How To Bet On Sports In North Carolina: A Beginners Guide to Betting in NC

Fact Checked by Nate Hamilton

As you may have noticed by now, online North Carolina sports betting has officially launched.

Sportsbooks have been open at North Carolina’s tribal casinos for a few years but now everyone 21 and older from Asheville to Greenville and everywhere in between has a chance to take part. Many new gamblers are expected to begin wagering on sports, so I will cover three tips to help you get started and breakdown common language that is important to understand below. 

Before we get started, the most important key to sports betting is learning responsible gambling practices and the signs of problem gambling addiction. 

The North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services provides education, prevention, treatment, and recovery resources to those in need of help. 

If you or someone you know is struggling with problem gambling, text the phrase "morethanagamenc" to 53342, call 877-718-5543, or visit to get free resources to help you or your loved one build a strong support system and create a path to recovery. 

For more info, check out out experts tips to gamble responsibly including a list of Problem Gambling resources should gambling become more than just a game.

See for Terms. Must be 21+ to participate & present in NC only. New Customer Offer. Subject to eligibility requirements. Rewards are non-withdrawable bonus bets that expire in 7 days. Gambling problem? Call 877-718-5543 or visit

How To Bet On Sports In NC: Three Expert Tips

While there are plenty of residents who are probably experienced sports bettors, there will also be many newcomers to the game of skill. They may have taken part in an office pool or a jackpot fundraiser for a team, but it’s unlikely they’ve ever laid or taken points.

Those individuals likely have a lot of questions.

What I want to provide are some tips to help newcomers get started in sports betting now that it's live in NC, so consider this my Sports Betting 101 class. Let’s begin.

1. Stick With Sports You Know 

When you log on to an app, don’t go to the table tennis page and start betting on matches if you don’t know anything about the players. If you’re a hockey fan, start with NHL games, or go to basketball if you’re a hoops fan. There will be plenty of options for you.

You also don’t need to bet on teams. If you’ve played daily fantasy sports before, you may feel more comfortable betting on a player’s performance instead. Those are available typically by clicking on the match in question. There’s also microbetting, which is the term for in-game markets. Think your team might score the next goal or basket? You can wager on that at most sportsbooks.

2. Bet With Your Head And Not Your Heart

You will be inclined to bet on your favorite team. It’s a natural feeling, and sportsbooks and broadcasters seem to encourage it. Years ago, I had a rule where I wouldn’t bet on a team in which I was a fan or against a team I hated. My reasoning back then was that I always wanted my team to win or their rivals to lose. However, that’s not an objective way to look at things, and you need to be objective when you’re making wagers.

I’ve softened that stance some as I’ve wagered more, and I’ve learned to identify what (or so I think) is a good wager and what isn’t. There are even times now when I would seriously consider betting against my team. That might sound blasphemous to some, but if you’re honest about the team you follow, then you know there are times when the odds or spread aren’t in their favor.

If you have a deep attachment to your favorite team, I recommend not betting on that team. At least when you start placing bets. If seeing your team lose stings, then it’ll likely sting even more if you lose money as well.

3. Have a Money Management Plan

This is the most critical component of a good sports betting strategy. There are a lot of highs and lows with sports betting. If you deposit $100 into your account, limit wagers on games and players to about $5. Bet much more per game, and you could easily wager your way to $0 in short order. If you’re betting in-game, go with a smaller amount because there are more chances to play.

Along these lines, never chase a bet, either. Sometimes, you’ll lose a few games in a row. Everybody goes on a cold spell. Trying to win it back quickly almost never works. You’re likely to make a decision on impulse and not think it through clearly. Instead, take some time away and prepare for the next time you’re ready to bet.

Bonus Tip

I’ll leave you with one more money management piece: Shop around. North Carolina sports betting apps like BetMGM and ESPN BET are no different than Best Buy and Target. If one store has a product you want for $20 less, more than likely, that’s where you’ll buy it.

Sportsbooks work the same way. Each one will have its own odds for games and futures markets. Sometimes, they’ll be close, but not all the time. 

As of last Monday, FanDuel was offering odds on Kentucky winning the NCAA championship at +3500. Those odds were much higher than other books and nearly twice as long as Caesars, which had the Wildcats at +1800. 

If you’re going to bet your money, you might as well make sure you get the biggest return possible.

If you’re still trying to decide which sportsbooks to download, has expert reviews on the eight that will be operating in the Tar Heel State next week. The site also has North Carolina sportsbook promo codes to help boost your bankroll, too.

More Sports Betting 101 Resources

How to Bet on Sports in North Carolina FAQ


Steve Bittenbender
Sports Betting Expert & Insider

As a writer and analyst for, Steve not only covers gaming news and developments in North Carolina but also provides insights into what they mean for bettors, licensed operators and the state. A veteran journalist with 25 years of experience covering sports, politics and business, Steve has reported on the gambling industry intently over the past five years.

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