The Ultimate Guide To Sports Betting Arbitrage
Is sports arbitrage betting the easiest way to make money from sports betting?
In terms of making extremely low risk and consistent profits sports arbitrage is a great way to make money.
Over my lifetime I have made thousands of pounds in profit from sports arbitrage and still use this strategy effectively to this day.
In this article I will detail my methods for staying under the bookmakers radar for as long as possible.
Also I will explain and show examples of how to secure huge profits winning both sides of a bet with minimal risk.
What are the key questions that surround sports betting arbitrage?
How do you make money from sports betting arbitrage?
Can you make a living from from sports betting arbitrage?
How can I stop getting limited from bookmakers when arbing?
What is the best sports betting arbitrage software to use?
Lets answer these questions and take a deeper look at the world of sports betting arbitrage.
Sports Betting Arbitrage?
So first off what is sports betting arbitrage?
An arbitrage bet happens when we can back all of the selections in a sporting event and guarantee that we will make a profit no matter the outcome.
Sometimes this will happen with two bookmakers or sometimes with a bookmaker and a betting exchange.
Lets take a look at this with a simple example using the bookmaker Bet365 and the betting exchange Smarkets.
Bet365 are currently offering Dover at a price of 3.00
Whilst on the betting exchange Smarkets they are available to lay 2.96
( A lay bet is the opposite of a back bet, it means if we wanted to win £100 we would risk £196)
In the above example you can see that should Lincoln win a profit of £200 pounds would be made on Bet365.
Should Lincoln win on Smarkets you can see a potential loss of £196 would be made.
In this example a Lincoln win would net us a profit of £4 whilst any other outcome would lead to £0 being won or lost.
Lets break down the outcomes.
Lincoln win –
- £100 on Lincoln at 3.0 wins £200 on Bet365
- £100 lay bet on Smarkets loses £196
Lincoln lose –
- £100 on Lincoln at Bet365 is lost
- £100 lay bet on Smarkets is won
Profit On All Outcomes
One of the great things about sports betting arbitrage is that you can hedge your profit across all betting outcomes if you wish to.
Sometimes you may wish to win more on one outcome and put yourself in a no lose situation on the others.
It is really a matter of preference.
Lets take a look at if you wanted to hedge your profit across all outcomes on the arbitrage example given above.
(You get 0% commission at Smarkets, Matchbook and Betdaq if you are a member of Oddsmonkey.)
In the above picture you can see that you could guarantee yourself a profit of £1.35 across all outcomes for a £100 stake.
This may not seem like a huge amount of money but a 1.35% return over the course of a day is pretty amazing.
Not only that but this is only 1 arbitrage bet it is possible to make thousands of arbitrage bets also at higher stakes.
Also you can regularly find arbitrage bets of 5% or more which quickly adds up.
Arbing With Two Bookmakers
In the first example the sports arbitrage bet was made between a bookmaker and a betting exchange.
You will often find arbitrage bets between two bookmakers and on rare occasions even arbitrage bets comparing two betting exchanges.
The process will remain exactly the same when betting with bookmakers.
Lets take a look at a few arbitrage bets when comparing odds between two bookmakers.
So using Betburger’s free arbitrage finder that flags up arbitrage bets up to 1% you can see 4 arbitrage bets on football matches.
The Spain vs Malta arbitrage offers extra value being a middle bet however that is something I will discuss later.
This leads us on nicely to the next topic where to get started with sports betting arbitrage.
Getting Started With Sports Arbitrage Betting – Free Sports Betting Arbitrage Software
If your new to sports betting arbitrage you are probably going to want to test things first.
Make sure that you aren’t making any mistakes and get a feel for arbitrage.
Free sports betting arbitrage software does exist on the internet as shown above.
It normally however comes with limitations such as a cap of the arbitrage percentage (no more then 1%).
Usually there will also be a time delay on the bets shown. Which means that these bets may no longer exist as the odds have changed.
