DraftKings is the 800-lb gorilla of online sports betting. What was once the leader in daily fantasy sports has become the leader in legal sports betting, with more than 10 million registered users across the US.
There is no doubt DraftKings is a popular choice among bettors, but does that mean this is the right sportsbook for you? This DraftKings review intends to help you answer that question as we go into great detail discussing how it approaches the sports betting business, what it does well, and where it could improve.
- Established: 2012
- Licensed and operational in: CO, IL, IN, IA, MI, NH, NJ, PA, TN, VA, WV
- Welcome bonus: 20% up to $1,000
- Bonus code: None needed
- Deposit methods: Credit card, debit card, online bill pay, ACH/eCheck, PayPal, Play+, DK gift card, wire transfer, VanillaDirect
- Withdrawal methods: ACH/eCheck, PayPal, Play+, check by mail
DraftKings Bonus and Promotions
Promotions are a big selling point for DraftKings. A massive marketing budget makes it possible for DraftKings to issue frequent promos, many of which provide excellent value.
New Customers: 20% up to $1,000 Deposit Bonus
New DraftKings customers who sign up for an account and make a first deposit of at least $5 qualify for a 20% welcome bonus worth up to $1,000.
The DraftKings bonus is one of the largest in the industry, but two caveats mitigate its value:
- The bonus comes with a 25x wagering requirement
- DraftKings issues the bonus as non-withdrawable site credit
If you claim this offer, you will receive $1 in bonus funds for every $25 you bet on sports or spend on fantasy contest entries. Bonus funds are not withdrawable, but any money you win by wagering them is withdrawable.
For example, a $5,000 deposit would get you $1,000 in bonus funds, and you would need to place $25,000 worth of bets to clear the entire bonus amount.
Bettors have 90 days to clear as much of the bonus as possible, and only wagers placed at odds of -300 or longer count toward the clearing requirements. For example, a bet placed at odds of -110 or +110 would count, but a wager placed at -350 would not.
If you or someone you know has a gambling problem, crisis counseling and referral services can be accessed by calling 1-800-GAMBLER (1-800-426-2537) (IL)Gambling Problem? Call 1-800-GAMBLER (NJ/WV/PA), 1-800-9-WITH-IT (IN), 1-800-522-4700 (CO), 1-800-BETS OFF (IA), or TN REDLINE: 800-889-9789.21+. NJ/PA/WV/IN/IA/CO/IL/TN only. Deposit bonus requires 25x play-thru. Deposit Bonus issued as site credits. In partnership with Meadows Racetrack & Casino. Eligibility restrictions apply. See DraftKings.com/sportsbook for details.
Other Ongoing Promos
One of DraftKings’ big selling points, and one that bettors often mention on social media when discussing where to bet online, is its promotional lineup.
The DraftKings welcome offer is a little underwhelming due to its high wagering requirements, but its ongoing promotions are usually great deals. DraftKings always has multiple promos on offer, usually tuned to the current sports of the season.
It is not unusual for bettors to log in and find five or more open offers ranging from free bets to moneyback guarantees. DraftKings launches new promos often as it phases out older offers, but below are some examples of promotions it has run in the past.
- CBB/UFC Bet Boost: New users who signed up during this promo could place a $1 bet to win $100 on any college basketball game or UFC fight
- CBB Women’s Profit Boost: Get a 25% bonus on any women’s college basketball national championship 2nd or 3rd round bet
- UFC Profit Boost: Place a bet on the upcoming UFC card to get a 26% payout boost
- March Mania Parlay Boost: Get a 20% profit boost on any 3+ leg March Madness Round 3 parlay bet
- Summer of Soccer: Bet on three big soccer tournaments happening this summer to get a $10 free bet
- Daily Free-to-Play Pools: During this promotional period, DraftKings ran free-to-play March Madness pools that let users build tournament brackets for a chance to win cash prizes
- MLB 5+ Run Insurance: Get your bet back (up to $25) if your team scores 5+ runs and still loses
- Summer Fridays: Every Friday for a month, log in to DraftKings for a new offer
- Daily odds boosts: DraftKings enhances the odds on select markets every day, giving customers bigger payouts on winning bets
The long-running DraftKings referral program offers up to $100 in free bets for you and every friend you refer.
