Football trading systems
The prices offered by bookmakers jump shift all the time as they try to balance a profitable book and react to the state of the match.
On the betting exchanges such as Betfair and Betdaq the markets are even more volatile.
When a game is in play the odds on offer change by the minute or second depending on a variety of factors.
Most football trading systems take advantage of this volatility to Back and Lay the same outcome at different prices. The difference, if the bets are executed properly, should leave a tidy profit.
In play odds - the Big 3So what are the factors that affect the prices available in an in-play football market? Three factors are more important than anything else.
The most important factor is the score, of course. As Brian Clough once noted, it only takes a second to score a goal. And that second can turn football odds on their head. This is the reason why most markets on the betting exchanges are suspended whenever a goal either has been scored or looks like it might be scored - for example when a penalty is awarded or offside goal is tuned in the back of the net.
The second most important factor in in-play betting odds is the quality of the teams playing. If Barcelona were at home to Luton Town (somehow?) and Luton took an early lead (somehow, somehow?), you would still expect Barcelona to win.
The third of the Big 3 is Time. How much time is there left in the game. As the match makes its way towards the final whistle and post-match interviews it generally becomes less likely that the position of the match will change.
In play odds - other factors that effect oddsThere are plenty of other factors which influence in play odds too.
The most significant of these is a Red Card, especially if it happens early in the game.
Corners, promising free kicks and other set pieces (throw ins if Stoke City are playing) and spells of pressure have a visible effect on the odds available as punters react to the possibility of a goal.
Injuries to star players, over-excited radio commentators, substitutions and dodgy refereeing performances also get reflected in the odds - at least until some new piece of information attracts the attention of football fans and they over-react to that instead.
Making money on in play football bettingAll this volatility creates opportunities for football traders and betters to make money.
And although there are circumstances in which in-lay betting can create a value betting opportunity, generally in-play fluctuations in odds are taken advantage of by traders.