ARB302:Pay extra attention when betting in the five minutes leading up to an event
Most square punters place bets in the last 10 minutes before an event starts, in fact betting market volumes normally double or triple in this time. As a consequence, odds movements can be substantial and lucrative arbitrage opportunities may appear.
A common mistake made by inexperienced arbers is to get excited by the high percentage and move quickly to execute the arb without paying attention to the time remaining before the event begins. There are three reasons why this is a bad idea:
- not enough time to place all bets – the average arber will take up to two minutes to triple-check and execute a two-sided arb. Even longer for a three-sided arb. If there isn’t enough time left before a match starts for you to place all bets then you will be left with an open position;
- odds are changing rapidly – the very same reason the arb appeared is also a reason why this arb brings additional risk. If the odds are moving fast then the risk of odds moving against you in between confirming the two bets is heightened; and
- bookmakers can close books early – it is possible that one bookmaker will temporary close the market in the minutes leading up to an event, thus leaving you with an open position that you will need to cover.
It is paramount that you know exactly when the sporting event is scheduled to start. Most alert services will advise you of the minutes before the event start time but they will not warn you of the inherent risks associated with placing bets in the five minutes before an event. It is your responsibility to be aware of the time and take the appropriate course of action.
Sports Arbitrage Australia recommends that inexperienced arbers avoid betting in the five minutes leading up to an event – be safe, not sorry.
In-play (or live) betting online – your safety net
If you do decide to execute an arb in the five minutes leading up to an event and you get caught out with an open position, then you are not in as much trouble as you might think.
As long you have confirmed the first bet with the soft bookmaker (normally this is the case) then it is likely that Pinnacle Sports will offer live in-play betting for the event – even for Australians. With Pinnacle Sports you should be able to close your position when the in-play betting market opens, hopefully at the same odds that were offered pre-match.
This is a nice safety net should things go wrong, but not something you want to rely on because a) Pinnacle Sports may not offer live betting on that sport/league/match; and b) the odds offered in-play can be lower than pre-match, thus generating a loss for the arber.