Maryland Sports Betting: Strategies For Using Free Bets

With Maryland online sports betting inching closer to its launch, sportsbooks are starting to announce their pre-launch promo offers to entice customers to sign up. Many of these offers include free bet credits with no deposit required. 

What are the best ways to use free bets and how do you claim them? We’ll cover all of that in this article.

Best Strategies for Using Free Bets in Maryland

The Fine Print

The most important thing to note with free bets in terms of strategy is that any wagers won with credit will not include the wager amount back in your account.

For example, let’s say you placed and won a $25 bet with odds of -110. Under normal circumstances, your return would total $47.72 ($25 wager + $22.72 in winnings). With free bet credits, you would only receive the winnings at $22.72.

Because of this, it wouldn’t make sense to use a free bet credit on a heavy favorite. As an example, in college football, the Tennessee Volunteers have moneyline odds of -1500 against the Missouri Tigers in their Week 11 matchup according to DraftKings. Using a $50 free bet credit would win just $3.33. 

You might think you’re “locking in” free money, but you’re actually just limiting yourself.

Some sportsbooks will also restrict the types of wagers you can place using free bet credits, so be sure to look over the terms and conditions. 

Find Reasonable Underdogs

On the opposite side of what I just laid out above would be taking massive underdogs, such as the Nebraska Cornhuskers’ moneyline (+2200) versus Michigan. Of course, turning $25 into $550 sounds fantastic, but you’re more than likely just wasting a bet. 

Instead, find favorable odds on underdogs that actually have a shot at pulling off the upset. The Cleveland Browns take on the Miami Dolphins on the road in Week 10 and, at the time of this writing, have moneyline odds of +172 (FanDuel). As 4-point underdogs, there’s a realistic chance the Browns come away with a win against a Dolphins team that just let up 32 points to the Chicago Bears. A $25 free bet would get you over $40 in your account if Cleveland were to win.

Use Small Parlays to Boost Your Odds

A parlay is when you combine two or more wagers in a single bet slip. Each individual bet is called a “leg” and since each leg has to hit for your wager to result in a win, the odds are longer and therefore your potential winnings are greater. 

Parlaying a longer-odds favorite with either a shorter-odds favorite or an underdog in a projected close game is a strategy you can use to boost your overall odds. 

On Nov. 7, parlaying the Washington Wizards moneyline (+110) with the Chicago Bulls moneyline (-175) resulted in odds of +230 on DraftKings Sportsbook. Using a $25 free bet credit would winnings of almost $60 to your account if it were to hit.

Stick to What You Know

This is an important but overlooked thing to keep in mind, especially in regard to the underdog and parlay strategies. You certainly don’t have to be an expert in the sport in which you place a wager, but you should at least have a basic understanding of it and the teams or players involved. 

If you haven’t watched college basketball since Steve Francis played, stay away from betting on it.

Likewise, don’t blindly follow betting advice or picks from random social media accounts. Quality content creators do exist in the space, but weeding the good from the bad is easier said than done.

How to Claim Free Bets from Maryland Sportsbooks

At the time of this writing, DraftKings, FanDuel, and PointsBet have announced Maryland launch bonuses. There are no promo codes required for the DraftKings or FanDuel promos but PointsBet does require one.

Here’s how to claim your free bets:

With each sportsbook, new users who sign up for an account prior to the actual launch day will receive free bets on the day the operator goes live in the state. Both DraftKings and FanDuel are also allowing new users to claim their standard sportsbook bonuses on top of the pre-launch offers.

AP Photo/Bill Kostroun

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