Here’s how it works:
- Log in to your DraftKings account
- Open the account settings menu and select “refer a friend”
- Copy your unique referral link and send it to your friend(s)
- If your friend uses your link to visit DraftKings and signs up for an account, you’ll be credited for referring that person
- You and your friend will each receive up to $100 in free bets
Your friends must use your personal link to visit DraftKings for you to receive credit, and they must not already have an account. The amount of your friend’s first deposit determines the size of your free bet:
- $25-$49: You each receive a $25 free bet
- $50-$99: You each receive a $50 free bet
- $100+: You each receive a $100 free bet
DraftKings Sports Betting Review
DraftKings is the nation’s most popular sportsbook for a reason. A ton of marketing firepower doesn’t hurt, but DraftKings Sportsbook holds its own relative to other operators strictly in terms of bets offered, features, and promotions.
Standard features include options to buy points/bet on alternate spreads, in-play betting, flash bets that resolve within minutes, detailed pregame stats, and visual displays that show the action on the field.
Statistics and Betting Trends
DraftKings provides detailed statistics and betting trends for all major US sports. The stats and information presented here are so extensive that it’s almost like having your own data analytics tool integrated into the DraftKings app.
The stats hub provides a ton of information so you can get quick answers to questions such as:
- Which player prop bets have paid out the most often over this player’s last five games?
- In which round does my UFC fighter tend to finish his fights lately? What’s his record against fighters with a longer reach? How does he perform against southpaws?
- How often does my NFL team lose after leading at the half?
- What percentage of the time does Player A score at least once in a game? How often is he the first pointscorer? The last?
Customers can visit the odds page of an upcoming game and then select the “stats” tab to view a wide range of stats and betting information organized into five categories:
- Preview: Lists each team’s record, current odds, implied win probability, venue, average points total between these two teams, over/under record, random facts (i.e., Player X has recorded 10+ rebounds in each of his last ten games), and a ton of matchup stats that show each team’s leaguewide ranking for points per game, points against, and much more
- Player Props: Displays individual players’ stats, recommends prop bets based on past performance (i.e., wagers on this player to score X+ assists won 80% of the time over the last five games), injury updates, and integrates options to bet on specific player props while viewing stats
- Stats: Long list of betting stats that show each team’s record at home and on the road, how often they cover the spread as favorites and underdogs, how often they win by five points or less, how often they win after leading at the half, and much more
- Betting Trends: Percentage of the time each team has covered the spread, line movements, and over/under record
- Standings: Leaguewide standings and stats that show where each team currently stands in the league in terms of win records, against the spread wins, point totals, and many other stats
Early Cash Out
The Cash Out feature at DraftKings allows customers to close their bets early before the underlying event has concluded. Bettors can use the Cash Out feature to lock in some of their winnings if the game is going well or cut their losses if things aren’t looking good.
Live Streaming Video
Customers with an account balance above $0.00 can watch live streaming sports feeds through the DraftKings app or website for free.
The selection is still limited to smaller, international sports such as Korean baseball and German soccer games, but DraftKings says it plans to expand its live streaming lineup over time.
Being able to watch live and bet at the same time through the DraftKings app is a significant advantage over most other sportsbooks. Even for smaller sports that you might not usually follow, being able to place in-play bets while you watch is a fun feature.
DISH Network Integration
DraftKings has an agreement with DISH Network to deliver the sports betting experience directly to DISH customers. DISH subscribers can access DraftKings through their internet-connected Hopper receivers to initiate wagers and schedule recordings to watch the associated game.
If you have a Hopper family receiver and a DraftKings account, you can initiate wagers through your TV. Doing so will prompt DraftKings to send a link via text message that will launch the mobile app with your bet ready for confirmation.
DraftKings Odds Review
DraftKings received a fair amount of criticism in its earlier days for steep pricing compared to the competition, but it has made significant progress on that front. Today, DraftKings’ odds are much more competitive depending on the sport and types of markets.
