Top Online Sportsbook Betting Market Tactics I - The Bet Lay

Written by SportsbookKS
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Have You Ever Wanted A Free Bet On Something? Top Online Sportsbook Betting Markets Offer That Opportunity
Have you ever wanted to get a free bet on something? Duh, who hasn`t.

With a betting exchange, it`s actually fairly easy. Simply place a bet for longer odds than a lay of the same size. OK, that does sounds a little bit tricky, since there is typically a bit of a gap between the best bet offer and the best lay offer.

There are two main ways of getting free money out of a bet/lay combination. The first is with simultaneous offers in a static market, the other is using momentum.

We`ll start by looking at simultaneous offers, because it`s the easiest way of doing it. In it`s most basic form, you put an offer in to back at slightly shorter odds than the current best back offer, and a lay offer in at slightly longer odds than the current best lay offer.

For example:

To win the Formula One Grand Prix.

Michael Schumacher back 1.5 lay 1.6
(these are the best offer available if you want to back or lay right now - instead, we are going to place an offer and wait for it to fill).

So, let`s try to take both sides:

Place a back offer of 1 unit at 1.58 (since a lay bet is actually taking the other side of the best unfilled back offer - in this case 1.6)
Place a lay offer of 1 unit at 1.52 (since a back bet is actually taking the other side of the best unfilled lay offer)

Then we wait. Hopefully, people come along and take both of our offers. That way, if Schumacher wins, we collect 1.58 on our back and pay out 1.52 on our lay for a free 0.06. Of course, we could have laid a slightly larger bet than we made to get say 0.03 no matter what the result is - betfair will show you your profit / liability when submitting your offers, so you can play around with the numbers until you get the combination you want. It might not sound like much, but it`s a sure thing when you get it right.

Ahh, there`s the problem with this - if the market moves against you, you might be left "naked". Let`s take our example. We got our 1.58 back bet filled, but then the odds on Schumy got longer (for whatever reason) so our lay offer at 1.52 never got filled. It`s not a loss, we still get 1.58 if Schumacher wins, but it`s not desireable.

There are a few ways you can make a naked position less likely.

Look for large markets. By this I mean markets in which there are plenty of unfilled orders on both sides (big events in popular sports are always good for this, obscure events are not). This means not only are the prices not likely to change quickly, but that there are probably a lot of people taking offers (like yours)

Look for markets with a little wiggle room. By this I mean markets with a few increments of spread between the bet and lay offers - 1.52 / 1.54 is no good because there`s no room for you to squeeze in the middle. 3.00 / 4.50 is very good, because you have plenty of room to increase your offers. In general though, the bigger the spread, the less liquid the market, just like on the stock exchange.

Look for relatively stable markets (unless you have nerves of steel). This means look for things where people`s opinions won`t suddenly change. Events that won`t happen for a while are good (for example, if you place your offers on Thursday for a football match happening on Sunday, you`re not likely to have the market slide too much against you, and still have plenty of time to fill your offers). That said, doing this on events that don`t get decided for a while (like the Superbowl, or British Premier League championship) ties up your money. Even though you can get good returns, it takes a while before your money is free again.

The other way of bet / laying is momentum trading. It is more risky, and takes more knowledge and information. But the rewards can be much higher. Basically, you take the side of a bet that you are fairly sure the odds will move away from. When the odds do move in your favour, you cover by taking the other side.

For example, in week 8, I bet on the Falcons to win Superbowl 39. I think I got my money on at about 12.00. By the time the divisional championships came about, I laid a bet of about twice my original stake on the Falcons at 5.00. This meant that I was in the money no matter what happened in the divisional championships (Falcons win, I collect 12.00 and pay out 10.00 - Falcons lose I collect 2 from the lay and lose 1 on the bet).

You can do this on matches as the happen, but it`s much more hectic, and relies on quick reactions and paying attention - two things I am not good at. I will try and get a better In Play trader to write an article about this sort of thing. I am going to stick to on going events like the British Premier League, and tennis championships, that sort of thing.

So, that`s the two ways of Backing and Laying the same selection to get a risk free profit. I use it as a way of making money I am not betting do a bit of work for me. Worst case is that you`re caught with a bet on something (I`ve found myself watching Italian soccer with great interest because I didn`t manage to cover a position on Juventus to beat Roma), but if you`re careful, you can pick up a surprising amount of free money this way.


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