Matchday Exchange: In-Play Trading

In-play trading can be daunting for a lot of users who are unfamiliar with the way an exchange system works. Even for users who may have traded on Betfair previously, SportStack will offer something different when it comes to your in-play experience.

If you follow us on Twitter, or you’ve seen us in Slack, you’ll know well how lucrative we believe in-play trading on SportStack can be. We are waiting for the website version of SportStack to be finished and go live before we do more content on in-play trading, but in the meantime we hope this short guide will offer some pointers and help you get started on your in-play endeavours.

It’s really no different from trading players pre-kick off


Some traders have suggested that in-play is daunting and different to trading players pre-kick off. This is simply a mindset that you’ll need to get out of. The only difference is that the game is live and your risk will have differed slightly. Say KDB is 50p to buy at kick off, at half time, he’s on a payout of 37p with a buy price of 54p, the risk here (17p) is now less than the risk at kick off (25p). But you also have the advantage of seeing how he’s done so far. This brings us on to our next point.

Judging the flow of the game


If you’re smart and you have tuned into the SportStack Weekly Analysis podcast recently, you may have picked this point up already. The ability to judge the flow of the match is key. Anyone can judge how Man City v Cardiff City would go, but can you confidently judge how Burnley v Sheffield United, or Aston Villa v Crystal Palace would go?

The chances are that you can’t, because they’re more finely balanced and we don’t know each team’s mindset before kick off. By watching the game, however, you’ll start to see patterns, and this is where you can start to judge the flow and spot value.

Player Involvement


Next up is player involvement. Maybe one team attacks down the left more often? Then you could go long on the left winger, or the right back for the opposing team. There will undoubtedly be cases where its blindingly obvious which players are going to be heavily involved (eg Neymar vs Atalanta), or not involved at all. In many circumstances, you may have a suspicion, but the first 10-15 minutes of the game will either confirm or blow apart your judgement.

If you’ve gone long on a player and they’re heavily involved, maybe had a few shots and broken away a couple of times, but has been kept out by the opposing keeper, there’s nothing wrong with adding a bit more to your position, if you feel that the goal is coming.

Is a player going to be subbed?


This is probably a bit of a golden egg. If you’ve watched enough football you’ll have a good idea of which players on a team will be subbed, depending on the circumstances. Knowing which player might be subbed first will also help massively, the sooner they come off, the better for you, as you can short the player in-play.

If you take a short like this early on, you can short more if the player has a poor first half. Some managers will sub a player at half time, and you could very easily bank more profit. The judgement has to be one of risk/reward, and while the reward might be a little less, the risk is reduced because you’ve seen the trade playing out in front of your eyes.

Time is ticking


Remember, you’re judging something in-play, which means anything can happen whilst you’re making your mind up. But also, if the game is in the 80th minute and a player’s buy price is 10p above his score, ask yourself why that might be.

  1. Have they scored twice already, and their team is still looking for more?
  2. Are they still looking threatening?
  3. What does he have to do realistically to just break even?

Those are some examples of questions we ask ourselves when making a trade in-play, which can help us quickly evaluate the risk. Situations like the one above can offer opportunities to go short or long late on.

Instinct will eventually kick in, these points and much more will run through your head almost instantaneously, giving you a trading decision to act on.

There have been times where it feels like we haven’t even had to think about it, to make the trade. A prime example is Mo Salah against Leeds on GW1. His buy price was 5p above his payout with 10 minutes to go after he’d already bagged two goals. He’d been heavily involved throughout and Liverpool were chasing a winner – it seemed a no brainer.

There’s nothing wrong with trading out before the final whistle


We’ve all been there with an accumulator in the past right? You think you’re about to win £3,000 off £1, to be scuppered by a 90th minute goal. Using the exchange, you can avoid that happening to you. You can easily trade out for close to a player’s score near the end, or when they have a surge in involvement.

Remember, SportStack markets settle between 0 and 100, if you buy a player for 40p, and you can sell for 50p at HT, that’s a 25% profit. Why risk letting it run until FT?

Below we’ve highlighted some of our most notable in-play trades to date. We took or added to many of these positions in-play, and in some cases traded out partially or entirely with the game ongoing.

As stated above, we’ll be creating more content on this once we have the website version of SportStack. Keep an eye on our YouTube channel, where we will go through this in a bit more detail.

As always, if you have any feedback or questions regarding this blog, please get in touch with us! We’re always happy to help out.

SportStack In-Play Trading Guide


Why not check out our other guides for the Matchday Exchange?

Take me home!

Disclaimer: Our views are our own. We are not controlled by SportStack and SportStack do not control our content.

We are not a tipping service. We are sports bettors sharing our experiences and aiming to educate others. We may share bets we take and our reasoning for them, but these are simply opinions and we are not providing advice.

Any content distributed under the AlphaStack brand belongs to AlphaStack Content Ltd.

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