The number of online sportsbooks in the United States has grown tremendously since the practice was legalized federally. At Legalbet, we cover all of the sportsbooks that have launched and received licensing in the United States.
We write about the features, playability, bonuses and other characteristics of each helping users to find exactly what they are looking for.
What is an Online Sportsbook and How Does Sports Betting Work?
A legal online sportsbook is a site or mobile app where people can place real money wagers on sports games and competitions. For each competition listed on the site, there will be a number of different outcomes that can occur in the game, with each accompanied by certain odds.
If the player wins their bet on an outcome, then the amount they placed on that bet will be factored by the odds and paid out to the player in full. If the bet is wrong, then the stake will be kept by the sportsbook.
Right now, in states with legal online betting, sportsbooks are available both on desktop and on mobile betting apps.
Players can also place bets in person at different casinos, stadiums and other locations depending on the state. On Legalbet, players can find sportsbooks both online and in person in each specific state with legal betting on the sportsbook state page.
Online betting is certainly more popular nowadays, and registration can be started directly from our site.
How to Choose an Online Sportsbook
Selecting an online sportsbook to use can be difficult and based on multiple criteria. The fact is, each player will have their own preferences that they hope to find with a sportsbook.
Some will look for the sportsbooks with the best bonuses for new players, others will look for consistently good odds, and some want to play at the largest and most popular online sportsbooks.
To each their own, which is why the above order of sportsbooks can be considered random. This is also exactly why we build our rankings of sportsbooks on multiple criteria, each of which we believe satisfies an important aspect of online sports betting to our users.
- User Rating - This is the rating that reflects the preferences of our users the most. When looking at the user rating, players can see which sportsbooks users on our site play at the most. Players may vote more than once for multiple sites. We also encourage them to leave comments on the sportsbooks they use to tell others what they liked or disliked about each sportsbook.
- Odds Rating - In order to understand the quality of odds that one can find on a particular site, the sportsbook’s margin must be understood. The lower the margin percentage, the better the average odds! Players can find the sportsbooks with the best average odds are for a number of sports including football, baseball, hockey, MMA and more.
- Line Rating - Otherwise known as the range of bets available. Many factors can be considered here to affect a sportsbook’s ranking. However, we largely take into account the number of betting markets for each competition as well as the number of alternative lines for markets like over/under and spreads.
- Live Rating - In order for a sportsbook to get a good position in this rating, live betting on the site must have more than just the basic function of being able to live bet on sports. We take into consideration the choice of bets for live competitions, the speed of which bets are taken and features that allow you to follow the game like live streaming.
The higher up on the list these sportsbooks are, the better they perform in each given category. We at Legalbet have reviewed 100s of different sportsbooks across all versions of our company’s sites and have gained a large amount of experience in knowing what is important for our users.
Legalbet also places sportsbooks into categories based on more specific preferences of our users:
Best Sportsbook For NFL Betting
William Hill is all about football, especially America’s most popular league. The sportsbook has a huge selection of betting lines for the NFL. The William Hill promotions section is also extremely lively during football season, with new offers nearly every day. Combined with the lowest average margin on football games of all USA sportsbooks.
Average Margin Percentage: 3.86%
Best Sportsbook for MLB Betting
BetRivers is the online product of Rush Street Interactive. It has some of the largest selections of betting lines for many sports, including baseball and of course MLB betting. Together with betting features like live streaming, action bets and a top rewards program, it also tops the list for lowest margin percentage on baseball.
Average Margin Percentage: 3.6%
The Best Sportsbook for Basketball Betting
Unibet Sportsbook has an incredible selection for basketball betting. The site has more than ten leagues available for wagering including the NBA, Euroleague and college basketball betting lines. Unibet was an international success before launching its site in New Jersey, and has great withdrawal options and promotions for betting.
Average Margin Percentage: 4.46%
The Best Sportsbook for Hockey and NHL Betting
The London-based sportsbook William Hill is live in many states with online betting. Hockey is one of the site’s featured sports, and NHL betting leads the way. Hockey betting lines are varied between props, futures and many alternative lines for the main bet types. William Hill Sportsbook can be used in many US states.
Average Margin Percentage: 4.19%
Best Sportsbook for UFC Betting
Owned and operated by MGM Entertainment, there is a reason why BetMGM is our top sportsbook for MMA and UFC betting. Players can bet on all different leagues and divisions of the UFC, and with the MGM Rewards program players can get all of the benefits with each wager.
