Welcome to sports book world where you will find the latest reviews of the best online sportsbooks, the latest bonus offers and information about how to find the best odds and make as much money as possible while betting on sports. Betting on sports is one of the few ways the modern gambler can gain an edge on the house. Games like slots, video poker and craps always have a clear house edge, but the smart sports bettor can find matches or games where they can bet with an advantage. This is even easier today because you have so many different options to place a wager online.
Juice – What is it and Why is it Important?
Every bet you place with a sportsbook, whether it is a land based book or one located on the Internet, carries a charge, generally called juice or vig. The most common amount is 10%, which is expressed by wagering 110 to win 100, or sometimes 11/10. This simply means that you place a bet of 110 for a chance to win 100. When you win you get back your original 110 plus the 100. So you only pay the juice when you lose. In a simplified manner this works out to a 5% charge on each side of the bet as the sportsbook only collects the 10 from one side or the other. When this 10% is divided by the two sides of the wager it is 5% per side on average.
Sometimes you can find betting opportunities offered with less than 10% juice. The next most common is 105 to win 100. Some sportsbooks run promotions or specials offering reduced juice, and you should always take advantage of these opportunities when you can. By placing bets at 105 to 100 you have cut the normal juice in half, creating an average of just 2.5% per side. This is a huge difference and over the course of a year can amount to thousands of dollars difference in your bottom line. This can go so far as to change a losing bettor into a winning one.
Playing the Odds – Finding the Best Lines
There are literally hundreds of sportsbooks online, and this offers a distinct advantage to the intelligent bettor. The largest advantage is the range of odds and lines you have access to on the same games. While many books will have identical lines, it is not uncommon to find different lines. This can create situations where you can bet both sides of a game with a chance to double up. Here is an example of how this can work.
In an upcoming NFL game the Broncos are playing at the Patriots. At sports book ABC the Patriots are favored by 3 ½ but they are only favored by 2 ½ at sports book XYZ. You can place a bet on the Broncos getting 3 ½ points at one book and place a bet at the other sportsbook on the Patriots giving 2 ½ points. If the Patriots win by 3 you win both sides of the bet. The good news is that the people who set the lines are pretty good and in the above scenario the Patriots will win by 3 often. There is a trap in the way many people think in the situation that was just described. Take a moment and see if you can figure it out before reading on.
Everything is great and you double your money when the Patriots win by exactly 3, but every other outcome costs you the juice on one side. If you are betting 110 to win 100 on both sides, you will win 100 on one side but lose 110 on the other on every final score that does not have the Patriots winning by exactly 3. So even when you have these opportunities you have to understand that they only pay out every so often. The key is if they pay out enough times to turn a long term profit. This is another example of why finding the lowest juice is important. If you can place these bets at 105/100 instead of 110/100 your middle pick only has to hit half as many times to turn a profit.
Choosing a Sportsbook
There are many different things you should consider when choosing a sportsbook. One of the most important is the safety and integrity of the sites you choose to do business with. This is also one of the most difficult to find good information about because all of the sites look good and they all act like they have your best interest at heart. The good news is that we have taken the guesswork out of this. Just take a look at all of the sportsbook reviews found on this site. We have spent years in this industry so you don’t have to take a chance. There are many sportsbooks that have been conducting business online for years and have solid track records of quality customer service and safety.
Other things to look for when choosing an online sportsbook are their juice, promotions, players club, bonuses and deposit and withdrawal options. The reason finding a trusted sportsbook is the most important thing to consider is that it doesn’t matter how low the juice is or how great the promotions are if dealing with the book is a pain or if they are untrustworthy. Once again, take a look at our reviews to quickly see the best places to place your online wagers.
Popular Deposit Options – How to Make a Deposit
Most sportsbooks offer a wide range of choices when it comes to making deposits and withdrawals. The most common method is by using a credit or debit card. You can also use an online wallet account like Paypal or Neteller. If you are not familiar with how online wallets work, they are a virtual wallet attached to a bank account where you can transfer money to and from your wallet and account and online merchants. They offer a level of safety as the online wallet is the only place that has access to your bank account, not the different online merchants you deal with. You can also use bank transfers or EFTs at many online sportsbooks. Withdraws are usually processed the same way as you deposited, but different sportsbooks have different options. Deposit and withdrawal options also depend on where you live and the laws of your country. The best way to find your options is by visiting the cashier area of your sportsbook.
Almost every sportsbook offers some sort of special sign up bonus. While most of these look the same, there are different types of bonuses and you need to know the difference between them before making a deposit. Different types of bonuses include no deposit bonuses, free picks, cashable deposit bonuses and non-cashable deposit bonuses. Always read the terms and conditions before making a deposit so you completely understand all of the rules. Here is a quick overview of what each of these means.
No deposit and free pick bonuses are similar, so they are lumped together here. A free pick is exactly what it says. You get to place a free bet and win the proceeds when your pick wins. Sometimes you can bet on any game, but sometimes there are only certain games you must pick. A no deposit bonus gives you a small amount of money to bet on any game or games. Common amounts are $5, $10 or $20. Many free picks and no deposit bonuses either won’t allow you to cash out your winnings or require you to place additional wagers before withdrawing.
Cashable deposit bonuses can be cashed out after you make a certain amount of wagers. A common cashable deposit bonus would be something like 100% bonus up to $1,000. So if you deposit $1,000 the sportsbook gives you another $1,000 to place wagers with. So you have $2,000 to place bets. Before you can cash out any of the bonus you will have to place bets a certain multiple of times, specified by the terms and conditions. So you might have to place $20,000 worth of wagers before cashing out the bonus.
Non cashable bonuses are bonuses you can place bets with, but you can never cash out the bonus amount. For example, you may receive a $500 bonus on a $500 deposit, so you can bet with $1,000. But when it comes time to cash out, the $500 bonus is deducted before cashing out.