Arbitrage betting can be a full proof plan in sports betting if you can take advantage of it before the bookmaker suspects it or adjusts the odds to minimize it. Generally, bookmakers do not like bettors making arbitrage bets and will limit the opportunity or payout in doing so. Therefore, it is important to make your bets as soon as you recognize them and before bookmakers can minimize your payout.

Bookmakers have other means of limiting arbitrage betting. They may lower the odds on a payout in order to make your wager produce less profit or eliminate it all together. In the English Premier League, Norwich will be playing Sunderland. If you were to bet $20 on Norwich with Statto.com, you would win $52.63 in profit with a successful wager. By putting $20 on Sunderland through Bodog.ca, you would win $31.25 with a winning bet. That’s if you put your bets in at this very moment but, what happens when Bodog.ca changes their odds from +180 to +280? That would change your profit margin to $27, dropping it down by approximately $4. Doesn’t sound like a big deal with only a difference of $4 but, we’re only talking about $20. Let’s look at the difference with $100. With odds set at +180, you would make $156 but with odds shifting to +280, you would only make $135. That’s a difference of over $20.

You may notice that you can bet on more games with some online bookie sites than others. If a bookmaker notices a lot of activity on certain games, he or she may take the game off of the site for betting. A lot of internet traffic on certain games, especially if it’s one-sided in regards to the bets being made, can cause a bookmaker to take the game off in fear of losing the bet. By having a game end up in the favor of too many different people, a bookmaker will lose money paying out for the same game.

It’s easy math to figure out that the more you bet will result in a larger profit if won. But, if bookmakers adjust odds to counteract arbitrage betting, the more money wagered will result in a bigger difference in how much you are profiting from a successful bet. If you’re betting with smaller amounts, the arbitrage will not make too much of a difference. However, the larger the number you are betting, the bigger the increase in profit from the arbitrage.

## Taking Advantage of Arbitrage

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## Risk Free Betting with Arbitrage

Betting arbitrage is the term used to bet on two different teams in the same game through two different bookmakers in order to guarantee to make a profit. It doesn’t matter what the amount of the bet is, finding a good arbitrage opportunity will make you a profit. The hard part is finding the right arbitrage opportunity in order to maximize the money you will make off of these bets.

Betting arbitrage seems like a 100% full proof plan. But, bookmakers have ways of minimizing the money made from odds given. That is why time becomes a factor when betting on a sports game. It’s important to recognize the opportunities before bookmakers or exchanges do so that you can get the maximum payout possible before the odds are changed.

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## Finding Arbitrage Opportunities

In order to find a good arbitrage opportunity, you must find two different bookmakers or betting exchanges that are offering odds on the same game. If you know what you’re doing, betting arbitrages can be a 100% guarantee to make some money but, you have to be able to recognize the opportunity when it arises. You may also have to wager more money on one bookmaker or exchange in order to earn profit by winning with another.

Let’s use the San Francisco vs. Cincinnati NFL game. If we bet $20 on SF, the possible profit we could make is $35.08 if we win. If we bet on Cincinnat at another bookie, the same $20 bet would make us $28.57. A total of $40 wagered between the two online bookies, and the least we can win in profit would be $8.57.

In Major League Baseball, the Toronto Blue Jays are playing the Tampa Bay Devil Rays. At one bookie, a successful $20 bet on Toronto would end up making a profit of $32.25. On betclic.com, a $20 bet on Tampa Bay would result in a profit of $30.30. Regardless of the outcome of the game, you would make at least $10.30 in profit.

This seems like a full proof plan but, one thing you have to remember is that a lot of betting exchanges and bookmakers will only reward a win if there is a certain point spread between the two teams otherwise, it’s considered a tie. For NFL betting, the winning team has to beat the losing team by more than 3 points in order to win the bet. But, there is the option of using a 3rd bookmaker in the mix so you can pick a tie or draw as well.

