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Spreadex betting blog

Thursday, August 14, 2014
Andy MacKenzie - Marketing Communications Manager, Spreadex

How to bet on football in-play via spread betting and fixed odds

In-play betting is now the betting method of choice for many punters, but just how does in-play football spread betting differ from the live Cash Out fixed odds betting offered by most bookmakers?

The Cash Out functionality is a relatively new feature for fixed odds football betting, having been offered by most bookies – including Spreadex – for the past couple of seasons.

However, spread betting has been associated with in-play betting for more than 20 years with the method of buying or selling on a particular price ideally suited to opening and closing out bets during a match as the prices fluctuate.

To show how the two forms of in-play betting differ, let’s first look at the Cash Out feature that relates to fixed odds football betting.

Let’s say you had placed a £50 bet at 12/1 on Stoke City to beat Manchester United at Old Trafford last season when the sides met in October. If you had let the bet run to its conclusion and the Potters had won, you would have stood to have made a profit of £600 plus the return of your £50 stake.

In that match, Stoke were 2-1 up after 77 minutes before late strikes from Wayne Rooney and Javier Hernandez gave Man United an eventual 3-2 win. If you had let the bet run to its conclusion it would have lost you £50.

However, if you had used Spreadex’s Cash Out functionality on 77 minutes, just before Rooney’s equaliser, you could have taken back £390 – effectively odds of 34/5 meaning a profit of £340 plus the return of the £50 stake.

Let’s compare this to in-play spread betting on football. The pre-match spread betting Supremacy price in that game was Manchester United/Stoke 1.55 – 1.75. After Stoke took an early lead, this dropped to Manchester United/Stoke 0.25 – 0.45 meaning the Spreadex traders thought United were still the favourites but at a much smaller Goal Supremacy margin.

Just after half-time, with Stoke leading 2-1, the Supremacy price was Manchester United/Stoke -0.1 – 0.1 (known as ‘Choice’) which meant the Spreadex traders felt the game was most likely to end up a draw at this point. After Rooney’s equaliser, the price moved to Manchester United/Stoke 0.25 – 0.45, again making United slight favourites. Eventually the market settled at 1 with United winning 3-2.

So as the price moved, spread betters could open or close out bets accordingly. E.g. if punters were getting against United, they could have sold for £50 on the Supremacy price at 1.55 pre kick-off and then closed out after half-time by buying back at 0.1 for a £72.50 profit.

Or if punters had wanted to get with United when they were behind, they could have bought United’s Supremacy at 0.1 after half-time and made £45 when the market eventually settled at 1.

The first point most will notice here is that the spread betting examples are not as profitable as the fixed odds example, however it must be remembered that spread betting is a different form of sports gambling than fixed odds betting.

With spread betting there are a vast range of markets to choose from with some far more volatile than other. E.g. while a Goal Supremacy market may only usually move two or three points away from the spread, Total Goal Minutes, for example, can easily end up more than a hundred points away from the spread.

With spread betting, the more a market swings in your favour then the more you can win, but the more the bet goes against you the more you can lose. This means you can lose more than your initial stake or deposit on a losing bet unlike fixed odds betting so it’s important to choose your stake wisely according to the market you are playing.

Let’s go back to the Manchester United versus Stoke game from last season and look at some in-play examples on other spread betting markets.

The pre-match Bookings quote for that game (10 points per yellow, 25 per red with a maximum of 35 points per player) was 28 – 32. Approaching half-time, with no yellows or reds having been handed out, the Bookings quote had dropped to 20 – 23. Spread betters who foresaw the eight yellow cards that were to follow, could have bought at 23 to make an eventual 57 point profit when the market made-up at 80.

Additionally, as there were two yellow cards handed out on the stroke of half-time, they could have closed out at various points in the second half for a profit if they didn’t want to risk waiting until the end of the game to see if there were indeed further bookings. On the opposite side of things, anyone who sold on the pre-match Bookings quote of 28, thinking it would be a clean game, would have lost 52 times their stake.

Looking at another example on the same match, the pre-match Total Goal Minutes quote (minutes goals are scored in a game, aggregated) was 143 – 153. Shortly before half-time, with Peter Crouch’s fourth minute strike the only goal of the game, the quote had dropped to 129 – 139.

But goals from Robin van Persie for United and then Marko Arnautovic for Stoke right at the end of the half saw the Total Goal Minutes quote jump to 206 – 216.

The market eventually made up at 250 after Rooney and Javier Hernandez scored late on meaning anyone who had bought Total Goal Minutes at the 139 level would have made 111 times their stake.

Even those who had sold on the pre-match quote of 143 could have got out of their bet before half-time by buying back at 139 for a small four point win and avoided the eventual loss of 107 times their stake, which they would have suffered had they let the bet run to its conclusion.

So next time you are about to partake in some in-play fixed odds betting, maybe visit the Spreadex site and have a look at how the spread betting markets move during a live match. It may give you a new perspective on how exciting live football spread betting can be and give you an alternative to your usual fixed odds selections.

Find out more about sports spread betting

View our helpful video guide here to find out more about sports spread betting.

We also have video guides to help you find out more about football spread betting, to find out more about cricket spread betting and to find out more about spread betting on horse racing.


Spread betting carries a high level of risk to your capital and can result in losses larger than your initial stake/deposit. It may not be suitable for everyone so please ensure you fully understand the risks involved.

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