Arbitrage Betting in Nigeria

Arbitrage Betting
Written by Omolola Akinyemi

We write with due honour to those die-hard Nigerian football and/or sports lovers who wish to leverage on sports betting. You might need to go a step further to learn about arbitrage betting, and perhaps ‘beat the odds’. After all, your aim is to win more bets than lose over the course of time.

But is sports betting (or gambling) profitable after all? And what sets arbitrage betting apart from everyday sports betting – what does a bettor stand to gain from arbitrage betting? Can you indeed be smarter than your bookmaker in winning your bet? In this article, we would take you on a journey of discovery – let’s explore the world of arbitrage betting in Nigeria together.

Also Read- Top 10 Best Sports Bet Sites in Nigeria

Sport Betting Vs. Arbitrage Betting: Definitions and Comparison 

Sports Betting

Sports betting to begin with, is the attempt to predict the outcome of a sporting event (winner and probably their scores). Furthermore, a prospector or bettor must be willing to place a wager, stake or bet (money) on just one possible result. This is in the hope of winning opposing bettors to get the profit. The sport betting industry is a multi-million dollar market that has over many decades, capitalized on the zeal of sports lovers across the world. In  addition, there are myriads of sporting events to choose from, in order to kill boredom. And perhaps help fans make some money on the sidelines while they can.

In Nigeria alone, an estimated 730 million Naira collectively was staked as wager money by bettors within the age range of 19 and 40 years old, from 2019 to 2020. And the figures appear to be increasing with each passing year. One could easily observe numerous game betting parlours and game stations/shops around town springing up continually. They are patronized by youths who are eager to spend money.

About 48% of gamblers in the USA are heavily into sports betting. Undoubtedly the excitement that comes with sports can easily pitch fans against one another. They could go to immeasurable miles in fervent support of their favorite (and perhaps top performing teams). But experience has clearly shown that feverish fanaticism in support of a sporting team or athlete does not guarantee a win. Nevertheless, past statistics and present fitness of such athletes/players can be a strong factor in influencing their next win.

Betting websites or bookmakers of the modern world, attempt to collate and use these sports statistics. They continually monitor the progress of each sports team and their athletes. Thus, they can reasonably predict what to expect in the next game or the next season. As such, their bettor customers can hope to achieve meaningful wins every now and then.

It goes without saying that the bookmakers are at far greater advantage at making profit here – whether any bettor wins or loses. We are speaking of several hundreds, if not thousands of bettors staking their money daily against one another. Even after paying their taxes, the bookmakers have enough left-over from the pooled money to rake in a decent profit. Only a sheer handful of bettors get lucky from time to time. Thus the customer may often face inevitable loss, should the predictive capability of a betting website be found to be not so accurate. Is there any chance of gaining that extra luck above and beyond the limited predictions offered by one bookmaker?

Arbitrage Betting

Arbitrage betting (or arbs betting, surebet, or miracle win) requires a bettor placing a bet or wager on all possible win outcomes of a game. So it does not matter who or which team wins the game. And by so doing, the bettor is sure to profit from any one win. For best results, you would rather not place your arbitrage bets on one sports betting company or website (though it is possible). The bettor would stake his/her money on all possible game outcomes with different sports betting sites.

You must also note that different sports betting companies offer slightly different odds. Odds are more like the projected probability that a sports team or athlete would win a match. So the bettor gets the opportunity to continually monitor and compare the odds offered by the different bookmakers on each game. He/she can then put a wager on each outcome separately, and surely profit in any one of the sites.

If you were to place all your bets on the same sports betting site, you would lose. The mode of pricing on just that one betting site for different odds will ensure that the bookmaker takes all of your money. And most certainly, the bookmaker will target that you lose big! The bookmaker might replace the actual odds with its own odds by including what is referred to as ‘overround’ in their prices.

The subject of how to calculate sports probabilities, odds, and overround, is a bit complex and goes beyond the scope of this article. But you can get more information about them on online articles. The ultimate aim of each bookmaker is to ensure no bettor tries to gain profit on all possibilities. That possibility of course would not be to its own advantage.

Typically, when added together, the total percentage for all possible outcomes on one sports betting company site is normally bigger than 100%. Take this hypothetical set of odds predicted by a particular sports betting company on a soccer match. Human error is evident, since it adds up to larger than 100%, or whole number 10:

Also Read- Free Football Predictions Today

Calculating Arbitrage





Team A wins



Team B wins





With soccer/football, the possible outcomes could be three altogether – a win for each team, or a draw. In tennis, either of the two players might win – just two outcomes. A simple example: a bettor invests 2000 Naira by placing N700 on outcome WinA, N700 on outcome WinB, and N600 on outcome Neut, He would calculate his profit manually in each case as follows:

WinA – (700 X 5.1) – 2000 = N1,570

WinB – (700 X 3.8) – 2000 = N660

Neut – (600 X 3.7) – 2000 = N220

{TOTAL: 1,570 + 660 + 220} = N2450

So definitely you would make a profit one way or the other, regardless of the game outcome. That is a loss on the long run on the part of the bookmaker. After all, how would the site profit if bettors get it right with absolutely every alternative? Such a site would do everything to block or restrict that possibility. Ultimately when you place your wager on each outcome with different sports betting sites, you are at advantage. The final payout you receive must be bigger than your initial stake money.

Why Do Arbitrage Betting?

Some reasons (on the part of the bettor) for opting to do arbitrage betting, may include the following:

  • When a bookmaker set its odds too high. It may do so in a bid to retain customers and get new ones. as bookmakers compete with one another for more patronage.
  • If a bookmaker finds it hard to respond fast enough in real-time to changing odds in a sports game. Sometimes these odds change as fast as several times in a single minute.

Arbitrage Betting Sites in Nigeria

It is generally considered illegal to do arbitrage betting on a single bookmaker. Rather, you may embark on the complex process of calculating your game profits manually through arbitrage betting on different sites. But there are sites that act as online arbitrage bets calculators, or betting exchanges.

A betting exchange allows a bettor to ‘legally’ pitch the set of odds for a single game against each other. This can be done on one particular sports betting site, in order to earn a profit or commission. Some of the common betting exchanges in Nigeria include Netbet, 22Bet, Bet365, Pari Match, BetBonanza, MelBet, Betway, CyberBet, Wazobet, 1XBet, BetWinner, 888Sport, and BetFair. The list is not by any means exhaustive; you can find out more by doing further research.


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About the author

Omolola Akinyemi

A Computer Science graduate of UNILAG, I hail from Ekiti state of Nigeria. An astute teacher, learner & admin assistant of many years experience. I love technology, innovation, and Nature. A problem solving mentality is important to me. The future is only seconds away, and I believe I can define the future now. You can also.