Learn How to Bet on American Sports

Football is the biggest sport in the US

There are more people every day trying out sports betting and seeing what it is all about. With gambling laws and restrictions being eased across the world, newcomers are investigating online sportsbooks for deals and betting options.

Some of these newcomers will have a good knowledge of sports in general, but there will be others who have never really taken much notice before and have only started because of their newly found interest in betting. You may find that, whatever your level of expertise and know-how, there are new sports and betting markets to discover on online sites like BetOnline.

The new generation of American sportsbooks has also meant that more people from the US and beyond have started being interested in sports that have traditionally been played there. “American” football, basketball, and baseball are all hugely popular, but if you are going to bet on these sports, you need to know what you are doing. Here’s our beginners’ guide to betting on US sports.

Choose a Good Sportsbook

Before you even start thinking about betting on individual sports, you will need to register for a new customer account. We have plenty of articles guiding you through that process here on this site. But when it comes to betting on American sports, there are a few specific things to look out for.

Just about all online sports betting sites will offer betting markets for US sports these days, whether you are in America or not. But you may want to choose an American sportsbook for the best selection of markets. There will be more insight from the “home” bookmakers – and that gives you more choice as a customer.

Pick Your Sport

There is no rule that says you have to stick to one sport when it comes to betting. But it does make sense to specialize. If you already have some knowledge of basketball, then it would be better to take a look at the NBA markets first. With so many games almost every day, you will never be short of options.

The other thing to remember about American sports is that they tend to follow a regular season to a playoff schedule. This means that there will be a lot of interest in the bigger games later in the season, so there could be special offers. You may find better odds with the run-of-the-mill regular season games, though.

American Football

Other leagues, like Alliance Football and XFL, come and go in America. But the most popular sport in the country is football (American style), and you will find that there are also more options for betting on the NFL. There are not as many games as some of the other sports, though, with 32 teams playing just 17 regular season games.

The season runs from September until the end of the calendar year, and then the playoffs begin in the new year. Everything works towards the Super Bowl, possibly the biggest single-game sports event in the world. You can bet on just about anything when it comes to the Super Bowl – including what color Gatorade will be poured on the winning coach.


Although American football is the most popular sport in the US, it is NBA basketball that is fast becoming a world game. The speed and talent of the players involved have attracted a younger audience across the globe. The big players, such as LeBron James, have even transcended the sport itself.

NBA basketball is more like the other US sports in that there is a very long regular season, with each team playing 82 games in the regular season. The playoffs then go through a play-in tournament before three rounds of best-of-seven series and the championship finals. You will not be stuck for something to bet on!


If it is a multitude of games you are looking for to give you a chance of betting regularly on American sports, then baseball is probably the answer. This is traditionally known as America’s pastime and is played during the summer months. Each Major League Baseball team plays 162 games in the regular season.

The playoffs do not last quite as long, but there is huge interest in the rounds before the World Series – also known as the Fall Classic because of the time of year it is played. There are some more successful teams in baseball’s history but, as with most American sports, the league is very well-balanced.

There are lots of options when it comes to betting on baseball

Ice Hockey

Out of all of the big four American sports, it is probably ice hockey (or just “hockey” in the States) that is less well-known around the world. But, conversely, it could be the one that more people in other countries understand as the sport is very popular – especially across parts of Europe.

If you are a hockey fan, that means that you already have a head start in what to bet on, as you understand the game. Every team plays 82 regular season games between October and March, before three rounds of playoffs. The Stanley Cup finals then decide the ultimate champion.

Other Sports are Available

As much as we have been looking at how the seasons are scheduled for traditional American sports, there will be other betting options for potentially more familiar sports, of course. The news that Lionel Messi has joined Major League Soccer team Inter Miami will not have escaped any sports fan. Such a high-profile name will mean even more betting opportunities on the league, wherever you are.

The US is such a huge country with an incredibly diverse population that just about every sport is played somewhere there. They may not get as much media attention, but online betting sites cover all sorts of events these days, so you should be able to find a market for even the most niche sports in America.

Do Your Research

The main thing to remember when betting on American sports is that you need to know what you are doing. If you are a complete newcomer to basketball, it is a good idea to watch and learn the game before betting on the NBA. That goes for all the major leagues in the United States.

The betting options may look a little different as well, as US sportsbooks are big fans of handicapping or spread betting. But, as with any type of gambling, find out all you can to make the most informed bet possible.