Saturday, 11 August 2018 09:51

Stats alerts


We have talked a lot in previous articles about trading styles and I traditionally fall into the group one can call "organic". This takes a more subjective view on the outcome while not completely ignoring the "mathematical" - i.e an opinion based purely on the prices/odds.

I recently came across a stats site The Stats Don`t Lie and I am now using the excellent data there to formulate certain trad entry points. This could the HT markets / BTTS / late goals, etc

Just six trades so far this season but 5 winners from that sample. I will endeavour to post on the Blog a record of results.

Friday, 10th Aug 2018

FRENCH LIGUE 2   19.00

In-play trading on French Ligue 2 


Orleans v Auxerre

O1.5 1st half goals : Orleans home games 69% / @ 1.58........Auxerre away 26% / @ 3.80

0-0 at HT : Orleans home 2/19 were 0-0 at HT

OVER 2.5 : Orleans home 58%..............Auxerre away 63%. Implied probability !.67
Current Betfair odds : 2.02

TRADE IDEA : BACK OVER 1.5 1st half goals > 3.20

0-2 at HT so if matched the O1.5 1st half goals landed a juicy + 2.2 pts profit

Result : 0-3

P/L : + 2.2 pts / 220% ROI



Rescued points: Chateauroux top the table with 25 pts to have come from behind to either win or draw 

BTTS YES & WON: Valenciennes won just 2 / 19 home games where BTTS YES featured
                            Chateauroux won 5 /19 away games where BTTS YES featured

CONCEDED FIRST : Chateauroux conceded first goal 13/19 away macthes

TRADE IDEA : LAY Valenciennes if they score first

The above stat held up perfectly as Chateauroux bagged an equaliser on 87 mins

Result : 1-1

P/L : + 0.9 pts / 38% ROI



LATE GOALS : AC Ajaccio top the home charts with 11 scored & 8 conceded
75-90 mins


 At 0-2 in 2nd half we layed Sochaux @ 1.12.Ajaccio as stats suggested did hit back late on with 2 goals

Result : 2-3

P/L : + 1.4 pts / 100% ROI

Friday, 22 March 2019 11:53



The World Cup is over, the Champions League & Europa league qualifiers have followed, even friendlies are on the betting exchange card to keep football traders engaged, albeit tentatively, yet most of us are eagerly awaiting our real meat & drink which is domestic league action. Partly our anticipation for the start of the new season is that we tend to have specific knowledge of teams and partly because form trends begin to occur giving us some tangible statistics to work with. 

The above  reasoning of course may not apply to you as your style of trading is just as suited to Euro Under -19 Internationals, Swedish ladies (sorry, very un-PC - that should be Women`s) soccer or the backwaters of obscure South American togger at 2 o`clock in the morning.  So what do we mean by "styles of trading"?

Ian Pearson , one of our senior pro traders here, narrowed the definition down to Organic or Mathematical. The former relies more on a subjective approach where specific knowledge of teams and abstract criteria like injuries to key players, venue, climate, on or off field unrest, etc is the basis for entering a trade. The purely mathematical trader looks purely at prices and hopes to find value in a particular market.

Then again, there are traders who only scalp the markets citing live TV coverage as an absolute must. There are those who only enter a trade in the 2nd half or even only after 70 mins has elapsed.

What we all have in common, despite our different approaches & methods, are certain key principles: Discipline, focus, bank management. Perhaps it is important to add that keeping to your preditermined plan - i.e when you enter and exit a trade - is essential. Likewise, it is imperative that you adhere to consistent staking levels. The worst crime you can commit is raising your stakes because you are chasing previous losses.