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## Bookie or Betting Exchange which is Better

People who bet on sports have two ways of making bets. They have the option of going to a bookmaker who sets the odds in regards to what team is going to win and how much they are going to pay out. The other option is to use a betting exchange approach, for example Betfair.com.

When you make bets at a bookmaker, you are betting against him. Bookies have the option of using decimal, fractional or money-line odds. They make money by matching up all the bets on their books so that they make a profit no matter what the outcome. This is called the juice or vig.

What this means is that if you bet both sides against a bookie in a game, you will lose money and the bookie will make money.

Betting exchange fees work a little differently. They only use decimal odds and most collect a 5% commission from a win. However, their odds are for the game only and don’t factor in a vig for collection. Therefore, the odds are usually fair, you will have to pay 5% to the exchange to win.

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## Find Reduced Vig and Bet for Advantage

Vig (short for vigorish), also called Juice, is the money a bookmaker makes off a wager. Reduced vig is when the odds are dropped down slightly by the bookmaker. This makes the bet less profitable for the bookie, but more profitable for you.

For example, if a moneyline odds of -110 goes to -105, then the bet to make $100 reduced from $110 to $105. Finding the bookmakers with reduced vig could change your bets from losing to profitable. Successfully, finding and playing reduced vig wagers can mean the difference between leaving the bookie with money in your pocket or a hole.

Let’s take, for example, a San Francisco vs. Cincinnati game in the NFL. The bookies may be offering evens on each. You’d expect the money line to be -110. But to drum up business the bookie reduces the moneyline on San Francisco to -105. On a $20 bet you would take home $39 instead of $38.20. That is only 80c per bet, but if you work it into a system it adds up.

Reduced vig is a very important thing to look for when betting on sports. The bookmaker usually does this if he wants to drum up business or to encourage bettors to bet a certain way so that he may balance his book.

A smart bettor will look for reduced vig when making bets because even though the difference may only be a couple of dollars, it can make all the difference with a successful betting system.

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## Decimal odds, percentages and fractions

One clear advantage of decimal odds make it very easy for a bettor to understand how much money he is going to walk away with from the bookie.

Usually, they are represented as a number with two decimal places after the number, like 2.25.

With decimal odds, in order to figure out how much money you’re going to make, all you do is multiply the bet by the decimal odd, for ease of explanation we’ll use 2.00 by the amount you bet, let’s say $10. So, 2.00*$10= $20, which is the amount you will walk away with, for a $10 profit.

For conversions from fraction odds to decimal odds, you take the fraction given and add the two numbers to together and then divide by the number of the right hand side.

So, odds of 1:1 or evens, equate to decimal odds of 2.00.

Odds of 3:1 equate to decimal odds of 4.00, and odds of 2:5 on equate to decimal odds of 1.4.

To convert decimal odds to percentages, just divide 100 by the decimal odds. So, odds of 2 is the equivalent of 50%, odds of 4.00 are 25% and odds of 1.4 are 71.4%.

The upcoming match between CSKA Moscow and Internazionale has odds of Home- 13/8, Tie- 12/5 and Away- 9/5. Let’s do the home first. We take the total number of 21 (13+8) and divide it by 8 giving us a decimal odd of 2.625. For the percentage, we do the opposite and divide 8 by 21 and end up with 38% chance that the home team will win. If we bet $20 from this and win, we’ll end up with about $32 profit from the victory.

Let’s try one more, we’ll use the Manchester United vs. FC Basel match and bet on a tie. The odds are 15/2. So, with a tie happening 2 out of a possible 17 times, we will change this to a decimal first and divide 17 by 2 and end up with our decimal odds of 8.5. To get our percentage odds, we’ll divide 2 by 17 and end up with a 12% chance the game will end up in a tie. Using the same $20 bet, we end up with approximately $150 profit. That would be a good win. Thanks to the conversion of the fraction to either a decimal or a percentage, we can use basic math to figure out how much our bets will pay out.

