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Legal online sportsbooks in the US offer numerous ways to bet on sports. Sure, sports betting odds can be confusing to new bettors. But it’s a lot easier and more approachable than it looks at first glance, and sports betting apps let you bet as little as one dollar. That means you can give it a try well within any budget.

The simplest, most time-tested betting methods include moneyline bets, point spreads, totals, and parlays. But those represent just some of the overall betting markets available on mobile sports wagering sites. You also have access to more unique betting options, like futures, live betting, in-game betting, and prop betting, which offer even more ways to wager for bettors in the US.

US federal law allows individual states to legalize and regulate sports betting. So far, almost 20 states have legalized online sports wagering, including Arizona, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, New York, Illinois, and Michigan.

Types Of Bets Available At Online Sportsbooks

Legal online sportsbooks offer a vast number of different ways to wager on sports. Sports bettors have engaged in point spread and moneyline betting for decades, as these bets represent some of the most time-honored and simplest ways to bet.

Totals bets (aka over/under bets), another very simple way to bet, task you with predicting the combined total final score between two teams in a sports contest.

Bettors have also enjoyed parlay wagers throughout the entire history of sports betting. Parlays allow multiple wagers to be placed on the same ticket, with the parlay paying out only if all bets on the ticket (known as legs) win. Parlays can generally involve any combination of different bet types, with winning tickets offering massive potential payouts.

The lesser-known but highly popular (and potentially profitable) bets include futures, live betting, and in-game betting.

Futures bets allow wagering on a season-long event, such as what team will win the NHL’s Stanley Cup, or which player will win MVP in the NFL’s Super Bowl.

In-game and live betting, usually done specifically through online sportsbooks, involves betting after the game has begun. For example, you can bet on who will score the next goal in soccer during the second half.

Technically, an in-game bet is a wager placed on a future result (such as who will be leading at halftime). Live betting, also known as “in-play,” is a bet placed on action happening in real-time, such as the next event in a soccer match being a corner kick.

American Odds: Quick Explainer

We’ll get more into how betting odds are calculated after going over the types of bets themselves. 

Thankfully, online sportsbooks allow you to simply type in the amount of the wager to see how much you can win before you lock in the bet. You can also type in the amount you’d like to win, and it will let you know how much you’d need to bet.

But to clarify the examples of the bets, American odds simply represent $100 bets or $100 wins. The plus (+) number is how much you’d win if you bet $100, and the minus (-) number is how much you’d need to bet to win $100.

For example, -150 odds means you’d need to bet $150 to win $100. Odds at +150 means you’d win $150 if you bet $100. Keep in mind that you can bet any amount of money, this is just how American bookmakers traditionally represent odds on an event.

It seems weird at first, but you’ll get used to it fast. However, online sportsbooks also let you change how you see the odds. Instead of American odds, you might find decimal to be more palatable. For example, rather than +120 American odds, it’d be 2.2 decimal odds. To calculate that, simply multiply it by your wager, and that’s the total payout (wager plus winnings). So if you bet $100 on 2.2 odds, the payout would be $220.

Straight Bets


Moneyline bets represent the most straightforward kind of sports wager. This kind of wager tasks the bettor with simply picking the winning team in a sports contest.

Underdog teams pay out at better odds than favorites in a moneyline bet. For example, an NFL moneyline bet offered by DraftKings Sportsbook for the 2021-22 NFL Season looked like this:

TeamMoneyline Odds
New Orleans Saints-180
Carolina Panthers+155

This line sets the Saints as the favorite. The -180 odds mean that a $180 wager would net $100 in winnings if the Saints win. Put another way, a $100 bet would win $66.67 for a $166.67 total payout.

The Carolina Panthers +155 line means a $100 bet yields $155 in profit if the Panthers win. An easy way to calculate the potential win is to simply move the decimal point over two places. For example, +155 would be 1.55. Multiplied by $100, and you get $155 as the winnings.


Over/Under, aka totals bets, allow bettors to wager on the total number of points scored in a game. An over/under line for an NBA game at FanDuel Sportsbook might look like this:

Orlando Magic Over      +211.5 -112
Brooklyn NetsUnder+211.5 -109

This line allows bettors to wager on whether the total score of the game will go over or fall under 211.5 points. In this example, the under bet pays slightly better than the over. The standard payout for an over/under bet is -110 and can fluctuate between +100 and -120.