The advantages of a live trading chat room are numerous. For my money I`m happy to follow other people`s ideas since they may well have spotted an angle that I have over looked. Their "style" of trading will lead them to games that I would probably tend to ignore. Needless to say, with over 300 games played on a typical Saturday it helps to have more than one pair of eyes to scan the card. A secondary benefit is the sense of community, camaraderie and support. This is especially welcome if you tire of being a lone wolf, sitting in front of your PC with no one else to share your experience with. For someone new to trading on the exchanges having the support of others who are experienced traders is a terrific bonus. Frankly, I wish I had that resource available when I started out 10 years ago. I am certain that I could have fast tracked my way into regular profits and not lost so many banks as I struggled to come to terms with this trading lark.


* Readers, you will no doubt understand that in the following segment I will not be revealing precise & full details of strategies. This would not be fair to our paid subscribers!

Bingo: The author of this blog and owner of livetradingfootball. 
My style can justifiably be described as complex on occasion since I often use 2 or more markets for a trade. The underlying principle here is that I like the idea of insurance cover and I am quite agile with mental arithmetic

Gundulf: Trading with us for over 8 years, his style can almost be classified in the category of "set & go". He has created a number of simple to understand strategies using the Correct Score market. His admirable, fearless risk v reward attitude often sees him taking a contrarian position in the market

Pennys & Razor: I have bracketed these two stalwarts together as they both like to enter trades in a similar fashion. They spot opportunities for entering a trade in the 2nd half Under 1.5 market

Magellan: In contrast to Pennys & Razor, Mag (who incidentally created the fantastic Trading Console - see video here) prefers the 1st half entry for his trades. He is our "double-bubble" king often producing trades that win on both markets

Turg: it would untrue to say that Turg trades anything that moves but he certainly is a trader who mixes quantity & quality. He`s the kid in the class who you can rely on to have done his homework

Ian: Since Ian is a pro trader - i.e it`s his full time job where he makes money to feed his family! - it is enough to say that this man knows his onions. To put is less prosaically, he rarely gets into trouble with his trades. Why? He`s spent over 10 years learning his craft and his abiding mantra is "Don`t trade for the sake of it". Simply, if you want to learn how to trade and make a few quid then pay attention to what he does!

The above list is far from a comprehensive one. Newer members of all levels of trading experience join our community weekly. I invite you to come and join us. To learn, to profit, to share. 

Start today with a 14 day FREE TRIAL


Thursday, 01 February 2018 07:58



It has been a difficult month for me health-wise as most of you know given that I probably haven`t shut up about it! But what has cheered me up is the camaraderie of the members who have clubbed together to buy me a zimmer frame. No, seriously, the chaps in the chatroom should all take a bow for their contributions this month.

Post Xmas has seen an influx of new members, particularly from outside the UK. It has been especially pleasing to welcome back older members too. One such, OccamRazor, and I go back quite a few years. I don`t casually award this month`s Top Trader prize to him out of some nostalgic sentiment but rather because he has stepped up to the plate right from his first night in the trading room. 

His "style" of trading couldn`t be simpler - a welcome alternative to my War & Peace efforts - and those new to trading will have benefited from his easy to follow LAY current score trades. Asked on one occasion about his match selection Razor replied that it was less to do with in-play stats but more a question of odds providing value.

We have certainly found value in his picks this past month.......

£15 on its way old fruit!

Razor has informed me that he wishes to donate this £15 prize to the followiing charities: MIIND, Injured Jockeys Fund and the Devon Air Ambulance service



Wednesday, 03 January 2018 06:16

Bingo Bypass Handicap Hurdle


As posted exclusively to members just before Christmas, this ante-post trade is now reaching its conclusion and what a contest it has been!

The book on Bingo`s By-Pass Hurdle (to give its shorter name) opened with a large field and presented traders with a number of opportunities in-running. As the event is now approaching the final furlong so to speak most of us would have exited our earlier positions with a few options still available to stay in the trade to eke out further profits. Here is a summary of this fascinating contest:

The leading runners in the market were Stroke, Amputation, Blood Clot, Death and Impotence, the latter a very real danger to this trader. Further down the field we had Parkinsons who was no great shakes frankly. Dementia, a foal out of Madness on the dam side, forgot to turn up. Panic and Anxiety, not unsurprisingly, attracted interest but were clearly out of their depth in this listed contest; worth keeping an eye on though in the upcoming "Who Gives a Toss" novice stakes.  Myopia and Cataract hardly got a look in. 

