Sports arbitrage in betting: what does it consist of?

In sports betting it is very common to talk about sports arbitrage. This is a technique that is also used in financial markets and has a direct translation to the world of betting.

Newbies have probably heard of arbitrage strategies and may not be very clear about what it is. To give a concise definition, in the world of sports betting, arbitrage consists of covering all possible outcomes of a given event, with the aim of having a positive outcome at the end of the event.

But there are two requirements to make arbitrage feasible. The first is speed, since covering all outcomes requires velocity.

The second is discipline, because it is a routine strategy that requires covering 100% of the results.

What is sports arbitrage in betting


As we said, arbitrage consists of covering all possible outcomes of an event. In any industry, arbitrage is performed so that the final result is always positive. Arbitrage is closely linked to the concept of "sure bets", since arbitrage consists precisely in creating a favorable scenario to obtain profits through a calculated event.

In order to take the characteristic advantage that these events require, it is necessary to carry out a previous calculation of results to be able to place this bet in a safe and risk-free way. In other words, the results are foreseen in order to take the advantage that is sought.

A very common form of arbitrage requires betting an outcome on one exchange, and then betting it against another. It is a basic mechanism that serves to take the advantage you are looking for. It is common to be able to do it at any time, since arbitrage opportunities abound and are frequent, but the window to do it is very small and tend to disappear quickly, so many users interested in sure bets tend to have some tool to monitor these opportunities and not let them escape.

But there is a pitfall with this, and it is that arbitrage bets mean losses for bookmakers 100% of the time. We are not talking about an illegal technique, but it is reprehensible in many bookmakers, so it is advisable to take a look at the conditions of use of each one, in order to avoid that our account ends up temporarily suspended or closed.

Sports betting arbitrage, step by step


To place a sure bet through sports betting arbitrage, follow these steps:

  • Detect an available event that offers two outcomes. There are many windows available for arbitrage to be a possibility, but you have to be attentive and know not only when, but in which one you can do it. The fundamental thing is to detect an event that is compatible with two results to be able to make a sure bet.
  • Choose a value that you consider adequate for your earnings. Set an amount that you want to obtain as a result. This will allow you to establish an expectation of return on your bet and make the calculations based on a certain reward.
  • Calculate how much to bet on each outcome. You have to divide the amount of your expected return on each of the two possibilities. For example, imagine that you expect to get 40 euros reward and you have two outcomes: "Win 1.50" and "No Win 7.00". You would have to divide 40 between each of the two outcomes to know how much to bet. In this case, for Win we would bet 26,66 €, and for No Win we would bet 5,71 €.
  • Calculate your investment. Now what we have to do is to add each of the results we have obtained, and do it together to determine the cost of our investment. In this case, 26,66 + 5,71 = 32,37 €. That would be our investment.
  • Make sure that the profit is greater than the investment. For us to be able to speak of an arbitrage bet, it is necessary that the profits are greater than the investment. If we have set a profit of 40 € and we have an expense of 32,37 € , we have an arbitrage bet.
  • Bet and wait. With the calculations done, we would only have to place the bets and wait for the profits. Thanks to some basic mathematical skills it has been possible to make a sure bet with which to get a positive result.

When to do arbitrage in sports betting


One of the great unknowns about sports betting arbitrage is when. Detecting the window of opportunity to be able to do it is fundamental, and that is why it is necessary to be aware of when to do it, if possible, without monitoring tools that may cause us to incur in an ambiguity of the regulations that can be costly.

The basic thing to know if we can go with a sure bet or not through arbitrage is to see that the bet has two outcomes. Because with a bet that is not compatible with two results it is impossible to perform the calculations that we have mentioned before, so the first thing to do is to check that we can establish feasible profit margins in a bet with two results to examine that our investment is less than the expected profits.

About arbitrage software and calculators

Whether performing calculations to establish a win rate or determining potential arbitrage betting opportunities, the use of a calculator or software tool can make all the difference. While bookmakers may limit their use, these tools do exist and can be used to make it quicker to spot such opportunities when they occur.

Calculators, for example, allow you to enter the odds of any market and determine if an arbitrage opportunity exists. This allows the user to know when to bet to guarantee profits and to determine the profit range with this method.

With surebets, the size of the investment does not usually matter, as long as there is a profit. If for example the total betting expenditure is 80 € but a profit of 90 € is obtained, the balance is positive by a small margin and a profit of 10 € is obtained thanks to the arbitrage bet.

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