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Hedging in US sports betting isn’t so much a betting strategy or method for placing a bet as it is mitigating risk when betting. Everyone has heard of the phrase “hedging your bets,” which refers to the method of giving yourself a fallback should your initial bet lose.

Hedging can be applied to many financial activities as a form of risk management, but in betting, if applied at the right moment, hedging can deliver a guaranteed profit regardless of the outcome of a game.

What is hedging in sports betting?

Hedging is a method of betting which entails the bettor placing wagers on multiple outcomes of the same game. Through betting on both or all outcomes of a game, the bettor is guaranteed a win. It is used a way of granting insurance on a bet, particularly when situations change and the initial bet no longer looks as strong.

As bookmakers’ algorithms are pretty much sound these days, anyone who arrives on a game page and backs all outcomes is likely to lose money unless the underdog wins. So, the timing of some forms of hedging is crucial.

While it isn’t a tool that should be sought out in every betting situation or deployed consistently, hedging can be an effective way to manage risk. By backing two opposites in a win-lose situation, you’re guaranteed a win: it just depends on how you temper your wagers.

How to hedge your bets

There are two primary occasions in which you can actively look to hedge your bets, both of which are rather opportunistic. The most important factor is that you will account for the amount paid in wagers across contradicting bets in accordance with the initial bet’s potential yield. That is how this method enables you to either make a profit or mitigate the loss.

The main instance in which you would seek to engage in hedging is if it can guarantee some profit. Say, for example, you back the Cleveland Browns to win the Super Bowl this year at +1400. They make it to the main event but at the Super Bowl, they meet a vengeful Los Angeles Rams unit who are the -110 favorites on the night.

With the Rams favored, and to avoid missing out on a win, you can hedge your bet by backing the Rams to the extent that you would make back your initial Browns stake, your new Rams stake and perhaps a bit of profit. You want to be careful that the bet you place wouldn't lose you money in either outcome.

Hedging’s other primary use is when an adjustment in the outlook of a game is required after placing a bet. So, if you back a team to win a match but, in the running, a few of their top players get injured, you may no longer fancy that team as strongly. To mitigate some of this new risk you back their opponents, a tie or both.

Betting on teams early when the markets open can be a good way to make the most of a bookie’s true odds, but anything can happen in the lead-up to a game. It’s always worth keeping an eye on the team news and then applying some hedging techniques if you deem it necessary.

Tips for sports betting hedging

The best advice is to be sure to do the correct calculations to guarantee that you benefit from using the technique. You’ll need to weigh all of your stakes combined against the potential return of each outcome, targeting a profit from any win or at the very least a reduction in loss.

While hedging isn’t a primary approach deployed by most bettors, it can be a useful ally when adversity strikes or you wish to support a long-term bet.

Why use OddsChecker for hedging?

For those of you who fancy applying some risk management tactics to your sports betting, OddsChecker has some top-class tools to help you make the most of hedging.

With long-term hedging in mind, we offer expert advice on outright betting before and throughout the seasons of the biggest sports leagues in the world. OddsChecker US also shows you the very best odds at any moment for your selected markets, making sure that you get the most bang for your buck.

Another key element of hedging is identifying a change in outlook or new trends: OddsChecker's odds comparison matrix in each market of each game shows odds shortening and odds drifting, allowing you to identify market trends and act quickly to hedge your bet.

OddsChecker US boasts specialized tools to help bolster you when you decide to hedge your bets.

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