Betting Intelligence Guides

How Sportsbook Bonuses Can Grow Your Bankroll

The competition for customers in the sports betting industry is as aggressive as it’s ever been. Whether you’re in a state that legalized sports betting a couple of years ago or in a place where they’re about to cut the ribbon, be prepared to be presented with all sorts of sportsbook bonuses.

While many bettors just quickly take what’s given and throw their bonuses on whatever since it’s “free money”, there is a much smarter, more profitable way to play this. Follow the steps below in our guide and you’ll see some big profits in the near future.

How Sportsbook Bonuses Can Grow Your Bankroll
How Sportsbook Bonuses Can Grow Your Bankroll

The Name Of The Game Is To Hedge

There’s something engrained in all sports bettors that they want to be (or have to be) right. It’s an ego thing where it feels good to predict what’s going to happen and be correct – especially when someone is betting against you. Of course, that’s one path to take with sports betting but with so many bonuses being handed out left, right and center, there’s a way to win with virtually no risk. Sure, it’s not as sexy as the first way but the latter is going to line your pockets with profits. That’s not a bad thing, is it?

The name of this game is to hedge. Sportsbooks bonuses are flying off the shelves fast and furious. They might come in the form of no-deposit bonuses or when you register and fund your account. Afterwards, you’ll see risk-free bets, free same game parlay opportunities, live betting incentives, profit boosts, odds boosts, casino free spins and more. The key is they want you to bet and risk your money. However, these promos break the traditional equation where the house always wins to where the player can always win – as long as you’re disciplined and do the work.

Yes, hedging can be boring. There might be times where you’re only making 50 cents or a buck here and there. There’s really no emotional investment in the game since you have both sides. Doesn’t sound that sexy, right? Done right, you can easily collect hundreds and thousands, so just stick with us and we’ll help you boost your bankroll from all of these promos.

The Steps You Need To Take To Profit

Open Up Accounts At All Of The Books

The first thing you’ll want to do is open up accounts at all of the sportsbooks available in your market. You don’t have to do this all at once but the goal here is to eventually have accounts at each book that’s licensed and operating in your area, so that you can have access to whatever promos they offer.

Maximize Each Deposit Bonus

Everyone has to do what works within their means but if you want to get the most out of these bonuses, you’ll want to deposit the maximum necessary to qualify. For example, if you see sportsbook bonuses offering a 100% deposit match up to $1000, you’ll want to deposit $1000 to get the most out of that promo. Sometimes these bonuses can be capital intensive, so it’s not going to work for everyone. However, this is the path to the most profits. If the welcome bonus is a risk-free bet up to $1000 and you deposit $500, or if there’s a profit boos with a max bet of $50 and you only bet $25, you’re simply leaving money on the table.

Stay Connected (Subscribe To E-Mails, Receive Notifications, Follow On Social Media)

Once you have accounts at all of the sportsbooks, you’re going to want to keep in touch with them. In some markets, this is going to feel like a full-time job when you’re checking in at each spot to see what they’re offering for a welcome bonus, for a reload bonus and for the day-to-day offers. One shortcut to stay in the loop is to make sure that you’re signed up for their e-mails and notifications. While not all sportsbooks notify you of their day-to-day offers, the majority of them do. If there’s something good, you’ll get an e-mail or a text message. However, some sportsbooks like DraftKings rarely send e-mails as they try to encourage players to visit their site daily to check-in. You’ll want to pop-in each day to see what incentives they have as each can put some more money in your pocket.

One good resource to check-in with is r/sportsbook on Reddit. There are daily conversations about each sportsbook bonuses in each state and what promotions they’re offering. It’s also a good place to ask for help if you need it with how to get the bonuses, play them and maximize the profits.

Shop Around For The Best Lines

Having access to multiple sportsbook accounts is the first entry on our list and while the initial reason you want to do that is for the welcome bonuses, the second reason is so that you can get the best lines on the board.

We’ll delve deeper into this a bit lower but when you start to understand how to get the most out of a welcome bonus or a profit boost, you’ll see that getting the best line on the board at another sportsbook has a direct impact on your bottom line.

Use Hedge, Risk-Free Bet Calculators 

The next step in the process is to have access to hedge calculators and risk-free bet calculators. When you eventually find two lines that work well for you, you’ll need to use a hedge calculator to do the math to tell you exactly how much to wager on each side. For example, if a sportsbook gives you a profit boost on a Team A to +150 with a max bet of $25 and Team B is priced at -110, how much do you have to bet on each side to make money? A hedge calculator will tell you that – to the penny – you want to bet $32.74 on Team B to match up with your $25 bet on Team A. In that scenario, you’ll collect exactly $4.76 in profit either way.

With risk-free bets, they work a little different because you only get your winnings back; not the stake. In this case, you’ll again want to use a calculator to tell you exactly how much to bet to offset your first wager and get the most out of it. 

How To Work The Types Of Sportsbook Bonuses

Welcome Bonus – Site Credit

When a sportsbook offers a welcome bonus with a site credit, you have to think about making at least one or two bets to turn the bonus into cash that you can withdraw. Of course, it depends on what the wagering requirement is but let’s say in this case, it’s just a one-time wagering requirement.

For the first bet, that’s going to be referred to as the qualifying bet because that allows you to qualify for the bonus. For the second bet, it’s usually called just a hedge bet. Let’s say that FanDuel offers you a $1000 bonus for new accounts. And let’s say that you’ve made a $1000 deposit to maximize the offer. Here’s one example as to how to get the most out of the bonus.

