2021 Sports Betting Thread

Thread to discuss anything sports betting - lines, arbs, promos, signups, new books, old books, and analytics.

2020 was a great year for sports betting if you were lucky enough to be in a state that expanded (especially online) availability over the past two years. I was fully expecting the promotions that these books are running to slowly dial down, but they have done exactly the opposite.

In 2020, Iowa had 7 available sportsbooks, 4 of which my wife and I signed up for. (William Hill, DraftKings, FanDuel, and PointsBet). Prior to 2021, Iowa required all signups to be in person to verify ID. Between the two of us, we made $11,600 in profit simply taking advantage of signup bonuses and promotional offers, almost all coming from NFL promotions.

There seems to be no sign of any of these books ending promos soon, and I look forward to taking advantage of free EV and posting about it here!

In the interest of blatant self-promotion, if anyone wants to bet on sports where it isn’t legal or just doesn’t want to risk real money, a company I am invested in has developed a sportsbook that is legal in all 50 states because it is completely free so it isn’t actually “gambling”, but you can win real money.

I’ll probably add a link in my signature at some point, but until I do, feel free to message me if you are interested.

I saw some of these promotions but seemed like other than sign up bonuses, they were capped at $25 a pop

True, most of them are $25-$50, but with the expansion of up to a dozen sites in a given state, you can easily generate $300+ of expected value.

Wild card weekend alone had 6 50% in-play boosts, $50 in-play free bet, 2x 50% parlay boosts, 6 same-game parlay insurance @ $25, 2 first TD, and a few others for the CFB championship.

Double all of that if you’re married!

1/1/2021 - 1/31/2021

Excellent start to the year between sign-up bonuses for apps new to my state as well as tons of great promos and arb situations. Note, arb optimal EV <> actual value due to me only hedging to the degree that the favorable line is risk free but only profitable upon a win.

Sign-up bonuses: Optimal EV = $5,500, Actual value = $3,750

Free Bets generated: Optimal EV = $2,320 Actual Value = $1,970

Arbs (Including boosts): Optimal EV = $1,210, Actual Value = $1,240

January net income: $6,960

Obviously the sign-up bonuses generated a good chunk of that income which will go down considerably going forward. I am looking forward to Hard Rock, Elite, and Tipico entering the cohort of online books in Feb/March. In addition to decent sign-up bonuses, Hard Rock has great lines - often the leading line of an arb on most sports, and Elite has great/stale lines on NCAAM.

Unfortunately FanDuel cut their SGP Insurance promotion short by 3 weeks, which cost me close to $1,000 in value I was expecting at the beginning on the month, but no surprise there. They must have been getting absolutely crushed.

Apart from sign-ups, I surpassed my goal of $2k/month with some key opportunities:

The Milwaukee Bucks/Charlotte Hornets odds were flipped on one book for about 3 minutes, during which I managed to get $600 down for a nice guaranteed $500 payday.

I lost $2,000 in the span of about a day at MGM, which was all part of an arb scenario, for which I received a $250 free play coupon.

PointsBet, which is notorious for promo-banning profitable players, was very generous with free bet promos. While I stay in their good graces, their promos alone are worth $500/month. I have done $12k in volume through their site since my account began early in January, often with 0-sum arbs simply to generate non-promo play.

Another great month for my sports betting side hustle. One new app this month with a generous $500 free bet and $1,000/20x churn deposit bonus. Times two of course with the wife signing up. Had a few excellent arb opportunities, but most of my success has come through high volume on platforms that are paying out the nose to secure high rollers early on in the “honeymoon market” as it’s referred to on the forums.

Sign-up Bonuses: Optimal EV = $2,500, Actual Value = $2,313

Free Bets/Promo Generated: Optimal EV = $6,200, Actual Value = $3,480

Arbs (Including Boosts): Optimal EV = $2,900, Actual Value = $3,636

February net income: $9,429

This month the theme was VIP status. A day after my January update, I received a notice from PointsBet that I was eligible for their Platinum tier. This includes $300 free bets per week, and a 5% deposit match for any deposits. The invitation e-mail alluded to the next tier being diamond status, which immediately made me reevaluate my strategy of exclusively hunting for arbitrage opportunities. A week later I had obtained diamond status by wagering $50,000 in a month, which bumps my deposit bonus up to 10% and includes a personal concierge which can apparently get me tickets to sporting events. Not sure what that entails, but nice to have.

I also made VIP status on TheScore Bet by wagering $20k in a week. I’ve heard on forums that they will offer $10,000 deposit bonuses with a 20x churn, which for my strategy is an absolute gold mine. If this is the case, I could easily surpass $20,000 in profit next month from simply churning through deposit bonuses, with the added benefit of upping my play on other books.

For the life of me I cannot figure out how to get DraftKings VIP status. They are on the receiving end of a lot of my arbs, and I have churned through $30k in a month betting against my main accounts. Unfortunately, when putting through this much volume, you are bound to have one account look like a huge winner, and DraftKings is it. Up $10k on my DK account alone this year, so might be why my requests for VIP invites go unanswered.

My arb play has gone down significantly as I spent most of the month finding opportunities to churn through $40k on TheScore Bet at 5% or less vig. I did hit one huge arb on a NCAAB play where the line of -1300 was posted as +1300. Fortunately the book honored by $100 bet. I also hit a 100% boosted parlay for a nice $1k after betting the first three NCAAB games of the day which happened to total my max marginal win for the promo.

My free bets have been laughably poor despite the huge EV. I am generating over $1,000 a week in free bets, but cannot seem to hit a decent score to save my life. I receive 4 risk-free bets from PointsBet each week totaling $300, which must be bet on in-play games. I am 0/16 on these, and 1/16 on winning the corresponding free bet bonus bet. Hoping that turns around.

Really interested to see what these VIP clubs have in store for me this upcoming month!

Raised the bar again this month thanks to some juicy March Madness promos, VIP promos, and several good conversions on some Same-Game Parlay bets. Arbitrage is playing less of a factor than the past two months, but is still a convenient way of generating “play” with these books. It seems like books are getting more astute about when their lines are incorrect, and changing them quicker than in the past.

Sign-up Bonuses: Optimal EV: $375, Actual Value = $350

Free Bets/Promo Generated: Optimal EV: $8,550, Actual Value = $10,020

Arbs (Including Boosts): Optimal EV = $2,850, Actual Value = $3,005

March Net Income: $13,375

I certainly don’t expect to achieve this in April. The March Madness promotions were insane. On one book alone I amassed over $3k in free bets on Round 1 & 2 weekend due to their insane bet $20k get $2k in free bet offer. This, combined with a $10k reload on that account (which was conveniently on the losing side of arbs), contributed to my largest sports betting weekend of +$6,100 in the matter of 4 days.

I also ran really well on converting some of these free bets to actual money. One book had a bet $500 get $200 in free play promo which I bet on a longshot for a $1,600 win! I had a few free bets that were days away from expiring, and converted $200 in free play into $600 due to random parlay betting. I also ran really well on my soccer in-play promos, whereas February saw me go 0-8 in soccer bets, I went 6-10 in March which amounted to $1.5k in winning on a $1,000 EV.

So far I’m up just shy of $30k in 3 months as this system of promotions continues to provide me with a very nice supplementary income. I have a trip planned in April where I had the option of a Denver layover, and had the layover been more than an hour I probably would have opted for Denver over Phoenix even with the price difference due to Colorado sportsbook signups. It is still the wild west, and books are tripping over themselves to edge out the competition. So far still going strong!