We frequently find ourselves reminiscing over a particularly prophetic moment or experience. It could be a prediction you made that came true or a time when you surprised your friends by correctly forecasting the outcome of a choice or an event. The urge to commemorate these occasions is also prevalent. After all, who doesn’t like to say, “I told you so?” A little smugness never hurt anyone.
But as we all know, making such forecasts is simply a matter of logic and reasoning. You draw a logical conclusion based on observed behavior, defined gaming enforcement, and similar outcomes. This process is especially useful and practical in cases where you’re making a forecast regarding a sporting event, politics, or something similar.
If you are one of those people with intrinsic talent for generating excellent predictions, you must have plenty of bragging rights. But what if we told you there’s a way to make real money by using your deduction skills?
Worry not if the idea of making wild bets with a sleazy-looking bookie in a dingy sports bar is what comes up in your mind at the mere mention of this idea. Like phonebooks and VCRs, dingy sports bars and sketchy bookies have also been a thing of the past for a long, long time.
In this age and time, you can do almost everything from the comfort of your own home, and that includes making bets and earning real money with no strings attached, based on your wagers. As a matter of fact, even the best sportsbook websites are very vocal about the variety of betting pools they have.
You can do anything these days from the comfort of your own home, including placing bets and earning real money with no strings attached based on your wagers. In fact, even the best sportsbook websites brag about how many different betting pools they offer.
Raising the stakes and competing against millions of people worldwide not only gives you bragging rights for days, but they also account for fast and reliable payouts, taking away the need to watch your bookie like a hawk. Also, the more people that take part, the higher the accountability.
So, now that we’ve convinced you to make the switch and raise the stakes sky-high, let us guide you through the world of online sportsbooks. Furthermore, we’ll shine the spotlight on a few of the very best for every one of your favorite sports to get you started.
5 Best Online Sportsbooks: Compare Top Betting Sites
- Intertops – Best Overall
- Monkey Knife Fight – Best for DFS
- BetOnline – Best for Odds and Lines
- Bovada – Best for BTC Settings
- MyBookie – Best Bonus
Here are the detailed reviews of our top picks:
#1. Intertops –
While the oldest option is not always the best, there is something to be said about a brand that’s been around since before the dot-com bubble burst. First established in 1983, this European heavy hitter has been online since 1996. This makes it the first of its kind to take advantage of the new opportunities provided by the internet.
These guys have a 25-year head start, which has given them the time to establish the connections and sources to make sure they are always on the money with their odds. Similarly, it has also given them the time to experiment and tinker with their business model to perfection. So if you are going to do business with someone, shouldn’t it be someone who so very clearly knows what they are doing?
Easy Barrier of Entry: It is effortless to start your journey on this site. All you need is your valid email address, phone number, and address, and you are good to go. That’s without even mentioning the $200 sign-up bonus you get.
User-Friendly Interface: The sportsbook helpfully has both a menu with all available sports and a section outlining the next event or match you can take a bet on along with how soon it’s starting. Upon signing up or logging in, they immediately let you know your current balance. This way, you know what you have before start betting, making the site super convenient and easy to navigate.
Unexpected Special Offers: Similarly, their many years in operation have let Intertops build connections with the right people in the right places. They’ve leveraged these connections into some incredible opportunities for you. Some of which include a trip to the NFL odds, a thousand-dollar bonus, monthly cash prizes, and more.
A Wide Variety of Sports: In addition to this, Intertops aren’t content with covering just the mainstream sports. They also provide coverage of Alpine skiing, darts, and even delve into the world of esports.
Quick Learning: Due to their decision to allow professional and amateur bettors to compete with one another, there is increased competition, and those new to the platform learn faster. They are more likely to pick up on tips and tricks to help them grow in the field.
