How to Use Your bet365 Bonus Bets in Pennsylvania

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PAUL ELLIS/AFP via Getty Images. Pictured: A man poses for a photograph with the online gambling website Bet365 displayed on a smartphone.

It's been a while since Pennsylvania got a new sportsbook, but now bet365 is a part of the pack. As a welcome offer, bet365 is giving all new users \$150 in bonus bets plus 50 spins in the online casino.

At bet365, your bonus bets can be split up into any increment you'd like (so you can make one, \$150 bet or 150, \$1 bets and anything in between), and they expire in seven days.

But how should you use those bonus bets? Let's break down the four ways I've categorized — the optimal way, the fun way, the "safe" way, and the sub-optimal way.

1. The Optimal Way

Because you're not keeping the stake of your bonus bets, it will always make more sense mathematically to take a plus-money underdog. The higher the line, the more expected value.

The expected value (EV) is the probability of the bet winning multiplied by the amount you can expect to win. In simpler terms, it's the amount you'd win if you played the bet out an infinite number of times.

Take these three examples, all with a \$50 bet.

OddsWin AmountProbabilityEV
-250\$2071.43%+\$14.28
+250\$12528.57%+\$35.71
+500\$25016.67%+\$41.67

It’s mathematically impossible to get a bigger advantage over the sportsbook on a favorite than on an underdog with a bonus bet. The longer the odds, the more value you get.

Unfortunately, we're not living in a world with infinite bonus bets, so you shouldn't use all your bonus bets on 250-1 longshots. I've seen a lot of EV tools this morning recommend Brice Turang to hit a triple for the Brewers tonight; he's got five triples in 232 career games.

So our recommendation is to find plus-money bets in the +300 to +500 range in tight, two-way markets. That means there's another side to the bet (like a "yes" and "no." If there's only one side, like touchdown scorers in the NFL, it gives the sportsbook license to price it however they want).

2. The Fun Way

The fun way is whatever way you want — sports betting is supposed to be entertaining, and your bonus bets are yours to use.

If you want to parlay a bunch of futures, go crazy. If you want to bet props, go wild. Again, I'll always recommend betting at plus-money no matter how you get there over the alternative of betting a huge favorite, but you should do whatever will provide you entertainment value.

3. The "Safe" Way

There's a way to "guarantee" profit from your bonus bets. In Europe, it's called "matched betting." In the U.S., it's known as "bonus bet conversion."

Sportsbooks hate this method, so you should never bet both sides at the same sportsbook. Here's how it works.

1. At Sportsbook 1, you're using your bonus bet
2. At Sportsbook 2, you're finding the opposite side of the same bet and betting it with cash.

Tools like CrazyNinjaOdds can help you find the optimal bets, and tell you the exact amounts of you need to bet.

In this case, you're profiting \$60 off \$100 worth of bonus bets no matter what happens in this game.

Just make sure:

• Whatever you bet can't end in a push/tie (like an NFL game, even if the chances are slim).
• You know that baseball betting rules are different by sportsbook; if the game gets delayed/canceled, you may not get the bonus bet back, but your cash bet might stand at another sportsbook. So I'd avoid baseball if possible, though it's tough given the time of year.
• You're betting each side at a different sportsbook

4. What You Shouldn't Do

There are any number of things you should not do with your bonus bets, including:

• Betting big favorites
• Betting the opposite side of the same game with another new user (not only is it against bet365's terms and conditions, but it's sub-optimal from a value perspective)
• Bet a point spread or moneyline at -110