Sports Betting Limits

Sports betting limits are designed for one thing only – to limit or otherwise minimize the house’s (i.e. sportsbook) damage. Typically, sports betting has a small profit margin – usually between 1% to 4%. There’s very little room for error, so sportsbooks have designed a way to counter that. That’s where limits come into play.

Note that we’ve featured sportsbooks on this page that – due primarily to their outstanding reputation and the care that they put into making sure that your transactions are handled efficiently and securely – offer players a large variety of betting limits, giving members the best possible online gambling experience.

Here’s the general rule that most sportsbooks abide by when setting up limits: if the sportsbook isn’t comfortable losing 5x its stated limit, then the betting limit is considered too high.

There are three basic factors that go into the establishing sports betting limits decision-making: the accuracy of the lines, historically-speaking, their mix of customers, and their profit trends. Taking all of these factors into account, sportsbooks usually establish limits for their most popular sports, and work their way down from there.

Let’s say a sportsbook establishes a $10,000 limit on NFL sides – imposing a $1,000 limit on NFL totals would fit into that big picture just right. Most of these “esoteric” side bets are made by professional bettors, so by keeping the total wagers comparatively low, a sportsbook can keep some leverage.

Taking our above example as a jumping off point, then a typical schedule of betting limits might look something like this:

$10,000 side limit / $1,000 totals limit

You can find some all manner of NFL lines and a variety of betting limits at

Bodog logo

$5,000 side limit / $500 totals limit

For college football and all college sports in general, you’ll find tremendous variety at

Sportsbook logo

$3,000 side limit / $500 totals limit

$3,000 side limit / $300 totals limit

For great NBA lines and limits, check out BetUS.

BetUS logo

Hockey’s betting limits aren’t usually very high, since casual players rarely bet heavily on this sport, unlike an equally-matched boxing attraction which is typically booked at NFL limit levels.

Online Gambling on sports can be a really fun and fruitful thing – and finding that perfect ‘sweet spot’ of sports betting limits can enhance your experience. Check out our recommended sportsbooks for the best variety in betting limits.

Please keep in mind that this is a science. There is not a lot of wiggle room to speak of since the house wins either way. There is a lot of information out there now and if you use it properly there is certain advantages you can find. Some people make a great living off of little more than knowing the science of sports and betting.

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