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Online Sports Betting Guide

Online Sports Betting Guide

Online sports betting is growing across the United States as more states are legalizing sports gambling. Here is what you need to know about the top sportsbooks, promos, bet types, and more.

Claiming Sportsbook Promo Codes

Many sportsbooks will use promotions and offers to encourage new users to signup. A lot of the promotions can be claimed instantly through the sign-up link. Some may require a promo code. Check the fine print when reading about offers.

For example, users in Ohio received $200 in bonus bets from DraftKings for signing up before the sportsbook went live. The users instantly received the $200 on launch day.

For other types of promotions, you might need to make a deposit or place a bet. For FanDuel’s “No Sweat First Bet” you can get up to $1,000 back if your first bet loses. So if you place a $500 bet on the Patriots and they lose, FanDuel would give you $500 in bet credits to cover it.

The Top Legal Online Sportsbooks

The top sportsbook brands are flying to enter new markets as each state makes a decision on sports betting. Here are a few of the top sportsbooks you can expect to see in your state.


DraftKings – Bet $5, Get $150
Bet $5 get $150 in Bonus Bets

DraftKings is a household name in sports betting and DFS. The sportsbook has a solid interface, great NFL odds, live betting, and more.

The sportsbook has had promotions such as bonus bets, a 20% deposit bonus, and odds boosts.


FanDuel Promo Code – First Bet
No Sweat First Bet up to $1,000

FanDuel is known for the same-game parlay and its great live betting. Also a major player in DFS, FanDuel has shifted easily into sports betting.

The platform has a No Sweat First Bet that allows a user to get bet credit up to a certain amount of their first bet loses. In the past, it has been as high as $3,000. Mostly, it’s around $1,000.


BetMGM Promo Code
BetMGM $1,000 First Bet Offer

BetMGM has live betting, odds boosts, live streaming, and more on its platform. The sportsbook has shown off promotions such as a $1,000 First Bet Offer. New users can get up to $1,000 back if their first bet loses.


Caesars Promo Code
$1,250 Bet on Caesars

Caesars is continuing to make a name for itself in the sports betting industry. The sportsbook has a tremendous rewards program in which you earn points with each bet you place.

Caesars has also dished out on-the-house bets of up to $1,500 in some states. A new user’s first wager is covered up to the maximum if it loses.


PointsBet Second Chance Bets
5 Second Chance Bets up to $50 each

PointsBet Sportsbook has unique options such as Name A Bet and Points Betting. For Points Betting, a bettor can earn more money on spread bets depending on the final result.

PointsBet likes to offer Second Chance Bets to new users. Sometimes these Second Chance Bets can be as high as $2,000. A user is covered if their first bet loses.

Sportsbook Promotions, Bonuses, and Offers

You will see a lot of different offers and promotions from sportsbooks trying to get new users to register. Here are some of the common types of promotions you will see at popular sportsbooks.

Bonus Bets

A bonus bet is one of the most common and best offers a sportsbook will give to new users. Most of the time, it doesn’t require a deposit or qualifying bet. Bonus bets are common when a sportsbook launches in a state and is trying to gain new users quickly.

BetMGM gave out $200 in bonus bets to users in Ohio who pre-registered before launch day. Bonus bets might come with strings attached such as having to use them on a specific game or they might be divided up into smaller bets.

First Bet Insurance

First bet insurance is a promotion offered by sportsbooks that gives you your money back in the form of bet credits if your first bet loses.

This type of promotion is sometimes referred to as a “Second Chance” or “No Sweat First Bet.” They essentially mean the same thing but check with customer support if you have questions.

Sportsbooks typically have a cap on the maximum amount of the first bet insurance or second chance bet. For example, BetMGM’s limit is $1,000. If you bet $500 and lose your first bet, you will receive $500 in bet credits.

Deposit Bonus

A deposit bonus is a promotion offered by sportsbooks in which the sportsbook will match a certain percentage of your first deposit in the form of bonus funds.

For example, a sportsbook might offer a 100% deposit bonus of up to $150. These bonuses usually come with a rollover requirement, which means that you need to place a certain number of bets before you can cash out any of your profits.

Odds Boost

An odds boost is a promotion offered by sportsbooks that increases the odds of a particular bet. This will result in a higher payout for sports bettors. Odds boosts are often offered on specific games or events and can be a useful way for bettors to increase their potential winnings on a given bet.

For example, you might see an odds boost on a player prop, such as the odds for Stephen Curry to score over/under 28.5 points. The odds for this bet might be boosted from +120 to +135, which would increase the potential payout for the bettor if the bet wins.

Reload Bonus

A reload bonus is a promotion offered by sportsbooks to existing customers who make an additional deposit into their accounts. The sportsbook will “reload” the customer’s account with a bonus as a way to reward them for their continued business.

