How Does Arbitrage Sports Betting Work?

How to Use Arbitrage Sports Betting

Arbitrage betting, in very simple terms, is all about finding bets where there is the mathematical potential to make a profit. Sounds simple right? Well, in reality, how to arbitrage sports betting is not quite so straightforward.

Arbing, as it’s commonly known, is a way to successfully guarantee a profit by placing multiple back and lay bets where there is an appropriate discrepancy in the odds. The theory is not difficult, but becoming a successful arbitrage bettor is. In this guide we’ll explain how it works and tell you about the challenges you’ll face.

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How to arbitrage sports betting

Let’s start right from the basics. When you place a bet at a sportsbook, you do so in the hope that the outcome you have predicted is correct and you will win your bet. Once that bet is placed, there are two potential outcomes. Either you predicted correctly and you win the bet, or you did not and the bet loses.

Any bet you place with a VIP sportsbook is termed a ‘back’ bet. If you want to offset your chances of losing, you can place a ‘lay’ bet. A lay bet predicts the exact opposite of your original back bet and to place it you will need to use a betting exchange. Betting exchanges are not the same as sportsbooks and having a full understanding of how they work is vital.

The way to success is finding situations where you can place a back bet at higher odds than the lay bet you place to cover it. When you do, that’s called an arb. If your bets are placed correctly, you will make a small profit, regardless of the outcome of the event itself. The key point here is accuracy; arbing only works when it is done correctly.

Can I make a profit from arbitrage betting?

The principle behind arbitrage betting is sound and the concept is not hard to grasp. However, there is only a profit to be made from arbitrage betting when it is done correctly and we cannot repeat that statement enough times, because that is where the true challenge of arbitrage betting lies.

The average profit from a successful arb is around 4%, sometimes less. No doubt you will have read stories online where bettors have won big using this style of betting, but what they won’t tell you is about the hundreds of other arbs that only earned them pennies and the hard work that went into those. You have to think in terms of quantity and quality all of the time, which will bring rewards, but over a (sometimes lengthy) period of time, not overnight.

One more thing to consider is the cost of software. You may know how to arbitrage sports betting, but you cannot find arbs quickly or accurately enough when attempting to do it manually. Good, reliable arbitrage betting software costs money and is only available on a monthly subscription basis.

The five golden rules of arbitrage betting

Rule #1 It’s a two-way street

For every back bet you place there must also be an opposing lay bet placed. You might know how a back bet works at a sportsbook, but you’ll need to know how a betting exchange works as well, it’s different and far more complex.

Rule #2 The odds must be right

The odds for your back bet must be higher than for the corresponding lay bet for your arb to make money with sports betting. That might sound straightforward, but it’s actually really tough to find arbs, especially so when sportsbooks use advanced algorithmic software to find and correct them very quickly.

Rule #3 It’s all about the math

You are no longer betting on sport; you are engaged in profiting from a mathematical calculation. Knowing how to calculate this manually is a good thing, but in reality, the human error factor will creep in and mistakes cost money. You can help yourself out here by using our betting sites odds calculator, which will do the tough equations for you quickly.

Rule #4 You need software

In the time it takes for you to find and calculate the probability and the optimum amount to bet and lay, the arb will have been removed. No matter how good your math skills, you will never outdo a computer-generated algorithm. To be a successful arber you will need decent arb finder software.

Rule #5 Don’t expect overnight miracles

Despite what you might read online, arbing is not a way to get rich quickly. It takes time, money, dedication and the ability to completely forget about sports betting as you know it. Only if you are willing to commit to that kind of ‘tunnel vision’ approach in the long term will it make you a profit.

What arbitrage betting is and what it isn’t

We’ve covered a lot of ground already and we just want to do a quick recap here to remind you about some vital points that you may have missed along the way.

What it is

Online sports betting arbitrage involves betting on the outcome of a sports event in such a way that you can make a profit. This aim is achieved by identifying a difference in the odds for a given event and using a mathematical equation to exploit them. This can only be achieved using a bettng site found in our sportsbook reviews and a betting exchange and completing every step correctly.

What it isn’t

One thing must be made abundantly clear: online sports betting arbitrage has no relationship with sport except that it exploits gaps in sports betting odds. It is not a path to overnight wealth, nor is it a way to increase the profitability of your existing sports betting habits.

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Does arbitrage betting work?

Yes, it most surely does work, when you have the right tools, the time and the willingness to put sports betting out of your mind and concentrate instead on the math behind the bets you are placing – absolutely, it works.

