If you haven’t been betting on sports for too long – or even if you have – you probably haven’t heard of the term arbitrage betting before.
You may even be smart enough to bet without knowing that it has a specific term.
Apart from that, this page is dedicated to Arbitrage betting, also known as a sure bet.
Certainly? So the one you can’t lose? Well – more or less.
Arb betting is just another way to bet on sports, and we detail all the tips and tricks here at CSB. See our betting guide for more.
How Does Arbing Work?
Firstly, it is essential to note that arbing is just shorthand and a less technical term for placing arbitrage bets.
It’s best to use more straightforward terms, as arbitrage betting is straightforward once you get the hang of it and understand the concept.
So, let’s start by realizing that not all sports betting companies are the same.
Similarly, all sportsbooks will list their odds for all sports and markets, and sometimes their views on certain events will differ slightly from those of their rivals.
ARB betting odds are relatively rare, though most common in head-to-head markets, with only two outcomes.
They are also only possible in events where both sides or both players are fairly even.
For example, you might have two teams with similar records going head-to-head in a match where there are only two outcomes – a win and a loss, and the odds provided by one sportsbook are as follows:
Sports Book 1
– Team A: 2.05
– Team B: 1.75
Yet another site may feel that Team A should be the favorite and offer these opportunities:
– Team A: 1.75
– Team B: 2.05
Can you see how this can turn a profit?
By betting on Team A @ 2.05 with Sportsbook 1 and on Team B @ 2.05 in a match where there must be a winner, you cannot lose. You will be guaranteed a small win regardless of who wins.
So, how do intelligent gamblers find arbitrage bets? Well, like all smart betting odds, time, patience, and research are essential. As previously mentioned, the arbing odds are pretty rare as the odds across leading sportsbooks are relatively similar.
You may see major fluctuations in the market where there are multiple possible outcomes – let’s say you’re looking at the roster and their odds of winning the MVP for the coming season – although it’s impossible to arb in this case.
At any one time, there may be dozens of sportsbooks with odds on a particular event, and it is only by searching through all of these sites that one will find opportunities to place arb bets.
So smart gamblers will search the highs and lows through hundreds of different sports and markets looking for opportunities. Once found, it’s just a matter of placing a bet.
It all comes down to chance and the ability to look for different odds on the same outcome for a particular event. If you want to learn more about the ins and outs of sports betting odds, read how odds work here.
How the Arb Bet is Made
ARB betting is not a unique way to place money on sports or illegal activity.
You simply place your money in your desired market as you would with any other bet. The only real difference is that you place two bets (or more if you can figure out a very complicated form of arb bet).
So, let’s start from the beginning. To be able to bet, you must first select a sportsbook (again, in this case, you will need more than one).
Even if you’re not into arb betting, it’s always useful to have multiple accounts if sports betting is your passion, as all sportsbooks will have slightly different odds, specials, and bonuses.
If you could buy your groceries cheaper at a place across the street, would you do it right? Sports betting is no different.
After you choose the sportsbook, you only need to register. The requirements for signing up for a sports betting website are minimal, and most will have an app so you can do so on the go.
You’ll usually need to provide your date of birth, phone number, and email address for verification purposes, and of course, you’ll need a credit card (you’ll need to make a deposit to bet, even if your plan is just to use the initial bonus bet to place your arb bet).
Speaking of bonuses, all sportsbooks have different bonuses, so it’s a good idea to compare these when you want to sign up. Most bonuses are similar and work by matching whatever you deposit with a bonus bet of the same value.
The more sites you have listed, the more bonus bet you get, and although you may need to reverse this bet a few times before you can deposit cash, this is the way low-risk good to bet.
Finally, check the odds. This really should be the catalyst for your arb bets, as the key is getting odds from multiple sources. For more information on arbing, see our matched betting page.
Are Arbitrage Betting Riskier Than Regular Betting?
Arb bets are no more risky than normal bets. This involves betting using the exact technique you would use when placing any other bet, with the exact same bookies and markets available. You might have also heard about moneyline betting which is another popular betting type in the market and popular among sports bettors.
If anything, placing an arb bet is actually less risky than a standard bet.
If done correctly, Arbitrage betting results in zero financial risks. The whole concept of arb betting is centered around the idea of a sure bet, a bet that cannot be lost.
Of course, to make a significant profit when betting on odds that can produce a result of around 1.05 returns, you need much higher investment.
Is it riskier than putting a lower amount at a better chance? Not really. Because you can place a million dollars on Arbitrage bets and know that you will get a million back, plus a little extra in your pocket.
Perhaps one element worth pointing out is that sportsbooks don’t like arbitrage betting.
There’s technically nothing they can do about them, and it’s not illegal. However, any sportsbook can refuse to continue sports betting membership for any reason, and engaging in arb betting regularly could result in your account being flagged.
This will only happen if you are out of luck, but it is worth mentioning.
How To Make Money With Arb Betting
In the most basic sense, arb betting is only profitable when you find two different sportsbooks that offer more than 2.00 odds for the same head-to-head bet.
You can also view bets with three outcomes (e.g., in a football match where a draw is one of the outcomes). In this case, you need to find the odds on all three results above 3.00.
Why is that? Let’s do some simple math.
Let’s say the Toronto Blue Jays play against the New York Yankees.
One sportsbook has an offer for the Jays to win at 2.10, and you’ve searched through other sites to find another sportsbook offering 2.10 odds on the Yankees. To place an arb bet, you will place your desired amount on both of these bets, and to get a decent return, you will need to invest a large amount.
So, let’s say you place $1,000.00 on each bet. That’s a total of $2,000.00 you should have in two sportsbooks. In this hypothetical match, the Blue Jays won.
