Can You Make Money Betting on Both Teams?

06 / 03 / 2021 By Mark Saldana

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You love the thrill that gambling gives you — comparing the risk with reward. 

You also love not losing. 

The cool thing is, there’s a strategy used by sports bettors that can often guarantee profits and does guarantee that you can’t lose. It involves betting on both sides. Keep reading to learn:

  • How to bet on both sides
  • How to win; and 
  • Any downfalls to consider. 

Table of Contents

Can You Bet on Both Teams in Sports Gambling?

Many sports bettors wonder if they can bet on both teams. The answer is …

… yes, but it depends on the circumstances. 

Betting on both teams (also called arbitrage betting or middling) can result in the bettor making a profit — regardless of the outcome — by placing one bet per each outcome (and with different betting companies).

Again, the conditions must allow it. 

Arbitrage betting arises when bookmakers have different opinions on the outcome of a sports event. It’s the most talked-about when learning about betting on both teams, so we’ll focus on arbitrage betting here and compare it to middling in a bit. 

So stick with us.

The right condition (which can be rare) would provide the odds being so far apart that you can bet and win regardless of the outcome. 

Let’s look at an example:

Say you bet $100 on the Cardinals at +110 against the Cubs with one sportsbook. You’d profit $110 with a win. 

Simultaneously, another sportsbook lists the Cardinals at -105 and the Cubs at -105.

Can you make money betting on both teams?

You can bet $105 on the Cubs to win $100 and guarantee either a break-even or $5 profit.

Note that these arbitrage bets are more often available to bettors wagering on opening lines, and that they quickly disappear. 

Arbitrage bets require:

  • Shopping around
  • Using multiple sportsbooks; and 
  • A decent knowledge of betting.

ZenSports takes the guesswork out of betting (for betting pros or rookies) and gives you the most choices of any sports betting app out there, getting rid of the need for a middleman sportsbook. 

Bet against the house, create your own bets against others in our marketplace, or bet with your friends.

What Happens if You Bet on Both Teams to Win?

When you bet on both teams to win (arbitrage betting), you are guaranteed to win one of them and go 1-1. 

How much you win, and continue to win, depends on:

  • The size of your starting bankroll
  • The time you devote 
  • How well you use the funds invested

Can You Make Money Betting on Both Teams?

Yes, you can — but it requires strategy. 

How Can I Make Money Betting on Both Sides?

Here are the basics to know before you can make money betting on both teams with arbitrage betting:

  • Placing an arbitrage bet (also called an arb) involves taking both sides of a bet. 
  • You must track down the best odds for each team at separate sportsbooks. 
  • If you suspect an opportunity, you must calculate the total implied probability to ensure profits. 

If the total implied probability confirms an opportunity for an arb, you’ll figure out how much to state on each wager using an arbitrage calculator.

2 Ways to Bet on Both Teams to Win

As promised, let’s get into both ways to bet on both teams.

Arbitrage betting and betting the middle (or middling) are both similar and work on the same basic concept. 

We’ll get into the details more below, but betting the middle typically refers to finding middling opportunities with the point spread (in football and basketball in particular), while arbitrage typically refers to hedging two-way bets through moneyline wagers.

#1: Arbitrage Betting

We’ve already discussed several different aspects of arbitrage betting. 

To review a different way, you can guarantee yourself a profit by:

  • Shopping around
  • Comparing odds at different sportsbooks
  • Looking for market inefficiencies where both sides of a bet offer plus-money juice

As we warned, it can be a rare circumstance, and it takes a lot of time and effort. 

Is it worth it? 

Some think so as it involves zero risks and a guaranteed reward. But it’s also sometimes called “scalping” in the betting world for the same reason, and frowned upon by many bookmakers. 

#2: Betting the Middle

If you’ve been around sports betting for any length of time, you’ve probably heard the term “middling” thrown around. 

Middling is when you place opposing bets on both sides of a game. 

This creates a “middle” opportunity where you can cash both bets and double your profits if the final score lands in the middle of both of those bets.

betting on both teams during a game

Strategies and Examples for Making Money by Betting on Both Teams

Betting the Middle Example: Point Spreads

Any time a point spread moves, there’s an opportunity to hit the middle. If a point spread opens at +4.5 / -4.5, and the day after moves to +2.5 / -2.5, there’s an opportunity for a middle.

Here’s an example:

If you bet on the Patriots at +4.5 when the initial line is released and take the Eagles at -2.5 after it shifts, there’s a chance you can win both bets.

If you win both bets, you’ll hit the middle, and get a nice big profit.

