Picking out somewhere to place your sports bets used to be easy. You’d look for where your closest casino or book house was, and that was where you placed your bets. Thanks to logistics and proximity, you usually only had one or maybe two options depending on where you called home. This was great if you despised making decisions but terrible if you liked the value and cared more about making a profit.
This all changed when Al Gore invented the internet (some of you might be too young to get that joke). The internet brought about new technologies that when integrated into the world of sports betting erased the limitations place by logistics and proximity.
No matter where in the world you were, if you had an internet connection and a computer or smartphone, you had several sports betting options. Several quickly grew into hundreds which have since grown into the thousands. Conversely, to how things were before, this was terrible if you despised decisions and amazing if you cared more about making a profit.
As ecstatic as we are to have options that make it easier for us to make more money sports betting, we understand it can be rather overwhelming when it comes to trying to select a sports betting home. For those of you that shop lines (which any sports bettor worth their weight will advise you is a must do), this becomes even more overwhelming having to select multiple sports betting homes.
Never fear, though, because you’ve come to the right place. This guide is going to effectively point you in the right direction and help you to make an informed decision about the best sportsbook home for you to place your bets.
Why Our Reviews are Different | IMPORTANT!
Sadly, the world of online sportsbook reviews is a mess. With about 99% of review sites, you’re going to get one of two things. The bigger of the groups you’ll see are review sites that are clearly being paid by the sites they are reviewing in order to receive a more favorable review. The reviews will be obnoxiously positive with zero negatives for the sites that are paying them, and they’ll make the sites that are not paying them sound like a torture camp.
“SitePayingUs is AMAZING! You’ll win all your bets, and it will make you dinner, and you will be a millionaire because they are the best EVER! They recently CURED CANCER! SiteThatDIDNTPayUs is the worst. You will get a disease just from playing there, and your computer will blow up after they steal all your money.”
Hopefully, you can understand why these review sites are terrible. The second group you’ll see are the sites that are so generic with their information, you’ll wonder if they’ve even opened the site once in their lives.
“SportsbookSite is really good. They have lots of places you can make bets. When you win your bets, they will pay you in moneys. If you make bets, they will give you bonus things. SportsbookSite is great for you.”
And again, we hope you can see why sites like this are equally as terrible to get your reviews from. The third group we didn’t mention as it usually permeates both of the above examples are sites with incorrect information. These review sites and their reviews will do absolutely nothing to help you make an informed decision to find an online sports betting home that you’ll actually enjoy.
Here’s how our reviews are different.
1. We are NEVER paid to give better or worse reviews for ANY site.
We will never allow a site to pay us or send us free cookies or anything in return for a better or more favorable review. What you see is how we really feel about the site. If the site wants a more favorable review, they can fix the things that we point out that we don’t like and we’ll be happy to include the changes in our updates. There are no ifs, and’s, or buts on this one.
2. We DON’T Ignore the Negatives.
Somewhat tied to number one above, a lot of sites tend to focus on the positives of a site and not the areas they could see improvements. While we respect the glass if half full mentality, this is not the place for that. No site is perfect, and we’re definitely in the business of pointing that out.
The purpose of reading these reviews is that you find the online sports betting home that is best for you. Sometimes what may be a negative for one person might be a positive for another. Sometimes a negative might be a huge deal for one person and not that big of a deal for someone else. The point is that we want you to find the site that is right for you and your individual unique needs and wants. No way that is happening if we don’t give you the good, the bad, and sometimes the ugly.
3. We’re comprehensive and detail oriented.
Too often review sites will just try and crank out reviews as quickly as they can for whatever reason. We can confirm that reason is NOT to help you find the site best fitted to you.
When this happens, you don’t get the details and the big picture to help you make an informed decision. The key to making an informed decision is, well, being informed. Our reviews are not done by some random writers in the middle of nowhere that we hired for $10 an hour.
Our reviews are done by sports betting veterans and members of our team who have a solid background in sports betting and the gambling industry. This allows them to know what’s important and what’s not important to share with you. How is some random person going to know that different parlay odds are important?
How is a $10 an hour writer going to know that a live betting interface is too slow for actual live action? The answer is they won’t. Our reviewers will though, and they include that valuable information in all of our reviews.
