Betfair vs Bet365 vs Sky Bet: The battle of the bookies!
Can’t decide which bookie to sign up with? A lot of people have a hard time choosing between Sky Bet or Bet365, Bet365 or Betfair etc. You see the ads on TV, but of course the bookies are only going to big themselves up to potential new players, without saying anything negative. We’re here to look closer at the details and make the call easier for you.
Betfair vs Bet365 vs Sky Bet: the showdown is on! Look at the table below for a quick overview of the results and read on for full info.
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Welcome bonus: Bet365
Betfair’s ‘Bet £10 Get £30’ in free bets is a more than reasonable welcome offer, allowing you to get off to a good start on sportsbook betting. The advantage of free bets over the other kinds of bonus offered by some bookies is that you don’t get tied in to potentially long wagering requirements. £30 is a slightly above average value, although some bookies do offer more.
Bet365 has one of the biggest welcome packages out there, with up to £200 available in bonus funds as a 100% of your first deposit. You do have to meet wagering requirements before making a withdrawal, but the amount of the bonus makes up for it. At the lower end of the scale, you can still claim this offer when depositing any amount of £10 or more. So it’s flexible and not restricted to only big stakers who want to take the full amount.
The Sky Bet welcome offer has the smallest required buy-in, with a first bet of just £5 qualifying you for a £20 free bet. That’s certainly an advantage for those who are hesitant about laying down too much of their own cash. It means it’s a good opportunity to try out the bookie for a minimal investment and we understand some people will prefer that option.
Our favourite in this category is the Bet365 welcome bonus. It stands out from the competition due to its value of up to £200 and flexibility, allowing you to choose how much of a bonus you get according to your first deposit. The Sky Bet or Betfair offers are also decent, but Bet365 is king here!
Available betting markets: Sky Bet
All bookmakers allow you to bet on the most popular sports, like football and horse racing, so this category comes down to who has the most different kind of markets on those sports and who takes bets on the more obscure sporting disciplines.
Betfair has some innovative quick bets on football matches, as you can see in the image below. Betting on the number of set pieces or offsides in a short period might seem strange to some, but it’s exactly the kind of impulse bet you might place in-play when you get a feeling about what is going to happen. They also have dedicated sections for floorball, chess and pool, which you won’t find everywhere. All bookmakers allow you to bet on the most popular sports, like football and horse racing, so this category comes down to who has the most different kind of markets on those sports and who takes bets on the more obscure sporting disciplines.
Meanwhile, Bet365 are also creative with the way they present bets on-screen. This slider allows you to adjust your correct score prediction by choosing the number of goals scored by each team. While it’s a nice idea, it is potentially quite confusing and you can only see the odds for one score configuration at a time. So the jury is still out on that feature, although it does make a change from the bog-standard user experience a lot of average online sportsbooks have. Bet365 are also the kings of Asian handicap betting; there are many kinds of bet like that which you won’t find elsewhere.
Sky Bet have a lot of price boosts on big football matches and selected horses each day. You can see some examples of boosted prices on the Celtic vs Manchester City Champions League match from September 2016 here. The boosts are decent too, meaning you would get significantly more if you backed one of these selections and it came in. Finally, there are tips from the Sky Sports pundits, who are familiar faces with many sports fans in the UK. Sky Bet may have less coverage of some really obscure sports, but they’ll have what you need 99% of the time.
Each bookmaker has its own unique kinds of bets, which others don’t. On the whole, we think Sky Bet has the best range of betting markets, allowing you to bet on just about anything you could think of when it comes to a football match.
Best odds: Bet365
To compare odds between these bookmakers, we decided to look at 1X2 odds on a round of Champions League fixtures in September 2016. We recorded odds in the afternoon leading up to the games and, for ease of comparison, they are shown below in decimal form.
Betfair offer good odds and are a close second in this category. Of the 48 betting selections covered, their sportsbook had the best price in 29 cases. At face value, they are also boosted by having an exchange section, which often has superior odds compared with their own sportsbook and other bookmaker sites. However, don’t forget that you get charged commission on winning bets on the exchange, which is 5% at the basic rate. When multiplying the decimal odds by 0.95 to account for 5% commission, the odds were in fact inferior to the sportsbook most of the time. In conclusion, you will usually get very competitive odds with Betfair, but remember to account for commission if betting on the exchange.
