Diary of a Football Trader – Issue 14
Diary of a Football Trader
Welcome to the latest edition of “Diary Of A Pro Trader”, you can read all the past Issues here.
At his request, we have to keep is identity a secret, but here is what we can tell you about our new Pro Trader
ProTrader started his career and fascination with the financial markets as an Index Analyst at FTSE. He has since consulted for 15 years for some of the top Financial Institutions and Investment Banks in the world, where he specialized in financial instruments, pricing data, trading platforms and risk management solutions. He first started trading sports markets in early 2000, after the introduction and discovery of Betfair. He now trades the financial markets whilst working on entrepreneurial ventures with a focus on sports trading apps and e-commerce. He lives with his wife and young daughter between their homes of London, Sardinia, Odessa and Sochi. In his spare time, he is writing a book, enjoys outdoor pursuits with his family, learning Russian and of course, trading football markets.
Each week, ProTrader will be sharing his trading exploits and insights from his previous weeks trading and, if we're lucky, from time to time he'll also be giving a few pointers on upcoming trades that he'll be targeting.
This is something new for us but we are sure you are going to enjoy and benefit from ProTrader's insights.
So please do show your love and appreciation in the comments (plus any questions and suggestions), so that both Football Advisor and ProTrader know this is something you want to keep seeing in the future.
Diary of a Football Trader
Saturday, 31st October, 2020
It’s Halloween, and all of the major European Leagues are in action. It is hoped that no bad omens are occurring with the following games targeted for trading opportunities:
- Sheffield United v Manchester City
- Burnley v Chelsea
- Liverpool v West Ham United
- Nantes v PSG
Summary of Market Trading
Sheffield United v Manchester City
Over / Under 2.5
A tight match was expected, so against market sentiment I took a lay position on over 2.5 at 1.62 for £55. With Man City scoring in the 28th minute, I contemplated closing the trade. However, I gave it more ‘breathing space’, and as the game went on it didn’t appear that goals would be prolific from either side. With the match ending just 0-1 to Manchester City, £55 profit was banked.
Burnley v Chelsea
Witnessing a more dominant display from Chelsea, but not liking their match odds price I took a back position on BTTS – ‘No’ 30 minutes in to the game at 1.84 for £50. As the game progressed and with Chelsea leading, this position was left to run and bank £36 profit.
Liverpool v West Ham United
I was expecting a draw or West Ham win here, so before kick-off I took a back position on West Ham at 7.6, and then increased this position by laying Liverpool. West Ham scored first and this position was looking good. Later in the second-half, Liverpool scored from a penalty, yet the position was still looking profitable. However, with Liverpool scoring a second late on, this position finished with a £42 loss.
Looking at the correct score market, positions were taken backing 2-2, 0-2, 1-2 and 2-1. With the match ending 2-1, £40 profit was banked.
Nantes v PSG
From analysis and looking at the price on PSG to win, this appeared a good opportunity. I waited until the price on PSG increased, and then took a back position on PSG at 1.6 for £50 (30 mins in to the match). When PSG were comfortably ahead, this position was closed for £32 profit.
With the expectation of a 0-1 or 0-2 score-line to PSG, these markets were backed and then later traded out to produce £43 profit.
Overall, the matches traded today banked £164 profit.
Sunday, 1st November, 2020
Another day of top European League action, with four matches being played in the Premier League. However, the one’s that I will be looking at are:
- Aston Villa v Southampton
- Manchester United v Arsenal
- Tottenham v Brighton
Aston Villa v Southampton
From analysis undertaken and having seen performances from both teams recently, I was confident of a Southampton win. Before kick-off, I took a back position on Southampton at 2.88 for £54. When Southampton scored their second goal to make it 0-2, I closed this position for a £71 profit.
Over / Under 2.5
I was originally expecting a low-scoring game, and so took a lay position before kick-off on overs at 1.75 for £100. However, as the match progressed I traded this out and changed my opinion to overs and took a back position for £50 at 1.9. As the goals came, these positions were closed and banked £45 profit.
This scenario can happen in matches, and there is no harm in closing or changing a position. If you believe that your original assumption and analysis is not going to be correct, it is better to close the position for a small loss, rather than wait for a bigger loss. Better still, change direction and back (or lay) the path of least resistance. In this case the path was goals over 2.5, with the match ending with 7 goals in total.
Manchester United v Arsenal
With analysis pointing to a tight, low-scoring game, just after kick-off I took a back position on Arsenal at 3.9 for £36. When Arsenal scored a penalty in 69th minute, this position was closed for £58 profit.
With the assumptions above, at kick-off I took a lay position on ‘Yes’ at 1.76 for £50. Before half-time with the score 0-0, I closed the position for £18 profit.
Tottenham v Brighton
At 1-1 and expecting more goals, I took a lay position on the draw at 1.98 for £50. I then later took other favorable positions before trading them out for a £31 profit in this market.