After a sluggish start where most of the runners appeared to be totally anaethetised, Stroke and Amputation never seemed to be in contention despite the going being in their favour, so the LAY to BACK traders should have exited with a nice green there. Likewise with Death who gave up the ghost early doors. Bookies, clearly in a festive mood, have offered to refund those who tried to back this each-way, citing the obvious fact that Immortality was not  an option. In an 8 hour race under gruelling conditions Blood Clot was generally present throughout in mid-division. Clearing the red would have been the best move there in my opinion. However, going about its business stealthily, Pneumonia suddenly made an impressive move up on the inside lung. Its stable mate, Exhaustion, while up with pace throughout yet, paradoxically, off it as well, began to ask serious questions on the by now strung out field. Impotence, the dark horse in the race, remained the only other challenger yet, oddly, didn`t appear to give a fuck. Backers of this, like myself, could have elected to let the trade run, depending on whether you felt a clean sheet was a possibility or not.

Nearing the finishing line, most of the field had either pulled up or fallen, leaving Exhaustion to canter home with some margin to spare. A thrilling contest, if the macabre and absurd gets your adrenalin going, but the sponsors, Gillette Super Surgical Scalpel, announced directly after the race that it would be ceasing any further involvement. It is to be hoped that no other sponsor will be found willing to take up any further interest in an event of this nature.

So, it`s back to business on the level playing fields of the beautiful game. This trader is happy to say he will be delighted to enjoy your company once more in the chat room this Saturday, 6th January.

Stay healthy. Stay green!






Thursday, 07 December 2017 03:59

Laying odds-on favourites


Some years ago a fellow trader and I were discussing the question of value, what it meant exactly and where to find it. At one point he remarked that just because a horse is trading @ 100/1 it doesn`t follow that its odds represent value. It could well be the case that 500/1 would be a fairer price on its chances of winning. 

Trading football teams can present similar contradictions. A top Premiership side playing at home on a balmy September afternoon in the FA Cup against a League Two side is trading @ 1.25 pre KO. Those odds may actually appear to be quite generous and the true price should be closer to 1.12! However, change the scenario a little, for example, it is mid-January, the match is being played in Cumbria and the Premiership club are fielding a 2nd XI team since they want to keep their top guns fit and available for a crucial, title deciding clash three days later. Odds @ 1.25 doesn`t seem so attractive.

That is a fairly overstated example of how to determine value but instructive nonetheless. In Wednesday night`s Champions League final Group games other factors (and in Man City`s case included the scenario similar to the one described above) were worth considering when looking to see if the market had misjudged the odds on certain teams.

Below is the preview I wrote for some of the games played on Dec 6th where I felt value could be had in laying heavy odds-on favourites. I have subsequently added the final score and the P/L on each match:



The final round of the Champions League Group stage matches sees a number of heavy odds-on favs who could be worth taking on as LAY material. 


If Sevilla beat Maribor and LIverpool fail to beat Spartak Moscow then the Spaniards will finish top of Group E. Maribor, the Slovenian champions, have been the whipping boys of the Group - Liverpool thrashed them 7-0 on their turf - but I`m not so sure that they will capitulate so easily tonight. I watched Sevilla v Deportivo La Coruna last weekend and witnessed an underwhelming performance. Yes, they achieved a highly creditable draw after being 3-0 to Liverpool but @ 1.26 away from home that price seems incredibly short.

