Bet Matching Does The Business

I carried on with the trading as normal today, though my performance wasn't great. I had some excellent trades but these were countered by some equally large poor ones. Still, I managed to run up a profit of £15, though that was more to do with trading out of a bet matching position than a planned trade.

Some of you are familiar with the Bet365 4/1+ horse racing offers and my spreadsheet I use to capitalise on them. One of the great things about this offer is that Bet365's SP guarantee still applies. So, having backed with them, if your runner wins at a higher SP, then that's what you get paid out at.

As far as the the 4/1+ offer is concerned, they way I approach these races is to overlay so that, if the runner loses, I'll win £2.50 (5% from a £50 stake) after commission, safe in the knowledge that if it wins, I'll get a free £50 bet from Bet365.

Having placed my positions on Bet365 and Betfair, one might cross one's fingers hoping that the pick will then drift like a barge before the off (so that the SP is higher than the original price taken) and then the animal goes on to win for a bumper payout. However, as a trader, sitting watching the ladder on my software as the price on Betfair moves well into a green position, I can't help think that there should be a way of capitialising on that drift.

The first featured race today, the 3:55 from Salisbury, was an excellent example of this and gave me the opportunity to try something out.

Twenty minutes before the off, I had backed 'Cill Rialaig' on Bet365 at odds of 10.00 and was gradually laying off on Betfair at various prices below that. I only had £10 to go when it started to drift, so I got rid of the rest at odds of 11.00 giving me average odds of 9.91.

That in itself is a decent spread as a loser would see me make my 5% target and a winner would give a loss of £42.39 which could easily be made up with the free bet in the following race.

However, over the next 15 minutes, 'Cill Rialaig' drifted out to 14.0 - 14.5. Looking at the ladder, I was in a position to green up for over £15. Keep in mind though that the lay on Betfair is there to counter the back on Bet365. So I couldn't simply trade out as I'd have £50 riding on the horse at the bookmakers.

If I traded out, I'd have to place another lay to take care of the bet over at Bet365. However, this would result in a spread of 10.0/14.0. Under normal circumstances, one should never bet match these offers with such a spread. For example, these figures would result in a £2.50 profit in the event of a loser, but a £268 LOSS in the event of a winner. Granted, there would be a free bet to come, but it would be extraordinarily difficult to recoup that money with the freebie.

Sometimes though, it can be difficult to avoid a poor spread when bet matching these offers. However, this excessive liability in the event of a winning pick can be nullified by BACKING the horse on Betfair.

So, to summarise, this is what I did...

1. BACKED 'Cill Rialaig' @ 10.00 on Bet365
2. LAID @ 9.91 on Betfair
3. BACKED @ 14.0 and 14.50 to green up some £16 before commission and thus canceling out the lay in step 2.
4. LAID @ 14.00 on Betfair in order to close the matched bet. I could have waited for the odds to drop further in order to improve the spread, but time was pushing on by this point.
5. BACKED @ 14.50 for £20 on Betfair in order to reduce the large liability that this odds spread produced in the event of a winner.

Doing all this produced a greened up profit of £16 through the 'trade' and, by backing £20 @ 14.50 the return in the event of a win was changed from a loss of £286 to a PROFIT of £1.58. There would be a liability of £16 in the event of a loser. However, this was covered by the 'trade'.

Also, keep in mind that as the horse had drifted significantly the SP, in all likelihood, would be higher than the 10.0 I had taken. This in itself was another reason for doing the 'trade'.

In the event, the odds came in a bit prior to the off, but the SP was 11.0 and the horse went on to win. Which meant I won a net £51. Result! With a freebie to come, I decent return was assured.

It is interesting to note that if I hadn't went through the process described above, I would have obtained an effective spread of 11.0/9.91 and a profit of £7 with a free bet to follow. I was doing this 'on the hoof' so the numbers are not optimised, but the general principle holds true. I think it may well prove to be a valid option on those occasions where a major drift occurs after setting up the matched bet.

With this success in mind, I was looking forward to an evening of matched betting the live greyhound meeting from Belle Vue. Unfortunately this was spoiled by my pick in the second race being involved in a dead heat.

This resulted in a loss of £13, which is no big deal as that sort of sum is easily recoverable doing this. No, the main cost of a dead heat is when the effective odds drop below 3.00 which is the minimum required by Bet365 for the free bet to be awarded. I had taken my pick at 5.00 so I didn't get the free bet.

In the end, I came away with a profit of £2.60. Scant reward to show for an evening's work, but I'm not going to let it spoil what has been an excellent day.


PhilipH said...

Phew! You certainly earn your trading dosh Alistair.

Cheers, Phil

Alistair said...

Cheers Phil. I certainly wish trading was as straight forward and consistent as matched betting.