Best Rated Online Sportsbooks

Swain Scheps for Bookies.com

With dozens of legal sports betting operations in the United States, sports bettors have plenty of choices. But trying to select a bookie that suits you can be a little bewildering too. At Bookies.com, we've got your back. Our experts know what makes for the best online sports betting experience. We've looked at dozens of legal US sportsbooks and have made it all available to you on these pages.

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Every online gambler deserves a safe and fair place to play. Our mission at Bookies.com is to create a safe online environment for players through free, impartial and independent reviews of the US's best online gambling companies so that you can play with confidence and security. All ratings and reviews are made independently of the operator by our team of gaming experts and with every company being fully US licensed they can be trusted to offer fair play. We accept compensation from the companies advertised on this page and this may affect the brand positioning. We endeavour to continuously update this list so we can bring you the most current sites and the best available offers but we cannot review every site in the market.

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What is a Sportsbook?

A sportsbook (or bookmaker) is in business to accept bets from the public on the outcome of sporting events. It publishes a menu of events and odds (that is, the terms of the bet payout) and accepts cash wagers from bettors, paying out on the winning bets, and keeping the stake from the losing wagers. In a brick-and-mortar sportsbook, you tell a ticket-writer which events you want to bet on, which sides you're taking in those events and how much you're risking. After you hand over the cash from your bets, you get a betting ticket in return that acts as your receipt for the transaction. If your wager wins, you hand in your ticket in exchange for your original cash stake, plus any winnings due to you. Online, you are simply doing it yourself.

Online Sportsbooks

An online sportsbook performs the same basic function of accepting your sports bets, but it all happens over a website or a mobile sports betting app. Instead of cash, you deposit money that you use to bet. In fact, it's easiest to think of an online sportsbook as a kind of online bank or brokerage account (except way more fun). Once you establish your account, you deposit funds and maintain a balance that you use to fund your wagers. When you win, your account is automatically credited and your balance increases. You can leave your balance with the online sportsbook and continue playing for as long as your balance lasts. Or, if you want to enjoy some of your hard-earned winnings, you can withdraw some or all your balance.

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The Benefits of Betting on Online Sportsbooks

This should be obvious: no crowds, no waiting in line at the betting window to make your NFL picks, no keeping up with a fistful of betting tickets, and of course, the freedom to place a bet from the comfort of your own home.

But sports bettors love online books the most because they take bets on a much wider array of events and offer odds on derivative and proposition bets that are too numerous to be listed at a brick-and-mortar sportsbook. You can place bets at whatever pace you like because it's easy to search for exactly the bet you want with up-to-the-second odds.

New players qualify for lucrative welcome offers when signing up for an online account. And online bookmakers create betting opportunities from play to play during a live sporting event with live betting, something brick-and-mortar sportsbooks have a hard time doing.

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Where are the Best Sportsbooks?

States like New Jersey, Michigan and Indiana have welcomed nearly a dozen online sportsbooks to operate legally within their borders, while other states have given the concession to a single online bookie. With so many choices, it's hard to know where to start, so we've compiled a lot of information and feedback on each sportsbook and have zoomed in on the very best of the most widely used and popular online sportsbooks.

But just because an online sportsbook is on our list now doesn't mean they'll be there forever. The betting landscape is constantly changing. Not only are laws and regulations around online sportsbooks evolving, but the intense competition for business is driving innovation in the industry. Top sportsbooks are constantly updating their offering and reacting to the marketplace.

Our commitment to you is to continue to watch every bookmaker closely, update all our sportsbooks reviews to make sure they continue to be deserving your betting dollar. And so, without further ado, here's the list of the best online sportsbooks (and the states they operate in). We believe these outfits have honed their offerings and level of service to a fine edge.

Top 6 Online Sportsbooks

  1. BetMGM: Terrific desktop and mobile experience, along with a solid welcome bonus that is easily attainable.

    States: CO, IN, IA, MI, NV, NJ, TN,VA,WV

  2. PointsBet: Caters to hometown fans with local odds boosts and features the innovative PointsBetting option.

    States: CO, IL, IN, IA, MI, NJ

  3. Bet365: A great option for live betting, European powerhouse delivers great user experience.

    State: NJ

  4. DraftKings: Ongoing promotions and wide-spread availability make this operator hard to beat for both casual and series bettors.

    States: CO, IL, IN, IA, MI, NH, NJ, PA, TN, VA, WV

  5. 888Sport: Plenty of betting options, especially when it comes to live betting, and a solid welcome offer.

