Trading Football For A Living – A Complete Guide

From a manual bet placed inside four closed walls to a full-fledged hedge fund style set up, sports trading has evidently evolved. If you are ready to jump into the deep ends of the sports trading market and start trading football for a living, you are at the right place.

This guide is going to walk you through,

  • Introduction to sports trading and basic concepts you should know
  • Football trading strategies that have consistently shown results
  • How to trade in the second-half of the match time?
  • What stats to look at during in-play?
  • How to make profits from a late goal?

If this looks right up your alley, be sure to stick around.

Trading football for a living

Becoming A Professional Sports Trader – What You Should Know?

A relatable way to explain sports trading is to compare it with real-life stock market trading. The only difference is that you buy and sell bets placed on sporting events instead of company shares.

A stock trader’s main goal is to buy at a low price and sell at a high. Similarly, a sport trader will lay low and back high with profits, all within 90 minutes of time.

The real beauty of sports trading is that the focus is never on which team wins or loses. As long as the price moves, you are good.

How Does Football Trading Work?

Just like financial markets, you are trading bets along with millions of traders across the globe. If you place your bet via a traditional bookmaker, you are automatically placing a “back” bet which means you are betting that something “will” happen. When a bookmaker accepts your bet, he is placing a “lay” bet against your bet, which means he is betting it “won’t” happen.

Alternatively, you can use exchanges like Betfair, SMarkets ( read our SMarkets review ) and Betdaq where you can place back and lay together and make profits no matter what the results are. In return, these exchanges charge a certain percentage of commission on every bet you win.

The more you win, the less commission you’ll have to pay. Betting exchanges don’t limit or ban your account if you keep winning consistently. The only drawback is that some pose additional charges if you are a highly successful trader.

Football Odds – How Do They Move?

Odds in a football match move both before the match and during the match, known as pre-match and in-play. Prices before the match can move due to factors such as news reports and public betting money on their favorites.

Odds can also move if one trader places a huge stake, in that case his single bet can really shake the prices.

When the match goes in-play, the movement of odds entirely shifts to the goals being scored or not scored.

The Mental Side of Being A Professional Football Trader

No matter how crazy of a football fanatic you are, at the end of the day it is work. You are still going to have bad days, sometimes even weeks. Hence, you will have to be mentally strong and disciplined. Do not let life outside the screen bear the brunt of a bad trade. Trading football for a living, similar to traditional trading, is a mindset.

Maintain your own records, figure out why you are letting a trade run for too long or too short. Read about several different strategies, experiment with a few and see what works for you. Most importantly, get your discipline right and trading will get easier.

In-Play Football Trading

Few things come close to the excitement of betting on a live-match. Hence, in-play trading is hugely popular even to this day. How to prepare yourself for successful in-play trading?

Solid Pre-Match Research

Before going straight in, take a couple of minutes to check on the key trends like the recent form of both the teams. Consider if they are high scorers when it comes to goals and how they had played against each other in historic matches.

Crucial In-Play Stats

Different trading software will show you different stats per match. It is upto you to know which stats will help you in your trade and which ones to ignore. When laying or backing a team to win, you should be looking at shots on target.

If both the teams have equal chances of winning, but team A has 5 shots on target and 5 corners and Team B has 1 shot on target and 1 corner, it is smarter to back Team A and lay Team B.

Look For Inconsistent Odds

Another crucial stat to look for would be an inconsistency in odds and in-play.

If the game is in 60 minutes with scores at 0-0, but Team A is priced at 2.5 while Team B is priced at 10.0 and Team B has more shots on and off targets, then Team B is worth a bet. Check if the pre-match analysis and in-play score reflects the odds, if not there is value there.

In-Play Strategy – Laying The Draw

Laying the draw is an easy strategy to follow – lay the draw before the start of the game, wait for a goal to be scored, then hedge all the possible outcomes and hope for a profit. However, as this strategy is getting more popular, it is getting less profitable.

Another approach to this strategy is to delay your entry. Wait for the game to be tied in the second half and then lay the draw. This way you will lower the risk as the draw odds are lower and profits will be higher if a goal is scored.

In-Play Strategy – Laying The Correct Score

With this strategy, you are betting on the fact that there will be at least one more goal in the game. If you use this strategy before the game starts, the odds would be pretty high.

However, you will find better chances during the in-play at much lower odds. When should you lay a correct score?

  • When the home team favourites are behind with 0-1 and the time is ticking, you will sense a kind of an urgency and the crowd growing impatient for a goal.
  • When there is a one-goal difference, the players will push hard for it even if there are only a few minutes left in the game.