The Bottom Line
Our reviews are done for you and are done with the goal of benefiting you. We want you to be able to read our reviews and have complete and accurate information to be able to make an informed decision about where to make your new online sports betting home. Sports betting is supposed to be fun and set you up to make some serious money. That can only be accomplished if the site you play on helps to facilitate that.
Online US Sportsbooks We Recommend
While there are plenty of options for sports betting online in the United States, options are limited in comparison to the rest of the world. Legally speaking it is not explicitly illegal to sports bet online in the US, though, the gray area around the edges make some considerations more important than others when selecting your new home.
For us, the most important factor when selecting a US based online sportsbook is reliability and trustworthiness. Above all else, we value the ability to trust the safety and security of your money. We look at the history of the company, years of operation, the industry reputation, client feedback, and any other news or mitigating factors that might impact the trustworthiness of a site.
We will NOT recommend a site that we aren’t completely confident in their ability to provide a reliable and safe experience to you.
The sites we’ve listed here not only passed the reliability review with flying colors but also excelled in variety of bets offered, overall user experience, bonus programs, and user interface. While some of the sites excel more in some categories, they all received fairly high remarks across the board.
As we mentioned, though, we dig to find any areas of improvement for each site as well. Click below to check out some of our reviews of our highest recommended online sports betting companies that service players in the US.
Non-US (Rest of the World) Sportsbooks We Recommend
For those not based in the US, you have it easy when it comes to sports betting online. Most countries have clear legal codes that support and outline the proper regulation for online sports betting websites. Because of this, you’re afforded a much more reliable and trustworthy experience without having to do extra due diligence or research. Does that mean we didn’t do the extra research in our reviews? Of course not. We still do the heavy lifting just to ensure everything is on the up and up before we will even think about recommending a site.
Since more sites do pass the reliability review, we can be a lot pickier with features and bonus programs we like and don’t like when it comes to rest of the world online sportsbook recommendations. We look heavily at the overall user experience, the user interface, the bonus programs and VIP programs offered, as well as the competitiveness of the lines offered and the availability of bets on sports. The sites we have listed below are our favorites and the ones that we think would be the best fit for brand new sports bettors or those that are seasoned and experienced. These sites offer the best of both worlds in a user-friendly, reliable package.
We can’t recommend every site on the internet. If we did that, we’d be right on par with the obnoxiously over positive review sites that pump you full of rainbows and roses and not a lick of actual factual information.
The list you saw above are our favorites overall. Those are the sites that we feel are the best by giving equal weight to all categories (except reliability). That list, unfortunately, had to omit a lot of great sites that we like because they lacked in one of the areas. What’s interesting is that what these sites lacked in one area, they typically made up significantly in another area and offered far more than a lot of the sites on our primary list.
For example, a site might have little to nothing in terms of a bonus program which would get it nixed from the primary list but might be the all-time leader in offering bet variety and the ability to bet on the most obscure sports and leagues around.
Is this a site you want to be a part of? Definitely, if you’re looking for a place to bet obscure sports in addition to your home site from the primary list. A lot of these sites also crushed in the competitiveness of their lines, offering betting lines that are far superior to the above sites.
The bottom line is these sites should not be viewed as subpar just because they’re on our B-team list. They’re the perfect sites to have accounts with for line shopping (looking around to get the best odds on your bet) and for any other supplemental need you might have.
If you look at selecting sports betting sites like putting together a complete meal, the list above is your steak or main course, and these sites are your potatoes and green beans (side). Together, they make a complete and nutritiously profitable sports betting experience.
Secondary US Online Sportsbooks
Secondary Non-US (Rest of the World) Online Sportsbooks
Things to Look for When Picking Out a Site
We’ve done the heavy lifting of narrowing down the hundreds and thousands of options available to a select few that we’ve vetted and reviewed for quality. That still leaves you, though, with several options to pick from and decisions to be made.
If you’re a seasoned sports bettor, you probably already know exactly what it is you want from a site and what you’re looking for. For the rest of you who may be new to sports betting altogether or who may be seasoned bettors making the switch from brick and mortar to online, you may not be entirely sure what features are available or what amenities to be on the lookout for.
Steve Jobs said it best when he said sometimes you need to tell people what it is that they want. Ultimately, you’ll need to decide which of these are more or less important to you when deciding on your sports betting home. These should serve as a great starting point and guideline for you to get started on knowing what you want.
