I have a theory that I have believed all my trading life. Sports with more ‘points’ are easier to ‘trade’ than sports with fewer points.
Take soccer for example. There are methods to make money on soccer, but ‘trading’ a soccer match is tough. This is due to the low number of goals scored and, as a consequence, the low number of opportunities for swings in match odds.
That’s not to say that trading soccer is impossible, there are other incidents that dictate a significant swing in odds, for example a sending off. There are also more markets than just the main market to trade. Over / Under 2.5 goals tends to be the main market to trade during a match due to most games having an expected goal total of around 2.5 and thus, the market trading both sides of even money multiple times during a game for over or under 2.5 goals.
Traders Love Cricket
The reason I bring up soccer is that it is the polar opposite to cricket. In a cricket match you could have hundreds or thousands of points (runs) and all of these runs will instigate a small or large change in the odds of each team at many points during a match. This in turn means that there is the opportunity to trade your way to a large profit (or loss) multiple times in a game.
It isn’t unusual for me to have 100 trades in a One Day International match.
The concept of trading isn’t overly different from the idea of betting. Don’t let anyone tell you that a ‘trader’ isn’t betting. The only difference between a trader and a bettor is that a trader is making a bet for a specific period of time.
2017 Ashes Insight
For example, someone believing the $1.85 on Australia to win the first ashes test at the GABBA is a big price (it is) can make a bet on them winning the game. This bet lasts from the moment it is struck until the conclusion of the game.
A trader may believe that England’s top order is weak and would look to back Australia when they bowl.
They would take the price available before England’s innings and would only be involved in the market while England’s top 4-5 are batting. The idea being that if the trader is correct and England’s top order lose their wickets cheaply, Australia would be a significantly shorter price to win the match with England 3/30 (why do you Aussies put the score that way round!).
They would then ‘hedge’ their bet back at a shorter price to generate a profitable trade:
Net position: (before commission)
So irrespective of who wins from here the trader has made a profitable trade. From there they can go on to identify other scenarios in the match that they feel they can turn into profit and build up more profit on the game.
Of course, if the trader is wrong and England are 3/300, Australia will be a significantly higher price than $1.85 and they will have to decide if they will cut their trade for a loss or not. This is different to the bettor, because Australia could still win the test from England being 3/300 and the bettor doesn’t care what price any teams are during the game because they are just interested in the final result.
Trading becomes even more valuable in the shorter formats of the game, where taking on certain players with other players for very short time periods can result in significant profits.
Take the BBL for example. If you have a weak bowler who you want to be against and two strong batsmen that you want to be with, you could back the batting team for just 6 balls. If the weak bowler gets ‘pumped’ around the ground, you will have made excellent profit and if he gets both batsmen out you will have lost significantly. This is The Game Within The Game.
Cricket, in all formats, is an exceptional sport to “trade” on. The high scores provide opportunities to navigate in and out of positions, depending on particular scenarios within the game. If you can spot strengths and weaknesses at particular times, those mismatches can be exploited for profit.