Note that both the over and under lines represent a bet on the total score from both teams. The bottom row isn’t offering a bet on the Nets to go under 211.5, for example.

Point Spread

The most popular bets at most sportsbooks are point spread bets. These bets allow the bettor to choose the underdog plus points, or the favorite minus points. Instead of significantly better odds on the underdog, the point spread allows sportsbooks to set the favorite and underdog at relatively even odds.

The points spread might be called something else depending on the sport. For example, the points spread is called the “run line” in MLB betting and the “puck line” in NHL betting. But they’re all the points spread.

Here’s an example of a run line (points spread) bet at BetMGM Sportsbook from a 2021 MLB game:

TeamPoint Spread
Tampa Bay Rays+1.5 (-135)
Toronto Blue Jays-1.5 (+110)

The favorite is represented by the points with the minus symbol. The underdog is represented by the points with the plus symbol. In parentheses are the odds.

In the above example, the Toronto Blue Jays are the favorite. Because the spread is -1.5, Toronto needs to win by at least two runs for the bet to win. Basically, Toronto starts the game with negative 1.5 runs. If the Blue Jays only win by one run, the bet is lost.

The Tampa Bay Rays is the underdog team in the above example. For the bet to win, the Rays can win by any number of runs or lose by fewer than 1.5 runs. Basically, they start the game with 1.5 runs.

If this were NFL betting instead, the points spread might be +/- 6.5 points. That would mean the favorite team would have to win by at least 7 points. The underdog would have to win or lose by six points or fewer.

Futures Bets

A futures bet generally functions as a wager on a season-long event rather than a single game. An example of a futures bet might be a wager on what team will win the MLB World Series, or what player will win the NFL rushing title.

A futures bet can be made at any time before or during a sports league’s season, up until the specified event occurs.

2022 Super Bowl Futures Bets

Early in the 2021-2022 NFL season, BetRivers Sportsbook offered the following odds on the 2022 Super Bowl winner:

TeamOdds to win the 2022 NFL Championship
KC Chiefs+475
TB Buccaneers+600
BUF Bills+1300
SF 49ers+1300
LA Rams+1300

These five teams represent some of the favorites to become Super Bowl champions, but all 32 NFL teams are in the championship hunt and available for betting.

NBA Regular Season MVP Future Bet

Before the start of the 2021-22 NBA Season, Caesars Sportsbook set the following lines on what player would win the Regular Season MVP:

Player NameOdds To Win The 2022 NBA MVP
Luka Dončić+425
Kevin Durant+700
Joel Embiid+700
Stephen Curry+750
Giannis Antetokounmpo+750
LeBron James+1000

Futures market betting odds change as the season plays on, and the lines can alter drastically as the season comes into focus.

Prop Bets

A prop bet (short for proposition bet) is a wager on an aspect of a game unrelated to which team wins. Examples of prop bets can include what player will lead a basketball game in scoring, or whether the total number of points in the game will end up as an odd or even number.

Super Bowl MVP Prop Bets

The Super Bowl annually brings in the largest number of prop bets of any US-based sports event.

One of the most popular prop bets on the game each year involves predicting the Super Bowl MVP. DraftKings Sportsbook set Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes (-106) as the favorite to win the Super Bowl LV MVP while Tom Brady was the second runner up with +210.

If you had placed a $100 bet on Mahomes, it would have lost, as Tom Brady was named 2021 MVP. On the other hand, that same $100 bet on Tom Brady would have paid out $210.

Player Prop Bets

Player prop bets involve wagering on an individual player’s statistics in a particular game. The 2021 NBA Finals, for instance, offered several prop bets during Game 5. At DraftKings, you could bet on Devin Booker to score over 28.5 points with odds -110. You could also bet on Chris Paul going over 33.5 points, rebounds, and assists, or Deandre Ayton grabbing over 12.5 rebounds.

Exotic Prop Bets

Exotic prop bets can be fun but they’re based purely on luck, not statistics. Examples of exotic prop bets include predicting what team wins the Super Bowl coin toss, or the length of the National Anthem before the game.

Super Bowl LV offered numerous exotic prop bets, including a prediction of what color liquid would be poured over the winning coach’s head after the game. You can expect the same at all online sportsbooks for 2022 Super Bowl LVI.

