Sports Betting Guide For New York

Sports betting continues to surge in popularity in the United States. Many states are beginning to see the economic merits of legal betting, causing a growing number to change their stance on the once-outlawed activity.

With promising legislative discussions, New York seems ready to legalize online betting and is projected to become one of the biggest sports betting markets in the country.

Most importantly, newer bettors will be able to place bets from their own homes instead of having to visit an upstate casino.

If you’re one of these new bettors, or if you just want to know more about sports betting, read on for a detailed guide.

New York sports betting timeline

New York was one of the first states to legalize sports betting. It did so in 2013 after an amendment that changed the state’s constitution permitted the construction of four upstate casinos. Per the state law, these casinos were allowed to offer sports betting.

Despite this, a federal ban prevented these casinos from opening sportsbooks or from taking any wagers on sports.

This federal ban stemmed from the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act of 1992. In 2018, after the Supreme Court deemed the act unconstitutional and overturned it.

Following this ruling, New York revived its existing 2013 law. This allowed betting at select onsite locations but still restricted any type of online gambling within the state.

The first legal sportsbook in the state opened in 2019, six years after New York’s sports betting law was passed, and the first legal wagers were placed on July 16, 2019.

Various ideas and models focused on how to best implement online betting have been floated since 2019; Gov. Andrew Cuomo favors a state-run system while state Sen. Joseph Addabbo Jr. seems to have gained the most traction with his senate bill.

The good news, however, is that many of the state’s leaders are in favor of mobile betting. If all goes to plan, New Yorkers could be able to place online bets before 2021 draws to a close.

Potential New York betting sites

When New York does eventually launch mobile betting, here are some of the top NY online sportsbooks that could become available:

DraftKings Sportsbook

DraftKings launched in 2012 as a daily fantasy sports company. Since then, it’s smoothly transitioned to include sports betting and has become a go-to option for gamblers looking to place a wager.

DraftKings Sportsbook provides betting options for all of the most popular sports leagues and occasionally has various niche markets such as esports.

It also has a variety of bonuses and daily promos, which are usually great for first-time users who may be interested in testing out a site.

FanDuel Sportsbook

FanDuel, headquartered in New York, began with a core focus on DFS and shares an eerily similar origin to DraftKings.

After the 2018 repeal of the sports betting ban, the brand merged with Paddy Power Betfair, an Ireland-based sportsbook, and created a FanDuel branded sports betting platform. It then began opening sportsbooks in the states that had legalized gambling.

FanDuel Sportsbook has since grown to be one of the market leaders and is currently the most popular online sports betting site in New Jersey.

Given where it is headquartered, we should definitely expect FanDuel Sportsbook to be one of the first to launch when online gambling is legalized in the state.

PointsBet Sportsbook

PointsBet Sportsbook may be a newer player in the American sports betting market, but it has gained a considerable amount of interest because of its unique betting system.

Along with the fixed odds that many other bookmakers use to calculate a gambler’s winnings in spread betting, this site also offers a system, called PointsBetting, that multiplies your wager by the number of points that you win by. For example, if your spread bet wins by a single point, you win 1x your stake. If your bet wins by two points, you win 2x your stake, etc. Note that the multiplication also applies to your losses if you lose your spread bet, so take care.

This unique approach has made PointsBet one of America’s fastest-growing sportsbooks.

Fox Bet Sportsbook

From Fox Sports, the media giants, Fox Bet launched in 2019 just before the start of the 2019-20 NFL season.

One of the biggest advantages of Fox Bet is that it combines sports media coverage from its pioneer brand with the latest betting info, giving bettors and sports fans the best of both worlds in its sleek app. It also has a focus on celebrity endorsements and league partnerships.

Though it is currently only operating in a few select states, it also could launch in New York when online gambling eventually launches.

Sports betting popularity in the US

Sports betting has experienced a tremendous rise in the US, and this rise is only projected to continue as more states legalize the activity. We can attribute this popularity to several factors.

One key is the large amount of popularity that many sports and leagues already have. Even though following and watching sports is a recreational activity, the level of enthusiasm that sports fans have is unrivaled, making it more than just a pastime for many. Because of this passion and popularity, it’s easier for such fans to take up sports betting because it closely relates to one of their passions.

Another reason for this rise is the convenience of online betting. Instead of having to plan a trip to a faraway casino, online betting lets you wager from wherever you are. This convenience is also beneficial to newer bettors, who can easily learn about betting online instead of having to go to an onsite sportsbook to learn all the rules and regulations.

