US Online Sports Betting:

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What to Know Before You Start the Action?



Since 2018, when the US Supreme Court struck down the federal ban on sports betting, this country has come very close to becoming the world leader in this industry. The conventional betting is going through a renaissance, mainly through the growing popularity of online betting.


With the American anti-gambling stigma out of the way, millions of fans are looking to partake in the action inside a multibillion-dollar market. Nevertheless, if you’re venturing into US online sports betting for the first time, there are some things you should know beforehand.


State by State

Although gambling was made legal on a federal level almost three years ago, that was just the point when the authorization has been handed down to the state level.


By the end of 2018, 7 states readily embraced legal betting, in the meantime 11 more joined in, and the rest are slowly getting there. In such a state-by-state situation, you still can’t bet wherever and whenever you feel like it. Each of the states has implemented (or will implement) their own laws regarding sports betting regulations. While many are working on it, not all of them have given out licenses to authorize sports betting online.


For example, West Virginia’s and Indiana’s laws permit both online and in-person sports wagering, in Arkansas online wagering is not permitted, while in Mississippi it’s still under consideration. The legalization across the states is still quite uneven and Word Sports Network is aware of this, so they offer accurate and up to date information about the latest developments, state by state.


Although there are technically no legal boundaries preventing US citizens to place bets with unregulated offshore casinos, there are many risks involved with that approach. That’s why the best thing is to wait until your state introduces and regulates online sports betting since it’s the only way to make sure your personal information and money are completely secure.

Taking it Online

Once you’re certain that online sports betting is legal in your country, joining in is quite simple. You need to set up an account, so the first step is to choose an online sportsbook.


After you’ve picked a suitable sportsbook you need to put some money into your account. Once that is done, the administrative work is finished and you need to pick a bet. Simply navigate to the sport of your choosing (and specific game), and select the type of bet you want to make. Afterward, you’ll be presented with a virtual betting slip where you’ll enter the specified amount after which you’ll be able to see the total amount, which will of course be dependant on the unique odds.

The Odds

The most important thing in the whole process is understanding the American odds format which comes with its own terminology. The first thing that’s decided before releasing a betting line on a game is which team is the underdog and which the favorite, usually accompanied by a ‘-’ or ‘+’.


You can bet on the point spread, based on the margin of victory. For example, if you bet on the favorite who has -7 odds, that team needs to win by 8 or more points, meaning you’re “covered”. If the team wins by 7 points exactly then it’s a “push” and you get back the original wagered amount. If they win with fewer points, you lose the bet. The same thing applies to the underdog team with +7 odds, just vice versa. That team needs to lose by 6 or fewer points for you to win.


You can also bet on the moneyline, which is solely based on which team will take the victory. The favorite team keeps its minus next to the odds, so if it says -150 it means you need to invest $150 to get $100 if they win. The same way, if the odds for the underdog team are +150, that means you’ll invest $100 to collect $150 in case of their win. Basically, the risk is bigger when betting on the team predicted to win.


Another way is to bet on the total number of points scored during the game, both teams combined.  The final outcome is going to be dependant on whether your bet makes it above or below that amount.

The last thing you need to pay attention to is the fact that the odds can change during the betting process. Many sites update their odds in real-time, so you’ll get a pop-up notice before you submit your bet.



As you can see, the very process of US online sports betting is pretty straight-forward when you know where to direct your attention. You need to choose your sportsbook carefully and familiarize yourself with the odds and, most importantly, check the legality of online sports betting in your state.