In this series we've been looking at how to trade for profit in the under 2.5 goal market in English football on the Betfair Exchange.
We've talked so far about the best types of teams to trade on, the best combinations of teams and indicators and contra-indicators for games ending under and over 2.5 goals and we've talked about using current form to predict when and how many goals there will be in a selected football match.
Now in the final article in the series it’s time to look at the overall and the specific trading strategies we can use when trading on Betfair in this market.
The Bump And Ride
Let’s take a look at a technique that I like to call the Bump & Ride strategy.
This strategy can be used as a specific strategy or as your general trading strategy, I would say it is more dangerous as a general trading strategy as you’re increasing the chances of it going wrong exponentially.
An optimist might say you’re increasing the chances of it going right exponentially; however because you don’t have an endless pit of money, you have to pay more attention to the downside than the up.
So what is Bump & Ride?
Quite simply the Bump & Ride technique is where you put more money on under 2.5 after the first goal, so that you can get even bigger odds. If the goal is in the first 20 minutes you may get odds as big as 3.8 or higher.
If your research is sound and the game carries on to be a turgid affair with few goalmouth opportunities, the odds will fall quicker than Petr Cech’s popularity at Chelsea and you will be in line for a nice big pay day.
Using B&R for a specific strategy is not bad, I have employed it myself a couple of times; though usually in the games that I choose the goal isn’t early enough to make it worth it; once a goal goes in after about 40 mins the odds will jump up to around the starting odds, which totally defeat’s the point.
You can use Bump & Ride in a few different ways, they are;
Early first half - home goals
If the home team is a big favourite then an early first half goal will see the odds rocket to 4 and beyond. In my view if you employ this type of trading on a regular basis then perhaps you have an even smaller aversion to risk than John Terry’s dad.
Early first half - away goals
If the away team is the underdog you will see those sky high odds after an early away goal, as before it is only the thrill seekers amongst you who will try and employ this as a general trading strategy for every under 2.5 goal trade you do.
Early first half - all goals
This being a combination of the first two means you regard risk as a close personal friend if you employ this as a general strategy, but as with the first two there could be reasons that lead you to believe there will be an early goal in a specific match and no or just one more late one.
Betfair Trading Advice:
In my opinion Bump & Ride is too dangerous to use as a general trading strategy especially in the first half to three quarters of the season. Use it more as a specific strategy, if you see a team has a tendency to score or concede early goals and all the other conditions are right for that match to end up under 2.5, then devise a strategy whereby you put more money on if there is an early goal for or against that team.
Cup finals can be good opportunities for the Bump & Ride strategy as early goals can often be the only ones scored.
Second goals are not to be traded on in any circumstance you are putting yourself in an unacceptable risk scenario by backing into the second goal if you haven’t greened up by then; hence I don’t believe in even giving it as a valid strategy for this market, though I'm sure plenty would disagree.
Boom Or Bust
Boom Or Bust is where before your trade you choose an amount of money that you want from your initial projected profits and a time that you’re prepared to wait for that and you simply place the trade and leave it.
It is the tactic that I first employed in this market, the reasoning was somewhere along the lines of;
Put initial £40 stake @1.8 - target 50% of virtual profit (£18 minus comms) - time target 57 minutes at 0-0 - 75 mins at 1-0
The problem with this strategy is that I was often faced with sticking to the other component of general trading strategy which was trading out after 2 goals regardless of position or ignoring it and putting myself in unacceptable risk scenarios.
I found myself trading out of winning trades because of the times of the goals, which eventually led me to the right strategy.
Betfair Trading Advice:
Boom Or Bust trading is really just normal betting in disguise and is what most people do when moving from traditional bookmakers over to the Betfair or Betdaq exchange. Punters who still make bets with high street and online bookies will also tend to favour this type of boom or bust trading.
It’s rewards can be high, but it’s penalties are often higher, though that does not mean it should be dismissed altogether. Use Boom or Bust trading as a specific trading strategy, maybe there is a certain game, involving certain teams that you just know you can leave for long periods of time. As a blanket, all encompassing general strategy it doesn't work, so be wary that you don’t start applying this to every trade you do.
Periodical Reduced Liability
As you can probably guess or if you have ever watched my #BTTLive feed on Twitter, then you’ll immediately understand what I'm talking about. But for those of you that don’t Periodical Reduced Liability or PRL is whereby your liability is reduced at prearranged times and/or odds targets.
So for any trade which starts at between 1.68 and 1.9 I will reduce my liability by half once the odds fall to between 1.42 and 1.51 or 20 minutes whichever comes first.
Then my next point is 34 minutes or 1.27-1.35 whichever comes first, at that point I will zero my liability.
Then I am looking to get to green up for half the value of my original stake or 54 minutes whichever comes first.
So that’s PRL when it goes right, I have halved my liability by 20 minutes, zeroed by 34 minutes and out of there by 54.
Right all well and good, but what if it goes wrong? What then?
Glad you asked!
For an under 2.5 goal trade to go wrong you need an early goal for either team, so let’s look at what to do if goals go in.
1-10 Goal! - Trade out immediately for around a 30%-55% loss - Exception - If your pre game research indicates that the home team is ultra defensive/low scoring and the away team is low scoring then I will risk staying in there, still aiming to reduce my liability, however because of the price rise, I may have to accept that I'm going to make less on this particular trade.
11-18 Goal! - Trade out immediately for around 20-40% loss - Exceptions (as before)
19-33 Goal! This should be after the liability is halved so we are in a much better place, the closer to 33 minutes the less action I will take as a goal will only see you down for a 0-5% loss - Option to reduce liability further but no need to panic.
