Football Trading: The Complete Guide for Beginners 

 May 2, 2023

By  Matt Finnigan

When it comes to football, there are a lot of ways to make money. You can bet on the outcome of matches, predict the number of goals and place bets on specific players, you can do this both pre-match and in-play.

In this blog post, we’re going to take a look at football trading – what it is, how it works, and some tips on how you can get started. So whether you’re a seasoned pro or a complete beginner, read on for all the info you need to start trading football like a pro!

What is football trading?

In simple terms, football trading is effective risk management of the odds movement that occurs within the football markets.

Most novice football traders fail to understand risk in terms of how much money to put into the market as their opening position of the trade. Because of this, they’re unsure of how to exit the trade, if the market goes against them and it’s likely they will lose money.

Their position becomes a one-way (bet) as they don’t close their position in the market and its left open longer in the hope of their original view happens.

If you plan to trade any football match, you need to understand the market only serves you and doesn’t instruct you. The key to success is to develop a football trading strategy portfolio that allows you to take advantage of the odds movement that can occur during a match.

Pre-match football trading is mainly focused on the match odds, which we have found to be most successful once the team news is known in the last hour before kick-off.

Once the markets go in-play you will have two options to trade.

  1. Time Decay – Trade on the price movement of the goals market (unders) in this strategy you profit from the odds shortening over time if no goal is scored.
  2. Goals – The market moves against you and you can secure a potential profit if a goal is scored and the odds are lower than your entry price.

The one question you should always ask yourself is, do you think a goal will be scored? Yes or No!

If you think NO, then time decay comes into play, this is where you want to secure your profit in the quickest time possible, because if a goal is scored then you will be in a losing trading position.

If you think YES then goals come into play and you want that goal to happen as quickly as possible so you can secure bigger profits. The longer it takes for the goal to happen the less money you will make as the market will shorten through time decay.

All professional football traders will put their money through betting exchanges such as Betfair, Smarkets & Betdaq.

Is Football A Good Market To Trade?

We recommend that anybody wanting to get started with Betfair trading should consider trading live football matches.

Football is a popular market to trade because it is a global sport with a wide variety of leagues and matches. This provides any football trader with so many opportunities to secure a profit, whether it be pre-match or from the in-play markets.

Also, there is so much information and data that can help you develop football trading strategies, additionally, football markets tend to be very liquid, which means that there is a high volume of money flowing through the markets.

Football Trading v Football Betting

The main difference between football trading and football betting is your thought process for managing risk.

You can form the same opinion on the outcome of the match, but with football betting you generally place your bet and leave it to its conclusion. Yes; the bookmakers offer cash out (which is very poor value) to close your position and secure a profit.

With football trading, you will have a predetermined trading strategy and you will know the time when to exit the trade to either secure a profit or take a loss.

The advantages of football trading

The main advantage of trading football is the money you can put through the markets without being restricted or limited if securing a long-term profit on the betting exchange.

This means that you have scaleability with your trading bank and once you learn the value of money management that can produce long-term profits from the markets, then you have the opportunity to earn a second income or even go full-time.

The disadvantage of football trading

The main disadvantage of football trading can be the emotional rollercoaster you go through during live trades. When you are in a trade and the market moves against you, your emotions will test to the limit and the hardest part of trading football is having the discipline to stick to your trading strategy when the markets are against you.

It’s this emotional side of trading that can stop you from being successful.

It can be time-consuming if you trade the pre-match markets as well as the in-play markets as the trading session can be over 2 hours long.

Can You Make a Living Football Trading?

You will need a large trading bank to solely make a living just from football trading, however building from a £2000 to £5000 trading bank, you can enjoy a good second income from trading football matches.

Successful football traders typically have a deep understanding of the sport and its various markets, as well as a solid trading strategy and disciplined approach to risk management.

We have developed several football trading strategies that form a robust football trading timeline, that allows us to take opportunities pre-match, first half through time-decay, or looking for that first goal to be scored, we then look to leverage any early profits secured in the second half through managing our potential profits to boost these profits if late goals are scored in the game.

How to Be Profitable in Football Trading?

