People excited in a bar after making money sports betting

Are you fascinated by the prospect of turning your sports knowledge into cold, hard cash? You’ve landed on the ultimate guide to how to make money sports betting. The key lies in profitable sports betting strategies such as value betting, arbitrage, and bankroll management. And if you’re wondering what is a good ROI for sports betting, we’ve got you covered. So, let’s dive in!

Most Profitable Sports Betting Strategies

In a landscape as competitive as sports betting, merely relying on luck is a recipe for failure. Strategic thinking, on the other hand, opens the door to consistent profitability. Here, we dig deep into several profitable sports betting strategies that have proven to help you make money in sports betting.

Value Betting

The concept of value is simple: you’re looking for scenarios where the sportsbook’s odds don’t align with the actual likelihood of an outcome. For example, if you calculate a team’s chance of winning at 60%, but the bookmaker’s odds correspond to a likelihood of 50%, you’ve found value.

How to Identify Value

  1. Calculate Probabilities: Statistical models, historical data, and real-time information (injuries, player form, weather) should be combined to generate a probabilistic model. Tools like R, Python, or specialized betting software can be used for this.
  2. Compare Odds: Use an odds comparison website to examine what various bookmakers are offering. This process helps identify which bookmakers might have mispriced their odds.
  3. Look for Discrepancies: If your calculated odds are providing a higher probability of an outcome than the bookmaker’s, then that’s a value bet.


  • Higher ROI: Studies have shown that a disciplined value betting strategy can yield an ROI between 5% to 10%, significant when compared to other investment opportunities.
  • Long-term Profitability: Unlike other forms of betting, a value betting strategy isn’t based on quick wins but is designed for long-term sustainability.

Conditional Betting

Person searching through sports bets on phone

Conditional betting is an advanced, profitable sports betting strategy that enables you to tailor your bets to adapt to certain conditions or circumstances. For instance, let’s say you’re interested in a basketball game where Team A is playing Team B. You believe Team A will win, but only if their star player is on the court. You could place a conditional bet that states you will bet on Team A only if the star player is confirmed to play minutes before the game starts.

How to Execute Conditional Betting

  1. Identify Conditions: Pinpoint key factors that significantly influence the outcome of a game, such as player injuries or weather conditions.
  2. Place Conditional Bets: Many advanced betting platforms allow you to place bets that are only activated when your specific conditions are met.


  • Increased Accuracy: By factoring in context, you significantly improve the probability of a successful bet.
  • Risk Mitigation: Placing bets based on conditions reduces the chances of unexpected events ruining your bet.

Conditional betting helps you to make money sports betting when you are confident in the outcome of a game only under certain conditions.

Hedging Bets

Hedging is a risk-averse strategy that involves placing bets on different outcomes to lock in a certain level of profit or minimize losses, irrespective of the actual result. This strategy is particularly effective when the conditions or odds have shifted in your favor after you’ve placed your initial bet. In essence, hedging acts as an insurance policy against your own wagers, allowing for a safer, more calculated approach to make money sports betting.

How to Execute Hedging

  1. Identify Hedging Opportunities: Typically, these opportunities arise after an initial bet has been placed and the odds shift to create a profitable scenario. Examples include a key player getting injured in a team you bet against or your chosen team getting a significant lead.
  2. Calculate the Hedge Bet: Before placing the hedge bet, use specialized software or a manual formula to determine exactly how much you need to wager on the opposite outcome to ensure profit or minimize losses. The goal is to find the optimal amount that ensures profitability regardless of the event outcome.
  3. Place the Hedge Bet: Execute the bet on a reliable sports betting platform. Timing is crucial here; placing the hedge bet too early or too late could reduce its effectiveness.

Advanced Tips

  • Dynamic Hedging: This involves placing multiple hedge bets as the event progresses and the odds change. It’s a more complex strategy but offers higher potential profitability.
  • Partial Hedging: Instead of fully covering the initial bet, you can choose to partially hedge it. This gives you a blend of risk and reward, allowing for the possibility of higher profits if your original bet wins.
  • Live Betting: Hedging is exceptionally effective when combined with live, in-play betting, as the odds can fluctuate rapidly during the course of the event, providing multiple hedging opportunities.

