The legal sports betting industry continues to grow by leaps and bounds across the US, including right here in Michigan. New folks are looking to get involved every day, and they have the benefit of a number of choices to consider.
While that’s a good thing, it also opens up a whole slew of questions, including the following: Exactly what should new users be looking for in an online and mobile sportsbook?
We’ve got the answer to that covered right here. From the options to consider to general expectations, we’re going to walk you through it all. Let’s begin by taking a look at some of the operators who are absolutely crushing it on the product front.
Best Michigan sports betting apps
|BetMGM Sportsbook||January 2021|
|Golden Nugget||January 2021|
What should you look for in online and mobile sportsbooks?
It’s a competitive world out there, and businesses of all shapes and sizes have to battle to win business. When customers are satisfied, they’ll stick around for a while and likely point additional folks in the right direction.
The same holds true for sportsbooks. While some operators may excel in some areas and come up short in others, there’s a handful that take more of a complete package approach.
Our recommended sportsbooks up above fit the bill in that regard. When you’re ready to sign up and create an account, here are the things you should be looking for.
Sportsbook bonus and sign-up offers
In a bid to attract new clientele — and also to encourage those who may be on the fence — sportsbooks provide incentives to new users for taking the plunge.
Known as sign-up offers, they can come in a couple of different forms. For example, check out our recommended operators in the table up above. Each of them is offering an outstanding sign-up offer for users who create an account via our exclusive links.
Signing up for an account with each of them is a very similar process. Here are the steps you need to take.
- Click on our exclusive links to begin the account creation process.
- You’ll be brought to a new page where you’ll have to enter some basic information.
- Complete the registration process and look around.
- Take the time to follow the onsite instructions to download the app for your device.
- Log in on mobile.
From start to finish, you’re talking about a couple of minutes of your time. When complete, you’ll have access to legal and regulated sports betting online or via mobile app.
As for the sign-up offers themselves, here’s a quick overview of how the most common types work.
- Free funds: This is bonus money that will be placed in your account just for signing up. You can then use it to place bets, and any winnings obtained are yours free and clear to do with as you wish.
- Risk-free bet: This offer allows you to place your first bet in risk-free fashion, sometimes for as much as $500. After you make your first deposit, you can place a bet up to that amount. If it’s a loser, the sportsbook will refund your account with the amount of the bet.
- Deposit bonus: For this incentive, operators will match your first deposit dollar for dollar up to a certain amount. The deposit match is credited as bonus money or free bets that you can use to wager on the site.
In short, be sure to take a closer look at what’s in it for you in the form of incentives before creating any new sports betting account.
What sports can you bet on?
The sports betting bench is deep and vast. From mainstream sports all the way down to niche endeavors, all of the bases are covered.
When choosing a new sportsbook, you’ll want to make sure it offers everything you’re looking for. Here’s a look at the sports you should have little trouble finding.
All of these sports are incredibly popular, and they attract plenty of betting volume. As such, they’re standard offerings at US sportsbooks.
When it comes to the niche category, choices will vary. Each of our recommended operators provides a wide range of sports markets to bet on. Here are some of the other sports you’ll come across.
- Australian rules football
- Formula One
- Table tennis
- Various international competitions
If all you’re looking to do is to bet on one of the major sports, then you should be covered. For those looking to bet on sports in the niche category, it’s a good idea to make sure the ones you want are offered at sportsbooks you’re interested in.
Sports bet types explained
If you can’t place the bets you want, then a sportsbook doesn’t do you much good. Thankfully, each of our top choices for Michigan feature all of the major sports bet types. Here’s a quick run-through of what you’ll find.
- Moneyline: You’re simply choosing the winner from the favorite or underdog, which are represented by negative and positive odds, respectively.
- Point spread: The spread is a number set by oddsmakers that must be accounted for in handicapping. You can pick the favorite minus the points or the underdog plus the points. Your selection must “cover” the spread for the bet to win.
- Totals: Also known as over/under bets, these are wagers that revolve around the total points scored in a game. Oddsmakers set the benchmark, and bettors then choose to bet on the total going over or under that number.
- Props: A prop is basically a side wager on something that may happen during a game or event. The bets offered vary and revolve around things from either a player, team, or entire game perspective.
