Every punter is always looking for a value bet, but what exactly is value?
Well the definition of value is when the odds or spread are greater than the true chance of the player/team/horse. For example, getting 5/1 for a horse in a race where all four runners are roughly the same standard. However many tips you might pick up from other people, sports websites or Racing Post articles – there is nothing to beat actually watching how the spreads change over the course of an event or match. Only by watching and learning how the spreads move can we spread bet successfully.
1. Selling or Buying?
Human nature dictates that if you watch sport you want things to happen. You want lots of goals, tries, wickets, runs, etc. We don’t watch a football match hoping for a 0-0 or a rugby match hoping for no tries!
The spread companies are obviously well aware of this and adjust their spreads accordingly, sometimes setting spreads slightly higher than the statistics suggest in the knowledge that people prefer to buy rather than sell.
With this in mind, our advice would be to consider selling, although it can be quite painful willing both football teams NOT to score in a match or the England cricket team to start losing wickets!
In most instances, if you are selling then you will be starting with a profit. Time does seem to drag, but it can be very profitable if you are able to hold your nerve!
2. In-Running (Click for a full explanation)
We’ve made the mistake several times (perhaps more than several), in the past of being influenced by a brief flurry of events in a match and have jumped on the bandwagon. Tempers get flared early in a football match and we’ve jumped in and bought bookings only to see the game calm down immediately and we’ve lost heavily, or the loss of 2 or 3 very quick key wickets and we’ve waded in selling runs only to see a record seventh wicket partnership! The point is, be careful. The spread firms are watching the same game as you and will adjust their spreads according to what’s happening, often by more than they should, in anticipation of people trading on what they have seen.
The spread firms hate ‘Arbs’, but if you’re on the ball you can make money without the match or event even starting! To do this you will need to have more than one spread betting account and money is made by selling/buying with one firm and then doing the reverse with another. For example, Bookings, Man Utd v Man City. Sporting Index offer an initial spread of 42 -46, whilst Spreadex quote 48 -52. By buying for £10 per point with Sporting at 46 and selling at £10 per point with Spreadex at 48 you are guaranteed to win £20 regardless of the result! You’ll have to be quick to make money this way if its an event in running that you need to make money in this way, but if you’re alert and have done your research and have more than one account, you can be successful.
4. Finding Value
It is always worth having more than one account simply to get the best value. Generally all the firms are pretty consistent with prices, but let’s say you’re planning to buy England runs in a test match for £5 per run.
The 4 firms are offering:
a.305 – 320
b.310 – 325
c.300 – 315
d 310 – 325
Clearly there is no arbitrage profit here as the lowest price to buy is 315, but the highest price to sell is 310. However, if you only have 1 account you may be buying at 325, when you could be getting the same bet at 315. At £5 per point that’s £50 before you even start!
Conversely, if you were selling, you would want to be selling at 310 rather than 300.
5. Sporting Index Trading Talk & Spreadex Sportsblog
These are views from the trading floors at Sporting Index & Spreadex – previews of big events written by the traders themselves. They have access to stats that might be hard to find for the average punter like us, so take good notice of what they say – it may save you a small fortune!