LAY SEVILLA ASIAN HCP  - 1.0  & - 1.5.................2 PTS

Result : 1-1

P/L : + 2 pts / 140% ROI


SPURS v APOEL  19.45

Spurs have fallen off the pace in recent weeks with two losses and two draws that has seen the North London boys drop to equal sixth with Burnley in the Premiership. Already assured of finishing top of their Group Pochettino will make wholesale changes for the visit of the Cypriots tonight. Apoel are in fine form themselves with four wins in their last five and scoring goals doesn`t appear to be a problem. 4-0 / 6-1 / 3-1 / 4-0 victories is impressive

LAY SPURS......................2 PTS

Result : 3-0

P/L : - 0.6 pts 



To progress Leipzig need to beat Besiktas and hope that Porto fail to defeat Monaco. The Germans suffered a heavy 4-0 defeat to Hoffenheim last weekend while Besiktas, the surprise package of this CL Group, saw off rivals Galatasary 3-0 in the domestic league. The Turks are unbeaten in their last ten and are undefeated in their five CL group games. Although Besiktas have little to play for Leipzig do seem too short @ 1.40

LAY LEIPZIG....................2 PTS


Result : 1-1

P/L : + 2 pts / 280% ROI



No odds on shots here but supporting Shaktar could be the way to go. City are assured of progression to the next phase and their immediate thoughts will be the hugely important Manchester derby this Sunday. Guardiola will certainly be rotating his squad for tonight`s encounter.

LAY CITY ASIAN HCP 0 & +0.5...........1.5 PTS

BACK OVER 2.5...................................1 PT

Result : 2-1

Result : 1-1

P/L : + 2.5 pts / 82% ROI


Tuesday, 05 December 2017 07:16

Anatomy of a trade


When selecting a game to trade preferably you should have undertaken a little research - read some preview sites, checked some stats, decided upon your entry & exit points, considered carefully your staking plan - and then hope that the two teams have read your script! Often you will find that they are illiterate. They simply don`t play ball, your best laid plans scuppered.........or not. Recovery from a losing position can be obtained with a little thinking outside the box and, crucially, a good dollop of patience.

Monday, 4th December Trade of the Day Preview & Staking plan:


Alaves are in free-fall at the moment and prop up the table having lost 11 of their last 13 La Liga matches. Their cause is not helped tonight by a crippling absentee list due to injuries & suspensions.

Girona by contrast remain unbeaten in their last five outings, a period in which they took the scalp of Real Madrid.

Girona`s matches see an average of 2.69 per game and Alaves 2.25. Seven of Girona`s last eight games have seen Over 2.5 goals


BACK GIRONA TO WIN + BTTS YES................£20 ( link to market here )

BACK 2-0................£9

BACK 3-0................£6

BACK 3-1................£3





P/L: + £138

Now, as you can see, all of the pre match bets on those markets selected were losers. So how did we end up not only with a winning trade but a profit of 363% ROI (return on investment)?

The beauty of trading as opposed to straightforward punting is that the betting exchange provides the facility to manage your position during the entirety of the match. This can include moves to reduce or even clear your initial liability; you can perform what is known as "hedging" a market whereby you are left with a profit on all outcomes. This is also known as "greening up". You can use other markets in addition to the ones you selected pre-match. You can back or lay different scorelines or the Over/Under goals markets.

Girona were pre match favs @ 1.68, hence the markets & scorelines were selected to reflect the home team`s apparent superiority and the away team`s perceived inferiority.

The staking plan was weighted heavily in favour of Girona with an insurance policy in the Correct Score market to guard against Alaves not scoring. All well and good but there are dangers here. 0-0 is one, any draw scoreline or Alaves win would also be losers.

As stated earlier we are looking for the teams to read our script and thus we have certain specific scenarios mapped out that will allow us to execute our pre determined in-play moves. In this case 1-0 or 2-0 at HT would be ideal. Why? Because the odds on 2-0 & 3-0 in CS would be lower than what we had backed pre match. Effectively, this scenario allows us to manage our position, specifically by reducing our initial liabilities. 
1-1 at HT is not as ideal but not a disaster either. Both teams have scored now which is good; the market will expect the heavy fav to go on to win the game and therefore the first part of our trade - Girona to Win + BTTS YES - will have odds lower than the 4.2 on offer pre KO. Again we have the opportunity to reduce the initial £20 liability on that maket.

