How To Choose the Best Sportsbook
Choosing the right online sports betting site should never be a gamble. There are several factors involved when trying to choose from the hundreds of online sports betting sites on the internet. It really comes down to one basic question: do they pay when I win? Above that there are a number of concerns about how quickly they pay, how good their service is, and a handful of other questions, but none more important than that of whether or not you’re going to get ripped off.
There is nothing worse than having a profitable week and they stiff you by going out of business. Ever since the USA implemented tougher financial restrictions for the online gaming industry, the bigger and well-established sportsbooks have risen to the top while most of smaller companies literally closed overnight. Unlike 10 years ago, it’s a lot easier to find a reputable online sportsbook. You will now have the confidence that when you win, you will get paid on time. Here are some key factors to consider when choosing an online sportsbook.
Deposits & Payouts (Withdrawals)This is the No. 1 factor by far when choosing an online sports betting site. As a sports better, there is nothing worse than having to wait weeks before getting paid. What’s even worse is having to wait for your money to reach the sportsbook right before the big game is about start. To avoid the ladder, make sure you give yourself at least 60 minutes before game time when making a deposit. Especially during NFL and College Football season. Keep in mind, most sportsbooks are extremely busy with deposits right before a big, isolated, national TV game is about to start. The top-rated sportsbooks will offer its customers a variety of methods to fund and receive withdrawals. Also, the fees associated to deposit/withdrawal should be kept to a minimum to you. If you see very limited deposit/payout options, or they charge you high fees to give them your money that is a red flag and that sportsbook should be avoided.
BonusesWhat may look like a great bonus on paper is not always what you will end up getting. Sports betting sites are in business to attract as many members as possible. They want to make their 10% juice on point spread games. Most sportsbook bonus programs carry terms and conditions that may seem like your getting something for free when in fact you’re not. They can be very tricky with terms like rollover and max payouts. Max payouts is the amount of money you can withdrawal if a bonus was taken. It can be as much as 10 times your original deposit. Don’t fall for their gimmicks. A rollover is the number of times you must bet before you’re eligible to make a withdrawal. I can’t tell you how many complaints have been filed against certain sportsbooks because of its rollover clause. The top-rated sportsbooks will not have any bogus rollover clause or max payouts in its bonus programs. Make sure to always investigate this when choosing a sportsbook, otherwise what may look like a rich payout is nothing more than a big account balance.
PromotionsA best sports betting site will offer -105 juice on point spreads while others will offer 10 cent baseball lines. Both of these are excellent qualities and two of the factors I look for you when choosing a sportsbook. These promotions will help lower your losses in the long run. The better sportsbooks will offer you a reload bonus (a bonus every time you make a deposit) and a refer-a-friend bonus. Personally, I will never sign up with a sportsbook without some sort of reload bonus program. Make sure you read the terms and conditions, and they are to your liking.
UX, or User Experience: Website Access & DesignMake sure when choosing a best sports betting site that its home page and sports betting page load up in a timely matter. There is nothing worse than having to wait minutes for smaller sportsbook websites to appear on screen. Or even worse, you see the “website not responding” text on your computer screen. The top-rated sportsbooks web pages should load within seconds of clicking a link. Make sure the website is easy to navigate and that it’s not cluttered with a bunch of ads. Do some self tests right before a big game is about to start to see how their website functions during busy times.
Betting OptionsThe best sports betting sites will offer a wide range of sports and betting limits on just about anything that has odds associated with it. If you’re a high-roller, make sure the sportsbook has betting limits you’re comfortable with.
Customer ServiceFor the most part you should never have to talk to anybody over the phone. If you do, it’s usually bad news. But if something needs to be corrected and E-mail is not working, it’s nice to know that somebody with good verbal skills will be on the other end trying to fix whatever problem(s) may arise. In other words, you don’t want to talk somebody you can barely understand and they have no clue what they’re talking about. All of the best sports betting sites will say that have great customer service but you will never until you call and have an issue. All six of our best sports betting sites will have an instance chat feature which is a sign of solid customer service.
Juice/VigorishJuice or Vigorish is the percentage a sportsbook charges on all non Money-line games. Not a major factor but still important. Finding reduced lines is vital when choosing your sportsbook. In case you didn’t know, normal vig is -110 (10%) which means you have to lay 110 to win 100. Or, you will have to win 52.38% of your bets just to break even. If you’re able to find a top sports betting site that offers -108, -105, or even -100 (no juice/vig at all) than that just means you will pay less vig when you lose. You might have a lower win percentage while still breaking even.
Keep in mind, finding sportsbooks that offer no juice is very, very few and far between. In Baseball and Hockey some books will offer 10 cent lines, but the majority will offer 20 cent lines. Team A is -150 than Team B should be listed at +140 for 10 cent lines. For 20 cent lines it should read Team A -150 and Team B +130. When favorites are -220 or above, all sportsbooks will raise their vig to 30 cents or more. Team A will be -220 while Team B will be listed at +190 or less. You’ll never find a best sports betting site that offers 10 cent lines when the money line reaches -220 or higher.
ParlaysWe all love parlays. Risking very little money to win a whole bunch of moolah. A parlay is a single bet that links together two or more individual wagers for a high payout. You must win all your bets to collect. In Football and Basketball a 2 team parlay should be at least 13/5, a three team parlay should pay 6/1, a four team parlay should pay around 10/1, and so fourth with the payouts getting higher with more teams or totals selected. Some books will offer 5/1 on three team parlays. They are ripping you off and I would find a different sportsbook right away (none of our 6 best sports betting sites pull that stunt).
SummaryIn deciding which online sportsbook is right for you, choosing stability should be your first priority. Reputation in the industry is key. Look for a best sports betting site that has been in business for at least five years. If they’re not paying out customers on a regular basis then they obviously aren’t going to be in business for a long time. Words spread like wildfire when it comes to non-reputable sportsbooks.
I would also encourage everyone to check out the various sports betting forums that are online. You’ll be able to determine rather quickly if that sportsbook is right for you, and gain some first hand knowledge from the people that actually bet there. It’s a good idea to have more than one sportsbook at your disposal. Try to find two or three. The Wise Guys shop around for the best possible lines and you should too.
I can’t tell you how many times that extra 1/2 point was the difference between winning and pushing. Or that extra point was the difference in winning or losing. Think of your sports betting as a business, not a hobby. As a player, you must gain all the advantages that are available to maximize your profits and/or minimize your losses. Betting at one of the above best sports betting sites is crucial to gaining that advantage.