Rebelbetting and Betburger both offer great free arbitrage software which as explained has its limitation but is great for newcomers.
If you are quite new to sports betting then I would first suggest building up your bankroll through matched betting.
(My recommendation for matched betting is Oddsmonkey where you make good money exploiting bonus offers. Oddsmonkey also has a great oddsmatcher that is great for sports arbitrage bettors that are just starting their journey.)
Can Bookmakers Ban You From Doing Sports Arbitrage?
Unfortunately bookmakers can and will ban anybody that they don’t expect to make money from long term.
The only exception to this are some of the Asian bookmakers that model their business on turnover rather then making money from recreational bettors.
However we will focus on betting with European bookmkers at the moment as no Asian bookmaker is able to offer their services to UK customers at the moment.
So yeah it might seem a little unfair but bookmakers can limit your account or ban you entirely if they wish to do so.
However this should not put you off sports arbitrage as unless you are willing to lose money over the long run. It is inevitable that this will happen at some point.
Ok so can I disguise my arbitrage betting?
From my experience yes you can disguise your arbitrage betting for a period of time, lets take a look.
How To Stop Bookmakers Limiting My Betting Accounts
In this section I will detail some of the strategies that I have used to keep my bookmaker accounts open for as long as possible.
New Accounts –
When you open a new account it is looked at closely by traders to determine whether it is recreational or not.
If you start arbitrage betting straight away on a new account it is not likely to last long. It is a good strategy to act like a recreational punter when opening a new account for at least a month.
Make a few accumulator bets or bet on secondary markets like the first goalscorer or correct score market. Often this will allow you a greater lifespan on your account for arbitrage betting in the future.
Avoid Obscure Leagues –
If you start betting arbitrage bets on Moldovan second division football or women’s rugby. It is very likely that you will find yourself getting limited.
Sticking to the big football leagues, major boxing matches and big American sports is normally much better for your accounts life span.
Mix up your markets –
Bookmakers employ traders to look for accounts that will make money.
When a trader see’s an account that for example is constantly betting on horse arbitrage bets they will likely limit that account.
I try not to make it easy for trader’s and leave an obvious pattern of arbitrage bets.
One bet may be on rugby, another on boxing. I will throw an arbitrage bet into an accumulator with selections that are 0% or slightly negative to try and disguise it.
The next bet I might make could be an arbitrage bet as low as 0.2% on secondary market that is unlikely to stand out as straight arbitrage bet.
Can I Lose Money From Sports Arbitrage Betting?
There are a few ways in which you might lose money when sports arbitrage betting.
We are all human and we all make mistakes. You may see an arbitrage bet and take the wrong side or even bet on a different event by accident.
Sometimes teams play multiple matches in a week so this could happen. You may accidently stake the incorrect amount on a selection.
Palpable Errors –
Palpable errors are a get of jail card for bookmakers. It means if they make a big mistake and for example offer odds of 5.0 for a selection that is around 3.0 everywhere else.
They can claim it was an error and void a bet.
This means that you should always be very wary if you see for example an arbitrage bet of 10% or more as this could be a palpable error. Which in turn could lead you lose money if the bet was voided.
Lets move on to talking about middle bets which are pretty awesome.
Sports Arbitrage Middle Bets
So what is a middle bet?
A middle bet is when a two bookmakers or betting exchanges (any combination) offer a opportunity where both bets could win should a certain scenario occur.
On other occassions a middle bet will allow us to get money back on one bet and profit on the other.
What do I mean by this?
The majority of bookmakers and exchanges offer handicap bets on a number of sports.
For example here we can see that Bet365 offer odds of 1.95 on France -4 goals.
Lets break down how a handicap bet such as this works.
France win by more then 4 goals – bet is won
France win by 4 goals exactly – bet is void
France win by less the 3 goals – bet is lost
Now lets say for example that we could back Moldova +5 goals on the William Hill at 2.06.
