We rank and review the best betting sites in the USA and multiple other countries. Our team of writers and gambling experts spend hours researching and testing out websites to compile the best sportsbooks and, in this article, we explain how we rank betting sites.

When determining which websites make it onto our lists we consider multiple factors. Depending on the type of list we are creating, certain factors will hold more weight. For example, if we are ranking the best sportsbooks for promotions, then the promotions offered will naturally be considered first. However, we always evaluate every aspect that we detail in this article.

Competitive Odds

Betting is essentially a form of entertainment and shouldn’t be used solely to make money. However, no one bets with the intention of losing money and everyone’s goal is to win more than you lose. Good value odds and a high percentage payout are imperative for achieving this. There is no single sportsbook that has the best odds for all available markets, but we find sites that consistently offer the most competitive odds across all markets by assessing the following criteria:

How We Rank Betting Sites - Our Sportsbook Ranking Factors

Odds for Straight Bets

Straight bets include bets on the moneyline, spread bets, or totals. For spread and total bets, the industry standard you will find at most betting sites is -110 for either side of the bet. This means the payout percentage is 95.28, the vig is the difference between the actual payout percentage and 100% so the sportsbook takes a 4.72% vig. We would also like to see sportsbooks offer a few reduced juice games which would see odds on either side of these bets around-105 which means a payout percentage of over 97%.

Moneyline bets work slightly differently to spreads and totals as the odds for either side of a bet can differ significantly based on how the sportsbook rates each team or player’s chances of winnings. However, the payout percentage can still be worked out and should be around 95%. Anything above this is seen as good odds and anything below 92% can be considered bad odds.

Odds on Other Types of Bets

When it comes to bets like futures it’s a bit more complicated to work out the payout percentage and it’s easier to work out the implied probability of all the selections combined which should add up to 100% but at sportsbooks, it’s always going to be over that amount. Any percentage over this amount is known as the over-round. The lower the over-round the better value of the odds. We also compare direct odds of teams particularly the favorites as say site A has a slightly better over-round but offers worse odds than site B on the most likely outcomes then we may rate site B better in terms of future odds.

Prop bets can also be complicated to work out how good the odds are because there can be multiple outcomes or just two but you can only bet on one side. For example, you may find a prop bet for a player to record a double-double in a basketball game. Often you can only bet on this event happening and you are not able to bet on it not happening. For this type of bet, we work out the implied probability and see if it matches up to our thoughts on what the chances of occurring are. Plus we also directly compare the odds offered between sites on the same bet.

Sports Coverage and Betting Options

When it comes to sports coverage and betting options, more is almost always better. The more sports and markets available on the sports means that bettors have a better chance of applying their personal knowledge of sports and implementing different betting strategies thus improving their chances of winning. It also shows a sportsbook’s commitment to its customers by providing what they want and keeping up with current betting trends.  These are the main things we look for in terms of coverage and available markets:

Major Sports

NFL, NBA, NHL, MLB, soccer, motor-racing, tennis, MMA/boxing, NCAA football/basketball, and golf are the sports we expect every sportsbook to offer markets on and if they don’t offer one of these they will lose points in our ranking and very unlikely we would recommend them.  In addition to featuring the major leagues and events for these sports, we also look for coverage of international leagues and less popular US leagues such as the XFL for football and WNBA for basketball.

Niche Sports

As well as featuring the most commonly bet on sports, we also pay attention to what other less popular sports to bet on such as handball, WWE, lacrosse, skiing, and surfing a betting site provides markets on. While we call these “niche” sports they still have a large following and there’s plenty of people out there looking to bet on them.  Featuring these sports also allows bettors to branch out and they may find a new sport they enjoy watching and or betting on.


Betting on competitive eGaming has seen a huge rise in popularity in recent years and it’s likely that this upward trend is going to continue, so we favor sportsbooks that provide diverse eSports betting options.  We look at how many different games have markets in particular the most popular games like CS:GO, League of Legends, Rainbow Six, FIFA, Valorant, and Overwatch.

How We Rank Betting Sites - Our Sportsbook Ranking Factors

Alternate Lines

Every betting site will offer straight bets, which are the moneyline, spreads, and totals, and if they don’t then they can’t really call themselves a sportsbook. Ideally, you would also like to see a sportsbook offer various alternate lines for spreads and totals. This is where a sportsbook will move the line so for example if the standard spread is +4.5 and -4.5 an alternate line would change this amount and either decrease or increase the odds depending on which way the line was moving. The more alternate lines are the better as it gives bettors the chance to use their sporting knowledge to place a winning bet or increase their potential payout.

