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Football Spread Betting

Football Spread Betting
Written by David

Football Spread Betting for Fun & Profit

First things first, spread betting carries a high level of risk.  Unlike fixed odds betting, even as a layer on the exchanges, you know what your maximum liability is when you place a bet.  That isnt always the case with spread betting.  In short, the more right you are the more you win but the more wrong you the more you lose.

A genre previously only available to stock market traders, it revolutionised sports betting when first introduced in the early 1990s. Allowing for the first time punters to back their selection to win — or to lose.

Since then the innovative approach from both spread layers & players has opened up a host of new betting opportunities many of which are only available because of the unique nature of the spread betting format.

Make sure to follow the news and upcoming match predictions. Needless to say, you should examine the market prior to wading in with a wager. Sportsspread’s full Betting Information Table shows “funds required” for minimum bet ranging from 45 to 300 Euros, which basically sums up the risks involved. Even so, that makes spread betting’s minimum risk in UK Pounds Sterling at around 30 quid per bet. If you want to limit your worst case potential stick with the smaller “funds required”, at least to start with.

But you’re comfortable with exposure levels such as these, happy in the knowledge of “Nothing ventured, nothing gained”. So, on with the show…

Opening a Spread Betting Account

Then I was almost ready to start…

If you’re looking for a five-pounds each-way experience, then spread betting is definitely not for you.

In the first instance establishing a spread betting account is usually a far more rigorous task than opening a traditional betting account, they are likely to want to ensure you are good for any debts you incur. Quite right too, because although the spread firms have greatly reduced their minimum stake levels over the years with their eye on attracting more custom, losses, even on individual bets can occasionally spiral beyond what you thought was a safe level.

Sportsspread for example currently quote a minimum stake of 1 Euro on their “Total Goal Minutes” football spread (time of goal 1 + time of goal 2 + time of goal 3 . . .).   If on the face of it, this looks to be a low level, not too high a risk, entry into spread betting, then maybe as a spread rookie you need to look a little closer.

The end result for this market can be anywhere from zero for a no-score draw, up to…well I suppose the sky’s the limit. However, Sportsspread do cap this market with at a maximum high of 300. In order to lose that much you’d be betting at a spread of 0 or 300, which is hardly likely, but they tell you in order to place such a bet you would need to have 150 Euros to cover it, either on deposit or available.

In round terms therefore, a one Euro bet with a risk factor of -150 Euros, so just bear that in mind.

It is not all doom & gloom however, and we are not downhearted. There is a potential upside of around 150 Euros also . . . And most of the time the payout either way will be nowhere near that size a multiple.

Some examples are shown below but if there are any markets you are unsure about and require absolute clarity then please reply contact me directly.

Event: 1st test between England v Australia
Market: England 1st innings runs
Spread: 300-320

Okay, the spread betting company predict that England will score between 300-320 runs, the 20 run spread is their margin.  If you think England will score more than 320 runs you ‘buy’, in this example lets say you ‘buy’ for £5 per run. If England score more 350 you win 30 x £5 = £150 however if England score 290 you lose £150.

Event: Arsenal v Manchester Utd
Market: Supremecy
Spread: 0.1-0.3

In this example the spread betting company predicts that Arsenal will beat Man Utd by between 0.1-0.3 goals, the 0.2 spread is their margin.  If you think Man Utd will win you ’sell’ Arsenal at 0.1, in this example lets say you ’sell’ Arsenal for £50 per goal.  If Man Utd win 2-1 then you win 1.1 x £50 = £55 however if Arsenal win 2-1 you lose £45.

Presently I’m working on a system for my football spread bets. My football trading system involves reading the mood of the game during play (usually on radio), and this will influence the timing of my entry or exit. example, if a team is about to take its third corner in succession, I would quite likely shut/open certain goal-related bets just before they do so. Likewise with a significant player substitution. Also, I will sometimes take on a time-related goal score bet very near the end of the game, by when the spread is so close to 90 that there’s very little to lose should no goal happen.

However, my strategy is definitely not set in stone, what’s happening during a game will influence my bets, sometimes you can see a team is not at the races, most people see Chelsea or Manchester United but I try to forget that and base it on who is doing the business on that given day. Just like trading the need for money management is a key element, and although I’m not sure if my approach works I’m giving sites like Spreadex, SportingIndex and Betfair a go. I really trade on my ability to be able to read a game!

Having said that I’ve not yet scaled up on my football spread betting; I still mainly do it for fun, for pence and the odd pound or two. Over the past month, for example my account balance is up 69%, which sounds good until I point out it was a mere £90 on Dec 9 (now £62.70). I really only bet on live matches where in-play betting is allowed. On the Manchester City game, I staked a quid on the number of first-half goals. Opened as an up bet a couple of minutes into the game when the spread was 1.1-1.3 if I remember correctly, (was 0.9-1.1 pre-match but lost connection) knowing that if/when a single goal went in during the first half hour or so, the quoted spread would likely jump to a level at which I could exit with a gain. Tevez duly obliged in the 7th minute, and I immediately banked 65p. (had i kept the bet open, I would have eventually 5p more but I’ve learnt to stick to the plan, which is to shout “Bank!” whenever the gain looks worthwhile, before it can dwindle, which it would had no g2 gone in). My smallest win in the past month amounted to just 8p while the biggest was for 720p and the biggest loss was 150p.

Sites like Betfair have completely opened the door to people like us, before betting was a mugs game, but the ability to lock in gains has proved to be fantastic and my account is currently at an all time high. I’m starting to look at games a week in advance quite often you can trade 5pts or so before a ball has even been kicked, usually the money will come in for the favourites as the event draws closer. All said this is just a fun sideline for me but my last season’s 300% performance will be beaten if I can remain consistent till the season ends. Whether or not you decide to follow my advice or not I wish you good luck with your bets!

About the author


I first cut my teeth in the Square Mile in the winter of 2002. I was young, fresh-faced and straight out of university; keen but maybe a little naïve about the way the investment world really worked… A few years ago I discover a whole new world of opportunity: spread betting on the financial markets.

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