Half-time: 0-0.........hold on, that`s not in the script!! All of the prices in the markets we have selected have now drifted so the possibility of reducing our liabilities have all but disappeared. Yes, we could exit the Correct Score market by "redding up" (leaving an equal negative figure on all scorelines) and thus accepting the trade is virtually over and a loss on the trade will be the end result.

However, this is when another important aspect of trading comes into play: Patience. There is 45 minutes left to play, we have already identified in our pre match research the average goals scored & conceded by both teams in the 13 games so far this season in La Liga. We also know historically across all leagues that 75% of all goals arrive between 35-90mins. Patience, brother, patience! The pre determined plan to reduce liabilities can still be effected provided a goal (preferably to Girona) is scored early-ish in the 2nd half. 0-0 still remains the biggest danger which can be offset to some extent by LAYING the fav. It`s an option which will result ultimately in a losing trade but at least not a 100% loss. Remember: think of options to reduce your liabilities rather than focusing solely on what you want to happen.

59` : 1-0. The odds on 2-0 have now halved from pre KO @ 8.6 to 4.1........3-0 odds are the same. We are far from being in a winning position but we are at least back on track to managing responsibly our liabilities.

62` : 2-0.  The advantage of two goals arriving so close together is that the market has not really had time to settle and any plans to LAY have not been executed. This is, admittedly, a slice of luck which can happen as regularly as those moments when bets you place are not matched because of unlucky timing. As with dubious penalty decisions in a football match, these injustices and strokes of good fortune in a trade even themselves out over time. 
Now some daylight is appearing in the trade. The scenario we would have preferred to show itself in the first half is now in full technicolour in the 2nd half. GREEN UP Correct Score for £36 over all scorelines leaving just the £20 liability (and £8 red on an earlier HT score bet). We cannot lose and an £8 profit is guaranteed whatever the result.............but if Alaves score then the trade moves into cruise control.
At this point I generally like to LAY the leading team - in this case @ 1.03 - for £70. It is cheap and reduces the £8 potential profit to £6. The upside to this additional £2 expense is enormous as we shall see later.

71` : 2-1. The trade has now swung completely in our favour to the tune of + £80 should the score remain the same. 3-1 & 3-2 also secures the same profit. 2-2 or any Alaves win also will produce a similar green P/L.
With that level of profit now guaranteed we can "spend" a little of that; we can go shopping with some free money if you like. In this case we went to the 4.5 goals market and layed Under 4.5 £40 @ 1.10. We also cleared the £20 red on Girona/BTTS Yes which was trading @ 1.17

87` : 2-2. Nothing has changed in terms of our potential profit but one more goal will be the proverbial icing on the cake.

93` : 2-3. Christmas comes early

FT : 2-3

P/L : + £138

CS: + £36.........Girona + BTTS YES.......£0...........Match Odds  + £70............Over 4.5  + £40.............HT score  - £8

girona alaves





Tuesday, 07 November 2017 07:26

Pirlo the pearl


The Italian midfield maestro, Andrea Pirlo has played his last game for New York City and has officially retired from football period. One of the greatest midfield players to grace a football pitch he was one of the few who truly gave meaning to the phrase "the beautiful game". It is fittingly appropriate that I am taking time to reflect on the genius of this player at a time when England`s manager Gareth Southgate announced that due to Harry Winks` injury Jake Livermore of West Brom will take up the creative midfield responsibilities in this Friday`s friendly with Germany. Yeah, right.

