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.

2 comments:

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.