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02/02/2007 No.2
Kevin Pullein
Friday February 2, 2007
  No More Goals
If you bet during football matches you should try, whenever possible, to bet against things happening. In most markets this will involve acting as a layer rather than a backer. This will give you an advantage in that from the moment your bet is struck the odds will be moving in your favour unless and until something does happen.

In Premiership and Football League games - to cite just one easily understood example to illustrate the point - the likelihood of no more goals being scored increases as follows: after 15 minutes it is 11%, after 30 minutes it is 16%, after 45 minutes it is 25%, after 60 minutes it is 37% and after 75 minutes it is 58%.

If nothing does happen, there may be opportunities later in the game to close out your position for a guaranteed profit. Having backed, say, no more goals you could now back one or more goals and, because of the movement in the market, assure yourself of a profit whatever the final score. In practice, it has to be said, it can be difficult on the exchanges to close out a position at a fair price - but, curious though it may sound, this difficulty actually highlights the second advantage of betting against things happening.

While a match is in progress, the best odds available on the exchanges usually represent better value to layers than backers, though not often by a big enough margin to cover the commission of those who pay the maximum five per cent.

For the reason already discussed, layers are happy to put up prices - if they are not matched straight away, their bets will represent even better value to them if matched later. But backers are much more cautious about offering prices - for them, prices can become out of date so quickly.

The true odds about more goals being scored in a Premiership or Football League match, for example, jump from 21-20 after 71 minutes to 6-5 after just 73 minutes and 11-8 after just 75 minutes. The same sort of observation could equally well be made of other markets, such as the outright result. For both technical and practical reasons, it is easier to make money during a game if you bet against things happening.

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