Any smart gambler knows that a critical part of success is seeing what nobody else sees and using it to find the right strategy to win big. The real secret is that “controversial” means something innovative, something new, something daring, and most of all, something with big potential.
In short, you’re looking to become like notorious gambler Billy Walters, but without that other type of controversy we’re all familiar with – the unwanted media attention and allegations. The good news is that the world of sports betting is full of innovators developing new tips, techniques, and systems for beating the odds.
This breakdown dives into three of the most controversial betting tips and techniques around today. From arbing to asian handicap and lay bettering, there’s plenty here to consider for your next round. Unless the controversy is too much for you.
1. Arbing: How to Craft a Win-Win
First, if you’re unfamiliar, let’s briefly explain what arbing is and how it got its rather strange-sounding name. Arbing is a derivative of the term arbitrage. Okay, I can already hear half of you saying, “But arbitrage has been around for ages,” and the other half asking what arbitrage is.
In short, arbitrage betting involves finding errors in a bookmaker’s numbers where the probabilities add up to greater than one. In that case, you can bet on all possible outcomes and make a profit no matter what happens. Granted, those profits are less than 1.2% a full 98% of the time.
Still, in spite of those small returns, using arbitrage betting with larger sums over time can still lead to substantial profits. Needless to say, bookmakers are not fans of this tactic and often ban it outright. So how does arbing connect with this? Arguably, it’s more or less the modern version of the classic arbitrage – made far easier by the proliferation of online betting opportunities.
Betting Tips for 21st Century Arbitrage
So what does arbing look like today? Nowadays, with bookmakers using software to calculate their odds, you’re not likely to ever find one making the mistake of listing odds that add up to more than one, as they may have done in the old pencil-and-paper days. But what does exist is bookmakers who list different odds for the same event. If these odds differ enough, you can use arbing to achieve the same result.
Here’s an example: the Detroit Lions are playing the New York Jets. Bookmaker A has +135 on the Lions winning and -140 on the Jets. Bookmaker B has +120 on the Lions and -130 on the Jets. So, you bet on the Lions with bookmaker A and on the Jets with bookmaker B. That gets you +135 and -130. In this case, you make a small profit no matter who wins. Your profit will be less than 2%, but that’s still something.
Obviously, arbitrage software plays a big role in making this possible. Otherwise, the time-consuming process of finding opportunities for arbing would far outweigh the potential gains. It’s also vital to be careful if you’re going to attempt this. With the large bets that tend to come with arbing, one mistake could lead to serious losses on your part.
Clearly, you’re not going to make millions this way, but it’s a clever way to game the system to make some cash. And who doesn’t love gaming the system on occasion? If you want an even more detailed breakdown of all the ins and outs of arbing, check out our post on Arbitrage Betting and Free Bets Explained.
2. Asian Handicap: Making Things Interesting
At its most basic, Asian handicap betting involves adding handicap figures to teams, representing a goal deficit or a head start at the start of a match. Sounds complicated? Only a little. You might start out with anywhere from a -1.5 to +1.5 handicap on a team (positive on one or negative on the other.)
What you do then is simply add or subtract those numbers to the teams’ scores. So if you’re betting on that same Lions vs Jets game, let’s say you set up an Asian handicap bet on the Lions of -14. For your purposes, the Lions start off the game with -14 points. Even if the Lions beat the Jets by 7 points, you still lose your bet, because with your numbers, that translates to a loss by 7 points.
You may be asking yourself what the point of this is. Essentially, Asian handicap betting is all about taking what’s otherwise a not very interesting game and making it interesting. Even if one team is heavily favored to win, you can still place bets with a variety of closer odds.
Adding Layers of Complexity and Opportunity
But it gets even more interesting. You can also place more complicated bets with this system. So, you could simultaneously place bets on the Lions of -7 and -14. In that case, if the Lions lose, tie, or win by less than 7, you lose both bets. If they win by, say, 10, you win one bet. If they win by more than 14 you win both bets. Nothing too complicated about it.
One perception some people have is that Asian handicap betting is designed only for games with long odds – but it’s not limited to those games at all. You can even bet a +0 handicap if you’d like. This essentially works the same as the draw no bet market.
While not controversial on its face, Asian handicap betting does occasionally open additional opportunities for arbing. As you can imagine, it would be possible to use this tactic along with the right odds to ensure you win either way. It can also be used during a game, a tactic more people frown on.
3. Lay Betting: Getting Negative
If you’ve ever wanted to try your hand at playing the role of bookmaker instead of just placing your bets, lay betting essentially lets you do that. With this technique, you don’t sell a bet, but actually offer your own odds that something won’t happen.
This is useful for larger and more complicated sporting events with many potential winners, like golf or tennis tournaments, for example. If you’re betting on who’s going to win such a tournament out of a pool of 40, it’s likely to be a high risk bet. With lay betting, you simply pick one person you’re betting won’t win. If any of the other 39 players come out on top, you’ve won your bet.
Be Wary, There Is a Catch Here
However, there are several important caveats here. The first is that – and this should be somewhat obvious – the winnings aren’t going to be huge with this kind of betting. If you’re right, you’ll collect a fairly small amount, but if you’re wrong, you have to pay the backer all of their winnings. The difference between those two numbers can be as much as 10-1.
Still, like most strategies, this low-risk, low-reward strategy can really pay off if it’s done right. If everyone else thinks a player or team has good odds and you disagree, you can come off pretty well from a lay bet. It’s also an interesting role reversal, requiring a different mindset. This can make lay betting a new challenge for an experienced player.
So what makes lay betting controversial? Not everyone likes the idea of you being allowed to bet on a single person losing, relative to a number of others winning. This is one reason why lay betting is still not allowed on a number of sports betting websites. But where it is, it’s garnering growing interest.
Turning Sports Betting Controversies into a Winning Strategy
Good news for you is that these occasionally controversial strategies bring out strong opinions in bettors and bookmakers alike for a reason: they offer excellent opportunities for the cleverest bettors out there.
Using these betting tips right comes down to changing your mindset – whether it’s thinking like a bookmaker for lay betting, or thinking beyond simple win-lose odds for Asian handicap betting. The controversy comes in part from just this aspect. Not everyone is delighted when something new comes around and changes the game. That generally translates into more opportunities for newcomers and more challenges for established players.
Whether you’re new to sports betting or have years of experience under your belt, it’s worth familiarizing yourself with these betting tips. Who knows, you may just find your next winning strategy.
Which strategy are you thinking about trying out? If this article gave you some ideas to mix up your betting strategies, you may be interested in our Honest Guide to Online Sports Betting and the Top Betting Sites for 2016