Learn How To Bet On Online Sportsbooks

Learn How To Bet On Online Sportsbooks

Published Date · June 17, 2022 · Last Updated · July 5, 2022 ·Read Time · 9 mins

Online sports betting has been one of the hottest industries in the United States over the past few years. By the end of 2021, the sports betting market doubled, with more than $52.7 billion wagered yearly. However, with the market continuing to grow, the average sports fan or casino bettor looking to get into the sports gambling game may not know how to start. Our guide below will help you get started with all the terminology and sports betting basics you need when it comes to betting on sportsbooks!

Sport betting Glossary

For your Entry into the Sports Betting World, Here are some of the Most Common Terms you will Hear:

A bet type on if a team will win or lose with no involvement of a spread
The margin of victory that the oddsmaker set to try and get wagers for both sides of the bet. One side (the favorite) must win by higher than the spread. On the other side (the underdog) can win by losing than less than the spread or winning outright.
Total Bet (Over/Under)
A bet type of the combined amount of points that are scored by both teams. This number also includes overtime.
The team that is favored to win the game
The team that is not favored to win the game
A term used in the “Spread” bet type. The Favorite covers if they win with a score higher than the spread. The Underdog covers if they lose by a score less than the spread or they win outright
An advantage that a bettor has before a bet is made
Researching statistics in order to pick a winner
Betting against your original bet to guarantee winning at least some money
The commission the book wins on each bet
Also known as the Sportsbook, where someone can wager on sporting events
Long shot
A large underdog
No Action
A game that is not taking any other bets, and all previous bets are refunded.
A wager that combines multiple bets for a higher payout. The more bets that are added to the parlay, the higher the payout. If any one of the bets loses, the entire parlay loses.
Prop bet
A wager that has no direct impact on the outcome of the game
A tie when neither side covers the spread. Neither the book nor the player wins, and the bets are refunded.


Now that you know the high-level terminology, the next step is to be able to read the bets. More specifically, it would help to read the odds, so you know how much money each bet is worth. When you see odds like -160 or +300 or any other number with three digits and a plus or minus sign in front, these are called American betting odds and will be the main focus of this guide.

The minus (-) and plus (+) signs of a sports betting wager help show not only your bet’s payout but also which side is the favorite and the underdog. The negative number shows the favorite in the matchup and also indicates the amount you would need to be in order to win $100. For example, a -130 bet would mean you would need to wager $130 to win $100.

The positive number indicates the underdog in the matchup and also shows how much money you’ll win if you bet $100. An example of this would be if the odds are +110 and you bet $100, you would win $110. Note that not all bets will have a plus sign in the odds. Bets like the point spread make the teams more even and level the playing field. Thus, both sides of the action will have a negative number next to the odds. Whichever number is closer to 0 out of the two negative numbers would be considered the underdog.

Legal States

Before you get excited about the prospect of betting online on sports, you need to make sure that it is legal in your state of residence before diving in any further. As of this writing, the current states where online sports betting is legal are:

The states that have already passed legislation allowing betting operators and are currently accepting fully legal sports wagers include:

  • Nevada
  • Delaware
  • New Jersey
  • West Virginia
  • Pennsylvania
  • New Hampshire
  • Rhode Island
  • Arkansas
  • Iowa
  • Indiana
  • Montana
  • Illinois
  • Michigan
  • Tennessee
  • Colorado
  • North Carolina
  • Mississippi
  • New Mexico*
  • Oregon*

*Offer limited sports betting via the state’s lottery

Top Sportsbooks


Launched in 2009, FanDuel has emerged as one of the US’s dominating players in legal online sports betting. However, The FanDuel sportsbook was launched in 2018. It is considered one of the best and most popular legal sports betting apps.


DraftKings has been an established Daily Fantasy Sports company since 2012; however, since sports betting became a prominent feature of its provision in 2018, the company has seen an impressive level of growth that has seen it seize a huge share of the market to become the second-largest sports betting provider in the US.

SugarHouse Casino

SugarHouse Sportsbook provides you with a simple way to bet on sports online. The company is operated by Rush Street Interactive and is an affiliate of Rush Street Gaming. RSG has operated land-based casinos since 1996 and has now made it possible for those who are in New Jersey to place real money sports bets.

Bet Rivers

The BetRivers Sportsbook is a prominent name among the United State’s renowned legal online sports betting sites. It made its debut in Pennsylvania in 2019 and soon made its presence in various other states. The BetRivers Sportsbook was the first mobile platform that made online betting a new trend in the market.


BetMGM Sportsbook launched in 2018 and is available in New Jersey and several other states. The site is available for real money wagering for online sports betting by customers who are 21 or older, and who are physically in New Jersey when placing the bets. This is an all-in-one gaming site that includes online sports betting and casino games.


Buckle up for a true joyride of an experience at Borgata Sportsbook! We are happy to state that it is one of the most expansive, user-friendly online betting and gaming sites available in the USA. Owned and operated by casino behemoth MGM Resorts International, the Borgata online sportsbook has been growing rapidly since its launch in May 2019.


Launched in 2021, Betway Sports is licensed and regulated in several states in the United States. The sportsbook offers its US customers a wide range of sports to bet on, but what makes them stand out is that all 20+ sports offered have an extensive amount of betting events covered!


If you are looking for a reliable online sports betting option, consider Unibet Sportsbook. Unibet, operated by the Kindred Group, was originally founded in 1997 in Europe and saw its popularity grow immensely. Since then, it has become a force to be reckoned with in the US. In 2019, Unibet Online Sportsbook launched in America, with New Jersey becoming its flagship state.


Phoebe Greenwood

Content Writer