If someone is fond of wagering on NBA events but dislikes how conventional betting can result in hefty losses due to bad luck, matched betting can be the perfect solution. This betting strategy is similar to arbing, seeing as matched betting, again, involves wagering on both outcomes of a bet. They do differ, however. For instance, when you match bets, you utilize the various bonuses and promotions offered by modern sportsbooks. In addition, matched betting also requires you to place a back bet at a traditional bookie and a lay bet at a betting exchange.

Matched betting is considered risk-free in the sense that it is not a true gamble, as opposed to ordinary wagers. You will always win back your stakes, after all, and you are also guaranteed to make a profit from a properly matched bet. Nonetheless, this wagering strategy does have its caveats, like the risk of account limitation and lack of bonus availability, among others.

How Matched Betting Works

As established, match betting involves “matching” a free bet you made at a conventional sportsbook with a lay bet at a betting exchange. Doing so removes the risks commonly associated with placing ordinary wagers and ensures that you will be able to win back your money and make a profit.

It is important to point out that matched betting is reserved strictly for bets that have two possible outcomes. Yes and no NBA props, for instance, are perfect for matched betting, and the same can be said about NBA spreads and ordinary moneyline bets.

Back and Lay Bets

Back bets are an integral part of traditional sportsbook websites and are the only type of bet punters can place at bookies. Moneyline bets, spreads, props, and pretty much all types of NBA wagers you can make at a typical bookmaker count as back bets.

A back bet is placed when someone believes that a certain outcome will occur, i.e., that a team will win, that the underdogs will cover the spread, and so on. In remote sports betting’s infancy, this was the only type of bet punters had access to, and lay wagers were reserved strictly for the bookies. Thanks to betting exchanges, this is no longer the case.

When you place lay bets, you are wagering that something will not happen. In a way, you become the bookmaker. This makes betting exchanges unique, and their creation permanently changed the online sports betting landscape.

The Process

In terms of the process itself, you will typically start with something called a qualifying bet. Sportsbook promotions tend to have various requirements, and a qualifying bet is the most common one. To place this bet, you will use the matched bet method and pick the listings you wish to wager on. Make sure that, in terms of their value, the odds of your sportsbook back bet are as close as possible to the odds of the lay bet you will place at a betting exchange. Deciding which wagers will be best for this purpose can be done with the help of software specialized for this purpose, which will make things easier for you. Next, you need to wager the necessary stake amount, and with this, you are pretty much done.

Once you receive your free bet, you can proceed to make another pair of matched bets following the same steps as before. When they settle, you will receive your stakes and profit so long as you did not make any mistakes.

It all might seem a bit complicated at first, but getting used to this wagering strategy does not take long. If you are careful and avoid missteps, matched betting can be an excellent side-hustle that will help you earn extra money.

Matched Betting Promotion Types

If you frequent online bookies, you might have noticed that pretty much every sportsbook offers some type of promotion to its users. They are a great way of welcoming new users, which is why bonuses are so popular and continue to be offered by reputable sportsbooks. These bonuses are absolutely crucial to gambling aficionados who enjoy matched betting since they are what makes matched betting possible in the first place.

Welcome Bonuses

These are the promotions most often utilized by matched bettors. First deposit bonuses are a typical example of such promotions, and they involve depositing a certain amount of money into your newly created bookie account. Your deposit will be matched, and in some cases, you will even receive additional goodies, such as free bets.

Speaking of which, free bets in and of themselves are also offered by most reputable bookies. They tend to be fairly simple, because you will just be required to make a bet of a certain size to receive your free wager.

Reload Bonuses

There is a subset of promotions that is referred to as reloaded offers by seasoned sports betting aficionados. This category is simple to understand because it encompasses all promotions that cater to the existing customers of a sportsbook. These, too, can take many forms. Daily, weekly and monthly free bets are a great example, as are enhanced odds offers. Bet insurance and loyalty programs are also something you will come across quite often, and the same can be said about seasonal NBA bonuses.

Such promotions are not utilized as frequently by matched punters, but they are still good opportunities to take advantage of when possible.

Drawbacks and Risks

As established, matched betting can be a great side-hustle for punters who have the extra time to spare. It is far safer than typical sports betting as the gambling aspect is practically absent, but this does not mean matched betting is without its caveats or potential risks. Being aware of them is crucial for any would-be match bettor.

The first problem you could come across is that bookmakers will not hesitate to restrict your account should they discover you are partaking in matched betting. This practice is called gubbing, and many a punter has had to deal with this.

Human error is also something to be mindful of. Matched betting can get hectic if you are attempting to make a multitude of bets in a short amount of time, and mistyping a stake amount, for example, is not unheard of. Missteps like this can be quite costly.

In addition, you might find yourself unable to take advantage of certain promotions. Some international sportsbooks do not make all of their bonuses available in every single jurisdiction the bookie operates in. In addition, certain bonuses will exclude some payment methods.

Last but not least, some bonus requirements can be incredibly tedious to meet. In some cases, it might not even be worth the hustle, and this is why it is always important to read the conditions of a promotion very carefully. To give an example, a $50 deposit bonus might have a 15x rollover requirement. In other words, you will need to wager 15 times that amount in order for the bonus funds to be eligible for withdrawal.

Important Aspects of Successful Matched Betting

As with any activity, there is always room for improvement of one’s technique. With matched betting, in particular, you can get better results by taking the extra time to keep things organized, for instance. Most experienced matched bettors recommend you keep a spreadsheet with a list of your sportsbooks as well as the bets you place. This way, you can easily use it as reference if you lose track while you are placing multiple pairs of matched bets.

On that topic, we would also like to emphasize how important it is to avoid rushing too much. While it is undeniable that the more matched bets you manage to place, the more money you will make, this can easily backfire. Being reckless can lead to mistakes, such as typos or placing a stake on a wrong bet, and either case can lead to losses. Something that can also help with this is utilizing software that can find matched betting opportunities for you, and calculators are also very convenient.

As for our final advice, always read the terms and conditions of both the sportsbook and the rules and requirements of the promotions themselves very carefully. Failing to do so might lead to you not knowing you are not eligible for a bonus until it is too late, which, again, can result in lost funds.


At the end of the day, NBA betting strategies that can ensure you will make a profit are few, and matched betting is one of them. This makes this technique very valuable to sharp punters, and thanks to the internet, it is now easier than ever to use matched betting as a way to make extra money.

It is not the easiest side-hustle out there. It can be time-consuming, making it not ideal for punters who live very busy lives. Thankfully, there is software that can aid you immensely throughout the process, but it is still something to keep in mind.

Punters should also be aware that matched betting can be fairly volatile in terms of how much you will be able to earn on a monthly or weekly basis. It is reliant on the availability of events and what bonuses are on offer at the time, so be prepared that some months will be lucrative, while others will leave you with modest earnings.

Either way, so long as you are diligent, there will always be positive results. This is why matched betting remains a popular money-making strategy.

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