- Mobile application along with the website
- A reasonable number of payment options
- Navigation and interface is beginner-friendly
- Provides a variety of high welcome bonuses
- The interface allows you to choose between English & German
- Considered to be one of the safest online betting sites
- It has a relatively low barrier of entry
- Users from Australia, Austria, France, and the U.K. may face some restrictions
The winner of the ERG NA Virtual Awards, Fantasy Operator, and DFS of the year for two years running, Monkey Knife Fight will help you feel like a winner too. Despite the chaos that their name implies, their platform is among the most organized and up-to-date you will ever see. Furthermore, while catering well to pros, they also go out of their way to educate newcomers. An entire section on their website details how to play. Rightly so, since their founder has expressly stated that he built his site to be fun for the average fan.
Unique but Easy-To-Play Games: This website knows what they are doing, and they make it fun too. The three games available on the website are the ever-popular: More or Less, Rapid-fire, and Stat Shootout. They state all the rules clearly, and following these rules is remarkably easy, an approach that makes it even easier for you to win big. Effortless, in fact, as described by their customers.
Updated Roster With Variety: This platform, like Intertops, covers all manner of sports and games, from NASCAR to League of Legends. Essentially, they promise to have updated rosters for all sports leagues across the globe. They also guarantee you the ability to play with all your favorite players and all your favorite teams.
They keep their users up-to-date with all the things happening in the world of professional sports and e-games, further making your rosters as effective as possible. On top of that, they are safe and secure as they are SSL certified and have segregated accounts.
Separation of Pros & Amateurs: The one thing that sets Monkey Knife Fight apart from Intertops is that the former separates the pros and amateurs. Here, the newbies aren’t thrown straight into the fire pit (though, of course, there is a sharper learning curve with that approach), and the professionals can compete with people that match their speed.
No Time-Consuming Salary Caps: Another thing that makes this site better than others is that there are no time-consuming salary caps. While realistic, salary caps tend to be the most annoying part of any fantasy sport. Salary caps greatly limit creativity, and taking it away works to let players have more freedom.
Easy-to-Navigate Website & Application: Monkey Knife Fight allows users to switch between their mobile application and website. It also helps that the Monkey Knife Fight website and application are incredibly efficient and quite noticeably user-friendly.
- Stable platform to build a betting portfolio on
- The library has several unique games
- Offers safe and secure transaction methods
- The interface is easy to navigate for beginners
- Participate in a variety of quick contests
- Allows fast withdrawals
- Offers the niche’s highest bonus of $105
- Legal to use in most states
- Payout options are fewer in comparison
Trusted for over 20 years, BetOnline rose to prominence through its mission of providing the most excitement and the most dynamic experience possible for the online gaming industry.
Their commitment can be seen in the innovation of the company since its establishment. An example of this commitment is the recent addition of its state-of-the-art live virtual casino. Other examples include the constant improvement on their website and setting industry standards for their aspirations, like their Racebook.
BetOnline might genuinely be the connoisseur’s choice when it comes to online betting.
Excellent Customer Service: The company prides itself on addressing all customer issues quickly and effectively. This is an excellent aim for any business, especially one that involves finance to this degree. Whether it is a general question, dealing with problems, or simply sending timely notifications (promotional or otherwise), you can get help via chat, email, or live chat; their service center is at your service.
Includes All Major Sports & Leagues: Like all the best sportsbooks, this one also has something for everyone. The NBA, NHL, MLB, NCAA football and basketball, golf, soccer, boxing or UFC, and even more; anyone who’s anyone is featured.
The Racebook: Another prominent feature of BetOnline is its racebook, which is the best of the best. An unsurprising sentiment when you account for its up-to-post-time wagering. It also contains the most significant and minor track listings offered in the industry.
Stats Center: At BetOnline, they never want you to feel like you’re making a decision blind. That’s where their bet center comes in, where you can do all the research you need to before making a bet. In addition to that, you also get a look at the current and previous wagering trends.
Lightning-Fast Payouts: For most people, the most critical part of making a bet online is figuring out when they’ll get their money. At BetOnline, this worry is non-existent as they ensure that you get your money as soon as possible. In addition to that, BetOnline has a stringent screening policy that doesn’t tolerate cheating at the slightest.
