The pitfalls of Pre Match Trading

It’s been a bit of a busy week so far and as a result I haven’t had a chance to get in any pre match trading activity before the weekend. On Friday night I had my first glance at the Premier League odds on Betfair, I also compared them to online bookmakers odds, and one match struck me as having a bit of potential.

I noticed that Arsenal were available to back at 2.30 at home to Chelsea. As Arsenal have had a decent start to the season and have looked fairly strong so far, I though there was a fair chance they may get backed in, or at the very least, they shouldn’t drift out.

I put a back up of 2.32 (£100) late last (Friday) night and left it. I got up this morning to find it had been matched and that Arsenal were available to lay at 2.30 and back at 2.28.

There wasn’t much money available to back 2.28 at, so rather than laying at 2.30 there and then, I put a lay of 2.28 in and left it. Sure enough when I checked back about 30 minutes later, it had been matched and I had over £1.00 green all round.

It wasn’t even 9.00am at this time, and kick off wasn’t until 12.45pm, so I thought that there was still plenty of time to get in and out a couple more times at least.

So I put in another back of 2.32 and waited, it was matched at 9.34am, I then followed it with a lay at 2.30 which was matched almost instantly at 9.38am – easy, I though. So I tried it again, got my 2.32 back matched at 9.51am, and put my lay of 2.30 up.

Then Arsenal started to drift, they were out at 2.36 to back, and 2.38 to lay. I waited and kept a regular check on the price, hoping and expecting it to come back in again.

I’ve just checked the time my lay got matched and it was at 11.07am, just over an hour and a half to kick off. I was watching the odds at the time, and I was surprised as the 2.36 on Arsenal just disappeared in an instant down to 2.26, it was as if it was all taken in one large swoop. They then got backed in to 2.24 over the next couple of minutes.

I checked Sky Sports news and there was no team news. I checked Twitter and there was no sign of any teams, although one tweeter/website claimed that ‘Gervinho was playing in the hole today.’

I immediately though that someone had a lot more information than me. Not the website/person tweeting the information, the persons who snapped up all the money from 2.36 to 2.26 in an instant. With this in mind I immediately pulled out of this market – obviously my back of 2.30 was taken in the swoop and I was green all round.

At this stage I was green to the tune of £3.72 on an Arsenal win, £3.61 on Chelsea and £3.61 on the draw. I then traded Over/Under 2.5 goals and ended up with £1.08 on Under 2.5, £1.09 on Over 2.5 – giving me a minimum profit of £4.69 (£4.81 maximum) no matter what happens.

I am not writing here about the nice risk free pre match trading green, I am writing this with a view to highlighting the various pitfalls that trading pre match can lead too.

In the past I had been wary about having money involved when the team news came out on Sky, Twitter, etc. I always tried to make sure I was out about an hour before kick off, and only got involved again when the teams were released and the market had settled down again.

This is obviously something else I need to keep an eye on. A lot of money was traded this morning at 11.07 am, and I can only assume it was traded on a nod and a wink to someone somewhere about who was or wasn’t playing. I’m not suggesting that a footballer or official was doing this, but a big hitter somewhere must have a contact within one of the clubs.

Again, I’m not naive enough to think that this is something new or didn’t go on before I noticed today, I’ve been gambling/betting for long enough to know that almost anything is possible.

I suppose that unless I am privy to this sort of information, and that’s not going to happen, then it is just something I am going to have to live with and factor into my trading. It came good for me this morning, but that isn’t always going to be the case.


Dean Etheridge - Owner, Editor and Writer of

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