Like other mainstream operators, DraftKings is now a middle-of-the-road sportsbook for pricing. In some sports, DraftKings is above average. In others, it still has room for improvement.
For instance, DraftKings’ college basketball moneylines are very competitive. When we compare DraftKings to other major sportsbooks, it often offers the best moneyline for at least one side of most college basketball matchups. On the other hand, DraftKings lags behind the competition on college basketball point spreads.
Its pricing on NFL games is about average, while its odds for NHL and international soccer games are above average.
In summary, DraftKings provides the best odds often enough on a wide variety of sports that it is worth adding to your list of sportsbooks to check when looking for value.
Below, we compare DraftKings NBA pricing for three games selected at random versus the odds offered by two other mainstream sportsbooks:
|Game||DraftKings Odds||BetMGM Odds||William Hill Odds|
Sports Covered and Types of Wagers Offered
DraftKings Sportsbook takes a comprehensive approach to legal sports betting. While other books tend to stick to tried-and-true types of wagers, DraftKings has shown a propensity to color outside the lines.
Customers will find straight pregame bets, tons of player props, in-play betting, flash betting, predictions pools, and the occasional handicapping contest.
Sports coverage is similarly extensive. DraftKings offers betting for major US sports, international leagues, college games, and even sports as niche as bandy and pesäpallo. Customers in some states can even bet on the Drone Racing League.
Throughout the year, DraftKings hosts predictions pools for the biggest sports of the season, such as NFL pools during football season and college basketball pools around March Madness.
DraftKings is the only sportsbook that regularly hosts predictions pools, many of which are free to enter and offer real cash prizes.
Participating is easy:
- Log in to your DraftKings account and visit the pools tab
- Choose your contest (some require a nominal entry fee; many are free)
- Answer 10 or so questions such as which team will win the game, who will score the first goal, whether or not an individual player will score more than X points, and so on
- Collect your payout if you answer enough questions correctly to place high on the leaderboard
DraftKings hosts several massive handicapping contests each year, including the capstone Sports Betting National Championship.
Each championship functions differently, but they all involve making predictions or betting on sports with a fixed bankroll and competing for large payouts.
For example, the annual Sports Betting National Championship guarantees $2.5 million in prizes, including $1 million reserved for first place. Players can enter the contest directly for $10,000 or win their way in through daily fantasy qualifies hosted at DraftKings.com.
The $10,000 buyin includes a $5,000 bankroll and covers the $5,000 entry fee. The contest runs across the NFL Divisional Playoff games, and every entrant uses their bankroll to bet on those games throughout the tournament. After the final playoff game concludes, the players with the largest bankrolls win cash prizes ranging from $15,000 to $1,000,000.
DraftKings introduced flash bets a few years back as an even faster-paced way to bet on sports in-game.
Flash Bets initially launched for tennis matches, allowing players to bet between points and receive instant payouts after each point. Meanwhile, an embedded graphic display tracks the tennis ball in real-time as it moves back and forth across the court.
Sports Covered (varies by season):
- Aussie Rules
- Beach Volleyball
- Cycling (track and road)
- Cyclo Cross
- Horse Racing
- Mixed Martial Arts
- Motor Sports
- Rugby League
- Rugby Union
- Table Tennis
- Winter Sports
Sports Betting Interface
The DraftKings sports betting interface puts a ton of information at users’ fingertips, but it takes some getting used to because there is a lot to sort through between the various odds listings, menus, and randomly placed promotional offers.
The interface feels too busy at times, especially for mobile users. However, the way DraftKings’ menus provide quick jump links to specific divisions such as the NFL’s AFC or college football’s Big 12 is a nice touch.
From the homepage, users can select any game to view the complete list of betting markets for that game. Each betting page uses a tab system to organize wagers by categories such as game lines (point spreads and alternate spreads), props, halves, game props, player props, and so on.
DraftKings also provides a handy feature in which users can select any league from the navigation menu and then use a tab system to view the odds on various categories of wagers across every upcoming game. For example, bettors can visit the NFL page, select the “halves” tab and see the first half/second half odds for every game all in one. Typically, users would have to visit and back out of each game individually to compare the first half/second half odds across multiple games.
