2024 NFL win totals: Opening odds for all 32 teams

Action Network's Chase Howell discusses 2024 NFL win totals for all 32 teams, including odds for the Kansas City Chiefs and San Francisco 49ers.

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Online Sports Betting

Online sports betting has come a long way to be what it is today.

From overcoming legal challenges to optimizing technology to offer ideal experiences for users, online betting sites have certainly earned their spot in the wagering industry.

The legal online sports betting market is very competitive and features several operators constantly striving for improvement. They're also seeking continuous expansion across the U.S. to ensure they serve as many sports fans as possible. More than half of the 50 states have access, but this figure is sure to grow as legislation evolves.

In this guide, we provide a comprehensive overview of legal online sports betting. We'll also discuss its history, share some of the best sports betting sites, and answer common FAQs.

What Is Online Sports Betting?

Online sports betting gives users convenient access to wagering on their favorite teams and competitions. You can leverage a mobile app or desktop version to place wagers depending on what the operator has to offer.

Participate from the comfort of your home or when you're on the go as long as you're physically located within the borders of a legal online betting state. Online sportsbooks are still only permitted in certain states even after the end of restrictive national legislation, so be sure to verify your area's regulations before playing.

The good news is that the list of legal sports betting states is continuously growing. Since 2018, and especially after a broader wave of states allowed online sportsbooks to launch, online sports betting has become wildly popular in the United States. Studies show that around 20 million Americans bet on sports online each year, and that number is only set to grow in the coming years.

Also good news? Online sports betting allows you to make all the wagers you would at retail locations. Whether you want to bet on a team to win a game, wager on player props, or string together parlays, online sports bettors have multiple options.

What do all of these things mean? We'll get to each of them in much more detail throughout this article. But, the bottom line is that if you enjoy sports and making predictions about them, online betting allows you to invest in your intuition and have even more fun watching (especially when your team wins).

Facts About U.S. Sports Betting

Back in the early 1990s, many legislators saw sports betting as a "national problem." They ruled to outlaw it (barring a few exceptions) with the 1992 Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PASPA).

For over two decades, PASPA made it so that Americans could only participate in legal sports betting in certain states. Jai alai and parimutuel horse and dog racing were also out of the reach of PASPA.

While the limited sports betting options warranted change, it took a constitutional challenge to make anything happen. A 2018 Supreme Court ruling finally struck down PASPA because it conflicted with the 10th Amendment. The nation's top judges claimed that the national law was an overreach of the federal government's power and left the matter of legalized sports betting up to each state.

Since then, various states have passed sports betting legislation for in-person and/or online sports betting. Other states are close to legalization while some will continue to fight for it for a while.

Before the establishment of legal online sports betting, you could only legally place bets on sporting competitions at casinos and other retail betting locations. You had to be physically in an approved venue where an employee would take your bet.

This restriction made legal sports betting somewhat inaccessible to most Americans, and those who did place bets in person only had access to one sportsbook at a time. With online betting, you can compare the odds for the same wager at different sportsbooks to make sure you're always getting the best price.

Features We Consider for Online Sports Betting Site Reviews

In most locations where online sports betting is live, many online sportsbook options are available. Considering several factors can help you choose which ones to sign up for.

One of the most important things to consider is what promos the sportsbook offers. These deals can provide you with a considerable amount of bonus bets to get you started, so finding a high-value promo can be a really big win. It's also important to know which type of promo is your favorite whether it's a deposit match, a simple bet credit, or a second chance bet.

Ease of use is another key factor when choosing the right sportsbook. While an intuitive and visually appealing design is especially crucial for new sports bettors, veterans of betting sites also need to have a user-friendly experience. Additionally, try looking for a sportsbook with good customer service and equal fluidity in its desktop and mobile app versions.

Aside from good looks, you'll also want a sportsbook with competitive odds. Different sportsbooks will be odds leaders for each sports market and even each game, so you can benefit from having accounts with a couple of different ones so that you have a few choices for each wager.

Another differentiating factor is the array of available betting markets and bet types. Some core offerings you'll find just about everywhere such as NFL football and bets against the spread. If you like more niche sports such as cricket or less-common bet types, including certain player props, you'll want to make sure that the sportsbook you choose supports the way you want to play.

At this point, essentially every sports betting site offers once-novel features like same-game parlays, live betting, and prop bets, but not all have developed these offerings to the same extent. Different books are better than others for these particular pursuits, so make sure you know which ones to choose if one of these sports betting methods is a favorite of yours.

All sportsbooks we recommend will certainly honor your wins and allow you to withdraw your profits, but some pay out quicker than others. It isn't a major consideration for some, but payout time is something to be aware of as you start sports betting online.

Perhaps most importantly, your preferred sportsbook should keep your personal and payment information safe and secure. Every online sportsbook that we discuss in this article meets this essential criterion, as we only recommend safe betting sites.

