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Arbitrage Betting Guide

Sports betting is one of the most exciting forms of gambling that can be done in both physical bookmakers and online sportsbooks. With so much range in the sports, markets, and now the strategies of betting, it can become overwhelming to try and choose the next thing to try. One of the recent strategies that is growing in popularity is arbitrage betting, not to be confused with matched betting, although somewhat similar in concept.

As one of the upcoming methods of sports betting, there are a few talking points that we will cover in this introduction to the strategy. If you are unsure of what exactly arbitrage sports betting is, how it can be used to maximise profit margins, and how to find opportunities for it, then look no further than this OddsMonkey arbitrage betting guide article.

What Is Arbitrage Betting?

In matched betting, the concept is to cover both ends of a betting market by placing a ‘back’ bet on an outcome and a ‘lay’ bet to cover all other possible outcomes. Finding the correct odds and using free bets during the process of matched betting is how you maximise your profit and reduce your risk.

Now, with arbitrage betting, the concept is somewhat similar, but there are no free bets involved. With arbitrage bets, you are attempting to find discrepancies in the odds between two teams or players in a sport in order to make money online. Upon finding these differences between the two bookmakers, you can calculate how much you would need to place on the two bets to split your desired stake and remove all risk. Essentially, you divide your entire stake between the two outcomes, with a higher amount going on the side with lower odds. This, in turn, balances out both ends of the bet and means no matter which outcome wins, you make the same profit margin.

How Does Arbitrage Sports Betting Work?

Let’s take a look at a simple example to make the concept easier to grasp. Sports like the NFL and Tennis are much easier to place arbitrage bets on, as matches cannot end in a draw, so there are only 2 options. Arbitrage can still be used for football betting, but the chance of a game ending as a draw makes the risk higher.

So, an upcoming game between the New England Patriots and the Philadelphia Eagles will have betting markets available across various bookmakers. Bookmaker A offers you New England Patriots at 1.5/1 and the Philadelphia Eagles at 0.5/1. Bookmaker B offers you the New England Patriots at 1.2/1 and the Philadelphia Eagles at 0.8/1. 

In both of these bookmakers’ odds, the Philadelphia Eagles are favourites to win, but you can see a clear disagreement between the pricing of the two sportsbooks. This is where you would realise that there is an opportunity for arbitrage sports betting. In the case of spotting this opportunity, you would now want to split your stake between the two odds that will give you the biggest profit margin. In this example, the profit margin is 4.65%, and the bet would work like this:

Your total stake is £100. You place £41.86 with Bookmaker A and cover the New England Patriots winning at odds of 1.5/1. Then, you place the remaining £58.14 with Bookmaker B to cover the Philadelphia Eagles winning. In this example, regardless of who wins the game, you would have placed £100 and would receive £104.65. Either one of your bets would pay out this extra £4.65, which is your profit for the bet.

While this is only a small amount of profit for such a large stake, there is zero risk whatsoever, and the bets would be paid out quite quickly. This means assuming there are enough opportunities; you could do the same process multiple times per day and steadily increase profit. Everything on top of your £100 stake is profit. Of course, you do not need to start with £100, you could increase or decrease this, but it is the easiest way to make sure you place the same each time you make an arbitrage bet.

Using the examples above, and assuming you could find 3 opportunities per day on average with similar odds, you could make around £12 per day completely risk-free, which adds up to around £360 per month. None of these numbers is guaranteed, things could change either way, but as a rough average, you could make consistent fragments of profit, and it would all add up.

How To Spot Arbitrage Bet Opportunities

There are 2 main ways in which you can spot arbitrage betting UK opportunities. The first of these is through manually searching and comparing bookmaker odds in order to find where the breaking points are and where the profit lies. This would be the more difficult option, as you have to do the gruelling task of finding different odds and doing calculations to find out if the profit margin is worth it.

The other option is to use software and betting calculators to find out the profit margins and potential quicker. Software such as OddsJam allows you to find opportunities for arbitrage betting without having to painstakingly scour different bookmakers and their odds. Removing a lot of manual labour from the task makes the experience more enjoyable and efficient, which is always a good thing when you are trying to place more bets and get through the profit quicker.

Arbitrage Betting Explained 

Now that you are aware of arbitrage sports betting and how to start doing it, you could try it out for yourself using our OddsMatcher tool, which can easily help you find the best place to match the odds you are using. Combining the information learned from this piece with various pieces of software will make your UK arbitrage betting experience much easier. You can find information about other betting types, such as accumulator betting calculator information, on our site. There is even more information about what matched betting is, so if arbitrage is not quick enough for you, you can try that out instead.

Start making profits now for free!

About the author:

James OddsMonkey

James OddsMonkey

James' background in IT support and matched betting knowledge is how he's ended up at OddsMonkey updating offer, answering tickets and generally being super helpful.

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