Best Online Sportsbooks: How We Review Betting Sites

Looking to open up a sportsbook account but don't know where to start? We've done the work so you don't have to with our in-depth, three-layered approach to evaluating online betting sites.

Each of our reviews starts with critical information about sportsbooks including availability in your region, payout options, and ratings from iOS and Android users. 

We thoroughly analyze each sportsbook and rate it on a 1-10 scale in six different categories (Regional Availability, Bonus Availability, Sports Odds Variety, Payment Options, User Experience, and Safety & Security). 

Lastly, we have multiple betting experts evaluate these criteria and fact check each other to ensure that we are giving the best, most accurate reviews to give you a better sense of where you're going to place a bet.

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Each review also features a bulleted "strengths and weakness" category for a bird's-eye view of the sportsbook as well as a section about apps/features, and a segment about customer safety.

The final two categories, are "Sportsbook Improvements" and "Compare Sportsbooks." These sections help readers get a sense of how each sportsbook has evolved over time and how they currently compare to competitors.

Scoring Categories

Odds Shark's thorough review process is as follows:

  1. Regional Availability

    We make sure each recommended site is accessible in your region. Sites may be licensed in other elsewhere, but they must be easily accessible to you in your current location.

  2. Bonus Availability

    We look for sportsbooks that offer value in their customer deals. From killer welcome bonuses and promo codes, to lucrative existing customer offers, rebates, and VIP programs. Sportsbooks must offer something better than average otherwise we won’t recommend them.


    Bet Boosts

    Not all boosts are created equal and some sportsbooks offer them more frequently than others. While grading bet boosts promotions, we consider factors like max bet size, frequency, percent offered, and variety.

    Free Plays 

    Everyone loves a free play promotion, but some bettors are caught off guard by "rollover" or "playthrough" requirements. Shops offering infrequent free play opportunities or unrealistic rollover requirements will receive a lower score.

  3. Sport Odds Variety

    We champion sites that provide extensive odds across a huge range of global sports. Sportsbooks must prove they are ready to promote big events, such as the US Open golf, Olympics, Wimbledon, and Super Bowl. A range of sports and in-depth betting options is what we like to see!


    Same Game Parlays

    Some sportsbooks allow SGPs and others go a step further and allow you to combine multiple same-game parlay chains. Scores here are based on value as well as SGP options.

  4. Payment Options

    We look for sites that deliver a large range of. From card payments like VISA and Mastercard, to Interac, crypto and wire transfers.


    Payout Speed

    Nobody likes to wait for their money after a big win. In this category we'll set expectations for how quickly you can collect winnings.

  5. User Experience

    Customer service contact options, ease of app use, customer complaints, and unique features are all considered in this category.


    Live Streaming

    Watching the games you're betting on right from your sportsbook's app is becoming more popular. Grades here are based on stream quality and diversity of sports/events offered.

    Mobile Compatibility 

    It’s important for sports betting sites to optimize their pages for mobile. After all, most of us bet on mobile these days. Whether it’s via an app or optimized browser site, we champion those sportsbooks that invest in their mobile experience.

  6. Safety & Security

    Odds Shark takes player safety very seriously. We only recommend betting sites that match our high degree of safety and security standards. That means a site must operate 256-bit SSL or TLS encryption as standard. They also need to provide fair T&C for all players.

The Odds Shark Difference 

Each of our reviews are curated by two sports betting industry experts. One is assigned as the author and one as a fact-checker. The review is then passed onto our publishers who give a final green light. This three-layered quality control approach ensures you're getting the most accurate information.

Unlike some others in the industry who write a review and allow it to become stale over time, we routinely re-visit our reviews to ensure they contain the most up-to-date information.

While the basic nuts and bolts of every sportsbook is similar, we pride ourselves on pointing out the unique qualities (positive and negative) of sportsbooks so you can conceptualize and visualize your experience prior to signing up.

About Odds Shark

Odds Shark is in its third decade of being a trusted and reliable source of sports betting information. Throughout the years, established media outlets like ESPNCBS SportsFox SportsNBC Sports, and Yahoo Sports have relied on our odds, and we take pride in being a premier voice in the industry.

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