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## Converting Fractional Odds To Percentage Odds

Fractional odds are usually given as a win/loss ratio for the team. For example, a team that is favored 15/1, that would mean out of sixteen games the team would win once. Fractional odds can be confusing to look at but, there is a way to make it easier by converting them into percentages.

To change the fractional odd to a percentage, you add the right hand side to the left hand side and then divide the right hand side with that number.

With a 15/1 fraction odd, you’re looking at 16 games. Take the 1 and divide it by 16 for a decimal of .0625 which gets multiplied by 100 for a percentage of 6.25%.

If the team is being quote as 5/4, then once again we can add the right hand side to the left and divide the right hand side to by the result. So, 4/9 x 100 = 44.4%

If a team is quoted as odds on, the process is the same. So, say a team is 1:2 on. We add the right to the left and divide the result into the right. So, (2 / (1 + 2) x 100 = 66,67%.

Let’s take a soccer game for another example. With Burnley’s odds 23/20 in the English League and Southampton’s odds at 2/3, who has the upper hand? Burnley’s 23 losses to 20 wins will create the fraction, 20/43. So by dividing that and converting the decimal, we end up with the bookies implying that Burnley has a 46% chance of winning. If we take Southampton’s 2/3, that would mean there is a 3 over 5 fraction. So the formula of 3/5=0.6*100=60% chance of Southampton winning.

What about a golf game? The fractions are still laid out the same with wins and losses. But, monetarily speaking, if you have 8/1 odds on a golfer, that means $100 will be multiplied by $800 for your profit. The better a golfer is doing will result in a lower number on the left hand side. Luke Donald is 4/1 so, for every $100 there will be $400 made in profit if he wins. If you’re looking for a long shot, go with the golfer that’s got 150/1 because you’ll be looking at $1500 for every $100 that you bet. Converting those fractional odds to percentage odds is the same as mentioned up above. For fractional odds of 4/1, divide the win by the total number and convert the decimal to a percentage. The formula is 1/5=.2*100=20%. It may not sound like much but, for a $5 bet on 20%, you’ll get $25 whereas as $5 bet on 4%, you’re looking at winning $125.

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## Converting Money-Line to Percentage Odds

The most common way to represent odds in football is the money line. It’s also referred to as American odds and is an effective tool in representing who is favored to win a sports event despite how lopsided the victory is. The underdogs are represented by positive numbers (+150) and the favorites are represented by negative numbers (-120). The number will vary depending on how much of a mismatch the teams are. The money earned as it relates to the money-line is pretty easy to figure out. For negative numbers, it will represent how much money you have to pay before you make $100. The New England Patriots’ money-line is -380. This means that you would have to wager $380 in order to win $100. They are playing the Buffalo Bills and their money line is +290. This means, for every $100 you bet, you’ll receive $290 in winnings if the Bills get the victory. But, don’t think that means you have to bet $100 in order to use the money-line. If you are betting on a team that’s got a negative number on the money-line, the formula is (100/moneyline) x the bet = payout. So, for a $20 bet for the Patriots, it will be (100/380)*20= $5.26. That would add on to the original bet and you’d be walking away with $25.26.

When betting on a team with a positive number, the formula is (moneyline/100) x bet = payout. So, a $20 bet for the Bills would be (290/100)*20=$58 and with the original $20, you’re walking away with $78. Now, let’s look at converting money-line odds to percentage odds.

We’ll use the New York Giants vs. Philadelphia Eagles game, where the Eagles are the favourites and the Giants are the underdogs. Now, to convert the moneyline odds to a percentage, you’ve got to take a negative money-line number and divide it by itself minus 100. The Eagles’ money line number is -450 so, the formula will look like -450/(-450-100)=0.82 and then convert the decimal to a percentage by multiplying by 100 and getting 82% for them to win.

If the moneyline is positive, take the number and divide it by 100 more than itself. Take result away from 1 and multiply by 100. For the Giants being the underdogs and having a moneline of +325, the formula will be (1-(325/(325+100)))*100=0.2353*100=23.53%.

