The aim of online sports betting is to make money, however an interesting topic of discussion amongst sports betting enthusiasts has been arbitrage betting. Arbitrage betting is when you take advantage of the different odds of bookies set in the same markets so that you are guaranteed to make profit regardless of the outcome of the event.
Arbitrage betting happens when the bookie sets the odds too high for a specific outcome. By laying the same market with shorter odds, you can wager large amounts of money to make a guaranteed profit.
For example, let’s say that we’re betting on a horse race. We wager £10 on horse A to win at 4.0. We then lay the same horse (i.e. bet against him to win) £11 through a sports betting exchange such as betfair with laying odds of 3.5.
If our horse wins, then we make £1.50 profit (£40 – £38.5). If our horse loses, then we still make £1 profit (£11 – £10).
As you can see, regardless of the outcome of the event we are guaranteed to make a profit. This type of arbitrage betting is also known as “trading”.
Because the margins are so small in arbitrage betting, the wagers themselves tend to be much larger. A typical arb bet will be worth over $200. Using the example above, it is easy to see that you’ll need to bet large sums of money to make any major profits with this type of Gambling. This isn’t a problem however given the fact that you cannot lose your money if done correctly.
Tips for Arbitrage Sports Betting
The first thing you need to do is to place a straight forward fixed odd bet on a race or event. You’ll then need to do a bit of market research and find the shortest odds for laying the same horse/team in that market. The bigger the cover odds and the shorter the lay odds, the more profit you’ll be able to make.
You always need to be careful before placing lay bets, since you can end up being liable to a lot of money if done badly. I always look for laying odds in between 1 and 3.0, this is pretty solid and minimizes the risk. If you start laying bets on odds of 13.0 for example, then for every $10 wagered you’ll be liable for $130 if you lose. Obviously the risk vs. reward for this type of bet just isn’t worthwhile placing.
Unfortunately, most sportsbooks don’t allow users to place lay bets. If you sign up to a sports betting exchange such as Bovada however, not only can you lay teams but you can also set your own odds and prices in the Fan V Fan markets. You can also access all of Bovada sports betting markets through their mobile and iphone betting apps.
A betting calculator will also come in very handy when looking for arbitrary markets. This helps you calculate whether you can make a guaranteed profit using different markets and odds, together with how much you need to wager.
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