses for loyal bettors. 

    The app is available for iOS and Android users, and reviewers state that it’s easy to navigate. Simply toggle to the menu at the bottom of the screen to view your home screen, account settings, active bets, and more.

    #5 Caesars Sportsbook

    Thanks to its land-based casino and sportsbook (the most famous of which is in Las Vegas), Caesars Sportsbook is one of the most well-known online sports betting platforms in the U.S.

    Caesar's Sportsbook is available in;

    • Colorado
    • Illinois
    • Indiana 
    • Iowa
    • Michigan
    • New Jersey
    • Pennsylvania
    • Tennessee
    • Virginia 
    • West Virginia 

    Right now, Caesars Sportsbook is offering up to $5,000 in risk-free bets to OddsSeeker readers. Simply use the affiliate link and the promo code ODDSSEEKER when making your deposit and setting up your account to take advantage of this deal.

    Caesars’ app (available for iOS and Android) is possibly one of the most streamlined out there; this is the app for you if you prefer a no-frills approach to placing bets. You won’t get sucked into a rabbit hole trying to find your events and bet types. This app is easy to navigate, fast, and straightforward. 

    Get help when you need it with the live chat option, and manage your account all from one easy-to-use app. 

    Of course, you can always stick around a play a few online slots or card games here, too — as long as you live in a state where online casino gaming is legal. 

    Now that online sports betting has become increasingly popular (and legal!) in many U.S. states, sportsbooks are searching for new ways to make placing bets even easier.

    While gambling on a sportsbook’s website is already insanely easy, the process is even more streamlined when it’s done through the platform’s app. Most of the larger sportsbooks and casinos have worked with developers to offer bettors the same great experience via an application instead of through a smart device’s browser. Sports betting apps are the future of online sports betting. 

    Is online sports betting legal?

    It depends on which state you’re in and how old you are. 

    If you’re physically located in a state that has legalized online sports betting (legislators in many U.S. states have recently voted to legalize online sports betting within the past year), you’re probably good to go, as long as you’re of legal betting age. 

    In May 2018, the U.S. Supreme Court repealed the federal ban on online sports betting. Now, states may choose for themselves if they want to legalize online gambling.

    Some online sportsbooks are legally allowed to operate in every state where online sports betting is legal, whereas other operators are only licensed in certain states (some may only be licensed in one state). 

    You must be physically located in a state where online sports betting is legal to place bets at many of these platforms, and you must activate geo-tracking software onto your laptop, desktop, or smart device before placing any bets. 

    Sports Betting Apps 101

    Now that online sports betting is legal in many states, casinos, sportsbooks, and mobile developers have been working together to make the online gaming experience even more enjoyable. 

    While placing bets on your desktop, laptop, smart device browser is extremely easy, many online sportsbooks are now offering customers the opportunity to place bets on their mobile apps. These apps streamline the online betting experience and offer gamblers even more control over their online wagering. 

    There are plenty of benefits to placing online bets through a mobile app versus an internet browser. Most online betting apps are also more user-friendly and accessible than the platform’s mobile site. 

    What is a sports betting app?

    A sportsbook app is simply an application that may be downloaded onto a smart device (usually a smartphone) and used to place bets on popular online sports betting platforms. 

    These apps are created and managed by the same sportsbook platforms that take bets. Beware of third-party apps that aren’t affiliated with the casino or sportsbook where you’re placing your bets. 

    Sportsbook apps are simply a more user-friendly way to place bets. You don’t need to worry about your browser crashing in the middle of placing a bet or any other issue from a third-party app. These apps are available for both iOS and Android smart devices — though some apps aren’t available for tablets or hardware other than mobile smartphones. 

    You can do pretty much anything on a mobile sportsbook app that you can do on a sportsbook’s website, including deposit funds, place bets, check your account balance, check odds, and withdraw winnings. You may even be able to chat with a customer service associate right on the app, too (depending on the sportsbook). 

    Is it legal to place bets through sportsbook apps?

    Yes! Depending on where you’re located in the U.S., it may be completely legal to bet on sporting events via a sportsbook’s app. 

