Arbitrage Betting

24 July 2020

Did you know there’s a way to make SURE profits when betting on sports? You might think this is too good to be true, but there’s a strategy you can use to seek opportunities that guarantee profits by placing a variety of bets on all the possible outcomes of a sporting event.

Arbitrage betting guarantees you’ll make a profit from your wagers, regardless of what actually happens in the event you’re betting on. You can place a series of bets across different platforms and take advantage of discrepancies in bookmaker odds.

In the right circumstances, arbitrage betting can be profitable, but it takes a lot of hard work, time, and patience if you want to be successful.

What is Arbitrage Betting?

Arbitrage betting is a sports betting strategy where you simultaneously place bets on every possible outcome on a particular sporting event at odds that genuinely guarantee a profit, whatever the final result of the event will be. In a football match, for example, you would place three bets – one on each team to win plus one on the draw. In a tennis match, you would place two bets – one on each player to win.

Successful arbitrage betting is capitalizing on different odds on the same sporting event at two or more different bookmakers. Once you successfully recognize discrepancies in odds across different bookmakers, you can place bets on every possible result of a game in such a way that ensures you a profit, no matter what the outcome. These wagers are also known as sure bets, miracle bets, sure wins or just arbs.

Arbitrage Betting formula

1. Total Arbitrage % = ((1 / decimal odds for outcome A) x 100) + ((1 / decimal odds for outcome B) x 100)

The total arbitrage betting percentage must be lower than 100% to indicate that an arbitrage situation exists. If the percentage is higher than 100 there is no mathematical solution of betting on all outcomes of a sporting event and making a profit from each wager.

2. Expected Profit = (Investment / Total Arbitrage %) – Investment

With this done, we then need to determine the profit we will receive based on the amount of money we are willing and able to invest.

3. Individual bets = (Investment x Individual Arbitrage %) / Total Arbitrage %

The final step is to calculate how our investment needs to be broken down in terms of stakes across both wagers to ensure a profit.

Example of Arbitrage Betting

If you’ve been a sports bettor for a while, you’re probably already aware that the odds for sports events tend to differ between different bookmakers and betting sites.

The best way to explain how arbitrage betting works is through a simple example. Take the odds on an upcoming tennis match between Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal offered by three hypothetical bookmakers - A, B, and C.

Let’s say we encounter the following scenario:

Bookmaker A considers Djokovic and Nadal to have an equal chance of winning offering odds of 1.91 on both players.

Bookmaker B, however, prices a Rafael Nadal win at decimal odds of 1.85, while Djokovic is at higher odds of 2.08.

Bookmaker C offers odds of 1.86 on Djokovic to beat Nadal, the Spaniard being the outsider here at 2.09.

All we have to do here is bet on Djokovic at 2.08 with Bookmaker B and bet on Nadal at 2.09 with Bookmaker C. One of our two wagers is obviously going to be successful and we’re guaranteed a profit regardless of who wins.

For example, we stake £100 on each bet for a total outlay of £200. If Djokovic wins, we’re going to get a payout of £208. That would give us a total profit of £8. If Nadal comes out on top, we’re going to get a payout of £209. That would give us a guaranteed return of £9. We’re obviously not making big money here, but the point is we’re GUARANTEED a profit either way.

As demonstrated, you would make a profit here regardless of which player wins without taking any risk at all. You should keep in mind that this is only a hypothetical example but it should help you understand just how arbitrage betting works.

Advantages of Arbitrage Betting

• The profit is guaranteed by strategically placing sports bets.

• Given the infinite number of sports events around the world, plenty of opportunities for arbitrage betting will constantly arise.

Disadvantages of Arbitrage Betting

• Small profit margin - In most cases, you’ll earn a small profit margin worth between 1% and 2% of your total bet.

• Finding an arbitrage opportunity takes effort and a lot of work - You must be prepared to put a lot of time into this type of betting.

• Big Bankroll - You need to place big bets to earn serious money.

How to Identify Arbs

The best solution to identify arbs is basically to just study the betting markets yourself and take advantage of discrepancies in bookmaker odds. With practice, you should be able to instinctively notice opportunities where arbitrage betting is likely to be feasible.

You can use the following options when it comes to finding arbs:

• Use arbitrage betting sites or forums that advertise arbitrage opportunities

• Purchase software that will find arbs for you or alert services you can subscribe to so you often get notified of them

• Do your own research to return guaranteed profits. This option can be very effective, but it takes a lot of time and work.

Is arbitrage betting legal?

Arbitrage betting is perfectly legal as the arber is simply exploiting odds discrepancies within the market. However, the vast majority of bookmakers do not like the concept and may, therefore, restrict or close the accounts of those they suspect of engaging in this form of wagering.

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