In-Play Live Betting And In-Game Betting

In-game betting presents one of the most exciting and dynamic ways to wager on sports.

Unlike other types of bets, in-game betting allows for wagering on a game, while it’s being played. In-game betting odds on moneyline, point spread, and prop bets flow dynamically based on what already happened in the game.

For example, a standard NFL point spread bet might look like this before the game starts:

TeamPoint Spread
New England Patriots-7        -110
New York Jets+7       -110

If the Patriots take a 7-0 lead in the first quarter, however, a sportsbook could offer an in-game bet with the following line:

TeamPoint Spread
New England Patriots-10.5        -110
New York Jets+10.5       -110

With the Patriots holding a touchdown lead, the point spread on the underdog Jets switches from +7 to +10.5. In-game betting odds generally update at each commercial break for a televised sports contest.

In-play live betting, a subset of in-game betting, offers an even more dynamic betting experience, with odds changing every few seconds during live play.

In-game and in-play bets are offered as time-sensitive bets, which must be made within a certain time frame for the bettor to get the advertised odds.

Where Can I Bet On Sports Online?

In states with legal online sportsbooks, there are always several great apps to choose from. Here are our favorite sports betting apps in regulated states, along with the best sportsbook promos and welcome bonuses available:

BetMGM Sportsbook

Loss back bonus up to $1,500

Available States: AZ, CO, DC, IL, IN, IA, KS, KY, LA, MA, MD, MI, MS, NJ, OH, NV, NY, PA, TN, VA, WV & WY - Note: Offer not available in DC, MS, NV or NY

Caesars Sportsbook

Bonus bet up to $1,000 back

Available States: AZ, CO, IN, IA, IL, KS, LA, MA, MD, MI, NJ, NY, OH, PA, TN, VA & WV

BetRivers Sportsbook

100% deposit-match up to $500

Available States: AZ, CO, IL, IN, IA, LA, MD, MI, OH, NJ, NY, PA, VA & WV

FanDuel Sportsbook

No Sweat First Bet Up to $200 back

Available States: AZ, CO, IL, IN, IA, KS, KY, LA, MA, MD, MI, NJ, NY, OH, PA, TN, VA, WV & WY

PointsBet Sportsbook

Get 2 second chance bets up to $1,000

Available States: CO, IL, IN, IA, KS, LA, MD, MI, NJ, NY, OH, PA, VA & WV

Unibet Sportsbook

Get a bonus up to $500

Available States: AZ, IN, NJ, PA & VA 


Visit: BetMGM Sportsbook and claim a bonus bet up to $1,500 with bonus code PLAYSPORTS (not available in all states)

BetMGM is one of the most popular online sportsbooks in the US, including features like Parlay Plus that boosts parlay profits by up to 40%. It is also conveniently available in almost all states with legal online sports betting, and offers one of the highest rated apps in the App Store.

New players at BetMGM Sportsbook can place their first bet up to $1,500 back on loss using bonus code PLAYSPORTS. A lost bet is refunded in multiple bet credits.

BetMGM is available in virtually any jurisdiction where online sports betting is legal, including Arizona, Colorado, Indiana, Iowa, Michigan, Nevada, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Virginia, West Virginia, Wyoming, and Washington, D.C. However, BetMGM does not offer the bonus bet welcome bonus in all states.

Caesars Sportsbook

Visit: Caesars Sportsbook and claim first bet insurance up to $1,000 with promo code SBBONUS1000

Caesars Sportsbook boasts the most retail in-person sports betting locations in the US, including the majority in Las Vegas. Caesars Entertainment bought William Hill in early 2021 and recently rebranded to Caesars Sportsbook, but it’s the same level of quality – plus even better promotions and odds boosters.

New players can receive first bet insurance up to $1,000 with promo code SBBONUS1000.

Caesars Sportsbook is available in many jurisdictions, including Nevada, Colorado, Pennsylvania, Colorado, Tennessee, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Michigan, New Jersey, Virginia, West Virginia, and Washington, D.C. (within two blocks of Capital One Arena).


Visit: BetRivers Sportsbook and claim a 100% deposit match up to $500 with bonus code BONUSPLAY

BetRivers Sportsbook originally launched in Pennsylvania, as a product of parent company Rush Street Interactive. The BetRivers platform now operates in nine states, including Arizona, Colorado, Iowa, Illinois, Indiana, Tennessee, and Virginia. It’s also available in New Jersey and Pennsylvania under the SugarHouse name.

