Inplay Betting

Inplay Betting Strategies

Lesson 3

Of the three lessons in this course this is the one you will want to take note of the most. This gets down to the nitty gritty. It will include;

  • triggers to watch out for
  • staking considerations
  • planning ahead
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    strategy within individual markets

Inplay Triggers

The first thing I always look for are mismatches. These are particularly relevant in friendlies when the mismatch can be priced up completely wrong. But they are relevant all the time.

There are two things I look out for when looking for mismatches;

  • Big price differential between opponents.
  • Look to the underdog first.

Why do I always look to the underdog first? Simply because that is most often where you are going to find a hint of value. 

Punters play follow the leader all the time. For goodness sake don't be the guy who backs a handicap on the basis of price and price alone. Do not be that guy. 

Follow the information from the previous two lessons and make the most informed decision you can. And don't be afraid to back an underdog just because the price suggests they have little chance. The price is often wrong. 

Of course it is prudent to use handicaps in this situation. Using the +x Asian Handicap line can come up trumps here if you are paying attention to the action. 

However, value can also land on the side of the favourite and they are often justified in being short. So 'look to the underdog first' does not mean ignore the favourite.

A strong favourite proving to be dominant can be an excellent cue to play the goals markets (more on that later). 

Try and take a gauge of the bookmaker's overround (mark up percentage). An even 0.0 Asian line should be around 1.9 (9/10) v 1.9 (9/10) giving the bookie a mark up of 5.2%.

They vary and some times, on certain markets, you will be fighting a losing battle immediately with an overround of 10% plus. While this doesn't necessarily mean the value is not there it does mean the bookie is eating into any potential value.

Staking Considerations

As I mentioned in a previous lesson staking can be one of the more difficult elements to inplay betting. You generally have less time and information to make a fully informed decision. 

Staking at the right level is important mainly for two reasons;

  • Managing your bankroll and preventing unsustainable losses.
  • Maximising your profit by increasing stakes when more value is apparent.

As I say, determining how much value is available in inplay betting can be difficult due to lack of information and knowledge. 

Like any form of betting bad runs happen and they can be long and soul destroying. So I believe the prevention of unsustainable losses is of the utmost importance when betting inplay. 

Therefore I find it prudent to play with stakes a little lower than I would do when using pricing structures or spending a good deal of time looking over the ante-post prices. 

As a result I limit my max bet to 3 to 4% for inplay as opposed to 5% for pre match bets. Even then a max bet inplay is extremely rare. More rare than the four or five we had last season for pre match bets. 

But I am the oxymoronic conservative gambler. The real truth about staking is it is often a very personal endeavour. Do what works for you is the best advice. As long as it is working and is going some way to maximising your returns. 

Planning Ahead

When it comes to league football the fixtures and odds are available for almost every league in the World. So there really are no excuses for doing a little preparation.

Stats are widely (and freely) available, too. You can check out goal production stats, corner stats, form and a multitude of other stats with a finger tap. 

At the very least you can check what games are scheduled to come up inplay in the bookmaker client at the start of every day. 

You should be looking for mismatches, as ever, and any leagues or teams you are familiar with. For example if you know Parnu in Estonia are usually good for a glut of goals you should, at the very least, be looking out for their fixtures. 

Or if you know Dundalk are good for a late goal, and oh my how they have returned for us this season, you should also be looking out for their fixtures. 

But do bear in mind the bookies catch up eventually. Just because you have been backing a team for goals religiously and they have been completing more often than not does not mean the value will remain indefinitely. 

In fact, it most definitely will not. 

First Half Asian Handicap Strategy

These are probably the simplest of the bets to gauge that I take on which is probably why I like them so much.

A word of warning though. They are popular and you do need to be quick or the value can disappear in an instant.

That brings challenges you need to be wary of. The temptation to follow a price crash is real. Again, don't be that guy. If the price falls beyond an acceptable level give it up. Another boat will be along soon, I assure you. 

Like everything else I like to give it at least ten minutes observation before taking the plunge (there are exceptions to everything). But what is it you're looking for?

The same thing you are looking for when it comes to most forms of football betting. 

A level of dominance misrepresented in the prices.

What does this mean? It means you are looking for a side who are dominating a game and therefore more likely to win the game, or the half, and the price suggests otherwise.

This does not mean you are looking for underdogs only but an underdog looking dominant will usually have value attached. 

The most important stats to consider, in my opinion, are 'Dangerous Attacks' and 'Shots On Target'. But all the stats cumulatively can help to guide your opinion and decision making. 

reading stats in inplay betting strategy

In this example it is pretty clear the away side are dominant in the match. Fifteen dangerous attacks versus two. Eight shots on goal versus one, with five on target versus none on target.

But is there value attached?


A 0.0 1st half asian handicap price of 1.425 is debatable. 

It's certainly not one I would take on although the stats do suggest it is one that is unlikely to lose. 

However you will note the time in the match is forty minutes in. Given the level of dominance we can confidently predict their price has taken a hit over the course of the first half.

