“Nothing is guaranteed” may be the number one rule in sports and in betting, but even this statement has an exception meant to confirm it.
The “Sure bet” concept implies a guaranteed profit by betting on all the possible outcomes of a game at different bookmakers. Bookmakers never have and never will offer identical lines. Every bookie has its own plans for every game. Also, there are mistakes or promotions, so odds can vary pretty much sometimes. Actually, they vary so much that we can find sure bets daily.
So, how do you place a sure bet?
Let`s say Liverpool and Everton play a classic English derby today.
- Ladbrokes offers 1.70 for a Liverpool win
- Pinnacle has the draw at 4
- William Hill has a price of 7.50 for an Everton win.
The best lines on the market for this game are 1.70 – 4 – 7.50, as shown above. We will invest 100$ on these odds in the following way, after doing some good old math:
60.54$ * 1.70 = 102.92$
25.73$ * 4.00 = 102.92$
13.72$ * 7.50 = 102.90$
As you can see, regardless of the outcome our 100$ stake will generate a return of at least 102.90$, with 2.90$ being the net profit. This is sure betting!
But if sure betting is so easy, why don`t we all place sure bets and get rich?
It`s like the old saying states: if something sounds too good to be true, it generally is. All the arguments above are valid and correct, but there are several downsides. First of all, sure betting will always generate a very low return on investment, we are talking about 2-3%. This percentage can be eaten by the taxes applied by bookmakers and banks. Secondly, sure betting implies investing very large sums of money – both for the profit to be decent and for liquidity (for every winning bet you will lose money at 1 or 2 bookmakers). Finally, you must be very careful to choose bookmakers with the right terms and conditions. For example, if you make a sure bet on tennis and a retirement occurs, you risk losing everything (retirements are handled differently by bookmakers). We can also add limitations to the list.
All these downsides make sure betting hard, but not impossible. Is it for you? That`s for you to decide.