How to Find the Best Betting Site
Shopping around for the best online sports betting site? Well, there are a number of things to look for when you’re doing your evaluation. We’ve set up an eight-step checklist of the most important features to consider for your betting site. Make sure the online betting site you’re depositing at checks off as many of these as possible:
Trust and Reliability
For us, this is one of the most important factors. When you’re sending money to a betting site, you want to make sure that the site is a legit operation that is trusted, reliable and has good reviews. The last thing you want is to be dealing with a shady operation. What they might do is welcome a deposit and let you play as long as you lose, but if you go to withdraw, they might give you the run around. If you hear stories about sites like that, avoid them.
At SportsbookAudit.com, we compile a complete aggregate score. That way you’re getting impartial ratings of all US betting sites from the industry, so that you can see how the sites are graded across the board. Instead of going to each site, you can come here and see it all in one place.
What you’ll want to do is stick with the top betting sites that are well-reviewed and are reliable. There are plenty of them out there, so there’s no need to risk it with a betting site that’s untrustworthy.
In terms of the financials, you’ll want to take a look and see what type of deposit and withdrawal methods are available. The best online sports gambling sites on the market will have plenty of options for you and generally speaking, you’ll want to avoid the books that allow just a couple of options. It’s not always a red flag when a book has limited banking methods but it’s definitely more encouraging when there are lots of options. Some of the most common methods are Visa, MasterCard, prepaid cards, PayPal, Skrill, person-to-person, e-checks, bank transfers, bank wires and cryptocurrencies like BitCoin and Litecoin. The best Bitcoin betting sportsbook on the market is Nitrogen Sports.
One other thing we always check-in on is what are their fees and what are their timeframes for both deposits and transfers. With fees, ideally you’d have free options for your money going in and out. With time frames, deposits should be instantaneous while payouts should be processed fairly quickly – depending on the method.
One of the most enticing aspects of signing up for a betting site account is the initial deposit bonus. After all, who doesn’t like some free money? Of course, if you read our article on sportsbook bonuses, you’ll know it’s not completely free and you’ll learn that not all bonuses are made the same.
At the same time, make sure you take advantage of the deposit bonus because this gives your bankroll a boost. It’s hard enough to win in sports betting, so if you can start out ahead of the game, that puts you in good shape.
We tend to look for betting sites that offer cash bonuses (versus risk-free bets) and that have low rollover requirements. Those are usually the best bonuses you can get. A couple of good ones that we like are BetOnline, who’ll will give you a 50% deposit bonus up to $1000 in cash or BetNow, who offers the same promo but with a smaller rollover at eight times (compared to 10x for BetOnline). However, by far the best promotion we've seen is from SportsBetting, who offer a 75% deposit bonus up to $1,000. Check out our full SportsBetting review for additional bonus information.
Betting Lines Available
The betting lines are the product at the betting site and there is a big difference in offerings from the best sports betting sites to the worst. At SportsbookAudit, we compile the aggregate score of the books from across the industry. We take into account all of the major sports betting critics and their evaluation of the betting lines is a big part of how they grade. By gathering all of those scores and putting them in one place for you on SportsbookAudit.com, we’re doing the legwork so that we can point you in the best direction in terms of the best betting sites with the best lines.
For the most part, we’ve found that every betting site will have lines on the basic things like NFL point spreads, hockey moneylines, baseball lines and basketball odds. You’ll be able to bet on point spreads, moneylines and totals in all of those sports. The big differences come in with props, futures and some of the fringe sports categories. We found that MyBookie consistently has the best odds for boxing.
For example, the best online betting sites will have a vast array of props for each game, which will allow you to bet on player performances and various other happenings in the game. The better books will also post season-long props like regular season win totals, props to win awards and fun topical subjects (like where a free agent might sign next).
In terms of the fringe sports, some books ignore the entertainment realm while others post lines on the Oscars, reality shows and politics. For us, it will always make sense to deposit and play with the sports betting websites that provide more lines to choose from.
Live Sports Betting
Speaking of the sports betting lines, make sure you take a peek at the live betting section. Our experts have found that there’s a big difference here too from the best online sports betting sites to the worst.
The top online betting sites will give you the opportunity to live bet all of the games. For example, if there are 14 games on an NFL Sunday, they’ll allow you to live bet every single one. And the same with college football, basketball and hockey. However, some of the words books are limited with live betting and will only post lines on the major stuff. Keep that in mind when you’re shopping around.
How Early Are The Lines Up?
Another important factor that we consider is how early the betting lines get posted. Some betting sites will be a bit lazy with their lines and opening them at noon for the games that evening. For example, Bovada isn’t always early with their lines although they are getting better. Other sportsbooks will open up the lines the night before (overnight lines) and even offer look ahead lines. Typically, BetOnline and BookMaker are two betting sites that are first to the market and open lines.
Early lines are important as they offer an early sports wagering opportunity to bet on the games before the lines have moved around. A lot of professional bettors will be on the games early on before the public piles in and changes the numbers. If your book is slow to put up the numbers, you won’t get this opportunity. The best online sports betting sites either post the numbers as early as possible.
Juice On The Lines
The juice (also known as the Vig for Vigorish) on the betting lines is sometimes overlooked by new customers but it’s something that we always take note of. If you’re not familiar with what juice means, in short, betting sites with lower juice will allow your money to go further. For example, most betting sites might have -110 lines for football games but if a betting site offers -105 on football, that means you’ll be potentially saving about 5% in the long run. If you’re betting to win $100, it means you’d have to bet $110 to win $100 on -110 and $105 to win $100 on -105 lines.
This is a great perk that’s offered by some of the best betting sites such as Heritage Sports as it means your money will go further. If books are charging higher prices and higher juice on the lines, it’s a bit of a price gouge, so see if you can find low (or lower) juice options.
When you’re browsing around for the best sports gambling sites, take a peek at what type of promotions are available. Sure, almost every book gives you an initial deposit bonus but what do they offer beyond that?
The best betting sites will offer some ongoing promotions, like weekly or monthly incentives where you can win more money by betting on certain things, tying promos to different events like the Super Bowl or running various contests where customers can play.
Although loyalty programs are not what they used to be, it’s nice when you find a betting site that has one. The more you play, the more you get rewarded, so why not take advantage? It’s a shame that a number of sportsbetting websites have gotten rid of them.
How To Open an Account at a Sports Betting Site
Once you’ve settled on the sports betting site that you want to play at, the last step is to open up an account and fund it with money in to play with. The process is quite simple:
- Visit The Sports Betting Site Homepage
Surf over to one of our recommended sports betting sites and look for a ‘Join’ button.
- Fill Out The Form
From there, they’ll ask you to fill out some basic form, which will ask basic details like your age, address and e-mail. It’s all standard stuff across the board and it will take about 1-2 minutes.
- Deposit & Play
That’s really all it takes to open up a betting site account. Once you’ve opened the account and been verified, head over to the banking section and make a deposit. After your funds have hit the account, it’s time for you to dive into the action!