5 Things to Look For When Choosing an Online Sportsbook
Now that the Stanley Cup and Larry O’Brien trophies have been handed out, (congrats to the Washington Capitals and Golden State Warriors), it’s time to start shifting gears to the most wonderful time of the year for sports bettors. Yes, that’s the football season!
While it may be a little early to really shift your focus to betting on the National Football League and NCAA football, it’s never too early to take a look at the options that are out there for where you are going to place those bets. I have been an avid bettor for a couple decades now, and there are 5 things that I consider to be very important when choosing where I am doing to deposit my money and lay cash down.
1. Site Reputation: The first thing I have to consider is whether or not my online sportsbook can be trusted with my hard earned money. I want to be sure that when I make a deposit, not only will the site have limited downtime, letting me place a bet when I want, but also, will they be there to send me my winnings when I want them.
Doing your own research can be very time consuming, but in the end, it will be more than worth it. Take the time to search the internet, ask friends and acquaintances that are into betting where they bet, what their experiences are, and if they prefer one site over another, and why.
There are plenty websites around that offer sportsbook reviews, but be somewhat leery of these, as some sportsbook review sites are owned by sportsbooks themselves, and can have a biased opinion. As well, some review sites receive payments from sportsbooks to “give them a leg up” on the competition, so make sure you visit multiple sites before you make your decision.
Lastly, once you’ve narrowed down your options to two or three books, give their customer service number a call. Tell them you are considering them as your new
sportsbook, but have some questions before making your initial deposit. Their response to your questions, and how they treat you should go a long way to help you make your decision.
2. Getting Paid: This sort of goes hand in hand with number 1, but to me, this is the most important thing to be sure of when choosing an online sportsbook. There’s nothing worse than going on a hot streak, winning a few bucks, only to have to wait a month to get your money, or if you get it at all.
Make sure you go with a sportsbook that is known to not only payout, but payout on time. My sportsbook allows payout from Tuesday through Thursday, and I normally see the money within 24 hours.
Be sure to find out their payment options, and how easy it will be to get your money after you request a payout. Common forms of payouts include MoneyGram and
Western Union, but I have seen bank wires, re-loaded debit cards and BitCoin, so be sure if these are your options, that one of these are readily available in your area.
3. Mobile Betting: My sportsbook’s mobile betting interface is very important to me. I spend a lot of time on the road, and I don’t like to drag my computer with me everywhere. My book needs to have an easy to use mobile version so I can jump on my phone at a moments notice and get my bet in quickly and efficiently.
There are times I am listening to sports talk radio just prior to the start of a game, and I get a piece of information that springs me into action to get a bet in on acertain side. I don’t want to have to mess around, knowing that the game will go off soon. I want to tap my screen, take me to my book, get the bet in, enter my password, and BOOM, bet placed. This is extremely important to me.
4. Betting Options: This one covers a few things that I find necessary in the online sportsbook I choose. I’m not just talking about the types of bets I can make, but options outside of betting sports.
Sure, all sportsbooks offer straight bets, totals and parlays; but do you want to bet teasers, first and second half lines, live betting or prop bets? I do! So make sure if this is what you are looking for, that your new sportsbook offers these options.
On top of that, I love betting horses, so my book has to include a racebook so I can get those in too. How about a live casino? Yes, you can play some poker or slots from the privacy of your own home. All of these options will make your experience with your book that much more enjoyable.
5. Competitiveness of Lines and Odds: Last, but certainly not least, is the competitiveness of the lines and odds your online sportsbook has to offer. Where do
they get their lines from, and how often are they updated? This can certainly make or break your bottom-line if you’re not careful.
Sometimes a simple half-point here or there can be the difference between winning and losing. We’ve all been there. This is why I like to have accounts at a couple different sportsbooks, so I can compare lines and save a few bucks on the juice here and there. In the end, it will all add up to better account numbers at the end of the year.
I hope these 5 things to look for when choosing an online sportsbook have helped. By no means are these the only things to look for, but this is a great start to getting you on your way to an enjoyable betting experience. Do your homework, and make sure you take the time to get any questions you may have answered for you before sending in that initial deposit.