GMT -11
GMT -10
GMT -9
GMT -8
GMT -7
GMT -6
GMT -5
GMT -4
GMT -3
GMT -2
GMT -1
GMT +1
GMT +2
GMT +3
GMT +4
GMT +5
GMT +6
GMT +7
GMT +8
GMT +9
GMT +10
GMT +11

Arbitrage Betting explained – How to it for beginners

If you’re looking to profit from sports betting, there’s only one way, and that’s not to let an opportunity slip by. This is called arbitrage betting. This type of betting presents the best opportunity to make at least some money in sports gambling with minimal risk. At bestsoccertips, we’ll delve into the fundamentals of arbitrage betting. This will include how arbitrage works and how to spot arbitrage opportunities. Bestsoccertips will also provide examples of arbitrage betting, risk assessment, and offer strategies to conceal your arbitrage betting activities.

What is Arbitrage Betting?

Arbitrage betting is placing bets on opposite sides of the same sports event. These bets must be placed at odds that ensure a profit regardless of the outcome. It typically occurs across different sportsbooks simultaneously, where different odds are available. You may find arbitrage trading opportunities on the same sports betting site due to fluctuating odds. However, it’s best to avoid arbitrage betting on a single sports betting site. You’re looking for discrepancies in odds.

How Arbitrage Betting Works

You may have heard of the concept of arbitrage betting and wondered how exactly arbitrage betting works. Arbitrage trading might sound quite complex, but it can be broken down into simpler terms. While there are various ways to identify arbitrage opportunities in betting, they all share a common concept.

Arbitrage betting is when you can place two bets on the same sports event and guarantee a profit regardless of the outcome. This is accomplished by identifying odds on both sides of the event that allow for this. Typically, you’ll need to place one bet on a leading online sportsbook and the other on a different platform.

What is Arbitrage Betting?
What is Arbitrage Betting?

One reason why it’s rare for a single sportsbook to create in-house arbitrage opportunities is that it would ensure a loss for the house. Additionally, it’s relatively easy to spot someone engaging in arbitrage betting exploiting such opportunities on a sports betting site. You might find yourself swiftly limited or banned by the sportsbook.

Now that you understand the basic concept of arbitrage betting, or “arbing,” what does it entail? So let’s explore how you would seek out arbitrage trading opportunities. We’ll discuss the fundamentals of what to look for in an arbitrage betting scenario.

How to Find Arbitrage Betting Opportunities

Suppose you want to engage in arbitrage betting; you need to identify opportunities for odds discrepancies across sportsbooks. It’s highly useful to access an arbitrage betting calculator. There are several available across the industry that you can use for free.

This will allow you to determine whether there’s an arbitrage trading opportunity or not. You can also quickly calculate the exact amount to bet on both sides to maximize your profit.

The method of seeking arbitrage trading opportunities involves searching for significantly different odds for the same sports event. If the odds difference is substantial enough, there will be a reasonable opportunity for arbitrage trading. An arbitrage betting calculator will inform you of how many opportunities there are. It helps to consider some real-life examples. Let’s explore some of these to help you quickly identify arbitrage betting instances in sports betting.

Different Moneylines Simultaneously

When looking for arbitrage trading opportunities, Major League Baseball tends to be one of the better sports. For this reason, we’ll use it, specifically focusing on moneyline betting, as our example.

Perhaps the Angels are playing against the Royals, and the Angels are at +110 on the moneyline at one sportsbook. Meanwhile, the Royals are at +110 elsewhere. Suppose you bet $100 on the Angels at one sportsbook and $100 on the Royals at the other.

Your total of $200 will result in a payout of $210, yielding a $10 profit. You might not find opportunities exactly like this, but it helps illustrate the concept of MLB betting and arbitrage in a straightforward manner.

More likely, you’ll see the Angels at -105 while the Royals are at +110. If you bet $107.56 on the Angels and $100 on the Royals, you’ll guarantee a profit of $2.44. Your $207.56 will result in a $210 payout on either side, regardless of the outcome.

Different Moneylines Simultaneously
Different Moneylines Simultaneously
Different Moneylines Simultaneously
Different Moneylines Simultaneously

This may seem like an insignificant amount of money. However, the goal is to wager more than $100 when you encounter such a situation. This, coupled with consistently identifying and taking advantage of the arbitrage edge in MLB, can lead to significant profits.

Different Props Simultaneously

This example is essentially akin to our moneyline scenario. However, you might encounter it on over/under bets in the context of prop betting.

Once again, baseball is a good place to look for these opportunities, so we’ll use MLB as an example. Specifically, the pitcher’s strikeout props can be an excellent way to find them. So, consider the over/under line of 6.5 strikeouts for Justin Verlander in a particular start.

Different Props Simultaneously
Different Props Simultaneously

Let’s say one sportsbook has the over at +125, and another has the under at +130. To maximize profit on a total wager of $200, you would bet $98.90 on the under and $101.10 on the over.

This ensures a payout of $227.47 regardless of which bet wins, with a profit of $27.47. It’s rare to come across such a lucrative opportunity. However, this clearly illustrates the concept of arbitrage trading in this case.

Fluctuations in Odds After Initial Bet Placement

It can be challenging to find simultaneously posted odds that allow for arbitrage trading due to general uniformity among sportsbooks. Seeking fluctuations in odds after the initial bet placement might be the most effective way to find arbitrage opportunities in betting.

One method to consistently find these opportunities is to pay attention to line movements. Either between specific sportsbooks or between teams/players and how the betting public reacts.