Reliability and Trustworthiness
This is the one that you CANNOT skimp on. If a site feels sketchy or more importantly has a history of issues in this department without attempts to correct them, run for the hills. The online gaming industry has had a few bad apples in the past that have made for a lot of skepticism, and frankly, we don’t blame people for it.
It’s your hard-earned money that you’re putting on the line, and you need to know that you can trust the safety of it. We refuse to promote a site on here that we have issues or concerns with their reliability and trustworthiness. It’s a deal breaker for us, and that is non-negotiable.
This is just technical jargon for how easy it is to use the site. Are the things you’re looking for easy to find? Does it take a million clicks to get to the sections of the sites you want to be at? How long does it take to place a bet? Basically, anything that goes into how easy the site is to use will be covered under user interface. While a lot of this is going to be dependent on what you like personally, there are a lot of things that can be done to make things easier for most everyone.
For example, different sites will initially show odds as moneyline, fractional, or decimals. As most people have a preference of which they prefer, sites have built in ways of converting these for you. Some sites require you to click it every time for every single bet to convert. This would be an example of a positive that they at least have the option but a negative because you’re required to do it for every bet. Some sites have the ability for you to switch all the odds on a page with the click of a single button.
This is a positive that they have it and another positive, but still not the best that you can change with one click. The mack daddy with this example would be a site that allows you to select an option in your profile that permanently changes the odds into what you like and saves the preference. This is an example of just one thing to look at with user interface. Our reviews will do their best to cover all of this, but sometimes it will require you to get your hands dirty and try the site out yourself.
Bonuses and VIP Promotional Programs
Everyone likes free money. If you don’t, you are the first of your kind. As there are so many sites competing for your business online, there are a lot of freebies up for grabs just to get you “in the door” and onto their site. These programs can include free money deposit bonuses, free bets, money back guarantee bets and a whole host of other creative options.
On top of these bonuses to get you in the door, the sites will have extensive VIP programs to retain your business. These can include money back promotions, cash deposit reload bonuses, trips, and other VIP perks, as well as anything else their marketing team can dream up. The bottom line is there are a ton of freebies out there that can be fun to get as well as profitable and really help boost your profits.
It’s important to know what programs exist and how you can take advantage of them. Not only do our reviews bring you up to speed on the current programs, but we make sure to look into if you need to do anything special to get the bonus. Some sites will require you to contact them to get your bonus or check a box to opt into the program. There would be nothing more annoying than to think you’re getting a bonus and find out later that you forgot to opt in and didn’t receive anything. We’ll cover you there in our reviews.
Variety of Bets Offered
While most sites are going to offer the popular sports, they may lack in the variety of bets offered on them. It’s beyond annoying when you have a prediction on how a game is going to go (that doesn’t involve who will win or lose), and you can’t find the right bet type to take advantage of it. When we review sites, we don’t just look at bet variety based on the sports and events offered, but we dig further and look at the different types of bets that the sites offer you.
The more flexibility you have, the better your experience is going to be. It is important to point out (on a side note), that the complexity of bets does not have any effect on the odds or payouts or your likelihood of being a profitable bettor. The more complex bets just allow you the ability to bet on different aspects of the game outside of just picking a winner or a loser.
All that being said, we still do look at sites in terms of the different sports and events they offer bets on. Did you know you can bet on the WWE, competitive eating, and politics? A lot of sites offer these obscure betting fields that are tons of fun and can be profitable if you know what you’re doing. Again, flexibility is king (or queen).
Competitiveness of Lines
While this one is a bit tougher to review, we do our best to look at how competitive the lines are offered at a site. Did you know that some sites offer dual lines?
Dual lines are better lines they offer to sports bettors that they identify as recreation bettors while the professionals get the standard lines. Regarding sites without dual lines, the competitiveness of the lines will vary from sport to sport, but we try to cover it as a whole. If all the lines on a site are usually terrible, there is no point in opening an account there even for line shopping.
We’ve mentioned line shopping several times, and we’d like to just touch on it in a bit more detail here. Line shopping is looking at several different sportsbooks to see the odds they are offering on the exact same bet.
As sportsbooks will constantly adjust their lines to try and get the same amount of bets on both sides, it is very common that you can see different lines at different sportsbooks on the same bet. Why would you place a bet somewhere that was going to pay you $100 profit when you could place the same bet somewhere else and get paid $125 in profit? You’d be silly to place the first bet.
