It’s very important to choose only the safest and most trustworthy sports betting sites on the Internet. Those who have proven themselves for years. Everyone wants to know they will have no problem getting paid and that the sportsbook they trust with their money will be around tomorrow.
This is where we come in. After many years in the industry, we can recommend the safest and most secure sports betting sites on the market today. Confidently choose from any of these highly-rated online betting sites to know your money will be safe and paid out when requested.
50% up to $250
75% up to $1,000
50% up to $2,500
100% up to $1,000
100% up to $250
There have been far too many issues with bettors not getting paid or a withdrawal taking FAR too long (many months for example). There have also been numerous times that a site has completely jumped ship and left bettors dead in the water when it comes to their balances. That is why we can’t stress enough how important it is to only bet with the most legit and trustworthy online betting sites. Fortunately, there are a handful to pick from.
Important Criteria When Selecting a Betting Site
Years in Existence
One of the biggest things we like to look at when selecting a site to play at is how many years it has been in existence. As you can imagine, the longer that the site has been in existence, the more reputable and trustworthy it typically is. Sports betting sites that are shady or not great to their customers won’t be around for long. Sites can only survive if they’re doing things legit and really taking care of their customers. The easiest metric to look at for this is how long the site has been in business. Usually, anything north of five years is great and any years beyond that are incredible.
This one piggybacks on the above criteria and is equally as important. One of the great things about the sports betting community is that it is somewhat small, especially online. This means that if a site is doing things great, people will know. It also means that if a site isn’t treating its customers properly, people will know. More importantly, we will know, and other review websites will know.
A site won’t be able to survive long with a bad reputation. When we review sportsbooks, we take this into account, and it’s probably one of our most serious components when recommending a site or not. It’s a very good idea to read up on the forums if you like to do some of your own research. Two great options would be either the 2+2 sports betting forums or the Covers.com Forums.
Easy, Fast, and Reliable Deposit and Withdrawal Options
If you’re new to the online realm, you may not realize how important this one is. The one thing that is nice about brick and mortar sportsbooks is that as soon as the game is over, if you are there you can go up to the cage and get paid. This is, of course, assuming that you are actually there and that there is no line which there usually is after a big game. With online sports betting, there can sometimes be a big window in how quickly deposits and withdrawals are processed.
When looking at deposit and withdrawal options, we look at the following criteria:
- How many different options and mediums they have for each
- Are deposits instant to your account? (Spoiler: they better be)
- Are withdrawals processed quickly and reliably?
- Are there any limits on the size or quantity of withdrawals?
- How do they handle a large win that isn’t normal for a withdrawal?
- Are there bonuses for certain deposit types or sizes and what are their requirements?
Competitive Lines and Betting Limits
Placing a bet on a sports betting website would be completely pointless if they had terrible lines and odds on games. For this reason, we pay close attention to the competitiveness of the lines the sportsbook puts out and how they match up with the rest of the industry. Remember, not all of their lines are always going to be the best on every game. This is why we are strong advocates for line shopping and joining multiple sites. We will cover this more in a minute.
We also take a look at the betting limits to make sure they are able to accommodate bigger players in case that’s who you are or what you’re aspiring to be. We also look to see if the site does anything towards bettors who they identify as being very sharp or good at betting.
Some sites will give sharp bettors worse odds or limit the amount that they can bet. There are even cases where bettors have been banned completely because they are too “sharp” or “successful” in their opinion. There are plenty of examples of this and this article at BBC.com is a great example if you’d like to read more on the topic.
Sports betting should be fun and relaxing no matter if you’re just playing for fun or trying to make a living out of it. Since you will be spending significant time on these sites, make sure that you choose ones that have a look and feel that you like and keeps you relaxed.
Look at how they have the games organized and if it’s easy to find the games you want. Also, make sure they have a way to convert the odds into the format you like if their standard isn’t the one you like. Some sites will allow you to click one button and they will change the odds format for the entire site while some sites will require you to do it for each and every bet which can be a bit tedious.
If a site has a terrible interface but great odds, you can keep it around as an option for some of your bigger bets, but it will probably drive you insane if it’s your main site, or at least if you’re trying to convert your odds there. Alternately, you could opt to use a third party betting odds converter like this one for something consistent and easy to use.
This one is extremely important especially if you like to bet obscure or less popular sports. Most online betting sites are going to offer the popular games and popular bet types, but it becomes hit and miss when you get into the more obscure bet types and sports. Most will list which games they offer, or you can just log in and take a look.
You should also check to see if a site offers live in-play betting if that is something that you’re interested in. Right now it’s probably around 50/50 with sites that offer this and then the level of which they offer it varies greatly.
Mobile Betting Interface
Since we’re harping hardcore on convenience, this is a big one that you’re going to want to look for. Most reputable sites will have some form of mobile platform for you to place your bets on the go. This is great when you want to put in a last minute bet, and you aren’t at your computer. There are going to be varying levels of mobile platforms that you will see offered. Here are the different levels.