Bet365 have a reputation for favourable odds, which they lived up to in this comparison. They were best price on 34 of the 48 selections, only slightly beaten on three others by Betfair’s exchange prices, which of course are more liable to fluctuate in the build-up to the match. In many cases, the odds were only superior by 0.1 (which still accounts for an extra £1 in returns for a winning £10 bet), but there were differences of up to 0.25, for odds from 2.0 to 4.0, or 2.0 for longer odds selections. You always want to get the best value for your bet and most of the time Bet365 will give you that.
Sky Bet came up a little short in this area, with best prices on only 11 selections. In most cases, they weren’t far off the competition, but it’s still a big enough difference to say that they were the weakest contender when it came to odds. They were particularly unfavourable for punters looking to back either side to win, whereas the draw odds were often closer to the others or better. In defence of Sky Bet, they offer regular price boosts on sports betting.
So Bet365 vs Betfair was the clash of this category, and it’s Bet365 who takes it, not far ahead but with enough of a difference to be the clear winner. Sign up with them and you’re sure to get the best odds out there.
Mobile app: Sky Bet
These bookies all have apps adapted for any kind of mobile device, whether it be Apple or Android, smartphone or tablet.
The Betfair app is easy to use and has some great tools and features, such as statistics to help you place your bet. Navigation is quick so you’ll have no trouble getting your bets on when watching a match at home or in the pub.
Bet365 have long been pioneers in mobile betting and still to this day have a well-adapted app for the modern punter. It may not be the most pleasing on the eye, as it lacks images and the colour scheme features a lot of grey in the background. But it’s still very easy to use and has more or less everything you could need from the desktop version.
Sky Bet go for an app which is perhaps the most attractive of the three, visually speaking. Furthermore, the app has a rating of over 4.5 stars on iTunes. That’s very impressive given that it is an average rating from over 10,000 people who have used the app.
Overall, it's Sky Bet who gets our vote, while it is a close run thing for second place between Betfair or Bet365. Sky Bet have clearly done great work in updating the app, with lots of modern features like Quick Pin login, Apple Pay and Bet Tracker. It’s well designed and really easy to use for sports betting. You can’t go wrong!
Live betting and streaming: Betfair
Betfair have a really strong in-play betting and streaming offer. Their in-play markets are comprehensive and they have a lot of interesting football matches to watch, from competitions like the Copa Sudamericana, AFC Champions League and South American World Cup qualifying. There are also a lot of tennis matches from ITF tournaments. Betting on live events is possible on the exchange section too, which may provide better odds in some cases.
Bet365 also have a well-designed in-play portal, with great customization allowing you to arrange the events you want to follow on-screen. They offer live betting on a diverse range of sports, even including disciplines like e-sports. Meanwhile, their streaming service has football matches from Serie B, Ligue 2 and the 2. Bundesliga, as well as other European, Asian and South American competitions.
Sky Bet has a strong range of in-play betting markets, with handicap markets and betting on 10-minute markets like the number of goals scored or match result. However, there is very little in the way of events being streamed live, aside from horse racing, which is covered by most major online sportsbooks anyway. Particularly compared with Betfair or Bet365, it’s a bit of a letdown. The only way you’ll be seeing live events with Sky is through a TV subscription!
The winner in this category is Betfair, just ahead of Bet365. Both are among the best bookmakers around when it comes to live betting and streaming, but Betfair nicks it on account of having a few more events to watch live and bet on in-play.
Overall winner: Bet365
It’s very close between these three online bookmakers in the showdown of Betfair vs Bet365 vs Sky Bet. We make Bet365 the winners as they are the most solid performer in all areas.
When it comes to betting, you always want to get the best bonuses and odds to help boost your bankroll. Bet365 are clearly top of both those categories. Even in other areas, where we didn’t rank their offer first, Bet365 is never far behind and definitely one of the best in the business.
Remember, to get the Bet365 welcome bonus of up to £200, click the button above to create your new account. Good luck with your bets!