As any online bookmaker will tell you, pre-match sports betting remains popular and continues to generate increased levels of turnover for sports betting firms. Meanwhile new platforms such as text message betting and mobile betting are opening up further opportunities for punters to get bets on even when they’re away from the computer. However the most significant change in the industry has been the steady migration over to in-play betting, with some companies now recording as much as 50% of their sports betting turnover on in-play markets. Where once bookmakers competed to have the most markets on big football matches, they soon evolved into competing on who would offer pre-match betting from the most games around the world. Now it has become a contest to see who can offer the most in-play betting, with many of the “new” markets in places like China and India showing a particular liking for betting on games as the event unfolds. Some online providers even focus all their efforts on in-play betting, to the exclusion of all other events.
Companies that focus on the European rather than UK markets have been particularly alive to this trend, with suppliers such as BetRadar and Running Ball emerging to provide feeds to these companies, since there simply aren’t enough compilers to do this otherwise.
The result of this has been that more and more betting in play has become automated, with less and less need for human interaction. Companies can offer betting in-play on a match without any employee of that company even doing so much as turning their head to see the score, or checking on how the match is progressing. They merely get a feed instructing them of the match situation, this data is fed into the pre-match odds, and the up to the minute prices are output based on that information. Some companies incorporate some weighting for the position of their book, but in a world where arbitrage and robotic trading is more and more prevalent, those firms often risk giving away hard earned profits.
The beauty of this is that it still leaves some scope for the old school viewer to isolate some value. Assessing a match in terms of measurable statistics is all very well, but there is still some scope to isolate where there might be value based on the left winger who is constantly beating his man but hasn’t yet got a cross to land on the head of his striker, or the long ball team that might cause real problems against an opponent when they have the wind in their favour. Personnel switches and substitutions are also critical. Tomorrow, at lunch time, all eyes will be on the London derby between Tottenhame Hotspur and Chelsea. And rest assured that if Gareth Bale or Fernando Torres are withdrawn due to injury, the bookies will undoubtedly react. However if, for example, Claudiu Keseru was to sustain an injury in the first ten minutes playing for Angers against Monaco tonight in French Ligue 2, chances are most UK firms would not respond as quickly and may not respond at all, if Betfair fails to provide the information. This is despite the fact that Keseru has scored 9 of his team’s 15 goals this season, while Angers would be a lot less likely to have a high quality replacement than an English Premiership side.
Of course the value of this betting advice is limited, since it only applies to sporting events that will be traded in play, even though they aren’t broadcast live. However since many of the readers of BetPreviews.com are sporting enthusiasts, that still leaves the door open for plenty of opportunities. So next time you’re attending a game, note if betting in play is offered, and keep an eye on the odds during the course of the game. Over time you will learn which events are recorded and sent back to the bookies for inclusion, and which events will open the door for profitable betting in the future.