Reload bonuses are similar to welcome bonuses that are offered to new users when they sign up, but they are only available to customers who already have an active account with the sportsbook. To be eligible for a reload bonus, you must have an existing account with the sportsbook and have already made at least one deposit.

Loyalty Bonus

Popular sportsbooks such as Caesars and BetMGM are known for having great loyalty programs. A loyalty bonus is earned when you place bets.

The more bets you place, the more you earn. As the points build up, they can be redeemed for bonus credits and rewards. You’ll see loyalty programs that include VIP tiers and ladders you can climb with every wager you make.


Sportsbooks often offer refer-a-friend bonuses to reward users for bringing new customers to the platform. If you successfully refer a new user to the sportsbook and they sign up and make a deposit using your referral link, you may be eligible to receive a bet credit as a reward.

These bet credits can range from $50 to $100 and may come with a rollover requirement, which means that you need to place a certain number of bets before you can withdraw the money.

Refer-a-friend bonuses are a way for sportsbooks to incentivize their existing users to promote the platform to their friends and family.

Pre-launch Offers

A pre-launch offer is a common sportsbook bonus as you see new states starting to go live. It’s a way to entice users to sign up before betting even does live. These offers can be claimed before launch day and are usually different from the regular sign-up offers.

Bettors will see these types of offers popping up before betting goes live in Massachusetts. A pre-launch offer is subject to change and has the potential to expire as soon as online sports betting launches.

Be sure to keep up with the latest news and offers on Massachusetts sports betting promos so you don’t miss out on your chance to load up your account for launch day.

Bet Match Bonus

The bet match bonus is a nice sports betting promotion for new users that you can take advantage of regardless if your first bet wins or loses. This is how it differs from first bet insurance or no-risk bonus. For example, you might see a sportsbook offer a first bet-match bonus of $1,000.

Parlay Insurance

Parlay insurance allows a sports bettor to receive a payout even if one of the legs of their parlay ends up losing. With parlay insurance, you are essentially deciding to hedge your bet. This protects you against the possibility of losing your entire parlay because one of the bets fails.

Let’s say you place a four-game parlay that includes the Patriots, Rams, Titans, and Lions. The first three teams cruise to victory but the Titans lose by 20.

In a regular parlay, the entire bet is a loss. Add parlay insurance and you would still receive a payout based on the 3 teams that ended up winning.

You will see this type of promotion on apps like FanDuel and DraftKings for specific sports or events.

Popular Bet Types at Online Sportsbooks

There is a long list of betting markets and bet types available at sportsbooks. Some sportsbooks will have markets that you can’t find on others. Here’s a list of common bet types that you will find at most sportsbooks across the industry.


A moneyline bet is when you wager on the outright winner of a game or an event. All that matters is what team wins or loses.

For example, the Ravens might be a -150 favorite vs the Titans. A $150 bet on the Ravens would win $100.

Point Spreads

A point spread bet is looking at the margin of victory or defeat. Teams are given a point value that represents how much they are expected to win by.

For example, the line might be -5.5 for the Steelers to cover vs the Raiders. This means the Steelers need to win by 6 points or more for you to win the bet. Negative means the team is favored while a plus sign means they are the underdog.


This is also commonly referred to as an over/under bet. A sportsbook will set a score/points total for a game. As a bettor, you can select whether the combined final score of both teams will be over or under that line.

Let’s say the total for the Chiefs-Jets game was 48.5. If you bet the over, you need 49 or more total points scored in the game. If the Chiefs win 32-20, an over bet would win because 52 total points were scored.


A bet that combines multiple picks into one single bet. All the picks have to end up being correct for you to win. If you get just one bet wrong of the bunch, you lose. The more you add, the odds boost but the probability of winning the bet goes down.

Live bets

Odds are constantly changing during an event and you can bet while a game is taking place. The odds and lines change based on the flow of the game. Many different types of wagers are available if you want to place live bets such as totals, point spreads, money lines, and more.

Prop Bets

A prop is betting on a specific outcome involving a team or a player. For example, Patrick Mahomes’ total passing yards in one game might be set at over/under 275.5 yards. If you select the over, it means he would have to pass for 276 yards or more in the game for you to win the bet.


This is a bet that will conclude on a future date. An example would be betting on a specific team to win the Super Bowl. Futures bets can be placed in the preseason and a long way out from the event. The odds change throughout the season based on how teams are playing.

Sign Up For Multiple Sportsbooks and Place Your First Bet

Now that you’ve learned more about online sports betting, it’s time to place your first wager. Register for multiple sportsbooks and get ready to bet.

Signing up for more than one sportsbook allows you to compare odds, lines, promotions, features, and more. This is how you can get the best value as a sports bettor.

For example, a sportsbook might have odds on the Chiefs to win at +135 while another is +120. The +135 is the better bet because it will payout more.

It doesn’t hurt to do more research and compare the sportsbooks before you decide what bet you want to place. Be smart. There is no need to rush. If you are a first-time bettor, check out the BETSPERTS betting guide.

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