Pros and Cons for 2021
After testing 20 online sportsbooks for our 2021 review, here are our top findings on PointsBet:
- Points betting alone is electrifying enough to justify giving this sportsbook a try. Beyond that, PointsBet’s collection of bet types (props, alternative lines, and especially custom bets) is second to none.
- PointsBet’s bonuses for new and existing customers are some of the best in the industry.
- A bland live betting menu is our only knock on what is otherwise a top sportsbook in our 2021 rankings.
Supported States: Colorado, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Michigan, and New Jersey.
|Sports & Bets Offered|
|Bonuses & Promotions|
Sports and Bets Offered
PointsBet it is one of just three sportsbooks we review to earn five stars in this category. The high rating is due to the impressively wide variety of bets available — from all the standard types you’d expect to points betting and custom bets. (The other two standout sportsbooks in this category are DraftKings and FanDuel.)
To give you a sense of the allure of points betting, I was counting down the days for more than a year, waiting for my home state Michigan to establish its online sports betting laws so that I could try points betting. I’m here to report that the wait was worth it. I took the Toronto Raptors +1 against the Indiana Pacers. Each basket scored in the fourth quarter had me sweating, cheering, or gritting my teeth. The Raptors ended up winning the game, and I was hooked.
What is points betting?
Points betting takes a spread, total, or prop bet and makes it a variable bet until the end of the game. The idea is that the more correct a bettor is, the more they win — and vice versa, of course. The potential to lose more than you bet is why points betting is not for risk-averse bettors.
Here’s a points betting example: Let's say you bet $10 on the Dallas Cowboys (-3) against the Jacksonville Jaguars (+3). If Dallas wins 24-20, you covered the spread and won by one point. To calculate your winnings, you multiply your $10 wager by one for a total win of $10. If Dallas wins 26-20, you covered the spread and won by three points. Multiply your $10 wager by three, and that gets you a $30 total win. Let’s say Dallas loses 17-20. That means you lost the spread by six points (the three Jacksonville won by plus the three Dallas was favored by). Therefore, your $10 wager is multiplied by six and results in a $60 total loss.
There are caps on each sport/market. Some markets may have a win/loss multiplier of up to 250X, while other markets can be capped at 10X.
More risk-averse bettors can set stop losses to minimize maximum gains/losses. For example, if you place a stop loss of 10X and make a points betting wager of $1, your maximum gain or loss can only go up/down $10.
Custom bets: Custom bets allow you to submit your own bet and, if accepted, your bet will be available to all PointsBet users. Here’s an example of a custom bet: “LaMelo Ball to record over 17.5 Pts + Rbs + Asts and 76ers to win.”
It’s fun to see the types of crazy bets other fans come up with. Often, custom bets involve popular players achieving an above-average stat line and leading their team to victory. Custom bets are only available at PointsBet and FOX Bet. In our comparison we found it easier to submit a custom bet on PointsBet (on the desktop or mobile apps) than FOX Bet. Simply go to the “Sports A-Z” menu , click “Name A Bet” and click on the “Request Your Bet” tab.
As illustrated in the table below, PointsBet offers above-average odds for NCAAF moneyline bets, NHL moneyline bets, NHL spread bets, NBA spread bets, and NFL spread bets. For comparison, if average moneyline odds on a team are +120 at other sports betting sites, PointsBet might offer odds at +125. In this example, every dollar wagered would return $1.25 at PointsBet versus $1.20 at other sites.
Methodology: To score Odds, BettingBuck.com gathers data from 21 sportsbooks over several months. For our 2020 Sportsbook Review, over 10,000 data points were collected for spread, moneyline, and over/under (bets).
I collected odds for spread, moneyline, and total bets for over 75 NFL games, 75 MLB games, 75 NBA games, 75 NHL games, 75 Soccer games (various leagues), and 75 NCAA Football and 75 NCAA Basketball games. When collecting odds, I collected the same games simultaneously for each sportsbook, ensuring data accuracy.
PointsBet’s biggest weakness is live betting. Users can bet only on the live spread, moneyline, or total for games, and little else. The sportsbook also lacks common live betting features like live streaming, running clocks and a live match tracker. The missing features make PointsBet’s menu feel outdated compared to apps like FanDuel or DraftKings.
Instant Bets: PointsBet offers instant bets, which allow users to bet on the next play of a game or the next point in a match — e.g., “What team will be awarded the next throw-in in a soccer match?” or, “What will the result of the next drive be?” in an NFL game.
Prop bets: We wish PointsBet had more live props to lay action on. An example of a live prop bet is, “How many points will Russell Westbrook score?” For an abundance of live props bets, check out SportsBetting.com and DraftKings.
Live match tracker: As mentioned earlier, PointsBet doesn’t provide a live match tracker, even though it’s a common feature on most other betting apps. Live scores are displayed, but the clock is not continuously running, scores are not displayed by quarter, and you won’t be able to see which team is attacking in real-time.