    Online sports betting has been legalized in many states (and most Canadian provinces). Now that online sports betting is legal in these states, all you need to do is simply find your preferred online sportsbook, download the app, and start placing bets!

    To find out if online sports betting is legal in your state, head over to our states’ sports betting pages. Here at OddsSeeker, we keep our readers up to date on the latest legislation in gambling laws across the U.S.

    You must be physically located within a state where online sports betting is legal to place bets online. Online sportsbooks require you to download geo-tracking software onto your laptop, phone, or desktop to ensure you are where you say you are. If you’re using a mobile app, this software is generally included within the app (you may need to turn on your location sharing in your smartphone’s settings to activate this). 

    If you leave the borders of your state for any reason, you will not be able to place bets until you’re back in a state where online betting is legal (and where the sportsbook is legally allowed to operate). 

    Of course, you also must be of legal betting age to place bets, too. 

    Benefits of Sports Betting Apps

    Placing bets on a sports betting app offers many benefits over placing them on a device’s browser (or even at a land-based sportsbook location). Not only do you get all the benefits of placing online bets through your browser, but you also get additional benefits.

    Some of the most common reasons gamblers choose to place bets through a sportsbook’s app rather than through its website (or heading to the nearest land-based location) may include accessibility, convenience, experience, and promotions.


    Mobile accessibility is one of the main reasons that most gamblers choose to place bets on mobile apps rather than on a sportsbook’s desktop site. 

    Simply open the app on your phone — no matter where you are — and your experience will be the same. As long as you’re physically located within the geographic boundaries of a state where online sports betting is legal (and the sportsbook is registered within that state), you’ll be able to place bets. 

    If you consistently use the app to place bets, you’ll be able to find your events, bet types, account balance, and other information all the same place you would, regardless of what device you’re using. 

    All you need is a data or wifi connection to log onto the app and place your bets.


    When it comes to online betting, convenience is king. 

    Not only do you not need to head to the closest local sportsbook to place a bet, but you may also not even need to be in any specific location to do so. As long as you have an internet connection or data service, you may be able to place a bet with an online sportsbook.

    This means you can spend more of your time in the places you love — such as a restaurant, sports bar, sports viewing event, or the live event itself — and only travel to a land-based sportsbook when it’s convenient for you or you have reason to do so. 

    When it comes to placing bets on an app versus a mobile browser, the app simply makes it even easier to place your bets. Toggle to your betting screen (some apps allow you to favorite events for easier navigation) and place your bet. 

    You’re already logged in (or if you’re not, you may be able to log in with a simple Touch ID). 


    Not every browser can be optimized for every website, so mobile betting experiences may vary depending on which one you’re using. 

    When you place bets on a mobile betting app, you’re probably going to get the best betting experience. Many online betting apps even allow you to customize your app’s home screen so all of your favorite events and bet types are easily accessible. 

    Many online sportsbooks’ apps simply run better than their mobile sites, offering a more streamlined experience. 

    All of your payment information may be securely saved within the app; betting preferences may also be saved for faster and easier betting. 

    Promos and Bonuses

    One of the most popular reasons to place bets directly from a sportsbook’s betting app as opposed to its website (or even its land-based location) is its promos and bonuses. 

    While online sportsbooks are known for offering generous welcome and ongoing promos to online patrons, apps may be even more generous! 

    Many online sportsbooks offer ongoing promos to customers that log on to the app regularly. It’s also recommended to turn on notifications for last-minute promos and bonuses, too. 

    Welcome bonuses and ongoing promos give the online sports betting platforms an edge over land-based competitors, and you may be able to get the best deals directly from sports betting apps. 

    Sportsbook Apps Vs Desktop Sports Betting Sites

    Online betting offers a completely different experience from in-person betting. 

    Yet, placing bets on a sportsbook’s app isn’t entirely different from placing them on its website. While you may get more benefits from using a sports betting app than its site, you may simply find that the experiences are somewhat similar.

    Depending on your operating system, you may find that you enjoy placing bets on the app versus the browser — or vice versa. 