New player bonuses at BetRivers and SugarHouse include a 100% deposit match bonus up to $500 (bonus code: BONUSPLAY), with only a 1x playthrough requirement, the best in the industry.

FanDuel Sportsbook

Visit: FanDuel Sportsbook and claim a no sweat first bet up to $200

FanDuel Sportsbook, much like DraftKings Sportsbook, represents one of the most popular legal sports betting brands in the US. Bonus offers for new players at FanDuel Sportsbook include a no sweat first bet of up to $200.

Bettors in many states can enjoy FanDuel Sportsbook, including Arizona, Colorado, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Michigan, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Virginia, and West Virginia.


Visit: PointsBet Sportsbook and claim two second chance bets worth up to $1,000 with promo code Click to Claim

PointsBet offers a unique style of wagering known as “PointsBetting,” a form of totals betting involving multipliers. You can learn more on the PointsBet website, but the number of points “over” or “under” the sportsbook’s points total is the multiplier, which applies to your winnings or your losing wager. 

This means you can maximize your payout, but it also means you risk multiplying your losing wager. It’s risky, but it can be rewarding.

PointsBet offers new players two second chance bets up to $1,000. You can place a fixed-odds bet up to $500 as well as a PointsBetting wager up to $1,500. Use promo code Click to Claim.

PointsBet is currently available in several states, including Colorado, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Michigan, West Virginia, and New Jersey.


Visit: Unibet Sportsbook and claim a bonus  bet worth up to $500 (max varies depending on state) with promo code BETBONUS

Unibet is well-known across the pond, given that it began in London and is now part of the Kindred Group, headquartered in Malta. However, the operator is making its presence felt more and more in the US, offering sports betting in several states and forging partnerships with the likes of the Pittsburgh Steelers, the New Jersey Devils, and the Philadelphia Eagles.

As you might expect from an international operator, Unibet is especially known for its market depth, offering an impressive number of bets on sports that aren’t as common in the US. For example, you can find snooker, darts, Korean baseball, and more at Unibet.

New users can use the Unibet promo code of BETBONUS in all states to get a bonus bet. However, the maximum refund allowed for that bet varies based on the state. For example, in Pennsylvania, the bonus bet maximum is $500, but in Arizona, it is $100.

How Odds Differ Across Legal Online Sportsbooks

Sports betting odds and lines for the same game often vary from one online sportsbook to another. Smart bettors own accounts at multiple online sportsbooks and shop for the most favorable lines.

For example, here’s a look at the futures odds for the 2022 NBA Finals, compared across three different legal online sportsbooks, in the lead-up to the 2021-22 NBA Season:

Sports Betting AppFanDuelBetMGMDraftKings
BKN Nets+230+240+220
LA Lakers+400+400+380
MIL Bucks+850+900+900
GS Warriors+1300+900+1000
PHO Suns+1400+1500+1600

If you were looking to bet on the Golden State Warriors or the Phoenix Suns before the season started, you’d find significant value by line shopping. The odds at FanDuel for the Warriors to win the Championship is +400 better compared to BetMGM, and +300 better compared to DraftKings. But DraftKings beats them both for the Phoenix Suns by up to +200.

How Sports Betting Odds Are Calculated

Moneyline Bets

Moneyline bets simply establish a favorite and an underdog for a game. Bettors choose which team they think will win, straight up, with no point spread.

Underdogs pay at better odds than favorites. To calculate the potential payouts of a moneyline bet, you must understand what the odds notations mean.

Here’s an example of an NBA moneyline bet:

TeamMoneyline Odds
New Orleans Saints-180
Carolina Panthers+155

Moneyline betting odds with a “+” notation are relatively simple to calculate. The +195 line on the Nets means a $100 wager would net $195 in profit. In other words, the $100 bet would return a total of $295 (the $195 in profit and the original $100 bet).

Another way to calculate “+” moneyline odds is to divide the odds number by 100. Using this method, the +195 odds convert to 1.95.

Multiplying this decimal number by the amount of the bet yields the total profit amount. A $50 bet on +195 odds yields $97.50 in profit ($50 x 1.95).

