Lock Betting Term Meaning

The betting term ‘lock’ is used to describe a bet that is considered to be a sure thing by the punter.

A ‘lock’ bet is interesting in that it’s subjective. Punter A may state that he has a ‘lock’, but Punter B may not necessarily agree. For instance, many sports bettors down the years would have agreed the following bets were all locks:

  • Rowdy Ronda Rousey to win vs Holly Holm at UFC 193
  • Iron Mike Tyson to win vs James Buster Douglas
  • South Africa to win vs Japan (2015 Rugby Union World Cup)
  • Russia Men to win vs US Men (Ice hockey - 1980 Moscow Olympics)

As history has shown, nothing is ever 100% guaranteed in the world of sports betting. Each one of these “locks” went on to lose their respective matches (or fights).

How to Spot Lock Bets

Serious punters, wise guys and sharps will use their own personal methods to find ‘lock’ bets but the general process involves ‘identifying’ potential wagers and then ‘selecting’ their locks.

To identify potential lock bets:

  • Look for situations where the best in any given sport are matched against extreme underdogs. For example, in English football, this can happen in the FA Cup if a team from the Premier League is playing at home against a non-league outfit.
  • Horses running in races in which the quality of the field is inferior to the chalk.
  • Situations where something improbable has happened to change the odds. For example, if a boxer who came in favourite has lost the first six rounds, betting on his opponent could be a lock.
  • Live/in-play bets where one team or athlete has a large advantage or lead over competitors.

The identification of potential lock bets is relatively easy because each one will be a heavy favourite. It is the selection process that requires more due diligence on the bettor’s part. For example, Monty’s Mountain is a 1/10 favourite to win the 4.30 at Chepstow. 

On an individual basis, this looks like a good lock bet. However, let’s assume you found twenty different bets and each one had the favourite at 1/10. The probability is that at least one or two will not win.

Knowledge and research is the answer to selecting the best locks. There are no shortcuts. Top punters will take advantage of the wealth of statistics and analytical data to dissect each of the variables. After putting in the effort to meticulously research their bets, then a true value lock can be found.

Advantages & Disadvantages of Lock Bets

The advantages of lock bets include:

  • Outcomes are highly probably to occur.
  • They’re relatively easy to find, especially when live/in-play betting is considered.
  • Good for building accumulators.
  • Can be used as bankers on multiple bets

The disadvantages of lock bets are:

  • Black swan events do happen and can be costly when they do.
  • Very low odds.
  • High stakes required if single betting.
  • One bad call can wipe out the profit on dozens of previous wins due to the risk/reward ratio.

Lock Betting FAQ

What is a lock bet?

A lock bet is used to describe a bet that is considered to be a sure thing.

What are the advantages of lock bets?

The advantages of lock bets are outcomes are highly probably to occur, useful for accumulators and lock bets can be used as bankers on multiple bets.

What are the disadvantages of lock bets?

The disadvantages of lock bets is low odds, high stakes required and an upset can put a big dent in your bankroll.