How We Rate Sportsbooks

You've probably heard it a bunch: the U.S. sports betting scene is highly competitive. Everyone keeps saying that’s awesome because you're spoilt for choice. But if you ask me, it makes it harder to figure out who's the best.

To pick a top sportsbook, you need an eye for the small details that make or break a winner. It's not just about the number of options; it's about spotting the best one in the crowd.

Here at Odds Assist, we are committed to creating objective, transparent ratings to help you make the best decisions when it comes to which sportsbooks to use. We will continually update our Editorial Ratings over time as sportsbooks introduce new features, change promotions, etc.

Each sportsbook we review goes through our extensive rating process that evaluates thousands of data points in 12 categories to come up with a final score out of 100.

Odds: Weight 20/100

While some may overlook odds or give them minimal attention, for me, they're critical. Successful betting is all about maximizing your profits and finding the best value. That’s why I focus heavily on the odds a sportsbook offers—they’re essential for making your bets pay off.

I don’t just skim over odds based on a few games; I monitor the entire market and perform a granular analysis across various sports and markets. Through my calculations, I determine the vig—essentially the cut sportsbooks take from each bet. This extensive analysis helps me pinpoint which sportsbooks consistently offer the most valuable betting options.

One piece of advice I always give bettors is to avoid sticking with one sportsbook. Since no single operator consistently provides the best odds for all markets, it's smart to rotate among a few trusted sportsbooks known for good odds.

In my rating system, odds account for 20 out of 100 points. I assess different types of odds, with the most popular betting types having the most significant impact on the odds evaluation, as follows:

  • Spread (7/20)
  • Totals (5/20)
  • Moneyline (4/20)
  • Props (3/20)
  • Futures (1/20)

Sign Up Bonus: Weight 15/100

For many bettors, the sign-up bonus is the deal-breaker when picking a sportsbook. It makes sense—an excellent welcome offer can give you a strong head start. But remember, it’s not all about how big the bonus is. The real value is often tucked away in the terms and conditions, so it’s worth taking a closer look at those.

In my evaluation system, the sign-up bonus is worth 15 points, split across two key factors:

  • Size (12/15): I evaluate how generous the welcome offer is relative to similar bonuses. I compare only the same types of bonuses, like bet & get offers with other bet & get offers and match deposit bonuses with match deposit bonuses.
  • Terms and Conditions (3/15): I focus on three things: how long you have to use the bonus bets, whether there are any restrictions on the odds, and whether any sports or markets are off-limits. If a sportsbook has no restrictions, it scores a perfect 3 out of 3.

UX: Weight 15/100

Many simplify the whole UX thing to “user-friendly,” but I take it apart. I look into usability and functionality across multiple subcategories to fully understand how everything works together.

  • Layout intuitiveness (4/15): Is it easy to get familiar with the structure of the sports lineup and betting program, or does it take a while to find what you’re looking for?
  • Speed (3/15): How fast does the site respond when you're flipping through different sections? Is there any noticeable delay that could disrupt your browsing experience?
  • Search (2/15): Does the search function exist, and how well does it perform? Can it easily find sports, teams, and players, or is it limited in scope?
  • Prop categorization (2/15): Do sportsbooks make it easy by breaking down different types of prop bets on the main betting menu, or do you have to hunt for them?
  • Buginess (2/15): Are there frequent glitches, such as geolocation errors or login issues that can affect your betting session?
  • Biometric login (2/15): Is biometric login like Face ID available, and does it work smoothly, making logins quicker and more secure?

Features: Weight 7.5/100

I highly value sportsbook features because they help you bet smarter or make things smoother. That's why they earn a solid 7.5 out of my 100-point scale.

  • Same Game Parlays (2/7.5): FanDuel pioneered this feature, which lets you combine multiple picks from the same game into one bet.
  • Cash Outs (2/7.5): This feature lets you withdraw from your active bet, securing wins or cutting losses before all selections end.
  • Live Streaming (2/7.5): Watching live games through the sportsbook app can help you make better in-the-moment bets.
  • Unique Features (2/7.5): If a sportsbook has unique tools that others don’t, they score extra points.
  • Auto Cashouts (1/7.5): This feature allows you to set your cash out automatically to take profits at the right moment without constantly monitoring the bet.
  • Bet modifiers (1/7.5): Tools like Edit My Bet at BetMGM and bet365 let you adjust your running bets on the fly.

Market Depth/Sports Coverage: Weight 7.5/100

Most sportsbooks offer similar betting options, but they differ in how many niche sports they cover and how creative they are with props and futures bets. Here's how I evaluate market depth:

  • Player props (4/7.5): Does the sportsbook stick to standard lines for basic stat categories, or does it offer something extra, like alternative lines for specific stat categories? More variety scores higher.
  • Over 18 sports (2/7.5): Why specifically 18 sports? That's because it's the average for major U.S. sportsbooks. Any sportsbook offering more than this earns extra points.
  • Game props (1/7.5): Bets like whether both teams will score X points in an NBA game aren't just for fun; they can offer real value. That's why game and team props matter.
  • Futures (1/7.5): Does the futures betting stop at predicting championship, conference, or division winners, or are there more options, like season win totals?
  • Unique bets (1/7.5): Innovations matter. BetMGM offers signature bets, while FanDuel and bet365 feature bets that other sportsbooks don’t—points for creativity.
  • Period bets (1/7.5): What's the score after the first quarter? How many rushing yards did the running back have in the first half? These types of period bets add depth and interest.

Customer Reviews: Weight 5/100

For a truly unbiased, unfiltered, and objective take on a sportsbook operator, visit forums and player review portals. You can get direct insights from the betting community there. I particularly value reviews from mobile stores, and I also explore forums like Reddit, among others. I generally review around 20 comments and look at the overall ratings to gauge public opinion.