Another factor that is often overlooked is that gambling is a fun activity for many people. Most part-time gamblers don’t go to sportsbooks hoping to earn a living placing bets; they instead do it for the added thrill that betting brings. This thrill adds a different level of excitement to the games and leagues that they watch, especially since there’s a potential monetary reward at the end of it.

Lastly, with the growth of sports betting, more and more markets are becoming available, giving bettors an option to bet on whatever they wish. So instead of being restricted to a sport that you don’t like, you now have the chance to bet on a sport that genuinely interests you.

Introduction to sports betting odds

Gamblers interact with sports betting odds more than anything else at sportsbooks.

Odds represent what the sportsbook views as the likelihood of certain things happening, quantified as values or numbers. Odds indicate the price at which you’re wagering on a given event and are how you calculate potential winnings. In the US, the standard odds format at sportsbooks is American odds.

This format displays odds with either a plus or minus sign in front of the numbers. Odds with the plus sign indicate your potential profit on a $100 bet, while odds with the minus sign show the amount you would need to wager for a chance to win $100 in profit. Take, for example, the moneyline bet below:

  • New York Knicks -200
  • Golden State Warriors +300

A successful $200 bet on the favored Knicks would win $100; i.e., you’d have a total payout of $300.

A winning $100 wager on the underdog Warriors, meanwhile, would win you a profit of $300 and a total payout of $400.

In other parts of the world, odds may appear in the decimal and fractional formats. Those formats are rarely used in the US, however.

Important sports betting terminology

Before you jump into the sports betting world, it’s important that you first familiarize yourself with some key vocabulary. Here are some of the most important terms and types of sports wagers that bettors need to know:


Underdogs are the less-favored team in a matchup. It’s easy to spot an underdog: The team with the higher odds is the underdog. Alternatively, in point spreads, underdogs are the teams with the point advantages; i.e., they have a plus sign next to their spread.


A favorite is the opposite of an underdog. This is the team that the majority of people expect to win an upcoming game. Recognizing favorites is easy, as well: They have lower odds in moneyline bets and are the teams with minus signs in point spread bets.

Over/under or total

This refers to a wager with a line that a sportsbook sets, and bettors wager on whether the outcome will be over or under that line. Over/under bets mostly deal with the combined scores of the teams playing. There is also a type of futures bet called a season win total that works on the same basic concept.

  • For example, in a basketball game with an over/under of 198.5 points, you can wager on whether the combined score of the game will be more or less than this line. If you opt for the over, you’ll need 199 total points or more in the game. If you choose under, you’ll need the combined score to be 198 points or fewer.

Point spread

A point spread is a bet where a team must win by a set number of points or avoid losing by a set number of points; i.e., whichever team you pick must “cover the spread.”

  • For example, a team with a +2.5 point spread must avoid losing by three points or more for the wager to win. Alternatively, a team with a -2.5 point spread must overcome this handicap and win by three points or more.

Prop Bets

Prop bets are fun bets that you can place on things not related to the final score. They are most popular during the Super Bowl, where you can bet on things like what color the gatorade will be when dumped on the winning coach to who the MVP will be. Learn more about how to place prop bets.

Sucker bets

Sucker bets are wagers where the potential winnings are remarkably low when compared to the chances of the bet winning.

For example, a die has a 50% chance of landing on either an even or an odd number. Ideally, if you were to take this kind of bet, you’d expect to have a chance of doubling your money.

However, if someone is offering to pay you only half your stake on such a bet, you’d see that the potential return is way below the chances of the die landing on the side that you’ve chosen. In this scenario, the chances of you winning are 1:1 while the payout instead reflects a 1:2 chance, giving a greater edge to the person offering you the bet.

Such a bet is a sucker bet, and something you should avoid.


Parlays are a combination of several bets placed together on a single ticket. For the bet to win, all of the chosen events in the ticket must be correct.

Teasers are variations of parlays that let you alter specific lines in your favor.

Pari-mutuel betting

This form of betting, known as pool betting, means that bettors are placing bets against one another.

Handicappers predict the outcome of an event and then place stakes backing their predictions. All of that money is combined, and the winners share the pooled money, usually after the house takes its cut. Pari-mutuel betting is common in horse racing and some types of fantasy leagues.

Betting syndicates

Betting syndicates are groups of bettors who pool their resources and work as a team with the aim of making a profit from sports betting. Syndicates can range from two members to business-like organizations.

Betting systems

A betting system is a specific strategy that you can employ when betting. There are a variety of betting systems, and pro gamblers have extremely secret systems that have undergone years of tweaking and molding.

