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Sports Betting in the US – States with Legal Online Betting

Wondering if online sports betting is legal in your state? More than 80% of US states have legalized sports betting. However, many only allow in-person wagering, meaning you can’t bet from anywhere.

Read on to find out which states have legalized sports betting.

How Does Sports Betting Work?

The sports gambling industry revolves around predicting the outcome and placing wagers on competitive sports. You can wager on games in the NFL, NBA, NHL, etc.

Understanding the different types of sports bets is crucial for successful betting. Below, sports betting is explained in detail.


Odds are numbers compiled by bookmakers to represent the likelihood of an event happening. Odds are represented as a fraction (2/1) in the UK and as a decimal (3.0) in Europe. American odds have a plus (+) or minus (-) sign in front of a number (e.g. +200).

In American odds, 100 is the base stake to calculate the possible winnings. To calculate your possible winnings in American odds, divide the actual stake by the American odds stake and multiply the result by the odd winnings (actual stake/American odds stake) x American odds winnings.

For example, imagine a game between Miami Dolphins @-145 and New England Patriots @+130.

If you bet on the Dolphins to win, the -145 implies that you win $100 for a $145 stake. Thus, a $10 stake would return: $10/$145×100= $6.90.

Meanwhile, if you think the Patriots will win, the +130 implies that you win $130 for every $100 stake. Therefore, a $10 stake will be $10/$100×130= $13.

Odds Scanner US recommends comparing the odds before placing bets. By comparing the odds and selecting those on the higher side, you can significantly increase the possible winnings from a bet.

Picks and Predictions

Sports betting picks are suggestions of the most popular types of sports wagers, such as moneylines, spreads, over/unders, etc.

For example, Odds Scanner US may predict New Orleans +180 to beat the Tampa Bay Bucks. That is considered a pick.

Sports betting predictions are valuable insights from professional tipsters. Expert predictions are backed by data, such as a team’s win-loss records, the latest news, and manager statements.


A moneyline is a bet on who will win the game. As explained earlier, American odds have a plus and minus sign in front of a number.

The negative odds represent the favorite and indicate how much you have to risk to earn a $100 profit. The underdog has positive odds which show how much you could win if you bet $100.


Spreads are wagers that a team will win by a specific number of points.

Sometimes the spread is a whole number and the team ends up winning or losing by that exact number. In that case, the bookmaker applies a “push” and then refunds your stake.

Live Sports Betting

Live sports betting involves placing wagers on a sporting event that has already started. Odds will typically be released during the event, and bookmakers update the odds every few seconds. The good thing about live sports betting is that bettors are not required to bet on the entire game.

How to Bet on Sports Online?

With lots of legal sportsbooks spread across America, online betting has never been easier. Below is a step-by-step guide on how to gamble on sports for real money:

Step #1: Choose a top-rated sportsbook

The first step is to choose a reliable bookmaker for a safe and enjoyable betting experience. When choosing a sportsbook, consider factors like safety and security, variety of betting options, ease of navigation, odds and betting limits, and payment speed.

Step #2: Sign up for an account

After finding a sportsbook that you are comfortable betting with, it’s time to register a new account. The details required of you may vary from site to site. Most sportsbooks will ask for your full name and date of birth, email address, postal address, phone number, username, and password.

Step #3: Deposit money for online betting

Make a deposit to start placing wagers online for real money. Most reliable sportsbooks offer a variety of banking options, such as credit or debit cards, e-wallets (PayPal, Skrill, and Neteller), wire transfer, Play+, ACH eCheck, and online bank transfer.

Step #4: Familiarize yourself with the promotions

It is important to keep an eye on promotions that could increase your bankroll. Some sites offer sign-up bonuses, risk-free bets, enhanced odds or reduced juice, betting rebates, etc. Take advantage of those promotions when placing your online sports wagers.

Step #5: Place your online wagers

At this point, you should be ready to place online wagers. Make sure you always compare different bookmakers to find the best odds for a given game.

Once you choose the lines you want, enter the amount you’d like to bet and hit the “OK” or “confirm” button. Then, wait for Lady Luck to smile on you!

Step #6: Cash out your winnings

If you placed a winning bet, it’s time to withdraw your winnings. In most cases, you’re required to use the same banking option you used to deposit. Withdrawal times vary by the payment method used.

Major Sports Leagues in the US Betting Industry

Legal sports gambling has surged in popularity over the last decade. Below are the major sports leagues in the US and the types of wagers allowed.


National Football League (NFL) betting is becoming more and more available, with the largest volume of bets taking place during the Super Bowl. Top US bookies have a wide variety of markets to wager on.

NFL bets range from spreads, moneylines, and totals to player props, game props, and special markets. Some bookies feature generous odds boosts and exclusive promotions for new and existing users.


The National Basketball Association (NBA) is home to some of the greatest teams and players on the planet. Bettors can wager on match outcomes, team props, and player props.

There are markets for the lowest-scoring team in any game, match-winning run or streak, teams to win the first game, and many others for legal basketball betting.


Major League Baseball (MLB) is the biggest competition that Americans love to watch. With The Los Angeles Dodgers, New York Yankees, and Toronto Blue Jays in the action, you can expect bets to yield big wins.

MLB bookmakers use run lines, moneylines, and totals rather than traditional spreads. That shouldn’t scare you off as MLB lines are very easy to read.


The National Hockey League (NHL) is one of the “Big Four” sports in the US. The NHL action is fast, and so are NHL bets.

The most common types of bets are moneyline, against the spread, and over/under. Betting gets even better during the Stanley Cup playoffs, with markets extending to parlays, futures, player props, and daily fantasy.

Some NHL betting sites offer bonuses such as early payouts if your team is two goals ahead or cashback returns on a winning parlay. Others offer free bets and promotions which can make a huge difference to your overall betting experience.

Other Popular Sports Leagues

Many seasoned punters shift their attention to other sports and eSports after the regular season has wrapped up in the US. You’ll find them betting on UFC, MLS, College Basketball, College Football, and many other events.

FAQs About Sports Betting

Read the following frequently asked questions for more insights on sports betting in the US. Still not sure about how sports betting works? Don’t hesitate to get in touch.

Is sports betting legal in the US?

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Sports betting is currently legal in about 30 states. Bettors can place wagers online, on mobile, and in person. Though not a recommended practice, sports bettors in unregulated states often create accounts with offshore betting sites and bet online.

Is it difficult to place sports bets?

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Wagering on sports is easy as long as you can understand the odds. American odds are represented with a plus (+) and minus (-) sign. The team with the plus sign is the underdog while that with a minus sign is the favorite.

Why bet on sports?

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Getting involved in sports betting can be entertaining and rewarding. It’s fun to watch games unfold live. But nothing compares to the excitement that you get when you have money on the line.

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