Here’s how I break down the customer reviews criteria:

  • Google Play (2/5)
  • App Store (2/5)
  • Reddit (1/5)

Live Betting: Weight 5/100

Live betting has taken the U.S. by storm, becoming the most popular form of wagering. Here’s what I focus on when rating this category:

  • Odds (2.5/5): I look at the competitiveness of the pricing of in-play markets compared to other sportsbooks.
  • Micro betting (0.5/5): This emerging trend allows play-by-play betting within a game. I assess whether sportsbooks offer this option and how extensive it is across different sports.
  • Live streaming (0.5/5): Does the sportsbook provide a live feed of matches? This feature is crucial as it offers insights beyond what you can get from just the box scores.
  • Sports coverage (0.5/5): I examine if the live betting options cover just the major sports or if they also include niche sports, like cricket, offering a broader range of betting opportunities.
  • Market depth (0.5/5): Here, I evaluate the depth of live market offerings, precisely the variety of prop bets available during live events.
  • In-game SGPs (0.5/5): The ability to combine multiple in-game picks from the same event is a feature few sportsbooks offer. Those that support in-game SGPs receive additional points.

Promos: Weight 5/100

While sign-up incentives often grab the headlines, a sportsbook's effort to retain its regular users is just as significant. I rate sportsbooks on this criteria based on both the volume and diversity of their promotions for existing customers, as follows:

  • Parlay boosts/promos (1/5): I check if sportsbooks offer enhanced odds for parlay bets to make them more appealing since they’re not particularly valuable.
  • The number of promos (1/5): I look at the number of promotions actively offered. More promotions suggest that a sportsbook is committed to engaging its users.
  • VIP/Loyalty (0.5/5): I check out if a VIP or loyalty program is rewarding the bettors who stick around.
  • Insurance (0.5/5): I'm checking to see if sportsbooks provide bet insurance to help reduce the sting of close losses.
  • Freerolls (0.5/5): I check for the availability of betting contests that are free to enter but offer real prizes.
  • Early payout offers (0.5/5): I scout for deals that let you win your bet early if your team is crushing it by halftime, saving you the stress of a potential comeback.
  • Referral (0.5/5): this promo rewards users for bringing new customers to the platform.
  • Miscellaneous (0.5/5): Any other creative or unique promotions that don’t fit neatly into the above categories but add value for users.

Support: Weight 5/100

Getting help smoothly when you run into issues, how fast the support team responds, and how well they solve problems define the support category for a sportsbook. Here's the breakdown of how I award points in this area:

  • Live chat (2/5): Quick, direct communication scores highest, as it's crucial for solving issues efficiently.
  • Email (1/5): I evaluate how responsive and helpful the support is via email.
  • Efficiency (1/5): Overall effectiveness and speed in resolving customer issues.
  • Phone (0.5/5): Availability and effectiveness of phone support.
  • Social Media (0.5/5): How well the sportsbook handles customer support interactions through social media channels.

Odds Boosts: Weight 5/100

Every sportsbook offers daily odds boosts, but the real questions are how many they offer, for which sports, and how valuable they are—are they just for longshots, or do they also supercharge more achievable bets too?

Here’s how I break down the odds boost category in detail:

  • The number of daily odds boosts (1.5/5): The typical range is 5-10 boosts per day. Any sportsbook offering more than this earns the total 1.5 points.
  • Average price enhancement (1.5/5): This requires deeper analysis to see how much sportsbooks typically enhance the odds. A standard enhancement is around 10%.
  • Terms and conditions (1/5): Sportsbooks score a whole point if they do not impose a maximum bet cap or other limiting factors. If they do impose limits, points are deducted accordingly.
  • Sports coverage (1/5): I assess whether odds boosts are offered only for significant sports or secondary markets like tennis, soccer, and golf. Sportsbooks that provide a broader range are given an extra point.

Limits: Weight 5/100

Unfortunately, most online sportsbooks are limiting people who consistently win nowadays. The critical distinction between operators lies in how quickly they enforce these limits and how stringent they are. I give sportsbooks a score from 0 to 5 based on how quickly and strictly they apply these caps based on my personal experience and research into what other bettors say.

Banking: Weight 5/100

I rate banking based on the various payment methods a sportsbook offers and how quickly it processes payouts. Here’s how I distribute the points:

  • Payout speed (3/5): This measures how fast a sportsbook handles withdrawals. Faster payouts earn higher scores.
  • Payment method selection (2/5): This evaluates the range of payment options available. More methods mean better accessibility and convenience, thus a higher score.

How to Use Our Editorial Ratings

While we believe our ratings give a good overview of which sportsbooks should truly be considered the “best”, it's important to think about what features you are mainly interested in—such as the sign-up bonus, competitiveness of odds, ongoing promotions and odds boosts, or something else—to decide which is the best for you personally.

You can read our extensive reviews to get a better idea of whether a specific sportsbook is likely to meet your needs or not. In addition, our state-specific guides go over which sportsbooks are the best in each state—both overall and in specific categories.

You can find out picks for the best online sportsbooks here and use the menu of our site to find other guides to help you find your fit.

If you have any questions, comments, or concerns about our Editorial Ratings, feel free to contact us.

Dave Rathmanner

Dave Rathmanner is the Founder & CEO of Odds Assist. After struggling to find helpful sports betting resources and honest reviews when he first started betting, he decided to create the site he always wished he had. Dave has been betting on sports since NJ legalized it in 2018 and regularly analyzes sportsbooks to find the best options for bettors. Aside from creating new content for OA readers, Dave is also passionate about researching betting markets, creating models, and developing profitable betting strategies.