The internet is awash with betting systems that are guaranteed to make you your fortune, but very few live up to their promise. Sports Arbitrage however is slightly different in that it produces a guaranteed return. But what is it and does it work in practice? Read on to find out more:
Sports Betting Arbitrage, or “arbs”, in its simplest form is the process of placing bets with different bookmakers and at different odds so that a profit is guaranteed whatever the outcome of the event. As a simple example, imagine in a tennis match, bookmaker “A” may have player 1 at odds of 2.1 to win and player 2 at odds of 1.85, whereas a rival bookmaker “B” may see the odds as 1.85 for player 1 and 2.1 for player 2.
In this example you would be able to back player 1 to win at odds of 2.1 with bookmaker A, and player 2 to win at odds of 2.1 with bookmaker B. Lets see what would happen if you were to back each player at £100 to win:
Player 1 Wins: You make £100 x 1.1 = £110, less the £100 bet on Player 2 = £10 profit
Player 1 Wins: You make £100 x 1.1 = £110, less the £100 bet on Player 1 = £10 profit
So regardless of the result you have guaranteed yourself a return of £10 with no risk of losing
Ok, so now lets get real. This is an extreme (though not unheard of example) that has been used to illustrate the point, quite often the arbs will be much lower, but nonetheless they will be guaranteed winnings. The art comes in finding these arbs in the first place. There are literally hundreds of online bookmakers offering multiple different markets on thousands of sporting events, so they do crop up regularly. The art comes in finding these arbs in the first place.
It is possible to find these through your own research, but this can be an extremely painstaking method which will demand a large amount of time and effort on your part. The preferred option of is to use one of the “arb-hunting” websites or software packages available on the internet. Often these will provide immediate text and e-mail alerts the moment an “arb” is found to ensure you can act quickly.
However, It is also worth looking at the downsides of arbing. For instance some of these potential “arbs” will only be available for a short time, so you have to be prepared to act quickly. Sometimes, the act of rushing can cause errors and before you know it you’ve backed the same outcome twice, so you need to be able to perform in a cool and calm manner. You will also need to be aware of extremely large “arbs” which the bookmaker may well fail to honour due to the get out clause of “palpable errors”, however these occasions should be fairly obvious. Finally, do you have the available time to stop what you’re doing and get the arb on?
So can you make money from Sports Arbitrage? I would have to say “Yes” but as with everything, it is not as easy as it may appear at first glance and may need a little more time, effort and patience than you may be lead to believe.