Calculating “-“ odds on the moneyline is a little trickier. The -240 line for the Orlando Magic means you would have to bet $240 to win a $100 profit.

For “-“ odds, you must divide 100 by the moneyline odds number. For a -240 line, dividing 100 by 240 yields 0.416.

Multiplying your bet amount by 0.416 yields the total profit of the bet. A $50 bet, for instance, comes out to $20.80 in profit ($50 x 0.416). A $50 wager on the Magic, if it won, would result in the sportsbooks returning $70.80 to you ($20.80 profit plus the original $50 bet).

Point Spread Bets

A point spread bet adds points to the underdog’s score and subtracts that same amount of points from the other. Adding the point spread allows the sportsbook to put relatively even odds on the favorite and underdog.

The point spread variant of the Orlando vs. Brooklyn NBA game looks like this:

TeamPoint Spread
Tampa Bay Rays+1.5 (-135)
Toronto Blue Jays-1.5 (+110)

Bettors can choose the Magic with six points taken off their final score, or the Nets with six points added to their final score. Both choices pay the same -110 odds.

Bettors on Orlando wins if the Magic win by seven points or more. If Orlando wins by exactly six points, the bet is a push, and the wager is returned to the bettor.

If Orlando wins by five points or less, or if the Nets win the game outright, Brooklyn bettors win this point spread bet. For instance, if Orlando wins the game 98-94, the Nets +6 bet wins.

Over/Under (Totals)

Over/under bets, aka totals bets, allow for wagering on the total combined score of a game. Bettors can wager that the game total will end either over or under a line set by the sportsbook.

Like point spread bets, the over and under options generally pay relatively even odds. For example:

Orlando Magic Over      +211.5 -112
Brooklyn NetsUnder+211.5 -109

The sportsbooks set the total at 211.5 for this game. If the total goes over 211.5, the over bet wins at -112 odds. If the game score total finished under 211.5, the under bet wins at -109 payout odds.

If the Nets win the game by a score of 100-98, for example, the total for the game is 198. This total is under the 211.5 line, and therefore the under bet is the winner.

Moneyline, point spread, and totals bets use the same notations seen above across all sports. The betting types are offered for virtually every NFL, NBA, NHL, and MLB contest.

What Affects Sports Betting Odds Throughout A Season?

Each sportsbook employs its own bookmakers (aka oddsmakers), and these expert analysts set the lines and odds for games. An algorithm determines the lines for certain kinds of in-play bets, as those lines rapidly change throughout a game.

Bookmakers consider every imaginable factor when setting a game line, including lines set at other sportsbooks. Lines on a game can change considerably after they’re posted, as injuries, weather, lineup changes, and other factors influence the game.

NFL teams, for example, play just one game per week. The opening line on an NFL game could drastically change by kickoff time.

For instance, the Kansas City Chiefs could be listed as a 10-point favorite over the Los Angeles Chargers. But if Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes suffers an injury in Wednesday’s team practice, however, that 10-point line will drop, as it’s now unclear whether Mahomes will even play.

Bookmakers will adjust point spreads and odds from game to game based on how teams are trending in recent contests. For example, the Brooklyn Nets could stand as a strong pick to win the NBA title, prompting bookmakers to set the Nets as a big favorite in every game.

If the Nets lose a few games in a row, however, bookmakers will adjust accordingly, considering Brooklyn’s recent performances.

Sports Betting Odds For Professional Leagues

NFL Odds

The NFL stands as the most-watched professional sports league in the US. Point spread betting on NFL games represents one of the most popular ways to bet on any sport in the US.

The NFL plays its regular season and playoff games in a weekly format. The 32 NFL teams play one game per week in the regular season, with 14 teams advancing to the playoffs.

Here’s a look at what a bet for Week 2 of the 2021-22 NFL Season looked like at Caesars Sportsbook:

NFL Week 2Point SpreadMoneylineTotal
Denver Broncos-6.0 (-110)-270o45.5 (-110)
Jacksonville Jaguars+6.0 (-110)+220u45.5 (-110)

For clarification, the “Total” column displays the over/under line for the combined final score. The “045.5” bet isn’t a bet on the Texans, even though it’s the same row as the point spread and moneyline options for the Texans.

