Monday, Oct. 20, 2014

Laying Short Priced Favourites

Betfair ArticlesOne of the strategies that I often employ is to lay very short priced favourites with the sole intention of backing them later on in the event. Let me explain, let us say that you are looking at a tennis match between Roger Federer and a low ranked unseeded player in a first round match at Wimbledon. Federer is the reigning champion and one of the most gifted players ever to hold a racket and his opponent basically has no or very little chance.

The odds of 1.04 on the exchanges reflects the Swiss players supremacy and expected victory. But you have to understand that despite Federer’s supremacy and his almost certain victory, he is after all going up against another top tennis player. He is not playing some semi decent local club player. This means that there will likely be periods in the match where he will not dominate his opponent.

When you look at the result of a tennis match like this and it reads 7-5,6-4, 6-0, it looks pretty convincing for the winner. Of course over the entire space of the match, that is what it is. But if we were to break the match down into periods then what tends to reveal itself is that the weaker opponent will have good spells.

What looking at the overall result will not show was that Federer was 5-5 in the first set and a break of serve down in the second set. It is these periods that will have a profound effect on the relative prices of both competitors on the betting exchanges.

A clear betting exchange strategy now presents itself. When you LAY any competitor at a massively short price and 1.04 is a massive 1-25, your maximum potential downside is known. If you back Federer at 1.04 for £100 then you only stand to win £4. But the reverse is true when you are laying. If you Lay Federer to that same £100 and he wins then your liability is only £4.

In fact, it is less than £4 because if things fail to go your way and Federer just simply steam rollers his opponent and his price quickly shortens to 1.01 and stays there, you can still back Federer at this price to reduce your losses. But if as expected, the match enters one of those phases where Federer is playing loosely or hasn’t warmed up yet or maybe is lacking motivation against his journeyman opponent, then his “well up for it” opposition may start to enjoy relative success in various stages of the match.

When Federer’s price hits 1.10 when it is 5-5 in the first set then you can back him for that same £100 to win £10 should he win and thus lock in a bet to nothing. Many events in various sports that have overwhelming favourites follow this pattern where the supposed “no hoper” will have a decent spell in the match and profits on the betting exchanges can accrue from those who are smart enough to do the exact opposite of what everyone else is doing.