Arbitrage Sports Betting
Last updated: December 21, 2018
Last updated: December 21, 2018
The ease of access to online sportsbooks and the speed in which we can place a bet nowadays provides an opportunity for investors to exploit a little-known loophole that guarantees a win whatever the outcome of an event, with zero additional risks! Surprisingly, few people know of this proven method of making a profit every time a wager is placed on a sporting contest where only two or three outcomes are possible.
There is a widespread misconception about online sports betting. To the uninitiated, sports betting seems like a very complex hobby or pursuit and those brave enough to test the waters often feel overwhelmed by all the different betting types and technical jargon. This is often enough to put anyone off online sports betting.
Sure, there are dozens of complicated wagers some like to make, but these are people that have been in the game for decad, done the research and have the experience. At some point in time, they had no clue how to place a wager at a bookie. They had to learn what all the different betting options meant, how odds were worked out, which markets to look out for and which ones to avoid. These things take time and dedication to learn. Once you know them, you can make any wager you like with total confidence.
Of course, not everyone has the time or mindset to learn how to be a successful online sports bettor, but there is a betting system that you can use right now and get similar results. It’s called arbitrage betting, and the beauty of it is that you don’t need to have the experience or have in-depth knowledge of any particular sport, statistics or even luck to make money using it.
Arbitrage betting might sound like some hugely complicated strategy that takes years to learn, but the opposite is true. This type of betting system can be used by anyone and will work with many sports. Amazingly, few people, including experience gamblers, even know it exists.
While it may sound like something that is just too good to be true, arbitrage betting, also known as ‘arb betting’ or just ‘arbing’, is a real thing and it has been proven to work. However, while arbitrage betting is simple and effective, there are a few things you need to know first. Once you fully understand how it works and how you can use it to your advantage to win bets, no matter the outcome, you can start using it to win – every time!
The secret to arb betting is how you place your bets. While most normal bets rely on you putting your money on either side to win, lose or draw, this method requires you to place multiple bets on every possible outcome of an event, exploiting the odds given by different bookmakers. This is what guarantees profits in the end. However, it is important to note at this stage that the bet can only work if the bookie has listed odds that are higher than the current market price.
What is the ‘market price’ you ask? Quite simply, the market price is the odds value that is currently available on various betting exchanges or even at another bookmaker. Now, normally bookies will try and offer odds that are under the market price which is how they make their profit, also known as the bookmakers ‘overround’. Try this out for yourself, take any horse race and take all the runners (the horse participating in that race) odds and convert them into percentages. You will undoubtedly notice that they will never add up to 100% exactly. Rather, the average would probably be around 115% which is where this ‘bookies overround’ lies. That extra 15% on the horse race is the bookies straight up profit.
As you may have guessed by now, bookies will generally offer odds that are not that great; this is how they make their money after all. It is also why if you happen to spot an arb bet floating around you much grab it as quickly as possible. Bookmakers are not stupid and, when they realise that they have posted odds that are higher than other bookies, they will quickly bring it in line with the market price. Many bookies post higher odds to attract new customers, and if they don’t reduce them as soon as realising everyone else is offering lower odds, they could lose money.
As mentioned earlier, arbitrage betting is all about placing bets on all the possible outcomes of an event, which should ultimately end up in a profit for you. A basic example would be placing three bets on a football match. You put one bet on team A to win, one bet on team B to win, and a bet on a draw between them. If you were betting on tennis, you could place a bet on each player to win.
Now, here’s the big trick to arbitrage betting – you can’t place arb bets at just one bookmaker. The reason for this is that, if you were to place bets on all outcomes at a single bookmaker, you would virtually guarantee a loss and not end up in a profitable situation. Bookmakers will deliberately set their odds to balance their books to give themselves a profitable advantage.
Let's use a tennis match as an example of this:
Player A vs Player B. The bookie gives odds for Player A to win at 1.91 but offers the same odds for Player B to win – 1.91.
In this scenario, you place a winning bet of $100 at odds of 1.91 which would give you a return of $191, including your initial $100 stake. On a single wager that would be a profit of $91. However, if you were arb betting and bet on both to win, you would be betting $200 for the same return of $191. So, regardless of who won the match, you would end up with a loss of $9.
For arbitrage betting to work, you need to visit more than one bookmaker for a single event. Different bookies will have different ideas about a game and its outcome. The chances of them posting different odds are pretty high and could represent an opportunity for a decent arbitrage bet.
So, bringing back our first bookmaker:
Bookie 1 posted odds of:
Player A vs Player B. Player A to win at odds of 1.91. Player B to win at odds of 1.91
Bookie 2 posts odds of:
Player A to win at odds of 1.70. Player B to win at odds of 2.20
You can now clearly see an opportunity for an arbitrage bet developing where you could place a bet with Bookie One on Player A to win, and a second bet with Bookie Two for Player B to win. Your total outlay should be the same as our first scenario. So, in other words, your stake should be $200, with $107 (odds of 1.91) going to your bet with Bookie One on Player A, and $93 (odds of 2.20) going to Bookie Two and a bet to win on Player B.
If 1A Wins: $107 x 1.91 = Profit $204.37
If 2B Wins: $93 x 2.20 = Profit $204.37
From the above hypothetical example, you will make a profit, regardless of the outcome of the match. However, keep in mind that arbitrage betting can only happen when the right set of opportunities are available. Luckily the odds on various sporting events can vary enough between different bookies to create plenty of these opportunities.
There is also a few glaringly obvious downsides to guaranteeing a betting profit through arbing-
*On the last point, many of you will be pleased to know that there are solutions around that can locate and calculate arbitrage sports bets online*
The bottom line is that there have to be enough differences in odds for the arbitrage bet to exist in the first place. In most instances, differences between bookies will happen when different bookmakers have entirely different views of the outcome of any given event. You may also find that certain bookmaker will adjust their odds to reflect a more balanced book. True, it may take some time to get into arbitrage betting, but once you've learnt the essentials, it can be advantageous and also a lot of fun. It does mean you have to keep your eye out for opportunities, but once you get used to arb betting, this will become second nature.