How We Rank Betting Sites - Our Sportsbook Ranking Factors

Parlays and Other Multi Bets

Parlays are another bet type we would expect every sportsbook to have. However, what sets some sportsbooks apart from others is the ability to place same game parlays. Not all sportsbooks offer this and even if they do offer it for some sports they might not for others. Parlays aren’t the only form of multi-betting and we like to see at sites and rank sites based on if they have things like teasers, round robins, and yankees.


Prop bets are an incredibly fun way to bet on a game and can give you something to root for right up until the end of a game, no matter what the score is. Sites that offer a wide variety of prop bets are what we are looking for, particularly for major sports. The sites that we rate highly will have hundreds of prop markets available on football, basketball, soccer, hockey, and baseball.


One of the best types of bets in terms of risk/reward is futures, because of this, we look for sites that provide various future markets. You should find every sportsbook offers futures for winners of major leagues and championships such as what team will win the Super Bowl, the Stanley Cup, the NBA finals, etc. The best sites will offer much more than just the big trophies and provide a variety of different futures betting markets for niche sports and individual futures like a most improved player or 6th Man of the Year awards in the NBA.

In-Play Betting and Live Streaming

Live streaming is not an essential feature for a sportsbook to have. However, it is certainly something that is appreciated and improves a bettor’s overall experience as it allows users to have a full understanding of how a game is going and make informed live bets. It is also just a fun feature as most people who bet on sports also enjoy watching it.

On the other hand, in-play betting also known as live betting is an essential element of sportsbooks nowadays. This has become one of the most popular ways to bet on sports in recent years as it allows you to implement different strategies such as hedging. It also allows you to take advantage of events happening in games and placing bets based on this. It’s also one of the most thrilling ways to bet as it puts you right in the middle of an action of a game. These are the things we are looking for when we rank live betting and streaming.How We Rank Betting Sites - Our Sportsbook Ranking Factors

In-Play Betting Markets

As we already mentioned in previous sections, having a wide range of markets provides bettors with a better chance of winning as they can use specific knowledge to place the exact bets they want.  The same is true for live betting as it is for pre-game bets, so we give high ratings to sportsbooks that offer a wide range of in-play markets including straight bets, props, and the ability to make same game in-play parlays.

In-Play Betting Odds

Also, something we covered earlier is the importance of the odds. Having good odds and a high payout percentage makes it much easier to win more money than you lose over time. The exact same thing is true for live bets and we look for sportsbooks that offer the best payout percentage. With live betting, we also look for how fast a site updates its odds as this is essential when you are betting on live action, especially in fast-paced games like basketball and you don’t want odds to be locked out for a long time and miss your chance to place the bet you want.

In-Play Betting Tool

Not quite as important as the markets and odds available but important nonetheless is the live betting tool itself. There can be huge differences in your live betting experience based on what features an in-play betting tool has. The top sites provide cutting-edge visualizer tools that visually display play-by-play action of games so that even if you are not watching a game you get a full understanding of what’s happening in the game. In addition, some of the best sites provide comprehensive statistics both for the current game and past results of the teams or players involved in the game.

Live Streaming

Not all live streaming sites are the same as some might say they have live streaming but feature just a handful of niche sports games while others may offer a much wider range including high-profile sports. You also want the live streaming to work well and not freeze and buffer constantly as this is infuriating and makes the streaming feature pointless and this plays a major role in our ranking of live streaming.

User Friendly Design

When we look at the design of a sportsbook we do consider how the site looks but this doesn’t hold too much weight in our rankings system.  What does play a major role in how we rank a betting site is its functionality and how user-friendly it is. Below are some of the key areas we look for in the design of a site.


One of the most important things we look for in terms of design is the information architecture of the site, which is how the sportsbook is organized and how easy it is to navigate to the section or page you are looking for. With most sportsbooks offering around 20 sports or more and some sports having multiple games in multiple leagues, it’s important that a website provides lots of different categories, menu tabs, and a search function, which make navigating to the correct page as simple as can it be.

Loading Times

It’s all well and good having lots of menus and a search function but if it takes a long time for pages to load then that’s going to seriously decrease your experience. Nowadays, with the speed of Wi-Fi and mobile data, we expect pages to load pretty much instantly.

Special Features

Many sportsbooks now offer certain special tools that make betting easier. We look for things like prop builders which let you create your own props and easily put together prop parlays. Another very useful time-saving feature is automatic multi-bet creators for things like trixies, round robins, and other multi-bet types, it’s so much faster and easier to be able to place these multiple bets at the click of a button rather than manually place each bet.

