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Arbitrage Sports Betting: What it is, How it Works, and How to Spot Opportunities

Updated: Apr 14, 2022



Arbitrage sports betting is a process by which sports bettors can take to lock in a guaranteed profit. Sound like a load of BS? Read on to understand what arbitrage sports betting is, how it works, and how you can spot arbitrage opportunities!





What is arbitrage in sports betting? 🤔

Arbitrage sports betting is a technique that takes advantage of differences in odds between two or more sportsbooks. By placing bets on both sides of the same game at different books, arbitrage bettors can lock in a guaranteed profit.





What tools do you need for successful arbitrage betting? 🛠

  1. Multiple bankrolls in at least 2 different sportsbooks (but having more books will make arbitrage easier)

  2. A way to compare game odds side-by-side (this is called an odds board)


Having 2 or more bankrolls

Different books use different algorithms to determine how the lines for their games should be set. Some books copy the lines of other books, while others have unique approaches. However, even with all the differences between sportsbooks, there are still opportunities for making money by identifying differences in lines.


Give yourself a better chance to find these differences by increasing the number of sportsbooks you use. This is a wise decision anyway whether you are planning to use arbitrage or not. Learn why in this separate article.



Using an odds board

The second thing you'll need is an odds board. This is a table that shows the odds of different sportsbooks for the same bet. You'll want to quickly identify line differences and you don't have time to be switching between apps.


Odds boards are vital for any bettor, and you can find them on many sports betting sites. The Vault app has a great odds board for arbitrage betting!





Where to spot arbitrage opportunities 📍

The simplest process to identify arbitrage opportunities is...


Find where two books are offering different prices on the same bet, where the positive odds are higher than negative odds.


Find where two books are offering different prices on the same bet, where the positive odds are higher than negative odds.


Example 1 🏈


Let's say you're betting on the New England Patriots at Indianapolis Colts game.

  • Sportsbook A has New England at +110 (wager $100 to win $110)

  • Sportsbook B has Indianapolis at +110 (wager $100 to win $110)

If New England lost, you would lose $100 at Sportsbook A, but you would win $110 at Sportsbook B. This would leave you with $210 at the end of the day. This is a $10 profit (10% profit)!



Example 2 🏀


Here's one you could run across where you would either profit or break even. Say you're betting on the Miami Heat at the Milwaukee Bucks game.

  • Sportsbook A has Miami at -105 (wager $105 to win $100)

  • Sportsbook B has Milwaukee at +112 (wager $100 to win $112)

If Miami lost, you would lose $105 at Sportsbook A, but you would win $112 at Sportsbook B. This would leave you with $212 at the end of the day. This is a $7 profit.


However, If Milwaukee lost, you would lose $100 at Sportsbook B, but you would win $100 at Sportsbook B. This would leave you with $205, causing you to break even.



Example 3 🏒


This final example comes after you've already bet on a game. Say your betting on an upcoming Nashville Predators at Dallas Stars game.

  • You bet $100 on the Nashville Predators opening line at +110 (wager $100 to win $110)

  • Later you notice that the lines have shifted and the Stars are now at +105, so you place another bet (wager $100 to win $105)

If Nashville lost, you would lose $100 at Sportsbook A, but you would win $105 at Sportsbook B. This would leave you with $205 at the end of the day. This is a $5 profit.


However, if Dallas lost, you would lose $100 at Sportsbook B, but you would win $110 at Sportsbook B. This would leave you with $210 at the end of the day. This is a $10 profit!





A final note ✅

Arbitrage opportunities are rare and bettors need to move quickly when they find them. If you can get a 1%-5% profit with arbitrage betting over the long run, you're said to be doing very well!


If you like arbitrage betting, or thinking about trying it out, we recommend using the Vault app. It has a great odds board that will help you quickly identify arbitrage opportunities, and it shows you how you've profited over time.


Download Vault here!

Find Vault the sports bet tracking app for iPhone






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