    The biggest difference between using an app and a website is the experience and usability. How easy is it to place bets on the site? How fast is the site? How easy is it to navigate the site? 

    It may simply be easier to access the sportsbook’s app when you’re at a live event, sports bar, or restaurant. Or, you may find that you simply enjoy using the website on your browser better. 

    Even if you do enjoy using a sportsbook’s website better than the app, you may simply want to download the app and turn on notifications; this may help ensure that you always know about the latest promos, bet results, and bet statuses. 

    You may also simply want to download the app onto your phone to manage deposits and withdrawals. Some online sportsbook state that their mobile apps are more secure than their websites, so managing money through the app may be worth the download alone. 

    Sports Betting Apps Bonuses and Promos

    Most online sports betting websites and apps offer generous bonuses and promos. 

    Some platforms offer the same promotions, regardless of whether you use the app or the mobile site. Others may offer more generous bonuses on the app versus the website to entice customers to try out the app.

    The most common bonuses offered by sportsbooks are welcome bonuses. Online sports betting platforms want to entice you to choose them over their competitors, and they know if they get you in the door, you’re likely to stay. 

    Many sportsbooks also offer ongoing promotions, too — especially through their apps. You may be able to get login bonuses, risk-free bets, odds boosts, and more just for placing bets through the app instead of the site. 

    If you’re using an app, simply toggle to the ‘promotions’ tab, menu dropdown, or button. This is where you’ll find all the current promos and possibly even get a peek at past promos. 

    Welcome Bonuses

    Welcome bonuses are considered some of the most popular types of bonuses offered by online sportsbooks. 

    You’ll find some pretty generous bonuses (upwards of thousands of dollars, depending on the sportsbook!) if you’re a new user. Some of the most common welcome bonuses may include first-deposit matches, risk-free bets, and no-deposit bonuses. 

    First-Deposit Matches

    First-deposit matches are one of the most coveted types of welcome bonuses offered by sportsbooks. 

    This type of welcome bonus is when the sportsbook offers to match the amount you deposit on your first deposit (or when you open your account, depending on the policies of the sportsbook). You may see first-deposit bonuses of up to thousands of dollars.

    These bonuses are only valid for the amount of your first deposit (up to a certain cap). You’ll also need to satisfy wagering or playthrough requirements on these bonuses before cashing out any winnings made with this bonus money.

    Wagering requirements on first-deposit bonuses are usually between 1-and-20-times the amount of the bonus. This means you’ll need to bet between 1-and-20-times the amount of the bonus with your own money before you may withdraw any winnings made with the bonus money.

    No-Deposit Bonuses

    No-deposit bonuses don’t require any deposit to receive the bonus amount. All you need to do is follow the promo link and use the bonus code provided. 

    These bonuses are generally lower in dollar values than deposit-match bonuses. That’s because you won’t need to deposit any of your own money to snag these deals! Most no-deposit bonuses offered by legit sportsbooks and casinos are around $20-to-$30.

    Just as with deposit matches, you may need to satisfy wagering requirements to playthrough requirements before you are allowed to cash out any winnings made with your bonus money. 

    Ongoing Bonuses and Promos

    While welcome bonuses are generally offered equally on both an online sportsbook’s website and mobile app, ongoing bonuses and promos are where an app’s advantage over the website really shines!

    While both a sportsbook’s app and website offer ongoing promos, you may get more notifications of ongoing promos when you download the app onto your smartphone. 

    On both the app and website, you’ll be able to take advantage of VIP and rewards clubs (similar to the clubs run by land-based casinos). Make a certain number of qualifying bets or pay a certain amount of betting fees each month to reach tiers; at each tier, you’ll be eligible for free stuff, prizes, and promos. 

    Sportsbook apps also alert you to ongoing promos, such as login promos, free bets, and enhanced odds. Be sure to turn on your app alerts to be notified of these ongoing promos.  

    Downloading Installing Sportsbook Apps

    Most sportsbooks’ apps are available for both Apple and Android phones — though you may not find every app in the Google Play or Apple stores. 

