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August 24th, 2023
Sporttrade and Arbitrage Betting: A How To
Depending on which state you live in, there may be over 20 different sportsbooks available for you to bet on. That means a lot of people in decision-making chairs setting odds and lines for you to bet in, which also means over 20 different opinions of how those markets should be priced.
Have you ever been in a room with 20 other people and every single one of you were on the same page? Me neither.
Each book posts their own odds leaving a great deal of surface area to defend as a bookmaker. What ends up happening are inefficiencies and delayed decision-making that can lead to guaranteed profits for sports bettors by betting both sides of the same game to guarantee profits.
It’s called arbitrage betting and it’s 100% legal.
In this how-to, we’ll show you how you can guarantee profit by betting on mispriced lines at sportsbooks and taking the other side at Sporttrade.
All you need is:
An odds screen
An Arbitrage Betting Calculator
Money deposited into a few sports betting accounts (including Sporttrade)
We’ll teach you:
How to ID an arb opportunity
The tools required to act quickly in order to lock these bets down
The order in which to bet them
How to quickly figure out what your potential profit margin will be.
While initially intimidating, learning how to Arb in sports betting is an effective tool to build your bankroll, guaranteeing yourself a profit regardless of outcome. It’s easy to learn and once you get the hang of it, you’ll be constantly searching for those 2-3-4% edges in markets. Sporttrade is pro arbitrage and wants bettors to leverage our platform’s capabilities in order to do it.
What is betting arbitrage, or ‘arbing’?
Arbing is a method of sports betting borrowed from the retail and finance industries that capitalizes on a market inefficiency to guarantee you profit. Basically, you’re betting on every possible outcome of an event so you cannot lose, provided the odds allow you to do so.
Not to be confused with Matched Betting, arbitrage betting is a way of grinding out edges in markets by comparing odds against all of the different sportsbooks available in your state. When you’re able to spot a disagreement between sportsbooks on an outcome, that's when you can arb them. What leads to these? Differences in opinions from one book to the next, a mistake by the bookmaker, or the simple fact that some books are just too slow to react to changing markets.
If you’re seeking arb opportunities, you need to rid yourself of the notion of betting on games you may only be interested in. Arbing is purely a profit finding mission. You may end up betting on a Padres/Dodgers game you know you’ll never watch because you live at the Jersey Shore. That’s totally fine. The outcome will not matter.
It’s surprisingly easy to figure out how to do this.
How to Arbitrage Bet
The very first step to arbitrage betting is to make sure you have odds to survey at your disposal. Sporttrade partners with companies like Unabated, OddsJam and Darkhorse to show you odds for every betting market available that day, along with several other tools to make informed bets.
Some of these odds providers make it exceedingly simple to spot arbs. Unabated, for example, has a row on its odds comparison screen that lights up in Green when a betting arbitrage opportunity arises with exactly how much edge exists.
Great! But what does that even mean? The easiest way to spot an arb is if the odds for an underdog in a market (+ side of a bet) is higher than the odds for a favorite (- side of a bet).
Show me an example of a Betting Arbitrage
Here is the easiest example of an arb. Again, using Unabated we can scroll through the various odds offered by 8 different books on the Green Bay Packers and Chicago Bears Moneyline for their game on September 10th 2023.
If you disregard the glowing green sign that an arb exists, does anything stand out to you as you scroll through the available odds? We see the Sporttrade line has the favorite (The Bears) at -127.
Other books have the Packers (the underdog) priced in the following order:
BetRivers (off screen): +118
Are any of these priced higher than the Sporttrade favorite price of -127? Yes! PointsBet is a market outlier in this case, pricing the Packers at +130.
So we have Sporttrade pricing the Bears at -127 and the Packers at +130 on PointsBet, representing a .38% arb opportunity.
How To Use A Betting Arbitrage Calculator
The internet is full of betting arbitrage calculators. Let’s go to OddsJam to use theirs and figure out how much profit we’d grind out if we bet this arb.
Arb calculators could not be easier to use. Simply plug in the odds and the stake you’re comfortable betting and it’ll spit out how much profit you stand to make and the exact amount you’ll have to bet on the other side.
We used a $100 original stake in this example, so a .38% arb is not a large one. Some of the largest margins you’ll find are typically in the 3-4% range, but they are rare. The size of your stake will directly correlate to how much profit you're generating.
On this modest arb you’ll stand to profit $1.32 regardless of the outcome, because you’ve successfully bet both teams to win.
The Process Of Betting Arbitrage
It’s important to remember where you’re reading this blog. On Sporttrade’s website. Sporttrade is a volume based betting exchange and not a sportsbook. Sportsbooks do not like customers arbing their odds and can very easily pick out the customers who are doing it. Betting ultra-specific dollar amounts leaves a trail of betting breadcrumbs directly tied to your betting behavior that will lead you to being limited. If you notice on the calculator above, there is a flat $100 bet on the Packers +130 to beat the Bears. We recommend placing that initial bet on the sportsbook before coming to Sporttrade to lay the other side. This will help you avoid being profiled as an arber by any given book.
As an exchange, however, Sporttrade does not care if you Arb. Go ahead and get as specific as you need to be when laying a bet here.
Additionally, because arb opportunities are reliant on market inefficiencies, they do not last long. A skilled arber works quickly to take advantage of these opportunities before a book realizes they’re being arbed. Speed is king, which is why we recommend signing up for an odds comparison site with ingrained tools.
Is Arbitrage Betting Legal?
Firstly, arbing promotes market efficiency by taking advantage of discrepancies in odds across different bookmakers and betting exchanges. This, in turn, encourages healthy competition and can lead to more accurate pricing of bets. Secondly, as we’ve discussed, it offers a method for bettors to minimize risk and guarantee profit.
While arbitrage betting is legal, if you’re exclusively taking advantage of bookmaker promotions and taking the best odds, you may end up being limited. Bookmakers detect that your sophisticated betting techniques create positive EV and will likely win over the long term.
Misconceptions about Arbing
As you may have noticed with the small margin in the example, arbing is not a get rich quick scheme for most. It takes time to find arbs and you need a sizable bankroll to truly see large returns. However, it is a useful tool in building your bankroll over time. If you’re interested in leveraging sign up bonuses and promotions, you can read all about Matched Betting with Sporttrade in order to convert sizable sign up bonuses, site credit, bonus bets, etc into withdrawable cash hedging on Sporttrade.
*NOTE: Exchange betting not available in Colorado