Live Streaming: PointsBet does not stream live sporting events through its app. If you’re interested in this feature, check out FanDuel or Unibet. Be aware that for all sportsbooks, live streaming is currently limited to international sports such as basketball, soccer, hockey, tennis and table tennis matches due to the high costs of licensing live broadcasting rights.
PointsBet Mobile App
The emphasis on responsiveness and the easy-to-navigate layout make the PointsBet mobile app one of my favorites to use. Where other apps make it hard to locate their blogs, educational content, and customer support, PointsBet dedicates a prominent spot for each in its main drop-down menu. Given the complexity of points betting, I appreciate the informational icon on each wager providing examples of each bet.
PointsBet blog: This feature is unique to PointsBet and only a handful of other sportsbooks. Other sportsbooks, like BetMGM, post fresh content more frequently. But you can count on PointsBet to post on high-profile games and other topics like betting strategy (e.g “What is Juice in Sports Betting” and “Bankroll Management”).
Articles and videos on PointsBet’s YouTube channel and website explain popular bet types, how to bet, and even topics like bankroll management. As somebody who once asked, “what the heck is points betting?” I’ve personally benefited from the level of detail PointsBet puts into its tutorials.
Bonuses & Promotions
PointsBet is one of the top dogs when it comes to bonuses and promotions. The sportsbook offers the highest risk-free bets for new customers that I’ve seen, as well as high-value ongoing promotions. Also keep an eye out for promotions for pre-registering before PointsBet launches in eligible states.
New customers: PointsBet offers two risk-free bets up to $2,000. One is worth $500 on your first fixed odds bet, and the other is a $1,500 risk-free bet on your first points betting bet. (Gotta say, I found that first points bet wager pretty thrilling.) For comparison, most sportsbooks provide one risk-free bet between $250 and $1,000.
Existing customers: PointsBet offers three to eight creative ongoing promotions that are nearly as notable as the new-customer promotions. The “$3 for every 3” promotion is one example. It pays out $3 in free bets for every 3-point field goal a team makes after you bet $50 on that team’s moneyline.
Karma Kommittee: Did your team suffer from a bad beat — e.g., a bad call, season-ending injury or last-second miracle play that tanked your bet? PointsBet’s “Karma Kommittee” refunds all bettors when a terrible beat occurs. This is a notable feature, even if good karma payouts are made only a handful of times a year.
PointsBet brings a new style of betting to the United States, and frankly, I'm a huge fan. The opportunity to try your hand at points betting — plus the killer new-customer and creative ongoing promotions — are convincing reasons to open a PointsBet account. Although live betting lacks a few features, the high-quality overall offering at PointsBet makes it one of the top sportsbooks in our book.
PointsBet, launched in Australia in 2017, recently brought its sports betting style to the U.S. PointsBet offers traditional betting and points betting, where winnings or losses depend on the margin of how correct your bet is. PointsBet is a publicly traded company (OTCMKTS: PBTHF). PointsBet is one of the only sportsbooks to welcome professional sports bettors, allowing bets of $10,000 on most regular-season games.
What states is PointsBet legal in?
PointsBet is legal in Colorado, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Michigan, and New Jersey.
What deposit methods does PointsBet offer?
Deposit options vary by state and include online bank transfer (ACH), debit/credit card, PayPal, PayNearMe, prepaid company cards, or cash at certain casinos.
|Total Deposit Methods||4|
|No Debit/Credit Card Deposit Fees||Yes|
|Deposit Min/Max - Debit/Credit Card||$5/Varies|
What withdrawal methods does PointsBet offer?
Withdrawal options vary by state and include online bank transfer (ACH), debit/credit card, PayPal, PayNearMe, prepaid company cards, or cash at certain casinos. Minimum deposits are $5; there are no withdrawal minimums.
|Minimum Withdrawal||None Listed|
|Total Withdrawal Methods||2|
|Check Payout Speed is < 10 days||Yes|
|No Withdrawal Fees - Check||Yes|
|Withdrawal Min/Max - Check||$5/Varies|
What is the minimum deposit at PointsBet?
The minimum amount required to open an account at PointsBet is $5.
What kind of customer support does PointsBet?
PointsBet currently only offers live chat and email customer support. There is no phone support line.
What sports can you bet on at PointsBet?
PointsBet currently offers 18 different sports.
|Total Sports Offered||18|
|Aussie Rules (AFL)||Yes|
|Sports & Bets Offered|
For the BettingBuck.com annual best online sportsbooks review published in 2020, a total of 2,300 data points were collected over six months and used to score sportsbooks. Additionally, odds data was collected for each sportsbook on over 1,400 bets to give each sportsbook a comparative odds ranking.
Sports betting sites were scored across seven core categories to computer an overall rating: total number of sports and bets offered, odds, live betting features, mobile apps, educational resources, ease of use, and current bonuses.
Learn more about how we test.
About the author: Joey Shadeck Joey Shadeck is the lead writer for BettingBuck.com and content strategist for Michigan-based Reink Media Group. He has closely tracked sports betting in the United States for the last two years, compiling hundreds of data points across dozens of sportsbooks. He has 5 years of online betting experience with hundreds of bets placed during that time.