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How to Hedge Bets Like a Pro

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Gambling 101: Hedging A Bet

Hedging A Bet

You might be wondering what hedging is. No, it has nothing to with the shrubs or plants you would see if you looked out your front window. It’s a term or an idiom we degenerates like to throw around from time to time. Especially when there's an opportunity to lock in a guaranteed profit. All gamblers would love to secure a winning ticket on every wager they place but that's not reality. However, there is a technique to create a situation where you actually can assure profit regardless of the outcome. Learn how hedging a bet can lead you to greener pastures in the sports betting world.

What Is Hedging?

Hedging a bet is wagering an additional bet against your original one to guarantee yourself a profit. As simple as that sounds, there are things to consider when placing these extra bets. The main caveat is knowing when you should hedge, how much you should hedge, and how often you should be hedging. Sports betting professionals have been using this financial strategy to guarantee a win forever. Though if you actually polled sports bettors on this subject, you might be laughed at for even considering it.

Situations Where Hedging Can Be Used

Parlays

Ah yes, the infamous parlay. If your parlay somehow got far enough to be even worth hedging, good for you. Here is an example of how hedging on a parlay in the NFL might play out.

4-Team Parlay +8000 ($100 to return $8100)

Broncos +100 (Win)

Bengals +200 (Win)

Bills +200 (Win)

Jets +10000 (Just kidding) +350 (Pending)

As you can see, you have won the first 3 legs of this parlay. All you need now is the Jets to win and you just turned $100 into $8000. If you have the Guinness World Record for largest cajones, you might trust the Jets to pull off the upset. If you were a sane person, you would hedge against this bet and place an additional wager. For example, let's say the Jets were playing the Packers and the moneyline for them was -200, you could bet $5400 on the Packers and guarantee a return of $2600. Basically, you would win $8100 if the Jets won and $2600 if the Packers won. Not a bad chunk of change. Of course, if you didn't have $5400 laying around, you could choose any amount to hedge. My advice is to leave the math up the hedging calculator you can find online.

Futures

Futures offer an amazing chance to hedge a bet due to the initial odds they offer. Let's say you want to choose the Pistons to win the 2021 NBA finals. The odds are +40000. If you bet $100 on the Pistons to win, you would take home over $40,000. Let's say you actually do make this bet and, by some miracle, they make it to the finals. You would absolutely want to hedge this. Let's say the other team was the Lakers with a moneyline at +100. You could bet $5000 on the Lakers and receive a return of $10,000. You would win around $40,000 if the Pistons won and $10,000 if the Lakers won. Not bad at all.

Live Betting

Live betting can offer some sweet opportunities to hedge on games that are currently in progress. Here is a situation where you might hedge if you were live betting an NFL game.

Pre-Game Odds

Giants +200

Saints -200

If you wanted to bet $100 on the Giants before the game started, you would return $300 if they won. Hypothetically, let's say Daniel Jones pulled a rabbit’s foot out of his goofy ass, and the Giants took a 21-0 lead at halftime. The moneyline for each team would shift dramatically. The Saints moneyline is now +400. If you are unsure if the Giants can keep this lead, you could place an additional bet of $60 on the Saints to guarantee a profit of $140.

Is Hedging the Smart Move?

There are definitely situations where you should be hedging a bet, especially if it's a future bet. Anytime you have a chance to profit on a low-risk, high-reward bet, do it. On the flip side, if you only stand to make a couple of bucks by hedging you should just, well Kramer said it best, “Ya gotta let it ride.”

At the end of the day, it really is up to you and how much risk and profit you are comfortable with. For more betting strategies, check out the additional topics we cover in our Gambling 101 guides.

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