What is Sports Arbitrage?
Sports arbitrage is betting on very possible outcome of a sporting event. Â This is done at prices that guarantee a profit irrespective of the outcome. Â A more detailed and informative general definition of arbitrage can be found here . Sports arbitrage relies on different prices across bookmakers. Profits are not huge, but the risks are low.
Is Sports Arbitrage Possible?
Yes. Â Each bookmaker builds their own book (market) on each event. Â The prices they offer are based on a number of factors including:-
- perceived chance of each outcome
- liability incurred on each outcome
- what prices other bookies have
Each bookmaker will offer a different opinion on the prices. Â These will usually be similar but not identical. Â With a bit of mathematics, it is possible to spot sports arbitrage opportunities where the prices are imbalanced across markets.
I can now spend more time watching and enjoying the races knowing that I am already a winner
If you aren’t yet convinced, click here to Â see a couple of real examples walked through showing how to lock in a profit.
What Sports Arbitrage Do We Offer?
We offer a simple sports arbitrage service. Â It consists of web page identifying arbitrage opportunties in UK and Irish horse racing. Â It compares the prices available at bookmakers with Betfair prices. The prices are updated in real-time. Â We have the most up to date prices on UK and Irish horse racing
What are the risks
We would be foolish to say there are no risks. Â There are a few small risks that you need to take into account.
- Bookmaker Price Availability. Â Is the price actually available at the bookmakers? Â Make sure you check the price offered. Â This is especially relevant in the 30 minute or so before the race. Â During this time the market can move dramatically. Â This means the bookmakers sites will lag behind the market. Â Thus the price offered may differ from the price on the website. Â In turn, the data on our web page may thus be “stale”. Â It is also worth checking on Betfair for non-runners/withdrawals. The bookmakers’ websites may still be offering a price reflecting the market beforehand. Â In these cases, they may apply a deduction to the price you get. Â Thus your potential winnings would be less
- Exchange Price Availability. Â You cannot place the two bets simultaneously. Â Therefore, the exchange price may move against you
- Exchange Liquidity. Â Maybe the entire amount required to lay-off your bet at the bookmakers isn’t available at the time
- Rule 4 deductions. Â When a horse is withdrawn from a race, Â the bookmakers prices will change. Â Prior bets will be subject to a deduction under Rule 4. Â Most bookmakers follow the industry standard for price reductions. Â But you should check with your bookmaker’s rules for their deduction tables. Â On Betfair, there is a reduction factor applied based upon the weight of money. Â This will generally differ from the rule 4 deduction. Â The exchange reduction factor will differ from the deduction under Rule 4. Â Thus your profits may be reduced. Â The profit can even turned into a loss. Â Fortunately the revers is usually true
- Losing accounts. Â A bookmaker may close your account at any time. Â Even if you have been losing with them
There are a number of ways that your profits may actually be more than you expected
- BOG/BPG. Â Some bookmakers offer a Best Odds/Price Guaranteed. Â If a horse drifts out and wins, you get paid on the SP.
- Rule 4. Â See above. Â Often a rule 4 deduction will favour the arbitrage player.
Hints and Tips
- Check the prices. Â Always check prices on Betfair AND the bookie before commiting to bet. Â The price finding software is not infallible and the occasional mistake happens in gathering the data. Â If it looks too good to be true, then it probably is. Â Even if a really good price is available, then the bookmakers usually have an “out” in their terms and conditions to cover “palpable errors”
- Check for liquidity. if liquidity is low, the risks are higher. Â You may not get your lay matched
- Look for patterns. Â Experience will tell you when a horse may shorten. Â This allows you to delay laying. Waiting for a lower price can increase profits.
- Exploit Rule4. Â Often a rule4 will favour you. Â you will have two options. Â One is to leave things as is and benfit from the win. Â The other is to adjust and increase guaranteed Â profits.
- Exploit BOG/BPG. Useful when a horse drifts. Â Adjust on the exchange to increase guaranteed profits. Â Otherwise benefit more if the horse wins
Sports Arbitrage can be very profitable. Â The profit on each bet is small. Â The number of sports arbitrage opportunities is large. Â Try it! Â What have you to lose?