Sports Betting Arbitrage For Beginners


As the Internet opens up the bookmaking world, and bookmakers face fiercer competition from the likes of betting exchanges, more and more “sure bet” opportunities are starting to appear for followers of sports betting arbitrage – the practice of taking advantage of a price differential of two or more markets.

Here is an example of what this Poker online. Every bookmaker prices up a market “over-round” – that is to say that he will always form his book (tissue) to ensure that he makes a profit whatever the outcome. As bets come in for certain selections, he will adjust the prices on his book to ensure that he remains over-round. So, some prices will come in and others will go out to attract the money he needs to balance his books. This happens in all sports.

Bookmakers may also form different opinions on the outcomes of closely matched contests or, in the event of a championship, have large liabilities on one particular competitor.

Taking Wimbledon as an example, bookmaker A may consider that Roger Federer is the most likely victor, so puts him into the market short, so as not to attract too much money on him and has longer odds on the other competitors. Bookmaker B however, considers that Andy Murray will attract the money, and puts Murray in shorter and inches Federer out. The conclusion is that Bookmaker A would take all the bets on Murray, and Bookmaker B on Federer.

When the final arrives, and it is Federer v Murray, both bookmakers have got large liabilities on different players, Therefore, Bookmaker A has taken a lot on bets on Andy Murray, and will therefore push out Roger Federer in the betting to attract the bets that will balance his books, and the reverse will happen for Bookmaker B. In theory, you could see the scenario where both players are available at 11/10, and a bet of £100 on each player (total £200 staked) would return £210 irrespective on who won, and a profit of 5% return on investment (ROI).

That is arbitrage in a nutshell and, although unlikely to happen at Wimbledon, it does occur in quieter markets and events some way in the future. The screenshot below relates to a first round match in this summer’s World Cup. Three bookmakers have priced up the game in such a way that you could feasibly bet three different amounts on the three different outcomes and be sure of winning.


Bet £21 on New Zealand with Pinnacle Sports (return £201.18)
Bet £47 on The Draw with Canbet (return £206.80)
Bet £132 on Slovakia with MyBet (return £204.60)

The total amount staked is £200.00 with a guaranteed profit no matter the result, and the stakes can be further refined to create an equal gain.

Sports Betting Arbitrage opportunities become available every day on every type of event, and there are a number of online web sites who offer this information free or by subscription. The subscription service is excellent, as many of these opportunities are snapped up within moments of becoming available, and a subscription service will text or email you with the opportunities as they arise.

There are a few pieces of advice to share with you regarding sports arbitrage betting. Watch out for withdrawal fees from bookmakers. Several may appear generous with their sign-up bonuses, but have clauses attached obstructing you from moving your money as quickly as you would like.

In order to facilitate the fast transfer of funds, it is recommended to use an eWallet account such as Neteller in which fund transfers are practically instant. It can take up to three days for a withdrawal to appear in a credit card or bank account.

Finally, always check bookmakers procedures if you are betting in a foreign currency. Some bookmakers will convert your bet into local currency at one rate and pay out winnings at another rate.

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