Sports Betting Arbitrage: Guarantee a Profit by Betting Both Sides of a Game
By Adam, Professional Arber, Predictem
Do you like free money? Yeah, me too! Arbitrage is a riskless bet; i.e. it is a bet that will give you a profit no matter what. Free money! Sound too good to be true? Well, believe it or not, arbitrage exists every now and then in a sports match, and requires betting opposite sides of a game on DIFFERENT gambling sites, so make sure you sign up at all of our affiliates in case an arbitrage opportunity comes along!
Different sites have different money lines depending on their own bettors bets, and there is an arbitrage opportunity if you ever see a positive money line that has an absolute value (take away the + sign) that is greater than the absolute value of the opponent’s money line (take away the - sign), which will be on another gambling site.
What you have to do is use an arbitrage calculator when this occurs. Search the web and you will easily find one. You will input the betting unit (say $100) for the first bet, and you will input the money line of that first bet. Use the positive + money line for #1. Then input the second (- negative) money line and click calculate. The results will show you how much you MUST bet on the second bet in order to guarantee a profit. They will list the profit as well as the percentage of your total bet. I use $1 as my first bet when calculating and just treat it as 1 unit, and then the output will be the amount of units needed for the second bet.
For example, you scour the money lines of all of the sites you bet at and notice an arbitrage opportunity between the Bulls and the Celtics, where Site A has the Bulls at +125 and Site B has the Celtics at -110. Since 125 is greater than 110, you know there is an arbitrage bet. When you use an arbitrage calculator, type in 1 unit for bet #1, +125 for line number one, and -110 for line number two. The results are: bet 1 unit on the Bulls (where the line is +125) and bet 1.18 units on the Celtics (where the money line is -110). Remember, you MUST bet these exact amounts relative to each other to ensure your profit, which will be the same regardless of who wins. In this case your total bet is 2.18 units, and your guaranteed profit is .07 units, or 3.28% guaranteed return on your investment.
When an arbitrage occurs, you want to get ALL of your money in, since you cannot lose and you have a predetermined profit. In the preceding example, if you could afford it, you would be able to bet $10,000 on the Bulls at site A, and $11,785.71 on the Celtics at site B, and then sit back knowing you just made $714.29 without any risk!
There are no drawbacks persay, but since arbitrage is not very common and when you do find it, you make about 2%, it does require you to have a lot of money deposited at a lot of different online sportsbooks. The reason for this is that you do not know which sites will have the lines that cause the arbitrage and you will want to place the bet as soon as possible before either of the lines move, which happens quickly as there are other sharp bettors out there eyeballing the same lines that you are. Attention UK Players! There is nothing like being at a game and having action (a bet) on the event! For those looking for the best option for live-in-game-betting, check out the William Hill app!
Another drawback is that one of your bets will “win” while the other “loses” (even though you will net a profit), so one of your accounts will drop to almost nothing depending on the bet. To resolve this you would simply withdraw the huge profit from the winning site and redeposit it into the site that lost.
The good aspects of arbitrage are fairly obvious. You will not lose, you know exactly how much you will win, and more importantly it will work on any game that has money lines on opposing sides and involves no possibilities of a tie (e.g. soccer). So, every day, I check every sport (except soccer) on every site and compare lines: baseball, football, basketball, hockey, college sports, etc. It will become very easy to spot after trying this out maybe once or twice because you only need that underdog with a positive (+) money line to be greater than the favorite with a negative (-) money line.
Lastly, it goes without saying, if you can somehow find opposing teams whose money lines are both positive, you will have a riskless bet there as well. Use the arbitrage calculator to simply find out how much you have to bet in order to get the same profitable return on both sides of the bet.
Good luck finding those arbitrage opportunities and make sure you sign up at all of our recommended sites so you are able to place the appropriate bets. The most important site to have if you’re looking to “Arb” is 5Dimes because their odds are so low.
Thanks for reading and cheers to free money!