Best Sports Betting Apps for Beginners

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Jumping into sports betting can be quite a hurdle. The industry is packed with competition, and sifting through the endless options isn't exactly a walk in the park. Add to that the relentless flood of betting ads everywhere you look, and it's easy to feel swamped.

To make matters more complex, you’ll come across sites promoting offshore books like Bovada and BetUS. These companies pitch their services as legit, even when they're far from it.

If you're feeling lost on where to begin, you're in the right spot with this guide. Sports betting is my jam—I spend my days dissecting and evaluating sites, so I've got a pretty good idea of which sportsbooks are ideal for newcomers.

The sportsbooks you’ll find on this page are the best for beginners for a variety of reasons: they're packed with helpful guides and resources, their interfaces are super easy to navigate, and they've got all sorts of tools to make the onboarding process as easy as possible. Each of these perks helps ease new bettors into the swing of things.

The three betting sites I consider the best for beginners are FanDuel, BetMGM, and Caesars. Read on to find out why I chose them specifically and figure out which is best for you.

On this page

Best Sports Betting Apps & Sites for Beginners

For newcomers, diving into sports betting isn't just tough because of the overwhelming number of choices or figuring out which sportsbooks are legit.

It's also about what to do when you're staring down a bunch of good options.

Which one do you go for? How can you tell them apart?

Getting a handle on what makes a sportsbook the best is a good starting point, and from there, you can start narrowing down your picks.

Here are some things to check for first when searching for your first sportsbook:

  • Licensed by a state government agency
  • Offers a competitive welcome bonus (when stacked against other legal options in your state)
  • Offers competitive odds (mainly you want to look for 10-cent lines aka -110 odds on standard bets)
  • Provides educational resources for beginners
  • Has responsive customer support
  • Has an intuitive user interface
  • Accepts your preferred methods of payment

Here are my 5 favorite sports betting apps for beginners that meet these criteria:

  1. FanDuel: Best How-To Guides for Beginners
  2. BetMGM: Best Sports Betting Blog for Beginners
  3. Caesars: The Most User-Friendly Betting App for Beginners
  4. BetRivers: Top Choice for Community-Driven Betting Newcomers
  5. DraftKings: Best for New Bettors Who Love Stats

1) FanDuel: Best Sports Betting Blog for Beginners

fanduel logo

FanDuel is one of the most dominant books in the U.S. both in terms of market share and geographical footprint. Starting off as a big name in DFS, it jumped into sports betting in 2018 and has been on a roll since. It is available in more than 21 states.

The biggest reason I recommend FanDuel for those just starting to get their feet wet in sports betting is its simplicity and ease of use. Everything from their intuitive design to the way they've structured their betting options speaks to this.

It's particularly noticeable in their props section, which is typically a complex area to explore. They use a nifty dual-menu system, with separate tabs for different categories of props bets, allowing for easier navigation.

FanDuel's sports betting strategy guide is an excellent place for newcomers to start learning the ins and outs of sports betting. It's brimming with everything you need to get a solid start: informative videos, step-by-step tutorials, easy-to-understand graphs, and plenty of resources focused on various bet types.

Also, FanDuel's customer support is easily one of the most responsive and helpful services I've used. What struck me most was their willingness to extend a helping hand before I even signed up or committed to anything. This level of preemptive hospitality was noteworthy since many sites tend to reserve such attentive support for after you've joined.

FanDuel pioneered Same Game Parlays, a cool feature that lets you combine bets from the same game. They've since added the SGP+ upgrade, allowing bettors to bundle multiple picks from one game with selections from another.

Apart from being super creative, there are more reasons why I rate FanDuel as one of the best betting apps for beginners. They consistently outperform the competition in several key areas, such as odds, market variety, bonuses, and the ease of using their mobile app.

>> Check out FanDuel here

2) BetMGM: Best Sports Betting Blog for Beginners

betmgm sportsbook logo

BetMGM puffs strong brand power, emerging from a partnership between industry heavyweights MGM Resorts and Entain. Operating in over 20 states, it's hot on the heels of FanDuel and DraftKings, vying for the top spot in every market it enters.

