In a previous article we have looked at the basic theory behind arbitrage betting, where we discovered how shopping the odds of different bookmakers can be used to create a market which can be bet to guarantee a profit.

An arbitrage bet is really the holy grail for any sport punter, guaranteed profit without any risk. However arbitrage bets are an elusive beast, not only do most bookmakers know the odds available throughout the world and adjust accordingly, but it can be difficult to place enough money on an outcome to really make the search between bookmakers worth the effort.

However that’s not to say that opportunities don’t exist, and aren’t easy to find if you’re willing to wait for opportunities.

Using special promotions to guarantee profits

When bookmakers offer special bonus odds on events it can be tempting to simply take the odds as providing value and riding out the result. Assuming the market you are betting into is reasonably efficient and accurate this would generally be considered a positive expected value bet. But why put any of your bankroll at risk at all if you don’t need to?

In this case study we will show you how you can use arbitrage betting to lock in up to 33% profit on your turnover simply by taking advantage of special bonus odds offered by bookmakers.

As you would have learnt in our review, one of the world’s biggest sports bookmakers Ladbrokes regularly offer special odds across a number of sports as an incentive to new and existing members. One such promotion which has run for the past two weekends is  offering $2 favourites on all AFL matches played on Saturdays.

While there are some conditions attached such as a maximum bet of $20, this is a promotion simply to good to pass up as an arbitrage opportunity.

How to place arbitrage bets

For our arbitrage bets to be successful we need the winning outcome for both bets in the match to be greater than the total amount of money outlaid.

To do this we will need to shop for the best odds available on the underdog in each match (as the favourite will be the bonus bet). For this case study we have used the odds available from Crown Bet as they had the best available odds at the time of writing, however in general it is recommended that you compare odds with our other recommended bookmakers Centrebet, Pinnacle Sports, Sportsbet, and William Hill before placing any bets.

Once you have the bonus bet odds, and the best odds available for the underdog, put these odds into an arbitrage calculator along with the stake you wish to place on the bonus bet. The calculator will not only tell you if there is an arbitrage opportunity available, but also the exact amount you should be on the underdog.

It is also worth noting here that even if the bookmaker offering the bonus odds has the best available odds for the underdog, you should never place the underdog bet with them. Bookmakers do not like arbitrage punters, and may ban you or limit your bet sizes if they notice this kind of activity.

Ladbrokes AFL $2 favourite case study

By using the above method to bet the maximum $20 on each of the 6 favourites in the AFL matches to be held on Saturday the 9th of May with Ladbrokes, and the underdog prices available from Crown Bet it is possible to lock in a profit for the day regardless of how many favourites or underdogs win during the day.

As the below table shows, by using the arbitrage calculator to ensure that the total amount bet on each match doesn’t exceed $40 (the payout of the $2 favourite), a profit of between 15% and 48% can be guaranteed for each match.

Arbitrage betting on AFL matches 9 May 2015

Home Odds Stake Win Away Odds Stake Win Profit ROI
Kangaroos 2.00 20.00 40.00 Tigers 2.75 14.55 40.01 5.45 15.79%
Bulldogs 2.00 20.00 40.00 Saints 3.80 10.53 40.00 9.47 31.03%
Giants 4.25 9.41 39.99 Hawks 2.00 20.00 40.00 10.59 36.00%
Suns 5.75 6.96 40.02 Crows 2.00 20.00 40.00 13.04 48.39%
Demons 5.00 8.00 40.00 Swans 2.00 20.00 40.00 12.00 42.86%
Dockers 2.00 20.00 40.00 Bombers 4.00 10.00 40.00 10.00 33.33%
Total x 84.37 x x x 95.08 x 60.55 33.74%

With a total of $179.34 bet for the day, and a profit of $60.55, a return of investment of 33.74% is guaranteed using the currently available odds regardless of the results in each match. While a $60 profit may not be a lot for some, for many it is a healthy boost to the bankroll for little effort and without tying up a large chunk of your bankroll.

For those with accounts with multiple bookmakers who are willing to shop for and find even better prices this profit can increase even further.

Of course these arbitrage opportunities are not just limited to AFL betting. We recommend keeping an eye on the “promotions” page at Ladbrokes to see all the current opportunities available. It is also worth following any bookmaker you have an account with on Twitter to be kept up to date on any promotions they may be running as these may also present arbitrage opportunities.

About The Author

Daniel is the founder, owner and editor of Sport Betting Insider. When he's not writing content for SBI you can usually find Daniel cheering for the Sydney Roosters, spending Sunday nights watching Daniel Ricciardo, wishing he owned a Baggy Green, or at Canberra Stadium.

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