DraftKings made its way onto the daily fantasy sports scene in 2012 and it’s quickly grown to be the biggest platform in the industry. With DraftKings (opens in new tab), you can play in daily or weekly fantasy sports competitions rather than season-long competitions.
One of the nice things about DraftKings is that it supports both free games and cash tournaments. You can practice your skills in a free daily game, or compete with other players to win real money. Since DraftKings launched, the platform has paid out more than $5 billion to players.
On top of that, DraftKings recently launched a sportsbook service so you can bet on professional and college sports. The sportsbook covers a huge variety of events and includes helpful betting-specific stats to help you do your research before placing a wager.
So, is DraftKings the best option if you want to play daily fantasy sports or place an online sports bet? Let’s dive deep into this platform to find out.
- Read on for the full review or head straight to the DraftKings website (opens in new tab)
Sign Up and Deposit
Signing up for DraftKings is fast and easy. You can create a new account with your email address. Or, sign up through Facebook to make the process even smoother.
Once you’ve created an account, you’re free to explore—there’s no requirement to make a deposit. You can even start playing free daily sports contests, many of which have cash prizes.
When you’re ready to add money to your account, the process is pretty simple. You can pay with a credit card, debit card, or PayPal, and the platform offers preset amounts to speed up the process. There is a $5 deposit minimum to keep in mind. But, at the time of writing, DraftKings will give you $20 for free the first time you make a deposit.
DraftKings Sportsbook is an entirely separate service from DraftKings daily fantasy sports. You’ll need to create a separate account, and there’s quite a bit more personal information required—including your social security number. That’s because DraftKings has to report gambling winnings to tax agencies.
As of February 2020, DraftKings Sportsbook is matching 20% of your first deposit and 100% of your first bet, up to $500 each.
DraftKings Sportsbook covers just about every professional sport you could think of. You can bet on golf, motorsports, football, rugby, soccer, tennis, and much more, and there are multiple leagues available for placing bets within each sport.
The sportsbook includes standard over/under, spread, and moneyline bets, in addition to a range of props bets for every match. For most events, you can also bet on individual players. Placing bets is extremely simple, as you just click on the odds you like and select how much you’re willing to wager.
You’ll also find live betting, which the platform conveniently puts in its own section so you can keep tabs on all the events happening right now. Placing live bets on individual plays can be entertaining, but I found that the odds are often inflated in DraftKings’ favor compared to standard pregame bets.
What really sets DraftKings Sportsbook apart is the wealth of in-platform research and stats. In addition to the standard sport-specific statistics you’ll find everywhere, DraftKings Sportsbook offers betting-specific numbers. For example, you can quickly find out how well a team has performed against the spread this season or how often a team wins when they’re the favorite.
Unfortunately, you do pay extra for that information. DraftKings Sportsbook charges a much higher sportsbook margin than online competitors like FanDuel and BetStars. Looking at some recent moneyline margins, DraftKings Sportsbook charged around 1.5% more in the odds it was offering.
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DraftKings Fantasy Sports
DraftKings started as a daily fantasy sports platform, and it excels in this regard. Once again, the selection of sports you can play is enormous. You’ll find daily and weekly fantasy competitions for nearly every major US sports league, golf and tennis tournaments, NASCAR races, and even eSports. All of these are organized into a lobby on the platform’s main page, which allows you to quickly see what major contests are going on across your favorite sports.
The range of competitions is just as diverse—DraftKings offers nine different contest types, which vary in entry fees and payouts. Many contests have guaranteed prize payouts, so you can know going in exactly how much you stand to win. In addition, there’s a contest type specifically for beginners, which you’re eligible for if you’ve played fewer than 50 games in a particular sport.
What’s more, the platform makes it pretty simple to find the competition you’re looking for. You can filter current games by sport, content type, entry fee, prize money, and field size.
Once you’ve picked a game to enter, DraftKings will feel extremely familiar to anyone who’s played traditional season-long fantasy sports. The interface is terrific. Players are searchable, organized by position, and can be added to your team in a single click. The only thing we thought was missing was a comprehensive library of player stats to dig into.
DraftKings doesn’t offer phone support for either daily fantasy or sportsbook, but there’s a live chat that’s almost as good. When we tested it, we initially got a chatbot, but I was able to connect with a real human within a few minutes. According to DraftKings, live agents are available most of the time, including on weekends when the most games and bets are taking place.
Playing daily fantasy sports through DraftKings is legal in Washington, D.C. and every state except Arizona, Hawaii, Idaho, Louisiana, Montana, Nevada, and Washington. You can also join DraftKings if you’re in Canada, the UK, Germany, Ireland, Austria, or Malta.
DraftKings Sportsbook is much more limited because of state laws. As of 2020, you must be located in New Jersey, West Virginia, Indiana, Pennsylvania, or New Hampshire at the time you place a bet. The platform also requires you to verify your location before allowing your to wager.
DraftKings is a leader in daily fantasy sports (opens in new tab) for a reason. The platform supports fantasy games around an enormous variety of sports. Better yet, the interface is extremely user-friendly, even if you’re putting together a team on the mobile app.
DraftKings Sportsbook is limited in its geographic coverage, but the abundance of betting-specific stats is a huge advantage for the platform. However, the margins on standard bets are quite high, so it’s not the best choice if you’re looking for the most frugal betting option.
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