Average Margin Percentage: 4.3%
The Best Sportsbook for Soccer Betting
Bet365 has been long known in the international sphere of sports betting, with a huge focus on soccer. The US version of the sportsbook is unique with plenty of different soccer promotions like early cash outs and parlay boosts. The Bet365 has dozens of different leagues and competitions, each carrying a large selection of soccer betting lines for each.
The Best Sportsbook for Tennis Betting
Another international sportsbook that launched in America, 888sport is the perfect sportsbook for betting on tennis. 888 features lots of competitions including tournaments like the Grand Slam, French Open and ATP Hamburg. Players can also follow all of the action with match trackers in the live betting section.
Average Margin Percentage: 5.35%
How to Receive the Best Sportsbook Welcome Bonuses
Welcome bonuses are additional funds or other perks given to new players. These are usually distributed once players have registered an account or made a bet on the sportsbook. There are many different ways that sportsbooks can reward new players, however there are some that are more common than others.
It helps to know what each of these welcome bonuses and ongoing promotions mean and offer. To see all of the current welcome offers from USA Sportsbooks, head to our 'Sportsbooks with Bonuses' page.
- Deposit Match: One of the most lucrative welcome offers available. For this bonus, the sportsbook will match the player’s first deposit on the site up to a specified amount. The bonus money can be used to make bets on the site, and winnings can often eventually be kept!
Get a deposit match bonus now at:
- Risk-Free Bets: The welcome bonus here is exactly how it sounds. First time players on sportsbooks will be given a chance to make their first wager entirely risk-free. If the bet wins, the money is kept by the player. However, if the bet loses, the sportsbook will reimburse the original stake up to the specified amount.
Get risk-free bets bonus now at:
- Free Bets: Similar to risk-free bets, this promotional offer gives new players free bet tokens to use instead of having to make a bet first. These also give players the opportunity to make their first wagers on the sportsbook free, and oftentimes winnings can be kept and withdrawn if conditions are met.
Get free bets bonus now at:
Regular Promotions on Sportsbooks
Sportsbook bonus offers are not only limited to new players. Many USA sportsbooks will have a promotions section where new offers are consistently added. These can be claimed by any player’s account and hold a variety of different betting perks.
- Local Promotions: These are offers consistently presented by sportsbooks which are exclusive to the state you are betting in. These promotions often feature local teams, and have different perks such as risk-free bets, inflated odds and more. If you love betting on your hometown teams and want to do so with great promotions these cannot be missed!
- Odds Boosts: This is a very popular type of promotion and can even be featured on a daily basis on some sportsbooks. The promotional offer takes the betting odds for certain sporting events and raises them to give players a better deal and higher profits.
- Continuous Promotions: These are not only offered on a one time basis. These are usually available either daily or weekly, and can feature any sort of promotion. Continuous promotions will have a specific offer for players that can be redeemed multiple times over the course of the bonus.
- Rewards Programs: Not specifically a promotion, but definitely a great perk for players on any sportsbook. Sports betting sites that feature rewards programs will give players points for certain actions like making a bet. These points can be accumulated and used for a selection of sports betting and real life prizes.
Sportsbook Payment Methods
Most USA sportsbooks will have multiple payment methods available for deposits and withdrawals. As with anything else, there are popular methods that will be used on most sportsbooks and those who are rare to find.
To help all of our users find the sportsbook they need, we have divided the pages into categories based on payment methods.
Sportsbooks who accept for Deposits:
Mastercard / VISA / Discover / American Express / VIP Preferred / PayNearMe / PayPal / Skrill / Online Banking / ACH Payments / Check by Mail / Cash at Cage /
Sportsbooks who accept for Withdrawals:
Credit/Debit Card / PayPal / Skrill / / Cash Apps / Online Banking / VIP Preferred / ACH Payments / Check by Mail / Cash at Cage /
USA Sportsbooks Bet Types
With very few exceptions depending on the state, the sportsbooks operating in the USA will have a large variety of bets available to make. The main betting types will be the most common, however there are also others that remain very popular and therefore will have lots of lines available.
By far the most popular and therefore often the most common. These are just a wager on which team or athlete will win the competition, making them also among the simplest bets to make.
