What is matched betting?
Before we identify the risks of this strategy, we need to clarify what we mean when we say matched betting. Simply put, it’s where you bet on two opposing things to happen in a sporting encounter. This is done to unlock bonus credit while your bets will be canceled out and you won’t lose any money.
A quick matched betting example
Let’s take an example of matched betting football fans would understand. First of all, you would have to find an online sportsbook who had a welcome bonus that gave you bonus bets in return for you putting down a qualifying deposit or bet. Once you’d signed up to this site, you would pick a football game to try matched betting on.
We’ll pick a game between the Pittsburgh Steelers and Philadelphia Eagles. For this example, we’d put down a bet that the Steelers win. Next we’d go to a betting exchange and bet that the Steelers wouldn’t win. When you bet on something not happening, it is known as a lay bet and it can only be done at betting exchanges.
You would put down the above bets in a way that matched the odds and the stakes so that you’d be guaranteed not to lose any money regardless of whether the Steelers won, the Eagles won or there was a tie. So at the end of this, you’d be left with your bonus credit that you could then use instead of real money stakes to make wins from your sports bets.
What are the main matched betting risks?
The above example makes matched betting look pretty easy. But if you look at the following risks below, you’ll think twice about using this betting strategy.
Getting it wrong
We have to note that matched betting isn’t the easiest thing in the world. It requires a fair amount of math and should probably be avoided if you are scared of using a calculator. All it would take is one mistake in your calculations and the whole matched bet strategy would come tumbling down and potentially cause you to lose your money. So avoid matched betting if you have any doubts about your mathematical competence.
Sportsbooks have an understandably dim view of matched betting as you have an unfair advantage. After all, matched betting cannot be considered to be gambling as you are balancing the odds and taking a sportbook’s bonus bets at no risk to yourself. This means that there’s every chance that you could get banned from a sports betting site if you get caught in the process of matched betting. Not ideal for those who are serious about betting on sport.
Misunderstanding the small print
Finally, we should note that pretty much all sports betting bonuses have a significant amount of terms and conditions. This is the small print that must be observed for you to get the bonus and use it. It can be relatively easy to get some of the bonus terms and conditions wrong and end up making a mess of your bonus. This would ruin the whole point of getting the bonus and turn your attempt at matched betting into a bit of a disaster.
Why you can’t try matched betting in the US at the moment
You won’t have to think about these matched betting risks if you are based in the US. This is because you can’t actually try matched betting due to the fact that there are no betting exchanges in the country.
We’ve shown that betting exchanges are an integral part of matched betting as they let you lay the opposing bets. But betting exchanges require large numbers of customers as you are betting against other bettors rather than the sportsbook itself.
As US laws forbid betting across state lines, it means that each betting site can only operate within individual states where the population is too small to sustain a betting exchange. This means that we’re unlikely to see matched betting in the US anytime soon.
A great alternative that avoids these matched betting risks
While matched betting has a few risks, there are some awesome betting strategies that you can use as an alternative. One of these is expected value (EV) betting. We’ve got an entire guide dedicated to positive EV betting here, but it can be simply put down as where the sportsbook has got the odds wrong.
It’s a strategy that you use over the long-term and your job is to use your understanding of implied probability to spot whenever any odds may be overvalued or undervalued. As such, it’s a very different approach to simply betting on those teams that you think will win, but if you get it right, it can be an excellent way to try and beat the sportsbooks.
Just remember that expected value betting does require a fair amount of mathematical knowhow. Like matched betting, it is dependent on you having a good understanding of how odds work and you’ll need to be careful with how you use these betting strategies.
Conclusion - Stay aware of the matched betting risks
By now you’ll realize that there are plenty of different kinds of matched betting risks. All of which makes it important for bettors to be careful when using this strategy. Plus there’s the obvious fact that you simply won’t be able to try matched betting in the US at the moment.
Hopefully this guide hasn’t been too disappointing. After all, we have shown you how expected value betting offers you a great way to improve your winning record. What’s best is that you can use this technique without some of the matched betting risks that we’ve outlined. So bookmark this guide to make sure that you’re always enjoying the best ways of betting on sports!
Matched betting risks FAQ
Make sure that you read our guide to see if bookies really allow matched betting or whether you’ll be blocked from trying this strategy. After all, there are many matched betting risks that you should be aware of and our guide will help you understand what you’re up against. Perfect for enjoying the best kind of matched betting USA has to offer.
We will always put the law at the center of our betting guides. This means that you should read our guide to the various matched betting risks to see if this betting strategy could get you in trouble with the law. After all, while no risk matched betting sounds fun, it’s only any good if you can do it in a way that is completely safe, fair and legal.
Check out our guide to see whether a matched betting calculator can help you overcome the various kinds of matched betting risks. We’ll have matched betting explained in simple terms so that you can see why you might need a calculator and how you should use it. All of which will be done in a way that will give you an honest picture of what kinds of risks you may be up against when you try matched betting.
Be sure to read our guide that outlines what kinds of matched betting risks you may be up against if you were to use the wrong kinds of odds. We’ll highlight the basics of what matched betting is all about and see how you can try this strategy. Plus you’ll get a good understanding of what it means to try matched betting in the US and know what risks you’ll be up against.
There is plenty of controversy surrounding matched betting at the moment, and so it’s no surprise to find many bettors speculating that the strategy is dead. But read our guide to see whether matched betting is dead or whether the various matched betting risks have stayed roughly the same. All of which should help you see whether you should pursue matched betting or try EV betting instead!