Betting on Sports in the U.S.

The United States sports betting industry is one of the fastest-growing industries in the world, with new betting opportunities popping up daily. Betting on sports has become extremely popular in the US, especially since states now have the option to legalize sports betting within their borders. 

The United States Supreme Court lifted a federal ban on sports betting in 2018, and they have left the decision up to the states. There are more than a dozen states that have already taken advantage of this, and several more states are close. 

What States Have Legalized Sports Betting in the United States

There were a few states that were already able to offer legalized sports betting because they didn’t fall under the federal ban. The state of Nevada was the leader in sports betting for more than a few decades, but they have plenty of company now. 

The biggest reason that states are seeking to legalize sports betting is due to the huge amounts of revenue that come with the industry. Here is a complete list of states that have legalized sports betting up and running at the time of this blog post: Arkansas, Delaware, Indiana, Iowa, Mississippi, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, West Virginia.

Each one of these states has different laws that come with its sports betting, and it would take a long time to break down each one of the states. If you are currently living in one of these states, then it would be best for you to do your research and find out the exact laws and how you can get involved in sports betting. 

The list of legal sports betting states is just going to continue to grow in the coming years, but some states are moving much slower than others. If you don’t see your state on the list above, then you might need to either move or reach out to your local representative. 

States That Could Be Up in 2020

Ready to Launch: Colorado, Illinois, Montana, Tennessee, Washington DC

These four states and Washington DC have already voted to legalize sports betting, but they are just waiting to launch. Each of them has some unique circumstances delaying things, but they are all losing out on some revenue until they get things up and running.

States such as Florida, California, Missouri, and Ohio have all expressed some interest in legalized sports betting, but there are some hurdles standing in their way. The list of states will continue to grow as the years go by, but some states will have a tough fight ahead of them before anything is done. 

Best Sports to Bet on in the United States

The best sport to bet on in the United States is the sport that you follow the most. We will touch on this topic a bit later on in this post, but every sports betting fan has a different taste in sports. 

As a general rule, the four best sports to bet on in the United States are hockey, football, basketball, and baseball, but there are other sporting events that are popular as well. 

Betting on the National Football League is the most popular sport in the United States, and the Super Bowl is the biggest betting event of the calendar year. College football is right behind the NFL, although some states don’t allow betting on collegiate sporting events. 

Professional leagues in the United States are starting to partner with sportsbooks as a way to share some of the revenue that is being brought in. 

Different Types of Sports Bets

If you are new to the world of sports betting in the United States, then this will likely be the most important section of this article. There are a ton of different betting options available, and each one of them is a little different. Here is a quick breakdown of each of them: 

Moneyline Bets: A moneyline bet is the simplest betting type to understand and is a great place for beginners to start. A moneyline bet is simply picking the winner of a particular game or event, and the odds are simple to understand as well. 

The betting “favorite” will bring back a much smaller reward than picking the “underdog” and nailing that pick. A moneyline bet is most popular when betting on the National Hockey League or Major League Baseball. 

Point Spread Betting: Point spread betting is most common on the NFL and NBA, but it extends to other sports as well. Sportsbooks will set the point spread for a particular matchup, and then you must decide which side will win based on the final score. Here is an example to help clear things up:

  • New England Patriots -3.5
  • Denver Broncos +3.5

The Patriots would be the correct pick if they win the game by at least four points, while the Broncos could lose by three and still make you a winner. Just a fair warning, though; Vegas is really good about setting point spreads. 

Over/Under or Total Bets: An over/under or “total” bet is a bet that is placed on the combined amount of points, goals, or runs for a particular game. This type of bet might interest you because it does not require you to pick the winner or pick the spread. Simply take a look at the odds for the total amount of combined points and decide whether you think it will be over or under. 

Future Bets: A future bet is just like it sounds, as it is a bet placed on something that will happen well in the future. Picking a team to win the championship of a particular sport is the most common form of a future bet, but there are plenty of others as well. 

The odds for future bets change all of the time, and you will need to check the odds often to strike when you find the best value. 

Parlays/Teasers: Parlays or teaser bets can be extremely tempting due to the potential large payouts, but they are not for beginners. Both of these require you to pick a handful of games to combine into one much larger bet. If any part of your bet loses, then the entire wager is a loss. 

Prop Bets: Prop betting became popular in relation to the Super Bowl, but it has now spread to other sports as well. Prop betting is a great way for a non-sports fan to get in on the action, because they are usually on things surrounding the game as opposed to the game itself. If you can make a choice between “Heads” or “Tails” on a coin flip, then prop betting is for you. 

