Arbitrage betting: best sports betting strategy

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Arbitrage betting: best sports betting strategy

Arbitrage betting is about the only truly profitable betting strategy that allows bettors to beat bookmakers.

About arbitrage betting strategy

When using the arbitrage betting strategy, you need to compare the odds on the same sports outcome across different bookmakers and pick the best options with the highest potential profits. In the best scenario, you place bets on different outcomes and lock in juicy profits regardless of the game outcome.

Arbitrage betting strategy has grown very popular with the development of online betting. Bettors were given the opportunity to compare odds across different betting websites and pick the optimal opportunities.

Comparing sports betting odds

As most bookmakers provide roughly the same sports odds, this makes it hard for bettors to use arbitrage betting strategy to their advantage. But if a bookmaker has not had the time to adjust the odds in a newly published betting line, a bettor has a good chance to detect varying odds and place successful sports bets.

Arbitrage betting strategy is not rocket science. The only flaw is that you have to browse through and compare multiple betting options on multiple betting sites. So prepare to dedicate much time and patience to this strategy. The good news is that algorithm always stays the same:

  • pick an event you’re going to bet on;

  • pick a bookmaker with the highest odds on a certain selected outcome;

  • pick another bookmaker with the highest odds on the opposite outcome;

  • subtract 1 from each odds;

  • multiply the two resulting odds;

  • if the final result is more than 1, congratulations! You have detected a good arbitrage opportunity.

Calculating the size of your bet by using arbitrage betting strategy

Suppose, bookmaker B1 has the highest odds (2.3) on T1’s winning the game. Bookmaker B2 sets the highest odds (1.8) on T2’s winning.

Let’s calculate the arbitrage: (2.3-1)х(1.8-1)=1.04, or 104%. The optimal decision is to bet on T1’s winning with B1 and on T2’s winning with B2. Regardless of the game outcome, your profit will be 4% of your total bet.

Now we have to decide how much money we should put at stake. It’s very simple.

Arbitrage betting strategy

Suppose, we bet 40$ on T1’s winning. The size of your first bet does not matter. Our task is to calculate the size of the second bet based on bookmaker odds.

To do this, we will use a simple formula. First, the odds on the first outcome are divided by the odds total. Then the result is multiplied by your bet on the first outcome.


This means that you should be $22 on the second outcome.

Regardless of which team wins the match, you will lock in a 4% profit.

Arbitrage betting drawbacks

What may drive bettors away is big time investments. Prepare to spend much time on calculations (see the examples above) to find promising arbitrage betting opportunities. But while Excel may simplify this task for you, you’ll still have to search for the right odds all by yourself.

To make for your time investments, you need to pick the events with 5-10% profitability, which is not that easy.

But the major pitfall is that bookmakers dislike professional bettors that are hunting for good arbitrage betting opportunities. To cut their potential winnings, betting sites set maximum bet limits.