For a successful middle in this example, you need the Eagles to win the game by 3 points. So if the Eagles win the game 28-25, you’ll win both of your bets.

Betting the Middle Example: Totals

The under must be higher than the over for one of your two bets to hit a totals middle.

Consider this example:

If the line opened at 44.5, and then it moved to 39.5, there would be an opportunity for a middle. You’d have to take the under at 44.5. Then you could take the over at 39.5. 

If this game finished with anything higher than 39 points — touchdown! 

Arbitrage Betting Example

A tennis match offers a great example of arbitrage betting as there are only two outcomes — Player 1 wins or Player 2 wins.

Since arbitrage betting requires using two different bookmakers, we’ll call those Bookmaker A and Bookmaker B for our theoretical example. 

A Bookmaker and B Bookmaker are both offering outright win markers for the tennis match.

 Player 1Player 2Probability 
Bookmaker A1.383.10104.7%
Bookmaker B1.522.75102.2%

By selectively taking the best odds from the two bookmakers, we can form an arbitrage opportunity. 

Is Betting on Both Teams Frowned Upon?

Some sportsbooks allow betting on both teams, while others don’t.

There’s even a rumor that you will get “banned” from a betting site when you win an arb. 

But sportsbooks don’t ban you simply for winning. Instead, someone may get banned because they may be causing the sportsbook to lose money. 

If a sportsbook doesn’t allow arbitrage, your account can be banned or suspended if you attempt to go against their rules (or if they suspect it). 

However, some sportsbooks welcome arbitrage betting and take great pride in not being as restrictive on your betting choices. But these books can be harder to make money off of because they typically have the sharpest lines.

When you use ZenSports, you don’t need to worry about sportsbooks, being banned, or any other silly rules to “keep the middleman happy.” 

Pros and Cons of Betting on Both Teams to Win

Advantages of Betting on Both Teams

When you bet on both teams:

  • You can’t lose. 
      • It ensures a win regardless of an event’s result. You’ve bet on either outcome.
  • There are zero risks involved.
      • Unless you go crazy and wager amounts you can’t afford in your bankroll, there are no risks involved. You’re betting and backing yourself up.
  • Arbitrage software makes it easier.
      • If you’re up for the challenge, you can do all the calculations yourself. But considering that there are hundreds of opportunities every hour, it makes sense to use an arbitrage calculator. You can even use it to predict your profits.
  • It keeps things competitive. 
      • Ensure sportsbooks will continuously aim to provide the best, most competitive odds possible to keep arb bettors coming again and again.
  • You can add a third outcome. 
    • This is more advanced, but you can include the third outcome — a draw. You can wager on two results of the game plus a draw. It’s another way to guarantee a profit when betting on both teams.

Disadvantages of Betting on Both Teams

On the flip side, when betting on both teams, keep in mind a few things:

  • You must be consistent.
      • You need to develop your strategy into a consistent one if you want to make real money.
  • Be willing to bet big.
      • Significant winnings will need significant bets. For a long-term strategy, betting on both teams can be pricey. 
  • Most sportsbooks won’t offer this betting opportunity. 
      • Bookies want to make money, so as we mentioned already, many frown upon betting on both teams.
  • These bets (particularly arbs) are continually changing.
      • No two arbs will remain the same during the day, so you do have to be quick. You’ll need to make your selection and place your bets quickly.
  • Bookies can set betting limits.
      • If you become a frequent arbitrage bettor, you might incur some penalties or restrictions. Sportsbooks like to make money, remember?
  • You’ll have sportsbooks fees.
      • Be sure to check the terms and conditions of the different sportsbooks you’re using for betting on both teams.
  • It can be difficult to find the right sportsbooks.
    • Betting on both teams requires at least two different sportsbooks and the right (rare) opportunities. Everything has to be just right, and the sportsbooks need to be legit.

When you bet with ZenSports, you don’t have to worry about having to choose an ideal (or 2 or 3) sportsbooks and hope for the right opportunities. You can cut out the middleman altogether. 

ZenSports: Increase Your Odds With Our Peer-to-Peer Sports Betting Marketplace

You asked: “Can you make money betting on both teams?”

We answered: “Yes, but …

ZenSports makes online betting easier and faster — and you can bet with anyone in the world.

What makes ZenSports the easiest and fastest way to bet online?

  • You can deposit funds instantly.
  • You’ll experience reduced betting fees compared to traditional bookmakers.
  • You can use our Sport Utility Token to get discounts, rewards, and bonuses.
  • There is no need for a centralized bookmaker (or the two when betting on both teams).

Start betting from the app today. Click here to get started.

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