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5 Key Ways to be a Successful Inplay Football Trader

Martin's picture
Oct 11, 2017

Betfair revolutionised the betting industry with inplay trading and it is still hugely popular to this day. So much so that all major bookmakers now offer it on multiple markets per match. Inplay football trading is different to pre-match trading in that we have extra information available as the event is in action to help us make our decisions. At Betfair Trading Community many of our Pro traders, including myself, have utilised the tips below to make a living trading on sports markets. So here goes:


  1. Do not ignore the pre-match research - it is just as important as what is happening inplay


This is huge for me and something that took me a while to implement fully. When trading inplay it can be easy to jump into a bet or trade based on what is happening at the time but if this is not backed up with solid prematch research it is not much better than a stab in the dark. Take a couple of minutes to check the pre-match data for key trends before you pull the trigger.


What do I look for from the pre-match data?

  • Check the recent form of the two teams - is what I want to bet on in correlation with recent history? (If looking for goals are they high scorers etc)

  • Motivation - Are the teams motivated to try their hardest? Do they need to win? Crucial late in the season or in Cup/international matches

  • Head to head history - how do these teams perform when playing each other historically?


In many ways pre-match data is more important than inplay data, yet it is hugely neglected by many traders, don’t make that mistake. So once I have done this I can move on to the next stages below.


       2)   Cross reference a match between sites to find the most accurate stats on said match


So there are many different places that show inplay stats, free services include Bet365, Flashscore and Livescore among others. It is crucial that you cross check these against each other as sometimes their stats for a game can be very different. You want something accurate if you cannot watch the games and this is a good way of finding it.


       3)  Know what to look for in the inplay stats - what actually matters?


When looking at stats softwares of various companies you will be shown many different ones per match. It is important to be able to know what stats will help you in your trade and which ones are not that important.


Here is what I look for when I want goals (just look for opposite to this for unders):


  • For goals - shots on target, the more the better these are better than shots off target which sometimes don’t mean a lot as they can be from 40 yards out! 5 on Target by HT ideally.

  • For goals using Bet365 - I want ‘dangerous attacks’ to be 66% total of ‘attacks’, so, ⅔ of the ‘attacks’ are dangerous. This shows momentum and goal mouth action.

  • For goals corners - I want a few corners at least by half time - ideally 5+


Here is what I look for when I am backing or laying a team to win:


  • Clear momentum, more shots on target and corners relative to odds. So if Team A and Team B are both rated equal chance of winning but Team A has 5 corners 5 shots on target compared to Team B who have 1 shot on target and 1 corner, then I will back Team A or lay Team B. Team A is clearly a +ev play in this spot.

  • Odds that do not stack up with what is happening, say Juventus are playing Cagliari in the Serie A it is 60 minutes in and 0-0 Juve are prices at 2.5 and Cagliari 10.0. But Cagliari have more shots on and off target then they are probably worth a bet. Sure Juventus should still be favourites as they generally win at home but momentum is with Cagliari and 10.0 is a very big price.

If you consider the inplay statistics in mathematical terms as listed above it is quite easy to find the value, when comparing two teams. Do the pre-match and inplay stats reflect the odds? If not there is value there!  

       4)  Know your entry and planned exit


You should know your entry and exit plan before you place the bet, if you don’t you can end up getting in a total mess. There are three main outcomes that you must plan for:


  • Odds move your way significantly, when will you green up?

  • Odds drastically move against you, what is your loss limit?

  • Unexpected event occurs and match changes as a result, red cards and substitutions etc.

Plan for all three of these outcomes and you will at least have a set idea of what to do in the event that they happen.


       5)  Back yourself


If you see a situation that looks value to you then don’t be afraid to bet on it. If you follow the above guidelines and have enough confidence in your ability to bet it then do so. I hear so often ‘I was going to back this but I bottled it’ or words to that effect. If you have no confidence in your ability then test the water by recording the trades you wanted to make without using money. This will give you a good idea if you are good enough yet to start staking money on your picks. Don’t fear the market, yes the market is generally good at being priced well but it has been beaten regularly by the pros.


So there is a guide to trading football inplay, I will talk a bit more in depth on this on the podcast this week!


Ak 's picture

Hello, thanks for the tips. I want to ask something about dangerous attacks. Do you mean from the total attacks the 66% to be dangerous attacks? Could you give us an example so to see the time for first half goals? Thanks a lot.

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