Hello, IanW here, with my report on a brand new service from the Pre-Match Trading people – Inplay Trading.
As you might assume from the name, InPlay Trading is about, er, trading football matches in play.
The hub of the system is a browser-based Scanner (Firefox, Chrome, Opera and Safari recommended) which is really a neat piece of programming.
It lists most, although not quite all, football matches going inplay at Betfair along with a running collection of statistics.
- Match Odds (Home, Away, Draw)
- and £ Matched
- Over/Under 2.5 Goals
- and £ Matched
- Correct Score
- and £ Matched
The most interesting statistics, however, are on the right of the screen and these give you an up-to-date accounting of:
- Shots on target
- Shots off target
- Free kicks
- Red cards
- Yellow cards
- Pressure Index
These are given for both teams so you can see at a glance who is on top and putting in the most effort.
No Pressure, then
The eagle-eyed among you may have nodded sagely at the list which contains standard football statistics– until you got to the Pressure Index.
This is InPlay’s custom indicator which calculates how much pressure a team has been applying in the last ten minutes.
Essentially it’s a combination of possession and the number of shots on and off target.
When it gets over 50 it highlights, so you know that the team is putting in an extra special effort with, we hope, the increased likelihood of goals.
So far so good, but how do you make money with it?
Well, if I can pull this right back to basics, it’s about using the stats to determine whether or not there are likely to be any goals, how many goals and when they are likely to occur.
Some crystal ball, eh?
The site suggests several strategies you can use with the Scanner.
For example, if there are 3 or more Shots On Target (SOT) within 15 minutes, back Over 2.5 Goals.
If there are 4 SOT within 20 minutes, back Over 1.5 Goals.
After 20-30 minutes, if there have been 3 SOT and the home team is trading within a certain range and the 0-0 correct score is less than certain odds, back certain correct scores.
There’s a touch more to the systems than that but you get the idea.
My particular penchant was to lay 0-0 or the Draw but you really need low odds to make this work well.
Of course, it’s not quite as easy as that.
Some games do work out as expected/hoped but this is football we’re talking about and many don’t.
The secret is research.
You really need to do your homework and check out the stats on the individual teams to get an idea of how they might perform in the current game.
To help with this, the Scanner also has a link to SoccerStats for individual games (although not for all matches) where you can quickly see how the teams have been performing.
Don’t underestimate the importance of statistics and a bit of history.
You know what they say about history – we never learn from it!
I’d suggest that it’s pretty much essential to do some research before betting.
Through a Scanner darkly
When I began using the Scanner, my initial ideas were to lay the current Correct Score or Draw (when the odds were low), see which team was likely to win, or see if there’d be Over/Under 1.5 or 2.5 Goals.
I freely confess that I did little research which probably accounts for my results.
- Bets: 30
- Win%: 21%
- Profit: -49%
Before you have a whip-round for me, these were micro stakes so no great damage done but at that point I thought it best to regroup (as best as you can regroup with a company of one) and reassess my strategy.
At this point I mainly followed along, checking likely plays and seeing what would have happened.
Yes, you guessed – when I wasn’t betting all my selections won!
No, sorry, they didn’t, but that’s what usually happens, isn’t it?
To be honest, I can’t say that my non-betting results were any more inspired than my betting efforts, but I was amazed at how many times the Pressure Index heralded a goal.
Of course, it helped if the team had a history of SOTs, corners and the like!
An ideal play in such cases would be to lay the current score. However, the odds really need to be low for this to be consistently profitable.
You can also use the Pressure Index to anticipate a goal but simply backing that score is not always enough as another goal can throw that off, so you need a definite strategy.
In one instance, I used the Scanner to predict a goal to take the score from 2-1 to 2-2. I was right on the button. However, knowing another goal could lose the gain, I also backed Over 3.5 goals but, alas, not for enough so when the inevitable fifth goal came I was left out of pocket.
The trouble was, the odds for Over 3.5 Goals were incredibly low so the amount I would have had to stake would have wiped out the gain from the 2-2 win. It was meant as a saver although it didn’t save me much.
This highlights the necessity of having a well thought-out plan before jumping in.
Tools for the job
So, alas, it’s not a licence to print money.
At least for me it wasn’t, but in the right hands, with the right knowledge, I’m sure the football statistician and aficionado could use it to great advantage.
And if you are a footie fan and aficionado, you may be wondering what this offers over some other sites such as Bet365’s Live Streaming and flashscore.com.
First, it lists most of the games currently being played on one screen. At busy times the list can scroll off the page. However, you can remove games from the list if they’re of no interest to you.
If you like to look for betting opportunities during games, you’ll love this.
Secondly, it pulls together more stats – plus its custom Pressure Index – than other sites offer individually and combines them with Betfair prices and graphs.
Clicking on a price will take you directly to that Betfair page saving you loads of time.
Strategy & tactics
It also allows you to set up ‘Strategies’ by specifying certain game conditions such as the number of SOT, the number of Goals, the Correct Score, and minimum matched amounts. Set these in a Strategy and only when the conditions are fulfilled will the game appear in the window.
You can create several Strategy settings to suit several, er, strategies.
As of writing, the team are adding email alerts, too.
To you, m’boy…
So, how much does it cost?
InPlay Trading currently has three subscription options:
- One month: £29
- Three months: £75 (£25/month)
- Six months: £135 (£22.50/month)
Unlike straightforward betting systems, trading systems and tools are more difficult to draw a firm conclusion about, because their usefulness and performance are so closely tied to the user.
I think this is a very interesting tool and could imagine many football fans using it quite profitably.
Alas, I’m not a footie fan although I do like statistics and analysis, and couldn’t quite get the stats to work in my favour.
I’m quite prepared to accept lots of things.
Such as I didn’t trade the best matches, I didn’t do enough research, I don’t know enough about football, and I didn’t formulate a definitive plan of action.
So while I accept that, the bottom line is that I, personally, was unable to find an edge with the Scanner. And while I desperately wanted to use this to make a few £, I couldn’t do it so I find it difficult to give it more than a Neutral rating.
However, I will monitor it over the next few months and, if I make any more trades, I will post updates in the Comments below.
Meanwhile, you probably already know if this is something you could profitably use. If so, don’t let my experience prevent you exploring it.