I frequently get asked which sportsbooks people should play with and my standard answer is to ask what type of bettor they are. If you’re a good-sized bettor, Bookmaker is the place for you to be. For everybody else, there’s Bovada. Ideally, an account at both is the best way to go, as you’ll find line differences and the occasionally chance at taking a middle due to Bovada’s tendency to shade the line to the public side.
About five years ago Bovada made the decision to turn into a top-notch sportsbook. They no longer boot you out at the first sign of you actually knowing what you’re doing. And their payouts have gotten to be much faster and reliable. In short, they’ve become a top-notch sportsbook, which is what they set out to do.
The best reason for playing at Bovada is they have a tendency to favor the favorite and the over. Unless the underdog is the popular play with the public at which point they shade the line that direction. But if a popular team is an 8.5-point favorite, Bovada will likely have it at 10. If over 47.5 is a popular football play, Bovada could have it at 49. Simply put, if you like to go against the grain, Bovada is a great place for you to play.
For baseball, Bovada isn’t the greatest, as they use a 20-cent line and usually shade 5 cents both ways. If Boston is -135 over Tampa Bay and the Rays are +125 at Bookmaker, Bovada will have it -140 and +120. That’s about the only knock on them.
Bookmaker’s line is usually one of the sharper lines out there and you can usually find decent differences between their numbers and Bovada’s, giving you more opportunities to aim for a middle.