4 Simple Betfair Football Trading Strategies That Work…

Football Trading Strategies

With the football back in full flow, improving your football trading strategies is important. At least, if you want to win consistently…

Everyone knows that sinking feeling, when you’ve just opened a trade and the market goessuspended only to find out the other team just scored.

Don’t worry we’ve all been there at one point or another! You just need a better strategy.

Here are a few football trading strategies to get you thinking. Using them in the right situations is the key to profiting…

Football trading strategies are often very simple (the best ones). To get potent results, you should record your trades and have a clearly laid out plan that you stick to.

It’s just natural for people to hold on to a bad position, nobody likes losing. But you have to get past this phase, as you’ll have heard me say before; knowledge dispels fear!

The trouble is, most people who fail at trading the football don’t put enough time into assessing the situation. They don’t have enough knowledge, but wade in regardless. If that’s you, this post is really going to help you a lot, drawing from my own experiences as a professional trader.

Researching the right things will also increase confidence and success in any of the football trading strategies laid out below…

Football Trading Strategies For Team Sheets Release:

When team sheets and various information is released there is an opportunity. Just think about that for a second.

That’s also why it’s not always possible to have too many ‘fixed’ football trading strategies. When I say fixed I mean a plain 123 process that works on every match. Information and situations dictate the market, as they change we will need to change with them. The shortcut is knowing what to apply when, where and why.

One thing is for certain though; when there is change there is opportunity. Even those with the best football trading strategies know this!

Sometimes a lack of information can be just as telling as something happening, the clip below should make things a bit clearer.

Be sure to watch it to the end, it’s only a couple of minutes…

Exploiting Time Decay in Football Trading Strategies…

The natural progression of price during a football match looks something like this;

Football trading strategies

The best football trading strategies target different characteristics. For example, you can see the price didn’t move at half-time that much, but the significant volume was still matched.

Obviously, this graph is for a game where no goals were scored. The price will bounce around depending on what’s happening on the pitch. End-to-end play and missed shots are often represented by those little spikes that don’t conform to the overall trend, but as with all football trading strategies, it’s hard to predict every movement.

Taking a longer-term view can be helpful for this reason. Much like tennis trading, unbiased knowledge of the sport is a big advantage.

By having a good feel for how the game is going, this strategy can be effective. I should mention though, it’s best to be selective with its application! If the pace of place suddenly changes it could be a good time to scale some of your position out, managing risk in the process.

We’ve all seen those games where the winning team just needs to hold on for another 30 minutes to obtain the points and result they need. Playing into the corners and taking their time with the ball isn’t uncommon.

These situations are where this approach is most useful. If you can find a game where it’s likely to be the case and the odds favour you (laying lower prices, backing higher prices) then it’s a double bonus. The last 30 minutes of any game can get a little more frantic, in the market and on the pitch. Waiting for the right opportunity and knowing your team means this can be a pretty safe play at times.

You’ll need to weigh up the teams and who’s playing, along with their motivation to win the match. Football trading strategies like this suit some more than others, it’s reliant on your level of player and team knowledge, unlike other football trading strategies.

On the Geeks Toy forums some time ago a guy called Wazoo posted this thread. It’s worth a read when you have time (quite a long thread), you’ll see a lot of his trading was in the second half…

It’s impossible to say for sure, although it’s likely this could have been one or all of the football trading strategies used.

Price Compressions Post Goal a Low-Risk Football Trading Strategy

After suspension in any match, the market goes haywire. Traders in a bad position exit and others scramble to open a good one.

There are many different reasons for this, one of which is a stand-out opportunity for me.

If you look at the three graphs below it’s not hard to see when the goal went in. Looking at the second graph in the centre I’ve added a couple of pointers.

After a goal, the price dropped from 3.0 to 1.58. The graph doesn’t do the position justice as the price settled at 1.62. Looking at the graph it looks as though the price didn’t trade below 1.62 (mainly because the volume matched after at their prices) although it did, and for a good minute or so (straight after the goal).

Anyway, it’s not hard to see this produced a natural compression point in the market! One of those lovely points where you can find an overreaction.

More importantly, you get to open a trade with far more potential upside than down. Laying below 2.0 is always a good idea anyhow, but opening a lay bet at 1.58 or even 1.62 would give you the position to have a trade open for a whopping 17 minutes without the market moving. Worst case, you would have to exit at 1.52 losing 6 ticks in the process.

On the flip side, if there was a counter-goal as there often is in football the price would have been back at 3.0 in no time at all (+100 ticks).

So it makes sense to play the odds, right?

This is what makes this method one of my favourite football trading strategies.

