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Best odds for arbitrage betting! What is a good arbitrage percentage?

Arbitrage betting is one of the most punished betting techniques by bookmakers. Unfortunately, it’s not surprising at all. Every business has some weaknesses that can be exploited. 

This article is focused on finding the best odds ranges and arbitrage percentages that can help you avoid stake limitations. On the other hand, optimizing your odds and arb percentages will maximize the long-term profits and the sustainability of your activity.

Best odds for arbitrage betting?

The main reason I started thinking about writing this article is that sharing my experience and the things I struggled with is one of the main topics of this website.

During the years when I used arbitrage betting as my main income source, choosing the right arbs with the right odds was a fairly big decision.

By reading this you might think that I’m over-exaggerating the importance of this factor. 

Why choosing the best odds is important?

  • Arbitrage betting can be sustainable only if you have long-lasting bookmaker accounts
  • You need to have enough money at every bookmaker you are actively using for arbitrage betting
  • Avoiding withdrawals for as long as possible will help you stay under the radar

These are the main reasons why you should pay more attention to what kind of odds ranges you use for arbitrage betting.

Basically, the majority of reasons to apply these rules to your sure betting activity are to succeed in betting without being noticed. 

This betting technique will always mean that after a period of time your balance at soft bookmakers will grow. 

There is an important factor in arbitrage betting that took me too long to understand and to accept. 

Every time we find an arbitrage opportunity it means that at least one bookmaker is making a mistake by offering overpriced odds.

These sure bets are not only creating a decent enough difference between bookmakers but they are also value bets.

Every outcome in sports betting has a real probability. The bookies are trying to figure this out in the most accurate way, so they can make profits in the long run.

But every time they are making mistakes, these wrong odds are also higher than these real probabilities. 

Relation of value betting with best odds in arbitrage betting

You could ask, why is this important in arbitrage betting? You are covering the other outcome, so value betting is not an option for you. So, why am I speaking about these overpriced markets and value bets?

This is the biggest issue I failed to understand for many years. 

If you are taking advantage of an arbitrage bet, that is including an overpriced outcome, it means that in the long run, you will be profitable at bookmakers with these odds.

It’s almost inevitable to experience a fairly fast growth of your balance at soft bookmakers. Every time you place an arbitrage bet at a soft bookie, you are beating them. In the long run, your winnings at these bookies will add up.

If you are interested, you can also check my detailed table and review of the best arbitrage betting services.

So, after a longer period, you will need to withdraw your funds no matter what kind of staking or odds range strategy you use.

The main purpose of this article is to find out how to delay this moment. Even the smallest amount you want to withdraw will run through certain verifications and the inspection of your betting activity.

Around 95% of bettors are losing in the long run. So, a withdrawal from a fairly winning account will always face stricter verifications.

Best odds for arbitrage betting: soft vs sharp bookie

Bookies like Pinnacle sports or betting exchanges are popular because of their high maximum stakes, arbers welcomed ideology, and the capability of defining the true chance of an outcome.

These properties are making them an almost inevitable part of smart betting techniques. 

It took me years to notice and understand that arbitrage betting between a soft (slow to react) and the sharp bookmaker will always result:

  • Growing balance at the soft bookmaker
  • Slowly but guaranteed decreasing balance at sharp bookies.

This article is supposed to contain direct advice and an odds range for arbitrage betting. But the truth is that after placing tens of thousands of bets I have the following conclusions:

  • In the long run, you can’t manipulate the direction of your funds. You can take high odds at soft bookies in the hope of losing on that side of your arbitrage bets. But in the long run, even those big odds will be winners sometimes.
  • If you have too much money at the sharp bookmaker, taking smaller odds at the soft bookie might increase your chances a little bit to grow your balance.
  • Smaller odds mean a lower chance for variance (with outcomes around 50%-60% chance to win you will have to wait for less for a winning bet. An odd of 6 means that in the long you will win around every 6 of your bets with the same odds)

To reduce the fluctuation and big money movements between bookmakers I suggest using odds between 1.40 – 4. You can use low and high odds on both sides. With this odds range, you can reduce big variances and a fast-growing balance at the soft bookmaker.