Best Online Betting Sites

With so many places to start sports betting online, it's hard to even know where to start your search.

We've compiled a list of some of the best sportsbooks on the market. Below, you can find a rundown of some of the key features to help you begin to make your choice.

DraftKings Sportsbook

As a company, DraftKings has been around much longer than legal online sports betting in the United States. It got its start by running daily fantasy sports contests, and it's no surprise that it continues to be a leader in that field today.

Back in 2018, at the beginning of the online sports betting wave, DraftKings launched its sports betting product in New Jersey. This move allowed it to become the first online sportsbook to operate outside of Nevada.

Now, DraftKings is one of the biggest players in the online sportsbook market. The platform features a very intuitive and functional app, plenty of great NFL odds boosts and "missions," and a wide variety of markets and bet types.

While DraftKings is great for betting on a range of sports, many users flock to the operator's NFL markets because of competitive odds and various prop bets on football games. DraftKings has these offerings thanks to it being one of the first official sports betting partners of the NFL.

Of course, that's not all DraftKings offers; no matter what sport you want to bet on, the DraftKings sportsbook app is praised as one of the fastest ones available. Quick loading times are a huge deal for anyone interested in placing live bets, for which time is always of the essence as you need to place bets before the game progresses and the odds change.

FanDuel Sportsbook

While it also started as an operator for daily fantasy sports competitions like DraftKings, FanDuel has earlier and more international roots. FanDuel still runs some top-notch daily fantasy contests, but the operator is likely more notable these days for providing many bettors across the country with their favorite sportsbook. The platform is highly regarded for being one of the most user-friendly, intuitive, and visually appealing on the market.

Among users who have used several betting sites for live betting, FanDuel Sportsbook is consistently listed as a favorite. The clear layout, quick processing speeds, and fair betting odds for these wagers make FanDuel Sportsbook a real leader in this area.

In the constant battle to offer the best sports betting odds, FanDuel Sportsbook has frequently emerged among the pack when it comes to the MLB. Many baseball fans call FanDuel Sportsbook one of their favorite sports betting sites, but you're sure to feel at home regardless of the markets you want to bet on.

Caesars Sportsbook

As one of the biggest names in the casino industry, Caesars has been supplying sports betting odds since well before the internet even existed. From Las Vegas to Atlantic City, Caesars has spent the past several decades running some of the most iconic casinos and resorts across the United States.

Now, with the industry shifting online, the company created Caesars online sportsbook. It's become one of the best sports betting options for users interested in mobile betting, as the app has earned an iOS app store rating of 4.6 stars out of 5. The push to legalize sports betting across the country has created a major opportunity that Caesars has jumped on.

With big new user bonuses and possibly the best loyalty program in the industry, you'll find a lot of value with Caesars. The rewards program means that the more you place wagers, the more points you'll earn. Redeem these points as bonus bets or cash them in for Caesars resort amenities. Caesars is also big on offering strong sports betting odds boosts on major sports markets.

BetMGM Sportsbook

BetMGM is another name that has existed (in some form or another) much longer than the online sports betting industry itself.

MGM Resorts casinos have been around for decades, providing gamblers with great in-person betting experiences. When betting sites began to launch after the advent of regulated sports betting online, BetMGM immediately became one of the top options in the industry.

As for the app itself, its visual layout is one of the industry's best as it's easy to find all bets. BetMGM is also one of the very best betting sites for wagering on NBA games due to the platform's consistent offering of competitive odds on various bet types.

Overall, the expertise developed through years in the casino and retail betting space has paid off. The transition into the online sports betting space has been seamless for BetMGM, which continues to be one of our most highly recommended sports betting sites year after year.


While the ESPN BET name is new to the sports betting market, it's already one of the best online betting sites available.

The product didn't necessarily come from nothing; it's the result of a partnership between sports media giant ESPN and sports betting company PENN Entertainment. Thanks to this one-of-a-kind partnership, ESPN BET presents the opportunity for a truly immersive sports betting experience. One great example is the College Football Playoff; some of the year's biggest games air on ESPN, so the sportsbook is eager to promote some special betting offers to get users excited to watch.

As the newer sportsbook looks to accumulate users, it's running some of the best sportsbook promos you'll find anywhere in the sports betting market. Whether you're a fan of college sports or professional leagues, at least one ESPN-affiliated network is likely broadcasting something you're interested in.

The sportsbook often offers promotions, boosts, and bonuses for these major network games. By watching and betting with the same brand, you can take part in a very unique live betting experience for sports fans. Users already love this app, with nearly 115,000 reviewers giving it an average Apple app score rating of 4.8 out of 5 stars, so be sure to check it out.