Obviously, there is the risk of the current team that scored scoring again. After conceding a goal, most teams are on edge enough to stop the follow-up. Knowing your football and the situation that’s likely to unfold is an advantage. It’s a simple strategy but can be very effective.

Betfair Football Trading Strategies


It’s also a good idea to think about which team scored here. If the goal was scored by the team considered to be the outsiders, there’s every chance the price will hold that bit longer. However, if the favourites scored it was a bit more expected, so the situation is a little different. If the favourites scored first though, the price will be far lower, offering less financial liability for the risk of opening the trade.

The strike rate with this method is considerably lower than other football trading strategies, although, in terms of risk, v’s rewards it’s one of the best I know.

Related Article: Sports Trading Explained (What, How and Why)

Laying The Draw: An Easy Strategy That Works

Laying the draw is probably the oldest, and one of the most known Betfair football trading strategies. Many are already aware, but for those who are not, I shall explain…

By laying the draw you are basically looking to open a position with the view of a goal being scored at some point. Once a goal is scored you trade out for a profit, or at least offset your position to reduce risk, leaving an increased payout on what you think will happen.

Seeing you rarely see a football game without a goal, it’s one of the most used football trading strategies around. There is a risk of over-trading though, so be selective and consult statistics on previous performances where possible.

As with any trading strategy, the aim of the game is just to win more often than you lose. Not to just trade every game.

There are two main things to bear in mind when laying the draw. The price at which you open a position, and the likelihood of a goal.

nil nil football result

Checking the game in question for historical statistics is a good idea. Also checking the line-up for the game. If you have identified a match as a good opportunity for this strategy and they aren’t starting with their star striker, it’s probably best to hold off as long as you can (or until they come on) and get a better entry price.

Many games are still a 0 – 0 draw at halftime. This is the ideal time to open a position as there is extra value in the draw price to lay, it’ll have already shortened somewhat. It’s quite likely the teams will be feeling the pressure to score that bit more as well. Depending on the situation.

Some teams are also known for being a bit more ‘lifeless’ in the first half. And turning up the heat in the second.

As with any of the football trading strategies, careful selection is important. No two matches are identical. Many play this strategy a few times, see it works and then proceed to do it on every game in sight. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to work out that’s the way to the poor house.

Summarising Key Information:

Trading football markets on Betfair is a little different to Horse Racing. In my experience, it’s far easier to just aim for one edge in a match. Unlike the Horse Racing markets where you can place many more trades and act intuitively.

Keeping a spreadsheet to record trades and games is also a good place to start! It will help eradicate unnecessary trades. Think long-term. All football trading strategies will work better in specific types of situations. Some more than others. But if you have one strategy you can apply successfully on a regular basis the balance soon grows. The more regular profits are, the quicker it’ll happen.

Quality over quantity as they say!

It’s also important to make sure you’re trading something you actually have an interest in. I’m known for pre-race horse trading, it’s a sport I like to watch so that really helped me out early on. However, football markets turn over huge sums of cash on a daily basis. Hundreds of thousands.

Having just one or two good trades a week can prove lucrative in football trading, with the markets being so much larger it means stakes can be too. If you want proof of that you may want to check out this post, Paulo Rebelo’s stakes in the football markets are mind-blowing.

So as a quick recap, 3 tips for all the football trading strategies mentioned in this post:

  • Be Select – Football trading strategies are often quite unique to a particular situation. Applying the same football trading strategies again and again to different situations isn’t likely to produce regular results. Be select in the application, it can be frustrating when you feel like you’ve missed out but it’s far better to find something that works and use it less. Alternatively, you’ll use it more, profitless and drive yourself crazy in the process.
  • Keep Records – Keeping some kind of record is always advisable. If nothing else it’ll stop the roller coaster of winning v’s losing in terms of emotion. It also makes it easier to see which of your football trading strategies are most effective.
  • Specific Knowledge – Knowledge is power, in anything. But it makes a huge difference to the results of most football trading strategies. Knowing you’re players, teams and situations will change the likely outcomes of so many situations. If a team is desperate for a goal in the last few minutes of a match all sorts of crazy moves can occur… producing some great potential.

A Final Football Trading Tip…

Never stop learning!

The more Football trading strategies you have at your disposal the more profits you can make. There will be occasions when the opportunity changes and the strategy you were about to use will no longer be of use. These kinds of situations can be frustrating, to say the least, but if you have more ‘strings to your bow’ as we say here in the UK then other opportunities appear in the moment as previous ones cease to be of use.

Trading markets evolve over time which also makes it important to search for new edges as well as those timeless strategies that will always be there!

You can save a heap of time and learn even more by looking here at our Football Trading Video Course.

