Bovada Sportsbook Review
Original Publication: 3/25/2013
Thanks for taking the time to read over my Bovada sportsbook review! Over the past few months, I have spent a good deal of time researching a bunch of online sportsbooks. Now, that I have had the chance to personally use and bet on all of these systems, I want to provide everyone with my detailed reviews of what I believe to be the top 5 sportsbooks. I will not get into the legal climate of betting on this blog, however, the posting found on Is Online Sports Betting Legal? is a great reference.
My first review will cover the Bovada Sportsbook in detail. Bovada has a great reputation in the online sportsbook industry and I currently list them as the number one sportsbook in my blog post about the Top 5 Sportsbooks.
Like most sportsbooks, Bovada has a variety of options that make it very easy to get money into your account. The three advertised methods are by credit card (Visa and Mastercard only), Money Transfer and Rapid Transfer.
Visa is the most popular method to fund your account. I show this method in the screenshot to the left. On the initial deposit into Bovada, the fee with waived, but every time after that you will have to pay a 4.9% CC fee on each deposit.
The minimum deposit into Bovada is only $20 which is much less than is required at most sportsbooks.
Starting in March of 2016, Bovada now accepts Bitcoin as a deposit method. This has become ever more popular in the sportsbook betting world as deposits by this method come with no fee. If you already have a Bitcoin wallet then this is certainly the easiest route to go when depositing money in your account.
Limits/Ease of depositing money: 10/10
I was always a fan of the interface that Bovada had set up previously, so when they made the change to their new interface in late July of 2015, it took some getting used to. The listing of sports is now available in the drop down menus from the top of the page. The set up with the drop down menus was very well done and it’s easy to jump between sports and the different bet types.
The games at the top can be scrolled through from left to right, and underneath those games are more bet options for the game as well as links to more specific props. After using this for a week, I certainly got a good feel for it and prefer it over the old interface.
Another area within the user interface that changed is in Bovada’s Bet Slip.
Clicking bets on the interface will then populate those matches into the bet slip. When multiple games are selected (as in the image on the right), then you also have the option to parlay the games. With the change in the interface in July of 2015, the bet slip is not quite as compact as it was in the past. While this is a slight negative, the bet slip is still very simple to use.
While this doesn’t seem like it is that big of a deal, I have used sportsbook sites that had very clunky and hard to use bet slips. I can promise you that after trying to labor through some of those that I can certainly appreciate when a sportsbook does it right, and Bovada definitely does!
Look and feel of the betting interface: 8/10
Perhaps one of the main weaknesses regarding Bovada is that they are incredibly slow at listing match ups. For those that like to bet NBA or college basketball games, you may have to wait until sometimes 2pm ET in the afternoon for the lines to be live and ready to bet. Comparing this to the other four sportsbooks that I use, and Bovada is consistently the last to list their odds (usually by more than 4 hours!). To the recreational gambler this is not a big deal, but if you are the type that is jonsing to get your picks in early in the morning then this sportsbooks may not be for you.
On the other hand, I love the fact that the minimum bet is only one dollar. While the serious gambler isn’t really concerned about minimums, this is a huge benefit for people that occasionally just want to throw a few dollars down.
Odds Prices and minimum bet limits: 7/10
One of the things that has become increasingly popular over the past couple of years has been the increase in mobile betting over smartphones. At least in my case, I do most of my betting from different sports bars, in which case, I don’t ever have my computer handy. So the need to have a solid mobile web site has become very key!
I have an Android based phone, and I think it is fair to say that the Bovada mobile site runs pretty well. Logging on, switching between sports, and placing sports is very easy. With the update to the site in July of 2015, Bovada gave the mobile site a very similar look to the desktop site. It reminds me a little bit of the updated style that Microsoft has implemented across it’s Windows systems.
The update has certainly provided an upgrade over the previous version as and I don’t run into same small issues that I used to. This is now one of the best mobile sportsbook sites of all the sportsbooks in which I give a detailed review.
Mobile Betting Platform: 9/10
We all play in the sportsbooks to make money, and it is important for a bettor to have a sportsbook that pays out reliably. This is one area in which Bovada may shine the brightest. The options for payout include check by courier, money transfer and rapid transfer. Most importantly, Bovada offers one free payout a month. The minimum payout for money transfer and rapid transfer is $100, but the minimum check payout is only $20!
This convenience is one of the many advantages that Bovada has over the other sportsbooks. It doesn’t take long to figure out that these guys are very reliable.
Ease and price of payouts: 10/10
The bonus and promotion area is another place where Bovada has a little bit of an edge over it’s competitors. It all starts with a 50% welcome bonus on your first deposit up to 250 dollars. This is pretty much as good as it gets for a deposit bonus in the industry.
Throughout the season, Bovada hosts a variety of promotions over all the major sports. In the image depicted above, the bettor simply had to bet on every team in a division to win different bonuses from free play to bonus chips in the casino. In Playoff Casino Slam, for a minimum wager of twenty dollars on a playoff game, the bettor could win casino chips in the amount of a player prop (i.e. Chris Bosh rebounds). Football season provides even more promotional opportunities.
This is one of the major reasons why Bovada is fun. The promotions really do give you a reason to come back and keep betting!
Pro: There are variety of deposit bonuses and promotions that occur through out the year.
Pro: Easy deposits, great customer service and reliable payments.
Pro: Very low minimum bet amounts.
Pro: Casino games, poker, and the horse betting section of the web site is very well done for those who need a break from sports betting.
Pro: Perhaps the best/easiest payout of any sportsbook out there.
Con: Lines come out very late in the day.
Con: The odds are typically not as favorable as you can find at other sportsbooks.
4/8/16: Added new deposit methods.
8/2/15: I still have Bovada listed as my number-one rated sportsbook. We have updated the review to reflect the web site update that Bovada made at the end of July 2015.
2/18/14: I still have Bovada listed as my number-one rated sportsbook. All things stated in my original review still hold true. This is still the most trustworthy sportsbook out there.
As I said in the opening, I have Bovada listed as my number one sportsbook and they are there for a reason. My advice regarding Bovada is simple. If you are person that wants to dabble in an online sportsbook and you don’t take yourself very seriously then Bovada will be the perfect sportsbook for you! However, if you are a little bit more of a serious gambler who wants more options, lines and bets then you may want to look elsewhere.
With the updates that they made to their web site at the end of July 2015, Bovada has shown that they are willing innovate to stay ahead of the game. It should be good news for players that they would take the time to reinvest in their site.
To sign up at Bovada: Join Bovada