Upon reading the headline to this article, it almost seems counterintuitive, right? But for those who keep an open mind, it is food for thought and the very fact that you have even read this far signifies you are a free thinker. So, congratulations, you are one of the few.
When we think about sports betting many of us conjure notions of exchanging money in a dark alley with a man of questionable repute. But sports betting has come quite a long way since the old days and is now so mainstream that many states have already adopted it as a legitimate source of revenue sharing with the bookmakers that run the establishments, whether through their online platforms or brick and mortar locations.
There are also offshore betting sites that have been providing bookmaking services for decades and have been a refuge for those who want exemplary customer service, reasonable limits, plenty of betting options, and quick payouts.
Now we must issue this caveat, not all online sportsbooks are created equally so make sure to do your homework and research the A+ rated offshore books through an independent source. You can find those objective opinions and reviews online with just a little digging.
Once you have found the top offshore sites, now it is time to establish an account with at least two of them if not more. Remember, investing in sports betting can reduce your debt if you do it right, and doing it right means having as many “outs”, or places to bet, as possible. You will learn why having multiple books is essential in a moment.
The next thing to do is familiarize yourself with an essential tool known as an arbitrage calculator. This will allow you to compare one price on one team to another price on another team to determine if you will make money on this “swap” and if so, how much.
The essence of arbitrage in sports betting is similar to arbitrage in the stock market. At its core, you are getting a favorite at a lower price than the return you will be receiving on the underdog. Let’s use an example with Major League Baseball being an excellent vehicle due to the moneylines offered at all of the best online sportsbooks.
In this example, we will consider a game between the Chicago Cubs and St. Louis Cardinals. Let us assume the Cubs are -106 favorites at Book A while the Cubs are -120 favorites at Book B with both books offering a 10-cent spread between the favorite and the underdog.
Therefore, we can bet the Cubs -106 at Book A and then bet the Cardinals +110 at Book B. There are two outcomes possible and they are as follows:
Outcome 1: The Cubs win the game which means we beat Book A because we bet the Cubs $106 to win $100. The Cubs won and we collect $100. However, we also bet the Cardinals $100 to win $110. That bet lost which means we lose $100. When we tally it up, we come out breaking even. No harm, no foul, and it’s like we never did a thing. It didn’t cost us a dime because we covered ourselves by betting both sides of the same game at advantageous prices.
Outcome 2: The Cardinals win the game which means we beat Book B because we bet the Cardinals $100 to win $110. The Cardinals won and we collect $110. However, we also bet the Cubs $106 to win $100. That bet lost which means we lose $106. But because the underdog won, which is always what we want in these arbitrage scenarios, we have made money. We won $110 minus the $106 we lost giving us a net profit of $4 in our pockets.
Okay, so you aren’t impressed. You are thinking is this worth a free cup of coffee? Well, here is where the magic happens. You see when you research the best online sportsbooks, you will find out what their limits are and the more established books will have rather high limits on baseball games. Let’s assume you bet $1000 on this no-risk wager. If the Cubs win, you neither win nor lose any money. But if the underdog Cardinals win then instead of winning $4 you now win $40. And if you were to bet $10,000 on each side then you would win $400 on this one event.
The beautiful part of arbitrage is there is no risk involved because the worst you can do is break even as long as you get the right numbers at the best online sportsbooks. Remember, the arbitrage part is fairly easy but making sure you are working with reputable online sportsbooks that will pay you in a timely fashion is the key so, again, do your research and bet wisely.