There are probably hundreds of websites out there offering you ‘fool proof betting strategies’ or ‘strategies that can’t be beaten’ when in most cases there are actually very few which work properly. You see the online bookmakers of whom we bet against are actually canny folk and they are employed to do what they do because they are the best. There’s no way around it really, beating the bookmaker via betting strategies is tough.
But there are systems that do work. Now let’s get one thing cleared up straight away, this backing and laying strategy of which we will talk about throughout this article isn’t going to guarantee you a win every time. It isn’t going to get you rich quick. But what it will do is increase your probability of success, give you a steady profit margin and keep your bankroll moving in the right direction.
The strategy works in conjunction with any betting exchange site that allows you to essentially become your own bookmaker by using the lay market. A lay market basically allows you to back against a certain result and set your own line, exactly as a bookmaker would do. Sites such as Betfair are perfect for this strategy.
What is Backing and Laying In Sports Betting?
The backing and laying betting strategy works on a relatively simple base with a few technical requirements of which we will discuss later. The strategy works best with football (soccer) – although can be adapted to other sports – and the aim of the strategy is to get a positive return on each result before the game has even finished.
The market in which we are interested in is the draw market. The concept comes about by taking the following statement into consideration:
“The majority of football matches will at some point see a goal scored throughout the match”
Basically saying that most games fail to finish 0-0. It’s from this information that we can then exploit our strategy. To start we initially lay the draw before a ball is kicked. As a goal is scored the likelihood of the game finishing in a draw will decrease meaning the odds to back the draw will increase. As the odds increase we can then back the draw and lock in a profit on any result (this is because we have both backed against the draw (laid) and backed the draw, so all scenarios are covered). Still confused? Let’s run through a working example.
Sites that Support Backing and Laying:
Examples of Backing and Laying Sports Bets
So we start by searching the football leagues to find our game. We find a match perfect for our strategy between Sunderland and Manchester United with the odds of the draw at 3.8 of which we deicide is good number for this game to place lay the draw. It’s worth noting at this point which team is favourite to win. Although we don’t need this market for our strategy it will have an effect on how much the odds fluctuate. If the favourite were to score first then the odds of the draw would shoot up, but if the underdogs were to score then the odds would still increase but lesser so than the favourite.
With 20 minutes gone we get a perfect scenario where Manchester United (the favourites prior to kick off) score to make it 1-0. The odds on all markets will now begin to fluctuate but again we are solely interested in the draw market. As Manchester United lead the likelihood of the draw will decrease and the odds will increase. Perfect! We can now back the draw to guarantee a profit on any result and simply forget about the game.
In principal, that’s how it works but there are exceptions to the cause and scenario’s where goals won’t be scored of which we talk about in our further reading and tips section. Before we move onto that we just want to mention why Betfair is probably the best exchange to perfect this strategy. When the time comes to back off the draw after the goal has been scored it’s not going to be easy to work out exactly how much you need to place to ensure you get the same amount of profit on each result. Betfair will allow you to type your stake in and it will automatically show how much you will make depending on your amount wagered. This is a vital little tool for the backing and laying strategy.
Tips and Further Reading – IMPORTANT!
You’re probably thinking right now that this all looks a little too easy and also coming up with scenarios such as ‘what if there isn’t a goal’, and you would be right to do so. Hopefully we can cover these bases for you now.
- No goal after 70 minutes – If the situation arises where there hasn’t been a goal after 70 minutes of play then it’s time to simply cut your losses on this game. DO NOT get tempted to let the game ride as this simply defeats the whole point of the system. Simply back the draw at a loss, reduce risking your entire initial stake, take your loss and move on to your next game. There’s always another game!
- Initial odds bracket – Before a game takes place it’s important to choose matches where the draw is ideally placed between the odds of 3.0 and 3.9 – certainly no greater. The reason behind this is that odds of greater than around 3.9 will see a smaller jump meaning reduced profits and increased exposure.
- ‘Greening up’ – Greening up is basically your decision. You can choose an amount to back to lock the game with the same payout for each result or if you feel confident that the team that has taken the lead will go on a win the game, make it so the draw breaks even and the increased profit comes from a result either way.
- Be league selective – Each league around the world will have different average goals per game. The Italian league is synonymous with being low scoring whereas the English and Spanish leagues average some of the highest goals per game ratios anywhere in the world. Remember all we need is a goal for either team and we are making money.
- Get in and out – Football can be a furiously fast paced game which means you have to have your whits about you when the time comes. As soon as the goal is scored, leave it for around 30 seconds before the market settles and then get out of there with your profit. Don’t fall into the trap of letting it run for a few more minutes to gain a couple of extra units as in that time it could be long enough for the opposition team to equalise meaning your back to square one.
- Trail run – It’s not the easiest system to master straight out of the blocks. It can take a fair few games before you get a real feel and understanding of how the odds and the markets fluctuate after every goal. Do a few test runs prior to betting with real money to make sure you are fully up to speed.
Mike Murphy is the founder of OnlineBettingSites.com and has over 10 years of experience in the legal online betting industry. A regular attendee of industry trade shows and conferences, Mike is a strong proponent of regulated markets and responsible gambling policies.