Mobile Compatibility

With over 50% of online sports bets being made via mobile devices, it’s impossible to say a sportsbook is one of the best unless they offer a seamless mobile betting experience via either an app or a mobile-optimized site. When we test out a sports betting app we check that all of the same functions and features that they offer on their desktop site including betting markets, live betting, payment options, and bonuses are provided on the mobile site. We also grade them on loading times and use the same design grading criteria we would for a main site.

Promotions and Bonuses

Promotions and bonuses are one of the big advantages of gambling online and an aspect many bettors consider when deciding what sportsbook to pick for their sports betting journey.  Below you can discover what promotions and bonuses we look out for when we rank sites as well as what we consider when determining what constitutes a good bonus.

How We Rank Betting Sites - Our Sportsbook Ranking Factors

Welcome Bonuses

The most lucrative bonus offered to bettors is typically a welcome bonus. These promotions are offered to customers when they first sign up with a sportsbook and make their initial deposit.  When we rate a sportsbook welcome bonuses, we not only look at the maximum value but also take into account what the percentage match is and importantly the terms and conditions, particularly the rollover amount, as this plays a big role in determining if you can turn that bonus into withdrawable cash.

Promotions for Existing Users

If you are going to spend your hard-earned money and time betting on a site you don’t want the only reward to be for new customers. When we consider promotions we also look at what existing users can obtain. We look for what the reload bonuses on a site are like and what other promotions are offered such as free bets, no-deposit bonuses, risk-free bets, and competitions.

Loyalty Programs

Another way that many sportsbooks reward their loyal patrons is via a loyalty or VIP program. In the past, these rewards programs were often reserved for high rollers but now if a betting site has one, everyone who places bets can utilize them. Typically these work by awarding points for every wager you place and these points can be exchanged for rewards. they also tend to have multiple levels and users can move up levels the more points they have. In our ratings, we take into consideration how easy it is to accumulate points and move up levels as well as what rewards and perks are included.

Explore Our Guides on Top Sportsbook Promo Codes

Banking Options

Having the ability to both deposit and withdraw money is a vital part of your online betting journey. Banking options are also an indicator of the sportsbook itself, if they only have one or two payment options, ridiculous fees or time delays then it probably means they are not worth dealing with. We always assess what options are available to users and how long these methods take to process for both deposits and withdrawals. Additionally, we check what fees are applied for each available method. Here are the banking options we expect to see at sportsbooks.

How We Rank Betting Sites - Our Sportsbook Ranking Factors


Using crypto has become the preferred method of payment for many online sports bettors in recent years as it offers users increased security, anonymity, and transactions are much faster than traditional methods. What’s more, the best crypto sportsbooks do not charge for deposits or withdrawals via crypto and offer increased bonuses. The more cryptocurrency a sportsbook accepts the better but we pay close attention to if a site accepts Bitcoin, Ethereum, Litecoin, and Bitcoin cash.

Fiat Options

Even though cryptocurrency has become a very popular way to complete transactions online there are still a large number of people that prefer to stick to more traditional methods. Credit/debit cards, cheques, P2P, and bank transfers are all fiat options we look for and would expect sites to have. Unlike cryptocurrency, we don’t expect all of these to be free of charge but if sites charge ludicrous fees then we won’t recommend them.


Another payment option we expect a good sportsbook to provide its patrons with is eWallets. This is a handy banking method as they provide an extra layer of security and are processed much quicker than fiat options. They can also be used for unique payment options like MatchPay and other player-to-player transactions.

Explore Our Guides on Sportsbook Banking

Security and Privacy

Making sure that your money and personal information is safe is our top priority so this is a key aspect of our ranking system.  While some other aspects we look at like in-play betting may score poorly we might still recommend a sportsbook if other aspects make up for the short coming in that one category. However with security and privacy if we deem any site performs poorly then we will not ever consider recommending them. The way we evaluate this is by researching the following elements.

Privacy Policy

When creating an online account for any type of website you will usually need to devolve some personal information such as your name, email, DOB, and address. Betting sites are no different and you will need to provide all this information. You can check a sportsbook privacy policy on their website and we look for sites that keep your information private and do not sell it to third-party companies.

Digital Security

It’s also imperative that your betting site has the proper software to protect malicious third parties from hacking their site and stealing your information or money. We check on what firewalls a site has in place and if they are using the latest data encryption technology.


This is a deal breaker for us and is the first thing we check for when evaluating a sportsbook. If they do not hold a gaming license then we will not spend any more time assessing them and would never recommend a site without one. Just holding any old license also won’t do and we only recommend sites that hold a license from a reputable and verified regulating body.

