Cricket Trading Basics

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Cricket is one of the most volatile sports on the Exchange. One wicket or boundary can completely change the odds, which can present traders with great opportunities to trade. Learn more about cricket trading in Matt Barker’s guide to cricket trading below.

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. ‘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 multiple times in a game.

It isn’t unusual for me to have 100 trades in an ODI or Twenty20 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.

The Ashes Insights

Here is an example from the 2017 Ashes series, where an in-play opportunity presented itself due to the make-up of the English first XI.

If someone believed the $1.85 on Australia to win the first Ashes test at the GABBA was a big price (it was at the time), they could make a bet on them winning the game. The bet would then last from the moment it gets matched until the conclusion of the game.

A trader, however, would believe that England’s batting top order is weak and would look to back Australia when they bowl.

They 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 was correct and England’s top order lost their wickets cheaply, Australia becomes a significantly shorter price to win the match with England at, say, 3/30 (why do you Aussies put the score that way round!).

They then ‘hedge’ their bet back at a shorter price to generate a profitable trade, as follows:

 BACK $100 Australia $1.85 before they bowl

 LAY $132 Australia $1.40 with England 3/30

Net position: (before commission)

Australia +$32

England +$32

Draw +$32

So irrespective of who wins from that point, 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 trade on.

Of course, if the trader is wrong and England are 3/300, Australia end up a significantly higher price than $1.85. They will have to decide if they 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 changes in odds.

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. 5. If the weak bowler gets ‘pumped’ around the ground, this would likely result in profits and if he gets both batsmen out this will likely result in significant losses.


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 create opportunities for trading.


Did you know there are 3rd Party Tools that help you trade quicker on Betfair?

Geeks Toy is the most popular tool for pro cricket punters and is endorsed by Matt Barker.

You can download a 14 day trial here.


Also, please be aware that customers located in Australia must call Telbet on 132238 if they wish to place in-play bets on sporting events.

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