The matched betting software searches the internet for odds on a variety of different markets from a variety of different bookmakers and compares the prices to the prices available from betting exchanges (such as betfair and betdaq). The software then ranks the bets by best price to worst.
A rating of over 100, means that if you make both the back AND lay bet, regardless of the outcome of that event, you will make money. There is one slight caveat, in that the rules regarding postponement/abandonment of a match can differ between bookmakers, therefore you should always check this before making an arbitrage bet (see Pitfalls of Sports Arbitrage for more detail).
The commission payable any winnings from the betting exchanges is already factored into the rating calculations, using an assumption of 5% commission.
A rating of over 100 means that if you back one side of the bet with one bookmaker, and lay the other side of the bet with a betting exchange, all other things being equal, regardless of the outcome of the event, you will make money. The rating is calculated by:
Very simplistically, for illustration purposes (ignoring commission for now, and displaying odds as decimals:
If Back odds = 2.0, and Lay odds = 2.0. This means that you can back the outcome, and accept someone else’s bet on the outcome, so that if it wins, whatever you win from back bet, you pay out on your lay.
However, if the Back odds = 2.0, and Lay odds = 1.5, this means that you can now back the event and double your money (ie 100% return) if it wins, but someone else is only asking you for a 50% return if it wins. This situation would have a rating of 133.3%, as you can ensure that you get 3.3% profit on your back stake, regardless of the outcome of the event.
As already mentioned, this is simplified version for illustrative purposes. For Matched betting, you do not need arbitrage opportunities (ie ratings over 100) in order to profit, therefore, you should just focus on ensuring you are placing bets as close to 100 as possible to maximise your profits. If you are looking for pure arbitrage opportunities, you will need to focus only on bets with a rating >100.
Read more about the Mathematics of bookmaking on Wiki/
1 – Bookmaker dropdown. Use this function to select a specific bookmaker to compare to the betting exchanges. This function is useful when implementing a matched betting strategy, where you need to place a bet with a specific a bookmaker.
2 – Details of the market. Ensure you are clear on the market being displayed, as you’ll need to go direct to the relevant bookmaker’s and betting exchange’s site to place the bet.
3 – Rating is mathematically driven calculation to determine how good the back and lay price being offered is. The Rating calculation already assumes a 5% commission due on the Exchange side of the bet. Ratings of over 100 indicate an arbitrage opportunity. Read more about Sports Arbitrage?
4 – Specific bookmaker/exchange and back and lay price and bet size information. Since the free version of this software operates on a 20 minute delay, these prices can vary from the latest prices. To ensure you have the latest price information, you can upgrade to the premium version of the service for only £10 per month.
5 – Filter – this gives you the option to refine your search information according to your own preferences. See screenshot below for further information.
1 – The filter enables you to limit the sports, markets, bookmakers, and exchanges shown in the results.
2 – The filter also enables you to limit the search results according the rating score, odds, liquidity, and time until the event is taking place.
For example if you:
- are only looking for arbs, you can fix the bottom end of the rating to be 100 or more).
- need to make at least a £50 bet, you can change the liquidity setting to £50.
- only want to find odds between 5 and 7 to take advantage of the ‘sweet spot’ (see Matched betting strategy), you can adjust accordingly.
3 – In order to apply the changes made to the filter, you must click ‘apply’. If you have your computer cookies set to ‘enabled’ (which we recommend for optimum use of this product), then these filter settings will be saved the next time you use the arb matcher. If you want to restore the default settings, you need to select the ‘reset’ button.
Market detail info & Stake calculator
1- The info button on the main screen gives you a summary of the betting market, including the option to select a Betting stake calculator.
2. The Open calculator function as displayed below, gives you the option to enter you back stake, either as a stake returned or a stake not returned (for example when using a free bet offer). The calculator will then calculate the required lay stake and lay liability (see second screen shot below).
It is possible to bet on both sides of a market with different bookmakers, however for a matched betting strategy, it is generally easier, and more efficient to use the exchanges to offload the bets.
It depends. Our matched betting strategy advises that you find odds between 5 and 7 when taking advantage of the free bets, to optimise your return, however you can tailor your strategy to suit your own cash flow needs. The trick to earn your free bets and then reinvest return made on these, limiting the amount of start-up capital funds you need to deposit.
When you adopt a matched betting strategy, you essentially need to make initial bets with bookmakers in order to unlock bonuses that they offer. The strategy that we recommend is for these initial bets to be as close as possible to arbs. This protects you from the event that a bookmaker refuses to offer the advertised bonus, as by making an arbitrage bet, so long as you have matched the sports rules regarding abandoned matches, you should not lose any money regardless of the outcome of an event.