Customer Service

Customer service isn’t always the first thing people think about when deciding where they want to spend their time and money wagering. However, it is a key aspect and can be the difference between an average sportsbook and a great one. We rank sites’ customer service by looking for the following aspects:

How We Rank Betting Sites - Our Sportsbook Ranking Factors

24 Hour Customer Service

While most of the time issues that customers face a not urgent, it could be the case that you have a problem that needs immediate attention so 24-hour customer service is something we consider very important.

Contact Methods

It’s a red flag if a sportsbook only has one method of contact and we want to see at least two. Email should be a method every sportsbook offers. The response time for email is important and getting a response within 24 hours is our benchmark but ideally the sooner the better.

Sportsbooks should also offer live chat and again response time is important but unlike email, we expect a much faster response, typically within a few minutes. Many sportsbooks now offer live chat instead of a phone line, but we prefer it if they offer both as some people prefer communicating their issues verbally. When assessing a site’s helpline we consider wait times and if the number is toll-free or not.

Quality of Customer Service Agents

It doesn’t matter if you have all the ways in the world to contact customer service if the people you are talking to are rude and incompetent. When we test out the different contact methods we also assess the staff’s knowledge, willingness to help, and overall demeanor. We expect the staff to be friendly , know what they are talking about and are able to resolve issues in a timely manner.

Something else that’s important to look out for is that the service is always the same for all issues. For example, most sites’ customer service, whether good or bad are going to quickly try to resolve any issues you have making a deposit or placing a bet. However, when it comes to issues with withdrawals or winnings from a bet bad sportsbooks will offer much less assistance or take a lot longer. This kind of thing is a warning sign and would lead us to grade the customer service at the site very poorly.


Most of the issues people face while betting online have very simple answers or fixes that’s why having a comprehensive FAQ section is imperative as it can provide the answers you need quickly and without the hassle of having to speak to someone.

Responsible Gambling

Most people are to control their gambling and bet within their means, However, some people can develop a gambling problem that can have serious consequences. While sportsbooks are there to make money they should also be aware of this issue and have appropriate tools in place to assist those who have a problem. We want to see at least a few of the following features in any sportsbook you use as it shows that the site takes this issue seriously and cares about its user’s welfare.

Deposit Limits

Deposit limits are the most commonly found responsible gambling tool on websites and if one doesn’t have it then it’s probably best to stay clear. This feature is pretty self-explanatory and it lets you set either a daily, weekly, or monthly limit for deposits, and once that limit has been reached you will not be able to make any more deposits until the next time period.

Wagering Limits

Wagering limits are another feature that works as you would expect from its name. This just puts a limit on how much you can wager either daily, weekly, or monthly. Once you reach your set limit you will not be able to place any more bets even if you have money in your account until the next time period begins.

Loss Limits

Another limit you can place is putting a limit on your losses. This is similar to wagering limits but only stops you from placing bets once you have lost a certain amount of money in a given period. Like the other limits, you can set a daily, weekly, or monthly limit.

Time Sessions

This feature is not actually exclusive to gambling sites but there are many sites in particular social media sites that also use something similar. With time sessions you can set how many minutes or hours per day or week you can use the site. Some sites will just send you a notification informing you that you have been logged in for your set limit. Others will actually log you out and not let you log back in until the next time period starts.

Time Outs

If you feel like you need to take a break from gambling altogether you can take a time out. With a time out your account is temporarily suspended for a set amount of time you decide this can be days weeks or even months. During this time you will not be able to log into your account at all until the time period is up. All ungraded bets you have already placed remain active and any balance you have in the account is not affected and will be available when you come back.


This feature allows you to effectively ban yourself from a site permanently. If you use this option the sportsbook will prevent you from reactivating your account or setting up a new account. If the company you exclude yourself has sister sites you will also not be able to open a new account with them.

Author photo
Joseph Yarnold
Gambling Journalist

Joe Yarnold joined the Basketball Insiders team in October 2021, as a content editor and writer. He obtained his Master’s degree from Framingham State University and has experience writing educational and explanatory articles on all forms of gambling. Although he specializes in casino gaming, NFL, soccer and NBA betting, he has well-rounded knowledge and insight of most sports. His expertise also include researching and analyzing the latest federal and state gambling laws and regulations in the US.

All posts by Joseph Yarnold
Author photo
Joseph Yarnold Gambling Journalist

Joe Yarnold joined the Basketball Insiders team in October 2021, as a content editor and writer. He obtained his Master’s degree from Framingham State University and has experience writing educational and explanatory articles on all forms of gambling. Although he specializes in casino gaming, NFL, soccer and NBA betting, he has well-rounded knowledge and insight of most sports. His expertise also include researching and analyzing the latest federal and state gambling laws and regulations in the US.

All posts by Joseph Yarnold