Arbitrage is usually associated with finance. Arbitragers are people that look for a riskless profit – something they can invest in, by exploiting market inefficacies, so that no matter the outcome they make a profit. What few gamblers know is it exists in the gambling world as well.
What to look for
Find a situation where you can bet two different outcomes where the payout is greater than the loss for both outcomes. Now unless the website (or however you make your bets) is dumb, you’re going to have to use two different sites. But if you find that one site offers team A money line (ML) at +100 and another site offers team B ML at +101 then you have an arbitrage opportunity. You can bet 100 on team A and 99.50 on team B and either way you will win $0.50. Now, this may seem trivial, but if you can find a bigger spread and bet more than $199.5 you can start to scale it and make an amazing annualized return (even in that situation your annualized return is 91.5%).
How to figure out the bet amount
It’s simple – just figure out bet amounts so that you win the same no matter the outcome. Don’t worry, you don’t have to do this through trial and error, I have a formula. Once you have identified an opportunity, make a bet on team A. In the above example $100 to win $100. Next take the amount that you will receive if that bet is won, in this case, $200 ($100 winnings, $100 bet amount returned). Then divide that sum by the decimal odds of team B, in this case, 2.01. The number that you are left with is the amount that you bet on team B, $99.5.
Further Advice and Notes
- I use this a lot for football. Not only can you look for ML opportunities to exploit, but you can do it with the spread as well
- Note: If you bet a line that has a hook in it (.5) then you will win. If you be an even line or technically ML then you can push the bet. You won’t lose any money but you won’t receive your profits
- For football, a great way to quickly tell if there is a probably an opportunity is to look at the spreads
- If the sites have different spreads then there is a good chance that there is an opportunity – Especially if the difference crosses over a key number. The most profitable one I have ever bet crossed over a key number
- Because sites have limits on bet amounts you probably won’t make millions on this. But this is a great way to supplement your current betting and protect your bankroll
- A way to further leverage exploited lines when you have bet the max is to use alternate lines. Just because you have bet the line 3 doesn’t mean that you can’t bet and win on 2.5, 3.5, ML, etc.