Fading the public

Fading the public means going against media and public perception on a given bet. For example, if the public strongly favors team A in the Super Bowl, fading the public would mean seeking value in team B instead.

What is vigorish and why does it matter?

Vigorish is the fee that sportsbooks charge when they take a gambler’s bet. Even though it’s a fee, it’s incorporated into the wagering odds instead of being charged upfront. Other common terms for vigorish are the vig, commission, cut or juice.

The easiest way to spot vigorish is in events where both sides have odds of -110. Here, to win $100, you’d need to bet $110. The $10 is the sportsbook’s cut for allowing you to place your bet.

Vigorish matters because it shows you how much you’re paying the sportsbook to place your wager. If you notice that you’re paying a premium fee on a given bet, you can shop around for better lines. Learn more about how sportsbooks make money.

Managing your sports betting bankroll

Each successful bettor knows that one of the secrets to staying in the game over the long term lies in a good bankroll management system. For beginners, the bankroll is the amount of money you set aside that is solely for placing sports bets.

If you’re starting out, you should start with a reasonable amount in your bankroll. However, it shouldn’t be an outlandish amount because the aim of the game is to eventually grow your bankroll. Remember, you should never risk more than you can afford to lose, so this should help you determine your bankroll size.

After determining your bankroll, you can then choose a unit size. This will typically fall anywhere between 1% to 5% of your bankroll. For beginners, it might be best to keep the amount wagered consistent at first. You’ll eventually know how to size your stakes as you become more confident in your sports betting.

As you grow your bankroll, your units staked will increase as well. However, one mistake that many bettors make is increasing their units when they’re on a losing streak. If you’re on a losing streak, you should reevaluate your bankroll and appropriately divide your units based on the amount left in it.

Can you consistently win at sports betting?

Consistent winning is every gambler’s dream, but only a few are able to actualize it. Your success long term will depend on how you approach sports betting. If you’re diligent, conduct the appropriate research, ensure that you keep to bankroll management and avoid mistakes, winning long term may not be out of the question.

Therefore, you should only expect to win long term if you put in the required amount of work.

What sports can you bet on in NY?

There are several sports that you can bet on in New York. Here are a few of them:

  • Basketball: This includes the NBA, WNBA and NCAA basketball games.
  • Football: NFL and college football games.
  • Soccer: MLS plus European leagues like the UEFA Champions League, La Liga, English Premier League, etc.
  • Tennis: WTA and ATP tournaments.
  • Boxing and mixed martial arts.
  • Baseball: MLB games.

Note that placing bets on college teams from New York and on college events taking place within the state is prohibited.

Costly sports betting mistakes to avoid

If you’re in this for the long term, here are a few sports betting mistakes to avoid:

  • Betting on emotion — You should never place bets purely on emotion. This applies to situations where you bet on teams that you’re attached to or randomly place a bet because you’re angry that your last wager lost. Such mistakes can cost newer gamblers, so watch that you avoid them.
  • Failing to tweak your betting system — Betting systems will rarely work instantly. You may need to rework yours time and time again, so you shouldn’t stubbornly stick to something that isn’t working with the hopes that it will eventually fix itself.
  • Disregarding bankroll management — As stated before, bankroll management is one of the key aspects of a winning betting strategy. If you disregard bankroll management and bet however you wish, you’ll eventually run your bankroll dry, which will force you to keep on looking for additional funding sources.

Live betting on sports

Live betting has proven to be a popular option for many sports bettors. It started as a trend in the 2010s but has now become a mainstay of the industry.

In live betting, you have the option to place a bet on an ongoing game, meaning that you can place a bet on a game that you’re watching. This is especially convenient if you missed the chance to place a pregame bet.

Though it is only currently available in retail sportsbooks in New York, many more bettors will get a chance to enjoy live betting once the state allows online sportsbooks to launch.

Advantages to sports betting online

Online betting has the following advantages:

  1. Convenience: Bet from anywhere at any time you wish.
  2. A variety of payment options: With many payment options available, you can use the one that best suits you.
  3. Instant deposits and quick withdrawals: Online sportsbooks try their best to maximize convenience. Because of this, their payment options have a focus on convenience as well. Once you win a wager, you have a variety of payment options that will quickly send you your winnings wherever you are, instead of making you go to a casino to collect.
  4. Multiple bonuses and offers: Online sportsbooks give new customers welcome offers and can have multiple daily offers for their loyal patrons.
  5. Wider variety of betting options: Online sportsbooks have more to offer than retail sportsbooks at casinos, which often have fewer betting markets.