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How to calculate arbitrage betting

[ 31.08.16 ]

How to calculate arbitrage betting

Seasoned bettors have probably heard about arbitrage betting. In arbitrage betting, you are betting on different outcomes of a certain sports event with different bookmakers at the highest odds available.

If calculated correctly, an arbitrage betting opportunity guarantees you winnings in any scenario. Possible winnings are not big, though – up to 20% of your bet. But if you are lucky enough to find a profitable arbitrage betting opportunity, you can count on a more generous return. If your bankroll is 1,000 dollars at least, you can use arbitrage betting to increase it by 100 – 200 dollars without any risk.

Arbitrage betting example

Let’s take a random football match between the ‘Arsenal’ and the ‘Chelsea.’ As the teams are roughly equal, the odds are not varying much. Although every bookie calculates their own odds, betting lines published on different betting websites will be very similar. Let’s take a look at three bookies with three different odds:

  • Odds by Bookmaker 1: Arsenal – 2.00; draw – 3.10; Chelsea - 4.50;
  • Bookmaker 2 does not believe in ‘Arsenal’: Arsenal – 2.50; draw – 3.00; Chelsea – 4.00;
  • Bookmaker 3 does not believe in neither team : Arsenal – 2.4; draw – 3.30; Chelsea - 4.10.

With the difference in odds, a bettor has a great opportunity to act as a bookie themselves, i.e. to calculate arbitrage.

How to calculate arbitrage

Pick the highest odds for each outcome of the match (Team 1, Team 2, Draw). Sportingbet sets the highest odds (2.50) for Arsenal’s victory. To bet on Chelsea, pick Bwin with 4.50 odds. WilliamHill offers the bets odds (3.30) for a draw.

Here are our selected odds:

Team 1 – 2.50; Draw – 3.30; Team 2 – 4.50;

Insert these values into a formula:

1/Team 1 + 1/Draw + 1/Team 2 = А

If А is less than 1, this means that you have an arbitrage situation and can place arbitrage bets. However, if А is more than 1, you should check other sports events for favorable arbitrage betting opportunities.

Let’s calculate arbitrage for our situation:

1/2.50 + 1/3.30 + 1/4.50 = 0.4 + 0.30 + 0.22 = 0.92. We got lucky! We’ve got an arbitrage situation.

To identify how profitable your arbitrage is, use the formula: 100%/Arbitrage-100. Let’s calculate profitability of our arbitrage: 100%/ 0.92–100 = 8.69%. Now all you need to do is to calculate how much money you should bet on each outcome. If your total bet on all three outcomes amounts to 1,000 dollars, you can enjoy guaranteed winnings of about 80.7 dollars.

If you find using the above formula challenging, you can use an arbitrage calculator. With this useful tool, you won’t have any problems detecting arbitrage betting opportunities. Arbitrage calculators are easily available on the Internet.

Searching for arbitrage betting opportunities

The most tiresome and time-consuming method is to monitor betting lines on different betting websites in the search for varying odds. There is always an easier way, though. On the Internet, you can find multiple websites – both free and fee-based – to search for arbitrage betting opportunities in an automated mode. All you need to do is to pick the best options and place successful bets!

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