The NFL season culminates in the Super Bowl, which brings in more bets than any other sporting event in the world, except for the World Cup. FanDuel, DraftKings, BetMGM, Caesars, PointsBet, BetRivers, and all other legal online sports betting platforms offer numerous ways to bet on the Super Bowl.

These betting options include exotic prop bets, such as betting on the color of Gatorade dumped on the winning head coach after the game. The Super Bowl produces many different prop bets not seen in any other sports event.

For more resources, check out our NFL Odds Calculator and Sports Betting Edge Table. 

NBA Odds

Much like the NFL, the NBA functions as one of the most popular sports in the US. Ways to bet on the NBA regular season and playoffs are also similar to the NFL setup.

The NBA’s 30 teams play 82 regular-season games. Of those 30, 16 teams advance to the playoffs, with teams facing off in the best 4-of-7 series until a champion is crowned.

With that many games on the schedule, betting opportunities abound for the NBA. Here’s a look at how an NBA bet is displayed at FanDuel Sportsbook:

Point SpreadMoneylineTotal
Los Angeles Clippers+1        -105-108O 218.5        -110
Los Angeles Lakers-1        -115-108U 218.5        -110

In this example, the bookmakers at FanDuel set the game as almost dead even between the Clippers and Lakers. Note that the moneyline odds on both teams are identical, which means there isn’t a favorite or an underdog on the moneyline for this game.

All legal online sportsbooks offer NBA betting throughout the regular season and playoffs, all the way through the NBA Finals. Special bets on the NBA Finals allow bettors to predict what player will win the NBA Finals MVP, what player will be the first to be ejected in a given game and many more.

MLB Odds

The numbers for MLB single-game betting look a little bit different, as baseball by nature is a lower-scoring game than its NBA and NFL counterparts. The odds and lines work the same, however.

A typical MLB game setup at PointsBet Sportsbook looks like this:

Point SpreadMoneylineTotal
Tampa Bay Rays
(M. Wacha)
+3.5 (+100)+400o11.5 (+105)
Toronto Blue Jays
(R. Ray)
-3.5 (-121)-540u11.5 (-125)

The names under the teams (M. Wacha and R. Ray) are the names of the starting pitchers for this particular game. MLB teams generally use a rotating cast of 4-5 starting pitchers, with each pitcher starting around 30 games throughout the 162-game MLB season. If the expected pitchers don’t start the game, then the bets are refunded by the sportsbook. On these rare occasions, you can usually still do in-game live betting.

The MLB season culminates in the World Series, where the National League champion meets the American League winner in a best 4-of-7 series. Prop bets on the World Series include over/under lines on the number of strikeouts from a particular pitcher, odds on a certain player hitting a home run, and many others.

NHL Odds

The betting setup for an NHL game looks similar to an MLB contest. Like MLB, NHL games tend to be low-scoring contests, and as such point spreads typically linger around 1.5. Anything higher than that represents a pretty massive spread in an NHL game.

Here’s a look at the setup for an NHL game at FanDuel Sportsbook:

Point Spread MoneylineTotal
New York Rangers+1.5        -250+110O 5.5        -125
Carolina Hurricanes-1.5        +210-130U 5.5        +105

Like MLB games, payout odds on point spread bets are often wider than moneyline odds. This differs from the NFL and NBA, where the point spread usually evens out the odds.

The NHL plays 82 regular-season games and four rounds of best 4-of-7 series in the Stanley Cup Playoffs.

The playoffs end with the Stanley Cup Finals. Special bets on the Stanley Cup Finals include wagers that task the bettor with predicting the score at the end of the first period and lines on whether a particular player will score a goal or assist.

See our complete guide to NHL Betting On The Stanley Cup. 

Other Sports Betting Odds

College Sports Odds

The popularity of NCAA football and basketball in the US rivals that of any professional league. With hundreds of teams in each sport, bettors enjoy an enormous selection of games throughout the year.

The main difference between college sports and professional leagues is the larger point spreads in college contests, as the disparity between teams can be much greater.

College football games generally feature higher scores than an NFL game. College basketball games, however, usually end with lower scores than an NBA game.

NCAA Football And Basketball Postseasons

The biggest college football league, known as the NCAA Division I Football Bowl Subdivision, culminates its season with the four-team College Football Playoff.

