Choosing a Sportsbook


A sportsbook is a place where bettors can make wagers on all kinds of sporting events. Its popularity has risen considerably since it was legalized in many states in 2018. According to the American Gaming Association, more than 18% of Americans planned to make a bet this season. In addition to accepting bets online, sportsbooks also offer mobile apps that allow you to place bets from anywhere.

If you’re new to betting on sports, the sheer volume of options can be overwhelming. The best way to begin is with a basic bet on a game’s final score, known as a moneyline bet. This is the simplest bet, and it requires a team to win by a certain margin in order for your wager to pay out.

Once you’ve got a feel for the basics, you can move on to spread bets, which are designed to increase your winnings by exposing the weaker teams. Unlike moneyline bets, spread bets do not require a team to win the entire game; they are simply over/under (total) bets that must meet specific minimums to pay out. A bettor can make over/under bets on anything quantifiable, such as how many points a team will score or how many yards a player will pass for.

In addition to spread and moneyline bets, sportsbooks often feature a range of other types of bets, including point spreads and totals. A spread bet on a football team will be higher than its moneyline counterpart, because the sportsbook believes it has a better chance of covering its spread. A total bet on a basketball or baseball game, on the other hand, is lower than its moneyline because the sportsbook assumes it will receive more action on the underdog than the favorite.

Some US sportsbooks even offer special bets called props, which are bets not directly related to a game’s outcome. These can include player props, such as the number of touchdowns a football player will score or how many assists a basketball player will provide, and team props, such as the first team to reach 15 points in a game.

When selecting a legal sportsbook, be sure to read its terms and conditions carefully. It’s important to find a site that accepts your preferred payment methods, and offers a variety of betting markets. It should also have a customer service team to answer your questions and concerns.

The top legal sportsbooks in the United States offer generous bonuses and competitive odds. They also offer a variety of betting options, from moneyline bets to props and futures. Some sites even have a mobile app that allows bettors to place bets from the comfort of their home.

While the days of the NFL and NBA drawing the most attention at sportsbooks are long gone, both still draw huge crowds when their postseason rolls around. But the NHL is starting to catch up, and its popularity will only grow when the playoffs get underway.