Arbitrage Betting

Advanced Arbitrage Betting enhances the strategy of placing bets on all possible outcomes to guarantee a profit. This advanced method adds layers of sophistication by also focusing on optimal timing, leveraging specific trends in how different bookmakers set their odds, and smartly managing your betting capital. The strategy aims to exploit transient and subtle gaps in the betting market to lock in sports betting profits.

For example, let’s say you bet on a favored team, Team A, with a bookmaker known for offering good odds on such teams. Just before the game starts, another bookmaker releases surprisingly high odds for the underdog, Team B. Acting quickly, you place a counter-bet on Team B with this second bookmaker. If Team A wins, the payout from the first bookmaker covers both bets; if Team B wins, the higher odds from the second bookmaker ensure you still make a profit.

How to Execute Advanced Arbitrage

  • Dynamic Monitoring: Use specialized software that can dynamically monitor odds across multiple bookmakers in real time. This is an evolution over static arbitrage calculators.
  • Market Timing: There are moments when bookmakers are adjusting their odds due to live events or new information. Understanding the timing can give you an extra edge.
  • Bookmaker Specialization: Some bookmakers specialize in certain sports and may offer better odds for them consistently. Knowing this can provide a slight advantage when executing your arbitrage bets.

Arbitrage betting is a surefire method to make money sports betting, but it can be more complicated to employ than you may originally think.

Advanced Tips

  • Portfolio Diversification: To maximize profitability, spread your arbitrage bets across various sports and markets. This helps to diversify your investment and reduces risk.
  • Capital Management: Advanced arbitrage betting can involve substantial amounts of money to realize a good profit due to thin margins. Effective capital management ensures that you never overcommit, preserving your bankroll.


  • Optimized Profitability: These advanced strategies aim to improve on the 1-3% ROI commonly associated with basic arbitrage betting, giving you the potential for higher profits.
  • Reduced Risk: By understanding bookmaker trends and diversifying your portfolio, you reduce the risks associated with getting your account limited or closed.


  • Increased Complexity: These strategies require a deep understanding of sports betting markets and real-time analytics and probably also require specialized software.
  • High Capital Requirement: To truly maximize the benefits of advanced arbitrage strategies, a large bankroll may be required.

Exploiting Public Sentiment in Sports Betting

One key factor that can skew sports betting odds is public sentiment. When the majority of people back a certain outcome, bookmakers may shift their odds to balance the betting. By using social media trends, public betting percentages, and sports forums, you can gauge which team or outcome the public favors. Once you’ve identified this sentiment, you can assess its impact on the odds.

Thumbs up and thumbs down created out of people

If you find that public opinion is disproportionately affecting the odds away from the true probabilities, that signals an opportunity for a value bet. In such cases, contrarian betting—betting against the public sentiment—can be a highly profitable strategy. It often involves backing the underdogs or going against crowd favorites. The best time for contrarian betting is usually just before a game starts, as that’s when public sentiment is strongest.

Bookmakers adjust the odds for various reasons, and one of them is to manage their risk.

When a large number of people bet on a specific outcome, the bookmaker faces a higher liability on that particular outcome. To balance this, they may adjust the odds to make that outcome less attractive for new bettors. Essentially, the bookmaker wants to encourage bets on the less-favored outcomes to level their books.

It’s also about market dynamics. High demand for a particular bet will naturally lower the odds for that outcome, making the bet less profitable but reducing the bookmaker’s risk. Conversely, if very few people are betting on a particular outcome, the bookmaker might increase the odds to entice more bets, thereby balancing out their exposure across different possible outcomes. It is important to know that bookmakers also want to make money sports betting, and you can exploit their approach.

What is a Good ROI for Sports Betting?

In the realm of sports betting, a strong ROI (Return on Investment) serves as a robust indicator of the effectiveness of your betting strategy. So, what counts as a solid ROI in this context? Let’s break it down:

  • An Excellent ROI that clocks in above 10% is the gold standard for sports bettors. This is an indication that your strategy isn’t just working; it’s thriving. You’re making smart choices, exploiting market inefficiencies, and your bankroll is growing as a result.
  • A Good ROI ranging from 5-10% is commendable. This zone signifies that you’re beating the market more often than not. While there’s room for improvement, you’re certainly on the right track.
  • An Average ROI between 0-5% suggests that while you’re not losing money, you’re not making much either. It’s a sign that your betting strategy needs a little fine-tuning to push you into the higher ROI brackets.