34-HT A goal scored after your liability is zeroed will not affect your liability as that is now zero. Though I will adjust from 54 minutes for a final cashout, to 58-64 or 45% of the value of the initial profit projection.
46-54 Goal! A goal here will not affect liability and there will still be room for manoeuvre - I will tend to balance in favour of unders at a ratio of 75% -25% so If it was saying after a goal that my cashout was £20 then I would adjust it so that I had £15 green on under 2.5 and £5 green on over 2.5 (This covers me if there’s a second goal and stops me from experiencing a Zero Point Blank scenario) I would then leave it till 75 mins as my overall policy is that unless it is a specialised reason that I should not be in any football trade past 75 minutes.
So let’s look at the process for applying the overall strategy into a more specific one; as I've mentioned previously the data for under 2.5 goals get’s more reliable as the season wears on. I also have said in previously that I don’t believe you should trade seriously before 10 games.
So I'm going to break this down into 4 parts of 9 games each and I'm basing this on the lower leagues of English football as they have more games and kick off before the Premier League.
OK the season is well under way and each team will have 5 homes and 5 aways, there maybe the odd one with 6 homes or 6 aways and 4 of the other but by and large it will be five and five.
The first thing I will do is go to my Trading Notebook and see if there are any teams that I've earmarked as potential low scorers and/or conceders. I will also see if there are any teams that are emerging as better away than home. Or just any stand out statistics that indicate I should be backing under 2.5 goals with that particular team.
After this I will look at the under/over chart for the three English divisions below the Premier League and again I'm looking for a team that has finished at least 3 out of 5 of their home or away games with under 2.5 goals. Once I have spotted my potential teams for that day, I will look at the fixture list and find out who is playing.
If I'm lucky one of my identified home teams will be playing one of my identified away teams, if not I refer to the previous chart and try and pick out the lowest scoring ones and check who they are playing.
If the low scoring teams are playing the high scoring teams then I won’t trade for that afternoon, if I see they are playing low scoring or high defensive teams, then I will trade.
However the big factors with my research this early on in the season, are current form and team news as these are the best indicators to go with at this stage.
Now we’re heating up at the beginning of this period, everyone has played on average 10 games both home and away. We can now start paying attention to the under/over percentage stats and we can be sure that they’ll be much stronger indicators than they were at the start of the season.
I’ll still probably only make one trade per game day at the start of this period, but I will probably try and take it to 2 by about game 30.
So checking out the lowest percentage of teams home and away to finish their games above 2.5 goals is the first port of call.
Then the trading notebook, to remind us what teams we have earmarked as potential or definite trade material. This is also the point of the season where I can start categorising teams into my criteria groups such as Defensive Home Team, Low Scoring Away Team etcetera.
This is the real meat of the season and as long as current form matches up to the over/under percentage stats I will be risking between 3-5 times more money than I was at the beginning of the season. I am looking for at least 2 games a week I can trade on, but on those perfect storm weeks when all the right teams are meeting each other, I will make 4 trades.
This is the time of the season I may even employ Bump & Ride tactics for specific games; namely whereby defensive home teams are scoring early consistent goals but not adding to their tally and rarely conceding and low scoring away sides that also concede a goal early but also score late.
I may even employ soom Boom Or Bust tactics for certain teams that I believe are completely nailed on to finish under 2.5 goals. Though PRL will always be my number one tactic, the big danger at this time of the season is to get complacent and arrogant, expect a lot of wins at this stage.
Last five games of the season and I'm looking to capitalise, I'm now looking for 2-3 games I can trade in a weekend as I know it will soon be all over. I start to factor in relegation, promotion and medal winners into my thinking.
A lot of teams who have been consistently defensive may start throwing caution to the wind if they are relegation threatened. In the same way that a team that has guaranteed their safety, but know that mid-table mediocrity is their only prize, then you may get some results that are totally opposite of what the stats suggest.
The best thing to do here is to stick to games where both teams have got nothing to play for, or a relegation threatened side (with good defence) playing a top team still going for something at the top, whether it’s a Champions’ League place in the Premier League or a play-off place in the lower leagues, or even title chasers.
So there you go that is the entirety of my under 2.5 goals strategy, let us summarise it below taking points from each of the articles in this series.
When selecting teams to trade regularly on in the under 2.5 goal market we are looking for teams that have good defences either at home or away, these are the top grade of team for trading in this market and we should always be on the look out for them.
The next type of team we want to look for is a team that does not score very many goals wither at home or away, these teams when combined with good defensive teams can get really great results in this market.
Teams that are better away than at home should always be looked out for, these type of teams can yield value as their under 2.5 goal games are coming away, whilst their home games are around or above average for finishing with 3 goals or more.
The late conceding away team is one to keep an eye out for as their games may not be necessarily finishing with less than 3 goals but because of late goals in their matches there is scope to make money when trading in this market.
We learned how to combine these teams so as to get near 100% results but we also learned about how to use current form to gauge weather the statistics we are reading about a team are still valid at the time we want to make our sports trade.
We have also learned about which method to use, how much money to put on and when to reduce our liability and finally green up on our trade.
Finally we have looked at when the statistics for this market kick in and how they get more reliable as the season starts.
With all this information you should now be able to go out on your own and find teams to trade on under 2.5 goals. Just remember that no statistic can substitute watching games and understanding the market by experiencing it first hand.
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If you missed the first 3 articles in the series you can follow the links below:
Until next time, good luck and happy trading.
The Zen Trader