- Live betting: These are wagers you can place after the action has already gotten underway. Odds and offerings move quickly, but this has become a very popular part of the sports betting menu.
- Futures: A futures bet is a wager you can place on something that has yet to happen, such as the winner of the next Super Bowl or World Series. It’s a popular bet type that requires a long-term perspective.
- Parlays: A parlay is a bet in which you place two or more outcomes on the same betting slip. The more selections added, the better the potential return. However, the odds of being successful rise with each additional selection.
- Teasers: A teaser allows you to move the point spread more to your liking for a series of games. Odds offered by sportsbook will vary depending upon the number of points teased.
- Round robins: A round robin bet allows you to cover many bases at the same time by building out multiple parlays from within a single betting ticket.
Best sportsbook odds
While it’s great to be able to bet on sports legally and safely, you also need to be cognizant of the price you are paying for doing so. The odds board will tell you what you need to know.
Quite simply, you’ll want to make sure that the sportsbook you plan to play on is offering odds that are at least in range of the general betting market. If a sportsbook fails to live up to that mark, then it should give you pause.
All sportsbooks are not going to have the exact same odds listed at all times. Market action can impact the odds offered by a few ticks here and there, so keep that in mind.
However, really wide disparities from the general market range should serve as a red flag. For an example, let’s say that most books are offering the favored side in an MLB game at odds of -120 or -125. If another book is at -140 on the favorite, then that’s something to watch out for.
When first considering a new sportsbook, take some time to review the listed odds and compare them with what else is out there in the marketplace.
As you move forward with sports betting, you should continue to practice what’s known as line shopping. This simply means that you are comparing the odds from multiple operators in a bid to find the best price.
In years past, this wasn’t so easy to do, but it’s simply not an issue in the current environment. Odds from leading operators are easily accessible online and via mobile app, so don’t be shy about comparing.
Online sportsbook platforms
The online sports betting experience should be a smooth one. That means the platform should be smooth and intuitive, that it should generally be devoid of glitches, and that virtually everything you need is just a click away.
You can take a simple test drive of the platform without actually signing up. Visit the operator online and see what the layout looks like. Is it aesthetically pleasing? Do all of the major functions seem user friendly? Do you have to click around a lot to find what you want?
After you’ve given a few platforms a run-through, it’ll likely become readily apparent which ones invest heavily in tech and which ones are lacking on that front.
Mobile sports betting apps
For mobile sportsbooks, you’re looking for similar things as you would online. You’ll want a mobile betting app that’s simple to use and points you in the right direction with virtually everything you need just a click or swipe away.
Occasional glitches are going to happen here or there, but apps that seem clunky and full of bugs are generally more of an annoyance than they are worth. Typically, the top operators have gotten to where they are for a reason, and that includes a great user experience.
Included on that list is each of our recommended Michigan sportsbooks listed up above, all of which feature stellar online and mobile platforms.
Sports betting deposits and withdrawals
As you examine online and mobile sports betting options, be sure to take the time to review the cashier function and the options you’ll have at your disposal.
You should be able to move money in and out seamlessly and have a range of options to choose from. Among the standard offerings you’ll find are credit and debit cards, ACH and PayPal.
Please note that not all methods are available for both deposits and withdrawals. Review the specific options available to avoid confusion later, especially if you’re the type who likes to use the same account for everything sports betting related.
As for the cashier function itself, it should be simple and painless to use. There shouldn’t be any need for you to jump through hoops for either deposits or withdrawals. When operators have everything laid out in clear-cut fashion, that’s usually not an issue.
Sportsbook customer service
No matter how well-run a business may be, questions and issues are going to come up from time to time. When that happens, it’s reassuring to know that getting some help is rather easy.
As with other industries, there are sports betting operators who go the extra mile with customer service, and others who could use some work on this front.
Unfortunately, there’s no way to tell for certain until you’re already a customer. However, there are certain things you can look out for that’ll serve as big clues.
First up, a solid help section is a really good sign. There are many questions that come up frequently, and operators that are on the ball make the answers readily accessible.
For actual help and inquiries, good things to look for are dedicated customer service lines and online or mobile chat. This isn’t an issue with operators that prioritize customer service.
If you’re reviewing help options before signing up and find little more than a trouble ticket system or an endless loop of FAQs, you can treat that as a red flag to examine further.