Sports Betting’s Most Asked Question: When Should You Cash Out Your Bets?

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Whenever you place a sports bet, it really ought to be based on something.

It could be a data-driven pick, a tip from somebody else, or just a gut instinct wager, but there is generally a reason why you pick Team A to beat the spread or Player B to defeat their opponent.

And so it does beg the question: why would you cash out your bets?

You can visit a sports news site, do all your research on form, team news, injuries, and the like, and then place your wager(s) accordingly. So is there ever any value in cashing out?

There are a couple of things to remember here. When a sportsbook offers you a cash-out value, it will never be a fair and accurate reflection of the market odds – even these ‘go away’ offers have a charge built into them.

Here’s the other thing: a bookmaker will tempt you with a cash-out figure because they don’t want you to let your bets run to the end. Why would they pay out 100% of your profit when they can entice you with maybe 70% of your payout…? Or perhaps even less than that.

As you may have guessed, most betting pros have a downer on the cash-out function, but it’s important to remember that wagering is fluid – things can happen that make the cash-out offer a value proposition. 

And don’t forget: one of the keys to successful sports betting is looking after your bankroll. Sometimes, cutting your losses by cashing out can be a clever play.

Everything Changes

Whenever you place a sports bet, you should try to follow the action in-play. That doesn’t necessarily mean watching the match on TV, but you should try and track the stats and any significant incidents that occur.

These happenings feed into the perceived value of any cash-out offer you may be tempted by. If Tom Brady picks up an injury, is your wager more or less likely to land? If Mo Salah receives a red card, how does that affect your cash out?

The beauty of cashing out is that it lets you take a position in a game and see if you are in a positive or negative space – your decision to cash out or not will be based upon these ‘live’ variables.

Playing the Percentages

Remember, your cash-out offer will be reflected by the odds offered in-running.

As you know, betting odds reflect probability – we can even translate the odds into implied probabilities, which give us an idea of whether a selection is a value play or not.

And the same principles apply when the action is underway, so make sure your sportsbook shows live odds to keep you well informed. 

Hedging Your Bets

There is another option that acts as a sort of cash out without taking the sportsbook’s often meager offer.

Let’s say you have wagered on the LA Lakers with a -5.5-point spread against the Houston Rockets. As the game unfolds, Los Angeles takes a handsome lead, and your wager is looking good. 

But rather than taking the cash-out offer, you could now back Houston with a + handicap in-play – enabling you to profit no matter what the outcome of the match. 

This is called hedging, and it’s an excellent weapon for bettors to use – often rendering cash-out obsolete. 


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