1 – No Mobile Platform
2 – Mobile Friendly Website
3 – Mobile Dedicated Website
4 – Mobile Sports Betting App
One Betting Account or Multiple?
If you’ve read up to this point, this should be a slam dunk for you to answer. We are HUGE advocates of joining multiple sites to make line shopping infinitely easier. The biggest reason is that it doesn’t cost you anything additional to join more than one and just sets you up to be more profitable. If you happen to want to make a last minute bet and are line shopping, you might get shut out if you have to create an account and deposit before the game starts. Set yourself up for success from the start.
You are also able to take advantage of multiple deposit bonuses and VIP programs. Each site may be running something different or may have a limit on how much bonus you can get per month. By joining multiple betting sites, you’re able to take full advantage of each of these programs at each site and jump back and forth as the programs change to fit you better. This is not unethical at all but is similar to using different coupons at different stores. They all want your business and don’t mind if it is just to use the promotions.
Online Betting Sites vs. Brick and Mortar Sportsbooks
The growth of technology and the use of the internet have helped many industries to explode over the past few years. One of the biggest industries that have seen a lot of new benefits and improvements thanks to the technology is the online sports betting industry.
Ok, so maybe it’s not one of the “biggest” that’s grown thanks to the internet, but it’s certainly one of the most important to us and probably you if you’re reading this page. We just tend to get a little excited when we’re talking about sports betting.
The mixing of the internet and sports betting has brought about a ton of amazing new benefits and has created a ton of new opportunities for sports bettors to take advantage of their predictions and utilize new strategies to make money. Not only are these new benefits important for turning a bigger profit, but they also do a great job of creating a more fun and relaxing betting experience. We’re going to walk you through a lot of these differences in this section.
Traditionally, if you wanted to place a sports bet you were required to actually go to the casino or sportsbook or call your sketchy cousin Vinny’s friend to place your bets. While this was fine because there were no alternatives, there was a lot of room for improvement even if we weren’t aware of it. The best way to probably lay all this information out is to list off and explain a few of the key benefits of placing your bets online versus placing them in a brick and mortar sportsbook.
One of the biggest benefits is the sheer logistics of placing a bet. When placing a bet at a brick and mortar sportsbook, you have to get dressed and actually put pants on, drive to the closest casino (which could be a long way away), deal with traffic, fight for and pay for parking, wade through the smoky lines of degenerate and disgruntled gamblers, and finally get to place your bet on the game.
If you have kids, pets, or a significant other, you have to set up arrangements for them to be taken care of while you slip away to the casino or sportsbook. Then, if you actually win your bet, rinse and repeat every step above to go get paid out.
With online sports betting, you don’t have to do any of this. You don’t have to put pants on if you don’t feel like it, you don’t have to drive anywhere, and you don’t have to make special arrangements for the kids, pets, or significant other. All you have to do is log in online from your computer or your smartphone wherever you are, and you can place your bet in a matter of seconds.
Protect Your Profits
The thing we didn’t mention in the above logistics section is that all of that costs money and can eat into your profits pretty quickly. Let’s say you are wanting to make a $50 wager on the Cleveland Browns to win. We will disregard the fact that you’re insane for betting on the Browns (kidding) and move forward.
Let’s also say that you are planning on making this bet in the actual casino that’s about 30 miles away. For most of the world, this is WAY closer than the casino actually is, but we want to underestimate our example to prove how big of a deal it is. Let’s say you go to the casino and place your bet, and for some insane reason the heavens open up, and the Browns win the game! The casino sportsbook pays you out at a rate of -110, or a profit of $45.45.
You profited $45.45, right? Sorry Charlie, not this time. You have to factor in your expenses to get an accurate profit reading. Here are the expenses you had for this bet. Keep in mind, we are going to underestimate these expenses as we should be calculating in things like wear and tear on your car, etc. We’re also assuming for this example that your car gets pretty good gas mileage at 20 miles a gallon.
Gas to Casino – 60 miles total (3 Gallons at $2.25) = $6.75
Parking at the Casino = $5
Road Tolls = $3
Dinner at Casino = (2 Slices of cardboard pizza and a coke) = $11
Total Expenses = $25.75
Actual Profit = $45.45 -$25.75= $19.70
This doesn’t factor in if you had to pay for a babysitter, and wear and tear on your car or public transportation if you needed it, and any other miscellaneous expenses that pop up. You’ve literally slashed your profits IN HALF just by choosing to place your bet in person.
As you can probably see, none of these expenses would be incurred if you just bet from home or on your smartphone. You wouldn’t have to drive anywhere, no babysitter, no eating out, no tolls…nothing. You would get to realize your full profits for your miracle Browns bet.