Fanatics Sportsbook

Formerly known as PointsBet, Fanatics Sportsbook is taking over its old brand and rolling out in several states. The platform is offering some serious sportsbook bonuses to new users as the newly-minted Fanatics Sportsbook looks to pull in new users.

Fanatics, a top purveyor of licensed team merchandise, acquired this sportsbook with the intention of making it the best betting site out of all of the betting options on the market, and the brand is doing a great job so far. When you start betting with Fanatics, you'll gain access to a sportsbook that excels in providing a great experience betting on college sports, especially college football.

This betting site is easy to use, and the app is very modern and functional. Football is probably the most popular sport on this platform, but almost all of the major sporting events will have odds in some form. If you want to get in on the ground floor of an exciting new partnership and bet on your favorite sports with the bet credits from some great bonus bet offers, start betting with Fanatics. You'll also appreciate the unique FanCash rewards system that credits not only bonus bets but also site credit you can use to buy merch.

bet365 Sportsbook

Last, but surely not least, we've come to one of the older online sportsbooks out there. It's hard to say which is the best betting site, but bet365 just might be the biggest.

As far as betting options, it's more or less unparalleled; this major international company's sheer size and depth of experience allow it to roll out a huge variety of markets and bet types. The platform is an especially exciting option for fans of live betting and same-game parlays.

bet365 is also a great option for those who enjoy betting on niche sports, as it offers the most betting markets to users in many locations. It doesn't shine in terms of boosts, bonus bet promotions, or a robust loyalty program, but the platform makes up for that with some very competitive odds.

One challenge with bet365 is that due to the sheer size, the visual appeal and user-friendliness of the desktop site and app aren't necessarily the best in the industry. However, if having the most betting options is very important to you, that might be a worthwhile trade; nobody can beat bet365 in terms of its sheer variety of sports and bet types.

Importance of Geolocation

While legalized online sports betting has come a long way in the last few years, it hasn't yet reached all 50 states. It's also worth noting that not all online sportsbooks are legal in every state that has legal sports betting due to licensing restrictions.

Sportsbooks will make sure you're an eligible player by requiring you to enable the use of geolocation software. You'll usually have to consent during the sign-up process for essentially every major betting site.

This software pinpoints your location and makes sure that the sportsbook is legal and active in your state. It may feel like a pain at times, but the existence of this software is what allows online sportsbooks to operate as broadly as they do in the United States. It also helps identify what markets and teams are available to bettors when it comes to certain sports like college football, as offerings can vary based on your location.

Responsible Gambling Tools

When playing with any of the online sportsbooks we've discussed in this article, remember to prioritize responsible gambling. Even when you're just using bonus bets, you'll want to ensure your betting hobby does not become a gambling problem.

You should never gamble more than you can afford to lose, as this practice can lead to a serious accumulation of debt. Luckily, all of the top online sportsbooks offer certain responsible gaming tools, such as limits on session time, deposits, and wager amounts. You might even use a time-out feature to lock yourself out of your account.

If you or someone you know has a gambling problem, never hesitate to call 1-800-GAMBLER to reach the National Problem Gambling Helpline for 24/7 support.

Online Sports Betting FAQs

Here are some FAQs regarding the general online sports betting scene:

Is online sports betting legal?

Online sports betting is legal in some parts of the country. Be sure to check your local regulations before you start playing. You should also be aware of the minimum age to play in your particular jurisdiction.

Where is legalized online sports betting available?

You can legally place online sports bets in the following states:

  • Arizona

  • Arkansas

  • Colorado

  • Connecticut

  • Florida

  • Illinois

  • Indiana

  • Iowa

  • Kansas

  • Kentucky

  • Louisiana

  • Maine

  • Maryland

  • Massachusetts

  • Michigan

  • Nevada

  • New Hampshire

  • New Jersey

  • New York

  • North Carolina

  • Ohio

  • Oregon

  • Pennsylvania

  • Rhode Island

  • Tennessee

  • Vermont

  • Virginia

  • West Virginia

  • Washington D.C.

  • Wyoming

North Carolina sports betting is set to launch in March 2024, with the dates subject to vary.

What are the best sports betting sites?

While sports bettors enjoy playing with all of the sports betting sites in this article, we have found that BetMGM, FanDuel, ESPN BET, and Caesars provide a particularly excellent sports betting experience.

What are the best sports betting promotions?

The promotions for new and existing users are always changing at each sports betting site. As of right now, we would consider ESPN BET and Caesars to offer some of the strongest promotions in the sports betting industry.

Is retail sports betting legal?

Yes, retail sports betting is legal in select states such as Nevada and New Jersey. Other key locations are spread across the country, so be sure to research any legal retail gambling locations that might be near you.

What are the most popular sports to bet on?

Bettors commonly wager on sports such as baseball, football, basketball, hockey, soccer, boxing, MMA, and golf. Sportsbook offer these markets, but you can also find more niche or international leagues like table tennis or cricket.