I'm really into what BetMGM has done with their blog. It's a rare find among sportsbooks—offering a blend of innovation and practicality. It's a fantastic spot for anyone, whether you're new to betting or have been at it for years, offering expert takes on major sports. You'll find everything from betting previews and guides to podcasts and videos.

The platform is a breeze to navigate, making it easy for new players to acclimatize quickly. Plus, there's a handy search bar that can help you find teams, players, and events in a snap.

I'm impressed with how BetMGM has compressed a comprehensive betting lineup into a user-friendly, small-screen format. This eliminates endless scrolling and makes it much easier for new bettors to get around the app.

Besides its ease of use, I find BetMGM to be a great sports betting app for beginners because of its competitive lines and tailored local offerings. If you're from Denver, for example, you'll get exclusive bets for the Nuggets and local promos, something that's sure to catch the eye of hometown fans.

A major perk of betting with BetMGM is tapping into the MGM Rewards program. You'll accumulate points through online play, which you can then redeem at MGM properties nationwide—a pretty sweet deal.

>> Check out BetMGM here

3) Caesars: The Most User-Friendly Betting App for Beginners

Caesars Sportsbook Logo

The legendary Caesars Entertainment entered the online sports betting scene in New Jersey in 2018. At first, it seemed to play second fiddle to its casino operations, but they've since upped their game with the sports betting app.

Now, Caesars Sportsbook stands shoulder to shoulder with other industry titans. Much of this rise to prominence is thanks to Caesars’ bold move of acquiring William Hill in 2020.

One of my favorite things about Caesars is how easy it is to navigate. It's not that they skimp on features or content; rather, it's their clean, predominantly white design and large fonts that create a no-frills atmosphere many beginners find appealing.

The sportsbook layout makes finding your way around effortless. It utilizes dropdowns for sorting bet types and horizontal scrolling for exploring player props.

Getting in touch with support is just as straightforward. A dedicated button in the header zips you right to a representative, with replies typically coming within seconds.

Caesars is a great sports betting app for beginners looking to get more bang for their buck with odds boosts. It trails only bet365 in offering the most daily boosts of any sportsbook in the U.S.

They've got some cool tie-ins with their physical casinos too. For instance, there was a recent promo where bettors placing $20 or more could win a $1k travel voucher and a two-night getaway at a Caesars property in Atlantic City or Las Vegas.

Caesars’s sports coverage is hard to match. They’ve got odds on 24+ sports, including niche options that are hard to find elsewhere, like rowing and swimming.

>> Check out Caesars here

4) BetRivers: Top Choice for Community-Driven Betting Newcomers

BetRivers Logo

Right after PASPA was repealed, Rush Street Interactive launched BetRivers. They hit the scene about the same time as the other big names.

BetRivers is on my list of top 5 sportsbooks because it's easily one of the most well-rounded apps out there. Plus, they've got a BetRivers Casino app that's just as slick.

Like Caesars, BetRivers has gone with a big font and a straightforward layout. The combo of white and dark blue is super easy on the eyes, and the platform itself is quick, making for a smooth user experience all around.

BetRivers ranks high on my list of the best betting apps for beginners, largely because of their well-structured betting lineup. They've got a neat “House Specials” area where you can find daily odds boosts. Within the “Props Central” section, bettors can sift through prop bets seamlessly, with options to filter by sport and more.

The support chat button on BetRivers takes you directly to a representative, bypassing the multiple steps often required by other sportsbooks to reach customer service.

A standout feature of BetRivers Casino is the King Cash Community Chat. This space allows players to mingle, play games, and snag some prizes. It's a fantastic spot to meet other bettors, exchange ideas, and get quick answers to any questions, all without having to reach out to customer support.

>> Check out BetRivers

5) DraftKings: Best for New Bettors Who Love Stats

DraftKings Sportsbook Logo

DraftKings entered the sports betting field in 2018, right alongside their Daily Fantasy Sports archrival, FanDuel.

Leveraging their deep DFS know-how and sports insight, they've crafted a sportsbook that's widely regarded as one of the industry’s finest. DraftKings is up and running in the majority of states where sports betting is legal.

In my eyes, what elevates DraftKings as a fantastic option for newbies is the site's structure. Together with FanDuel, they stand out for having submenus dedicated to different categories of player props. It might not seem like a big deal at first glance, but this feature greatly streamlines mobile navigation.