While we’re on the topic of protecting profits, we want to talk about a benefit that can actually help you increase your profits by choosing to bet online. It’s the concept of line shopping and should be the number one tip that EVERY sports bettor should employ. Sorry to make that sound so car salesman or click bait, but this really is the most important thing you should know when sports betting.
Line shopping means checking out several different sports betting sites to get the best line possible on a game. It is extremely common for different sites to offer different odds and different lines on the exact same games. This means that for the exact same bet you can get paid more for winning or get more points spotted your way just by going to a different sportsbook.
We’re going to say it again because it’s that important. You MUST shop lines if you want to be a successful sports bettor. Here’s an example. Imagine you want to bet on the Dallas Cowboys to win the game, and they are -6.5, meaning they need to win by 7 or more points for you to win your bet. You may think this is a great bet, but there may be a better bet out there.
Another sportsbook may be offering the same game, but at Dallas -5.5. This might not seem like much but think how you will feel if the Cowboys win by 6 points. If you bet at the first place, you will lose. If you bet the same bet at the second, you would now win. If this isn’t lighting up huge profit light bulbs in your head, you need to reread this over and over until it clicks.
If you try to do this with brick and mortar sportsbooks, you’re most likely not going to be able to unless you plan on driving hundreds of miles. You are pretty much locked into whatever odds are offered at the one you drive to. With online, though, you can easily shop lines within a matter of minutes. All you have to do is open up a new tab on your web browser and check another betting site. This is probably the biggest benefit of betting online and should be reason enough for you to switch if you’re still betting at brick and mortar locations.
Never Miss a Bet
Have you ever had a last minute bet you wanted to get in on a game? If you’re trying to place that bet in a brick and mortar location, you’re potentially going to run into some problems. First of all, you have to actually drive to the casino which may already take too long. Second, of all, there may be a line, and if it is close to the start of the game, you may be out of luck. You can’t just tell them that you were going to bet something and there was a line. If your bet isn’t in before the game, you are out of luck.
Things I Wish I had Known When I Started Sports Betting
This section is our take on a typical FAQ section. It’s basically going to be a list of statements that we wish someone had told us when we started sports betting. Some of these will seem straightforward, and some of them were expensive lessons we had to learn the hard way. Hopefully, this will help you escape our similar fate.
Join multiple sports betting sites and ALWAYS shop lines
We can’t stress how important this one is. If you take nothing else from this page, promise us that you will at least do this. It only takes a few seconds to check the lines before you make a bet and can have a huge impact on your bottom line.
Take advantage of ALL the bonus offers and VIP programs
You can make a ton of extra profit or limit your losses by using the special programs that sites use to lure new business. The sports betting industry is competitive which means they are going to fight for your business. The real winner in that fight is always going to be you, as long as you take advantage of it. Remember to check that some sites will require you to opt-in to receive the benefits. Opting in is completely free, but just something that you need to do. This is usually the same in brick and mortar so nothing out of the ordinary.
Check Out a Few Betting Sites BEFORE Picking Your Main Squeeze
While we are big advocates for joining multiple sites and shopping lines (as if you couldn’t already tell), there will inevitably be one site that you use as your main betting option. This site should be the one with the best lines for the games you like to bet and the easiest to use interface.
Sports betting should be relaxing and an enjoyable experience even if you are doing it to make a profit or for a living. If one place makes you want to claw your eyes out because of how terrible the interface is, you probably don’t want that to be your main choice. Keeping a level and cool head when sports betting is important to being successful and we certainly don’t want the site’s interface causing issues there.
Deposits and Withdrawals are Easy If You Let Them Be
Deposits and withdrawals can sometimes scare people when it comes to online sports betting sites. The reason for this is that it’s new and something they’re probably not used to or have never done before. The process is actually quite simple as long as you pay attention to the details and ask the site support if you have any questions.
A lot of the withdrawal methods are instant, but you may end up waiting an extra couple of days to get paid out on your bets with some methods. The amount of money and time you’ll save from not having to drive back to the local sportsbook to get paid will be worth it. You’ll also never find yourself waiting in a line :)
Betting on Specific Sports
If you’re looking to bet on one specific sport, or looking for a sportsbook that is known for being the best for a specific sport, then make sure to visit one of our sport specific betting pages. The best overall option for generalized sports betting may not be the best for the NFL or MLB specifically, as they may not have as many options to choose from or may be known to offer poorer odds for a specific sport.
Currently, we have specific suggestions for the following sports:
If you bet on multiple sports and you have accounts with at least two of our recommendations on this page, then you probably have most sports covered with a great option.
To Sum it All Up
You can probably see why we get so excited when it comes to talking about the ability to place bets online at any of the many reputable and trusted sports betting sites out there. It’s much more convenient, saves money, and gives new opportunities to make more money. The ability to shop lines in a matter of seconds should be reason enough to switch to online sports betting from brick and mortar. All of the other great benefits are just bonuses.