Punters and betting fans are always on the lookout for anything that can give them an edge while placing their bets, whether it be a strategy, information or even luck. However, there are some sports betting strategies that have been around ever since betting has existed which makes it possible for people to earn significant amounts without too much risk. One of these is is the process of arbitrage betting – it is a concept taken from financial markets which works quite well in the betting industry as well.
Arbitrage is the practice of buying an asset in one market to sell it immediately in a different market at a higher price. It takes advantage of the same asset being mispriced in different markets – either lower or higher, which guarantees a profit. This is something that is seen often in financial markets, where minute differences between the price of the same asset in different markets are immediately exploited, which then closes the gap and makes the price the same. It is therefore essential that these differences are exploited immediately, since they will not exist for too long.
In the betting industry, arbitrage is the process of covering all results of a sporting event, so that you make a profit regardless of the outcome. This is possible since different betting exchanges will have different odds for the same event, making it possible to bet for and against the same outcome, at different prices, guaranteeing a profit.
Punters need to bet on one site at a high price, and against that outcome on a different site at a low price, for arbitrage betting to work. These are also known as ‘sure bets’ in Europe, since the profit is guaranteed and known even before the match begins. However, it is not easy to take advantage of these opportunities, and bettors will need a higher level of knowledge than the average punter to be able to execute these strategies successfully.
Odds offered will be different between bookmakers and betting exchanges, which is where this strategy can be used. For example, this can be employed when the back odds at the bookmaker are lower than the lay odds at the exchange, creating an arbitrage opportunity.
However, while this strategy can offer consistent profits, it must be remembered that those profits will usually be small. It is rare to come across an arbitrage opportunity that will offer more than 5% profit, for example. Therefore, it is always a case of having lots of small profits rather than trying to win big, which is what most gamblers tend to go for. The size of your profits will depend on your bankroll, the number of bets you place and the size of the arbitrage. It is also necessary to have accounts with as many bookmakers as possible, since these opportunities will pop up hundreds of times a day across bookmakers, but if you need to create an account with one, it will probably have gone by the time you are ready to place your bet. Thus, timing plays a big role in these opportunities, and so you do need to constantly monitor odds across markets to be able to take advantage of any opportunity the moment it crops up.