The article describes one of the methods of live (or in-play) trading that exploits the statistics of match draws. The method can be successfully used in the football betting sector, where draws are highly unpredictable but occur in 25-30% of the matches. Laying the draw is among the simplest Betfair trading systems that guarantee profits regardless of the outcome. The best part is that the strategy is completely legit, since unlike ordinary bookmakers, Betfair has a financial interest in your success.

We assume that you’ve carefully read Betfair Trading tutorial, which illustrates the basics of trading on the world’s largest betting exchange platform. We also assume that you already have a Betfair account. If you still don’t, now it’s a good time to sign up – the tutorial will be much easier to understand if you have an unlimited access to Betfair trading platform.

To quickly demonstrate how lay the draw strategy works, let’s take a Friendly International match between England and Ghana. On Betfair head on to Football ? Coupons ? {Day} In-Play Coupon as shown in the screenshot below.

On the In-Play Coupon page you’ll find three columns stating the market’s back and lay odds for three possible outcomes. The left column corresponds to the home win odds; the middle column shows the draw odds; and the right column shows the away win odds. The rows show the upcoming matches and you’ll have to decide which game to pick. Your choice is crucial, since the success of laying the draw system depends on proper selection of the games. Later on, we’ll describe how to pick the games wisely.

After selecting the games, the next obvious step is to decide upon the lay stake. The pre-kick lay odds in the game between England and Ghana were 4.2 at the time this tutorial was written and we laid £100 on draw. Once the match started and England scored its first goal, the back odds increased to 7.4. Then, we backed the draw with a stake of £60.

Can you feel the magic? If a draw occurs, your profit will be £60•(7.4-1) – £100•(4.2-1) = £64, and if one of the teams wins, your profit will be £100 – £60 = £40. That’s arbitrage – one way or another, you profit.

Picking the Games to Lay

Picking the right games is crucial for lay the draw system. The right game to trade is a game whose chances for final score 0-0 are very low and the draw-lay odds are somewhere between 4.1 and 4.8. It might sound complicated, but the truth is, that finding such a game is easy if you know where to look.

Many online resources provide you with free predictions of the expected scores. Ideally, you should pick games whose expected scores are far from 0:0, i.e. 2:2, 3:2, 3:3 etc. However, be careful as long as you don’t know the exact probability of the expected score. Statistics is tricky, and many resources will simply show you the outcome with the highest probability, while hiding the fact that the difference between the probability of score 3:3 and score 0:0 is very low.

Actually, you don’t need the expected score. Instead, you can deduce the probability of score 0:0 by a cross-validation of three independent factors. The following should hold for an ideal game:

The probability of the draw should be low – pick games with draw probability below 25%.

The probability of total under 2.5 goals should be low – choose games whose under 2.5 probabilities are smaller than 40%.

The defensive skills of the playing teams should be significantly lower compared to their attacking skills. Good attack, bad defense – perfect recipe for a goal-rich game.

SciBet is among the few betting tips resources that provide a wealth of information on the upcoming football events. It serves as our quick, one stop information source for lay the draw system.

On the main page, you may see horizontal bars with 1×2 probabilities. Just hover over one of them, and you’ll see the exact numbers. Clicking on one of the games will take you to the game page where the probability of total under/over 2.5 score and the defensive/attacking skills of the teams are presented as shown on the screenshot above.

Lay the Draw Exit Strategy

Lay the draw system is based on the assumption that at least one goal is scored during the game. Otherwise, the draw-back odds will never increase. For such cases, a loss reducing exit strategy (hedging) is required. One of the two operations below will ensure you never risk the entire stake.

When the match time is past 60 minutes, and the score is still 0-0, back the draw with a large stake even if the odds are low. In this way, you will regain a part of your investment. Let’s get back to our previous example and assume that no team scored during the first 60 minutes. The draw-back odds decreased to 2.5 and we backed the draw with £100. This simple operation reduced the loss from 0 – £100•(4.2-1) = -£320 to £100•(2.8-1) – £100•(4.2-1) = – £240.

Before the match kick-off, back the total under 0.5, score 0-0 or no goals with a small stake. These 3 markets generally have very high back-odds. In the game between England and Ghana, the total under 0.5 odds were 6.0, and we backed the outcome with a stake of £10. In case of a 0-0 draw, we would reduce the loss from 0 – £100•(4.2-1) = -£320 to £10•(6.0-1) – £100•(4.2-1) = -£270.

Laying the Draw Summary

The strategy is simple and perfectly suited for football market. It can be implemented in various ways, but the basic steps are as follows:

Pick a game with a low 0-0 score probability using free online betting tips resources.

Lay the game before kick-off time, when the odds are between 4.1 and 4.8.

Back the game in-play when one of the teams scores and the odds increase.

Hedge if necessarily, either before kick-off or after 60 minutes.

A good strategy is a strategy that has multiple exit opportunities, and laying the draw certainly falls under the above category. However, laying the draw is not the only football system out there, and if you’re seriously into footbal trading, Mark Andrews’ new product, which covers 10 Betfair football strategies, is the way to go.

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