    There’s very little difference between the apps for these two operating systems, and most differences are simply to satisfy Apple’s and Google’s developer agreements and policies. Many of these policies are related to online betting and each company’s regulations.

    iOS Sportsbook Apps

    If you’re an Apple user, you’re in luck! 

    It’s generally much easier to download betting apps on an Apple smart device than on an Android one, as Apple doesn’t exclude gambling apps from the Apple Store. Depending on the online sportsbook, you may be able to download your desired app directly from the app store on your smart device.

    Simply open the app store, search for the sports betting app (BetMGM, BetRivers, DraftKings, etc.) and press the download button on your desired search result. Just make sure the app you’re downloading is the official app of the sportsbook — and not a third-party app.

    App reviews are also available right in the app store, allowing you to check for any issues or bugs before downloading the app. You may also want to check the system requirements before downloading the app, too.

    Once the app is downloaded, you may open it and create an account or log on to a previously-created account right through the app.

    If you can’t find the app in the app store, you may simply head to the sportsbook’s mobile or desktop site on your browser and download the app directly from the site. 

    Android Sportsbook Apps

    If you’re an Android user, you won’t be able to download a sportsbook app directly from the Google Play store. This is because Google doesn’t allow gambling apps in its app store. 

    The good news is that all is not lost! Just because Google doesn’t allow gambling apps in its U.S. app store doesn’t mean that you can’t download a betting app onto your Android. 

    All you need to do is download the app from the sportsbook’s website. 

    Simply head over to the sportsbook’s site on your mobile device’s browser. Somewhere on the site (usually on the homepage or very accessible from the homepage) will be a link to download the mobile app. 

    Toggle to your Android’s settings to enable installing apps from unknown sources. Download the file and then open the file after the download is complete. You should be able to open and use the app as you would any other app on your phone. 

    Sportsbook App Deposits & Withdrawals

    Sportsbooks make it really easy to make deposits and withdrawals through their mobile apps and online platforms. 

    Deposits are generally made instantaneously, and you may be able to begin betting almost immediately after making a deposit. Most online sportsbooks also make it extremely easy to deposit funds into your account. Withdrawals make take a little longer (due to regulations), but you should have your funds within a few business days.

    Sportsbook App Deposits

    The most common form of sportsbook deposits is generally ACH bank transfer, credit or debit payment, payment processor, and cash (through PayNearMe and at the casino or sportsbook cage). 

    Most online sportsbooks also take Pay+ cards, too. 

    ACH Bank Transfer

    ACH bank transfer is possibly one of the most convenient ways to deposit money into your sportsbook account.

    Simply set enter your banking information into the provided payment fields in the online payment system. This may be completed either on the platform’s website or in the app. 

    If you aren’t able to set up a new form of payment in the app, you should be able to use previously saved forms of payment within the app (after setting up your payment type on the sportsbook’s website). 

    Simply enter your bank account and routing numbers into the provided fields as well as the amount you want to transfer to your betting account.

    Credit or Debit Card

    Most online sportsbooks accept Mastercard and VISA debit and credit cards (though some banks won’t process payments made to betting institutions). 

    If the bank that issued your credit card or debit card allows you to make payments to your online sportsbook, all you need to do is enter the card number, expiration date, the name on your card, and the CCV code on the back to make a payment. 

    You may also need to enter the address associated with the billing on your credit or debit card, too. 

    Though you may be able to make a payment with a credit or debit card, you won’t be able to withdraw funds with one. 

    Payment Processor

    Payment processors have become the preferred way to make payments online. Two of the most popular payment processors, Skrill and PayPal are accepted by many online sportsbooks.

    Using PayPal or Skrill to make your payment will allow you to transfer funds to or from your bank or use a credit or debit card — without worrying about whether your bank will allow the payment to process. You may simply transfer funds to your Skrill or PayPal account and use those funds to add money to your online betting account.

    While PayPal is possibly one of the most well-known online payment processors, Skrill is more commonly used in the world of online betting.


    Cash is still king in the world of online betting! If you want to deposit cash into your online betting account, there are a few ways to do so.

