There are many US states, where you can use a sportsbook to wager on your favorite sports and teams legally. As dozens of different betting sites are available, it can be challenging to choose which one is best.

Fortunately, that’s where we come in. Our experts have decades of sports betting experience, so read our list of top things to look out for when choosing an online sportsbook.

Differences between Sportsbooks

You’ll notice that there are a lot of similarities between sportsbooks, with most sites choosing to have the same layout. You’ll find a list of sports on the left, your bet slip on the right, and markets in the middle. However, the similarities tend to end there.

Every betting site has different welcome bonuses, promotions, markets, bet types, odds, and more. By choosing one sportsbook, you may get an excellent welcome bonus but be unable to wager on your favorite sports. Likewise, you could choose a betting site with tons of markets to bet on but a terrible mobile app. However, there are some things to look out for when choosing a sportsbook that will help you get the best quality platform.

Welcome Bonuses

Some online sportsbooks like Bovada offer a welcome bonus exclusive to new players. A welcome bonus gives you a boost when you register an account, such as a chance to play for free or make a profit. You usually need to fulfill terms and conditions like minimum deposits or minimum odds.

Below, we’ve listed some of the most popular types of welcome bonuses:

Deposit Match Bonus

With a deposit match bonus, a sportsbook will match your qualifying deposit up to a percentage with bonus funds. Many betting sites will provide deposit match bonuses as high as 100%, letting you effectively double your money. However, every deposit match bonus will have a limit. You can use your bonus funds like cash to wager on markets like moneylines, point spreads, and totals. Good sportsbooks will offer deposit match bonuses with high percentages.

Most deposit match bonuses will have wagering requirements, which tell you how many times you need to use your bonus funds before you can withdraw. The best online sportsbooks will provide these promotions with low wagering requirements, giving you a good chance of making a profit.

Risk-Free Bet

Rather than giving you funds for depositing, a risk-free bet will cover the losses of your qualifying bet. The sportsbook will set limits on this, such as a maximum bet and minimum odds, and if you meet the requirements, your wager will be protected.

If your bet wins, you will get your stake and profit back. However, the betting site will give you free bets equal to your stake if it loses. You can use these free bets for wagering and withdraw any profits. However, this does not include the value of the free bets.

No Deposit Bonus

Some sportsbooks will provide you with welcome bonuses you can use without needing a deposit. You just need to create an account or opt in and claim the promotion. You can get free bets and bonus funds, which you can use for betting. While there isn’t a minimum deposit, there may be other terms and conditions like minimum odds and time limits.

Markets Offered

The best online sportsbooks will provide markets for a wide variety of sports. Most operators will offer betting lines on the major leagues like the NFL and NBA, but you’ll also find smaller competitions like the NCAAF and NCAAB. In addition, sportsbooks will also cover niche sports like MMA and NASCAR.

Most sportsbooks provide between ten and 20 different sports and more competitions within those sports. You should look for a sportsbook near the top end of this scale to give yourself more options while wagering. However, if you are only interested in betting on popular sports, claiming a generous welcome bonus or having a great mobile platform may be more important.

Mobile Betting

There are many advantages of mobile betting, and plenty of sportsbooks provide mobile apps you can download from the iOS and Android app stores. You can use these mobile apps to access a sportsbook’s full range of features, including all its pre-game and in-play odds and customer support. You can bring your betting on the move as you can use betting apps anywhere you have a connection.

Good sportsbooks will either provide a fully optimized mobile app or a mobile browser site that uses HTML5 technology to work on any screen size.

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