If you’re new to Betfair, Betdaq and exchange trading in general, then you’re probably also new to the concept of researching the sports you’re watching.
Betfair Exchange Research
Even some experienced Betfair traders and gamblers don’t really do any research and rely more on instinct and/or tipsters to make their trading and betting decisions. Using your instincts to trade in itself isn't a bad thing, but you need to feed your instinct with information, the more information you process the more you can rely on your instincts.
That rings true for any circumstance, be it racing cars or chatting up girls. If it’s the first time you've chatted up a girl then unless she’s telling you she wants to go home with you then and there, you’re not likely to have an instinctive feel for whether it’s going well or not.
If however you've chatted up thousands of girls before, then you’ll be a dab hand at reading body language and spotting positive or negative signs, the same can be said for researching your potential trades.
If you have never researched a sport before, with a view to betting or trading on it, then reading this advice will give you a set of guidelines for all the sports you want to trade in. As you go along you’ll find your own methods and sources and you’ll develop your own unique style.
If you’re quite used to researching bets and the Betfair exchange then this article will hopefully give you a way to structure your research and will give you a few new ways to implement your researching.
"But research is research; right? There can only be a certain amount of info about a team or any given event; can’t there?"
Yes, but ultimately it’s about what you consider important and where you get your information from and most importantly what conclusions you extrapolate from the information (data) you find.
There are three types of research;
- General Research
- Specific Research
- Post Analytical Research
General Research For The Betfair Exchange
Let’s take a look at general research first; but before we do it's good to remember that you are researching in the context of the Betfair Exchange, so sometimes we might spot a first half or early game trend which reverses later on.
Imagine if while researching you find out that games between the top six teams in a league result in very few goals being scored in the first 20 minutes. That sort of information would be useless betting with a traditional online betting site, but when you are sports trading on the Betfair exchange that kind of information could make you a lot of money.
General research is not something that you necessarily do before each trade, but rather something you do before entering into a completely new market or at periodic times during the season of a sport you know well.
For example you could be thinking that you want to start trading rugby union on Betfair, so you decide to do some general research, this may include but not be limited to; the rules of the game, the average winning margin, the average amount of points scored in a game and the way those points tend to get scored and key players in the league.
General research about rugby might look at who the best and worst teams are, who’s on winning streaks or losing streaks, in short it is all the general information about rugby union or even a particular market within rugby union, like the average point spread or average amount of tries scored in a match.
You might also use general research to build up empirical data, so for instance, like me, you may regularly trade the under/over 2.5 goals market in football, I tend to do this in English and Italian football, therefore at certain points throughout the season, I’ll compile a report on the relation of time of 1st goal scored to whether it’s over or under 2.5 goals.
I might look at whether early goals were a factor in games that were over 2.5 goals, this for most people is pretty boring (not for me, I revel in the fact that I’m a statistical nerd) but what you’re trying to do is use this research to spot patterns, that way you can extrapolate indicators from those patterns, after all, mining data is all well and good, but it’s what you do with it that count’s.
For instance if you notice that a goal before 18 minutes for the home side in an evenly matched game, results in 78% of matches in this circumstance being over 2.5 goals, then you might see a goal before 18 minutes, as a reliable indicator that a game is going to end up over 2.5 goals and you would use that to trade. Every ten games or so, you’d want to recheck that stat to make sure that it wasn't an early or mid season anomaly.
A good tip when carrying out your general research is to monitor the Betfair exchange, that way you'll get a feel for how the market reacts after major events like goals or break's of serve.
Hence general research is a great way to get to know a sport and a great way to get a feel for the exchange whilst compiling your own indicator list.
Specific Research For The Betfair Exchange
No research, no trade
Again I'm labouring the point a bit here, but if you are new to exchange sports trading, even if you have been used to regular betting, it is good to keep in mind that the Betfair exchange platform allows you to be almost right and make good returns.
Specific research is obvious in that you are specifically researching the team or market you’re thinking about trading in.
So unlike general research whereby we are getting the bigger picture for a sport or market, with specific research we look at smaller more specific details, like in the under 2.5 goals market mentioned above, you would want to research the percentage of home and away matches that finish over 2.5 goals for a particular team.
Then you would want to cross reference how that team has been playing lately and how they fair against teams of a similar nature as opposed to teams that are meant to be weaker than them and teams that are stronger.
After getting purely statistical data, you’ll then want to get some personal data about the team; how well are they doing in the league at the moment; is that affecting their performances, what players are performing well, who is injured and so on.
You’ll find that you mix general and specific data when researching, but that’s fine as long as you’re doing some kind of research before every trade, remember; no research, no trade.
Post Analytical Research
Post analytical research is the process of analysing your trading results; this if you want any chance of trading on Betfair for a living then you need this type of research. By looking at the trades you've made over the last few weeks and months will arguably give you more information than analysing pre-trade statistical data.
The reason for this is that as human beings we unconsciously slip into repeated patterns, we tend to call these repeated patterns, habits.
So if we find ourselves suddenly on a losing streak, then we can look back into our trading notebooks for when we were in a winning streak and we can see what habits we were exercising at the time and if we have fallen into recent bad habits without realising.
It may be something as simple as when we were winning we were going for low yield low risk bets and now we aren’t. But if you’ve been detailed in keeping your trading notebook, making sure you’re writing down thoughts, feelings and circumstances as well as just the trades, then you’ll start to spot patterns in your thinking and circumstances as well as your trading.
For instance I recently looked at my trading notebook after a run of losses and I saw that each time I lost, there was some excuse to do with my family, I knew I had to do something important, but still felt that I had time to trade, coupled with bad reception on my phone. It meant that I lost trades and looking back at my notebook showed me that all I had to do to get back to winning ways, was to make sure I had plenty of time for each trade, had as few distractions as possible and to avoid trading on my phone where possible.
There are various ways to analyse your data, but you have to have the data there to analyse in the first place, so make sure that you write down as much as possible in your trading notebook.
You can follow the link to my article How To Keep A Trading Notebook to get ideas on how to organise your notebook so that your post analytical research is effective as humanly possibly, helping you to avoid making the same mistakes over and over again.
General research is used to explore new markets or to keep abreast with trends and movements in your usual markets.
Specific research is used to gather information on specific teams and markets you’re trading in at the time.
Post analytical research is the practice of recording and analysing your trades in a trading notebook.
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Find out why you need to understand both the Betdaq and the Betfair exchange in my article Betfair Vs Betdaq What's The Difference?.
The Zen Trader