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# Certain Profits from Sports Bets?

21 April 2002

If you know a little about sports, you know that sometimes strange things can happen with different books when oddsmakers disagree about a certain event. If you can get 3.00 on team A with one bookmaker and 3.00 with team B, you can bet equal amounts on both and profit whatever happens.

How do we profit from this opportunity? At first glance, it is quite easy to miss arbitrage opportunities. Moreover it's not obvious what amounts to bet to be certain of a profit whatever happens.

This is the method I use. Divide 100 by the price in question. In the example above (team A) 100 by 3.00. That gives you the amount you need to bet to win \$100, in this case \$33.33 dollars. The other price is also 3.00 you know you must also bet \$33.33 dollars to win \$100 on team B.

Your total profit will be winnings of \$100 (one team must win) - an investment of \$33.33 + \$33.33 which leaves a final amount of (you guessed it) \$33.33 (a cent gets lost in the rounding).

If the final figure is negative, it means no arbitrage opportunity exists as betting every possible outcomes results in a profit for the bookie. But a positive figure means free money for you!

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John May is one of the most feared gamblers in the world. He has developed "advantage play" techniques for many games that are considered unbeatable.

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John May
John May is one of the most feared gamblers in the world. He has developed "advantage play" techniques for many games that are considered unbeatable.