We stake £100 on France at 1.95 on Bet655, along with a £95 bet on Moldova +5 goals at William Hill.
The game plays out and France win by 5 goals.
£100 at odds of 1.95 on France -4 pays out at £95 profit
£95 at odds of 2.06 on Moldova +5 is returned
A total profit of £95 is made from zero percent risk.
In a sport such as basketball or rugby you can often find middle bets seperated by several points.
For example you may have one side at -15 and the other side at +18 which allows for both bets to win.
Middle bets are an extremely powerful sports betting strategy that allow you the chance for large profits with minimal risk.
Middle Bet Live Example
At Leovegas I could back Lyon in the regular time market. (Note this market says it will pay out at half the odds in the case of a draw.
At Betfair I was able to lay Lyon (bet that they do not win) at lower then 3.15.
This gave me a normal arbitrage bet but also gave me a bet that would win on both Leovegas and Betfair should the match finish as a draw.
Live Sports Arbitrage Betting
Middle bets are pretty cool right?
Lets look at another advanced strategy to make money from the world of sports betting arbitrage.
Live sports arbitrage betting.
So the concept is exactly the same as pre-match arbitrage.
We are looking for markets where we can cover every outcome of an event and guarantee ourselves a nice profit in the the process.
However there are pros and cons of live arbitrage betting that I will go through.
The Cons Of Live Sports Betting Arbitrage
Odds move quickly in live betting and that is the biggest factor you need to be aware of with live betting.
If you are not careful you could find yourself in situation where you could lose money if don’t react quickly enough.
Be aware of goals, points being scored , there are situations that can cause a large change in the odds which could have a negative effect on your bet. (It should be noted that sometimes these factors will also have a positive outcome.)
There are delays in accepting live bets with the majority of bookmakers and exchanges.
Again delays mean that odds can change before a bet is accepted and put you in a negative situation rather then a positive.
The Pros Of Live Sports Betting Arbitrage
Live arbitrage is not easy!
Why is this a positive?
Most people aren’t doing it and you can fly under the radar of a bookmaker a lot longer then if you were pre-match arbing.
There is more opportunity in live arbing when compared to pre-match arbing.
In-play betting markets are dynamic and constantly changing, minute by minute the odds have to adjust.
In order for there to be no opportunity, the betting markets all across the world would have to be perfectly synchronized.
Which they aren’t.
This offers so much opportunity for live arbitrage betting.
So with live arbing there is more opportunity and you will often find that on average you can get on bigger arbitrage bets which makes the added risks worthwhile.
5 Tips For Live Sports Betting Arbitrage
Given the added risks of live sports arbitrage you should bet a smaller amount of your bankroll in case something goes against you.
For example you might only want to bet 5% of your bankroll whilst in pre match arbitrage you can better higher.
Learn The Markets
See how long in-play betting delays are with each bookmaker, which bookmakers are offering the most opportunity. Which sports flag up the most arbitrage bets?
Focus On Break Periods
If you want to limit the risks associated with live arbitrage betting. Focus on betting at half time, the end of a set in tennis, in between rounds in boxing.
Manage The Risk
Accept that sometimes things will go against you but also know that sometimes you will benefit form events.
If taking an arbitrage bet on the over/under 2.5 goals market in football. A good idea is to take the over bet first. As if a goal is scored when you are entering your bet on the under position your are going to be in a profitable position.
Put In Volume
For live arbitrage you will need software such as betburger.Live arbitrage software is not cheap so you need to offset this by putting in a decent amount of volume.
As stated there is a tonne of arbitrage opportunities especially at weekends. Putting in the time and volume will allow you make a decent profit and cover your subscription.
Can I Make A Living From Sports Arbitrage
Is it possible to make a living from sports arbitrage?
Yes it is certainly possible.
