Pre-match trading on Betfair is an excellent option for trading football. There are a lot of football trading strategies around, but trading before the game kicks off has a huge amount of positives.
For starters, their market isn’t going to move too much; you’re never going to have a dramatic football like a goal or red card so you can trade based purely on volume, market sentiment and new information as it comes to hand. It’s basically number one in the low-risk football trading strategies column.
In this article I’m going to give you the best strategies to put into practice pre-match, and what to look out for without the markets. Even if you’re a beginner this should be easy to follow…
Pre-Match Football Trading Strategy
Pre-match trading is known as a low-risk football trading strategy for a reason. It’s true; it is a low risk!
There are mainly two big events that can move the market, and it’s good to be aware of these before going any further. The first is massive team news – a key player out injured, or even injured in the warm-up, and the second is an event that will affect the whole team – an example would be a bug in the camp, food poisoning or a manager deciding to rest players.
Two famous examples of this are when key players were ruled out because of covid and the clubs were forced to play anyway. We saw wild movements before the game in the Champions League in 2020/21 and then remember when Jurgen Klopp decided to play the Under 21s in the League Cup because of a fixture clash. We saw Aston Villa trading at 1.2 to beat Liverpool which was crazy.
Aside from those mad moments, generally, we only see big movement pre-off when a key player is missing. Any good pre-match football trading strategy will know the team news is released an hour before kick-off and then we see the market react to that. For the average football trader, it’s a case of faster fingers first when reacting to this news.
It’s also good to be aware that some members of the press room might get the information early. A tactic I like to employ when pre-match trading on Betfair is to look closely at the traded volumes ten minutes before the team news – often you can start to get clues on where the market is going to move.
Given that nine times out of ten, you’re only looking at the market moving a handful of ticks, pre-match trading is very low risk. You won’t lose ten ticks for example, and you can often run a profitable position for a little longer when you see the volume pouring on either team.
Trading The Football Fans…
If you’re a Betfair user, you will be well aware of the crowd mentality or “the herd” mentality. For those of you that have never heard this saying; it’s basically a way of saying that a few people move early and the rest follow. A lot of money that moves a market is basically just chasing a price – panicking about “getting on.” As traders, it’s easy to use this to your advantage. The best football trading strategies always generally involve momentum – riding that momentum in the market to your advantage.
Pre-match football trading has a lot of mentality problems to solve – football is a cult sport, and we all know the headlines each week. The likes of Sky Sports will build a narrative and that will spread like wildfire. Look at the Harry Maguire situation at Manchester United – I know this is very much football trading strategies 2022 now but anyway – Maguire has been slated so much within the media that if Erik ten Hag names him in the starting XI most football fans will react negatively. It only then takes one or two big players to move the market two ticks, and suddenly the crowd are chasing in the price because a “gamble” is starting – this narrative is easy to follow, but you see it all the time.
Another good trading angle is confidence in how a side is playing. For example, let’s say Leeds arrives into a game with Bournemouth after putting five impressive wins in a row together, and their xG figures have been very impressive. Confidence is high in the way that they are playing – coming back to the herd mentality; it only takes that two/three tick movement to see people chasing the price because they are “going to win” as they are “playing so well.” Don’t discount the fact that football fans are really straightforward in their thinking; indeed most sports fans are. Look at boxing, they are either a warrior or a bum – there’s no in-between!
As sports traders, we absolutely know that there is an in-between; however, there is a lot of benefit to tapping into that cult logic and working it into your trading. You’re only looking for a few ticks movement after all, and at the end of the day, the team who comes in in the betting market is because they are more popular within the market!
Best Football Trading Strategies
There are a lot of football trading strategies out there because there are a lot of options. We can see multiple markets on every game – Match Odds, Over/Under 2.5 goals, 1.5, 0.5, Correct Score, Cards and Corners to name a few. There’s pretty much something for everyone when football trading.
A nice angle to look at is goal times (it’s well worth reading that link). I have discussed these at length in my Football Trading Course; however to touch on them briefly by researching the goal times you can see how the market might react to certain events. If you want to stick to low-risk football trading strategies and stick to pre-match football trading, you can still benefit from the goal times. Let me give you one example – let’s say both sides playing have an average first-goal time of 40 minutes. That is quite late and it’s obvious they are both slow starters. You feel it’s highly likely that we might see a cagey start – and while they might be a nice in-play trade on Under 2.5 goals, we could easily see that come in a few ticks before the off as football traders try to get ahead of the crowd. If everyone expects a slow start, you get that herd mentality again, and you can cream off a few ticks before a ball is even kicked.
Pre-match trading on Betfair is a really nice play to start as a beginner. It’s a low risk so you’re very unlikely to lose your bank – you can make a few mistakes and they won’t be that costly, and it gives you an idea of how the markets work. How they move, who and what moves them and how to find other football trading strategies that suit you along the way. Don’t be afraid to leave a comment and let me know how you got on trading some of the strategies mentioned in this article!