The most prestigious college basketball championship is decided in the NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball Tournament. This tournament, also known as March Madness, draws some of the biggest betting interest of any event on the US sports calendar.

March Madness starts with 68 teams and culminates in the Final Four each year, with the last four teams remaining to battle it out for the championship.

For both NCAA basketball and football, numerous prop bets can be made on postseason games, including what seed team will make it to the Final Four and whether the 16 seed will finally beat a 1 seed.


NASCAR’s large and loyal fanbase makes the stock-car racing circuit one of the most popular sports in the US. Legal online sportsbooks allow wagering on the NASCAR schedule throughout the year.

NASCAR bets resemble futures market bets for other sports. The most popular NASCAR bets involve picking the winner of a race from the NASCAR Cup Series, which represents the top level of the sports.

DraftKings Sportsbook offered the following betting lines on the 2021 NASCAR Bass Pro Shops Night Race, a NASCAR Cup Series stock car race on September 18, 2021:

WinnerTop 3Top 10
Kyle Busch+400+130-175
Kyle Larson+450+150-155
Denny Hamlin+600+200-115
Chase Elliott+800+270+100
Joey Logano+1000+330+140

The “Winner,” “Top 3,” and “Top 10” columns represent different bets. If you bet the winner, the driver has to come in first. If you bet top 3, the driver has to come in first, second, or third. And if you bet the top 10, the driver has to come in 10th or better.

English Premier League Odds

Soccer betting on major international leagues like the English Premier League opens up even more betting opportunities at legal online sportsbooks.

Betting on the EPL offers many more lines on any single game, compared to domestic sports leagues. DraftKings Sportsbook offered the following moneyline odds on a September 2021 EPL match between Liverpool and Crystal Palace:

Livepool WinTie GameCrystal Palace Win

Unlike the four major US sports leagues (except for the NFL in rare instances), EPL games can end in a tie. Moneyline bets for EPL games include an option to bet on a tie.

With Liverpool listed as the distant favorites, you’d have to bet $475 to win $100. But if you were to bet on a tie or Manchester United to win, the payout on a $100 bet would be $600 and $1,200, respectively.

Sports Betting Odds FAQ

Yes, in states that legalized online sports betting after the overturn of PASPA. Federal law allows US states to legalize and regulate online sports betting on an individual state basis.

States with legal online sports betting include New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Colorado, Illinois, Indiana, and Iowa, among several others. Legal online sportsbooks in these states function as extensions of retail or tribal casinos.

All online sportsbooks employ their own team of bookmakers, and odds and lines vary across all of the different sportsbooks.

Skilled bettors shop for lines, evaluating the odds at different sportsbooks before making a bet.

Odds written out as 5/1, 5-1, or 5-to-1, indicate fractional odds notation. The 5/1 odds here are just an example, as 10/1, 9-4, 7-to-2 and any other odds displayed in this fashion represent fractional odds.

A winning bet made at 5-to-1 odds means you win $5 for every $1 bet. For example, a $100 bet made at 5-to-1 odds pays $500 in profit ($100 x 5). This bet would return $600 total ($500 profit plus the return of the original $100 bet).

A 5-to-1 fractional odds bet is equivalent to +500 moneyline odds, or 6.00 decimal odds.

Decimal odds are written as Lakers 2.00, Bucks 3.00, Clippers 5.00, etc. The payout for this notation is calculated by multiplying the odds by the amount of the bet, then subtracting the original bet to determine the profit.

A $100 bet on Bucks 3.00, for instance, would result in a total return of $300. Subtracting the original $100 bet gives you $200 in profit.

A 3.00 decimal odds bet is equivalent to a +200 moneyline bet, or a 2-to-1 fractional odds bet.

No. Betting on high school sports is not legal in any state in the US. Usually, you can’t bet on athletes under the age of 18, but exceptions are made for international sports like soccer as well as esports betting in some states.

Yes. Some states do have restrictions on college sports betting. New Jersey and New York, for example, outlaws betting on in-state college teams and contests.

In general, however, college sports betting is permitted in all states with legal online sportsbooks.

About the Author
Geoff Fisk

Geoff Fisk

Geoff Fisk is a San Diego-based freelance writer, specializing in the poker and gambling industries. He’s written for numerous platforms and has traveled the globe as a live poker tournament reporter. Geoff is an avid sports fan, but poker is his passion.
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