Being profitable in football trading requires a combination of knowledge, discipline, and a well-planned strategy. One of the key factors to success is having a deep understanding of the sport and its various leagues, teams, and players. Additionally, it is important to have a solid understanding of betting exchanges and how they work, as well as the various football trading strategies available.

Another important aspect of profitable football trading is managing your bankroll effectively. This means setting realistic profit targets and stop-loss limits, as well as avoiding impulsive trades and taking unnecessary risks. By following these principles and staying disciplined, you can increase your chances of being profitable in football trading.

How Do We Trade Football?

To trade in football, you first need to sign up for a betting exchange platform such as Betfair or Smarkets. Once you have created an account, you can begin placing bets on football matches using a variety of trading strategies. Popular strategies include lay the draw, scalping, and backing the underdog.

To execute these strategies effectively, it is important to have a good understanding of the sport and its various markets. You should also use trading software to help you analyze data and make informed decisions. By staying disciplined and following your strategy, you can increase your chances of success in football trading.

How to Learn Football Trading

Learning football trading requires a combination of theoretical knowledge and practical experience. Here are some tips to help you get started:

  1. Read and Research – One of the best ways to learn about football trading is to read books and articles on the subject. There are many resources available that can help you develop a deeper understanding of the sport and its various markets.
  2. Use Trading Software – Trading software can be a valuable tool for analyzing data, tracking trends, and making informed trading decisions. There are many different software programs available, so be sure to do your research and find one that works for you.
  3. Practice with Virtual Trading – Many betting exchange platforms offer virtual trading, which allows you to practice your trading strategies without risking any real money. This can be a valuable way to gain experience and build confidence before trading with real money.
  4. Join a Community – Finally, consider joining a community of like-minded traders. This can be a great way to share ideas, learn from others, and get support and encouragement as you develop your skills.

Pre-match football trading

When engaging in pre-match football trading, it is important to look for certain factors that can influence the market movements and create profitable trading opportunities. Here are some things to consider when analyzing pre-match markets:

  1. Form – One of the most important factors to consider when trading pre-match is the form of the teams involved. Look for trends in their recent performances and consider how this might impact the odds.
  2. Head-to-Head Record – The head-to-head record between the two teams can also be an important factor to consider. Look for any patterns in their past meetings that might give you an edge in predicting the outcome of the match.
  3. Team News – Injuries, suspensions, and other team news can have a significant impact on the odds of a match. Keep an eye on team news in the lead-up to a match and use this information to inform your trading decisions.
  4. Home/Away Advantage – Home advantage is a well-known factor in football, and can have a significant impact on the odds of a match. Consider the strength of each team’s home and away record when analyzing pre-match markets.
  5. Market Trends – Finally, it is important to look at the market trends in the lead-up to a match. Keep an eye on the volume of trades and the movement of the odds, and look for any patterns or anomalies that might indicate a profitable trading opportunity.

By considering these factors and analyzing pre-match markets carefully, you can identify profitable trading opportunities and maximize your chances of success in football trading.

Typical Football Trading Mistakes

While football trading can be a profitable and exciting activity, there are also some common mistakes that traders should avoid. Here are a few of the most common football trading mistakes:

  1. Impulsive Trading – One of the biggest mistakes that traders make is to make impulsive trades based on emotions or gut instincts. It is important to stick to your strategy and to avoid making trades that are not based on sound analysis.
  2. Poor Risk Management – Another common mistake is to have poor risk management. Traders should set realistic profit targets and stop-loss limits, and should avoid taking unnecessary risks.
  3. Lack of Discipline – Discipline is key to success in football trading. Traders should have a well-planned strategy and should stick to it, even in the face of market fluctuations or unexpected events.
  4. Overreliance on a Single Strategy – Traders should not rely too heavily on a single trading strategy. Instead, they should have a range of strategies available and should be able to adapt to changing market conditions.

About the author 

Matt Finnigan

A full time professional sports trader since 2002 and I expanded my investment portfolio during the 2020 pandemic to include crytpocurrency and forex trading when the sporting world ground to a halt.

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