Bet Engineering

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What is Bet Engineering?

Bet engineering is the practice placing two or more wagers on the same event to create a unique profit/loss profile for a fixture. The two wagers could be on the same market or on two different markets for the same event. For example, you can create your own effective Draw No Bet wager on a football fixture by placing two Head-to-Head wagers. Another example of bet engineering is the practice of middling, where you place two opposing bets at different lines (e.g. Team A -2.5 and Team B +4.5) or totals (e.g. Over 48.5 and Under 50.5).

What is a Profit/Loss Profile?

We define profit/loss profile in this context as the set of potential profit/loss amounts that corresponds to the set of possible event outcomes. Suppose you middle by placing the following two line wagers:

Bet 1: Team A -2.5 at 1.92 odds
Bet 2: Team B +4.5 at 1.92 odds

If you wager 1 unit on Bet 1 and 1 unit on Bet 2 your profit/loss profile for the event is:

Event Outcome Bet 1
Payout
Bet 2
Payout
Combined
Payout
Combined
Profit
Profit %
Team A wins by 5 or more points 1.92 0.00 1.92 -0.08 -4.0%
Team A wins by 3 or 4 points 1.92 1.92 3.84 1.84 92.0%
Team A wins by 2 or fewer points 0.00 1.92 1.92 -0.08 -4.0%

 

The profit/loss diagram below illustrates the possible outcomes for this middle. At best you would achieve a 92% profit while at worst you would incur a 4% loss.

When is Bet Engineering Useful?

There are a number of circumstances where bet engineering becomes useful.

Create a unique profit/loss profile

You can use bet engineering to effectively create a betting market that the bookmaker hasn’t made available. For example, if the bookmaker hasn’t made Draw No Bet and Double Chance markets available for a football fixture, you can create them yourself using the Head-to-head market. Bet engineering effectively creates a greater range of betting options for an event.

You can also use bet engineering to create a profit/loss profile that is not achievable using any individual market. This enables you to effectively create a unique betting product. Referring back to the middling example, where you place two opposing line bets, e.g. Team A -2.5 and Team B +4.5, this bet returns a profit if Team A wins by 3 or 4 points, with a small loss for any other result. It’s highly unlikely that you would find a bookmaker that offers a market with this particular profit/loss profile.

Reduce bookmaker margins (create higher odds)

The bookmaker margin measures the bookmaker’s profit margin for an event and it is a hidden transaction cost for punters. From a punter’s perspective, the lower the margin, the better. You can sometimes engineer bets to reduce the applicable bookmaker margin for your wager. For example, most bookmakers offer lower margins for Head-to-Head markets than they do markets such as Draw No Bet and Double Chance. As our 2014 football odds study showed, in many circumstances you can create better effective odds than what is available in Draw No Bet or Double Chance markets by combining wagers using the Head-to-Head market.

Effectively increase your betting limits

Referring back to the football example, despite the fact that Head-to-Head, Draw No Bet and Double Chance markets are interconnected, you may find that your bookmaker offers higher betting limits for the Head-to-Head market. If the Draw No Bet or Double Chance betting limits are too low you can circumvent these restrictions by engineering those markets yourself using the Head-to-Head market.

Bet Engineering Examples

The possibilities are endless when it comes to engineering custom profit/loss profiles for an upcoming fixture. The links below provide illustrative examples for a few betting strategies.

Caveats

There are some points worth noting regarding bet engineering.

Bonus bets & turnover requirements

Many bookmakers impose restrictions on bonus bets and what type of wagers count towards turnover requirements. Placing more than one wager on a particular fixture may cause you to be in breach of bookmaker terms & conditions, so it’s worth reading through the website terms to make sure you aren’t breaking any rules. When it comes to turnover requirements, multiple wagers on the same event may won’t count towards your turnover calculation.

Multi betting

You can combine Draw No Bet wagers for a number of fixtures into a multi bet, however if you engineer a market using two wagers on the same fixture, a “related contingency” issue arises, so the bookmaker won’t accept your wager as part of a multi bet.


   

Next topic: Middling >>

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