What Are the Different Sportsbook Types?

If you’ve ever heard the term, “Bookie,” then you have heard people talking about a sportsbook. A few decades ago, a “bookie” might have been a guy at the end of the bar with a notepad, but we have evolved since then. 

There are three major types of sportsbooks in the United States, and they all have their advantages and disadvantages. 

Off-Shore Sportsbook: An off-shore sportsbook is not authorized by any state or local government, but it is a way to bet on sports for states where sports betting is illegal. Off-shore sportsbooks are owned and operated by a company in another country, and therefore they don’t have to follow the guidelines set here in the United States. 

Safety and security can be an issue if you use an off-shore sportsbook.

Retail Sportsbook: A retail sportsbook is an actual physical location that takes bets on sports. Retail sportsbooks are legal in more than a dozen states in the United States. 

A retail sportsbook will likely offer the most betting options in the country, but you will have to travel to them to get in on the action. 

Mobile/Online Sportsbook: An online or mobile sportsbook is the most popular type of sportsbook available in the United States. The reason for this is that it is extremely convenient to be able to place a bet from a mobile phone. 

One of the disadvantages is that there are only a few states that have legalized mobile sports betting, and so the options are a bit limited. Some of the best US sports betting sites are DraftKings, FanDuel, and William Hill Sportsbook. 

Things to Remember When Betting On Sports

Sports betting can be a great way to add some intrigue and excitement to a particular sporting event or season, but it can also be frustrating at times. Even the best and most knowledgeable sports fans struggle to win bets, and there is a reason that sportsbooks make a ton of money. 

Betting on sports is not an exact science, but there are some tips to help you be successful, as well as some things to remember before getting involved in the industry. 

Do Your Research: One of the most important things to remember is that you can never do too much research before placing any bets. If we were going to rank sports betting tips, there is no doubt that this one would be at the top. 

Sportsbooks and Vegas spend a ton of time and weigh a ton of factors when setting the lines for each game, and it’s important for you to do the same. You don’t need to spend weeks writing a research paper or a thesis before making a pick, but this isn’t a decision that should be made in a matter of seconds either. 

There are plenty of sites or companies that will do this research for you, but like the old adage says, “You get what you pay for.” 

Stick With What You Know: This tip goes along with doing your research, and it can actually save you some time if you follow it. You should stick to betting on sports that you know and understand as opposed to sports or events that you have never heard of. 

It’s best to stick to the most popular sports here in the United States at the beginning because that will give you the best chance to find some relevant information. It might seem like fun to bet on the 4th stage of the 2020 Tour de France, but if you can’t pronounce any of the riders’ names, then it’s probably not a wise choice. 

The four major professional sports will also have the most betting options, which will give you a better chance to find one that suits your needs. 

Bankroll Management: This isn’t really a tip as much as it is a piece of helpful advice. Before you begin placing any bets on sports, you need to sit down and develop a solid bankroll management plan. Decide how much money you are willing to risk, and at what point you will need to cut yourself off. 

If you have a family or a significant other, it might be wise to get them involved in this decision as well. Figure out a plan that gives you some freedom to take some risks, but also allows you to live a comfortable lifestyle if you make some bad picks. 

It’s also wise to pick a “unit” to bet on, which is basically the amount of money you are willing to spend on each bet. Choose a unit and stick to it, regardless of how sure you are that you will win. Oh, and don’t ever, “Bet the House!”

Get Help If You Need It: This is another piece of advice that you will want to remember. If sports betting becomes a problem for you, or it becomes addictive, then you need to seek help. This help can come from a close friend or family member, or there are professional services available to help as well. 

If you start to lose control of your bankroll management and are struggling to pay back your losses, then it would be wise to take a break and seek help. 

Summary

US sports betting has seen tremendous growth in recent years, and it doesn’t seem like there is an end in sight. The sports betting industry continues to grow by the day, and new people are placing bets each day. 

There is no doubt that sports betting can be a fun and exciting new hobby to try out, but just make sure that it doesn’t become a lifestyle. 

There are some terrific US sportsbooks currently available, and many more are on the way. Do your research and find the best US sports betting sites before placing any bets. 

If you have a gameplan and stick to it, then you can be a successful sports bettor, which means you will win just over 50 percent of the time. Remember that sports betting is not easy, and there is a reason that new sportsbooks are opening all of the time. 

Best of luck to you in your betting endeavors!

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