Arbitrage Betting Explained

Arbitrage betting is a strategy used to lock in a profit by making sports wagers with different bookmakers. Also known as “sure bets”, arbitrage bets exploit the small differences in bookmakers’ odds across multiple betting sites.

You can find potential arbing opportunities if you do your research and open multiple betting accounts. For savvy sports betting experts, it’s a risk-free approach to gambling.

Is Arbitrage Betting Legal?

Arbitrage betting is 100-percent legal and you can make a profit if you do your research. You’ll need to open multiple betting accounts and find the right online sports betting markets. But over the long term, “arbing” is a great way of securing returns regardless of the results.

Bet sites often disagree on how a game or match should be priced up. This is where arbitrage bettors can make an easy profit. The most successful gamblers can find arbitrages across many different bookmakers. Oftentimes, they might have minimal knowledge of the sport.

Can you Arbitrage Sports Betting?

Arbitrage betting is a little similar to hedge betting or matched betting. In matched betting, you use a free bet on a sporting event and place money on the opposite result. Whichever result comes in, you are guaranteed a return.

In hedge betting, you place an original wager at high odds. You can then insure the result by placing a second bet on the other team when the game is underway. Whoever wins, you are guaranteed a profit.

Arbitrage betting is slightly different. All you’re doing is researching the different odds that bookmakers offer. By placing the same bet at multiple bookmakers, you are ensuring a return.

You can also find arb betting useful at exchanges. Betting exchanges let you back and lay different outcomes. Essentially, you become the bookmaker by setting the odds yourself.

By backing a team at a sportsbook, you can then lay the bet (bet that the team will lose) on an exchange and guarantee a return whatever happens.

Can you Make a Living from Arbitrage Betting?

Arbitrage betting is a surefire gambling method that guarantees profits on your favorite markets. In reality, it’s not really gambling at all. All you’re doing is finding small discrepancies in different bookmakers’ prices. However, “arbing” can require lot of research and a big budget to make it profitable over the long term.

With each arbitrage bet you are essentially placing two big wagers to guarantee a very small profit. The initial outlays must therefore be large enough to warrant the effort.   

You can start out small by using sports arbitrage betting software that does the hard work for you. These programs scan different markets and bookmakers for you to find the best price differences.

There are many ways of making profits from sports betting. Study our top betting guides for gamblers right here.

How is Arbitrage Betting Calculated?

Bookmakers and betting sites will price up every market before you can place a wager. But some bookies disagree on how much to price the favorite and underdog. This is where you can make a killing by backing different outcomes of an event.

Here’s an example:

One sportsbook lists Roger Federer to win his tennis match at -125. His opponent Dominic Thiem is +120. However, another sportsbook has Federer at -200 and Thiem at +150. You can now back Federer at one sportsbook and Thiem at the other sportsbook to lock in a return.

By using an arbitrage calculator, you can work out how much you need to place on each bet to secure a profit:

Bookmaker 1:
Total stake $58.14 Federer @ -125
Return: $104.65

Bookmaker 2:
Total stake $41.86 Thiem @ +150
Return: $104.65

Total profit: $4.65

If you backed both players at the same sportsbook, you wouldn’t make a dime. But by backing either player at different sportsbooks, you make a small profit.

Those profits might seem small, but they can really add up over hundreds of arb bets during the year. 

You can discover lots of sports betting strategy to use on your favorite sports. Whatever strategies you employ, you should do your research and use an arbitrage calculator wherever possible.

Plus, make sure you claim free bets by joining top US sportsbooks. You can use free bets on a range of sports and lock in a return by arbing your bet.