Arbitrage bets are also known as surebets and miraclebets. Theoretically, they are the grandest of all bets as it allows you to make a profit regardless of the event outcomes. More specifically, arbitrage betting is where you make a guaranteed profit by simultaneously placing bets on all the possible outcomes of an event. Usually, this will involve placing separate bets on the same event through different betting sites.
You may be thinking this is way too good to be true, and wondering how on earth this could even be possible. Largely, these arbitrage betting opportunities arise when betting sites hold different opinions on the odds, or simply make a mistake when setting the odds prices. The latter opportunity is a rarer event, so we will be focusing more on the first case in this post.
From our previous posts on bookmaker margins, you should be familiar with the fact that bookmakers almost always factor in an edge to ensure profits. Due to this, the total odds of all outcomes end up being more than 100%. The foundation of arbitrage betting relies on the combined odds from the different betting sites producing a negative margin (i.e. less than the standard 100%). This ensures that the edge is now in the favour of the bettors instead.
How to Arbitrage Bet Explored
Here, we will give an example of an arbitrage betting opportunity.
Assume that Astralis are playing against Gambit.
Site A is offering $1.40 for Astralis, and $3.25 for Gambit. This gives the bookmakers a margin of 102.2%. There is no arbitrage opportunity here.
Site B is offering $1.30 for Astralis, and $3.90 for Gambit. This gives an even greater margin at 102.6%.
Where to from here? Obviously, there were no arbitrage betting opportunities when looking at the odds offered and the calculated margins. However, as mentioned in the first paragraph, arbitrage betting usually involves placing separate bets on different outcomes for the same event.
So, let’s say we bet on Astralis at $1.40 from Site A, and bet on Gambit at $3.90 on Site B. Now the margins of the bookmakers are sitting at 97.7%. The bettor now has the edge on the bookmakers.
Now, we will show you how this sort of opportunity can give you a neat profit.
We place $1,000 on Astralis on Site A, which gives us a potential return of $1,400.
Now on Site B, we bet $358,97 on Gambit. This will also give us a potential return of $1,400.
Putting it all together now, regardless of the outcome of the match, we would have gotten a return of $1,400 from betting a total of $1,358.97. A relatively small profit of just over $40, BUT there was zero risk involved.
Doing all this manually seems like a bit too much work, so we’ve made a handy calculator for you guys to use. Go ahead and put in the odds from a couple of different betting sites and get a feel for what you should be looking out for.
As always, be sure to check out our previous blogs, and stay tuned for our future blogs to learn more about how you can be the best bettor you can be.