DraftKings' stats hub is a goldmine of data that can seriously enhance your betting strategy. It's packed with insightful nuggets, such as “Travis Kelce has scored at least one TD in each of the last 8 Chiefs’ playoff games.” Plus, there's a wealth of other statistics that would take ages to find elsewhere on the web.

DraftKings is also an excellent spot for beginners to start because of its free-to-play contests. These allow you to get a sense of the platform and even stand a chance to win some money. Plus, you have the option to set up private pools to enjoy with friends and family.

Head down to the footer of the page, and you'll discover links to their betting guides. These include how-tos for wagering on a variety of sports like soccer, tennis, golf, and others.

DraftKings offers an unmatched range of markets, boasting more betting options than all sportsbooks not named FanDuel. It's a no-brainer sports betting app for beginners keen on exploring and experimenting with a broad spectrum of bets.

>> Read More: FanDuel vs. DraftKings

How to Choose a Sports Betting App

Choosing a quality sportsbook can be tricky for newcomers. While it’s easy to find a sportsbook to use, spotting a genuinely high-quality one is the real challenge. It takes an experienced eye to catch the subtle signs that distinguish the best from the rest.

Drawing from our rating system here at Odds Assist, I’m here to offer some straightforward tips to help beginners navigate their way to choosing the right sports betting app.


If you're on the hunt for a good legal sportsbook (and it's a given that you should only consider legal options), start by comparing odds.

The odds will directly impact the profit you take home from successful bets. If you don’t know how to read betting odds yet, check out our full guide on it.

The simplest approach is to survey the market broadly and identify the sportsbook offering the lowest vig on most of its wagers. However, that's easier said than done, given the myriad of sportsbooks and the vast array of betting options each offers.

When it comes to getting the most bang for your buck, odds can vary a lot from one book to another. You might find the best odds for an NBA game on one site one day, and a totally different site the next.

In my experience, FanDuel, BetMGM, and Caesars consistently offer great value across the board.

Sign Up Bonus

Big sportsbook welcome bonuses often catch the eye of beginners, and it's easy to see why with so many flashy offers around. But diving in just for the bonuses without a second thought isn't the soundest move.

Sure, grabbing those welcome deals across different sportsbooks can be smart, but you've got to think about how to make them count.

Don't just get wowed by the bonus amount; take a closer look at what kind of bonus it is and the strings attached, like specific odds you need to bet on, which sports or events you can bet on, and how quickly you need to use it.

These nitty-gritty terms can clue you in on whether snagging that bonus is as good a deal as it seems or if it's more trouble than it's worth.

FanDuel, ESPN BET, BetMGM, and Caesars, and bet365 are betting sites you should have on your radar if you’re looking for big welcome bonuses.

User Experience (UX)

The phrase “user-friendly” is thrown around a lot in discussions about user experience at betting sites, often oversimplifying the concept. From my perspective, for a betting site to truly excel in UX, it needs to be navigable and quick off the mark. While there are many subtleties within these areas, these are the bedrock of great UX.

Beyond that, it's the finer points that count, like the organization of prop bets, the effectiveness of the search function, and features like biometric logins. These elements together determine a sportsbook's usability—a factor that's especially critical for those new to the scene.

FanDuel and Superbook really hit the mark on user experience, making them the easiest to use in my opinion.


Features have emerged as a critical differentiator in the sports betting industry, a space where many brands appear to offer similar, if not identical, products.

As a beginner, you not lean heavily on these extras, but they'll become increasingly valuable as you gain experience and realize that they’re not just about convenience—they can also level up your betting plays

For example, live streaming can significantly improve your live betting experience, while same game parlays open up new betting opportunities that wouldn't be available otherwise. Simply put, the more of these innovative tools a sportsbook has, the better.

BetMGM and bet365 are leading the charge with innovation, packing in the most features of all books.

Market Depth

How many sports does your chosen betting site cover? Does it include niche sports you're interested in?

What range of competitions does it offer, and does it extend to lower-tier events or stick mainly to the major leagues?