At 2.10 odds, you would receive $2,100.00 from the winning bet, resulting in a profit of $100.00. However, you would lose the $1,000.00 bet on the Yankees, resulting in a net profit of $100.00.
That’s the basic idea of arb betting. You find opportunities where the odds are in your favor, and you place bets on both outcomes to guarantee a profit.
.10 odds, you will earn $1,100.00 on your bet on the Blue Jays, although you will also lose $1,000.00 on the Yankees. So the result is a $100 profit on the guaranteed bet. Not bad.
So when is the best time to place this bet? To be honest, it’s always a good time to put an arb bet because there’s no potential for losing money! The hardest part is obvious – the arb bet is not always available. Otherwise, everyone would be doing it all the time.
You need to be patient and sometimes spend hours or even days finding situations where Arb bets are available. They are extremely rare, and only someone dedicated to sports betting skills can achieve a successful arb bet.
Arbitrage Betting on NBA Games
You can place arb bets in the NBA, and the same rules apply. If you look at the Toronto Raptors games, you need to find the matches offered at odds over 2.00.
Don’t forget that you can sometimes find offers from sportsbooks that can increase or increase the actual odds, so favorites may suddenly appear with odds over 2.00. This is what you are looking for.
Once you find a situation where both teams have odds over 2.00, you are ready to place your bets and using the same principles as above, and you are prepared to make a guaranteed profit on your NBA match bets.
Arbitrage Betting on NFL Matches
Arb betting in the NFL is a little different, as there are essential factors to consider. For a regular-season game, a draw is an impressive result, but not impossible.
Two teams may go for extra time, and then the match may still end with both sides level. This acts as a double zero on the roulette board, and any match-winning bets will be void.
So it’s essential to make sure you find a market that is a two-product market. The phrase ‘draw no bet’ is a common way of expressing this and guarantees a refund in a draw game.
Arbitrage Betting on NHL Matches
NHL arb bets are the same as NBA arb bets, in that all matches have only two outcomes. If you’re looking for an opportunity to place an arb bet on the Edmonton Oilers, for example, then again, you’ll have to wait for your moment. Identify situations where both sides are over 2.00 and place your bet.
Arbitrage Betting and Parlays
This is where arb bets get tricky, and some don’t even consider these arb bets because there’s no guaranteed profit – at least not in the first place.
In essence, you can use theory or arb bets to ensure that your parlay bet can’t lose but only works at certain times. So, let’s use an example.
Let’s say you’ve placed a simple two-legged parlay bet on two teams in the NHL – Edmonton to beat Montreal and Vancouver to beat Winnipeg.
Let’s also assume that the games don’t overlap – Edmonton’s match against Montreal will be on the east coast, and the Vancouver match will be held a few hours later on the west coast.
In this scenario, you have chosen Edmonton to win at 2.00 and Vancouver to win at 1.60. The combined odds are 3.20. You have placed $100 on the bet, so the potential combined win for the parlay will be $320 (a $220 profit).
Ok, so in parlay betting, you need to be careful and consider the timing and odds to ensure a guaranteed profit.Both scenarios need to win in order to guarantee a win. If the first leg loses, the game is over. In this case, we would consider Edmonton as the winner, so your first bet is guaranteed. This is when we can use arbitrage bets in parlays to ensure a win.
Since Edmonton has won, we are now betting on Vancouver to win with odds of 3.20. So if we place a bet on Winnipeg (which has odds of 2.40 in this scenario), we can cover both outcomes and be certain of a profit.
Let’s say we now place a $100 bet on Winnipeg to win at 2.40 odds. We now have two bets. The potential results are as follows:
– If Vancouver wins, we will have a $220 profit on the parlay minus the $100 bet on Winnipeg, resulting in a $120 profit.
– If Winnipeg wins, we will have a $140 profit on the bet minus the $100 initial parlay bet, resulting in a $40 profit.
Therefore, we have a situation where we can’t lose. Of course, you can adjust the amount of money you place on Winnipeg to change this scenario.
Some may argue that you should let the parlay continue, as a Vancouver win without placing an arbitrage bet would have resulted in more profit, even if a Winnipeg win meant a $100 loss. So, it’s all about risk management here.
If all these numbers are overwhelming, don’t worry – our odds calculator is a useful tool you can use to calculate your odds and potential payouts.
What are the risks and challenges associated with arbitrage betting, and is it suitable for all betters
Arbitrage betting is a popular form of sports betting which provides betters with the opportunity to place bets which guarantee an overall profit regardless of the outcome of the bets placed. By taking advantage of the discrepancy in odds provided by different bookmakers, betters are able to cover multiple outcomes of the same event and thereby ensure a return on any money staked.
The basics of arbitrage betting are relatively straightforward. To start with, betters must identify two different bookmakers offering potentially differing odds on the same event. The betters then need to place a bet on all outcomes of the event at each bookmaker, taking into account the different odds offered. The key here is to ensure that the total return on all bets, regardless of the outcomes, is greater than the original stake.
For example, if one bookmaker provides a return of 2.2 times the stake for an event and another bookmaker offers a return of 1.9 times the stake, the better would need to place a total stake of 2.2/1.9 = 1.16 times the original stake. This would ensure a return of 1.36 times the original stake regardless of which outcome occurred.
Arbitrage betting is becoming increasingly popular, as betters try to take advantage of the numerous opportunities they can find when bookmakers differ in the pricing they provide. It is important to remember though that arbitrage betting carries greater risk than other forms of betting, as the better must cover all outcomes of an event. This type of betting is not suitable for all betters and can be a very time consuming process with a possible return often marginal.
In conclusion, Arbitrage betting can be a great way to make a return, no matter the outcome of a bet. Betters must always remember, though, that taking this route carries greater risk, and requires significant research to find the best opportunities for return.