For most sports bettors, the holy grail of betting action is arbitrage betting. For the layman an arbitrage bet is a bet that is guaranteed to deliver you a profit irrespective of the outcome of the event. This form of betting is also known as surebets, scalps or simply arbs.
The great thing about Arbitrage Betting (check out the Unibet website) is you don’t need to have an interest in the event in question. As long as you can find the bookmakers that are offering the right mathematical odds to make your bet profitable you will be aye okay.
So how does it work?
Imagine that you were interested in the outcome of a game of soccer between Man Utd and Man City. If you were to place the same bet on the win, loss or draw for Man Utd, in a single bookmaker, then you would make a loss. But all bookmakers offer different odds and this means that it is possible to find different odds for the same outcome at different bookmakers, meaning you could place a win, lose or draw bet on Man Utd, in different bookmakers, and be guaranteed a profit. This is the very essence of Arbitrage Betting. Seeking out the differences in odds for the benefit of the punter.
Arbitrage bets are rare, but they do exist. One of the reasons of their existence is the differing times that Bookmakers open their markets. Some may be more experienced with some lines than others. If the leading bookmaker opens the market and other bookmakers choose to follow some time later then there could be a discrepancy in the market.
Another reason that arbitrage
betting exists is because of the Bookmakers requirement to balance their
own books. The Bookmaker needs to make a profit and it couldn’t care
less about the fortunes of its competitors. To balance the books, the
Bookmaker may sometimes need to change the line. Given the fact that
there is no reason for another bookmaker to do the same, may present an
opportunity for arbitrage betting.