A decade ago, arbitrage betting was everyone’s favorite get-rich scheme as it’s a 100% legal method with guaranteed profits. In 2020, arbing is still a bulletproof tactic, but the profits it brings aren’t too high. But this doesn’t mean arbing is dead. It just means it’s taken a different form. Profitable arbitrage betting is now only possible when done as a part of a matched betting strategy.
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Arbitrage betting means making use of unbalanced odds. If the odds on all outcomes are high enough so that you can make sure profits by covering them all, it’s called an ‘arb’ or a ‘sure bet’.
Of course, in order for an arb to emerge, at least two different bookmakers need to be involved. It’s because the odds in every sportsbook are set in such a way that the house always wins.
Let’s take a look at the Point Spreads market for the Brooklyn Nets vs. Charlotte Hornets event at bet365. Nets -2.5 stands at 1.90 and the same odds are if you want to bet Hornets +2.5. If you bet equal stakes on each outcome, you would end up losing 5%.
For example, if you put €500 on Nets -2.5 at 1.90 and €500 on Hornets +2.5 at 1.90, you would win a total of €95 no matter the outcome. Considering that your total stake was €1000, your overall loss would be €50.
But what if some other bookmaker was offering slightly different odds? What if there was a bookmaker that’s offering 2.30 on Hornets +2.5? If that was the case, it would be an arb!
How so? Well, by doing some calculations, you would see that the sure bet profit in this particular case would be around 4%.
By betting €550 on Brooklyn Nets -2.5 at 1.90, your potential win would be €1045. And if you placed a stake of €450 on Charlotte Hornets +2.5 at 2.30, your potential win would be €1035. Considering that your total stake stands at €1000, you would earn either €45 or €35.
If you wanted to ensure that your profit is the same regardless of the outcome, your stakes would need to be €547.62 and €452.38 respectively. In that case, your sure profit would’ve been €40.48. Of course, betting such stakes would raise suspicion and could result in your accounts being limited or suspended.
This is why it’s best to come up with round stakes that wouldn’t look suspicious. To calculate this, you can use an online calculator, which you can find by Google-ing terms like “sure bet calculator” or “arbitrage calculator”, or something along those lines.
Because getting gubbed, limited, restricted is almost a certainty. It’s pretty easy for the bookmakers to check whether a player is doing arbing or not. Some of the biggest signs include betting on not-too-popular events, staking strange odds, and so on.
Some Asian bookmakers, like Pinnacle, for example, do welcome arbers. The problem with this is that these sportsbooks usually offer high odds on big outsiders. They sometimes enhance the odds on the underdog, basically creating an arb. Unfortunately for arbers, big underdogs almost never win.
Let’s say Novak Djokovic is playing Karen Khachanov, who is a huge underdog. The odds on him to win are 10 at Pinnacle. But, because of that, the odds on Djokovic are 1.02.
The reason why this is an arb, is that other sportsbooks such as bet365 are offering slightly bigger odds on Djokovic, somewhere in the ballpark of 1.15.
If you bet €100 on Khachanov at Pinnacle and €900 on Djokovic at bet365, you will get a profit of about €30.
So, even though Pinnacle is offering really attractive odds on the underdog, the arb is not that profitable. And knowing that the chance that the favorite would lose is very slim, many bettors might decide to simply omit the bet on the underdog. That practically means giving up on arbing.
Although Oddshero is not an arbing tool per se, it does provide the users with bets suitable for arbitrage betting from time to time. They are meant to be used as a part of matched betting, but if they come with guaranteed profits regardless of the outcome, you can use them as well.
If you’re using Oddshero to get ahold of arbs, you will have to be patient. These sorts of bets don’t come up too often. But, if you decide to use arbing as a part of your matched betting strategy, there will be no need to wait for anything.
The bets used for matched betting don’t need to be arbs in the strict meaning of the term; they just need to be close in value. It’s because you’re going to get profits with matched betting no matter what. The only question is, how big the profit is going to be?
To ensure you get a higher profit, you should go with those matched bets that are as close to arbs as possible.
The obvious question is why not go with arbs? Ideally, you could do it, but profitable arbs don’t come too often, which is one of the main reasons why this form of sure betting is no longer very profitable.
There’s another silver lining to not being able to find arbs. Your account will not get blacklisted by the bookmakers.
If there are no attractive arbs available, you can try to make your own ones. To do that, you need an account at a betting exchange, such as Betfair, Matchbook, or Smarkets. You can offer your own odds and hope that there will be a bettor willing to match it.
Let’s take the NBA Christmas duel of Los Angeles Lakers vs. Los Angeles Clippers as an example. If the highest odds you can find on Lakers are 1.70 and the highest odds on Clippers are 2.20, it’s not an arb.
If you bet a total of €1000 (€565 on Lakers and €435 on Clippers), you would end up with a profit loss of about €40. But you can try to make the Los Angeles Lakers vs. Los Angeles Clippers a sure bet. How? By adding a betting exchange to the equation.
If you bet on Lakers at 1.70 at an online sportsbook, you can try to make sure profits by offering a lay bet at a betting exchange.
Let’s say you’ve placed €565 on Lakers at bet365. In that case, you need to offer a lay bet Lakers at Matchbook at odds of 1.435 with a liability of €435 in order to break even. In this scenario, if Lakers won the game, you would receive €1000. If they lost, you would collect €1000 from Matchbook.
Of course, no one wants to bet knowing they will not win anything. That’s why you need to try to offer even lower odds at the betting exchange. If you’re lucky enough, someone is going to match your pretty unattractive bet. And as a result, you will create an arb.
Unfortunately, such scenarios rarely play out. The reason is simple – bettors always look for better odds. So, why would anyone match your bet at <1.435 at the betting exchange, when they can get 1.70 from a bookmaker?
Sure, you can try and hope for the best. But, we assure you that you’re going to spend a lot of time waiting for someone to accept your bet. If you want to play it safe, a much better option is to use betting exchanges for the purpose of matched betting.
And if you decide to use our software, you won’t have to do much work yourself. Our tool will do everything for you. That includes finding the best possible bets, which are as close to arbs as possible. You will just have to confirm your bets and collect the profits.
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