Major US Sports Leagues Betting in 2018
In the United States, sports betting took a slightly different route in development than it did on the Old Continent. This doesn’t mean that it isn’t as exciting, doesn’t have as many fans or isn’t just as advanced – far from it. It does mean, however, that it is different in certain aspects: the sports which it promotes, the way sportsbooks fight over new customers, their permanent struggle with legality, as well as many other things. US Sports betting does require some understanding, but the benefits it offers its customers are among the best in the world.
One particular area of interest involves licensing and gambling rules. Since the US is a federation, each state has a large degree of freedom in creating their own gambling rules. Some states have opted to become as free as possible, to attract sportsbooks and customers, while others allow sports betting just under some very strict conditions. This topic is especially important when choosing your sportsbook: make sure that it has the appropriate licenses in your state, and offers you the sports you want to bet on most.
Another thing which you should consider, just like in any other area of the world, is the welcome bonus. US betting sites tend to offer only two types of welcome bonuses – and the typical European free bet is not among them! At least, not among the more mainstream ones. The vast majority of US betting sites offer a first deposit bonus, usually much larger than we’re used to seeing in Europe. For example, the average welcome bonus is a 100% one (doubling your first deposit), up to a sum of around $300. Bear in mind, this is just the average – there are a few betting sites which offer welcome bonuses of up to $1000 or more.
The second welcome bonus, more niche and rare, is the no-deposit bonus. On paper, it almost sounds too good to be true – a broker offering you free money to bet. Of course, you have to remember that this money is tied to some play-through conditions, which are usually much larger than those for a first deposit match bonus. Secondly, this type of bonus works because it’s usually small ($20-$30 at most) and gets clients to open accounts on a website. Once they finish their bonus money, a big portion of them actually continue depositing money and playing on the website.
Moving on, there is one other thing you should always consider when thinking about US betting sites: their sport of choice. Naturally, most big sportsbooks will offer you games from all your favorite sports, but you can see (after some analysis, not directly) which is their bread-and-butter. That’s the sport where they’ll have the most offers, the best odds, and which they’ll promote the most. There are a few leagues which you should always look for and analyze, depending on which you like most:
MLB – The Major League Baseball is the first on this list because of the huge popularity baseball has among American bettors. Baseball betting has been around for generations, and every serious betting website should have these games in their offer.
NBA – Basketball is among the most widely-followed games around the World, but it’s almost a cult in the US. It offers some of the highest paid athletes and some of the most interesting rivalries, which both make great betting ideas.
NFL – The Super Bowl is the biggest sporting event on the planet, but there’s much more to the NFL than its finals.
NHL – Although Americans are not as passionate as their northers neighbors about hockey, we can’t possibly leave the NHL off this list. It’s easily one of the most entertaining sport leagues on the planet, and attract millions of betting enthusiasts each year.
MLS – Soccer was long seen as a boring sport compared to the ones described above, but has gained more and more traction in recent years. Teams are being created all over the place, top-tier players from Europe are joining the MLS, and more and more fans are coming to stadiums. There’s nowhere to go but up.
College Leagues – College Leagues are the foundation of tomorrow’s NFL, NBA or MLB. If you want to see young athletes battle for their place among the pros, be sure that your sportsbook offers you College League games.
That being said, we hope we’ve given you a taste of what the US sports betting scene looks like. It’s different in lots of ways than what we’re used to seeing: licensing, welcome bonuses and how websites work, but also in terms of size, number of customers and overall appreciation for sports. Everyone in the US wants to bet on their favorite sport, whether it’s basketball, baseball, ice hockey or soccer. If they love a sport, they want to place money on it.