The Best Sports Betting Sites Online Today
There’s no escaping the online sports betting industry these days. Sports coverage, be it on television or live, is absolutely plastered with marketing material for the best online bookies. This market is very, very busy – and sometimes even bleeds over to the casino world. In fact, many casino operators have either started off as online bookies and expanded, or added a sports betting platform to their casino offerings from the get-go. That’s why you’ll often see these two markets side by side. Whether you’re browsing operators as a sports betting or a casino fan, there are plenty of fantastic sites that offer you the best of both worlds. If this is your first venture into the world of online sports betting, everything can start to look murky. Choosing the best sports betting site for you in this minefield can be tough, but with the right advice and expertise, I can walk you through it.
|Sports Betting Site||Welcome Offer||Highlights||Rating||To the Site||T&C’s|
|Betway||Up to £300 and up to 30 Free Spins||Sports: 30+, Live Streaming: Yes||Bet Here||Full T&Cs apply. New customers only. Opt-in required. 100% Match Bonus up to £50 on 1st deposit of £10+. 50x bonus wagering applies as do weighting requirements. Debit Card & PayPal deposits only. This offer is valid for 7 days from your new account being registered. Irregular gameplay may invalidate your bonus.|
|BetVictor||Bet ₤10 to Get £40 Bonus Credit||Sports: 30+, Live Streaming: Yes||Bet Here||Full T&Cs apply. New Customers. £70 Bonus = 2 x £20 bonus +3 x £10 bonuses for selected games up to 60x wagering. Bonuses expiry 3 days. Card payments only and wager £10 within 7 days of registration. Please Gamble Responsibly.|
|William Hill||Bet ₤10 to Get 3x Free £10 Bets||Sports: 30+, Live Streaming: Yes||Bet Here||Full T&Cs apply. New customers only. Opt in required. 1x per customer. Max 50 free spins with 20x wagering. Stake £10 stake & get 100 free spins on completion with 20x wagering. Selected slots only. Free spins expire 24 hours after issue. Eligibility rules, game, location, payment method and currency restrictions and terms and conditions apply.|
|Betfair||Play 5x £10 Bets to Get a Free £20 Bet 5 Times Over||Sports: 30+, Live Streaming: Yes||Bet Here||Full T&Cs apply. Minimum deposit of £10, x45 wagering, Roulette and blackjack 50% weighting. Bonus Valid for 7 days. Not available to customers using Moneybookers/Skrill or Neteller as a payment method.|
|Ladbrokes||Up to £50 100% First Bet Match Bonus||Sports: 25+, Live Streaming: Yes||Bet Here||Full T&Cs apply. 18+. New Casino players only. Deposit required. Bet £10+ on qualifying games. 40x wager reqs (bonus only) on selected games. Accept Bonus within 14 days. Bonus valid for 30 days. Certain deposit types excluded. Player restrictions and T&Cs apply.|
The way sports betting works is very different to the casino business you may know and love. Therefore, when I sit down to review an online sportsbook, the process is different to when I review an online casino. The key areas that require assessment are different. I don’t really need to worry about software developers, for example, as the games I’m betting on take place in the real world. Let’s look at how I sort the good from the bad in this industry then.
How to Spot the Best Place for Your Sports Betting Bets
When faced with the choice of several options for where to dip into your sports betting, it’s tough to decide where to spend your hard-earned cash. There are several factors that even a newcomer to the best online sportsbooks can look at to make an informed choice. The number of sports available to bet on, and the range of markets within a chosen sport vary from operator to operator. There’s also the issues of bonuses and promotions to deal with, as well as the generosity of prices and odds offered on any given bet. Unlike online casinos, where the payout rates for a particular game don’t vary all that much, the best online bookies compete to give players the best price. In practice, that means that the odds of say, a Manchester United win on Saturday, will be different across different bookmakers.
The Most Popular Online Sports Betting Markets
In today’s sports betting world, you can bet on almost any sport you can think of. Within each sport, there are what we call markets. When sports gamblers refer to a market, they are talking about a type of bet, for example, who will win a match, how many goals will be scored, how many fouls will be committed, or by what margin a team or individual will win or lose. For example, around 250-300 bets are available for a single Premier League football match. Multiply that number by the number of matches played each day, and you are already getting into the thousands of available bets, and that’s just for soccer.
