How to Make Money Through Sports Arbitrage

Sports arbitrage betting is something that is sure to make sportsbook owners skin crawl. Those that swear by it say it is a foolproof way to make money. We’ll dive deeper into what it is and how to do it without getting caught.

A signpost saying arbitrage betting

Arbitrage Sports Betting Is Not Easy

You will often hear believers in arbitrage sports betting say things like “You don’t even need to know about sports to make money.” While that may be true for some, don’t think for one second that arbitrage betting is easy. It will take a lot of time and effort in order to turn a profit using this system. One of the main reasons for that is the opportunity to use arbitrage betting does not come around as often as you might think.

The first thing we need to understand is what the word arbitrage actually means. In economics, arbitrage “is the practice of taking advantage of a price difference between two or more markets: striking a combination of matching deals that capitalize upon the imbalance, the profit being the difference between the market prices at which the unit is traded.” For a more simplified answer that applies to sports betting, arbitrage betting means making a profit from a difference in odds.

How Do You Put it into Practice?

Now that we have the definition sorted out, let’s get down to how this works in practice. In order to make an arbitrage sports bet, you would need to make bets on a single sporting event, so that you have both outcomes covered. If you pick your spot right, you should make a profit regardless of which team wins the game/match. At this point, the next thing that we need to figure out is how to spot a difference in odds in order to make a profit.

Data analysis and research

In order to find these discrepancies, you’ll have to look at more than one market. On sportsbookreview.com for example, you can find most of the top sportsbooks in the world and the various lines they offer on the same contests. If you are looking at the price offered by various bookmakers, you will notice that not all of the odds are the same. This is where opportunity can be found to use arbitrage to make money.

Best Way to Get Started with Arbitrage Sports Betting

In order to be successful with this betting system, you will need to have a strong grasp of formulas. The good thing is these formulas aren’t elaborate, but they are crucial. Not only do you need to have an understanding of the numbers to know where the opportunities are, you also need to know how much to bet on each side of the event in order to make sure your profit is the same regardless of the outcome.

This is part of the learning process, which is why we mentioned it isn’t a fast way to make money, it’s a sure way to make money done right. Let’s start with a basic example of an arbitrage opportunity to get a better understanding of how it works.

A calculator and notepad

Let’s say you have two sportsbooks, we’ll call them Book A and Book B. Over at book A, you can bet on a baseball game involving the Yankees and the Red Sox. Book A has the Red Sox as the underdogs at +120. That line is an indication of a close game, which is why Book B has the Yankees at +120 too. That’s an easy $20 if you bet $100 on each team. You’re very unlikely to see an opportunity that obvious but the scenario does occur from time to time. The point here is, because the above scenario is so rare, you need to understand the math behind arbitrage sports betting in order to spot the chances to make money that are hidden in plain sight.

Basic Math That You Must Practice

The best way to get started is to do your research in terms of the calculations needed to make sure you don’t lose money. You’ll need to know how to calculate implied probability (1/by Odds) of both sides of the bet you’re looking to make. Then you’ll need to add those numbers up (Bet A implied odds + Bet B implied odds) and if they add up to less than 100, you have an arbitrage opportunity.

You aren’t done though because you still need to know how much to bet on each side in order to make a profit. You would first decide how much you want to risk in total, then multiply that amount by the implied odds of each side and that tells you how much to bet. That calculation would be (Total risk amount x Bet A implied odds = Bet A Wager amount). You would of course repeat that for “Bet B” and then you would know who much to bet on each to win the same amount regardless of outcome. Those are the basics of arbitrage betting although research and practice are your best friend. It’s better to practice finding opportunities and getting the math right then going in blind and hoping for the best. That would be considered the complete opposite of arbitrage sports betting.

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