Was there value attached at some point? Almost certainly. Would a price of 1.7 (7/10) have value attached? Yes! Absolutely!

And given the level of dominance the second half is one I would be watching with a keen interest. 

It is important to note at this point I very rarely take on a bet after the thirty minute mark. Again there are always exceptions but I would need to be getting a value full price to consider it (or be on an extreme tilt). 

In conclusion;

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    Plan ahead.
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    Look primarily, but not exclusively, for mismatches. 
  • Trust the stats.
  • Look to the underdog first.
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    Look for a level of dominance misrepresented in the prices.
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    Play the halves more often.
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    Be judicious with staking levels.

Goals Are King

"Goals are king!" You'll have heard that phrase before, no doubt. Lots of punters and tipsters prefer to stick to goals rather than WDW or handicaps. Some even decry anyone who backs anything other than goals as imbecilic. That's foolish in the extreme. But there is certainly logic to their argument that goals are king. 

The major benefit of goals of course is not being concerned with which team scores. You have both sides taking the bet on for you. Both goalmouths are open and that of course increases the chances. 

My main contention with backing goals is you absolutely must have a completed action to win the bet, unless you are backing unders. There is no stake back insurance with goals. 

But I do like goals and I do back goals. The main triggers I look for when backing goals are pretty much the same as asian handicap. So why do I plump for goals instead of a handicap? There are a couple of reasons;

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    When a team is dominant but look like they could be susceptible to conceding.
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    Late in a half or late in a game. Particularly when one team is dominant and chasing the game.
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    When teams are evenly matched but goalscoring chances are being created.
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    When the handicap prices appear squeezed.

When backing goals you absolutely must keep an eye on the 'Total Goals' market AND the 'Goal Line' market.

Failure to do so could see you leave potential returns in the bookies' pockets. 

Mismatches are often a key factor in backing goals, too. Very often you will come across dominant teams who are struggling to make a breakthrough. You could be fifteen, twenty or more minutes into a half and the price for a goal will start to ratchet up. 

Again, trust the stats. And with goals I am prone on occasion to betting beyond the thirty minute mark.

Teams like to give it a good go approaching half-time and full-time if the match is all square or someone has a narrow lead.  

If it's Dundalk this season I like to take them around eighty-seven or eighty-eight minutes. It's incredible how many times they have come up trumps. 

Other than that the triggers and rules remain pretty much the same as they do for the first half asian handicap bets. 


There are corner specialists out there who, as the name suggests, specialise on corner markets. I would not put myself in that bracket but I do like to dabble in the market under the right circumstances. 

The reason I like to dabble in this market is because I believe this is the market that gives you the best chance of high odds returns.

It of course also means the bets are rare because they have to fulfil certain conditions before I take them on. But boy what a feeling when a bet comes in at odds of double figures. 

My primary go to market for corners is the 'Race to 'x' corners' market. I utilise this in matches I have a strong suspicion are going to be tight in terms of goals but have either a dominant side or a side chasing the game. 

For corners a team chasing the game is the big driver and trigger for taking the bets on. And it's worth noting that goals really change the pattern of play for corners bets. Although it can go in your favour as well as count against you. 

Like everything else you are looking for a side that are dominant and this dominance being misrepresented in the prices. But there are a few triggers worth noting for taking on a bet in the hope of seeing a late splurge of corners. 

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    A team chasing the game and applying a good deal of pressure are more likely to get corners against a side sitting in.
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    A team who have narrowed a multiple goal gap relatively late in the game and are now pushing hard to get back on level terms. 

In both these instances there is the added chance of corners from the defending side getting forward and taking the ball to the corner flag. 

But the second criteria is of greater note. When a side who have a two goal lead suddenly see that lead halved they are far more prone to sit in and defend deeper. 

The trailing side will be far more encouraged to attack with greater numbers and take pot shots which can be easily deflected behind. 

The defending side, suddenly under pressure, are more likely to take the easy option and put the ball behind for a corner.

When you recognise these opportunities you should look to the 'match corners' market. This market disappears around 87/88 minutes so you do need to get in before then. 

At times like this you need to back over a certain amount of corners and my advice is to be brave. A flurry of corners can happen at any time but particularly in the circumstances described above.

So don't be afraid to go for the high odds, while being judicious with your stakes of course, in looking for a wee payday. 

Anytime from eighty minutes onwards (and often before) should deliver prices in double figures. But often the later you leave it the better. You need less corners for higher returns. 

backing corners inplay betting strategy

This was taken from the 82nd minute.

As the minutes tick on your options become limited but you can often end up with double figures for just two more corners with four minutes plus injury time remaining. 

What you may also notice about corners is the overround tends to be higher. This is one of the main reasons they are the least common of the markets I take on.

With corners and goals an idea of how much injury time should be added can be a great boost.

Traders rarely take account of injuries so getting on late in the knowledge there will be five or more minutes injury time gives you an immediate shot of value in the arm.