#Betting101: Arbitrage Plays in the NFL and College Football Worth Backing

Jason Lake

Wednesday, October 11, 2017 12:59 PM UTC

Wednesday, Oct. 11, 2017 12:59 PM UTC

It’s not always easy to find juicy arbitrage opportunities in pro football, but Sunday’s Dolphins-Falcons matinee lets us put both teams in our Week 6 NFL picks.

NFL betting is the most popular form of sports betting we’ve got – and the toughest nut to crack. All those millions of bettors make for a relatively efficient market compared to college football. We’ve had a lot of fun (and profit) digging up arbitrage plays for your NCAAF picks; today, we get to throw in an NFL game as well. Are you ready for some free money?!

Here it is: Sunday’s game (1:00 p.m. ET, CBS) between the Miami Dolphins and the Atlanta Falcons. At press time, the Dolphins are available as +649 road dogs at Skybook and Betmania, while the Falcons can be had at –580 over at Matchbook. Break out the SBR Arbitrage Calculator, plug in those numbers, and it says to bet $100 on Atlanta and $15.65 on Miami, for a profit of $1.59. That’s a 1.37 percent return for knowing zero about football. Life is good.

Trojan Man

Of course, the college football odds are still our prime source for arbitrage – there are 130 teams in the FBS this year, and plenty of soft lines waiting to be exploited. In theory, at least. We still expect this market to become more efficient overall as the season wears on. Let’s see what’s available for us in Week 7.

That didn’t take long: There’s a very small play available for Wednesday’s game (8:00 p.m. ET, ESPN2) between the South Alabama Jaguars and the Troy Trojans. You can get South Alabama at +662, once again from our friendly friends at Skybook and Betmania, and Troy can be had for a bargain price of –650 at Pinnacle and The Greek. The calculator says to bet $100 on the Trojans and $15.14 on the Jags for a profit of 24 cents, or 0.21 percent. It’s not much, but it’s free.

Unfortunately, that’s about as good as it gets this week. If you’re not interested in that 24 cents, we can’t blame you, but the arbitrage play on that Dolphins-Falcons game should be worth a minute or two of your time. And there are still some football lines waiting to be posted for both the NFL and college football, so keep a sharp eye out for any free money you can get your hands on, and may the prolate spheroid be with you.

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