Where is your goldmine - live or prematch betting?

Where is your goldmine – live or prematch betting?

There are two types of bets – Live or prematch.
I went through different stages myself – in the beginning, I started with prematch betting. Later became only live punter – mostly was betting on the games I was watching or noticed some stats in favor of one team or another (like shots on target, possession, corners).
Currently, I am back to prematch betting mainly. From time to time I will place some live bets – the ones I miss prematch or I can get desirable odds/limits only inplay.

Live betting – in my opinion, is a bit based on emotions. You do not have enough time to think, evaluate the bet – usually, you place a bet in a rush. Bookmakers love live bettors, especially the ones betting on Over goals and favorites. On the markets, which are most favorite by punters you will get the least value (odds always will be lower than it should be).
So what would average punter do? He will bet on excitement – goals. Once you bet on goals you always start in losing position – games starts at 0-0 and you need goals to win your bet, but with every minute gone you are missing on value – the odds on Overs will go only up unless a goal is scored. Is it easier to score or to miss? Probably most of you agree that to score a goal is more difficult. Betting on unders you are starting in winning position already and when time flies by, odds on overs only goes up, which gives you a chance to lock the profit – if you are doing some live trading on Exchanges. Yeah, I know betting on unders is not exciting and every shot from 25 meters looks dangerous, and time basically stops. Once you bet on overs time is flying quicker than you wish.
Prematch betting – gives you more time to evaluate bet. You can think a bit longer is it worth to place a bet – your bet shouldn’t be placed based on emotions. Bookmakers do not like prematch only punters, especially if you place your bets 2-3 days in advance before the event. Especially, if odds will drop later, you will be marked as sharp customer. More sharp bets you will place, quicker you will be limited on European bookmakers.
Prematch bets usually have lower limits, especially in lower level leagues. For example, if you want to bet on Romanian handball or Romanian second division football limits at average bookmakers could be only 20-50 euros, which are increasing 4-5 times in the same game once it goes live. That’s why sharp punters are unhappy with low stakers on prematch – markets are ruined for live betting. In the ideal world, such prematch prices shouldn’t be touched but you will always see some €20 guy trying to take prematch prices instead of waiting for live betting to be opened. You can’t really blame him – he is trying to take the bet when it is possible. If not him, some other guy will ruin market anyway.
Small limits are set on purpose – bookmakers do not have enough time to analyze every low-level league and follow information about team injuries or unpaid salaries, that’s why they just offer mathematical odds and wait for small bets to adjust the odds. That’s why you will see big odds movements prematch but it doesn’t mean the match is fixed. A lot of punters make wrong conclusions just monitoring prematch odds thinking that these games are fixed. It is just the games with small limits – and every few hundred euros will crush the market.
There is also another tactic – ping pong betting. Prematch someone places 500-2000 euros at different Asian bookies and crush the lines (all European bookies follow Asian lines and move the price accordingly even if they haven’t received a single bet on this game) – I am talking here about low-level leagues. Obviously, 1000 euro won’t be enough to move Premier league price even by 1 cent. Once prices start dropping, more people jump on bandwagon and start backing the same team – opposite team’s price goes up. Inplay with much bigger limits organizers of ping pong tactic take advantage of higher prices and bet on opposite team.
So, unless you have the solid information it is not worth taking any dropping odds because in most cases you have no idea why odds are dropping.
All in all, it is your job to find the best betting strategy for yourself and recording and analyzing your bets will help you to do it.


  1. I like your thoughts about betting on unders. I also think that people tend to be over optimistic about goals – I have noticed that vast majority of people (dunno, maybe even 90%) in Blogabet or Oddsportal are tipping overs. And that’s natural. So, I was thinking if that really is so (if 90% of money goes to overs), then the over/under market should be inefficient (not balanced) and value more likely has to be found in unders. Do you know if there had been some studies on this?

    1. First of all, usually over/under markets (or any other) are never balanced at bookmakers books – it is only in theory bookmaker will have the same amount on overs and unders. If bookmaker is pricing up lines and real figures should be 50/50 in most cases you will get 1.85 on overs and 1.95 on unders (if margin is 105%), because bookmaker knows most people will bet overs. That’s why if you are good with numbers, you can do your own calculations and evaluate real probability.
      Once someone posts a tip on blogabet or similar website and 20-30 people jumps on a bandwagon – odds start dropping. Other see dropping odds – joins in, from real odds of 1.95 price is slashed to 1.6 – in that case bookmaker let’s say has 5000 risk if customers win, but 8000 profit if customers lose. And this is a 50/50 chance game. So, you can see bookies advantage. Bookie will not offer you fair price if he knows that he will get bets anyway on this outcome. This is your job to find value and take it.
      Now, coming back to your question about some studies – it is not so easy to find something because no one wants to share such information, it is too valuable. But just try to follow a couple of games where you have seen big odds drop on overs prematch and just in 5-8 minutes inplay you can get much better odds because they are coming back to more or less real odds. Good option for Betfair trading, read between the lines 😉

  2. I was thinking like this – for big markets bookie margin will be only 2% or even less (say, by using Sportmarket). So, very theoretical example: real chances are 50/50 (over/under). Books open @ 1,96/1,96 (which is 2% margin). Then on average more people bet on overs which drives overs price down to 1,90 and unders up to 2,02. Now it’s already 1% ROI in the long term (and as we now, for high-rollers on Asians it is ok to have such ROI long term).

    So, in short, my feeling is that this margin is so fcking small that weight of money could drive unders into value side (especially when mug punters start betting on MU & Chelsea overs). Or do you think it could not be so?

  3. You are right. But what I had in mind – that even opening price on unders in most cases (big games) could be value already. Once mug punters start betting over, you can find even more value in unders (as you mentioned above). I hope I answered your question.

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