Line shopping wasn’t really possible when only brick and mortar betting locations existed. You couldn’t feasibly drive to several different places to see what lines they were offering. With online sports betting, though, you can check lines at several different books in a matter of seconds.
For this reason, we recommend joining several sites so that you’re ready and set up to effectively shop lines on your bets. You should have one site that is your home base where you do most of your betting, but having additional sites to shop lines is a pro move, and most would argue a must if you want to make it big in this industry.
Thankfully, it doesn’t cost any money to open multiple accounts, and you can even take advantage of multiple bonus programs.
Staying Safe with Online Sportsbooks
The world of online sportsbooks is like an ocean. There are some beautiful oysters out there filled with pearls for you, but there are also some nasty sharks waiting to gobble you up. Sorry for the cheesy analogy; we couldn’t help ourselves. The point is that there are some fantastic sites out there that will give you everything you want and more when it comes to betting online. These sites will give you all the amenities we’ve talked about and the logistical ease that comes with the use of the internet.
Sadly, for everyone great site that exists, there are a ton of garbage sites that are untrustworthy and are going to leave you with a sour taste in your mouth. This is one of the main reasons that we do these reviews. We’re trying our best to protect you from these steaming piles of you know what as they’re bad for you and they’re bad for the industry as a whole.
So what can you do to protect yourself? Here are a few tips that will go a long way in helping you protect yourself and your money.
Read our reviews completely
We do our best to provide you as much complete information as possible on a site. While we aren’t going to be publishing a review on a site that is dangerous, it’s still good practice to start reading reviews fully to make sure you are 100% up to speed on everything going on with a site. Knowledge is power, and in sports betting, knowledge is profit.
We try to be as complete with our information as possible without dragging on for days and days. We also do our best to be somewhat entertaining with a few dad jokes sprinkled in here and there. A few additional minutes of reading will go a long way to giving you a much better experience when it comes to betting.
If you aren’t sure about something with a site, ask their support and get a clear answer. They are there to help you and things are a lot easier to sort out before they happen than after.
Not sure how a bonus program works?
Not sure how a bet works?
The support is there to help you. That’s part of what the house juice you pay goes for. Take advantage of it when you need it, and you’ll have a much better experience.
Look for Changes
Programs change, and the quality of sites can sometimes change. We do our best to update our reviews as quickly as possible, but we don’t always catch everything. The point here is just to visit the sportsbook’s website periodically and read up on their programs and offerings. If something seems different or you’re confused about it, contact support and see what’s up.
We’re not talking about fantasy sports stuff here; we’re talking about the amount of money you leave on particular sites. A lot of players like to use their online sportsbook accounts like a bank account and just withdraw money when they need it.
While your money is safe at trusted sites, it is not backed by the FDIC or anything like that. For this reason, we recommend only keeping the amount you need to place your bets online and removing your profits to your bank account fairly regularly.
Why don’t all sites offer service to every country?
Every country around the world has different legislation when it comes to how sites must operate to do business there. Some countries, like the United States, have the strictest legislation and the most hoops for companies to jump through.
Other countries have extremely lax legislation and minimal hoops for new companies to jump through. Because of this, some online sportsbooks are selective where they decide to do business and will pick and choose where they want to operate. Because of this, some countries will have limited options to choose from.
Is my money actually safe?
If you haven’t asked this question, you should be. This is the most important question you should be asking any time that you’re putting your hard earned money anywhere new.
The answer to this question is yes as long as you go with a site with a great reputation and a solid history and track record of taking care of their players. If you pick a site that isn’t properly vetted, you may be at risk. The sites that we have reviewed and have listed above are all properly vetted by our experts and should be trusted.
Should I really join multiple sportsbooks?
We’ve recommended that you join multiple books strictly for strategic reasons. The ability to shop lines and get the best odds is one of the greatest benefits of being able to bet online. It doesn’t cost anything extra to join additional sites but sets you up for success.
It’s extremely common for two sportsbooks to offer significantly different lines on the exact same bet. The secret to winning at sports betting is to push your edges as much as you can. Giving up basically free money by betting at only one book is insanity.
What if I don’t want to use my banking information?
While your information is safe, we completely understand that you may still be skeptical and don’t want to use your banking information or your credit cards on a new site you haven’t grow to trust yet.
If this is you, we highly recommend using one of the sites recommended that take Bitcoin as a method of depositing and withdrawing. It is a completely anonymous form of cryptocurrency that also usually has no fees associated with it.