This is a timely reminder - not only to Southgate - but to all English fans that technique is not the sole attribute required to perform at the highest level. You also need intelligence. The title of Pirlo`s recently published autotbiography - "I think therefore I play" - is instructive in this debate. This is Descartes not Del Boy. "Football is played with the head," Pirlo once shrugged. "The feet are just the tools." The headline image of this piece illustrates the point as Pirlo is surrounded by three bamboozled, toiling English players but seems to have all the time in the world as others were charging about with little purpose or clarity of thought.

The man had style with substance, coolness and panache. Steven Gerrard (who would probably misread that last word as pancake) in a post match interview after the 2005 Champions League semi-final churlishly said that Pirlo`s nutmeg on him when AC Milan were 3-0 up was "disrespectful".  Jealousy, Steven, is the tribute mediocrity pays to genius. The Italian had the last word, however, when in the 2012 Euros quarter-final penalty shoot out, Pirlo executed the panenka pen. Not only did it show ultimate composure and strength of character but it dealt a psychological blow to goalkeeper Joe Hart and totally changed the dynamic of that shoot-out. Ruthless but stylish.

While most footballers on reaching retirement consider staying in the game as a coach or pundit, Pirlo has stated that he will turn his hand to winegrowing rather than playmaking. He also expressed his desire to play more tennis, copying the sportsman he most admires, Roger Federer, a man who also wears the crown of sultan of suave.

Maybe I`m being too hard on Gerrard and his ilk. Maybe the poetry in motion that Pirlo epitomised cannot be taught. Yet what the English players can learn from this most sublime of football players is that one vital ingredient of genius is patience. Pirlo also added to the mix the qualities of skill, technique, beauty and poise. A legend.

This month`s Top Trader prize will not be £15 but a copy of Andrea Pirlo`s autobiography

 pirlo book


Tuesday, 31 October 2017 10:05



Given that Ian is the only trader left standing who has not been cross-matched, redded up, greened up, backed, layed or otherwise abused by Harvey, this month`s award goes to him. On receiving the nomination Ian had this to say:

I'd just like to thank my producer, the director and my fellow artists involved......

If I was to reflect on the trading month, I would say that it is very typical of my approach to trading when I am functioning at my best.  (As you know or may recall, the one problem I've often had with my membership of the forum is the temptation/obligation to over trade or find trades to post rather than waiting for proper opportunities to arise - it's something I'm sure you, Bingo, find difficult as members will understandably be expecting you to pull a rabbit out of a hat every time you show your face in the trading room)

A fairly new approach for me has been looking for opportunities to lay AOHW in games where popular opinion would be that carnage was on the cards (Man City and Barcelona being prime examples)  This stems from our conversation about sides which "Park the bus" and concede possession and territory for the sake of structure and solidity.  That lead me to the belief that often the price for AOHW would be far too short and/or even if the floodgates did open, it would often take some time for the short favourites to make a break through.

The strategy works best when the CS2 market offers some cover as this can usually be obtained at good value.

Careful match selection and patience also enabled me to pick up a few scenarios where we were able to ride down on the 0-0 in the CS market, before laying the draw at low liability in the second half.  Timing, price watching and study often give us good reason to believe that a game is likely to be a "next goal wins it" scenario, and if timed right one can get out with a profit without needing to test our nerves by leaving ourselves exposed.

One thing I really focused on this month was taking first profit, particularly where that was my original aim. If your trade works, take the profit when it's there, walk away and don't even worry about what if's. You know it makes sense !

Variations on the old reliable Vista also paid dividends on more than one occasion.  Particularly pleasing was the fact that I had only two losing trades for October (although I did need to work hard to scratch a handful of neutral outcomes as well)

Another standout for me was the fact that as confidence grew, so did the clarity of decision making and the timing of those decisions. I let the stats and the state of the game dictate my trade, tried to keep things simple and backed myself to make the right decisions.  All the things, in fact, that I would say were my strong points if I was being arrogant !!!!