It’s crucial to continuously monitor your ROI, as it’s the ultimate yardstick of your betting strategy’s success. A dwindling ROI might be an early warning sign that you need to reassess your approach, while a steadily high ROI could give you the confidence to perhaps scale your bets. Focusing on your ROI is essential to make money sports betting.

Bankroll Management in Sports Betting

Think of your bankroll as the foundation of your sports betting house. Without a solid foundation, even a well-designed structure can collapse. The same principle applies to your sports betting strategy. Even if you have an edge over the bookmakers, without proper bankroll management, financial setbacks are just a few bad bets away.


  • Start Small: It’s essential to allocate a specific, affordable amount of money that you are willing to invest in sports betting. Never bet money you can’t afford to lose. This isn’t just common sense; it’s vital for sustainable betting.
  • Unit Size: Don’t stake your entire bankroll on one bet. Instead, opt for betting “units,” which are often a small fraction (1-5%) of your total bankroll. This strategy diversifies risk and allows for inevitable ups and downs. For example, if your bankroll is $1,000, a 2% unit size would be a $20 bet.
  • Adjust: Your bankroll isn’t static. If you’re winning, your bankroll grows, and so should your unit size proportionately. Similarly, if you’re on a losing streak, it’s time to dial back and recalibrate your bets. Consistent evaluation of your strategy in relation to your current bankroll is crucial.

Advanced strategies:

  • Dynamic Unit Scaling: Rather than sticking to a fixed percentage of your bankroll for each bet, consider using a dynamic scaling model. For example, employ the Kelly Criterion, which calculates the optimal bet size based on the perceived edge you have over the bookmaker’s odds. This allows your unit size to scale based on both your bankroll and the specific value present in a bet.
  • Multi-Tiered Bankroll: Divide your bankroll into tiers for different kinds of bets—high risk, medium risk, and low risk. You might allocate, for instance, 70% of your bankroll to low-risk bets, 20% to medium-risk bets, and 10% to high-risk bets. Each tier then has its own unit size and adjustment parameters, allowing for a more nuanced approach.
  • Event-Specific Allocation: For seasoned bettors who specialize in certain sports or event types, create sub-bankrolls specifically tailored to those categories. For example, if you find you have an edge in NFL bets over NBA bets, you might allocate a larger percentage of your bankroll to NFL games.
  • Seasonal Adjustments: Certain times of the year, like during playoffs or major tournaments, offer more betting opportunities and potentially higher variances. During these periods, consider loosening or tightening your unit sizes to capitalize on your specialized knowledge or to minimize risk during highly volatile periods.

Bankroll management is not just an ancillary aspect of sports betting; it’s fundamental to long-term success. Adhering to these principles adds a layer of financial discipline that complements your betting strategy, making your venture into sports betting more calculated, secure, and, ultimately, allows you to make money sports betting.

Line Shopping in Sports Betting

Person line shopping sports bets on a laptop

Line shopping involves comparing odds from multiple bookmakers to get the most favorable ones. You’re not just looking for the best price; you’re also looking for opportunities to leverage. Profitable strategies often involve real-time line monitoring software that sends you alerts when favorable odds pop up. This helps you jump on short-lived opportunities that can vanish in seconds.

Quick Tips:

  • Specialty Bookmakers: Target those who focus on niche markets or specific sports for potentially better odds.
  • Prop Bets: These specific in-game bets can provide additional opportunities when traditional odds aren’t favorable.

Line Shopping goes beyond surface-level comparisons. Expert bettors exploit ‘steam moves,’ where odds shift quickly due to heavy betting on one side. They place their bet before the rest of the market catches up, effectively “beating the line.”

And don’t forget about the power of “middling,” where you bet both sides of a game but at different lines. For example, if Team A is favored by 3.5 points earlier in the week and by 2.5 closer to the game, you could bet both sides and profit if the margin lands precisely on 3. Line shopping is clearly one of the best ways to make money sports betting.

How to Use Monte Carlo Simulations in Sports Betting

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