Also called totals, the sportsbook takes a specific statistic from a competition (for example the total score) and places a numerical sum on it. Players will then need to guess whether the actual amount will be higher or lower than the sportsbook’s value.
Also known as handicap betting, these types of bets give a numerical advantage or disadvantage to the final scores of one of the teams. The favored team will have points subtracted from the total score, and will have to still win the game even with the amount subtracted. The underdog will have the opposite, and will need to not lose by more than this amount.
There are seemingly an infinite number of prop bets, which are any wager that do not directly affect the outcome of the game. Popular examples of prop bets include player statistics, like the number of rushing yards for a running back.
Long term bets with high odds, these are usually on a team to win the league or tournament. However, they can also be on players to win certain awards like the MVP, CY Young and more. When betting on futures, users can usually wager on more than one team or player to win a certain competition or award, increasing the chances.
There are still other types of bets that will appear on USA sportsbooks. Some of these will be more complicated than others, and will be difficult to learn at first.
Therefore, in our betting school, we have plenty of different articles describing different types of bets as well as betting strategies. Learn to wager in more ways with detailed information about some of sportsbook’s more exotic betting types.
Online Sports Betting FAQs
Where can I bet on sports in the USA?
While sports betting has been federally legalized, it is still up to each state to decide whether to make sports betting available or not. Therefore, players can bet on sports in any state where the industry has been legalized.
Our users can look for sportsbooks in their state by going to this page and selecting the state you would like to bet in. Players can also find information on which states are working to legalize sports betting and when it is expected to happen.
Is mobile betting allowed?
Just as decisions need to be made on whether to legalize sports betting or not, states also must decide the specific details on the industry, including mobile betting. Luckily, after the success of mobile betting in New Jersey, many states afterwards have made betting online a key addition when passing bills.
While not every state offers mobile betting, many of them do. Popular states for sports betting like New Jersey, Indiana, Colorado, Pennsylvania, Nevada and Illinois all offer online betting. With new states legalizing sports betting, it will be highly unlikely that they choose to forgo online betting, in the future.
Where can I get sportsbook bonuses?
Almost every established sportsbook in the country will have welcome bonuses for new players. These can be received by completing immediate tasks like finishing registration or making a first deposit. On Legalbet, we keep track of all of the current welcome bonuses from legal sportsbooks in the country.
To quickly find the best sportsbook bonus, you can check out our list of sportsbooks with bonuses. For a specific sportsbook, the reviews will have information about current bonuses as well as any 'Legalbet' promo codes necessary.
What do sportsbook odds mean (what is the + and - in American odds)?
The betting odds are the sportsbook's estimate of the probability of each outcome given. American odds function as a dead giveaway for which outcome is probable and which is unlikely. The (+) in front of American odds denotes that outcome as unlikely, with the higher the number being, the more unlikely that outcome is.
These bets will also return a bigger profit if guessed correctly. The (-) before the odds will on the other hand denotes an outcome that is more likely. The higher this number is with a minus sign, the more likely the outcome is and the less money will be returned on a winning bet.
Can I actually make money sports betting?
Yes. With every bet you make on a sportsbook, you will have the chance to make money. The chances you have to make money depend on a few factors. The first being the sportsbook's odds as aformentioned. However, much of the probability depends on the player themselves.
Just as other subjects in life, if you have studied and watched a certain competition for a while, you will have better chances of correctly betting on the outcome than someone who has never even heard of the competition.
At Legalbet, we have experts who have been betting for years on certain competitions and who frequently advise our users with their own picks and predicitions, and insights into the business itself. We also have a library of materials in our 'Betting School' which can teach players new strategies, nuances and other informational articles that can help to improve your success in sports betting.
Where does betting on other competitions (horse racing, esports, politics, etc.) come into play?
Alas, traditional sports are not the only competitions that can be bet on in America, however what is allowed will vary by state. Horse racing is available in nearly every state in the country, although many online sportsbooks still do not have sections or carry bets on the races.
Political, entertainment and esports bets are still being worked into the equation. Each of these betting types has been successful in other countries, and the states are rapidly working to see that they will be introduced into our USA sports betting industry as well.
Some states, like New Jersey, do allow some betting on esports competitions with some restrictions. Due to these restrictions (all contestants must be over 18), there are very few esports betting opportunities that actually hit the market. While they are not fully legal now, we definitely expect these to all be allowed sometime in the future.