    State: NJ

  6. FanDuel: Robust offerings, low minimum bet requirement and a national footprint add up to a terrific sportsbook.

    States: CO, IL, IN, IA, MI, NJ, PA, TN, VA, WV

How We Rate the Best Online Sportsbooks

Sports bettors come in all different stripes, and what one person needs from their sportsbook is likely different from what another bettor needs. As such, there is no single set of ironclad characteristics that set one sportsbook over another.

Fortunately for you, Bookies.com has an army of writers, reviewers, and analysts who are avid bettors too. Our roster includes bettors of every type and skill level with a refined sense of what makes a sportsbook great. We've combined the most critical aspects of online sportsbooks that are meaningful to casual bettors, serious bettors, and everyone in-between.

Security: Above all else, your online sportsbook must be trusted with your money. In real terms that means they should have a history of financial health as a company or should be associated with an organization that is well-established and has a history operating in a regulated market like Nevada or the United Kingdom. And because money is involved, they should take data security and identity protection & privacy no less seriously than an online bank does.

There is also an element of fair play that we consider under the umbrella of security. Because the industry is new to much of the United States, regulations are still evolving, so we look for sportsbooks who are associated with a long history of treating bettors fairly. They should take your action and communicate honestly for situations where they can't. Gamblers should never have to worry that their wagers will get cancelled arbitrarily. Any sportsbook we recommend is licensed and regulated by the state governing bodies where it operates.

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Ease of Transacting: Most online bookies offer multiple options for depositing money, so you should make sure there's at least one option that fits your style. In some states you're asked to open an account through a brick-and-mortar bookmaker, but in most you can use a credit card, wire transfer, PayPal or a branded Play+ card. And more important to serious bettors, your online sportsbook should make withdrawing money easy and fast.

The best US sportsbooks offer multiple options, but usually it's a question of how fast you want your withdrawal; if you can wait on a paper check, there's no cost, while the faster methods (like wire transfers) come with a fee. These days, the best sites have solved that dilemma for you by providing a connection between your betting account and your bank account. We've looked at each sportsbook's limitations and we've made sure that the bookmakers on our list have received consistent positive feedback on how well they handle withdrawals.

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Sportsbook Bonus Offers: Bonus offers are an important way for you to get the most out of your betting dollar, and the sportsbooks on our list of the best all provide great perks to their gamblers. Because online sportsbooks are competing for your business, you'll find sign-up and loyalty bonuses of every size and shape these days, giving you an edge, whether you're just learning the ropes, or if you're an experienced bettor.

Almost every site comes with a matching bonus for first-time customers. Another common sportsbook bonus might be refunding your first bet if it loses, or a simple cash-back scheme to reward frequent play. You'll also find daily and weekly free contests like PointsBet's Pick 6 and odds boosts.

Online sportsbooks are constantly finding new ways to entice gamblers to their sites, such as surprise pre-payment of futures bets before that event is even decided. Other sportsbooks have developed a "bad beat of the day" where bettors who lose in unlikely circumstances such as a backdoor cover, bad referee call, or miracle reception (i.e., a "bad beat"), have their wagers refunded.

If you're not in a state that hasn't yet legalized online sports betting, you're not completely shut out of the action. To build their brand for the future, many sportsbooks offer sports-picking contests with cash-prizes that are completely free to enter. For example, PointsBet's weekly Pick 6 contest has players pick the exact margin of victory for 6 upcoming games, with a jackpot of up to $25,000. And because there's no entry fee required, it's perfectly legal to play in nearly every state.

Betting Offer: If you are a meat-and-potatoes bettor who loves the common pre-game and live wagers on the most popular sports, just about every sportsbook is going to suit your needs. But dig a little deeper and you'll start to see subtle differences in how wide and deep online sportsbooks go in terms of the leagues, events and bet types on offer.

Bookmakers like 888sport and Bet365 are known for their deep penetration into more international sporting leagues (Finnish Minor League Hockey anyone?), while others go the extra mile to present hundreds of prop and derivative markets on a single game. In addition to having events that you want to bet on, the best sportsbooks are known for publishing early lines and offering a rich futures markets where you can bet on many different long-term outcomes in your favorite sports.

Another aspect of the betting experience is whether you're able to bet the amount you want, when you want. For more serious players who bet more money, being able to go big on any bet is critical.

Desktop and Mobile Betting Experience: An online sportsbook can do everything right - great customer service, easy to deposit and withdraw, betting opportunities galore - but none of it will matter if its app is hard to use or non-intuitive. If a sportsbook isn't usable and intuitive and fast, nothing else matters.

Our team has taken the time to go below the surface and put the sportsbooks on our list through the paces to ensure they can handle the functions most important to bettors at all experience levels. It all starts with search and navigation. You should be able to get to the event you want within a few seconds.

