Football Trading Guide: Which Strategies Work In 2022?

Last Updated on July 5, 2022 by Ben

If you have ever tried matched betting, it seems quite a natural progression to look into football trading.

On the face of it, you might think that if you’ve mastered matched betting, shouldn’t football trading be simple?

Unfortunately, it’s not that easy.

I consider myself an experienced matched bettor, but that doesn’t translate into a good trader.

I’m definitely a novice football trader.

With matched betting, if we simply follow instructions correctly, we make a guaranteed profit.

Additionally, even with higher risk sport and casino offers, we already know the long term value of any offer we complete.

In comparison, football trading has many more variables to success.

In this football trading guide, I’ve done some research on what it takes to be a successful football trader.

Also, I’ll look at some well-known football trading strategies to give you a good idea of what is involved.

(If you haven’t started matched betting, I’d strongly recommend starting with this matched betting guide before moving on to football trading).

What Is Football Trading?

The principles of trading football are very similar to buying and selling stocks and shares.

The aim is to buy low, sell high and reduce risk when things don’t go as planned.

Unlike the stock market which is open for an indefinite amount of time, a football match has a specific start time and ends when the referee blows the final whistle.

With thousands of football matches taking place each and every week, it opens up various trading opportunities.

Football traders tend to use betting exchanges to execute trades rather than bookmakers.

Traders can set their own odds and exit points at fair prices using a betting exchange.

Rather than settling for poor value odds offered by bookmakers. 

What Are Betting Exchanges?

Betting exchanges provide a platform for traders to bet against each other.

As a result, in most cases, betting exchanges will offer significantly better and fair odds compared to bookmakers.

Trading against other people may sound complicated at first, the reality is, that you never know who you are trading against.

Betting exchanges provide an interface that makes placing bets very similar to how you would using a regular online bookmaker.

The main difference, is that betting exchanges allow lay betting.

Lay betting means betting on a selection to lose rather than win.

The worlds biggest online sports betting exchange is the Betfair Exchange.

As the most popular betting exchange, Betfair has the most liquid markets.

“A liquid market is one where there are many bids and offers and participants can easily enter and exit for minimal transaction cost.” (Investopedia).

This means, there are always many football matches on Betfair with plenty of money in the markets.

Take a look at this market for example:

Betfair match odds market

This game between Aston Villa and Liverpool already has over £900,000 matched by the afternoon on the day of the game.

By the time the match kicks off in the evening, well over one million pounds will have been matched in the match odds market.

The volume of money available in this market would mean it would be easy to trade in and out of the market with no worries of not getting our trades matched.

How To Trade Football: Understanding Why Prices Move

Hand holding a red card

In order to effectively buy low and sell high, traders need the odds of an outcome to move.

Football traders need to fully understand exactly what will cause the prices to change.

Fortunately, if you know anything about football, you’ll probably already have a good understanding of these causes.

Here are the main ways in which the odds will change in a football betting market.

Pre-Match News

Team news can have a big effect on the odds of a match.

For example, if a key player is left out of a starting line up, this will often cause the odds to drift out for that team.

Time

As time passes in a during a match, certain odds will change in response to what is known as time decay.

For example, in the correct score market, the 0-0 scoreline will often be very high odds, as one single goal will make 0-0 a losing bet.

As the game progresses without a goal, the 0-0 odds will reduce accordingly as it becomes more likely.

Goals

Goals change games in a big way, and likewise, change the odds of the match too.

Big price swings take place when the ball hits the back of the net.

Red Cards

When a player is sent off also causes the odds to change.

The more important the red-carded player is, the more the price will change.

The Best Football Trading Strategies In 2022

Having a solid understanding of why prices move is just the start of becoming a successful football trader.

You’ll have to learn some strategies to apply this knowledge to.

Here are three popular football trading strategies I found during my research.

Pre-Match Trading

This football trading strategy is based on the impact of Pre-Match news on the match odds market.

Pre-Match trading is one of the lowest risk strategies because there are typically no huge changes in price before the game begins.

This means you would be able to use relatively larger stakes.

The aim would be to identify small movements in the market to lock in a profit.

The key here is being able to research accurately and find information quicker than the majority of people.

An example of this might be being one of the first people to find out a key player is missing from the team bus.

When the media later reports that the key player is missing, the chances of that team winning might change.

Lay The Draw Trading

This is a strategy based on the big impact that goals have on the match odds market.

When you ‘lay’ the draw using a betting exchange, you are betting against the draw.

This means that you will win the bet if the match does NOT finish as a draw.

Once you have layed the draw, as soon as a goal is scored, the odds for the draw will likely rise, allowing you to trade out for a profit before the game has finished.

Of course, if there aren’t any goals, your money is at risk.

So having clear trading rules of when to enter and exit trades is key to minimise risk.

The key to being successful using the lay the draw trading strategy involves identifying games that there is a strong chance of goals.

Correct Score Trading

Correct score trading involves placing a number of bets to open up various positions using the correct score market.

As you’ll know, it’s very difficult to predict the exact score of a football match.

You’ll notice the odds for exact scorelines are high.

Betfair correct score market

By placing a select number of scorelines we can attempt to trade a profit as and when goals are scored.

The strategy requires some practice but can be very exciting and rewarding, with the potential for large profits when the right scoreline hits.

As with all these strategies, match selection, risk control and bank management are of the highest importance.

Mindset: How To Be A Successful Football Trader

So, now we’ve gone through some strategies to use, let’s log into Betfair and print some money!

Sadly, it’s not that straightforward.

To succeed as a football trader, you need to have the correct mindset.

Mindset Blog Post Image

It’s important to remember that if it was too easy, everyone would do it.

The truth is most people who try football trading will fail.

This doesn’t mean it’s not possible to make money.

A small minority are even professional Betfair traders, such as Caan Berry.

Football trading requires a lot of patience as you learn and build experience.

You should keep detailed records of all your trades with notes about how each trade went.

Your trading bank should be only what you can afford to lose and stakes should be very small.

You should only consider increasing stakes if you can see a clear trend that shows you can be profitable long term.

How To Start Football Trading

If you want to start football trading, I would definitely recommend approaching with caution.

I would have low expectations as you learn the ropes.

Trading Software

Betfair has a minimum bet of £2, however, when using trading software such as Geeks Toy, you can bet any amount you wish.

This is a great way to practice and only risk pennies as you build experience and get a good feel for how the markets work.

You will also find your bets get matched much quicker when using Geeks Toy.

Football Trading Service

If you like stats and are good at spotting trends, a service called Goal Profits could be a good place to start.

Goal Profits is a football trading service that provides a wide range of stats and live information for both pre-match and in-play trading.

Alongside this, they have a community forum and live chat area where you can speak to part-time and full-time football traders.

Football Trading vs Matched Betting

If you are coming from a matched betting background like me, I can’t stress enough the difference between football trading.

It’s very easy to recommend Oddsmonkey, as you are guaranteed to make a profit if you follow the instructions.

However, with services such as Goal Profits, the success largely depends upon you learning, being patient and executing trades in the right way.

Goal Profits provides you with the knowledge to get started, a community to reach out to and tools to help you find your own way.