Betting Strategies: How to Hedge Your Bets, When It Makes Sense and How to Do It

To hedge or not to hedge? That is an enduring question that faces every bettor.

Dimers.com contributor David Miles shares his thoughts on the matter and how he guaranteed that he came out on top betting the Warriors and the Celtics.

 

Until recently, I had never hedged my bets, which involves placing a bet on the opposite side of an existing wager, either to minimize risk and/or guarantee a profit. I always figured that hedging would hurt my potential return of investment of a winning bet. This is gambling, after all, and fortune favors the bold, right?

However, after a few close losses on futures bets (I see you, North Carolina basketball), I started to wonder if hedging might make sense for me. It can become frustrating to see your futures picks make it to the championship game only to be left with a losing ticket and a hoarse voice from yelling at your television screen all night.

After a vigorous debate between the voices inside my head, I decided to give hedging a shot for this year’s NBA Finals. I always like to get the best odds on futures wagers, so I had placed a few bets early in the season on the Golden State Warriors and the Phoenix Suns. I’m still not sure what happened to the Suns, but if you see Monty Williams, tell the NBA Coach of the Year that he owes me an explanation.

After the Suns got beat by the Dallas Mavericks like a cheap piñata in Game 7, I was left with my Warriors futures bets at odds of +600.

A Warriors’ win would leave me with a nice payday, but I also was impressed by how the Boston Celtics steamrolled the Brooklyn Nets and gutted out tough series against the Milwaukee Bucks and the Miami Heat to win the Eastern Conference. This got me wondering if I should sprinkle a little money on the Celtics to hedge my bet on the Warriors.

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Before the Finals started, the Celtics were +140 underdogs to win the 2022 NBA Finals. At these odds, hedging didn’t make sense. However, those odds also suggested that oddsmakers viewed the Finals as a fairly tight matchup between the Celtics and Warriors, which aligned with my thoughts on the series.

At this point I decided to get creative in my thinking and asked myself what some other hedging options were beyond simply taking the Celtics to win the series. Since I thought that this would be a competitive series, I bet on the Celtics to win the series in Game 7 at +650 odds. At those odds, I could justify placing a small bet on the Celtics as an insurance policy in case the Warriors lost.

The Finals started out as a competitive series, and when the Warriors went up 3 games to 2, I had some peace of mind knowing that I was guaranteed to win regardless of which team won the series. It turned out that I didn’t need my hedge after the Warriors closed out the series in Game 6, but it was nice knowing that I had a winning ticket no matter who won.

Ultimately, the decision on whether to hedge or not is a personal one resting on several considerations, such as your tolerance for risk, the size of your bet and potential winnings, your confidence in your original bet, and the odds of your hedge bet. If you decide to hedge, think outside the box and try to maximize your potential winnings.

You could try picking an exact outcome of a series like I did or you could select the specific number of games that you think the series will go.

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At the end of the day, pick the betting strategy that works best for you.    

This article is brought to you by PointsBet, which has a tasty 5x $100 Risk-Free Bets offer for new customers!

 
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