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Once you're there, sportsbooks should present odds information and betting opportunities in a way that's intuitive, consistent and clear. Presenting betting information - especially on a mobile device - is more complicated than you might think, and not all sportsbooks have invested the time and resources into doing it well. This becomes extremely important for parlay and other multi-way wagers where you might be adding and deleting selections to a betting card.

In addition to making bets, the sports betting apps should make it easy to identify and organize pending action and should provide you with updates of any games in progress. When you're engaging in a welcome bonus or another perk that impacts your account balance, the user interface should clearly show your progress toward completing bonus requirements.

A sportsbook should never deceive or obfuscate what part of your balance is yours to withdraw versus what funds have restrictions related to welcome bonuses, etc.

Sportsbooks and Odds

The uninformed will tell you that a point spread or moneyline reflect the sportsbook's prediction of how the event will play out on the field or the court. Not true.

The better-informed will tell you that betting odds are meant to split action in a game so that the sportsbook is guaranteed a profit. So, when they take too many bets at Bears -4, they'll shift the line to Bears -4.5 to attract wagers on the other side. That’s truer but doesn't quite reflect reality either.

In fact, sportsbooks are not intently focused on balancing action on games. They treat their entire catalog of bets as a portfolio of positions to manage, and they know they can count on the commission (the "juice" or "Vig") to even things out. Even if they haven't taken equal action on a single game, over time they'll win as many "overexposed" games as "underexposed" games - and what's left is the juice, which is about 10% (hence so many odds of -110).

Another thing to consider is that because the industry in the United States is in such a growth phase, some sportsbooks are focused on acquiring customers above all else. That means they might forego a little bit of profit by publishing more beatable odds or reduced-commission wagers if it lures more gamblers to sign up. And that's good news for you!

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Which Sportsbooks Have the Best Odds

Knowing how markets are made in sports betting will help you make smarter wagers. When you visit Bookies.com, you have the best odds for every matchup at your fingertips, updated whenever the markets change. We make odds comparison across legal sportsbooks easy by putting them all in one place.

So, if you're looking to make a bet on the Los Angeles Lakers against the Boston Celtics, you can quickly see the Lakers are -9.5 (-128) at FanDuel and -10 (-110) on BetMGM. If you want to bet the other side, you might find the best odds on the Celtics are +10.5 (-110) at Bet365.

So, what's the bottom line on the sportsbook with the best odds? In a way, it doesn't matter. Winning bettors will all tell you that the key to success is having access to a variety of the best online bookies, so that you can shop around and compare. That's why we've provided you a list of the best US sportsbooks out there. You should take a close look at all of them.

Sharp Sportsbooks

Of course, some bookmakers are known to be sharper than others. These are top online sportsbooks that list odds that are harder to beat because they are tightly managed, updated frequently and incorporate the widest array of information possible, whether it's on-field news, weather, and - critically - how expert sports bettors (otherwise known as "sharps") have played the game.

You might ask: Don't all bookmakers do what is described above? Not necessarily. Some sportsbooks cater to more recreational players who are more likely to wager on public teams, on favorites and on certain predictable patterns with props and futures. As a result, bookmakers will shade lines in such a way that makes those bets slightly more expensive. These bookmakers then protect themselves from being flooded with action on the other side of a sub-optimal line by charging more juice. That's not a good setup for you.

The sportsbooks on the Bookies.com list have shown a history of offering consistent and fair odds. They give standard returns on parlays and teaser bets, and they maintain futures and multi-way proposition bets with a set commission. To make our list of the best sportsbooks for US players we identified shops that don't charge increased juice on standard wagers and offer consistent and fair returns for multi-way action, props and futures.

Specialty Sportsbook Offerings

Every online sportsbook that made our list delivers a good experience for the average bettor. But there is a growing crop of sites that are doing things a little bit differently.

Reduced Juice Betting

Some gamblers love sign-up and referral bonuses, and if you’re in the market for a sportsbook, you’d be wise to shop around to see who’s willing to give you the most incentives. On the other hand, if you’re a high-limit or high-volume bettor, or if you don’t have the patience to compare bonuses, you might consider a sportsbook that instead offers a blanket discount on their bets. This is an offer known as reduced juice betting, and in the simplest terms, it means all wagers made in your account will pay a lower commission per bet.

What’s the big deal about betting a moneyline at -105 instead of -110? Remember, a -110 bet means you're risking $11 for every $10 of profit, the standard odds you get when a sportsbook is presenting you with a 50-50 proposition. Because you profit less than you risk, you must win more than half your bets to break even. In fact, you must win 52.38% of them. If you're betting on coin tosses at -105 instead of -110, your break-even point drops to 51.2%. And believe it or not, that 1.18% advantage is far from insignificant, especially considering that the best professional sports bettors make a living by winning 56% or 57% of their bets.