How extensive are the betting options for each sport, and does the site provide a rich selection of prop bets that you can leverage with thorough research and an analytical approach?

These questions are essential as you evaluate the depth of the market offered by your sportsbook.

FanDuel, DraftKings, and BetMGM are the big players in market variety, offering an unbeatable selection of prop bets for all the major sports.

Customer Reviews

To get a true sense of a sportsbook, checking out feedback from current and former users is arguably the most reliable method. Major review platforms such as Reddit, TrustPilot, and various social media channels serve as prime resources for gauging the general sentiment about the sportsbook you're eyeing.

ESPN BET, Tipico, and SI Sportsbook all score top marks on major review sites and app stores. They've got a solid rep, so players seem to be really satisfied across these platforms.

Live Betting

Live betting is a huge part of the betting scene nationwide, and it's incredibly popular right now.

If you want to jump into this trend and give in-play betting a whirl, take a close look at what the sportsbook offers.

Assess the quality of their in-play/live odds, check if they provide robust live streaming, and see if they have extra features like live cashouts and Same Game Parlays (SGPs) for live games.

Also, it's worth exploring if they offer micro-betting. These are specialized live betting options that let you wager on specific moments within a game. Micro-betting can add an exciting layer to your betting experience, especially if you're actively watching the match, and they can also open up lucrative opportunities.

DraftKings, FanDuel, and Hard Rock are my top picks for live betting. What really sets them apart for me is their micro-betting options and competitive lines.

Promos for Existing Customers

A welcome bonus is usually the first taste of the various perks a sportsbook offers.

Yet, what truly matters is the real value of these bonuses and the sportsbook's commitment to consistently rewarding its returning players.

If you notice a sportsbook is proactive in rolling out a wide range of promotions, it's a good sign they value and actively reward their loyal bettors.

BetMGM, Caesars, and Clutch Bet are crushing it when it comes to promos, serving up way more deals than the rest and backing it up with some solid loyalty programs too.


As you're getting your bearings and becoming familiar with how everything works, it's normal to encounter some bumps along the way. This isn't a critique of any particular sportsbook but rather a reality of the sports betting experience.

Common issues like geolocation errors, login problems, and other technical glitches can pop up and are often just part of the process.

A reliable support team should be there to guide you through these troubles and help you get back into action as quickly as possible.

BetMGM absolutely nails it with their customer support, especially with their tailored email service for each state. I’m also a big fan of how easy it is to get in touch with BetRivers’ live chat support.

Odds Boosts

Odds boosts have become a key feature for many sportsbooks, offering enhanced prices for select markets, which means you get a bigger payout than usual.

When evaluating odds boosts, look at the range of sports covered, the size of the boosts, and any restrictions, such as wager limits.

bet365 and Caesars lead the pack in this domain. bet365 is a killer for spreading boosts across a ton of sports, even the niche ones that you don't see all the time. Caesars, meanwhile, is throwing out over 40 odds boosts every single day, way more than you'll find at most places.

Tips for Choosing a Sports Betting Site

In the previous segment, I laid out an overall framework for finding beginner-friendly betting sites. Now, let's drill down some specialized tips to further guide your search:

  • Look beyond the sign-up bonus: While attractive, the welcome offer is just the tip of the iceberg. Assess the sportsbook's overall value, especially the odds it provides, to ensure you're getting the best possible returns on your bets.
  • Legality is key: Stick to sportsbooks licensed in your jurisdiction. Offshore betting sites like Bovada might seem tempting, but they don't offer the same level of security or legal protections.
  • Spread your bets: Consider signing up with multiple sportsbooks. This strategy lets you shop for the best odds and lines, maximize bonus opportunities, and even spot potential arbitrage bets.
  • Give the platform a test run: Most sportsbooks allow you to explore their app or website without an account. Whether it's through their app or on their website, take a tour to check out the odds and see how user-friendly the platform is.
  • Check for comprehensive support: Ensure the sportsbook has a robust customer support system. Quick access to help and support can make a big difference, especially when you're just starting out.
  • Look for sportsbooks with free contests: keep an eye out for betting that host freerolls. They're a perfect playground for beginners, giving you a risk-free way to see how things work first-hand, and maybe even earn a little something on the side. It's like getting a test drive on the road to betting success.