- Quick payouts
- Stream of special offers for you to benefit from
- Keeps you updated on the latest sports news and statistics
- Excellent service center
- Variety of payment options
- Fantastic bonuses and competitive odds
- Sportsbook review gives it an A+
- Cheating accusations can lead to confiscated money
Many consider Bovada to be the best online betting site there is. Like other websites on this list, it makes sure there is something for everyone. This something could be a sport, a game, or a particular feature. Speaking of features, it has some of the best individual characteristics across the board.
Indeed, this Costa Rican brand takes all that we love about online betting on U.S. sports leagues and horse racing and perfects it. What’s even more impressive is that they’ve only been around since 2011, and yet here they are giving these more established brands a run for their money.
Bitcoin Supported: If you need further evidence of Bitcoin being a modern classic, this is it. Currently, Bovada is one of the very few betting sites that accept bitcoin and actively encourages it through a series of bonuses. This simple fact makes these safer than the norm as well.
Variety of Sports: None of the websites on this list are particularly shabby when it comes to the variety of sports, but Bovada takes things to the next level. This website contains odds on over 50% of all sports and games played worldwide. Contests that you won’t see anywhere else like the Gaelic Games or Aussie Rules. So, if you are looking to bet on something a little closer to home than average American sports, this is the place for you.
Focus on the Sports book: Like the other services on this list, Bovada allows gambling. However, they have an almost singular focus on their sportsbook that makes it excel over so many others. This is one of the reasons why the website is so popular. This focus is also the reason behind their sporting variety.
Leveling the Playing Field: Bovada’s initial focus was on recreational betting, and professional bettors using the site resulted in them walking away with all the spoils. Therefore, Bovada now employs a dual-line system that makes things slightly more difficult for the professionals to keep things fair and give them more of a challenge.
Superfast Live Betting Options: No sportsbook website worth its salt would go without a live betting option. Half the fun of the game is in the chase, in the rapidly changing situations, and your rapidly evolving strategy.
The live betting feed on Bovada reports like MMA events, Football events, and betting scenarios together for maximum user understanding. Furthermore, the system is incredibly efficient, with odds changing in real-time. Another unique little wrinkle is the ability to add single or multiple bets to the bet slip before you confirm your bet. If you do so and combine your bets to make parleys, your chances of a huge payout go up drastically.
- Accepts bitcoin
- Massive game library with niche games and sports leagues
- A+ rating at Sportsbook review
- Great for recreational bettors
- Accessible in 22 countries
- Multiple payout options and among the fastest payout processing services
- Provides soft odds compared to other such services
- Some professionals may not appreciate the challenge
- Small fee for deposits
Another popular betting service among younger bettors is MyBookie. Multiple lists like this one exist, considering how young the platform is. In fact, it only came around in 2014.
The website also does a lot of heavy lifting with rules & regulations, various conversions, etc. Furthermore, the service was created by a group of like-minded gaming pioneers, making it the sportsbook of the young. In this vein, they promise to succeed where others of their ilk have failed.
24/7 Customer Service: With the service being in so many countries, the company had no choice but to opt for a customer service center that is always open to serve every time zone. Not to mention a good bet waits for no one. What truly stands out is the quality of the service; the phone lines are never too busy, the service folks are always super friendly and helpful, and you can always contact them via email and chat.
Customer Oriented: Along with excellent customer service, the people behind MyBookie believe in educating and helping their customers. They make sure the rules and formulas behind each game or betting line are clear. Further, they are as transparent as possible. The MyBookie platform is one of the very few websites that will refer you to a therapist if they think about a gambling problem for you.
Most Rewarding Loyalty Program: At MyBookie, they believe in rewarding the customers that stick by them. The rewards come in a series of benefits and bonuses not seen elsewhere. Outside of the industry-standard welcome bonus, they have special extras for long-term customers, like an 8% horse rebate. Not to mention the refer a friend feature that gets you a 250% bonus. What’s more, is that you get bonuses on every deposit you make.