As I already mentioned, in some cases you might try the following steps:

  • If you have too much money at the soft bookmaker, taking higher odds on that side might help to shift a part of it to the sharp bookie
  • Placing arbs with odds pairs around 1.90 – 2.10 will stabilize the money flow from sharp to soft bookie

Soft vs soft bookies: best odds for arbitrage betting

The majority of arbitrage bettors are hedging overpriced markets at exchanges or arbitrage-friendly bookmakers like Pinnacle sports.

This tactic is decreasing the chance of running into dropping odds before being able to cover every outcome.

When my main activity was arbitrage betting, sometimes I used to place surebets between two soft (slow) bookmakers.

This way of sure betting has many advantages and downsides too:

  • You need a lot of experience to figure out which part of your arbitrage bet is overpriced. If you are betting against a sharp bookie, in 99% of cases it’s obvious that the soft bookmaker is making the mistake
  • You can get more return on your arbs
  • The chance of not being able to cover your bets on the right odds is fairly high
  • You need to be way faster
  • Proper knowledge about the sport and players/teams is almost inevitable
  • Sometimes both bookies are offering wrong odds, and if you are not noticing it, the chance of running into dropping odds is fairly high. It’s painful to cover your bets with a loss

I think the best odds for arbitrage betting between soft bookmakers is still between 1.40 and 4. If you want to further reduce the balance fluctuation, then odds between 1.90 – 2.10 might be the best solution.

Struggling with being limited by the bookies? Check my article about the best bookmakers for arbitrage betting.

 Of course, it’s not possible to apply these rules every time. Sometimes I felt the need to place arbs only with odds around 2. But in the long run, you will miss out on too many opportunities.

The main advantage of these odds when arbing between soft bookies is that both sides can make mistakes. This way the money won’t flow from a bookie to another in the long run (at least not so fast, because some bookies make more mistakes than others).

You will notice that at some of your bookies the balance is growing faster, but using the best odds for arbing will balance this phenomenon out.

If you are interested, you can also check my detailed table and review of the best arbitrage betting services.

If you are planning to switch to another service or starting to place arbitrage bets please consider opening an account through my affiliate links (these are the only way of keeping this website running for free :D)

What is a good arbitrage percentage?

Choosing a good arbitrage percentage is one of the most crucial aspects of this strategy. It can mean the difference between a long-lasting account and a failed attempt for arbitrage betting.

The proper arbitrage percentage will allow you to stay under the radar while making profits that are worth staying hours in front of the computer.

How to choose the best arbitrage percentage?

Choosing the maximum and minimum profit percentage you can use for sure betting depends on multiple factors.

Let’s take these situations one by one:

  • Pre-match arbing: the odds are moving slower, and every bookmaker is more capable of spotting odds that might be overpriced. 

The best arbitrage percentage for pre-match arbing:

  • In bigger leagues (First league in football) and tournaments (WTA and ATP in tennis) taking arbs with a return between 1% and 4% are less risky. The lower the arb percentage, the less risk you have for getting caught.
  • Lower leagues and tournaments: In general, I advise skipping lower league sure bets. The majority of bookmakers might limit your account even after 2-3 bets. If you want to risks, I think the maximum % should not be over 2%.

Good arbitrage percentage for in-play betting:

  • For slower odds moving sports like football: you can take arbs up to 5% on bigger leagues.
  • On faster sports like tennis or basketball: the bookies are less likely to spot even major mistakes. I used to place arbs up to 6% – 7% but every bookmaker is different. So, the higher the return % you have on a sure bet, the more chance you have of being flagged for arbitrage betting.

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Sam @ Sportssmartbetting

I have been a professional sports bettor for almost 8 years. This blog was created to share my experience and knowledge.