Current Line Comparisons and Trusted Sportsbooks
These are the top rated online sportsbooks for U.S. bettors. They accept Visa credit & debit cards, along with other simple deposit options. We recommend these sites for US and International punters outside the US. To place a bet, click on any of the sportsbook logos or links listing the odds below. All of our lines are updated every day.
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Betting Lines Explained
This section will show you how to read sports betting lines in the most popular odds formats. There are three ways that sportsbooks on the internet list their odds; called fractional, decimal, and American. Depending on where you live in the world generally determines which type of odds format you’re familiar with. For example, people in the UK are more familiar with fractional odds, while punters from Australia use decimal odds.
The best sportsbooks online give handicappers the ability to view odds in whichever format they prefer, so look for that button whenever you visit one of them. Here’s some info on how to read the different types of lines & odds.
How to Read Fractional Lines & Odds
Fractional betting lines are listed just like we learned in elementary school. 7/2 fractional odds equal 3.5:1. This means that for every $1 bet, you’d win $3.50 more, for a total payout of $4.50 (3.5 x $1 = $3.50 + $1 wager = $4.50).
Bettors get their original wager back, plus the win amount. So if you placed a $100 bet on a team with 5/1 fractional odds, you’d get your $100 back, plus $500 more (5 x $100).
10/1 fractional odds on a $200 bet would pay your original wager of $200, plus $2000 more (10 x $200), for a total payout of $2200.
Decimal Lines & Odds
Decimal odds are viewed as a number with a decimal point, as in 1.85, 3.55, or 5.0. Decimal odds reflect the total return a bettor gets back on a win for every $1 wagered, including the wager amount. So, a 1.85 line means that for every $1 wagered, a bettor would receive a total return of $1.85.
An even-money bet would show decimal odds of 2.0. So, if you place a $1 bet on a team with 2.0 decimal odds, you’ll get back a total of $2; your $1 wager, plus $1 in profit.
A team with 5.5 decimal odds would pay $4.50 in profit, plus your $1 wager, for $5.50 total return.
To calculate a decimal odds payout, multiply the odds times the wager amount. For example; 4.5 decimal odds on a $50 bet would be calculated as follows: 4.5 x $50 = $225 total return.
American Lines & Odds
American lines are displayed as negative (-) and positive (+) odds, and based around the $100 figure. Negative lines indicate the favorite, and positive lines indicate the underdog. Of course $100 wagers are not required, this is just the number used to calculate the odds.
Negative betting lines indicate the amount of money needed to wager in order to win $100 in profit. So, a -160 means a bettor would need to wager $160 to win $100. A -240 line means they need to wager $240 to win $100.
Positive lines are just the opposite. Positive lines indicate the profit that can be won from a $100 wager. It does not include the original wager amount. So, a +160 means that a $100 wager would earn a $160 profit plus the $100 wager amount, for a total payout of $260.
A +240 line would pay out $240 in profit on a $100 wager, for a total payout of $340 ($240 profit + $100 wager = $340).
A +420 line would pay out $420 in profit on a $100 wager, for a total payout of $520 ($420 profit + $100 wager = $520).
Even odds are generally displayed as ‘even’, but sometimes you’ll see them listed as +100. Even odds simply means that for every dollar you bet, you can win a dollar in profit. A bet with even odds would pay $100 profit on a $100 wager.
Money Line Confusion
American odds are often called money lines, but this isn’t exactly accurate. A money line is a type of bet, not a system for calculating odds. The confusion comes from the fact that money line bets use American odds, but there is a difference.
Money lines are bets with no point spread involved – picking straight-up winners regardless of the score. However, American odds are used for more than just money line bets. American odds are used for any type of bet as a way to calculate the odds.
Sportsbooks on the Internet
One sportsbook might be best for NFL football lines, while another might have the best parlay odds, and another might have the easiest deposit options for U.S. handicappers. They’re all a bit different, another reason for signing up at multiple sportsbooks. We rank the best online betting websites based on a number of factors, and our overall favorites are listed below.