The bad news about arbitrage

If you’ve read this far into our online betting guide then you are obviously keen to learn about this style of betting. You may even feel ready to take the plunge and are certain you know exactly how to use arbitrage sports betting correctly. So, at this point, it would be unfair of us to go further without letting you know that sports betting arbitrage is not viable in the US.

That news is sure to come as a bit of a blow to some of you and we will explain why. We’ll start by saying that arbitrage betting is not illegal in the US. Nevertheless, there is a fundamental ingredient missing for you to be able to make use of it – betting exchanges.

Betting exchanges are basically facilitators of peer-to-peer betting and they rely on the liquidity of a given market. Which in lay terms (pardon the pun) means there are plenty of other bettors who are keen to take your lay bet. Unfortunately, because of the way that US gambling laws are defined on a state-by-state basis, there is insufficient liquidity for betting exchanges to be viable.

The good news

At this moment, you are probably wondering why we’ve provided you with all of this information when you cannot make use of it. Well, let’s just say there is some method to this madness, which we’ll lay out in detail in the next section of this guide.

In the meantime, it’s sufficient to say that the background knowledge you’ve gained so far will stand you in good stead to consider a viable alternative.

An alternative solution

So, you’ve learnt how to arbitrage sports betting and you are fully aware that it is all about using math to find arbs. It’s irrelevant at this point whether you are calculating manually or using software to do that part. We’ve also explained that betting exchanges are a no-go in the US.

However, what is available to you right now in many US states is legal sportsbooks. And where there are sportsbooks, there are bonuses, offers and sportsbook promo codes in abundance. Every sportsbook wants you to sign up with them and they’ll grab your attention with a hefty welcome sportsbook promotion for starters.

If you do sign up, they’ll do their level best to keep you on board with them by offering ongoing promos. So can you imagine the opportunities available if you sign up with multiple sportsbooks? Even if you can’t, we’ve got it nailed already and we’ll explain more in the next section of this guide.

How to get started

Our suggestion will show you legal ways to bet on sports, taking full advantage of odds discrepancies, sign up bonuses and ongoing promos, like free bets and odds boosts.

It’s not some dodgy get-rich-quick scheme that uses offshore sites and all manner of illegal practices. This is a genuine opportunity to make use of the fully licensed sportsbooks and promos that are already out there and to make a steady profit from them.

On our website you’ll find everything you need to make use of our proven method, which takes the best parts from a number of different strategies, including arbitrage betting and makes them workable for the average US bettor.

We’ll give you advice on how to get started and provide you with details of all the sportsbooks you can sign up with in your state. We also detail the best bonuses and promos, all you have to do is seek out any potentially profitable bets using appropriate software to compare the odds.

Although the current US laws may well preclude you from joining in right now, we genuinely believe that it’s worth you taking a look at what’s out there anyway. The laws are changing almost every day and who knows? It could be your state that’s the next one to legalize sports betting.

A quick summary of our take on how to arbitrage sports betting

Now that you have a better understanding, we hope that you are at a point where you can see you have some decisions to make. We’ve explained how to use arbitrage sports betting and been through all of the pros, cons and complications involved for US bettors.

We’ve also given you some examples of ways you can make use of the principles of arbitrage betting and manipulate them in a way that allows you to use them legally from any state in the US where online sports betting is permitted. The next part is entirely down to you.

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How to arbitrage sports betting FAQ

💹Does arbitrage sports betting work?

A single question with many different answers! First, you need to learn exactly how to use arbitrage sports betting, which might present you with a steep learning curve. Next, you need to know about the limitations that might exist for your location. Lastly, certain tools are needed to ensure success. There’s a lot to find out – why not take a shortcut straight to PromoGuy? We’ll set you on the right path with our guide to arbitrage betting. 

🎓Is arbitrage betting difficult to learn?

The principle of how to arbitrage sports betting is fairly straightforward; the tough part is doing it right. Why not head over to PromoGuy and read our guide on how to arbitrage sports betting? That way you can decide whether it’s right for you or not.

🏅Which is the best sport for arbitrage betting?

When you explore the methodology behind how to use arbitrage sports betting it will become clear that it’s much more about the mathematics of the bet than the sporting event. Confused? Why not pay PromoGuy a visit and read our guide on how to arbitrage sports betting? That way you’ll learn all there is to know about how to arbitrage sports betting and find out if it’s right for you.

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