So, a welcome return to form, and absolute proof positive for me that match selection and patience are two of the strongest tools in a trader's armoury.

My only concern is that this will turn out to be like the "manager of the month" award in the EPL and I'll be having to move house and enter the witness protection programme to avoid angry members by the end of November !!!!!!

In all seriousness, as you are aware, I stepped away from the forum for a period of time. As the clouds started to clear and I returned to the fold, so to speak, I was immediately struck by the fact that the atmosphere, mutual support and general lack of dick swinging is a great practical and emotional support to members of all levels of experience. There are clearly some very capable people in this group. If we continue to work together, we will all benefit. We're not in competition with each other, and the positivity that engenders is a huge bonus for me, particularly given the fact that I spend so many hours working in the middle of the night on events 13,000 miles away.

I hope to continue to contribute positively to this most excellent forum, a forum which remains the only one to which I have ever subscribed in over 10 years of trading for a living. There is a reason for that, and for that reason I thank you.

£15 on its way!

Ian has asked that the prize money be donated  to the Alzheimers Association




Friday, 22 September 2017 11:13

Increasing liabilities


One of the hardest aspects of trading is knowing when it is right to increase your liabilities in the hope of turning a losing trade into a winning one or at worst a scratch trade. In pure gambling terms this is also referred to as "chasing losses". You know the story. £5 on the nag in the 2.30 at newmarket. It loses so next race you place £10 on a selection. It falls at the first fence. Third race you up the stakes to £20..........well, you get the picture.

Trading, however, is a different beast. During a football match, for example, you have 90 minutes in which you can manage your position. This may entail backing or laying in certain markets to either enhance your potential profits or conversely lessen your overall liaibilities. There is an element of control not available to you if you are a straight punter. (Bookmakers have got wise to this over the past couple of years and have followed the betting exchange model to include a cash out function during the game as an alternative option to doing nothing and hoping your initial selection comes good by the full time whistle. Ray Winstone`s east end gravely drawl in the Bet365 ads to "Cash Out - NOW" is now as immortal a phrase as Harold MacMillan`s "You`ve never had it so good").

So can chasing your losses be appropriate or correct even? The answer is based on a number of factors, arguably the most important being your risk v reward ratio. If you are comfortable enough with, say, a 100% loss, the next question you must factor into this decision is whether you would make the same selection & staking if you could re-run the game. In other words you believe your initial analysis was correct. The goals you were expecting but never came, the underdog taking a 0-3 lead by HT can be put down to an aberration of the well researched stats or just plain sod`s law. On another day you can pat yourself on the back and give the trusty crystal ball a congratulatory rub.

Other instances when increasing your liability can be, for example, where you backed certain scorelines and it is still 0-0 after 80 mins. You decide to LAY 0-0 with enough to cover your initial stake that is heading towards the grave. You have taken the view that a) in play stats (if that is your preferred criteria) suggest a goal is imminent or b) the increase in your liability - the risk - is cheap enough to warrant such a move.

Trading last night was slightly left field in that I chose an Over 2.5 acca in three Spanish games. The laibility was £40 with a maximum potential return of £152. Not, I might add, a common trade for me but there were some reasons why I felt there was some traction in such a selection. The technique I like to employ in these types of trades is to make in-play moves depending on when goals arrive. With staggered KO times this technique is quite easy to implement based on the right scenarios occuring.

The 1st leg - Villareal v Espanyol - got the trade off to the worst possible start as it ended 0-0. Even the late 0-0 lay @ 1.25 failed thus adding a further £5 red to the exisitng £40 liability. The 2nd match - Celta Vigo v Getafe - ended 1-1 thus extinguishing any chance of a profit. Now the 3d game - Levante v Real Sociedad - was, in my opinion, the most likely of the three selections to have goals. Therefore, I had it in my mind that I was going to trade this game with a separate strategy to the original acca in the hope of recouping the £45 already lost. Coincidentally, senior member Ian posted an interesting strategy on the same game not a million miles away from my own thoughts. 
I backed 2-1 / 1-2 / 2-2 and after Levante went 1-0 up added 3-0 @ 22.0. The total stake on this "second" trade was £20 effectively increasing my overall laibility on the night by an additional 50%.