Over / Under 2.5
Later in the game and expecting more goals, I took a lay position on overs at 1.35 for £70. As more goals were scored I traded this position out for £31 profit.
Overall, the matches traded today banked £254 profit.
Monday, 2nd November, 2020
Tonight there’s a further two Premier League matches with Fulham v West Brom and Leeds v Leicester. However, I feel the match with better, more predictable opportunities is the latter.
Leeds United v Leicester City
Before kick-off I took a back position on Leeds. Leicester however scored in the 5th minute, and so I began to reverse my position in this market both laying Leeds and backing Leicester, which still managed to bank £30 profit.
Over / Under 3.5
With the early goal, I believed this match with two attacking minded teams had the potential for goals, and so I took a back position on overs at 1.9 for £69. Just after half-time already 3 goals had been scored, and this position was left to run and bank £59 profit.
Looking at this market appeared to offer value, particularly on the higher scoring results. Before kick-off, any other away win for instance was trading at 19. This position was covered, along with 2-2 and 2-3. With the match finishing 1-4, this market produced £109 profit.
Overall this match produced £198 profit.
Tuesday, 3rd November, 2020
Tonight it’s further Champions League matches taking place.
Shakhtar Donetsk v Borussia M’gladbach
Over / Under 3.5
This was expected to be a match with goals, since both teams are attack minded. I planned on watching the first 10 minutes before deciding which team would appear most dominant. However, on the 8th minute the away team scored. Looking at this market I took a back position on overs for £50 at 1.75. Before half-time with four goals scored, this market was closed banking £36 profit.
Atalanta v Liverpool
With analysis pointing towards a potentially close game, this market offered value and I took an early back position on Liverpool at 2.3 for £55.
With the reds coming away with a 0-5 win, this market produced £68 profit.
Over / Under 5.5
With the score 0-3, I took a back position on overs at 1.83 for £50. Further trades were made, but without the 6th goal coming this market produced a £12 loss.
Overall, these two matches traded produced £92 profit.
Wednesday, 4th November, 2020
Tonight there’s further Champions League matches taking place, again split between earlier and later kick-off times.
Zenit St. Petersburg v Lazio
Analysis showed value in taking Zenit to win, and so before kick-off I took a back position at 2.4 for £50. With Zenit scoring first, I then closed this trade to bank £33 profit.
Chelsea v Rennes
Chelsea & Over / Under 2.5
Before kick-off I took a back position on this market for (for Chelsea to win and over 2.5 goals) at 2 for just under £100. With two Chelsea penalties in the first-half and a third goal scored early in the second, this market closed for £95 profit.
Just after kick-off I opened a 3-0 back position at 9 for £10. Later in the game I traded parts of this out so that any risk to capital was removed. With the match finishing 3-0, £38 profit was banked.
Sevilla v Krasnodar
I wasn’t actively watching this match, but was following the live score. I had looked at this match to trade, but Sevilla were strong favorites and their starting price was too short. With Krasnodar taking an early 0-2 lead, I took a speculative back position on Sevilla at 2.76 for £25. When Sevilla equalized in the 69th minute, and then followed up with a third minutes later, I closed the position for £37 profit.
Overall, these three matches produced a £203 profit.
Thursday, 5th November, 2020
As per last Thursday, tonight we again have a host of Europa League matches taking place.
Benfica v Rangers
Analysis pointed towards a Benfica win, so earlier in the day I took a back position at 2.28 for £50, expecting their price to drop closer to kick-off. In the first minute, Benfica score due to a Rangers own goal, and the price on Benfica drops to show profit in the open position. However, in the 19th minute Benfica have a player sent off, and their price immediately jumps up, wiping out any potential profit. Rangers equalizing shortly afterwards further puts pressure on my open position. I then take positions laying Rangers at 1.29 and later at 1.07 when they took the lead. In the end my positions were good for both a home win and a draw. With the match ending 3-3, £76 profit was banked.
Leicester City v Sporting Braga
Over / Under 3.5
My analysis pointed to a high-scoring match, with Predictology also flagging goals over 3.5 as a good value bet.
At kick-off I opened a lay position on unders for £60 at 1.55. With Leicester scoring their fourth in the 78th minute, this market was closed with a £57 profit.
AC Milan v Lille
Analysis showed backing ‘No’ in this market offered value.
Shortly after Lille scored, I took a lay position on ‘Yes’ at 1.24 with £8 liability. As the match progressed and Lille took control, this low-risk position was appearing secure and was left to bank £32 profit.
Feyenoord v CSKA Moscow
Analysis for this game pointed to a Feyenoord home win for high value.
Before kick-off, I took a back position on Feyenoord for £25 at 2.72. With the home team scoring 3 goals in the second-half, this position didn’t look in danger and was to run for £41 profit.
