One of the important things a successful sports bettor has to do is pick the right online sports book (or preferably sports books, because shopping around for the best price is very important, but that’s for a different article). The right sports book can set a bettor up for success, while the wrong one can stand in the way and be an impediment. The tough part, though, is that there s no sports book that is ideal for everyone – each bettor has different needs that will be served by different books. When you are trying to assess which book is the best one for you here are seven issues to consider:
What sports do you like to bet? – This is the most important question to ask yourself. Every book has sports that it excels at – offering the best odds, the widest variety of props, and the best timing of the release of the odds – and others that it just isn’t competitive in. If you like to bet soccer, for example, then you would probably want to look at a book that targets a European market. If you like to bet hockey than a book that targets Canadians makes sense. Matching your preferences to a book’s strengths will save you all sorts of headaches down the road.
What type of bets do you like to make? – Some books offer very good prices on straight up bets or totals, but are lousy at more exotic bets – parlays, teasers, and so on. Some books are very aggressive in the pricing of their prop bets, while others don’t worry about the props that they offer because they aren’t a priority. Some books are much more attractive to bettors who typically back favorites than those who like underdogs, and vice versa. Some charge little juice for straight bets, but charge more for exotics, and some are the opposite. Just like you need to match your sports preferences to a book you also need to match the types of bets.
What are the limits? – For a lot of casual bettors this won’t be an issue. If you are a more serious bettor, though, then you need to make sure that you will be able to make bets that are as big as you want to make. You also need to look out for any payout limits that a book sets. Some books will set a maximum payout per bet, and that’s not going to be attractive if you like to bet parlays that could lead to huge payoffs.
When are the odds posted? – Different books release their odds at different times, and that can be an issue for some bettors. For example, some books release their baseball odds late in the evening before all of the games for the night are even over. Others don’t release their lines until the ext morning. The book that waits until later won’t matter to you if you like to wait until close to game time to make your bets, but if you like to try to get in your action before the public and the smart money beat up the odds then you’ll need one of the books that releases their numbers early.
What bonuses are available? – Most sports books will offer some kind of bonus when you sign up and fund our account for the first time – usually some sort of matching bonus. Depending upon the amount of money you deposit, the amount you like to bet and how aggressive you are that bonus might be a significant boost to your bankroll, or it might be insignificant. If you have a $1000 bankroll then a $500 bonus is very significant. If your bankroll is $100,000, though, then you probably don’t need to make decisions based on the bonuses. You also need to read the fine print to understand what you have to do to access the bonus – some books make them so difficult to access that they might as well not exist. You should never make a decision of what book to use just based on the bonuses, but f two books offer the same basic services that match what you need then the bonus could be the deciding factor.
How easy will it be to fund the account? – It doesn’t matter how good a sports book is if you can’t get money into your account. The government makes it difficult to fund your account, but some books make it easier for you to find ways around the limitations than others.
How trustworthy is your book? – The biggest books with the best reputations are totally trustworthy – money you invest with them is going to be there when you want it back, and they aren’t going to go bankrupt or disappear overnight. Other sports books aren’t nearly as established, so you are taking a much bigger risk – a totally unnecessary one – with your money. Before you start working with any book check out their reputation to be sure that they are worthy of your support.