Levante ended up 3-0 winners so Ian  (I did wish him all the luck in the world with his improvised, imaginative effort) and I came out ahead. See image below.

There is the rather unfortunate post script to this tale. Making a decision - not lightly taken - to increase liabilities is, as previously stated, a tricky matter. To ask fellow members in the chat room to follow you on this slippery path is even harder. So my apologies to those in the room for not posting this additional trade that on this occasion did get me out of a hole. 

thurs la liga




Monday, 18 September 2017 07:38

Parking the bus

In 1984 England beat Turkey 8-0 in a World Cup qualifier, a game I remember well as I had £25 @ 100/1 on the Correct Score. It was a lot of money to me in those days. It was also a huge scoreline, one that is rarely replicated in the modern age in which we often hear the phrase "there are no easy games any more".

I was reflecting on this after the Spurs v Swansea match at the weekend which ended 0-0 and I suffered a full 100% loss on a trade in which I had backed several high scorelines, 3-0 & 3-1, to the heavy odds-on favs Spurs. Swansea had come to White Hart, er sorry, Wembley, with the sole intention of parking the bus, i.e basically not playing.

As one of our resident pro traders, Ian, wrote in a email to me after that game, "....... there are so many instances of sides being prepared to concede massive percentages of possession and territory and do nothing other than set up to dig in and hold on".  He continued in a slightly more emotive vein that "Personally, I found Swansea's performance disgusting.  As a supporter of a lower ranked premiership team myself, I can honestly say that I would rather see my team make some attempt at active involvement in a game even if that was a tier lower, than watch them adopt this nihilistic destructive attitude that makes a farce of the beautiful game".

As traders we know the dangers of becoming too emotional can lead to lack of focus, poor decision making, a loss of rational persepctive. Ian recognised this and correctly reflected on how we, as traders, can take advantage: 

"What it does do - I think - is create trading opportunities from a completely different angle.  Where as traditional thinking has us looking to trade on the assumption that goals will come (a) fairly early and (b) in reasonable number, it should be possible to identify matches where the imbalance of ability is so great that it reduces the favourite's chances of winning rather than enhancing them.

Stats may have had Spurs ready to put 3 or 4 past Swansea, but Swansea's immediate and obvious lack of any desire to win changes the perspective.  What I am looking at is the fact that possession is no longer a factor in games where it is conceded so readily. Swansea held out specifically because they didn't have possession. They didn't have to force things. They didn't have to do anything other than position themselves and react.   In those types of games trading on the fact that the favourite will have to work specifically very hard to get a goal in front, we perhaps look at a trade which lays the AOHW initially with a view to securing some profit in the first half which we can leverage".

With those wise words in mind I looked at the PSG v Lyon game on Sunday evening.  Pre match Over 2.5 was trading @ 1.24, PSG in Match Odds @ 1.19, AOHWIN @ 2.32. A quick bit of research showed that of the 19 goals PSG have scored in the league so far this season, 15 have come after the HT interval (79%), with just four (21%) netted in the opening 45 minutes of matches. As James Eastham, a pundit with betting.betfair puts it: "This is partly down to the way PSG and their opponents play: while Neymar and co. dominate possession from the start of matches, the opposition focus almost exclusively on putting up resistance, and do so successfully for some time, only to eventually be ground down by PSG's relentlessly superior technical skills".
The game mirrored these thoughts exactly with the score at HT 0-0 and PSG ending up eventual winners 2-0.

So next time you see those skinny prices in games involving the likes of Real Madrid, Barcelona, Bayern Munich don`t think a goalfest, consider the opposition. Think contrary!

Good luck



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