A couple months into legal sports betting in Ohio, bettors are starting to get comfortable with the flow. Familiarity with the process and navigation of the apps allows Ohioans to focus on the feel and performance of each online sportsbook.
So which sportsbook apps in Ohio work the best?
Up front, this is subjective. One user may prefer Bet365 to BetMGM while another may lean Caesars over FanDuel. It’s the nature of the word, “best.” But from an industry standpoint, here’s where I think some apps excel over others.
DraftKings is the go-to Ohio sportsbook app
DraftKings Sportsbook Ohio advertises more than any other book, because it can. Though the company calls upon Kevin Hart to spearhead the ad campaign, few Ohioans need the comedian to know the name “DraftKings.”
DK and FanDuel Sportsbook have a leg up on the competition thanks to having operated in the state longer than the other books as daily fantasy sports (DFS) platforms. However, DraftKings still works.
One of the most mentioned aspects regarding Ohio sportsbook apps has been their performance. As a society, we use dozens of apps daily – Twitter, iMessage, Spotify – so we know how apps should run. The speed and reactivity of DraftKings’ app matches expected performance from Twitter and iMessage. There’s no delay in the actions, and it loads quickly.
As I’ll get into, even a half-second makes a big difference.
Otherwise, DraftKings offers among the best promotions regularly. This becomes even more evident the further Ohioans get from launch day. In the first few weeks, new bettors were bombarded with no-brainers, layups, bonus bets, and regular boosts. As launch day falls further into the doldrums of history, the quantity (and quality) of promotions fades.
DraftKings isn’t an exception, but it maintains enough odds boosts and promotions to keep bettors engaged two months into sports betting.
Best for betting: Major markets (NFL, NBA, MLB), PGA, college baseball
FanDuel is the most popular Ohio online sportsbook
Part of the reason why DraftKings offers so many promos is because FanDuel Sportsbook Ohio does, too. The two industry giants regularly compete to push out the best promotions to keep users engaged. The result is an arms war of great promotions that benefit the bettor.
Besides DraftKings, FanDuel might have the most recognizable name in Ohio. Once again, this is thanks to a large DFS presence. They have a disproportionate market share nationwide, and this doesn’t change in Ohio. When casual bettors signed up before Jan. 1, they went to DraftKings and they went to FanDuel. Others trickled in either by marketing or word of mouth.
FanDuel takes the cake in terms of odds boosts. It offers a few daily boosts, many of which are +EV plays and may of which are worth betting. Other apps may offer more boosts, but FanDuel’s are typically the highest-quality.
Also useful, FanDuel makes its own lines when it comes to the NFL and other markets, often being the first to post. For more serious bettors, this keeps them coming back to take openers.
Best for betting: Major markets (NFL, NBA, MLB), NASCAR, college basketball
Other favorite Ohio sportsbooks
Far from being widely known before launch, Bet365 Sportsbook Ohio is quickly becoming one of my go-to sports betting apps. Like FanDuel, they offer +EV odds boosts, although they’re less voluminous than FD. While the layout of the app takes some getting used to, the options at Bet365 are much greater than they first appear.
Specifically, Bet365 is terrific for betting golf. Unlike other books, Bet365 offers E/W bets (which include placement) on the PGA TOUR and presents the odds in an easier-to-scan layout than others.
Best for betting: PGA
Perhaps the biggest surprise yet, the Tipico Sportsbook Ohio app runs extremely smoothly, and the book keeps a steady stream of bet credits coming your way. The biggest knock is that a limited selection of markets — usually just the major markets (NBA point spread, NFL totals) — are regularly available.
However, Tipico offers the most extensive daily catalogue of odds boosts.
Best for betting: College basketball
The most disappointing sportsbooks in Ohio
The Caesars Sportsbook Ohio app is far from bad, and it offers plenty of markets and good odds. However, it has one major flaw: two-factor authentication. I sign up for two-factor authentication (TFA) with every sportsbook, and you should, too. It adds another level of security to help keep your funds and personal identity safe. This, of course, means that it takes an extra second to load each app.
In the case of Caesars Sportsbook, this could be an extra minute. Impatient? Sure. But when I’m live betting an event, I’m already facing tape delay on TV and sportsbook delays — I can’t afford to wait for TFA to come in. Because of this, I don’t use Caesars Sportsbook to live bet. Spread out over an entire state of bettors, they’re likely missing out on a huge chunk of action.
The app itself is clean and runs nicely, but I cannot get over the slow TFA.
Best for betting: NBA props, Major markets (NBA, NFL, MLB)
For being the self-proclaimed “King of Sportsbooks,” the BetMGM Sportsbook Ohio app leaves a lot to be desired.
The interface feels dated with blocky fonts and often mistranslated promo wording from codes (ex. Get 10 USD Freebet today). They still use outlawed wording like, “free bet” and “risk-free” in-app, suggesting the company very much couldn’t care less about responsible gaming codes. They also offer few, if any, promotions beyond launch.
The caveat here: I put up with it because BetMGM offers some of the most extensive NBA player prop options out there. At the very least, their TFA is lightning-quick.
Best for betting: NBA props, college basketball
I covered the launch of betJACK Sportsbook quite a bit before launch. The company behind the app is a homegrown group that has the region’s best interests in mind, and its training camp app launch was both genius and helpful.
The problem is, that’s where the outstanding details end. BetJACK failed to offer an above-and-beyond signup offer to the point where I didn’t sign up for a month after launch. They don’t offer promos ever (including during Super Bowl LVII — a serious missed opportunity) and their markets often have high holds (-114 on either side).
In more niche markets, that hold gets so egregious that they become un-bettable. When the over/under for Donovan Mitchell’s points feature is -117 on either side, that tells me the oddsmakers they’re using aren’t confident at all in those markets. So, their protection is to crank up the hold. Nice.
Best for betting: College football, futures markets
What does this all mean for Ohio sportsbook apps?
Good or bad, you should still sign up for as many books as you can. Take advantage of second-wave signup offers and the ability to shop lines. With a bit of time working with each app, you’ll begin to learn where to go for what and which book is best for which type of bet.
However, for some of the larger sportsbooks nationally, to see products like BetMGM’s app is really disappointing. Ideally in the near future, they’ll clean it up.
My consensus favorites after two months of Ohio sports betting:
- DraftKings Sportsbook
- FanDuel Sportsbook
21+ and present in OH. Gambling Problem? Call 1-800-GAMBLER