The rules and number of markets available are different for each sport. Football is by far one of the most popular sports globally, followed by horse racing, golf, tennis and boxing. Modern online bookmakers continue to expand in this area, and it can feel like there is almost nothing that happens in your favourite sport that you can’t bet on. If we take the biggest market online today, football, and analyse the markets, not only can we bet on the winners of losers of matches and competitions, but there are prices for managers being sacked, the number of goals a player will score in his entire career, and whether Manchester City will go a whole season unbeaten. If you can think of it, you can probably bet on it.
1/4 Football BettingThe most popular sport worldwide, it’s no surprise that football provides some of the most interesting markets at the best online betting sites. Whether you back your favourite team, or take a punt on the form, there will always be winners, losers and margins.
2/4 Golf BettingGolf is one of those sports that is difficult to predict, but herein lies the opportunity for great odds and big wins. There is a huge market for it in the sports betting industry. Keep your eyes peeled for specials around the Ryder Cup as well as the other major competitions.
3/4 Horse Racing Betting The classic sports betting market, Horse Racing is great because there is always a race to bet on. Whilst form plays a part, the outsider always has a chance leading to big wins. Received a tip on a horse? Whip out your phone and have a punt from anywhere.
4/4 Tennis Betting Tennis is a popular sports betting market due to the fact that form plays a huge part in deciding winners and losers. With no team variables, just one guy or girl versus another. Major tournaments make up the bulk of the market, but there are tournaments most weeks.
The way this industry is going, I expect that the number of markets will continue to grow. We are already at stage where betting on the result of elections, the X Factor and other reality TV shows is a thing. You can even bet on the weather! Operators are now starting to open SMS and Twitter betting services, allowing players to request odds and absolutely anything they like. How long will it take for this cup of coffee I’m drinking to go cold? Maybe I can get some odds on that…
The Truth About Online Sports Betting Odds and Payouts
The most import thing to analyse when reviewing an online sport betting site is the odds that it offers. By looking at the most popular markets, you can get an idea of how generous a bookie is with certain types of bets. Of course, the caveat to this is that as we’re dealing with real sports, no two games or bets are ever the same. There are so many factors that affect who the winners and losers are in sport, that comparing one game to another – in terms of betting odds – is redundant. What you can do, however, is compare the odds for the same market across multiple operators. As you are no doubt aware from the barrage of advertisements that come your way anytime you watch sports on television or online, there are a lot of online sports betting sites these days and this is a competitive market. As a result, bookies are forced to undercut each other, just as competitors do in other businesses, offering better odds than their rivals in the hope or attracting customers. Keeping an eye on the best odds each time is crucial in this game.
There are even occasions where bookmakers pay out the bets before they have won. One famous case was when Paddy Power paid out on Floyd Mayweather beating Connor McGregor three days before the fight took place. Of course, there is publicity in this for the operator, that’s why these stunts take place, but it’s win-win if you are a punter with a bet on.
Online Sports Betting Deals – What’s the Story?
The best sports betting sites entice new players with welcome and deposit bonuses just like at online casinos. A quick glance at the amounts available around the markets – an average of 20 or 30 in extra funds is pretty common – it may not look as impressive as in the casino space where bonus amounts over 1,000 can be found at several operators, but the trick to understanding these deals is to delve into the terms and conditions.
Just like online casino bonuses, sports betting cash boosts are subject to wagering requirements. That means that you will have to stake your free cash a set number of times in a defined period of time before you can withdraw the money into your own bank account. The key to identifying a good sports betting site bonus is calculating how many playthroughs you’ll need to hit before the money is truly yours.
- Betting Options: over 30,000
- 100% deposit match
- Comes as free bets
It’s important not to get too hung up on the main deposit bonuses that online bookmakers offer. Even more so than in the casino business, the best sports betting sites run regular promotions to keep players incentivized. Typical offers come in the form of odds boosts, free bets and cashback offers which involve the refund of losing bets in certain circumstances. The promotions pages of the best online bookies are always busy, so make sure you keep an eye out for the latest deals. There are a couple of ‘hot’ periods for promotions too, following the sports calendar. Christmas is always fruitful, as is the start of a new Premier League season. For tennis, log on around the times of the four major championships. For golf gamblers, the Ryder Cup always attracts special offers and unique markets.