Best Online Sportsbooks
- Bovada.lv: US bettors welcome. The Bovada sports betting site is the US friendly version of Bodog. This site re-branded in Dec. 2011 for US customers. Possibly the best futures odds in the industry, along with a nice live betting site. Visa credit cards accepted. Betting lines typically get posted later than BetOnline and JustBet.
- BetOnline.com: US bettors welcome. BetOnline is a sportsbook that’s growing very quickly. They offer live betting, early lines, some of the best parlay odds in the industry, and every major sport in the world. A great all-around book that continues to get better. Visa & Mastercard credit & debit cards accepted. They also accept Amex if you have at least $250 in your account and have deposited five times using other methods they offer.
- JustBet.cx: US bettors welcome. Credit card deposits accepted. JustBet focuses mainly on US sports, including NFL & NCAA football, NBA & NCAA basketball, MLB baseball, NHL hockey, and UFC mixed martial arts. Mobile sports betting with no download offered for iPhone, iPad, Blackberry, Android (Droid) and Windows based devices.
- Bet365.com: No U.S. bettors. Easy Visa deposits, tons of betting options for all sports, incredible live betting options & interface. Mobile betting available for iPhone, iPad, Blackberry, Android and Windows based phones. India friendly with Rupee currency. Bet365 is also commonly used in other parts of Asia such as Singapore.
- Bodog.eu: No U.S. bettors. The Bodog Sportsbook has arguably the best reputation in the business. They are pioneers in the industry, taking bets since 1994. They also have the best live betting available to U.S. handicappers for NFL & NCAA football, NBA & NCAA basketball, and MLB baseball. Visa / Mastercard accepted including in Canada.
If you take your sports betting seriously, open accounts at several different sportsbooks. Always compare odds and look for the best lines before placing bets. There are benefits that handicappers get by online versus in a live sportsbook. First, it’s easy to compare odds at lot of sports betting sites because they’re only a click away. By comparing odds at a number of sportsbooks on the internet, you can be sure you’re getting the best odds & lowest vig (juice) possible. Slight advantages can be the difference of winning or losing a bet, and the amount you win or lose. In the long run, small advantages can really add up.
Live Betting Sites
Live betting (also called in-play) is quickly growing in popularity. In 2012 and 2013, and on into 2014 we saw major growth in this market, with bookmakers adding more games to their live betting calendars. If you’re not familiar with live betting, these are wagers that can be placed while a game or match is happening. If you have a mobile phone, you can even bet on a game while you watch it from the stands.
In NFL football for example, bettors can wager on which player will be next to score, the result of every possession, if player X will record 100+ rushing yards, etc etc.. Essentially, if you can think of it, you can bet on it.
For bettors in the United States, Bovada is the best live betting site. They have the best software, and offer live betting for all of the biggest games each week. The minimum live bet is just $1, and a maximum of $500 (depending on the type of bet). Bovada also offers live, mobile sports betting for iPhone, iPad, Android, Nokia, and Windows based smartphones & tablets.
For punters outside the US, Bet365 and Paddy Power are all great live betting sites. All of them have a large and continually growing calendar of matches they offer for live betting. They also have excellent software, and mobile betting as well.
Promotions & Bonuses Offered
Most sports betting sites offer special promotions for their customers. This can include free NFL, NBA, or MLB bets, free mobile bets, free parlays, and a variety of other promos.
For new bettors, most give their players a deposit bonus when they sign up. Sign up bonuses range in percentage and total dollar amount from site to site. Also, some deposit bonuses are much easier to clear than others. At some sportsbooks, players have to wager their deposit amount, plus bonus one time. At other sites, players may have to wager 5-10 times their deposit and bonus amount. The sports betting sites that we recommend typically have very fair bonus requirements.