Arsenal v Molde
I was expecting that this could be a classic home game where Arsenal slip-up, and their starting line-up also didn’t inspire confidence. Before kick-off, I took a small back position on Molde at 12 for £5. With Molde scoring first early in to the second-half, this position was now showing a good profit. However, Arsenal equalized just before half-time, wiping the profit potential out. I then took further positions laying Arsenal at short-odds, with the expectation that Molde could get a second against the Arsenal defence. However, the early scare must have woken Arsenal up and they proceeded to score a further 3 goals in the second-half. This resulted in a £37 loss on this match.
Overall trading a selection of markets and matches in the Europa League, although fairly conservatively produced £169 profit.
Friday, 6th November, 2020
Tonight it’s the return of Friday night Premier League to kick-off the weekend’s action, starting with Brighton v Burnley.
Brighton v Burnley
This was a difficult match to call, with many points of analysis giving contradicting messages.
Over / Under 1.5
I believed it would be low-scoring, and so during the first-half I took a speculative position on laying overs at 1.59 for just under £40. I don’t normally like this market, since just a single goal will put your position at risk for the remaining duration of the match, right until the end.
As the match progressed 0-0, I closed this position to bank £29 profit.
Southampton v Newcastle
I was confident of a Southampton win here, and my analysis also highlighted their supremacy in many areas. The table below shows this clearly in both defence and attack across a range of stats:
I took a back position on Southampton many hours before kick-off at 2.02 for £100. I was expecting their price to fall further closer to kick-off, but instead it drifted out. I increased this position just after kick-off at 2.24. After Southampton scored first, I traded this market several more times until taking a £51 profit during the second-half.
Over / Under 2.5
Just before half-time with the score 1-0, I took a back position on unders at 2.02 for £50. With this match looking now a low-scoring affair, no further action was needed and it ended 2-0, banking £51 profit.
I took back positions on 3-0 and 2-0. Expecting a late third goal from Southampton, I traded the 2-0 out slightly whilst keeping the 3-0 as it is. In the end, with the match ending 2-0, this market banked £24 profit.
Although not traded extensively, the two matches looked at today banked £155 profit.
Again, this week was filled with European league games as well as European cup competitions to make a busy week of football. In total, this week produced £1,235 profit from the matches traded (the profit statements given include 5% Betfair commission).
An interesting point to note, is that 19 of the 24 Europa League matches produced over 2.5 goals (79%). 15 of which also produced over 3.5 goals (62.5%)! All of the matches with an English Premier League team (3 in total) were in this latter high-scoring category.
A similar trend was evident in the 16 Champions League fixtures, where 14 had over 2.5 goals (87.5%), with 6 having over 3.5 (43%). Whether this trend continues in further European cup games remains to be seen, but backing over 2.5 goals would seem to be a good call going forward.
As an additional note, I am in progress with the Trading Guide that started with part one. Part two and three are underway, but due again to the busy schedule this week with matches every night, it is not publication ready. However, the International break next week will give an opportunity to have this completed and shared.
Reviewing some previous diary post comments, quite a few have been asked around match selection. The main matches I select are based around the following:
- Liquidity in the market (over 10k)
- A stable league or tournament, where corruption should not be expected
- A match taking place that I can view, and actively watch developments – sometimes all the analysis in the world doesn’t mean anything if a team decides it’s an ‘off day’
- Knowing if certain key players are out, or perhaps fatigued or carrying a slight injury (for instance, in a normal Premier League game I’d have reservations backing Leicester without Vardy)
- Consistency in results, or at least certain trends, such as usually scoring or conceding few goals
From aspects such as these, a picture can be developed to try and predict how the match will turn out. It is then a case of looking at what markets will support these assumptions with value. This is where I would then look at other resources, such as Predictology or Infogol for confirmation. But even after all this work, surprise events can occur that will go against assumptions and positions. This aspect will be covered in more detail in the next addition of The Trading Guide.
Looking ahead to next week, we have all of the main European leagues taking place at the weekend. There is then an International break for some unnecessary matches that really should be scrapped in the current climate. I may watch some, but trading games such as these is risky and unpredictable, so I would advise in general they are best avoided.
I hope you found the latest diary week interesting and useful, and if you have any questions or comments, please post a response and I'll look forward to replying.
ProTrader started his career and fascination with the financial markets as an Index Analyst at FTSE. He has since consulted for 15 years for some of the top Financial Institutions and Investment Banks in the world, where he specialized in financial instruments, pricing data, trading platforms and risk management solutions. He first started trading sports markets in early 2000, after the introduction and discovery of Betfair. He now trades the financial markets whilst working on entrepreneurial ventures with a focus on sports trading apps and e-commerce. In his spare time, he is writing a series of books soon to be published, enjoys outdoor pursuits with his family, learning Russian and of course, trading football markets.