This may enable you to predict when odds might change. Then, you can place bets in advance with the expectation of favorable developments to allow for arbitrage trading.

The issue is that you can’t guarantee the movement of these lines in any case. You might get stuck with a single bet that you placed hoping for an arbitrage opportunity later on. The key is only to wager what you feel comfortable losing if you have to let go of your initial bet without an accompanying one.

This specific strategy is crucial to implement across different sportsbooks. You might have the chance to do so at one sports betting site, but it’s best to avoid the temptation.

Betting opposing sides of the same game at one sportsbook is a big red flag for bookmakers. They might restrict or limit your account suspecting that you’re engaging in deceptive practices.

Example of Odds Movement Arbitrage

For a scenario related to this form of arbitrage betting, consider an example where the initial line for the Tigers is +110. Suppose you bet $100 on them to win against the Padres.

Perhaps the public has poured a significant amount of money on the Tigers, and the line will move. Currently, they are favored at -110, while the Padres are underdogs at +105. Now you’ll have the opportunity to bet on the Padres at $100. You’ll guarantee a profit of $5 or $10 in any case.

Example of Odds Movement Arbitrage
Example of Odds Movement Arbitrage

This is a realistic situation and the most likely scenario where you’ll find odds movement arbitrage opportunities. It requires diligence and a willingness to stick with your initial bet if the opportunity doesn’t arise. However, you’re more likely to encounter these situations than arbitrage trading on simultaneously posted odds.

Risks of Arbitrage Betting

In its purest and most efficient form, arbitrage betting is akin to “sure betting” as you often see in sports gambling. However, every gambling activity carries some risk. Let’s consider some drawbacks of arbitrage betting.

Calculation Errors

Certainly, calculating arbitrage discrepancies isn’t rocket science from a mathematical perspective. Additionally, arbitrage betting calculators are readily available to assist.

However, it’s conceivable that sports bettors may make errors in calculating arbitrage trading opportunities. This could lead to placing bets that may only result in losses.

It’s crucial to be cautious and meticulous in your assessments, especially as they’re often done quickly in an attempt to capitalize on existing opportunities.

Bet Cancellations

One way arbitrage trading can completely fail is through bet cancellations. This doesn’t happen frequently, but it can occur. A typical example is when a starting pitcher gets scratched due to injury. The sportsbook might then void your bet.

Perhaps you’ve placed two bets as an arbitrage trading effort. One bet gets canceled, while the other doesn’t. This now means you’re struggling with your single bet.

Risk of Rapid Odds Movement

You’ll seldom find arbitrage opportunities lasting very long due to the efficiency of sportsbooks in setting odds. You’ll need to quickly seize these odds before they have a chance to move.

Perhaps the line in your second bet could swiftly move away from your advantage. This could happen before you achieve your target after placing the initial bet.

In this case, your strategy has been nullified because the odds no longer allow for arbitrage. Therefore, it’s crucial to move swiftly when focusing on arbitrage.

Being Banned or Restricted

Being banned or limited by an online sportsbook is the biggest hurdle you’ll have to overcome in trying to become a profitable bettor. That’s why professional bettors use smaller betting syndicates to mask their advantage when engaging in sports betting.

Suppose you’re betting large enough to earn significant profits at the low-profit margins that arbitrage betting allows. Sportsbooks will recognize that you might be up to something.

Although arbitrage betting offers near-guaranteed profits, it can come with risks. Arbing might lead to you not being able to place bets as you wish at the sportsbooks of your choice.

Incorrect Predictions of Line Movement

You won’t often find simultaneously posted odds allowing for arbitrage trading. This is even truer for any bets other than side bets.

For this reason, you’re more likely to find arbitrage opportunities when line movements occur after the initial bet is placed. One of the best strategies for effective arbitrage betting is to bet close to the opening line, predicting movement. Arbitrage betting often has very low profit margins. So, you might want to bet big to make an effort with it.

Incorrect Predictions of Line Movement
Incorrect Predictions of Line Movement

Therefore, when betting on anticipated line movements, there’s a risk the odds will remain unchanged. They might even move away from your favor. In this case, you might be stuck with the large initial bet you placed hoping for arbitrage.

Taking the Fun Out of the Equation

If you’re only betting with the aim of making money, then arbitrage betting is a sound idea. However, some enjoy gambling on sports for the thrill of the action. Betting can enhance the enjoyment of sporting events.

Engaging in arbitrage trading and other advanced betting techniques might diminish the appeal of sports gambling. It would be wise to consider why you’re participating in the first place before diving into arbitrage betting.

For a great example, consider our previous example of Tigers/Panthers. Yes, when the odds occur, you’re guaranteed a profit if you arbitrage trade by betting on the Panthers at +105. Of course, provided you placed your +110 bet for the Tigers.

However, now predicting the outcome of the game is no longer exciting. Perhaps you joined in for the thrill of the action rather than the assurance of minimum profit.


In summary, arbitrage betting presents a methodical approach to profiting from sports wagering, leveraging differences in odds across various bookmakers. However, its effectiveness hinges on swiftly identifying and capitalizing on fleeting opportunities. Yet, this strategy isn’t without its pitfalls, including the risk of miscalculations, potential for bets to be canceled, and the loss of the thrill inherent in traditional sports gambling. While arbitrage betting offers a path to guaranteed profits, it requires careful consideration of its challenges and implications before diving in.

See more: What is Money line bet? Definition, How it work