How to find close odds when Matched Betting

One of the most common questions I get asked is how do you find close odds to match bets out when matched betting.

Manual method

During the earlier days of matched betting the only way to find a close odds match was to open up the bookmaker odds on one browser screen and the betting exchange on another and compare the odds on a market one by one.  Taking football as an example, the process involved loading up the UK match coupon at the bookmaker and the same at the betting exchange and then trawling through the home – draw – away odds until you found a close match.  Then for free bets the same process but with correct scores on a particular game.

Whilst there is nothing wrong with this method and there are occasions when I still check for close odds manually (see the bottom of this page for reasons, an automated service is a massive time saver.

Automated method

There are services that bring automation to the process of matched betting and make the time it takes to find a decent match much quicker.  They work by collecting all the odds from bookmakers and betting exchanges and bringing them all together in a database which then displays the closest matches in order.  The great thing about such services is they are relatively cheap to subscribe to and they have the ability to filter odds by bookmaker and/or event making finding a close match for a certain event or for a certain bookmakers free bet that much easier.

I would thoroughly recommend Oddsmonkey for such a service, they have a free offering which is delayed by half an hour, which i handy to try out what they offer but for £8 £15 per month you get their premier search which shows instant odds on offer.  If you are only semi serious about matched betting it will still save you hours per month compared to the manual method above.

One thing I would say though however, and this ties in with protecting your bookmaker accounts, is that to avoid losing your bookie accounts I would suggest avoiding the following:

  1. Obscure markets, where possible keep to mainstream football matches or horse racing.  Because even though there are markets it’s not usual to put a £50 bet on the winner of a game in the Russian Premier League!
  2. Odds out of line, by that I mean arbs such as the ones below, these will only increase the risk of having your account limited, bonus banned or closed.

oddsmonkey

Why check manually?

Enhanced Odds

Sometimes it is not possible to use an automated service such as Oddsmonkey.  For example Skybet often have enhanced odds for key football matches or horse races, these are not usually part of the odds feed offered by the bookmaker and so will not get picked up, yet they may be the best match in terms of odds around, so it is worth looking for these.

In-Play

If you get any in-play free bets or are required to bet in-play to qualify for a free bet then you will need to find a close match manually as the odds will not show up on an automated service.

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