Hedging 101

This is basic info for a lot of bettors, but I figured it’s a good way to illustrate a couple of websites I like and something nice to reference back to when someone newer to betting has questions about what to do in a situation like this.

 A couple of things to keep in mind when you are going to hedge out of a wager:

  1. Know the scenarios.  You don’t want to get caught with your pants down on this. Since the example I’ll use today is a NFL playoff scenario, you’ll want to have a grasp on all the possible outcomes after the dust settles in week 17. Here’s a pretty good resource directly from the NFL.

  2. Shop it around.  If you do end up hedging for profit, you want to maximize it!  So, don’t fret if you have to place a bet at a different book.  You’re trying to squeeze this for every last penny.

  3. Know what you’re after.  While, I’m going to illustrate how to fully hedge a bet, you can also place a smaller bet to simply cover your stake and “free-roll” for lower odds.

In my real life example, before the season started, an individual placed Ravens to win the AFC North division at +450 at 5Dimes. 

  1. Below are the scenarios for the Ravens future to cash. Since Pittsburgh is a 14.5 point favorite and the likelihood of both teams tying, the only thing that likely puts this in doubt is whether Baltimore can beat the Browns or not.


2. After looking around at the books I use, I found my best price at Bookmaker. I’ll use the +222 they are offering at the time of publishing for this example

3. I’m going to go with a full hedge to get as much money out of this as possible. That’s where another great website comes in handy:


 This is something I use all year long and for multiple sports. Great for the example we’re going though today, but also nice for guaranteeing yourself a profit in a plethora of other situations. (outrights in tennis or baseball series bets come to mind)



You simply fill in the fields above the “Calculate” button with the pertinent info.  In the Ravens scenario, we entered the fact that $50 was placed on the original wager at +450, and the second wager will be placed at a price of +222.  It then spits out how much you should wager on “Bet #2” to get the most possible return.  In this case you’d be betting $85.40 on the Browns and profiting $139.60 no matter how the game shakes out. There’s even a wild-ass scenario where the Browns win and the Bengals somehow engineer a crazy upset and you win both bets.

Now, you can always hedge for less, or just let it ride if you still believe it’s the right bet.  In this case the wager from early in the season was priced at a 18.2% probability and is now (based on the current markets in the Ravens and Steelers games) roughly a 75% probability. Again, this was a very basic buyout but, hopefully you bookmarked that arbitrage calculator and will find it useful in the future.

As always, hit me up on Twitter @AndyMSFW if you have a specific question, and I’ll try to help if I can.  We’ll be getting deeper into future bets this week (and into the postseason) on the Deep Dive podcast, as we puzzle out what can be done with some bets ourselves and others are holding for the conference and Super Bowl.