    One of the most popular ways to deposit cash into your online account is to simply deposit it at the nearest affiliated sportsbook or casino cage. While this may not be the most convenient method to deposit money into your account, it is easy and affordable.

    Another way to deposit cash into your account is to visit a PayNearMe location (as long your preferred sportsbook accepts PayNearMe), such as CVS or 7-Eleven. Follow the instructions to make a cash deposit and fill out the appropriate forms. You’ll also need to pay a small PayNearMe fee to make the transaction. 

    You may also deposit funds by mailing a paper check to the sportsbook. If the sportsbook accepts paper checks as a form of payment, instructions on how to do so will be stated on the website. Simply follow the instructions to deposit funds by check.

    Sportsbook App Withdrawals

    While it’s fairly easy to make withdrawals from your sportsbook account, it’s not as easy to make payments. You may need to wait a few business days before a payment is initiated (per law), and you may need to wait a few extra business days before the money is in your bank account. 

    You can make withdrawals using any of the above deposit methods (except for debit or credit cards). 

    Depending on your withdrawal method, it may take up to several business days for your funds to reach your bank account. Some transfer methods may take up to three business days (after the processing time is over) to reach your account.

    If you are a member of the sportsbook’s VIP or rewards club, you may be able to get your funds faster. 

    ACH bank transfers may be one of the fastest ways to access your money. It may take up to several business days for your funds to reach your payment processor (such as PayPal and Skrill) account and several more business days for the funds to be transferred from this account to your bank account.

    The fastest way to get access to your withdrawal funds is to simply drive down to an affiliated sportsbook or casino cage to get cash. While this is the easiest way to get your money, it may not be the most convenient, especially if you don’t live near a local affiliated casino or sportsbook. 

    The second fastest way to get access to your funds is to transfer them to a Play+ card. You may still need to wait the processing time to transfer funds from your sportsbook account to your card, but funds will be made ready for use instantaneously after this time period. You may use your Play+ card to make purchases at preferred vendors or withdraw funds from the card at your nearest ATM.

    If you’re planning on requesting a paper check, this may be the least convenient way to get your account funds. Paper checks may take up to two weeks to receive, and the sportsbook may take a check printing fee from your account balance or withdrawal funds. 

    Mobile App Customer Service

    If you need help with your account, it may be easier to do so through the app than through the sportsbook’s website.

    Many online sports betting apps offer live chat straight through the app. 

    Some sportsbooks also have call centers, with customer service associates standing by to answer your call (and your questions!). If you want to talk to someone over the phone, you may be able to do so by clicking on the ‘contact us’ button in the app.

    You may also be able to contact a customer service associate via secure message (similar to email) directly through the app. 

    If you have a question that may be a common concern, you may be able to toggle to the FAQ section of the sports betting app and address your issue there. 

    Most online sportsbooks also have social media accounts where questions and concerns may be addressed.

    Problem Gambling Assistance

    Most online sportsbooks understand the severity of gambling addiction. This is why they offer plenty of resources to help bettors deal with gambling problems. 

    Gamblers simply concerned about their betting habits may place limits on how much they can wager each day, week, month, or year. Most online betting platforms also place limits on how much each user may bet.

    If you’re worried that gambling has become an addiction, you can always call 1-800-GAMBLER or find resources directly on online sportsbooks’ websites (usually in the footer or menu sections). 

    Sports Betting App Terms

    Betting has its own lingo (some might even say a language), and it’s easier to place bets when you know what you’re talking about! 
    Our OddsSeeker betting guide should help you get your bearings when it comes to betting terms. We may not be able to turn you into a professional gambler, but we can help you get a leg up in the online betting world terminology. 


    An action is any type of bet on any event. Essentially, whenever you make a bet, you’re taking an action at an online betting site. 

    Added Game

    Any game that is not part of a regular betting rotation. The most common examples of added games may be a game or match that was rescheduled for whatever reason or the last game in a doubleheader. 

    Against the Spread

    Also known as ATS, against the spread is when you place a bet on a particular point spread instead of on the winner or loser of the game itself (or another type of bet). 