Make sure your sportsbook isn't using reduced-juice in one place to hide more expensive juice somewhere else. Some bookmakers will give you lower juice on the most high-profile wagers but make up for it with higher-than-average juice on others, or by offering a worse overall index on your reduced-juice bet (i.e., totals and point spreads). If reduced juice betting sounds fun, we like Bet365's low-commission, no-gimmick approach.

PointsBetting

If you've ever bet on a team to beat a 3-point spread only to watch them win by 30, it might have crossed your mind that you were so right about your bet, you deserve a little bonus. In fact, a system like this is on offer from PointsBet, a top online sportsbook with Australian roots and a great reputation that is expanding into more and more states. PointsBet lets you make standard binary-outcome wagers on point spreads and totals, just like any other sportsbook. But it also offers "Points Betting," where you not only bet on a side or total, but you also wager a dollar amount for every point that goes beyond that index. For example, if you bet $10/point on Cowboys -10 and they win by 14 points, you win $40. On the other hand, if the Cowboys lose by 3, you'd lose $30. Points Betting is an entertaining twist on traditional sports betting. The operator also allows you to set maximum wins/loss on these bets.

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Best Sportsbooks to Bet the Big Game

Most American sports betting is on what bookmakers call the Big 5 sports: NFL Football, NBA Basketball, Major League Baseball, College Football and College Basketball. They represent nearly 90% of every sports betting dollar, with combat sports, NHL, golf and others making the balance.

We know there are plenty of NASCAR and soccer fans out there. And, yes, we check out those offering as well. However, our online sportsbook reviews take an especially deep dive into how each sportsbook presents the Big 5 sports to gamblers. We like that many of them offer comparative stats leading up to games, plus a rich set of live in-game statistics. FanDuel and DraftKings, with their background in daily fantasy sports, have highly evolved interfaces featuring detailed player profiles. Bet365 offers live streaming of the most popular games at no additional charge. As these virtual sports bookies evolve, and as the big sports organizations form partnerships with casinos and bookmakers, the apps will get more sophisticated, and will no doubt be marketed as an all-in-one entertainment destination for gamblers and fans.

US Online Sportsbooks and the Law

American sports bettors got a big win in 2018 when the Supreme Court ended Nevada's effective monopoly on legal sports wagering by overturning the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PASPA). Before the ink was dry on that decision, a parade of states began passing laws and issuing licenses to bookmakers, leading to today, when there are 21 states plus the District of Columbia that offer sports betting in some form or another, and dozens more have bills making their way through their state legislatures. Some states have legalized both brick-and-mortar betting and online sportsbooks, while others allow one but not the other. Another important variable is how many sportsbook licenses a state has granted. The more the merrier; competition means the best sportsbooks will work harder to earn your business.

As of May 2021, here's the list of states with legal online sports betting (either live or expected to be live by the end of the year): Arizona, Colorado, D.C., Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Maryland, Michigan, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Tennessee, Virginia and West Virginia.

Arkansas, Delaware, Mississippi, Montana, North Carolina, South Dakota, Washington and Louisiana all have legalized sports betting as well. Due to the geographic dispersal of the legal states, every American will be no more than one state away from legal sports betting (except for Alaskans, Hawaiians and Floridians, but that could change soon, too).

Our friends in the U.K. have had a wide-open sports betting market for years. Canadians, on the other hand, are limited to a provincial lottery system that allows for restricted parlay-only plays. The Canadian government has spent the last three years watching fellow-Canucks stream across the US border to bet on sports, and they've been making noises about reviewing their restrictive federal laws. Good news, eh?

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Best Sportsbook For You

If you have a choice among online sportsbooks, you should choose those that match your needs as a sports bettor. While the betting sites above showcase the best the industry has to offer, they are certainly not all the same. Bookies.com offers a number of in-depth sportsbook reviews to help you choose. As you review the content, there are a few things to keep in mind.

First, consider your level of sophistication and the amount you bet. If you're a hobbyist who likes to have a small stake in your home team's games, or if you enjoy making simple wagers on games you're watching, you should focus on two things: the welcome bonus (or other offers) and the application's user interface. Welcome bonuses and loyalty bonuses can be quite different across sportsbooks; some give you immediate value (like a free-roll, where your first loss is forgiven) and others include a bump to your balance that you must re-risk a certain number of times before you can withdraw it (known as playthrough requirements). The user interface factor is key to more straightforward bettors because you can afford to forgo the sophistication demanded by advanced bettors so that you get an intuitive path between logging in and navigating to the basic bets in the most popular sports.

