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How do I make money betting on football?

How do I make money betting on football? Can I guarantee making money betting on football? These are questions that I’ve been asked hundreds of times over the years, the popular conception is that gambling is ‘a mug’s game’ and that it is impossible to make money gambling on anything.

Well this is true for a lot of sports, unless you have inside information on some kind of illegal activity then you’re not going to be able to gaurantee money betting on any sport are you?

Well that may have been true before the advent of betting exchanges such as Betfair or Betdaq.

So how do you take advantage of this? Well being able to lay an outcome in a game of football or soccer as our American cousins call it, effectively reduces the game into a two horse race, whereass before it was a three horse race. That is to say that in any game of soccer there can only be three outcomes.

A win for the home team, a win for the away team or a draw.

But by laying an event, in other words saying something is not going to happen reduces the game to 2 outcomes, either something happens or it doesn’t. For instance if I lay Team A then what I’m effectively betting for is Team B or the draw.

The advantage of this is I can cover 2 or more outcomes with a single bet; why is this an advantage? Simply because it costs less money, I could lay 0-0 in the Arsenal v Tottenham game. This means I’ve backed every other score for one bet.

Sounds easy? Well there is a disadvantage of course, when you’re laying a bet you are effectively offering someone else on the betting exchange. So if you lay 0-0 in the Arsenal, Tottenham game the odds determined by the market may be 15/1, so s £10 lay would give you a liability of £150. Let’s take a look at a different ways to make money betting on football on a betting exchange.

Laying the 0-0 scoreline

As far as making money is concerned, the 0-0 lay has its upsides and downsides, on the upside, if you’re betting in the English Premier League, then most games will have goals in them and certain teams have very few 0-0s.

Statistically speaking it’s much more likely for any given game to be any other score apart from 0-0 and if you pick your games carefully, like picking teams with a traditionally leaky defence and or teams that are prolific up front. Or avoiding tight bottom of the table relegation battles, then you can minimise, but not eradicate your risk.

On the downside your liability is always going to be around 14-16 times your potential winnings and the odds for 0-0 decrease at a high rate, meaning the chance to back out for not much loss is taken away pretty early on in the game, once you’ve committed to the 0-0 you’re in it for the long haul but the amount of times it pays out will be high.

Betfair betting slip 0-0 lay

Betfair betting slip 0-0 lay

Laying Back the 0-0

Laying back put simply, is covering all the bases, the idea behind laying back is to back or lay something and then later on when (hopefully) the odds are going your way doing the opposite.

For this example let’s look at laying back the 0-0 scoreline, the difference between this and the first example, is we’re going to back the 0-0 scoreline first. So at the start of the Arsenal, Tottenham game the odds of 0-0 are displayed as 17 (16/1), so we place £10 giving us a potential return of £170.

Once the game kicks off the odds of 0-0 start to fall and by half time they could have dropped to roughly half around 8 or 9 (7/1 or 8/1.)

So lets assume that the odds have dropped to 8, that means if you now back the 0-0 with £20 you will win £19.00 if it stays 0-0 and £9.50 if it doesn’t. Notice your original potential winnings have dropped from £170 but the advantage is that instead of losing your stake if it’s not 0-0 you actually win, so whatever happens you’re up, this is called a green book.

As with simply laying the 0-0, laying it back also has its upsides and downsides. The upsides being that 0-0 odds tend to drop fast, especially after about 20 minutes and if both teams are looking like they’re cancelling each other out, this gives you a chance to make a modest profit by or just before half time.

There’s only one downside and it’s obvious, if there’s a goal before you lay back, then your bets over and the earlier the goal the less likely you’re going to have had the opportunity to lay back. The only way to minimise this is by staying away from games like my example game; Arsenal, Tottenham as these games in recent years have thrown up a lot of goals.

Laying The Underdog

Some times during a season, you’ll get a team that just can’t buy a win, they’ll go through a long streak of losing and drawing games. Their strikers are misfiring, their defenders are making mistakes in every game and so laying them becomes rather attractive.

This can prove to be a lucrative strategy if played right, a team in this situation will tend to pull off a draw or narrow loss against similar opposition and get beaten by the higher placed teams in the league.

Your liability is likely to be on average three and a half times your lay but will be higher than that if they’re at the bottom of the table and they’re playing form teams, but at those types of odds it makes it a much less risky bet than laying a scoreline. Of course you have no way of knowing for sure when their run is going to end so you may end up missing the streak.

Laying Back The Favourite

Okay, so it’s got to the last few games of the season and Manchester City are due to play Reading, Man City need the win to stay in contention at the top of the league and Reading need at least a point to stay out of the relegation zone.

In this scenario the odds for Man City will still be quite low to win the game, say 1.7 (7/10), however this kind of intense pressure game could mean that City wait for an hour or more to score, or even better; like they did against QPR on the last day of the 2011-12 season, go behind.

So you lay Manchester City at the start of the game for a nice low liability, less than your lay in fact, after 70 minutes of no score and good defending by Reading City’s odds may jump up to around 2.2 (11/10) .

So if at the start you made £100 lay on City for a £70 liability, you could then back for £82 for a £26.98 profit if City won and a £17.10 profit if they didn’t. If Reading went 1-0 up then City’s odds would be around 12 or 13 by 70 minutes giving you an even greater scope for profit.

This is a good way of making money if you pick the right games, in the 2011-12 season Arsenal started off the season by going behind in a large number of their games, regardless of opposition. Cup games where the underdog is playing at home can also be good.

Also the top teams tend to score late goals, so if a top team is going against a mid to lower team on form, they can often give away the first goal, or struggle to score the first goal. Obviously a goal for the favourite ruins this bet and so have an exit strategy with this bet. If you’re going to back out at a certain time in the game, stick to it and you’ll minimise your risks.

Keep an eye out for updates on how to make money betting on football in the coming weeks and months.

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