Arbitrage in sports betting refers to a betting strategy that exploits differences in odds between different sportsbooks to make a guaranteed profit, regardless of the outcome of the sporting event.
What Is Arbitrage in Sports Betting?
By placing bets on all possible outcomes at different sportsbooks, the bettor can lock in a profit as long as the odds are not equal. The idea with arbitrage is to take advantage of discrepancies in the odds and cover all potential outcomes.
For example, if Caesars is offering Chiefs +2.5 against the spread at +120 odds for Super Bowl 57, and PointsBet is offering odds of Eagles -2.5 at -115 odds. The bettor can place a bet on both outcomes, ensuring a profit regardless of which team wins.
Let’s say Philadelphia wins by three or more points. Eagles -2.5 wins, and Chiefs +2.5 loses. If Kansas City wins or Philadelphia wins by one or two points, Chiefs +2.5 wins, and Eagles -2.5 loses.
Using an arbitrage calculator, you would be advised to put $100 on Chiefs +2.5 and $117.65 on Eagles -2.5.
If Chiefs +2.5 wins, you profit $120 on Caesars and lose $117.65 on PointsBet, profiting $2.35. If Philadelphia wins by three or more points, you lose $100 on Caesars and win $102.35 on PointsBet, again profiting $2.35.
No matter what happens, you turn a profit. It isn’t huge, but as Bill Parcells used to say, you can’t go broke making a profit.
Arbitrage betting requires quick reaction time and large amounts of capital, as odds can change quickly. The bettor must be able to place bets at the correct odds to ensure a profit. You should be warned, some sportsbooks may limit how much you are allowed to bet or even ban accounts that are identified as using an arbitrage betting strategy.
It’s not illegal, but sportsbooks are not looking to hand out money and have the right to stop it if they catch on that you’re doing it.
How To Find Arbitrage Opportunities in Sports Betting?
Finding arbitrage opportunities in sports betting requires being really diligent in monitoring the odds from multiple sportsbooks and having the ability to quickly identify where the books are opposite each other.
Here are some steps to help you find these opportunities.
Gather Odds From Multiple Sportsbooks
The more books you have an account with, the larger your chances of finding an opportunity. Thousands of sportsbooks set millions of odds independently of one another. It is impossible to ensure they don’t cross each other. Here are promo codes to help get you started at a few:
Use an Arbitrage Calculator
There are many free online arbitrage calculators that can help you determine the potential profit from an arbitrage opportunity. It’s important to make sure your math is right to ensure it’s really a risk-free profit.
Be Quick To Act
Odds can change quickly, especially in football, so it’s important to act quickly when an arbitrage opportunity presents itself.
Monitor Live Betting Odds
Live betting odds can also provide arbitrage opportunities, as odds can change during the course of a sporting event. Football has a lot of breaks in the action to help you keep up.
Keep Track of Your Bets
Be Aware of Sportsbook Restrictions
Some sportsbooks may limit or ban accounts that are identified as using an arbitrage betting strategy, so it’s important to be aware of these restrictions.
Is Arbitrage in Sports Betting Profitable?
Using the strategy of arbitrage in sports betting can be a risk-free way to ensure high profitability. However, if you’re not careful or diligent, you may not identify and take advantage of the opportunities where sportsbooks are opposite one another. The key to success with this strategy is the ability to quickly identify and act on arbitrage opportunities.
Arbitrage betting allows bettors to lock in a profit regardless of the outcome of a sporting event, like the Super Bowl. By placing bets on all possible outcomes at different sportsbooks, the bettor can ensure a profit as long as the odds are not equal. This means that, in theory, a bettor can consistently make a profit without having to correctly predict the outcome of a sporting event.
There are a number of factors that can negatively impact the profitability of arbitrage betting. For example, sportsbooks may limit or ban accounts that are identified as using an arbitrage betting strategy, and odds can change quickly, making it important to act quickly when an arbitrage opportunity presents itself.