Second-Half Football Trading

While the strategies in the first half of the game is focused primarily on goals not being scored, the second half includes strategies concerned with a goal being scored at some point. There are different strategies you can use depending upon how many goals you believe will be scored and by which team.

Back & Lay

If your pre-match research backs up either of the team, then this is how you would back and lay your bets.

If the score is a tie at 0-0, 1-1 or 2-2, you can place a back bet on your favourite team around half time. Make sure to check in-play stats and if the team you are backing is playing well before placing the bet.

Then you can simply cash out your position once your team has taken the lead. Or if they go behind, you have three options from here – you can back them again, lay the other team or simply back the draw. Choosing one of these three options will depend on when the goal was scored and who is currently in control of the game.

Another way to use this strategy is to back your favourite team if they are one or two goals down in a particular but in-play stats show that they can play better than this. Then you can lay the leading team at an odd price of 2.0 or below. In this case, you can close a profit as soon as your favorite team gets one goal back.

Back Goals

A more safer option than backing and laying teams is to plan trades around the fact that there are more goals in the second half. Start by identifying a goal market that is 1.5 goals ahead of current goals.

For example, if the current score is 1-0, back over 2.5 goals at odds of 1.80. Try to split your trades into two because this market rises rapidly and you want to make sure you have an ongoing position when a goal is scored.

Lay The Draw

When you use this strategy, you are opposing the idea that this game will end in a draw. This can be done when the score is tied but there is a clear favorite who is expected to continue and win the game.

Once a goal is scored, you can either cash out or atleast remove the risk and let your position continue until the end of the game.

Trading Late Goals

Believe it or not, late goals create the difference between an average profit and a hefty one. The good news is that late goals are more frequent, as more goals are scored in the final 10 minutes under pressure.

Due to this lucrative opportunity, laying the current ‘correct score’ or simply backing the next “overs” goal in the final stage can pick you some heavy profits.

However, that does not mean that you can blindly go on playing these bets and expect quick money. So how do we exactly profit from late goals?

Check For Signs of A Late Goal

Not every match will have a goal scored in the last minute. It really depends upon the situation both the teams are in. If you see teams having a draw score of 2-2, then you can bet they will push hard for a late goal.

Otherwise, if one team is leading with 4-0, the match is almost done and they do not need that last minute goal. Go in with a last minute bet only if you see the teams are going end to end or attack after attack into the final 10 minutes. Orelse, it is safe to sit that one out.

Place A Lay Bet On The Defending Team

Consider which team is more likely to score a goal. If both the teams are eyeing a goal, you can lay a bet on a draw or even lay the correct score. However, if only one team is going for the final goal, you have more options open.

For example, if the team that is leading by say 2-0 is in its defense mode, you can lay that team in the match odds market instead of laying the current correct score. Depending on the odds situation, the lay bet may be priced at 1.30 while the correct score may be priced at 1.80 or 2.

This type of laying will be a better value position to take in cases where the winning team is not likely to score a goal in the final 10 minutes.

Take An Aggressive Approach & Keep Laying More

trading football for a living guide

As the match draws closer, the odds go lower. Hence, you will get a much better value if you aggressively start laying bets close to the final goal. If the teams are at 0-1 and the losing team is pushing hard towards a draw, lay the correct score at around 77 minutes into the game.

By the 85th minute if they haven’t scored a goal but they are chasing hard and have a few shots saved, instead of sitting and waiting, add another lay.

By the injury time if you still see a goal coming, lay again at prices which are much lower now. This means if the goal does get scored, you will be looking at a much higher profit for much less risk.

This may look like a heavily aggressive approach but considering the fact that many late goals are scored during the injury time, you will be in for some great profits.

Check For The Injury Time

Injury time can be a smart indicator to show if a late goal is arriving or not. If you are considering laying in the injury time, check for the following two factors – the prices should be lower than 1.20 with at least 4 minutes of injury time left.

After the 3 minute mark has left, an injury time goal is less frequent. So make sure to check the time left because at times just the announcement of time can shake the defending team and charge up the attackers.

Trading football for a living Final Thoughts

Football trading is a relatively new concept that is yet to gain global momentum. While it has its appeal that the odds aren’t stacked against the bettors, the complexity is often too overwhelming for average players.

But just like global equity markets, here again, guides, courses and information should catch up creating more and more participants, eventually creating a massive global market.

As far as our research goes, there were absolutely no influencers or experts who use trading football for a living, like you’d find with Forex, Equities and Derivatives.

Getting in this early into any market can be tremendously beneficial, owing to the knowledge you’re set to gain first hand before it gets saturated, and this is again a disadvantage since there is very little information regarding the workings or strategies for making the most of it.

If this guide for trading football for a living was helpful. Make sure to checkout our other articles and guides.