You’re new to sports betting. You see a 2% arb on an NBA game. You hit it for $500. You made $10 risk-free 5 hours later. You buy an extra six pack of beers with that $10. That’s great but….here’s the issues with it.
Limits will come. I’ve been limited on various sportsbooks. I’ve been betting for many years, and when online sports gambling was legalized, it was like a field day. Arbs galore. Errors galore. Here’s what I’ve learned. Because, trust me, there is not a casino or online sportsbook that is above giving you a max bet of $2.
Betting “massive errors” is the #1 way to get limited. A sportsbook accidentally posts Ravens +175 instead of Titans +175 and you max it out. That’s actually very similar to how I got limited on Fanduel. I hit an error for thousands, and was immediately limited after the wager settled. Casinos aren’t like other businesses – they can decide to just NOT take your money for a bet. I used to get thousands on Fanduel, now I can barely get $50. Consequently, when there is an error, you need to think about how valuable that error actually is. If they post Bucs vs. Washington as Bucs +400, then, sure, maybe it’s worth blowing up an account over? Maybe? But think about all the great, +EV, profitable bets you could be making over the next few years. Is it worth risking that? Maybe it is, I don’t know – obviously depends on the profit margin of the error and how much you care about your account. Is it worth not being able to bet Bills +76 points (or whatever that Fanduel promo was) and all those other absurd promos?
Arbing is often identical to betting errors. That’s because, when you’re arbing books, there is usually one “smart” book and one “dumb” book. Let’s say Harden gets injured, every site updates the game, one site doesn’t. You arb it. For the most part, all you are doing is taking a plus EV bet (a profitable bet) and a negative EV bet (an unprofitable bet). There are obviously books who have consistently “dumber” lines and more errors (Fanduel is of course one). That mean’s you’ll be winning more on the dumber books, and you’ll get limited quicker on the dumber books, because usually when there’s arbitrage, one book hasn’t updated its lines yet to news (e.g. a player injury). But that’s not what you want! As a sports bettor, you are hoping to create a little “hedge fund” for yourself – making a ton of profitable odds boost bets, taking advantage of promotions, betting on line moves, etc. to make tens of thousands per year. Getting limited by a dumb book will set you back massively – they are the ones you want to be able to bet on. Think about the future of your account before arbing a game for 2% or betting $200 on an error.
Am I saying you shouldn’t bet on incorrect lines? No. Just the bigger the error, the higher the risk of getting limited, especially if you bet it really big. So also watch your sizing. It’s tempting, I know, to max bet a major arb or massive error. But betting 5k on an error is, for obvious reasons, a lot more worrying for your account than betting $50. Also, if it’s a “clear and obvious error,” the sportsbook has the right to void the bet (happens very frequently in fact). So, ideally, keep your bet sizing in the triple digits, and avoid betting clear mistakes unless they’re offering Chiefs +2000 to win the Superbowl or something that makes it worth it. You want to avoid bets that scream pick off. If the Chiefs line moves from -3 to -6, and you can still bet -3 on one sportsbook, then bet $950 on it. That’s not a massive error, and you made a profitable bet. Will you eventually get limited for making money off the sportsbook? Probably, but it may take a few years. A lot of recreational bettors are betting -3 at the same time, so it’s hard to determine who “thought” about the bet and who just bet it, because obviously the sportsbook wants bettors who just bet things without really considering the price they’re getting.
Odds boosts/promotions have no effect on getting limited. You want to act like a normal, recreational bettor who, in the sportsbook’s eyes, is just a little smart and running hot. From what I’ve heard talking to reps at major sportsbooks, they don’t analyze user profit & loss statements when deciding who to limit. That makes sense. The guy who has a 1000% ROI because he just bet Chiefs Superbowl last year just ran hot – they still want his business. They look for people “picking them off” and have systems to determine who is. Betting all the promos / boosts that are good is perfectly fine.
Reach out with any questions. I’ve been around the block in sports betting, have been limited, have been banned.