Highest Credit Card Acceptance Rates with Quick Payouts: This site has the highest credit card acceptance rates, so you don’t have to rely on just your debit cards or direct deposits to get started. In addition to this, your winnings will never be longer than two days, and in our book, that’s a big win. In fact, your request will be processed and delivered in under 48 hours.
The Design: MyBookie considered that many people would be using their application along with the website. So they’ve made a user-friendly scalable system that works great for both. You can use either at your convenience without compromising on any features.
- Optimal design for the website
- Optimal design for mobile application
- Easily accept bets & Fast payouts
- Tons of special offers and bonuses, particularly for long term customers
- Cutting-edge security features
- Integrated banking
- Maximum wagers of $2,000
How We Made the List of Top Online Sportsbooks
So what makes an ideal sportsbook? We have searched high and low for the most reliable and best sportsbooks and found out the following factors were primarily responsible for increasing the credibility and popularity among the readers and bettors.
What We Looked For
To give you the best sportsbook that will cater to your interests, we looked for the following specifications:
- Sports Coverage: First up, considering that our purpose with this list is to serve as many prospective bettors as possible, we looked for sites that covered as many actual sports as possible. By covered, we mean providing the odds on all related major sporting events, big or small, from the NBA to college basketball.
- Proof of Legitimacy: We then looked for proof of legitimacy, as one should with all financial institutions. We checked their customer sportsbook reviews, establishment dates, certifications, and the relevant local laws until we were satisfied that everything checked out.
- Payout Methods: Since, more often than not, you don’t want an app to have direct access to your bank account, we checked for sportsbooks that provided alternative methods of payment. Furthermore, we also checked out how quickly you could get your payment and if they offered bonuses on top of the original bets.
- Odds and Lines: We then turned to an extensive comparative analysis of the best odds and lines to increase your chances of winning big. And while the changes in odds might not be that noticeable (one site may have a team at 150 and the other 160), the winnings do add up into a tidy sum if you make intelligent choices.
- Quality of Websites: Finally, we considered the websites themselves. Our overview of each website accounted for how user-friendly it is, how up-to-date it is, how often it’s updated, how effective and efficient it is, and how many features it has. We also evaluated if the quality of the website supported the features it offered. For instance, if a website has a live betting feature, its effectiveness largely depends on the usefulness, availability, and reliability of the site itself.
- Variety of Choices: Additionally, the variety of options played a central role in our choices as well. This is useful because people often excel at or enjoy a particular kind of gambling that plays to their strengths. For example, if you work best under pressure, you might lean towards the aforementioned live betting.
Factors to Consider When Selecting the Best Online Sportsbook & Betting Site
- Customer Reviews
Just like signing up with any service that asks for your banking information, you have to know for sure what the folks using it think, especially when it takes up so much space on your bank statement. You have to check out their online footprint and look for any signs of fraud or previous scandals. Make sure to comb through their reviews (from amateurs, professionals, and industry experts), social media, certifications, etc. Although, if you keep seeing an issue in older reviews but not in newer ones, keep in mind that it’s likely fixed.
- Industry Standards
Furthermore, it would do you well to check if they follow the industry standards, rules, and regulations along with local laws. Particularly since gambling in the wrong place at the wrong time can lead to jail time. So check out their listing on databases like the Better Business Bureau. In addition to that, do look around for the certifications on their websites since a truly legitimate business is more likely to be open with their customers; this method is excellent for gauging the legitimacy of such a business.
- Personal Preferences
Are you looking for a massive lineup to bet on? Do you want a particular functionality? Or are you interested in one specific sport? These sportsbooks are all about your betting needs. So keep your requirements and what you think your current capability is as a bettor in mind when you go fishing for the perfect sportsbook.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about Online Sportsbooks
Q1. Are sportsbooks and general sports-related bets legal in the United States?
The majority of the states in the U.S. allow for online gambling. There are a few exceptions, but most states, like Kentucky and Massachusetts, are moving towards legalization. And some other states have a few additional rules and regulations to abide by but nowhere is it a jail risk. Idaho and Wisconsin have yet to show any movement on that front, the only hold-out in this regard. Still, there is no substantial movement against legalization either.