Security for the Best Online Bookies
Just like the online casino industry, the sports betting markets are regulated by official state regulators, such as the UK Gambling Commission (UKGC). That means, if a bookmaker wants to legally operate within your country, it will likely be required to obtain a valid license. To obtain that licence, the online bookmaker must pass a series of inspections and tests to ensure the safety and security of its services. This includes issues such as honoring terms and conditions, paying out winning bets appropriately, the safe handling of customer information, and fairness of the games or bets that it offers. A valid licence is like a stamp of approval, and you should never place a sports bet at an online bookie that does not hold one. All of our recommended sports operators and those covered in our UK casino reviews hold a licence.
Customer Service for Online Bookies
Customer service is a vital part of sports betting and the best online bookies offer a range of services for gamblers. It’s not just about getting hold of a representative to solve problems with your account or disputes about the service – in the best online sportsbook world, communication between punter and bookie is essential for negotiating special bets and odds. You may have heard the story of Harry Wilson’s grandfather winning £125,000 after placing a bet in 2000 that his three-year-old grandson would play for Wales. That bet would not have happened without an excellent customer service network. Today, online bookmakers have SMS and Live Chat services available where potential gamblers can ask for odds on almost anything. All of the sports betting sites on this page offer email, live chat and phone support with the only exception being BetVictor, which does not have a customer service phone number.
The Advantages of Online Sports Betting
Choosing to conduct your sports betting online, be it via a computer or a mobile device such as a smartphone or tablet, comes with several advantages over the traditional method of visiting a land-based bookmaker and placing bets in person. Here are my top reasons for choosing online sports betting:
New Sports Betting Sites 2021
With so many newcomers bursting onto the best sports betting sites scene, I often get asked the question: Which is better, a long-standing established bookie, or an up and coming new sports betting site? When asked this, I always offer the same advice. There is no correct answer, of course, both have their strengths and weaknesses. With an old-school bookmaker such as William Hill, which has been operating since the 1930s, you get the security and reliability of a company that has been there and done it. However, new sports betting sites are often more innovative, quicker to introduce modern technology and ideas, and take more risks given that they have to offer punters something that the old-boys are not in order to succeed. It’s really about finding a balance between the two and choosing something that suits your individual needs.
The Future of Online Sports Betting and News
The sports betting industry is moving very quickly and growing at a rate that would have been unbelievable a couple of years ago. Technology is driving innovation, and the ease of access and favorable licensing conditions mean that more and more sports fans are betting on their beloved teams and athletes. In just the last couple of years alone, we have seen the introduction of in-play betting, live streaming of matches and the cash-out feature which lets punters edit or partially cash out bets before they have been settled. Who knows what the next innovation will be? I predict there will be increased regulation regarding how sports betting sites currently advertise on television during football matches. As a result, gambling companies will try to be more creative with promotions and free bets offers in a bid to attract customers they can no longer reach during live matches. Mobile will be a huge part of this. To keep up with this fast-moving industry, check out our news section.
Online Sports Betting Conclusion
There’s never been a better time to jump into the world of the best sports betting sites. Innovation is driving the industry forward and exciting new markets are opening thick and fast. With so many online bookies to choose from, making a decision can be a nightmare. Betting on sports has become part of the whole fan experience, and the market has never been more vibrant than it is now. Follow the advice on this page and you won’t go too far wrong.
- Major Strengths
- Loads of markets
- Live streaming
- Minor Strengths
- Good promotions
- Cashout options
- Major Weaknesses
- Minor Weaknesses
- Small streaming window
In this section we cover the most prominent questions from sports bettors across the world wide web. If you require further clarification on any of the topics covered on this page, please don’t hesitate to head over to our contact page, and reach out.
Who is the Best Bookmaker?
There are many worthy contenders for the title of "Best Bookmaker", and it depends entirely on your requirements of a sportsbook. If you're a player who bets big and needs high-odds levels, BetVictor is the place for you. If however you want an all around compelling betting experience, check out the world leading platform developed by Betfair.
What is the Best Betting Site for Football?
Football is, and will always be the highest grossing betting market in terms of betting volume/revenue, for all forms of online gambling. Every betting site focuses a lot of resources into building a quality football betting platform, but if you have to choose one - Betway certainly will not dissapoint.