Introduction To Football Trading

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Introduction to Football Trading

Football Strategy

After receiving a number of emails on this subject, I thought I would do a series of articles, specifically related to the subject of football trading, throughout the coming months.

I will start here with laying the foundations –what you IDEALLY should have and where you should do your research, and which markets are ideal for trading SOFTWARE.

If you want to take your football trading seriously, and to lay a solid foundation before we even tackle techniques and strategies, you should invest in some Betfair Interface software.

The cheapest software with the greatest functionality can be found at , and it is called FAIRBOT. (I am not an affiliate, just a very happy user.) At only $99 for one year and with a 15-day trial period, this software will serve you exceptionally well if football trading is your goal. Indeed, certain trading examples in future articles will come specifically from Fairbot to show you that betting solely at without any enhanced software really puts you at a great disadvantage.

Distinct advantages

This software will automatically calculate any profit and loss at any one time during a trade so you know exactly where you stand at any period during a trade. Fairbot can also ‘green up’ or ‘red up’ your bets with one click, again doing all of the necessary calculations for you.

Fairbot offers automated trading functionality, allowing you to place a simultaneous trade bet at the click of a button (i.e. you back under 2.5 goals in the hope no goals will be scored early and Fairbot can place a lay bet automatically at a lower price determined by you which, if reached, will lock in profit. Fairbot refreshes your screen prices as quickly as 0.1 seconds which is extremely useful for trading, as opposed to the one second refresh at Betfair’s website itself. And much more! It really is a superb piece of software and will serve your trading needs admirably.

The Betfair tradeable markets

What football-specific markets are available to the potential trader in Betfair’s in running football matches? Below are the markets available for a traditionally big game (in this case Arsenal v Liverpool).

I have marked below those markets that are available for us to trade in running once the match kicks off by using the abbreviation.

Match Odds

Correct Score

Over/Under 1.5 Goals

Over/Under 2.5 goals

Over/Under 3.5 Goals

Over/Under 4.5 Goals

Next Goal

Half-Time Score


Asian Handicap

Sending Off?

Total Goals

Arsenal Clean Sheet?

Liverpool Clean Sheet?

Bookings Odds

To Score

Bookings Index

Total Corners

Corners Odds

First Goal Odds

Corners Match Bet

Shown a card?

Hat trick Scored?


First Half Goals

Arsenal Win Both Halves

Liverpool Win Both Halves

First Goalscorer

Total Goals Index


Arsenal Win/Corner Double

Bookings Match Bet

Both teams to Score?


Liverpool Win/Corner Double

In this particular match there are only some 10 markets, which are actually tradeable. The first thing to realise as traders with all of these markets is that we are at the behest of one thing throughout (sending offs also will affect matters but not as much) – and that is GOALS, THE THREAT OF GOALS OR THE THREAT OF NO GOALS!

As this is laying the foundations, if you recognise the fact that goals, the threat of goals or the threat of no goals will be the three contributory factors to any price movements (and thus tradeable opportunities) then you MUST factor in the following:

The home team and away team’s:

• Ability to score goals

• Ability to keep the opposition from scoring goals

• Inability to score goals

• Time taken to score the breakthrough goal

• Ability to score few or many goals between them during 45 minutes and 90 minutes We can then tailor our research primarily around those areas.

Research – laying another foundation stone

Research really is a key element to success. Past statistics and trends can be good pointers to future performance in the goal scoring/goals conceded markets. The Internet has proved a blessing in this arena.


SECOND STOP – a free ratings site –

THIRD STOP – the teams’ actual websites

This really is a superb resource site for all major world leagues, covering all goal specific statistics you can think of.

In a later article I will take you on a guided tour of this website and the tricks and stats which you should be paying attention to in order to formulate an opinion, and then chose a market to support your opinion.

If you want independent ratings, then this free site is simply superb.

Ratings are broken down into home team versus away team performance ratings, league goal analysis, ratings analysis (based around rate form, recent form, league form, combo form), sequences and streaks, probability, recent league form and head to heads. The ratings, with certain odds games, can be a great confidence booster in helping you with your decisionmaking. Again, a future article will take you through this.

Teams’ actual websites

This is a key factor in determining any injuries or absences or changes in team news which can affect whether goals are fancied (for example, when you see Messi, Henri, and Etoo all playing for Barcelona then the expectation is for goals BUT any one of these three’s absence could affect the goals scored numbers) or goals are not fancied (Manchester United and Everton’s recent team news affected the goals tally greatly – weakened Man Utd team and an Everton side without a real striker).


Although the forum at has more Howling Mad Murdochs per square inch, it can be a superb resource for opinion, latest team news andmuch more. It is the late news, which could be broken by a forumite, which could change or cement your opinion. Latest team news can also break on the forum and we have already discussed the importance of this.

Keeping score

Fairbot has an option to signal with a beep when a market has been suspended. This is vital for any trader, of course, as we are then alert to any change of prices in response to a sending off, or more likely a goal. offers a superb live score site which also offers auditory signals when goals are scored.

Live commentary

You are already aware, no doubt, about for all of the football commentary pertinent to the UK.Sites such as also offer commentary on foreign fixtures, as do sites such as regarding links to actual games. offers commentary on certain European games.

Bottom line

This is a quick introduction to lay the foundations for you to trade on Betfair’s in running football matches. All of the sites above are the essentials and will prove invaluable next season.

By the beginning of the next football season I hope to have built up a series of articles for you which will build into a blueprint into all areas of football trading so you can begin in earnest in September. At this early stage of the process the key thing to remember is that, largely, it is goals /lack of goals that make trades (sending offs too to a lesser extent), and so it is with goals, the likelihood of them being scored or not, which should preoccupy the trader when doing his/her research.

In next month’s newsletter, I am going to look much closer at each of the 10 major tradeable markets, and with each market, offer you a number of strategies you can use in these markets in order to succeed. I hope this series of articles will be of use to those who have emailed me and asked for more insight into football trading.

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