If you're a more sophisticated bettor, you know that the best online sportsbooks post the earliest lines on games, derivatives, futures, and props. You'll no doubt want to try it out during high-traffic events to make sure your sportsbook's interface moves at your speed ... there's nothing worse than having wagers repeatedly rejected because the line changed between the time you clicked on "PLACE THIS BET" and when the sportsbook processed your bet. And if you're a regular live bettor, there are significant differences in how bookmakers present in-game action and betting options. One online sportsbook might show little more than the scoreboard and the clock, while others offer more in-depth data visualizations, situational graphics, game simulations, and even live streaming of sporting events.

As you involve a larger percentage of your discretionary funds in sports betting action, sportsbooks' bonuses become less important, while security and the quality of a sportsbook's customer service become more important. You want to focus on a sportsbook that answers questions and concerns quickly and deals with bettors fairly in the event of a dispute. And while everyone expects sportsbooks to pay out quickly, having a reliable reputation for withdrawing money in a secure and timely fashion is of paramount importance to winning bettors.

Multiple Outs

If you're doing anything more than merely passing through the world of sports betting, you know how important it is to find the best lines on games. While there are some subtle differences that make some online sportsbooks more square than others (that is, they tend to shade the lines in a way that makes the most popular bets slightly more expensive), the most reliable method for guaranteeing the best possible odds on a game you want to bet is to operate with multiple outs. That is, you should have an active account at more than one sportsbook and bet the most advantageous line between them for any given game. Even if you plan to stick with a single online sportsbook over the long term, there's no harm in putting each one through a trial period before making your final selection. Besides, that allows you to collect multiple welcome bonuses as well!

Safety and Security at Online Sportsbooks

With the 2018 Supreme Court decision allowing for legalizing sports betting in individual states, the U.S. sports betting industry moved from the shadows of gray markets and into the light of transparency, regulation, and reliability for much of the United States. While your balance at an onshore sportsbook isn't insured by the U.S. Government (like your checking account is), states have been careful in licensing only those companies that have a demonstrated history of running secure and reliable bookmaking operations. What's the most reliable online sportsbook? Every sportsbook on our list can be considered reliable and secure, otherwise, it wouldn't make the Bookies.com list. You will never find an unregulated offshore sportsbook here. We only recommend licensed and legal US online sportsbooks.

FAQs

Which sportsbook has the sharpest lines?

The online sportsbooks on our list of the best offer fair and consistent odds. Bet365 and DraftKings originate their own odds, so they'll often post sharper numbers than the others.

What is the best online sportsbook for US players?

We've listed 6 of the best online sportsbooks that are each outstanding in their own way. We've tried to list at least one great sportsbook option for every state with legal online sports betting, but because different sportsbooks appeal to different kinds of gamblers, there's no such thing as a single best online sportsbook. We urge you to read our extensive sportsbook betting reviews and try as many out as it takes to feel comfortable with how you like to gamble.

Which sportsbook has the quickest payouts?

Look for any online sportsbook like FanDuel and Bet365 that offer a special debit card that you can link directly to your bank account. This makes it easy for money to flow in both directions in a matter of minutes or even seconds.

Is it safe and legal to deposit money with these online sportsbooks?

Yes. The sportsbooks' apps ensure you are in a location where you can bet legally before allowing you to do so, so there is no chance that you will accidentally break the law. In terms of the safety of your money, any transaction where a third party holds something of value of yours for a period of time carries some non-zero risk, but every sportsbook on our list is a large, regulated, for-profit business that takes great pains to secure your account and uses encryption to protect your data.

Is a Bookmaker the same as a Sportsbook?

If you want to split hairs, no. A bookmaker, or bookie, is an organization or person that accepts (or "books") wagers from the public. A Sportsbook more properly refers to the physical location where bookmakers operate, with a betting counter, comfortable chairs, a big board full of odds and TVs showing games. However, in the age of online betting, the terms have essentially merged.

What sports can I bet on?

What sports can't you bet on is a more appropriate question. The top sportsbooks that made our list all offer all the most popular sports to North American bettors: football, baseball, and basketball; secondary sports like soccer, hockey, golf, tennis, combat sports (UFC, boxing), and auto racing; and it doesn't stop there. The only limitation you'll run into is that some states do not allow you to bet on college teams located within that state, and some may not allow prop bets on all college athletics.

References

  1. US Department of Justice
  2. American Gaming Association
  3. National Council on Problem Gambling