Thanks for taking the time to read over our Bovada sportsbook review! Over the past few months, we have spent a good deal of time researching a bunch of online sportsbooks. Now, that we have had the chance to personally use and bet on all of these systems, we want to provide everyone with our detailed reviews. We 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.
This review will cover the Bovada Sportsbook in detail. Bovada has a great reputation in the online sportsbook industry and we have had them listed them as the number one sportsbook for the past four years in our blog post about the Top 5 Sportsbooks.
The advertised methods to add funds to your Bovada account are by credit card (Visa, AMEX and Mastercard only), Bitcoin and Bitcoin Cash.
Visa is the most popular method to fund your account. We 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 $25 which is much less than is required at most sportsbooks.
Starting in March of 2016, Bovada begun to accept 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.
For a full list of deposit tips, the Bovada website provides a great resource: Deposit Methods.
Limits/Ease of depositing money: 10/10
We were always fans 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, we 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, we have used sportsbook sites that had very clunky and hard to use bet slips. After trying to labor through some of those bet slips, we 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 the Bovada sportsbook 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 2pm ET in the afternoon for the lines to be live . Comparing this to the other ten sportsbooks that we use, Bovada is consistently the last to list their odds (usually by more than 4 hours!) on the major American sports. To the recreational gambler this is not a big deal, but if you are the type that is chomping at the bit to get your picks in early in the morning then this is a negative. The one exception to this rule is in soccer. For whatever reason, Bovada is consistently first in getting their lines out for most soccer contests across the globe.
While discussing positives, we 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. If one does most of their betting from different sports bars, for instance, then one won’t ever have their computer handy. So the need to have a solid mobile web site has become very key and more necessary then ever!
It is fair to say that the Bovada sportsbook mobile site runs pretty well on both Android and the iPhones that we tested. Logging on, switching between sports, and placing bets 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 us 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 and the same small issues that we ran into before the update are now gone. This is now one of the best mobile sportsbook sites of all the sportsbooks in which we 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 payouts are seemingly constantly changing, but currently include check by courier, or payout by bitcoin. Most importantly, Bovada offers one free payout a month. The minimum payout for a check payout is now only $50! A check can be requested once a week for an amount up to $3,000. The Bitcoin option is, by far, the better way to go for withdrawals (and deposits). Using this option, the minimum payout is $20 and the maximum is $9,500. Bitcoin can be requested once every five days and the payment comes to the customer almost immediately versus up to two weeks by check.
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 pretty big 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 used to host a variety of promotions over all the major sports. However, in more recent years, they have begun to focus more on their new rewards program which has taken the sportsbook industry by storm. Rewards points, as one can imagine, are earned by placing bets in the sportsbook, casino and racebook. With more points, one can move up into higher tiers where you can get more cash back on losses and earn free play more quickly.
This is one of the major reasons why Bovada is fun. The rewards 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.
The original posting of this blog was on 3/25/2013. We continually have been making updates ever since and have done our best to list these updates below.
2/18/14: Bovada is listed as the number-one rated sportsbook. All things stated in the original review still hold true. This is still the most trustworthy sportsbook out there.
8/2/15: We still have Bovada listed as the number-one rated sportsbook. We have updated the review to reflect the web site update that Bovada made at the end of July 2015.
4/8/16: Added new deposit methods.
6/26/17: A few minor changes throughout the blog. Overall, we continue to list Bovada as our top-rated sportsbook.
12/11/17: A few extra notes on deposit options and the Bovada rewards program.
As noted in the opening, we have Bovada listed as our number one sportsbook and they are there for a reason. Bovada is a perfect sportsbook for the amateur bettor who simply wants to place a few bets and enjoy the games. Although we all want to make money, betting is supposed to be fun. Of all the sportsbooks that we ever tested, Bovada is without a doubt the most elite at making betting a pleasurable experience. One thing to note is that Bovada won’t accept “sharps”. Professional bettors, (or someone who is likely to drop a thousand or more on a game) are better off at a book like 5Dimes.
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