Welcome to the second instalment of our Betfair strategy articles. In our first piece, we looked at the difference between ‘backing’ and ‘laying’ a bet, and when it’s the best time to do so. Click here for our article on Understanding Back and Lay Betting at Betfair if you haven’t already familiarised yourself with these terms.
Now, for article two we’ve focused on understanding the Betfair market and how to place back and lay bets, as well as knowing when your bet is matched or unmatched.
Firstly, let’s see what a typical AFL market looks like. The image below is for the 2019 AFL Round 19 fixture between Collingwood and Richmond at the MCG.
What do all these numbers mean?
When you’re starting out, the only numbers you really need to focus on are the ones that are highlighted in blue and pink.
The blue highlighted numbers are the best current prices you can ‘back’ either Collingwood or Richmond, depending on who you think will win. Currently, $2.54 is the best price someone is ‘laying’ Collingwood for you to back, and $1.60 is the best price someone is ‘laying’ Richmond for you to back.
The pink highlighted numbers are the best current prices that people WANT to back either Collingwood ($2.68) or Richmond ($1.65) at. The pink $2.68 figure is the shortest odds that someone currently wants to back Collingwood at, that is yet to be matched by someone prepared to lay those odds.
What if I don’t like the odds currently available?
If you fancy Richmond’s chances against Collingwood but believe someone will match better odds than the $1.60 currently available, you can enter in the odds you’d like to place a wager at and wait for it to be matched by someone prepared to take you on. This leads us into phase two, which is knowing when your bet has been matched or is still unmatched.
Once you’ve decided on how you want to play a specific market, it’s time to place your wager. Lets’ take a look at the 2019 US Open market on Betfair as an example for when your bet has been matched or is still unmatched.
A matched bet simply means your wager has been accepted by a peer who is happy to lay the odds you’ve presented. Both the backer and layer are now liable to payout at the completion of the match/event.
‘Back’ example: You’re really keen on Novak Djokovic winning the US Open and believe the $2.34 currently available to back is good value. You click on the $2.34 and enter your stake. Your bet is now on and it’s time to grab some popcorn.
‘Lay’ example: You don’t like how Novak Djokovic has been playing in the lead up to the US Open and believe the $2.40 odds on him to win are too short. You click on the $2.40 and wager how much you’re willing to risk. Remember, if you lay $2.40 odds at a $50 stake, you’re liable for $70 if Djokovic wins ($2.40 x $50 = $120 - $50 = $70).
When your bet is ‘unmatched’ it means no one is currently prepared to take you on at the odds you’ve proposed.
‘Back’ example: You believe Novak Djokovic will win the US Open but believe the best current backable price of $2.34 is too short. In this instance, you would type the odds you’re prepared to back him at, say $2.45, and wait for someone to match (lay) your bet.
‘Lay’ example: You believe the field is strong and Djokovic is unlikely to win the US Open. You want to lay a bet but believe you can get someone to back in Djokovic at shorter odds than the best available ($2.40). In this instance, you type the odds you’re prepared to lay him at, say $2.25, and wait for someone to match (back) your bet.
If, after some time, your back/lay bet is still unmatched, you’ll need to reconsider your proposed odds and perhaps offer your back/lay bet at odds that are more likely to be matched by someone in the market.
That concludes our second Betfair strategy article. Be sure to check back soon to see more ways to use the Betfair exchange to your advantage, and click on the banner below to create a Betfair account today!
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