Q2. Do I need to be a sports expert to bet online on sports?
Not necessarily, no. There are many circles and platforms (like Bovada) focusing on recreation, not winning. You are likely to meet tons of people there who merely want to have fun. So don’t let your presumed lack of knowledge of the subject hold you back. Most professional bettors are likely to run in different circles anyway.
Q3. Can you explain sports betting odds?
This is probably the most common question we’ve seen. Betting odds help calculate the payouts; you get them when making a bet. The higher the odds, the lower the chances and the higher the payout. Since the more likely something is, the more people bet on it, meaning that the payout divides more ways.
Q4. What are the different odds formats?
Like any other unit of measurements, the format of odds changes depending on where you are. There are three main types of odds format: Moneyline, decimal, and fractional. First up, the Moneyline odds, or American odds, are the most commonly used format in the US. They come in the form of positive or negative numbers. Positive numbers express how much a correct wager would get you, and negative numbers show the amount you need to sacrifice to get the stated value.
Second, we have decimal odds. These originated in mainland Europe and are now the worldwide standard except for some US betting sites. They are written as a single positive number, with up to two decimal places.
Finally, the fractional odds system was the tradition of the United Kingdom. However, this system is slowly being replaced by the decimal system, likely because it seems more complex than the other two.
Q5. What does Vigorish mean?
Vigorish refers to the commission your bookmaker makes on any bet you make. After all, they need to make their money somewhere, and at the end of the day, the house always wins.
Q6. How do you choose a sport?
Well, the general rule is to pick the sport that you know best. You need to know not just the statutes but also any of the news related to them. And if you want to continue with recreational betting, you will need to keep up with it, so you might as well pick a sport you enjoy.
However, sports betting is not an exact science. As an overthinker, you might have great luck just going with your gut, so you might not want to pick a sport you don’t follow. Essentially, you will figure it out as you go along; just do what works best for you.
Q7. How much money should you bet?
The idea behind recreational betting relies on you having cash to spare. However, we don’t want you to go overboard, just spend what you can. If you are a beginner, we suggest simply figuring out the minimum limit on the platforms mentioned and beginning there. This minimum limit is usually around two dollars on the more reputable sites. And then, as you improve, you can start spending more. However, if you find yourself spending more than you can afford and unable to stop, we encourage you to seek proper help.
Q8. How to improve your betting skills?
This is a question for amateurs as well as seasoned pros. After all, you can always do better. However, there is no all-encompassing answer to this question. So when it comes to sports betting, we can merely suggest a few strategies and hope they work out for you.
First, try expanding your research, stay updated with the sport you are betting on, search out players’ statistics, and keep up with any related news. Second, you could try strategy games and brain training exercises to help your spur-of-the-moment decisions. Lastly, you can note down any behavior patterns of the players, coaches, managers, and industry trends so you can review them before deciding on similar situations.
Q9. What types of bets can you place?
Sadly, there are too many types to go over in detail, but we’ll discuss a few of the most common ones.
First, we have the win or Moneyline bets. These are the bets you think of when you hear sports bets. In these bets, you only have to pick a winner between whatever two teams are playing.
Second, we have totals and over/under bets where the focus is on how many points the teams score in a game. Lastly, we have Handicap betting in which the sportsbook identifies which team they think will win and assigns them several points by which the team will win. Following this, bettors pick whether this number is overstated or understated. Outside of these examples, there are outright bets, proposition bets, accumulators, teasers, and more.
The world of online sports betting is complicated, and these minor complications make it particularly hostile to newcomers, who are likely to find it all a bit overwhelming. So if you are a newcomer to this world, we hope we made your journey just a little bit easier, and if you are an experienced pro, we hope that we helped you find a new challenge.
Whether it be a new sport to bet on or a more brutal pro-level series of betting lines, we hope we played a minor part in making your hobby exciting. Recreational betting can be a blast, and we, along with the brands featured in this article, aim to make it so for as many people as possible. Here’s to winning big. Good luck!