Best Sports Betting Apps (and How to Find Them)

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Best Sports Betting Apps (and How to Find Them)

Spoiler alert: Not all sports betting apps are created equal. If you’re using one (or multiple, preferably for line shopping) then you’re investing time and money. Since time is money, we’re taking the first part of that adage to help you make the second part.

But that opportunity is hampered when you’re about to lock in a can’t-lose bet and the app glitches or crashes. These top sports betting apps don’t have that problem and meet the forefront criteria for being among the best: reliability, presentation, ease of use, betting catalog, minimum bet amount, and promotions.

Leading off is DraftKings.

This company has applied its extensive experience in the Daily Fantasy realm before sports betting was legalized nationwide to fine-tune and present a solid product to its sports gamblers.

DraftKings is one of the few sportsbook apps to use a “dark mode” theme, where the text is lighter than the background. Be not deterred as DraftKings nailed its color combos for this type of presentation.

Below is a screenshot of the DraftKings sportsbook homepage.

With centralized “quick links,” users can manually scroll horizontally through an extensive listing of sports markets and current promotions above the quick links. These two features also are easily accessible from tabs across the bottom of the page. Live betting and active and settled bets are a tap away, too.

For sports markets, DraftKings offers up to 50 at any given time that includes niche sports such as cricket and handball. Whatever your interests, you’ll likely find them with this operator. The type of bets you can place on DraftKings is varietal. More popular leagues like the NFL, NBA, MLB, and NHL offer an abundance of options. The minimum bet amount is 10 cents.

DraftKings went back and forth in the recent past on offering same-game parlays. They’ve returned and require only two legs to get started, another plus for this book. Other sportsbooks demand a minimum of three legs to lock in an SGP. Insurance on parlays is one of DraftKings’ many promotions and customers can participate in daily pools across multiple sports. Heck, you can even bet on “Wild Weather Wednesdays.” Think the high temperature in Denver will be O/U 75 degrees on a given day? Bet on it. DraftKings’ pools are unrivaled in the online sportsbook business.

A final high note for DraftKings is its vast availability across the United States, operating in:

  • Arizona
  • Colorado
  • Illinois
  • Indiana
  • Iowa
  • Michigan
  • New Hampshire
  • New Jersey
  • Pennsylvania
  • Tennessee
  • Virginia
  • West Virginia
  • Wyoming

Major Contenders

DraftKings checks the most boxes for a comprehensive customer experience. The other major contenders for best sports betting apps are:

  • FanDuel
  • BetMGM
  • Caesars

FanDuel

FanDuel’s interface is welcoming and not overwhelming. The text size for available bets, like the baseball games shown in the picture below, is big enough to not strain your eyes.

Tabs across the top are easy to find and the list is scrollable, as are the promotions housed underneath. Some sportsbook apps put these tabs within a menu that you have to tap to access. Not a major inconvenience but it’s nicer to have them displayed, not hidden.

Like many of the top books in mobile form, patrons can tap on a specific game in a league and browse an abundance of bets beyond the primarily displayed spread, moneyline, and total points. FanDuel’s minimum bet is cheaper than DraftKings’ by an Abe Lincoln coin.

One main facet that separates FanDuel and DraftKings from rivals is both periodically offer promotions that are guaranteed money for patrons. “Hammer the Over,” for example.

For a game selected by the sportsbook, the bet gets better with the number of customers who wager on it. Because these promotions are so popular and these two companies have such large user bases, a “Hammer the Over” promotion typically gets bet down to zero points on an over-under total points. Easy money.

The stake amount you can wager on bets like these usually is capped at $25 but it’s a blatant opportunity to double your money, especially if your normal wagering habit is to bet less than that amount. Other sportsbooks have yet to offer such promotions, instead opting for ones like insurance on wagers where if you lose then your stake is refunded in credits. That’s certainly not a bad thing but pales in comparison to free money that is withdraw-eligible.