DraftKings Mobile App
The DraftKings app performs well on the technical side. Menus load quickly, the app is stable, and in-play betting odds update in real-time without issue.
However, the home page is overly crowded, with promotions, navigation menus, odds, and other information presented haphazardly all over the place.
Various account and alerts settings occupy the very top of the page, and beneath those in order moving down the page are:
- Large promotions banners
- Quick navigation links
- Another promotions banner
- A set of tabs dedicated to various sports
- A third promotions banner
- More navigation links at the bottom.
It leaves little space for the app to show popular upcoming games, which forces users to open one of the numerous navigation menus to find games that really should be featured front and center.
Things improve significantly once you get past the homepage. DraftKings organizes its main betting pages in an intuitive manner, with the main markets (spread, moneyline, and total) displayed prominently and a tab system to show every other type of bet by categories such as player props, halves, and game props.
In-Play Betting Review
As one of the nation’s most well-funded operators, DraftKings has all the financial backing and expertise it needs to provide a slick in-play betting platform for customers. It’s not perfect, but it is one of the better options on the market today.
Starting with its strong points, the DraftKings live betting platform maintains a busy calendar of events. Day or night, users will almost always find multiple events in play and open for action with live odds.
DraftKings provides comprehensive coverage of US sports, with in-play markets for every NFL, NBA, MLB, and NHL game, plus golf, tennis, and a wide range of international sports. Bettors will find action on international rugby games, soccer, and even table tennis during off-peak hours.
Live streaming video for select sports significantly adds to the experience as well. DraftKings has yet to strike an agreement with a major US sport to stream its games, but that seems increasingly likely over time. Even streaming niche sports such as Korean baseball is a lot of fun when you can bet on those games as you watch.
One weak point is DraftKings lacks the in-play “Game Tracker” feature that shows live stats and actions on the court for many of its live events. The lack of this feature was especially noticeable during the last March Madness, with in-play betting stats limited to pregame stats collected before the game.
In-Play Betting Screenshots
DraftKings Deposit Methods
DraftKings accepts a wide range of deposit methods, but availability varies by state. Login to your DraftKings account to see which of these methods are an option where you live.
- Credit or debit card: DraftKings accepts most major credit and debit card brands, but some banks automatically block all transactions to known gambling operators. If your credit card deposit is declined, the next best option is online bill pay or ACH/eCheck.
- Online bill pay: Use your bank’s existing login information to approve a transfer of funds to your DraftKings account. Selecting this method will open a window hosted by your bank that will allow you to log in and confirm the transfer. This option only works with major banks. If your bank is not supported, try the ACH/eCheck method.
- ACH/eCheck: Initiate an electronic transfer of funds from your bank account to DraftKings. You will be asked to provide your account and routing number – deposits are credited to your account instantly.
- PayPal: Select this option, choose an amount to deposit, and then log in to your PayPal account to approve the transaction.
- Play+ prepaid card: Choose this method to establish a virtual, prepaid debit card to fund your DraftKings account instantly. Later, you will receive a physical prepaid gift card tied to your Play+ balance to use at ATMs and make purchases wherever Discover is accepted.
- DraftKings Gift Card: In some states, bettors can purchase DraftKings gift cards in-person at convenience stores and redeem them online at DraftKings.com or through the mobile app.
- Wire Transfer: Select this method to receive instructions for sending a wire transfer from your bank to DraftKings – you may need to visit your bank in-person to complete the transfer. This is not the most convenient method, but it works well for large transactions.
- VanillaDirect Pay: Choose this method if you want to fund your DraftKings account with cash. Selecting this method will prompt DraftKings to generate a barcode that you can print or save to your phone. Take the barcode to a nearby 7-Eleven, Dollar General, and other similar retailers to pay with cash.
DraftKings customer support is mediocre. Bettors can visit a self-help section for assistance with frequently asked questions, but many answers lack detail and leave the readers with unanswered questions.
Customer support contact methods are also limited. A visit to the “contact us” page only offers a support request form, an e-mail address, and a phone call back request form. It is also worth noting complaints abound on social media regarding slow response times from the DraftKings support team.