Introduction to sports arbitrage

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ARB101: Glossary of sports arbitrage terminology

Agency is another name for bookmaker.

Arb is an opportunity to profit from bookmakers offering differing odds on the same event.

Arber is an individual who take advantage of arbs for profit.

Back is betting that an outcome will occur – like placing a bet with bookmakers.

Bookmaker is a company that offers betting lines and odds, and is licenced to accept wagers.

Exchange is a company that provides a marketplace in which betting odds are set by members and not the company. Members of exchanges can place bets by backing odds, or take on a bet by laying the odds.

Lay is betting that an outcome will not occur – effectively taking on someone else’s bet and becoming the bookmaker.

Listed/starting pitcher – most bookmakers put a condition on baseball bets such that the wager is valid only if the pitcher nominated by the bookmaker (recorded on the betting slip before the bet is confirmed) starts the baseball game. If the listed pitcher doesn’t start the baseball game then the bet is cancelled and funds are returned.

Margin is the commission that bookmakers factor into their odds in order for them to be profitable.

Miraclebet is another name for arb.

Miraclebetting is another name for sports arbitrage.

Sharp bookmakers employ sophisticated systems and techniques to automate rapid odds movements in response to market changes, and model their business on low margin from high turnover. Pinnacle Sports is a prime example.

Soft bookmakers employ manual and archaic systems to set odds, often following sharp bookmakers odds. Odds movements are slow, producing arbitrage opportunities against sharp bookmakers. All Australian bookmakers are soft bookmakers.

Sports arbitrage is the act of placing bets on all possible outcomes of a sporting event in order to guarantee a profit no matter the outcome of the event.

Sports book is another name for bookmaker.

Square betting refers to straightforward or unsophisticated betting behaviour, for example placing bets on your favourite team to win without regard to form. Square bettors lack advanced strategies and systems.

Surebet is another name for arb.

Surebetting is another name for sports arbitrage.