States:

  • Arizona
  • Colorado
  • Illinois
  • Indiana
  • Iowa
  • Michigan
  • New Jersey
  • Pennsylvania
  • Tennessee
  • Virginia
  • West Virginia

BetMGM

BetMGM prominently placed its exclusive “Lion’s Boost” on the app homepage. Can’t miss it. The Lion’s Boost is tailored to a patron’s state or region as well, making it more intimate and enticing to wager. In the picture below, BetMGM gamblers in Colorado get a boost to +200 on the Rockies to score the first run.

Another great feature on BetMGM for those who like to browse and play parlays is that the Lion’s Boost leads a scrollable list of pre-made parlays. Having these and an automatic slideshow of BetMGM’s promotions, which have drastically increased, on the top third of the screen is a good utilization of prime real estate.

Like DraftKings and FanDuel, BetMGM lists its sports markets by tabs, with more popular leagues and events stacked at the beginning.

When adding wagers to your betslip, a little number appears on the betslip tab at the bottom of the screen, similar to a new message notification on an email or texting app. Other apps like DraftKings and FanDuel present a popup screen once you select a wager that won’t collapse until you click off the betslip. The difference in these presentations is a personal preference, but BetMGM won’t clutter your screen after you’ve selected a bet.

BetMGM’s minimum wager is 50 cents and its app is one of the best on the market because it delivers on the important criteria. First and foremost, its ease of use. That building block allows users to access all BetMGM offers without much critical thinking of where to find what you are looking for.

States:

  • Arizona
  • Colorado
  • Washington, D.C.
  • Indiana
  • Iowa
  • Michigan
  • New Jersey
  • Pennsylvania
  • Tennessee
  • Virginia
  • West Virginia

Caesars

Caesars took William Hill’s groundwork and gave it a facelift for a revamped app.

Caesars operates in light or dark mode, depending upon which setting your phone is set to. Like other major contenders, Caesars checks all the boxes to be one of the best sports betting apps on the market. Caesars increased its promotions and their variety once it acquired William Hill. The minimum bet on Caesar’s sportsbook is 10 cents.

States:

  • Arizona
  • Colorado
  • Indiana
  • Iowa
  • Michigan
  • New Jersey
  • Tennessee
  • Virginia
  • West Virginia

Rounding out the list of worthy sports betting apps are:

  • PointsBet
  • FOX Bet
  • TwinSpires
  • BetRivers

These companies have established market presence and sometimes offer better lines on certain games than the industry titans.

PointsBet offers exclusive “Pointsbetting” where the more you’re correct on a bet, the more you win. For example, if you take an NFL team to cover a point spread, you’ll win more money the more they cover that spread.

States:

  • Colorado
  • Illinois
  • Indiana
  • Iowa
  • Michigan
  • New Jersey
  • Pennsylvania

FOX Bet features #CustomBet where people can tweet @FOXBet with the hashtag #CustomBet to suggest a bet they want the sportsbook to include.

States:

  • Colorado
  • New Jersey
  • Pennsylvania

TwinSpires sportsbook is relatively new to the market. Expanding upon its iconic horse racing brand, TwinSpires is a trusted book.

States:

  • Arizona
  • Colorado
  • Indiana
  • Michigan
  • Pennsylvania
  • Tennessee

BetRivers is one of the best books for NFL and college football contests and continually offers profit boosts on your bets ranging from 20-100%. The app doesn’t have doesn’t include a “Newsfeed” like the desktop sportsbook, which is a good thing. On the computer, the right-side column is reserved for a continual rolling list of customers who are on win streaks. Great for those winners, not so much for focusing on the other aspects of the screen.

States:

  • Arizona
  • Colorado
  • Illinois
  • Indiana
  • Iowa
  • Michigan
  • New Jersey (SugarHouse)
  • Pennsylvania
  • Virginia
  • West Virginia

About the author:

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Mario Sanelli writes about sports betting for BeerLife Sports. He previously was the editorial assistant and a general-assignment reporter at The Denver Post for five years after serving as chief editor of The Metropolitan at MSU Denver. Mario was a NFL and college football insider with Mile High Sports for six years.

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