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How to find a sports arbitrage bet

This guide will show the long hand way to spot sports arbitrage betting opportunities. This page is for people who just want to know the inner working of a sports arbitrage bet.

The easiest way to uncover a sports arbitrage bet is to work out how much you would have to back each outcome to get £100 from the bookmaker.

First the percentage probability is calculated for each event. The percentage probability for each outcome is added together. A total of over 100 means there is no value in the bet and would not represent an arbitrage opportunity. Whereas a total under 100 means you have an a chance to make a risk less arbitrage sports bet.

Identify markets that could through up sports arbitrage opportunities, football, tennis, rugby, basketball, ice hockey, or golf. You name it. The important thing is that bets that make up sports arbitrage trades are all on the same event. To back player A or player B in tennis, team A or team B in football, and so forth.

Once an event has been identified it is pretty easy to convert the odds to a percentage probability and this is how.

This example shows how to convert fractional odds to a percentage probability: odds of 5/2 as a percentage are worked out like this….

  • 5/2 (5 divided by 2) = 2.5
  • 2.5 + 1 = 3.5
  • 100/3.5 = 28.57%

By working out the percentage probability of the odds it is possible to work out if there is a sports arbitrage opportunity.

To say it would be frustrating to have to run through these calculations many times over could be an understatement. Luckily there are sports arbitrage betting services that do all the work for you. These services use scanning technology to ‘spider’ many online bookmakers to find sports arbitrage bets

Lets say that it is a game of tennis. Player A is priced add odds of 5/2. As shown above the likelihood of player A winning is 28.57%. There is a possible sports arbitrage trade if the odds of player B winning are worked out as 71.43% or less. Ideally player B should have a percentage probability of about 67.43 producing a risk free profit of 4%. The percentage per arbitrage trade is quite small but it is risk free and small regular profits soon add up.

This percentage figure is useful. For starters you now know how much you need to stake at 5-2 in order to receive £100 should your chosen team or player win. To return £100 at odds of 5-2, you would need to stake £28.57 (free of tax in the UK) to back player B. Say player B is priced at 4-9. That is 69.23%. To win £100 you need to bet £69.23.

Lets round this sports up.

£28.57 on Player A to win, returns £100; the stake of £28.57 and winnings of £71.43.

£69.23 on player B to win, returns £100; the stake of £69.23 plus winnings of £30.77.

Subtract the total stake money £97.8 from the total winnings of £102.2 and the overall profit is £4.40.

Now scale up this example for a real world sports arbitrage trading scenario. The stake size would be higher, roughly 10x depending on the bookmaker. A total stake size of £970.80 would give a profit of £40.40. Repeating this process a few times a day or week can produce a good income.

To make this as easy as possible there is a price and percentage table below. Look at any price and the the figure opposite gives you the percentage probability. When working out the percentage opportunities always work to 3 decimal places to maintain accuracy across a range of sums.

The win win sports investing nice and easy Price-Conversion table

Standard UK fractional odds compared to percentage likelihood it represents.

1-1090.9095.228.571
1-990.00011-426.666
1-888.8883-125.0
1-787.510-323.077
1-685.7147-222.222
1-583.3334-120.0
1-480.09-218.182
1-375.05-116.666
2-571.42911-215.385
4-969.2316-114.286
1-266.66613-213.333
8-1565.2177-112.5
4-763.63615-211.765
8-1361.9058-111.111
4-660.09-110.0
8-1157.89510-19.091
4-555.55511-18.333
10-1152.38112-17.692
Evens or 1-15014-16.666
11-1047.61916-15.882
5-444.44420-14.762
11-842.10525-13.846
6-440.033-12.941
13-838.09540-12.439
7-436.36450-11.961
15-834.78366-11.493
2-133.333100-10.990
9-430.769

From the odds for each outcome of a sporting event it is possible to reference the percentage likelihood. If it adds up to less than 100 then you can make some money.

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