23 thoughts on “4 Simple Betfair Football Trading Strategies That Work…

  1. Nice article although is should be named “4 Profitable Betfair football trading strategies if you know what you are doing!” 🙂

    Taking what you said in this article, without some critical thinking and knowledge of the markets, will get you a loss in the long-term! Namely, the odds compression examples where the odd stays still for a long time, depends on a lot of factors (time of the goal, was it against the run of play?…etc) and it doesn’t always happen.

    About trading in the second half, I would recommend caution as losses/profits will be amplified comparatively to the first half due to the time-factor: less time to be played means the goals are more decisive to the final outcome.

    Finally, the Wazzo thread is pretty good, it explains things on a macro level without dwelling too much on the details, but it is value content on football trading.

    1. HI Johnny,

      Thanks… Everyone should do some homework! Can’t do it all for them haha.

      The compression examples are the key place anyone should be thinking about getting involved. Obviously knowledge of the game is important too, if a goal was against the grain of play for example it would indeed hold longer at a no-loss price.

      The second half – the second half if faster moving as you say, which is the beauty of it in my opinion. Price is an important fact at which you get involved with this too, obviously laying at 10.0 is just insanity in such a situation even for a few ticks at liability is so high.

      Wazzo thread is interesting for sure, like you say not a lot of detail but its always good to read between the lines on such instances!

      1. Thanks Caan, pls I need your help. I have been trading with the bookmarker for sometime now. I am interested in betting exchange but don’t know how it works.

  2. Great post Caan. I’ve used one of these strategies in the past with a fair amount of success. Keen to get on and try the others now! thanks for taking time to share.

  3. Thanks Caan. I also prefer pre horse race trading but see the logic in using your skills in other situations. Its good to read other traders ideas as it confirms that you are on the right track when they match yours. Keep em coming mate £££

  4. Caan I love your writing and I think the old adage of “everybody’s got a book in them” definitely applies to you.
    I’d love to see you in the future write a book. I think it could really come across well as you have a natural writing and teaching personality.
    I’d also love to help you by proofreading your web articles for you and maybe even your book later on down the line.
    I am an expert proofreader and I can correct small mistakes in your writing which will make your copy more precise whilst still maintaining your true “voice.”
    Get in touch with me as I’d love to help you in your journey and keep up the excellent work.

  5. I’ve used one of these strategies in the past with a fair amount of success. Keen to get on and try the others now! thanks for taking time to share.

  6. Hi Caan,

    what is your opinion about laying “impossible scores” in football? For example laying 3-3 in a game with strong home favorite, for example PSG in French league who have won all their home games at home this season, as I think a draw is in bad case possible, but a heavy favorite receiving 3 goals at home actually not. Thank you!

    1. I would assume they are very highly priced, but in line with probability. I’m not sure what you’re getting at… where do you think the possible edge could be here?

  7. Hi i have been trading a number of years without success lol, i am looking to try and turn this around, do you have any advice?

    1. Hi Sean, that’s impossible to answer in just one blog comment!

      I would advise checking out the beginners school tab at the top of the site. It’s the best place to start for a solid foundation in understanding… beyond that you may want to look at the products on the sidebar 🙂


  8. Hello Caan, I’m honored to see your video on Youtube. It’s great! I’m from China. I’m interested in the Betfair market. I’m trying to learn how to do some quantitative trading with Python by myself. But I just came into contact with these things. I don’t really understand what I need to learn. Can you help me? Thank you. I hope to hear from you, a scholar from the ancient East.

  9. Hi Caan. I am very interested in learning how to trade on football matches as that is my preferred sport. I am not much of a gambling man so I am more interested in great ways to consistently make money rather than gamble on big odds, so am more interested in low risk strategies that should bring consistent profits. I read that you mentioned the strategy of ‘laying the draw’, and that seems like a pretty consistent way of making money, providing a goal is scored. I would just like a bit more information on how you would expand on making more money from that, or even just confirming that my thinking is correct… If, for example, a team like Liverpool are playing a team like Scunthorpe and obviously Liverpool would be clear favourites. If you lay the draw and cash out when a goal is scored, would the potential profits be a lot less than if it was two evenly matched teams playing? Also, say if Scunthorpe scored early on, would it be advisable to cash out of the draw early on then bet on Liverpool to win, or lay Scunthorpe to lose, knowing that the odds for Liverpool winning would be higher at that point in time than at the start of the game because they are losing? Thanks for your time and I hope to hear from you soon!

  10. Still so relevant! I’ve made some decent profits on the timing and edges I’ve found. Thx always Caan! 😉

  11. Such a brilliant article here about football strategy Caan thankyou for the effort you put in. I appreciate your blog and sure others do please write more articles like this it’s a really good one!

  12. Is there by any chance that I could get tips on football matches from you. that I can stake here. my name is Samuel and I am from Ghana.

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