Odds Assist’s Tools to Help Beginners Choose a Sportsbook

Here are some extra nuggets to help you lock down that perfect sportsbook.

Our In-Depth Reviews

I’ve analyzed and played at most U.S. sportsbooks. From the vibe of the user interface to the juicy details of those welcome bonuses, my reviews are your go-to for the inside scoop.

Sportsbook Comparison Tool

Ever felt stuck choosing between sportsbooks? Our sportsbook comparison tool stacks them up against each other based on the stuff that counts, like odds, bonuses, and availability. It’s perfect for when you're eyeballing two books and just can't decide.

Best Sports Betting Sites by Sport

I’ve picked out the top sites for betting on anything from football to Formula 1. Check out the links below to find the top sportsbook for your favorite sport.

Best Sports Betting Sites by Payment Method

If you’ve got a preferred way to pay, I’ve sorted out the top sportsbooks for your favorite payment methods. If you have a specific banking option in mind, my insights can help you find a sportsbook that caters to your needs.

Tips for Beginner Sports Bettors

Signing up for your first sports betting account is exciting, but it's crucial to approach it with a strategy and not just enthusiasm.

Here are some fundamental tips to keep you grounded and maybe even help you turn a profit:

1) Learn How to Manage Your Bankroll

First things first: keep a tight grip on your bankroll. Set aside a specific amount of money you’re comfortable betting with and only bet a certain percentage of it (we recommend 1%) to make sure you don’t blow through it too fast.

It's all about playing the long game, ensuring you can weather the ups and downs without busting your budget.

2) Shop Around for the Best Odds & Lines

Don't settle for the first odds you see. Make it a habit to shop around for the best odds and lines, as even slight differences can amplify your returns over time. It's like comparing prices before making a purchase — a little effort can go a long way.

Check out our odds comparison tool that shows live lines/odds for many sports and updates every minute so you can always find the best deal.

3) Avoid Parlays

Though they're heavily promoted and seem like a fast track to big wins, parlays often offer less value than straight bets like spreads, totals, and moneylines.

The allure is real, but the math isn’t in your favor. Sportsbooks often push parlays because they favor the house much more than straight bets to keep your strategy solid.

4) Don’t Blindly Take All Odds Boosts

Odds boosts can seem like a quick win, but they're not always as lucrative as they appear. Be especially wary of boosts on longshot parlays, which might not hold real value. Always evaluate the underlying bet, not just the boosted odds.

5) Track & Analyze Your Bets

Keeping tabs on your betting history is invaluable. It helps you identify what you're good at (and not so good at) and refine your betting strategy over time. Focus on where you excel and cut back on the rest.

6) Use Tools to Your Advantage

I’ve developed several tools aimed at uncovering value bets—the essence of profitable betting. Our odds comparison tool, +EV bets tool, and arbitrage bet finder are all designed to give you an edge.

7) Explore Less Popular Markets

While everyone’s eyes are on the major leagues, there’s value to be found in less-watched sports and events. Exploring these can offer better odds and less volatile markets because they attract less public betting, which can skew lines in more popular sports.

8) Bet Against the Public

Consider adopting a contrarian betting approach, also known as betting against the public. This strategy takes advantage of the fact that the majority of bettors often lean towards favorites, hyped teams, or those with a strong fanbase, which can lead to overvalued odds for those teams.

Sportsbooks adjust the lines based on where the money is going, not necessarily on the expected outcome of the game. By identifying situations where public sentiment has heavily influenced the odds, you can find value in wagering on the less popular choice.

It’s a tactic that requires patience, research to understand when the public is off-base, and the nerve to go against popular opinion, but it can uncover opportunities for astute bettors looking for an edge.

>> Read More: Best Sports Betting Strategies

Dave Rathmanner

Dave Rathmanner is the Founder & CEO of Odds Assist. After struggling to find helpful sports betting resources and honest reviews when he first started betting, he decided to create the site he always wished he had. Dave has been betting on sports since NJ legalized it in 2018 and regularly analyzes sportsbooks to find the best options for bettors. Aside from creating new content for OA readers, Dave is also passionate about researching betting markets, creating models, and developing profitable betting strategies.