Have you heard a friend talking about arbitrage betting and wondering if it’s possible to guarantee profits without any risk while betting on sports? We’ll explain how arbitrage betting works in this guide.
There are risks to this betting strategy, which we’ll also discuss, but arbitrage betting is a great way to grow your bankroll. However, it takes a lot of time to identify arbitrage opportunities.
There are some free and premium tools available online that find arb bets for you, but the percentage is often very small (<1%) and these opportunities often disappear quickly.
What Is Arbitrage Betting?
Arbitrage betting allows handicappers to identify odds discrepancies to guarantee profits. With hundreds of online sportsbooks available to bettors, the odds aren’t going to be the exact same everywhere.
Here’s a simple example to explain how arbitrage betting works:
Sportsbook #1: Yankees (-110) vs. Red Sox (+110)
Sportsbook #2: Red Sox (+110) vs. Yankees (-110)
If you bet $100 on the Yankees at Sportsbook #1 you’ll win $110 profit if NYC wins. If you bet $100 on Boston at Sportsbook #2, you’ll win $110 profit if the Red Sox win. So, you’ll bet a total of $200, but you’ll get $210 back regardless of which team wins the game, which means you’re guaranteed a $10 profit.
Arb bets can be simple like the example above or more in-depth. Betting markets with three potential outcomes, such as 1×2 markets for soccer require you to utilize three bookies to complete the bet.
The more sportsbook accounts you have, the more arbitrage betting opportunities you’ll have.
Tips for Arbitrage Betting
Sportsbooks aren’t in the business of handing out free money. The majority of bookies don’t allow arbitrage betting and your betting accounts can be limited or banned completely if you’re suspected of arb betting.
Follow these tips to give you the best chance at not being labeled an arbitrage bettor:
Use an Arbitrage Calculator: There are countless arbitrage calculators online that you can utilize to ensure the potential arbitrage opportunity you’re looking at is actually profitable.
Watch the Stakes: Arb calculators are precise and will give you the exact amount to bet to profit the same regardless of the result. However, if you’re betting weird amounts like $76.44 or $432.15, that sportsbook is going to instantly flag your account and you’ll likely be limited very quickly.
Act Quickly: Arb opportunities come and go. They generally don’t last long, especially any arbs paying a profit of over 1%. You have to be constantly monitoring live sports odds to jump on the discrepancies.
Don’t Bet the Max Limits: If you max out the bet limits every time you place an arb bet, you’re going to draw unwanted attention to your betting accounts. Don’t get greedy to help stay under the radar.
Try to Use Betting Exchanges or Pinnacle: Betting exchanges don’t care if you win every bet, as they make money on commissions. Pinnacle also won’t ban any arb bettors. If you can use a betting exchange or Pinnacle for one or more of the legs for an arb bet, do so.
Mix Up Your Bets: Is one sportsbook offering a lot of great arb bets? Mix in some casual bets such as parlays to help avoid suspicion. You should also avoid betting on smaller markets exclusively. A new bettor hammering table tennis or water polo markets will get flagged immediately.