Bet365 has a bunch of great features and they have an amazing in-play betting system. However I have a few issues in key areas that prevent me from putting them at the top of the list.
Bet365 consistently has very poor odds for MMA, and in other sports as well from a few comparisons I’ve done. Bet365 has a huge number of markets and offers in-play betting on almost all of them, so I believe they mitigate their risks by widening the margins more than other bookies (and also limiting winners, which I will discuss later). While their margins are sometimes close to other bookies, especially on big favorites-longshots, when the odds are closer you will see big fat margins, sometimes -125/-125 or 1.8/1.8. Because of this, you can almost always be guaranteed they will have the worst odds on any bet, whether you are betting on the favorite or underdog. This is one of my biggest complaints for Bet365 and I almost never use them for straight bets unless my liquidity is low in other accounts.
Bet Selection and Limits
Bet365 usually offers a wide selection of props, including totals for every round and different combinations of Method of Victory. They also offer odds for Bellator, but instead of being found under the Boxing/UFC category, they are under the Other Sports> Combat Sports category. The selection of bets is very comprehensive, although they sometimes take longer to post them, usually after other sites have stabilized the line movement. The limits on bets is generally very high unless you are betting on a smaller event like Invicta, which they have posted before but don’t get a lot of action on.
The real problem with their limits is that they have a clear documented history of limiting winners. I will not post the evidence here because it has not happened to me (yet) but anyone can find the information through a quick google search or by consulting with other experienced MMA bettors. The fact that you can be limited for being a winner is a big mark against them and will have to be a consideration for any serious bettor.
Live betting is where Bet365 shines, and the main reason I maintain an account with them. Their live betting system is open during the duration of a fight, with the moneyline being available during rounds and prop bets open during the round breaks. They will suspend the line during moments of clearly momentum shift, such as after a big knockdown or a takedown. They typically close the line around the second half of the last round as well, so keep that in mind if you’re planning a bet. They also offer cashing out, which can be very useful in situations where the momentum shifts and you want to cut your losses, or even grab a small profit depending on the odds you got. However the percentage of the cash-out is very stingy, so in many cases it’s not worth it. Live betting tends to be available on fights starting with the prelims AFTER the Fight Pass Prelims, but sometimes it’s only for the main card.
Live betting can be a goldmine in situations where the odds-maker on the other end is uneducated on the fighter. The classic example of a great bet is when a Fighter A wins the first round, but has a history of gassing out later. Fighter B will be a huge underdog at +200 or +300, and if you know your fighters, you can grab them at a price and they will go on to win rounds 2 and 3. For a real-life example, I recently bet Matthew Lopez as an underdog after losing the first round to Mitch Gagnon. Because I knew Gagnon has a history of fading, I correctly predicted Lopez would go on to win.
The selection, ease of use, and availability of Bet365 live betting makes them the king. Highly recommended for this reason.
Deposits and Payouts
Deposits can be linked up to a variety of different accounts and are instant when you put in a request. Withdrawals take a few days to process but they have always been reliable for me. I have mine linked up to an InstaDebit account and I always get requests done smoothly. No complaints here.
I have not needed to interact with customer service yet but the few times I sent them a chat, I got a response very quickly. It is my impression they have a large staff and support is swift. However, you could consider their history of limiting winners as a knock against customer service, so I will be taking points away in this category because of that.
Site Design and Navigation
Bet365 is designed in Flash, which is a design decision I would normally frown on, but they have implemented it very well and have created a nice interface because of it. Because of using Flash, your bets will be instantly updated and when you are betting live, you can see odds and cash-out values change in real time without having to refresh the page. Navigating from page to page is very fast, everything is easy to read, and the design is appealing. The only knock I have is that other MMA organizations are separated into ‘Combat Sports’ under the ‘Other Sports’ tab, while they have a separate category that mixes Boxing and UFC. They should have all MMA listed under the same category instead of incorrectly treating UFC as though it is a sport rather than a promotion. Because of this, I had missed out on betting Bellator and Invicta several times.
I don’t consider bonuses to be a big factor in deciding to open an account, but they are a nice addition, and Bet365 does offer a nice selection. The initial deposit bonus is good up to $200 and has the usual stipulations that you need to wager a certain turnover within short odds to get the full amount withdrawn. The nice thing with bonuses is that I continue to get small $20 offers regardless of the fact I have a winning account. It’s a small amount but still a nice little incentive. I rate their bonuses very highly compared to other sites.
When it comes to straight bets, Bet365 ranks very low and I never use them unless I have no other option. However when it comes to live betting, they are by far and away the best option, and I use them all the time. They also have a great selection of props that I use. Their site is easy to navigate and the cashier is smooth and simple. However with all the positives, their history of limiting winners drastically puts a huge negative mark on them that can’t be ignored. Regardless, if you can avoid being limited (and I have for a long time) then Bet365 is a great account to have and I do highly recommend them.
+ Best in-play betting service
+ Great selection of props
+ Frequent small bonuses
+ Fast and intuitive site design
+ Easy and fast withdrawal / deposit services
– Very wide margins
– A history of dramatically limiting big winners (a serious mark against them for serious bettors)