June 02, 2020
What Is Hedging in Sports Betting?
An advanced strategy that many professional bettors employ
If you’ve been hanging around sports betting circles long enough, you’ve probably heard of the term “hedging.”
Hedging is an advanced strategy that many professional bettors employ and a lot of amateurs don’t often think about. With this in mind, let’s dive into the topic to explain what hedging is and look at some examples of how to use it to your advantage with playing at SportsBetting.com.
What is Hedging?
The definition of hedging is to protect yourself against a loss by making balancing or compensating transactions. While that’s mostly accurate, it’s not always about a loss; sometimes you can lock in a win with hedging.
What we’re really talking about with hedging is betting on the other side of a wager you’ve already made. For example, let’s say you bet the Green Bay Packers to win the Super Bowl early in the year at +2500 (25/1). Now let’s say the Packers have made it to the Super Bowl and are playing the Ravens and the Baltimore is +150 on the monyeline (to win the Super Bowl outright).
Of course, you could ride with your Packers bet and if they win, you earn 25 times your money. On the other hand, there is some risk that you might lose so a hedge here would be a bet on the Ravens.
If you take half of your potential winnings on the Packers and bet it on the Ravens, you’ve basically locked in a big payday no matter who wins the game. If this isn’t fully clear, let’s map this out in an example with two scenarios:
What We Know – Hedging for a Profit
– $100 on Packers at 25/1 to win the Super Bowl
– Super Bowl moneyline shows Ravens are +150
You keep your Packers bet and don’t hedge. In this case, you win $2500 if the Packers win and lose $100 if they don’t.
You keep your Packers bet but also bet $1000 on the Ravens at +150. This way, if the Packers win, you’ll win $1500 ($2500 in winnings minus the $1500 you bet on the Ravens). On the other hand, if the Packers lose, you still win $1400 ($1500 in winnings minus the $100 you bet on the Packers).
Scenario 1 offers a bigger potential payout but Scenario 2 is a hedge that protects you from losing everything. That’s exactly what hedging is all about.
Hedging with Parlays
Hedging doesn’t necessarily have to be with futures or long-term bets. Another example is playing a parlay. Let’s say you’ve won four of the first five games in a five-game parlay and you just need one more team to come through. Well, that parlay might pay out handsomely if the last team wins but if you want to lock in a profit, you could bet against that team and that way you’re going to win either way.
This only works if you’ve won all of the other bets of the parlay and are just waiting on the last leg to cash in.
Hedging with Live Betting
Live betting is one of the best ways to bet on sports these days as it allows you to watch the game, get a little bit of evidence of how the matchup is playing out and then make your decision on which odds to bet. Another good use for live betting is hedging your bets.
Let’s say you bet on a team pregame and they’re looking terrible in the early going. Of course, you could just ride it out and if you do, in fact, lose your bet, you’ve then lost 100 percent of the bet you placed.
On the other hand, let’s say that you see your team is performing poorly and want to get out of it. At that point, you can bet on the other side and at least get some of your money back rather than losing all of it.
You can also hedge during live betting to lock in a win. Let’s say you placed a bet pregame and your team is performing really well. At that point, you might bet against them because the odds have changed so much in your favor that now you can lock in a win either way.
For example, you bet on the Boston Bruins in a hockey match at +110 but they get out to an early one-goal lead. Well, at that point, their opponent might be at +150. If you have the Bruins at +110 and then bet their opponent at +150, you’re hedging in a way that guarantees you a profit either way.