Football Trading: Profiting From Time on Betfair Exchange

football trading time

In today’s article we are going to cover how you can use the movement of time to profit from football trading.

This sounds like a strange statement to make but give me 2 minutes of your time and you’ll have a whole new understanding!

Sports trading markets are unique in comparison to other financial markets as they all operate within a finite amount of time. For instance, a football market is usually opened about a week or two before the event happens. Once the event is in play, there are roughly 90 minutes before the market is closed forever.

This is radically different from a foreign exchange market or currency market. Which is open 24 hours a day, 5 days a week for as long as a currency exists.

There’s a lot that can happen in such a short space of time within a sports market. Especially when the market turns in-play. There are multiple scenario’s where football bettors and traders have to act very quickly. Panic can ensue in the markets and value can often be captured by the smart football trader!

Time Decay Drives Odds Movement on Betfair

In the football markets, there is a term called “time decay.”

Over a 90 minute period as time goes by it gets closer to the end of the game. This is time decay, the movement towards the end of the game. In a football match, the odds will naturally shorten towards the outcome of the current scoreline. For example, if the score is 1-0 at 80 minutes, the odds of 1-0 in the correct score market will be continually get shorter as there is less time for another goal to be scored. As time decays, so does the price because the chance of the current score-line remaining increases.

There will of course be exceptions. Such as corners and dangerous free kicks which can cause the odds to stall in their movement or sometimes momentarily increase. However if these chances do not result in a goal, the shortening of odds drastically shortens to make up for it.

The odds will fluctuate at this time, but unless another goal is scored. Ultimately the 1-0 odds will come in all the way to 1.01 in the final moments.

Should You Trade Time Decay In Low Scoring Games?

Football inherently has a small number of goals throughout a typical game. You will tend to find the most common score line in football is 1-1. This is ideal for trading time decay but will of course depend on the league and the teams on the pitch. Different styles of play throughout various leagues will affect how many goals are likely to be scored in each game.

If you are interested in trading the draw we have a separate article about predicting a football draw here.

Let’s assume that the average amount of goals in any given match is around two. We can make a point of looking for games that have an even lower goal prediction. With a small amount of research, it’s possible to find games where both teams have a higher incentive to defend than to attack. This generally results in fewer goals, so long as other factors are also in line.

For example, this might not be a good idea if both teams need 3 points to avoid relegation!

In a match where the score-line is predictably low. We can assume that as time decays, the odds of a draw and 0-0 will shorten throughout the game. It may be an idea to back the draw at the beginning of these games as that will generally be the highest odds possible unless there are any goals scored. You can then look to place a lay bet further on in the game once the odds have dropped.

Time Decay Strategy

Let’s look at a potential football trading strategy we could use to take advantage of time decay!

We could use football statistics sites to look for teams that generally start games slow and score the majority of their goals in the second half. Soccerstats is a great website to use for goal times.

Everton half time scores.

In the 2023/2024 season. Everton were a great example of a team that started matched very slowly. At home close to half of their games were 0-0 at half time and away the most common score line was also 0-0. If their opposition had similar stats we could look at various way to trade the game.

Seeing this trend you could potentially look to take a back position in the unders market. Reduce your liability on the game as time goes on by backing the over as time increases or keeping your position till half time and cashing out completely. The draw in the half time market might also be a bet consider looking at how Everton set up.

Knowing when teams are likely to score will help you to decide where to enter and exit your trades, although there are also other factors you may want to consider.

  1. Weather conditions
  2. Manager play style
  3. Importance of the game
  4. Formation of teams
  5. Injuries

Is Time Decay Useful When Laying The Draw?

Laying the draw is one of the most common strategies in football. Let’s examine it in the context of using a football trading strategy.

Most traders who are laying the draw will use time decay to their advantage. Some traders prefer to lay the draw at certain times in a game. For example, laying the draw at halftime is a quite common strategy. The reason being that the odds are lower and in football generally more goals are scored in the second half.

By laying at these lower odds, the risk-reward ratio is more favourable than it would be at the start of the match. If a goal is scored within the last 5 minutes, the trader will be in profit as the draw odds will be very high because there is less time for their opponents to equalize.

Top Risks Of A Time Decay Strategy

Although football is a low-scoring game, you can be caught out by unexpected goals. It’s vital that you form a strategy with risk management in mind and have a plan of action if things turn south. If you’re going to be scalping the match odds as they move gradually over time, what are you going to do if there’s an unexpected goal from midfield?

These things will happen from time to time and they will hurt if you haven’t planned for them. Here’s a checklist of things to consider when trading time decay in football:

  • Under what conditions will you enter a trade?
  • What’s your exit strategy?
  • How are you going to protect yourself from unexpected goals?
  • At what point in the game will you be most active?
  • At what point in the game will you avoid trading?
  • When do the odds move quickly?
  • What time do odds usually stall?

Utilizing time decay can be a great Betfair football trading strategy however it is very important that develop a sound well well-thought-out plan.

Want to continue developing your football trading knowledge?

Read the article below…

Related: Laying The Draw Tips and Strategy – How Much Can You Make?

One thought on “Football Trading: Profiting From Time on Betfair Exchange

  1. Awesome advice as usual. I have been watching your YouTube videos and contemplating a step into football trading, but I only have betting systems experience which have been successful with. I think with your football trading course I’ll take the plunge and are excited about the prospects. Many thanks .

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