Sports Arbitrage Opportunities
Arbitrage betting is a sports betting strategy designed to take advantage of pricing discrepancies in the betting markets. It involves placing two (or more) wagers on a single sports event, so that all possible outcomes are covered. In the right situations, these wagers will return an overall profit irrespective of the result of the event. Arbitrage opportunities arise when different sportsbooks assign different odds to the same event. This means that arbitrage betting is impossible without line shopping. Arbitrage betting opportunities arise in three different situations: When different bookmakers make errors in their odds, merely assigning the wrong odds to an outcome.
Sports betting is supposed to be extremely hard to beat. In fact, only a small percentage of bettors win long-term profits through this type of gambling.
Arbitrage betting (arbing) offers you a shortcut toward making money.
You can be the world’s worst handicapper and still win through arbing.
This method involves wagering on all outcomes of a match in a way that guarantees profit. To do this, you must find two or more bookmakers that differ enough on the odds to lock in your win.
Here’s an example:
- Cincinnati Bengals +200
- Baltimore Ravens -175
- You bet $150 on the Bengals
- You should wager $78.55 on the Ravens to maximize your arb
- Your profit will be $7.10
The trouble with arbing is that it doesn’t offer a very big profit margin. Nevertheless, you can still win a decent amount of money if your wagers are large enough.
Of course, you have to find good arbs before counting your winnings. That said, I’ll discuss more on this subject, including software that can help you spot profitable opportunities.
The Main Challenge Is Finding Arbs
The sportsbook and online sportsbooks aren’t any help themselves aren’t any help with arbitrage betting; they actually despise arbers. Therefore, you’ll be on your own when trying to find these opportunities. Assuming you can regularly spot arbs, then you can make profits again and again.
The good news is that plenty of arbs exist on a daily basis.
After all, the sports betting world is filled with different markets.
The trouble, though, is that you need to both find arbs and bet on each leg in time. Assuming you mess up just one of the legs, then your guaranteed profit will likely be gone.
Here’s an example:
- Tampa Bay Rays +185
- New York Yankees -160
- You wager $200 on the Rays
- The bookmaker shifts the Yankees’ odds to -200
- You’re guaranteed to lose if you still wager on the Yankees
- You’ve basically placed a regular $200 bet on Tampa Bay
Arbitrage betting is a combination of making profitable wagers and capitalizing on opportunities in time. If you’re able to master these skills, then you can look forward to consistent winnings.
You Can’t Rely on Finding Arbs by Yourself
Your first inclination regarding arbitrage gambling may be to try and find opportunities yourself. Doing so requires monitoring a variety of sportsbooks and looking for potential arbs.
You can theoretically still find winning opportunities this way. But your chances of doing so with any consistency are next to nothing.
Again, bookmakers hate arbers.
They normally remain close to each other in terms of odds to avoid giving up arbs.
Of course, sportsbooks do differ enough on the odds sometimes to create winning opportunities. But they often close these gaps before too many gamblers can take advantage.
If you’ve got 10 sportsbooks open on your phone and keep refreshing them, then you’ll be terrible at timing arbs. Long story short, you can’t do it on your own.
You Must Use Arb Software
The only sensible way to arbitrage bet is to use software. You need a program that specifically seeks out arbitrage betting opportunities.
Some programs are designed solely for finding arbs and alerting you to them.
These “arb finders” are even available for free in some cases (covered later).
General sports betting software programs can do the same trick in some cases. You can also use these programs for other purposes, such as finding steam moves, public betting percentages, and updated odds.
The key is for you to find a program that tracks this information so you don’t have to.
Software is much better equipped to handle monitoring bookmakers’ odds and quickly calculating arbs.
Free Arbitrage Betting Software Exists
You’ll be pleased to know that you don’t have to spend anything on arbitrage gambling software. Instead, plenty of free programs exist across the internet.
The obvious advantage of free software is that you don’t need to pay for anything. Instead, you can just fire up these programs and begin looking for arbs.
The downside is that freebies don’t work extremely well.
They suffer from the following problems:
- They don’t cover many markets
- They don’t refresh quickly
- Odds often come in on a delay
- It’s hard to bet each leg in time when relying on these programs
You may ultimately decide to invest in software when considering free programs’ limitations. But if you’re still interested in the latter, then you’ll be happy to know that they’re easy to use.
Many companies offer a free version of their software that includes an arb-finding option.
You can continue using this version until deciding to upgrade to the premium service.
The arb-finding feature is self-explanatory in most cases. You just need to apply the relevant filter to figure out where you can take advantage of arbs.
You May Want to Buy Software
Whether or not you decide to pay for arbing software depends upon how serious you are about the matter.
Best Arbitrage Opportunities
You might begin by using a free service and placing low-stakes wagers.
This route gives you a chance to decide how serious you are about the matter.
Assuming you do become a serious arber, then you should consider upgrading.
Doing so provides you with the following advantages:
- Odds refresh faster and give you a stronger chance to bet every leg in time.
- Your get extra features, such as alerts, arbing calculator, and more-detailed filters.
- More markets are covered.
Of these benefits, speed is of the utmost importance. Arbs don’t hang around forever, making free programs risky.
You can cut down on this risk by paying for software. You’ll receive refreshed odds at a faster rate with more in-depth programs.
Concerns With Arbing and Paying for Software
The other side of the equation is that you might not find arbing enjoyable or worth your time. You’ll especially feel this way if you have a small bankroll and are only making a few dollars per arb.
Even with the best software, arbitrage betting can be a time-consuming process.
You’ll likely question the hours you pour into the matter with the slim profit margins involved.
Another downside is that your account may be limited or even banned.
Arbitrage betting is a promising way to make money through sports gambling. When arbitrage betting is done right, it can deliver guaranteed profits.
You just need to find situations where bookmakers differ enough on odds for a given match to win. Of course, this process is easier said than done.
Technically, you can find arbs by yourself. You can constantly refresh online sportsbooks on your phone and monitor the odds. But you’ll be putting yourself through hell with this method.
Instead, you should use either free or paid arb finders.
These programs are designed to monitor lines and alert you to arbs. This scenario cuts out a lot of the work involved with arbitrage gambling.
The good news is that you can use free programs if you don’t feel like investing in software.
The drawback, though, is that free arb finders don’t refresh odds quickly or cover as many markets.
Buying software comes with the obvious downside of having to spend money. But the benefit is that you’ll get updated odds faster and find arbs across more markets.
In the end, you need to decide how serious you are about arbitrage betting.
Assuming you’re really serious about making money from the matter, then you should pay for software.
If you just want to get your feet wet with arbing, then the free programs should suffice. You may even be able to make a little money with this software.
Sports Arbitrage Software
I suggest arbing with a large bankroll. The more you’re able to wager, the higher profit margins you’ll earn.
Sports Betting Arbitrage Opportunities
Of course, nothing is stopping you from arbing with a smaller bankroll. But the profits you earn will essentially amount to pennies or dollars per arb.