San Antonio Spurs +260 at FanDuel

Sacramento Kings -275 at DraftKings

In this scenario, you’d bet $1000 at FanDuel as your qualifying bet to – as you guessed it – qualify for the bonus. At DraftKings, you’d bet $1910 on the Sacramento Kings. Yes, it does get a little capital intensive but let’s just stick with the example to illustrate the purpose.

If the Spurs win, you have won $2600 but lost $1910, so you’ve collected $690 profit and that’s the end of it. Not too shabby.

On the other hand, if the Kings win, you’ve lost $1000 but won $694.54, so your net loss is $305.45. However, remember that if you lose at FanDuel, they’ll give you a $1000 bonus. For your second $1000 bonus, you simply look for a hedge that has two similar lines. Let’s say +110 and -110. Then you place those bets and come away with $1000 in cash minus your $305.45 loss. Even if you did -110 and -110 on your hedge bet – two lines that aren’t that close – you’d lose another $90.91, but you’d still clear just over $600 after your second bet. 

This goes to show that a $1000 bonus like this can be turned in to $500 in cash in a scenario where the lines were not optimal. With some work, you can easily clear $600, $700 or more. 

Welcome Bonus – Free Bet

A welcome bonus that provides a Free Bet as a bonus isn’t as valuable as site credit because of one major reason: a free bet only pays out the winnings whereas site credit pays you cash. Using the same example from above, you’d have to tweak the numbers a little bit because it’s a risk-free bet and not site credit. 

In this case, you’d want to bet something like:

$1000 on the San Antonio Spurs +260 at FanDuel

$2131 on the Sacramento Kings -275 at DraftKings

If the Spurs win, you clear $498 and call it a day. If the Kings win, you lose $1000 but win $774.90, so you end up down $225.10 plus your $1000 risk-free bet. 

Typically, risk-free bets convert into cash at about 60%-65%, roughly speaking, so on your second bet, you’d hope to win about $625 or so. When you subtract your initial loss of $225.10, you’ll still end up right around $400 or so in profit.

Again, the key to executing this strategy is line shopping to find odds at different books that match up. Use Outlier’s odds comparison tool to get started but sometimes, you might have to do a little bit of work manually to see which odds are best.

Pro Tip: Pushes tends to wipe out a risk-free bet. While you won’t lose money if you used a risk-free bet on a side that pushed because you’ll get your money back at that sportsbook and the one you hedged at, most sportsbooks won’t give you back another shot with your risk-free bet. It’ll simply be wiped away as per their T&C’s. Double-check the house rules but if there’s a risk of a push, just shift your bet to something that can’t (like a spread of -7.5 instead of -7).

Profit Boost

Profit boosts are pretty easy to work with as the oddsmakers are simply giving you a much better line than the market is at. Let’s say a regular line is at +100 but they give you a boost to +125. All you have to do is find the best price on the other side, use a hedge calculator and you’re set for a profit.

Remember that you always want to note and bet the max on these boosts – assuming that you have another line to hedge and profit from. For example, if the above max bet on the boost is $100 and the best line on the opponent is at -105, that’s your optimal strategy to get the most out of it. You’re not compelled to do so, but if you bet $50 and hedge at -110 or -115, you’re simply not going to win as much money. 

Free Same Game Parlays

This is a common promotion as sportsbooks tend to offer incentives to get you to play parlays. Usually, it’s not a good idea to do so but if a sportsbook will offer a free $10 Same Game Parlay and will pay you back a full $10 if it loses, then why not take a chance?

Many bettors will go risky with these because you’re not exposed to any downside. If you hit a longshot, then you’ve just secured the bag. If not, there’s no harm and no foul. 

Another strategy is to try and place something more modest because breaking even (losing and getting paid back) doesn’t really help your bottom line. In other words, you could play a seven-leg, same game parlay and hope to cash in but if it doesn’t, you haven’t gotten ahead. However, something like the an anytime touchdown scorer in an NFL game (consider this a coin flip type of bet) along with an obvious over on an alternate line (betting the over on a very low total) and then betting one of the teams plus a lot of points on an alternate spread gives you two likely sides and one 50/50. If this hits, you won’t be blowing your winnings in the club in Las Vegas but at the same time, some profit is better than no profit.

Read the Terms & Conditions

One of the biggest risks to bettors with bonus hunting is not so much placing the bets themselves as – for the most part – it’s pretty obvious what needs to be done. There are communities where you can chat with others on how to do it and receive guidance if necessary.

The principal concern for bettors turning a surefire win into a loss is not reading the terms. For example, let’s say a sportsbook offers a risk-free bet on the NFL and you opt in. Usually, it’s your first bet right after you opt in that qualifies but sometimes, people opt in, place a few bets, then forget about that. You might end up hedge a bet elsewhere but without the bonus, your win will turn into a small loss.

Another detail that many forget to check is when bets expire. Typically, free bet credits expire within seven days, so if you won or lost a bet to earn these, make sure you actually use them up.

Always double-check the minimum odds for qualifying bets and some people overlook that minor detail. If you place your $1000 qualifying bet on a side that’s -250 but fail to notice that only bets with odds of -199 or longer will qualify, then you haven’t met the terms and conditions to trigger the bonus. 

Outlier Team
April 8, 2023
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