Is betting on sports the new poker? Actually, both of these pastimes have become quite popular over the past decade or so. But poker has lost some of its sheen since peaking around 2010. Sports betting, on the other hand, is very much on the rise. More people are betting more money than ever before; Super Bowl LI broke all the previous records in the NFL, and the 2016 World Series did the same for baseball.
We’re expecting the same story for . The NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament is the busiest time of year in sports betting, with an estimated $10 billion changing hands in 2017. Most of that money will come from the pockets of “recreational” bettors. They’ll put a few dollars down on their favorite teams, just for funsies. Then you have the “sharp” bettors, the wiseguys who are trying to make a buck. They’re the ones who study the games and the betting markets, looking for any edge to exploit – and making big bets once they find that edge.
So which of these two camps are you in? Or are you brand-new to betting on sports? Whatever the case, if you’re going to bet on March Madness, you’re going to need a sportsbook – and preferably more than one. The sportsbook is where you find the odds and place your bets; different books may have different odds on each game, so it’s good to open multiple accounts and do some comparison shopping, looking for the best available price on your chosen team before you bet.
That doesn’t mean you should sign up at every sportsbook you see, especially when you’re betting online. Sportsbooks are financial institutions; they process your transaction, and they charge a commission for doing so. Just like any other industry, there are some very good books at the top of the food chain, some very bad books you should completely avoid, and everything in between. You’ll be better off sticking with the first group when you lay your money down.
This is where consumer research comes in. Sportsbook Review keeps tabs on hundreds of online books, grading them in areas like security, customer service and ease of use. If you click on the Best Sportsbooks link, you’ll find a list of the top-rated books – all of them very popular and trusted within the betting community. Each review has a comprehensive breakdown of that book’s strengths and weaknesses, which countries it’s available in, and the latest industry news.
Arguably the most popular sportsbook of them all: 5Dimes. Based in Costa Rica, 5Dimes has been doing business since 1996, serving customers in the U.K. and France along with the local population. The online community has voted 5Dimes the No. 1 book six times in the last nine years. Sportsbook Review has all the details on , updated on a regular basis.
This is a particularly good sportsbook for new bettors. Whatever sport you happen to follow, 5Dimes probably has the odds on the games you’re looking for – everything from March Madness to betting on politics. They also have reduced “juice” on most games, which means you’re paying them a smaller commission than your would at most books. These fees add up over time, so the less juice you have to pay, the more money you’ll make.
The first March Madness games are scheduled for March 14, and they’ll be playing all the way through to the National Championship Game on April 3, so it’s time to get cracking if you want a piece of the action. Whether you’re in it for fun, or you want to make some money – preferably both – just remember that a little research goes a long way.