Now, if you thought that the Giants had a better than 23.53% chance of winning you could make a value bet with a positive expected value.

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## Using Expected Value For Profitable Bets

Expected value (EV) in sports is the term used to predict how probable winning a bet is and how well a bet will return if won. It’s one thing to win a bet on a sports game but it’s seemingly pointless to bet on a game that has minimal profit as a result. In order to maximize profit from betting on sports, you must figure out which games are going to have the best payoff as the result of winning the bet.

The first thing you have to look at are the odds on certain games and how much money you can win from them. To figure it out, the difference of the amount of the possible profit won and what could be lost is added to the bet. The formula looks like EV= Wager+ (money won-money lost). Let’s look at some examples.

The Arizona Cardinals are playing the Seattle Seahawks and the odds are with the Cardinals to win the game. If fractional odds given are 33/20, this is equivalent of 39% that the Cardinals would win the game, or 61% odds against. If you were to bet $20, you could win $33.

However if using your handicapping skills, which are naturally superior to the bookie’s, you had worked out the Cardinals had in fact a 20% change of winning the game., the expected value of the $20 bet would be, ev = 20 x (1-0.8)-20 x (1-0.61), which works out as -$3.80. That is you would expect to lose $3.80 on that bet if you made it several times.

If on the otherhand you thought that the Cardinals had a 50% change of winning, the expected value would be 20 x (1-0.5)-20 x (1-0.61), which is equal to +$2.00. Every time you made the bet you would expect to win $2, so this is a bet you would make.

In the English Premier League game between Norwich City and Sunderland, let’s place a $20 bet on Norwich City who is the favourite with odds on of 2/1. So, for a $2 bet you could win $1. This is equivalent to a 67% chance of Norwich City winning. If you felt the bookie had underestimated the odds and Norwich City in fact had an 80% chance of winning, the expected value on a $2 bet would be $0.26 and you should make the bet. If on the other hand you thought that Norwich City only had a 45% chance of winning, the expected value would be negative, in fact -44c and you should not make the bet.

Knowledge of the sport you are betting on is a huge factor. Even though the percentage odds may be against a team that’s not as high in the standings as another team, knowing that the underdog team is playing at home or, knowing that the favored team is having a lot of trouble with injuries should also be factored in. By understanding your expected value on games with the combination of knowledge of the particular teams, you can beat the odds that are set and earn more profit in the long run.

## The Magic of Percentage Odds

You’re sports betting to win, so you need to know when you’re getting the best of it.

Percentage odds is one way of letting us know when we have an edge.

Percentage odds allow us to compare what the odds being offered are and the real chance of winning.

Percentage odds represent the number by which a team is favored to win shown as a percentage. The closer that number is to 100% the greater the chance that team has of winning the game. The closer to 0% that number is, the more risk involved with the bet and the more money you make if you win.

In order to figure out how much money we will make off a bet on a certain percentage, the first thing we do is turn the percentage into a decimal and divide the bet by that number. You also get your original bet back so add that into the mix as well.

Here are some real life scenarios. The New England Patriots have odds of 63% to win in week 3 of the NFL season against the Buffalo Bills. If you went on a long shot and bet $20 on Buffalo, you will be betting on a 37% probability that the Bills will win. So, let’s do the math. The formula would be $20/ .37=$54.05, which is a total of $74.05 for the win $54.05 for the 37% percentage bet plus your $20 bet.

Let’s take a soccer game as another example and let‘s pick a winning bet on a tie. In the 2012 World Cup Qualifier, Azerbaijan and Austria have a 33% chance of tying. A notional bet of $20 would be represented by a formula of $20/.33= $60.61, then add in the original $20 for a total of $80.61.

Very few bookies display the odds they offer as percentage odds. By convention, odds are displayed differently for different sports. In Britain, soccer odds are usually represented as a ratio or fraction. In the US, football odds are normally represented as money-line odds. Some bookmakers represent odds as decimals.

To be able to compare odds and and your own handicapping, it can be useful to change these odds into percentage odds.

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