From spending years on sports arbitrage forums I know some individuals that have made huge sums from sports arbitrage.
There would be two ways that you could achieve this.
Do you have access to almost an unlimited number of betting accounts?
Can you make arbitrage bets in a way that the bookmaker cannot detect?
If the answer to either of these question is yes, then you can probably make a great living from sports betting arbitrage.
Shop arbitrage (sharbing) is also something that you could consider if you live in a country with betting shops.
I have heard stories of people making a living entirely from sharbing in the past.
From my experience I have been able to make a full time income from the sports betting markets.
However I do not rely solely on arbitrage betting.
So there are a few roadblocks in the way of making a living from arbitrage betting.
This however should not stop you from making a large amount of money from sports betting arbitrage should you wish.
The Best Sports Arbitrage Software
In order to really make the most of the opportunities that sports arbitrage betting produces you will need some software.
There are a few key factors that you need to consider when looking at sports arbitrage software.
First of all you need to make sure that the software you choose to use supports the bookmakers you have available to you.
Arbitrage bets appear and disappear due the changing odds across bookmakers and betting exchanges. The best sports arbitrage software will notify you of these changes as quickly as possible alerting you to a possible arbitrage situation.
There are hundreds of different betting markets. The best sports arbitrage software is able to find cross market arbs across different bookmakers.
When considering which sports arbitrage software you want to use. You need to consider how much money you have yourself to invest?
How much time you are going to have for arbitrage and how much can you expect to make per month after the subscription cost is included?
I have tested the majority of the available sports betting arbitrage software.
For me there are a few that stand out among the rest.
Free Arbitrage Software
If you want to take a look at which arbitrage services offer free versions of their software. The Arb Academy have broken down which services offer a free trial which you can view here.
For The Beginner
Alongside its tools for exploiting matched betting opportunities it is the ideal service for someone looking to make money from the sports betting markets.
For The Serious Arbitrage Bettor
Rebelbetting are an established name in the arbitrage community.
Offering odds coverage for around 90 bookmakers Rebelbetting offers a lot of arbitrage betting opportunities.
The software itself is fast and efficient, you can a click a link that takes you directly to the market where the opportunity exists.
Rebelbetting has several payment options.
39 Euros a week
129 Euros a month
97 Euros a month (6 month subscription)
For the serious sports arbitrage bettor Rebel betting is an excellent option.
For The Professional Arbitrage Bettor
Ok so you understand arbitrage betting pretty well.
You see the potential in sports arbitrage in live betting markets and understand middle bets.
Your looking at taking your arbitrage betting to the next level!
Betburger is the stand out sports betting arbitrage software for you.
Featuring pre match and live arbitrage betting opportunities.
Betburger is fast, efficient and extremely easy to use supporting 80 different bookmakers.
There are multiple subscription options for Betburger.
One of the really cool features of Betburger is you can take up daily subscriptions, meaning even if you only wanted to arb at weekends you could.
Here are the subscription offers for both live and pre match arbitrage betting.
(Betburger also offer options for only live bets or only prematch arbitrage bets.)
14.24 Euros a day live and pre match arbitrage bets
240 Euros a month live and pre match arbitrage bets
2020 Euros a year live and pre match arbitrage bets
Sports Betting Arbitrage Conclusion
Alright so we have gone through quite a lot here.
If you have managed to get through this article you should be pretty familiar with the opportunity that sports betting arbitrage offers.
Sports betting arbitrage is an excellent investment for the return you can get on your time and money.
If you are interested in making a really good income from the sports betting markets then it is something you should really look to explore.
Ryan is a former mixed martial arts and kickboxing competitor. After finishing university he played online poker and taught English for a living in Thailand for a few years.
Upon returning to England his focus has been on making a living from sports trading, betting and arbitrage. Over the course of 5 years he has managed to make a six figure profit using the strategies discussed on this site.
Ryan runs the sports betting and trading website www.smartsportstrader.com