Betting Experts Answer: Best method to use to make money from sports betting? | Part 1

Welcome to the fifth article in our series: “Betting Experts Answer The Industries Biggest Questions.”

Commonly, there are five methods people adopt to make money from sports betting; value betting, matched betting, arbing, exchange trading or following tipsters. So we asked our 10 experts the question:

Q5: What is the best method to use to make money from sports betting? Value betting, matched betting, arbing, exchange trading or following tipsters?

Check out Part 2 of our answers here, where we get the opinions of former odds compiler - Matthew Trenhaile, betting analyst - Joseph Buchdahl, host of the Business of Betting Podcast, Smart Sports Trader - Ryan Bruno and pro sports bettor - Harout Massoyan.


Just like a master craftsman who uses the right tool at the right time, a master sports bettor doesn’t pigeon hole himself into one technique. Once you reach a certain level, making money becomes secondary.

The lifelong challenge then becomes maintaining longevity (avoid getting kicked out). Picking winners becomes meaningless if you can’t bet them.

Spanky's workspace

Follow @Spanky on Twitter & check out the article The Ringer wrote about him here.


Of these choices, value betting, arbing and exchange trading are 3 approaches that take a high level of skill, that only a very small amount of bettors will be able to showcase. Often given the sometimes relatively low ROI figures made, it's all about generating high turnover and placing a lot of bets, which also ensures it can be very time-intensive and require a large bankroll. It's also something you need to work yourself up to over several years as experience matters.

Matched betting is a great option, especially for relative newcomers looking to build their bank. It isn't without its risks and there is also a fair amount of admin involved given the need to hold many different accounts if you really get stuck into it. The preference therefore for most bettors without either the level of skill or time required for the above is to utilise tipsters.

Based on our years of researching the industry, we now recommend a few dozen tipsters that tick all the right boxes in terms of long-term profitability at affordable fees. Almost all of them practice the art of value betting and are themselves highly skilled bettors who also sell access to their advice. Just as you wouldn't think twice to call a plumber to fix a leaky pipe or an electrician to rewire a house, with a tipster you are paying an expert for their finely tuned set of skills developed over many years. Of course, in this instance you need to actually place the bets and develop the thick skin and mindset required to make a long-term profit betting, but for most punters it is the most realistic and achievable option available.

Follow @SBCinfo on Twitter & check out the Smart Betting Club website here.


If you’re just starting out with a small bankroll, matched betting might be the best place to start. It is risk-free provided that there’s no hiccups along the way. Beyond that, I’m a big fan of arbitrage betting and a lot of people don’t realise that it’s quite similar to value betting. I know it sounds like they are polar opposites because value betting means taking risk, and in arbitrage betting you nullify that risk, but when you take an arb, you’re still finding value on one or more of the bets you are placing.

I link the two together, but because you don’t hedge out when placing a value bet, that means you gain a higher yield from value betting. So I put value betting at the top. I’ve left out exchange trading because it’s so difficult to find a strategy that wins in the long-run. I can’t confirm these figures, but I’ve seen estimates that say 1% of traders make a profit in the long-run, and I’ve also seen lower percentages than that. While I do think that if you get good on one of the exchanges and automate that, which is a lot easier than fighting the bookies for money, I’ve struggled with trading, I’ve tried hundreds of strategies. But just because I’m not good at it, doesn’t mean others can’t be.


Follow @Punter2Pro on Twitter & check out the Punter2Pro website here.


There is no one “best” way to make money from sports betting, Over the past 10 years I’ve tried everything and whittled down what works for me based on my own wants and my own unique skill set

What will be surprising for readers is that even after making millions betting, I could not tip a winner to save my life. My skill set is not in modelling and I certainly don’t have a PHD in data analysis. The beauty of making money from sports betting is that there are so many different avenues you can go down. Here is a small subset of ways I have made money from sports betting:

· Following Tipsters

· Matched Betting (Sign up and ongoing bonuses)

· Arbing/Value Betting (Trademate Sports)

· Trading

· Middling

· Blogging

· Affiliates

· Starting my own Tipster service

· Credit Cards rewards

· Bookmaker competitions ($22k Betfair prize, $17k NFL prize)

Those are all profitable endeavours and there are a heap of resources out there to learn about each of them. But that’s not how I made most of my profits. My major skill is breaking down systems and finding and taking advantage of bugs. Most bookmakers usually outsource their platforms and they don’t actually have any idea how they work. By scratching at the edges of bookmaker sites, you can stumble across errors in many different areas.

The great thing is, I never really had any competition and my edge lasted much longer than it would with all the methods listed above. On my blog, I only ever wrote about following tipsters, as sharing that edge had no impact on my profits (and gave good cover for my other betting at the bookies). The edges I kept to myself was where I was making most of my profits. I’ll be sharing some of these that no longer work on my 10-year blog post (So follow my blog if you want to read about them).

For the past 5 years, my only metric has been time. So the majority of the ways to make money sports betting are no longer worth it for me as they take up a lot of time. The first 5 years of my betting journey, I worked 80 hours a week trying everything. Try them all with a small bank and see which ones work with your individual skill set and figure out which ones can scale.

Follow @Day25 on Twitter & check out the Daily25 blog here.


That’s the good thing about betting, there is something for everyone. If you just want to make some quick money and have a low tolerance for risk, you can do matched betting or arbing. If you tolerate a bit more risk and would like to improve your returns a bit, you can do technical value betting. Finally, if you have good technical skills and are determined and hard-working enough you can build your own betting models and try your luck at fundamental value betting or sports trading. I am not sure who exactly would be the right tipster to follow though… I really don’t do that nowadays.

chucrch of betting

Follow @ChurchOfBetting on Twitter & check out The Church of Betting website here.

Check out Part 2 of our answers here, where we get the opinions of former odds compiler - Matthew Trenhaile, betting analyst - Joseph Buchdahl, host of the Business of Betting Podcast, Smart Sports Trader - Ryan Bruno and pro sports bettor - Harout Massoyan.

Love getting the opinions from experts in the betting industry? Then subscribe to the Trademate Sports Podcast, where we interview the most important people in the sports betting industry.

Here are the other questions we have got our industry experts to answer so far:

  • Q1: Top 3 tips for betting beginners? Part 1 & Part 2.
  • Q2: How do you define “finding value” in betting markets? Part 1 & Part 2.
  • Q3: How do you determine whether your betting results are based on luck or skill? Part 1, Part 2 & Part 3.
  • Q4: Kelly criterion or flat staking: Which stake sizing strategy do you consider to be the best and why? Part 1, Part 2 & Part 3.
  • Q6: How difficult is it to beat the sports betting markets? How efficient are the odds? Part 1, Part 2 & Part 3.
  • Q7: Best way to manage risk in sports betting? Part 1 & Part 2.
  • Q8: Is there a best sport to bet on? If so, what is it? Part 1, Part 2 & Part 3.
  • Q9: Assuming you have an edge, at what point can you start accurately evaluating your results and say that variance has played out? Part 1 & Part 2.
  • Q10: What is the one thing you would like to see change in the gambling industry? Part 1 & Part 2.
  • Q11: Do you think emotions play a part in people's sports betting results? If so, how should they overcome this? Part 1 & Part 2.
  • Q12: What are the top 3 mistakes people make when betting? Part 1, Part 2 & Part 3.

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