The odds and the subsequent betting market available are the most important criteria when determining the best sports betting site. This is because, first, betting odds directly impact how much you can win, and second, the available betting market will impact the sports you can bet on and the types of bets you can make.
Odds Pricing: To be considered a good sportsbook the spread and game total lines should be -105 or -110 if equal on both sites. Anything over -110 should be considered poor odds pricing.
The array of sports and leagues to be on: The bare minimum and also the most important is of course to offer sports betting on football (NFL, CFB), basketball (NBA, CBB), MLB baseball, and NHL hockey. On top of these, we expect UFC, boxing, motorsports, soccer, golf, tennis, rugby, and basically any sporting event and league available.
Betting Markets and types of bets: If you are new to online sports betting you will probably bet on the spread, money, and the game total lines which you will find on all sportsbooks.
If you want to bet more advanced and place teaser bets, parlays, same-game parlays, player props, and futures you will have to be a bit pickier when selecting your sportsbook.
Understanding the importance of odds
Odds vary from online sportsbook to online sportsbook, so you need to understand what these differences might mean to you as a player. The bookmaker sets the odds of what they believe the outcome of an event will be. In short, odds represent the relationship between the wager and the winnings. In some cases, they are described as fractions or as decimals.
For example, if the result of an event has odds of +200 or 3.o, this means you will win $3 for every $1 you wagered. In other words, the range of betting markets is better on some sites.
This is how you read American odds: The favorite is indicated with a - (minus) sign. This displays the amount you must wager to win $100.
Betting the odds with a + (plus) sign means that you are betting on the underdog. A $100 bet will pay out winnings equal to the odds displayed. Example: +200 in odds will pay out $200 in winnings on top of your $100 bet.
Compare the odds
The odds can look very different when betting on a match that won't receive much attention. Therefore, it is advisable to compare odds with other sportsbooks before placing bets.
Most U.S. sportsbooks generally offer generous odds but sometimes you will see beneficial odds on specific sports and leagues.
Suppose you are committed to getting the best possible value. In that case, you can even sign up on several sites and compare odds whenever you wager on a specific event. The basic rule is that you have as many betting options as possible.
Betting market and bet types
It's also important to check the betting markets and bet types available. Most of the sportsbooks offer decent odds pricing and a wide range of sports to bet on, but if the bets don't meet your needs, you should be looking for somewhere else to play.
The top online sports betting sites will offer a selection of different bets including, but not limited to:
- Prop bets
- Moneyline bets
- Point spreads
- Total under/over
Depending on the sport, these bets will vary between online sportsbooks. Not only that, but some online sports betting sites will have more specific options than others but for the major US sports and college sports the betting options will be massive.
If you are looking for less popular sports and college sports it is always wise to give the largest sportsbooks such as DraftKings and FanDuel a visit as they tend to offer bets on almost anything.
Always check out the betting options available at all online sports betting sites before placing your bets.