A popular area of discussion in the online sports betting world is arbitrary betting. That is, is it possible to manipulate the different markets and bookies in order to guarantee yourself profits regardless of the outcome.
Arbitrary betting occur when you use the different fixed odds markets offered by separate bookies, to place bets on the outcome of events that guarantees you a small profit whatever the outcome. Generally speaking, arbitrary betting is not the easiest thing to master, however any smart online bettor with enough time and dedication on his hands should be able to find the trick to doing this.
In order to successfully arbitrar the markets, you’ll need to find a situation where the laying odds are shorter than the covering odds. For example, laying a horse in a race 3.1, and covering it to win 3.8.
Let’s say that we wager £11 laying the horse (i.e. we are betting that the horse will not win the race, against the market), and £10 on the horse winning. Now, if the horse wins than I’ll make £38 – £34.1 = £3.9 profit. Likewise, if the horse loses then we’ll make £1 profit.
In that example, whatever happens in the race we will make a profit, and guaranteed to win. This procedure is also known as arbitrary betting or “trading”. In order to be successful, you need to be able to find the right sorts of odds in the same markets, specifically the laying odds have to be shorter than the cover odds – this is essential for any arbitrary betting. In addition, not all conventional sportsbooks allow you to lay teams or events, so I recommend choosing a sports betting exchange such as betfair which allows you to do this.
Another factor you have to take into account in arbitrary betting is that it works best in horse races or greyhound betting, where there are limited outcomes i.e. your pick wins or loses. It is not so great in football where the outcome can be either a win, loss or even draw. Put simply, the more outcomes, the less chance of squeezing a margin from the market and guaranteeing a profit.