Several US states have legalized online sports betting. And in most of those states, a wide variety of sportsbooks are available to choose from. For the more advanced sports bettors, that means the ability to join multiple sports betting platforms to identify those offering the best odds.
But beyond that, you also have access to a range of tools to give you an edge. These include betting calculators, line shopping strategies, determining implied probability, and more. The goal is to give you the best chance at long-term sports betting success.
What States Offer Legal Online Sports Betting?
The passage of the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PASPA) in 1992 basically banned sports betting across most of the US. However, it was overturned in 2018 by the Supreme Court, leaving it up to the states to legalize or outlaw sports betting.
Since then, the following states have legalized online sports betting:
- New Hampshire
- New Jersey
- Rhode Island
- West Virginia
- Washington, DC
Aside from the above, several other states have passed sports betting bills or have an active bill. Check back for an updated list!
The Best Online Sportsbooks In The US
The DraftKings Sportsbook offers exceptional odds, a large selection of events, and the best exotics, props, and parlays in the business. If you’re looking for a sports betting platform where you can consistently find the best win potential, DraftKings is a safe bet.
States with the DraftKings Sportsbook online include:
- New Hampshire
- New Jersey
- West Virginia
However, the DraftKings Sportsbook is separate from the casino and the daily fantasy sports. So make sure you get the sportsbook-specific app in the App Store. For Android users, simply visit the DraftKings Sportsbook website on your device.
The biggest DFS rival of DraftKings is also its biggest sports betting rival. And it’s extremely common for one to be better than the other for a specific event. In fact, the two differ more in the DFS category than on the sportsbook side due to their exclusive daily fantasy league partnerships.
Here are the states with the online version of the FanDuel Sportsbook:
- New Hampshire
- New Jersey
- Rhode Island
- West Virginia
That means folks in many states with legal online betting have to choose between FanDuel Sportsbook or DraftKings Sportsbook, while bettors in Indiana, New Hampshire, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and West Virginia.
BetRivers Sportsbook is lesser known because DraftKings and FanDuel have been on the market for years due to the legality of DFS. However, BetRivers is quickly establishing itself as a strong competitor for best of the best in the US in terms of odds, specialty bets, and promotions.
You can play the BetRivers Sportsbook online in the following states:
- New Jersey
The BetRivers Sportsbook is separated into apps by state, not just by offering. So make sure it’s your state (eg. BetRivers Sportsbook Pennsylvania) rather than a different state that happens to also offer BetRivers.
What Types Of Bets Do US Sportsbooks Take?
US sportsbooks take every type of bet. Here is a list with a brief definition of each type:
- Straight Bet, or betting that a team or player will win the match.
- Point Spread, where you bet that the favorite will win by a certain amount or that the underdog will prevent the favorite from winning by a certain amount.
- Totals (Over/Under), where you bet that the team will score more or less than a specified number.
- Parlays, where you dramatically boost your payout potential by betting on more than one outcome, each needing to be correct to win.
- Futures, or betting on a league-wide outcome decided at a later date.
- Prop bets, where you bet on specific outcomes within a game, such as who will win MVP or total number of field goals.
- In-game betting, or placing bets after the game is underway up until the final whistle.
Bets You Cannot Place In The US
In some jurisdictions, it’s illegal to bet on in-state colleges, like in New York and Illinois. For example, people in New York can’t bet on Syracuse, and people in Illinois can’t bet on the Fighting Illini. This presents the biggest problem when it comes to March Madness, but sportsbooks like DraftKings and FanDuel offer free-to-play pools as a promotion.
Another common limitation is on esports. While it’s not always a specific law, many US sportsbooks don’t list esports as a betting option. Those that do will usually only list the biggest competitions, like the DOTA championships. However, this is likely to change as esports continues to grow in popularity.
Sports Betting Odds
Betting odds determine a few different things:
- How much you’ll win if you’re right.
- How much the sportsbook will make by taking your bet.
- What the sportsbook thinks the outcome will be.
But it’s a bit more nuanced than that. Thankfully, you’ve come to the right place to lift the veil on sports betting complexities and proceed with total confidence.
Example Sports Bet
Let’s say you’re betting on the NFL, and it’s the Packers versus the Bears. Here’s a random example of what a points spread lines might look like:
- Packers -4 (-110)
- Bears +4 (-110)
In this example, the Packers are the favorite and need to win by at four points or more while the Bears (the underdog) need to either win the game or lose by fewer than four points.
Let’s say you also bet $100 and chose the right outcome. Based on these odds (-110), you would win $90.91. (Scroll a bit further for an overview of how American odds are calculated.)
How Sportsbooks Determine The Odds
A sportsbook determines the odds of the game using a variety of factors. These companies employ a large number of bookmakers, who also use automated systems to determine the most competitive odds that still turn a profit for the sportsbook.
Here are some circumstances that could swing the odds in different directions:
- Team form, or how well the team has been playing recently.
- Matchup history, where a team has a reputation for winning or losing against the opposition.
- Key injuries or trades, changing the lineups and bench depth in dramatic ways.
- Number of bets placed at the sportsbook. If bettors put a lot on a specific outcome, it can swing the odds in a new direction.
The list goes on, but those are the most common factors when determining odds at a sportsbook.