    Arbitrage Bets

    Arbitrage betting is a gambling strategy. When you place an arbitrage bet, you place bets on different game outcomes with different sportsbooks. The benefit of making arbitrage bets is to win — no matter who wins or loses a match or the outcome of a match. 


    Bankroll is the amount of money you have in your online sportsbook or casino account to gamble with. 


    Often called a sportsbook or bookie, a bookmaker is a person or company that accepts bets on events and pays out winners. 

    Buying Points

    Some sportsbooks will allow you to purchase a better spread — for a price. You may simply need to pay a fee for a better points spread in this case (some sportsbooks allow you to take a lower payout instead of paying the fee). 


    A chalk is a favorite to win a race. This term dates back to horse racing in the 1600s when odds were written on chalkboards. When one horse was favored by bettors over another, the odds would change; the original odds would be erased and the new odds would be rewritten.
    Favorite horses would have more chalk marks than other horses. 

    Circle Game

    Sometimes sportsbooks need to cap the amount that may be bet on an event. This most commonly happens when weather or injury may sway the outcome of an event. 

    Contrarian Betting

    Contrarian betting is true to its name! It’s when you place a bet that goes against the popular bet. If you bet against an outcome that is favored by 75% or more of bettors, you may be making a contrarian bet.


    Cover (also known as covering the spread) is when you win a bet based on your points spread. Let’s say you bet on a 4.5 favorite (such as Dallas) and that favorite wins by 6 points… you’ll cover the spread and win the bet. 

    Closing Line

    Also known as CLV for short, a closing line is the final betting line for an event, before that event begins (as long as you’re not live betting). 

    Dead Heat

    Dead heat sounds more exciting than it is! This is when a bookkeeper and a bettor tie. The downside is that bettors only win part of their bets because they divide the pot between the other betters; whereas the bookkeeper gets to keep its entire portion. 


    Dime is simply a slang word for a $1,000 bet. When you bet five dimes, you’re actually betting $5,000. 


    Dog is simply slang for ‘underdog’ or the team that is not the favorite to win the match. 


    Dollar is slang for a $100 bet (not to be confused with the fact that a dollar is more than a dime, but really in betting, a dime is more than a dollar). See: dime.


    A draw is when no one wins and bettors get their bets back. 


    The edge is a term for the ‘edge’ or advantage bettors have over the house. 

    Even Money

    Another slang term, even money is simply when your odds of winning are 50/50. Meaning, if you bet $20, you have 50/50 odds of winning $20 (or losing $20).


    The team or the horse that is anticipated to win. See: Chalk. 

    Futures Bet

    Many bets are placed on current events or sporting events in the near future. But if you place a bet on who will win a major sporting event in the future, before the season begins (such as placing a bet on the Superbowl in August or the World Series in March, you’re making a futures bet. 


    The handle is the total amount of money that you’ve bet on an event before the event is over. 


    Hedging your bets is when you place a bet on both outcomes of a game. You may do this at the same time or to mitigate the losses of a bet you’ve already placed.  


    Some bookies will add half a point to a point spread to prevent a tie bet. If Dallas is a 4.5 favorite, a bookie may add .5 points to the spread, so you may actually need to bet on a 5-point spread instead to win the bet. Or, you may buy the hook instead. 


    Even though you may not notice, a sportsbook tacks on its ‘cut’ to each bet. This is called the juice. Since this is baked into the cost of the points spread, it’s sometimes easy to forget that the sportsbook is taking a cut at all.
    Each sportsbook has its own juice, so this amount will vary from platform to platform. 

    Key Numbers

    This represents the most common margin of defeat and is used frequently in football where many games end with one team winning by a multiple of three or seven.


    Sportsbooks limit how much money you may bet on any given event. 


    Lines is a slang word for the odds of an event.

    Live Betting

    The closing bet is simply the last line accepted before the event. Live betting is when you may place bets after the event has begun and lines are adjusted based on a variety of factors, including the score and time. 

    Middle Bet

    Similar to a hedge, a middle bet is when you place bets on both teams playing in an event to guarantee a win. 


