There are several reasons why many bettors would like to learn about hedging/covering one or every leg of a parlay bet. I wrote this article to give you the essential steps you need to take if you want to arb on accumulators.
What does it mean to hedge a parlay bet?
Parlay bets or on other name accumulators bets are the most popular betting type among average punters. The majority of simple bettors are trying to take advantage of cumulative odds and higher returns with a smaller stake. In most cases, this attempt fails and will lead to a loss in the long term.
But there are cases when the bettor wants to take a guaranteed profit from a parlay bet by covering/hedging the last leg of it.
Hedging a parlay bet means that you are covering the other outcomes of one or more matches included in your accumulator.
The most common use is when you have a parlay bet with 3-4-6 matches in it and 2-3-5 are also are winners and the bettor wants to secure a guaranteed win by covering/hedging the other outcome of the last match.
This way you can take a guaranteed profit out from your parlay bet without risking losing the whole accumulator.
Should you hedge the last leg of a parlay?
I’m focusing on strategies that can guarantee a long-term profit or a short-term guaranteed win. So, I think hedging the last leg of a parlay bet is a smart decision in many cases.
I don’t like parlay bets in general, because they are decreasing the chance of winning, even in the long run. A small exception is accumulator bets with overpriced odds.
But if you were lucky enough to win 5 of 6 legs of your parlay bet, I think it would be a smart decision to harvest your guaranteed profits by hedging the last leg.
Can you arbitrage on parlay bets?
Bookmakers are taking parlay bets as a direct sign of being a bettor who loses in the long run. This way of betting can help arbitrage bettors to stay under the radar and place more bets without getting noticed and limited.
As an arbitrage or matched bettor getting your accounts limited or gubbed is the most common reason why you can’t succeed in the long run.
If you are actively looking for overpriced bets and opportunities, you will make guaranteed profits. This betting activity is not welcomed by the majority of bookies.
Parlay bets can be a fairly good alternative and tool for making the bookie algorithms think that you are an average bettor.
I know many bettors personally who succeeded to make insane amounts of profits with arbitrage or value betting on parlay bets.
Difference between arbitrage betting and parlay arbitrage:
- While arbing with single bets you will get limited way faster
- Arbing with parlay bets requires more attention and time investment
How do you hedge a parlay bet?
Arbitrage betting on parlay bets/accumulators is not simple. It can highly reduce the chances of getting caught, but it requires a lot of time investment.
While arbing with simple single bets, you cover both outcomes, and you are done with that arb. With parlay bets, it is way more complicated.
How to arbitrage on parlays by hedging every outcome?
The easiest way to teach the method is by showing a simple example.
- Find two matches where the second match will begin after the end of the first sports event. (this is required so you can hedge your parlay depending on the result on your first leg)
In the picture above I found two random sports events that have arbitrage bets on them. As you see there is a decent time of 18 hours between the start of these events (you don’t need that much, I chose these matches randomly)
- You place a parlay bet with combining at Bwin on a single coupon:
- Skjern Handbold – Mors-Thy Handbold H1(-2.5) on odds of 2.10
- With Seattle Seahawks – Houston Texans Under 43.5 on odds of 1.78
Placing this bet with a stake of 100Euros.
This would mean a parlay of: 2.10*1.78*100€ = 373.8€
- You hedge/cover the other outcome of the first match on Pinnacle as it would be a simple arbitrage bet
- You need to use a simple arbitrage bet calculator like the one in the picture below.
- Hedge the first leg of your parlay by using the stake of 100 euros (you fix it as a constant stake)
- You hedge the first leg of your parlay on the odds of 1.94 with a stake of 108.2 euros at Pinnacle (right after placing the accumulator bet).
- The next step is depending on the outcome of the first match
1st Scenario – H2(+2.5) hedge bet wins at Pinnacle
The first leg of your parlay at Bwin is lost and you win the Hedge at Pinnacle. You win the H2(+2.5) hedge bet with a stake of 108.2€.
Your profit: Odds of 1.94 * 108.2€ – 108.2€ – 100€ (total stake of parlay) = 1.70€ of profit
In this case, your parlay bet at Bwin is lost and you made a total profit of 1.70€ -> Task completed
2nd Scenario – H1(-2.5) first leg of parlay bet wins at Bwin
- In this case, your Pinnacle bet with 108.2€ is lost
- The first match in your parlay at Bwin is a winner, the coupon is still open with a match still unsettled
Your Parlay bet is worth: 1 winning bet Odds of 2.10 * stake of 100€= 210€
In this case, you need to cover the outcome of your last bet once again at Pinnacle.
The calculation for hedging your arb parlay is as follows:
- the odds of the second match in the parlay is 1.78 for under 43.5
- the stake is the actual worth of your parlay bet: 210€
- you hedge the bet at Pinnacle on under 43.5 on odds of 2.33 with a stake of 160.4€
Check the picture below:
Results at arbing on parlay bets
- the second leg in your parlay at Bwin wins:
- Your parlay is a winner: You win 373.8€ at Bwin – initial stake at Bwin (100€) – first leg hedge at Pinnacle (108.2€) – second leg hedge at Pinnacle (160.4€) = Total profit of 5.2€Your second hedge bet wins at Pinnacle:
- 2.33 Odds * 160.4€ = 373.7€ winnings
- From this winning, you have to deduct: 100€ initial stake of parlay, first leg hedge stake at Pinnacle (108.2€), and second leg hedge stake at Pinnacle (160.4€)
- The total profit in this case is: 373.7€ – 100€ – 108.2€ – 160.4€ = 5.1€
Conclusion: Hedging parlay & arbitrage with parlay bets
As you can see using accumulator bets for arbitrage betting requires more calculation and input of energy. It is the safest way of arbitrage betting, and I think in many cases it can boost your profits in the long run.