American odds look complicated because it’s an unusual math formula. But once you understand how it works, it’s actually exceedingly simple.
Remember, we’re talking about the odds, not the points spread. The minus (-) number on the spread is the favorite, but that doesn’t always signify the same for the odds.
In American odds, the plus (+) number is how much you’ll win with a $100 bet. If the odds are +200, then you’d win $200 on a $100 bet.
The minus (-) number is how much you’d need to bet to win $100. So if the odds are -110, you’d need to bet $110 to win $100.
That extra $10 is called “the vig,” or the amount of money the sportsbook makes off that bet.
However, that number changes depending on your wager. If you bet $10 instead, the vig is $1. If you bet $1,000, you’re essentially paying $100 to bet. This exists at every sportsbook both online and off.
What Is An Odds Calculator?
Usually, an odds calculator is an online tool that allows you to determine the possible outcomes of a single bet or multiple bets based on the listed odds and the amount wagered.
However, you can find a wide variety of odds calculators here at Odds Coach that go well beyond that definition. In the section below, we detail each type individually.
But the overall goal of an odds calculator is to help the sports bettor decide whether they should move forward with a bet or what combinations of bets they should place.
What Types Of Odds Calculators Are There?
|Type Of Calculator||What It Does|
|Arbitrage||Determine if betting on two different sides on the same match on two different sportsbooks will move the odds to give you a guaranteed profit.|
|Prop Bet||Use this calculator to identify unique opportunities to score the best odds and payouts.|
|Martingale||This will determine how much you’ll need to wager to recoup losses.|
|Odds Convertor||An automated way to convert a form of odds into a different form. For example, American odds to decimal or fractional odds.|
|Spread||Compare spreads at different sportsbooks to determine the better bet.|
|Futures||Determine implied probability based on all futures odds for a given sport.|
|Kelly Criterion||Calculate how much of your bankroll you should be based on the probability of winning an outcome.|
|ROI||Calculate the projected gains from a bet versus the total cost of the bet to determine your potential return on investment (ROI).|
|3 Way Fair Odds||For events where a tie is possible (like soccer), three way fair odds calculator eliminates the vig and presents the odds as a percentage (implied probability) to better clarify the three options.|
|Fair Odds No Vig||This one also strips out the vig from the odds, but designed for two possible results: win or lose.|
|Implied Probability||Implied probability is simply the American odds presented as a percentage rather than plus (+) and minus (-) lines.|
|Parlay||Before you place a parlay bet, use the parlay calculator to ensure you’re taking a higher risk for a worthwhile win potential.|
|Moneyline||The most straightforward calculator of them all. Simply enter your odds and the wager, and see the potential win.|
How To Use An Odds Calculator To Gain An Edge
To use an odds calculator to gain an edge, you’ll need all the information required to create a determination. The more information you have, the more revealing the calculator results.
That’s why the best strategy is to first join several legal online sportsbooks. That way, you can (somewhat quickly) enter all the information.
However, using an odds calculator to give yourself an edge will take some time. This is a step up from casual sports betting, and you’ll need to make a time investment to best protect your sports betting investment.
In that vein, the best approach for using an odds calculator, and sports betting in general, is to ensure you’re only betting what you can afford to lose. Aside from the rare occurrence of scoring an arbitrage, there’s never a guarantee that you’ll win.
FAQs – Sports Betting Odds & Odds Calculators
Yes, depending on where you’re located. In several US states, online sports betting is legal. The requirement is that you’re physically located in the state and over the age of 21.
In-person sports betting is legal in some states that do not have legal online sportsbooks, such as New York, New Mexico, and Arkansas.
You can find sports betting odds by visiting the sportsbook website of your choice. They will usually display their odds without requiring you to log in or create an account.
Online resources also exist that compare and contrast the odds at top sports betting platforms. Sports news sites, including CBS Sports and NBC Sports, will often list the lines as well.
Using an online odds calculator or by calculating the odds manually. Odds Coach has several odds calculators to choose from.
How to read sports betting odds depends on how the odds are displayed. Decimal, fractional, and American odds all require different math for calculation. However, each are relatively easy to understand.
DraftKings, FanDuel, and BetRivers have the consistently best odds out of all the online sportsbooks in the US market. However, that isn’t always true. In many cases, other sportsbooks will have better odds. The most successful sports bettors compare and contrast different options before placing a bet for that very reason.
Range of factors. Sports betting odds are calculated based on a variety of things including injuries and trades, current team form, the weather, and beyond. How players are betting also determines the odds, which is one of the reasons why you’ll see significantly different odds at one sportsbook versus another.
An odds calculator helps sports bettors determine their betting strategy. The most basic is a moneyline odds calculator that tells you how much you’ll win based on your bet and the odds. However, different odds calculators have different purposes, such as comparing futures, identifying arbitrage, and more.
You should use an odds calculator when you want to save time or for when the math is too complex to perform manually. It’s never a bad idea to use an odds calculator, and they can ensure that no mistakes are made in your calculations, eliminating all chances of human error.
DraftKings Sportsbook. The sports betting website and app that consistently offers the best odds is DraftKings Sportsbook. It also offers a range of betting options, a deep sports selection, and impressive promotions. You can also seamlessly switch between the sportsbook, daily fantasy sports, and casino games (where legal). The DraftKings Sportsbook app is available for iOS and Android.