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Why Not All In-Play Stats Are Created Equally…(and why Betfair sucks)!

If you are planning to make any sort of trades (or in-play bets for that matter) and you are unable to watch the game or event, then it is vital to have access to reliable and accurate in-play statistics.

There are many excellent resources for this and, to my horror, there is one that you have you have to avoid at all costs.

One of my favourite and most profitable trading angles is the goals market (e.g. Over / Under 1.5, 2.5, 3.5 etc). 

Often I won’t get involved with a game for 15 minutes or so, allowing me to see how the game appears to be played out by both sides. 

This particular afternoon, I was intending to get involved with one of the early kick-off games in the Australian A-League, which is traditionally a good market for goals.

I fired up Betfair as usual and went to check out the live feed – for some reason this wasn’t working so clicked the next tab to look at the stats. 

(Now I would normally open my preferred site for in-play stats but maybe it was laziness or the fact that the stats on Betfair implied goals were imminent, I just went ahead and dived into the market.)

Looks pretty open right?

So I proceed to enter the market and did a couple more times as the game unfolded.

Ultimately there was a goal, but it came late on in the game and I traded out for a small loss on this occasion. Although according to Betfair there was somewhere in the region of 15 shots on goal by the time that one goal came. 

(It could have been very easy to get carried away when seeing so much attacking play but that’s where your trading discipline comes in – more on that another day)

However, while researching the next few games on my usual site, for some reason I decided to look back at this game so I could read the post-match reviews, as I was still quite surprised the game hadn’t gone the way I’d anticipated.

Wait? What??

Looks a bit different right – from 15 shots on target we are looking at one shot on target.

Now, if I had been judging the game and the trading opportunities based on this new information, I would have either skipped the game, entered at a different time, or entered at a different staking level.

Bottom line is, my trading loss would actually have been zero (by not entering the trade in the first place) or a profit based on this particular strategy I was intending to use.

The morale of the story?

  1. Don’t be lazy, make sure you have the correct setup before you enter any trade
  2. Make sure you are using the best and most accurate in-play stats available (more on this in next weeks article)
  3. Whatever you do…don’t rely on Betfair in-play stats, particularly for football

I'll be back next week with a look at the best resources for in-play stats.

Until next time,

All the best,

Jon and the Football Advisor team

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