    Have you ever bet on which team will win the Superbowl? How about which country will win an event at the Olympics. If you have, you’ve placed a moneyline bet. This type of bet is won or lost simply based on who wins or loses the event — no need to worry about a spread, favorites, or any other type of bet. 


    Similar to dollar and dime, a nickel is a $500 bet. See: Dollar; dime. 

    Off the Board

    If an event is ‘off the board’, it means you may not place a bet on it. This most commonly happens due to injury or weather. See also: Circle game.


    Similar to betting on a point spread, betting over/under is when you bet on how many points both teams score in an event.
    The sportsbook will set the total number of points scored in one game. If you bet over, and the total number of points is higher than what the sportsbook predicted, you win! If you were to bet under, you would simply lose that bet.

    Parlay Bet

    Parlay betting is when you place bets on more than one event on one single ticket. You must win all of your bets to win the money on that ticket. If you make a three-team wager and you lose one or more of your bets, you’ll lose the bet on the entire ticket. 
    These bets may pay out higher if you win, but they’re often harder to win. 


    Pick’em events are exactly what they sound like: events that don’t have a clear favorite or underdog. At these events, the points spread is 0. Simply bet one team; if your team wins then you win the spread.  

    Points Betting

    Points betting is when you bet a dollar amount on how many points both teams will score during a game. 
    For example, if you bet $10 on the over and the total number of points both teams score is 20 points over the total, you’d win $200. But if the total number of points scored by both teams is 20 points under, you’d lose $200. 

    Point Spread Bet

    With a point spread bet, you’re not betting on who wins or loses but on who wins by how much. You may only make a points spread bet on a team that is an x-point favorite. 
    For example, if Dallas is a 4.5-point favorite, this means that the team is expected to win by 4.5 points. If you make a points bet spread of at least 4.5 and the favorite team wins by at least 4.5 points, you’ll win your bet. 
    If you make a bet on the underdog, that team would need to lose by less than the point spread or win the game for you to win the bet. 

    Prop Bet

    Prop bets are bets that allow you to wager on certain game or match milestones, such as the outcome of quarters, halves, and innings; yards advanced by certain players, penalties, yellow cards, and more.
    You’re only limited by your imagination (or rather, the sportsbook’s imagination) when it comes to prop bets. 


    A push is another word for a tie or a bet that doesn’t have a winner. This generally will be the result if the game or match is tied, if the favorite wins by the predicted spread, or if the over/under spread is exactly what is predicted by the sportsbook. 
    In this case, bettors will simply be liable for the sportsbook’s fees. 

    Real-Time Odds

    Real-time odds are lines that update as the live game plays out. 


    If you’re unable to place a bet in person, you may ask or hire a runner to place the bet on your behalf.


    This one is easy because it means the same thing in the betting world as it does in the rest of the world! A sharp is someone who is a smart, experienced bettor. You’ll find this term used in both sports betting and casinos. 


    If someone is knowledgeable about sports betting, they might want to market their knowledge or instincts. Touts make money off of selling their sports betting know-how to customers; they may also offer advice on what bets to place on a specific event.


    A measurement of wins and losses. Most sportsbooks consider units to be between 2% and 4% of a player’s account balance or bankroll. 


    Another word for a bet.

    Wagering Requirements

    Also called playthrough requirements, wagering requirements are when you accept bonus money from a sportsbook or a casino, you need to satisfy all the wagering requirements before you may be able to cash out any winnings made with that bonus money.
    Online betting sites may set whatever wagering requirements they choose, but these are often set between 1 and 20 times the amount of the bonus money.
    If you receive $20 worth of bonus money and the wagering requirements are five times the bonus, you’ll need to bet $100 of your own money before you may cash out winnings made with your bonus money. 
    How many of these betting terms were you already familiar with? 
    While you may not need to know these terms when betting online, it doesn’t hurt to get the hang of a few. You probably won’t be chatting with other bettors on online platforms (though, messaging is allowed in some cases), but you may want to reference this list if there’s a term on a sportsbook’s website that you don’t recognize. 

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