This season has been my biggest learning curve yet as I have taken on a new challenge in trading the long term markets. So far it has been a fairly positive experience as I am currently in profit, but this has not been without some trials and tribulations. On occasions I think I have reacted to the form of teams and made a move, rather than anticipating a change in form, which is the crucial element. This has mainly resulted in a red screen and it is something which I will need to expel from my game if I am to make good profits. To put this into simpler terms, it is the equivalent of a football match which sees a goal scored in the first 5 minutes, and backing over 2.5 goals after the goal has been scored. With a pre-match price around evens for the over 2.5, an early goal would see the price plummet to around 1.4, and in my opinion backing it at this stage would be rather stupid (though I have been known to do such a thing in a less disciplined era!) Backing at this stage and this price would represent little value and more often than not would lead to losses, particularly if you are looking to trade the bet rather than punt outright. In my opinion there are only two reasons for making such a bet: either because you are reacting to the electric start to the match and think there will be more goals, or because you were waiting for a bigger price on the overs before getting involved, and were frustrated at the early goal, yet buoyed that your pre-match prediction looks to be taking place. This is a classic case of reaction over anticipation, which will commonly lead to unsuccessful trading in the long run.
With the outright markets, the trend remains the same but it is even more crucial to make your trades at the right times because of liquidity problems. It is tempting at times to back with the form book, for instance when a team is on a losing streak and playing diabolical football it sometimes seems incomprehensible that they may ever regain form, but of course they normally do. It is unusual that a team goes through a whole season without a win, losing every match along the way, and similarly so that a team will win every game. Even Arsenal's 'Invincibles' were 2nd in the league at the halfway point in 03/04, having drawn 6 of 19 matches. The reason for this post is that I was considering my potential next moves earlier in the week, and the two which came to my head were Norwich to be relegated and Liverpool top 4 both as back-to-lays. When looking at the form table however, it soon became evident why these two were in my mind, as Liverpool sit 4th from the last 6 matches, and Norwich bottom. Norwich are now 7.4 for relegation, after being around 12.5 before their slump in form. Liverpool are 8 for the top 4 now, after being matched as high as 13 just a few weeks ago. There is little point in taking these prices now as the movement has already happened. There are exceptions to this of course, and either of these teams might continue in the same form, but mostly taking trades in this manner will lead to disaster. Looking at the form table a more realistic option might be backing Southampton for relegation at a generous 3.5, particularly as they are only four points from the drop zone.
I have battled with anticipation and reaction throughout the season, as can be demonstrated clearly by these two images:
Backed at a low price of 4.7, not far from their lowest matched price this season, after a run of poor form. Layed at 12 for a loss.
Backed for top 6 at 1.733 after a run of poor form at the start of the season, layed at 1.4 for a profit after they picked up the pace.
The two images above really reflect the difference in my trades, and I am looking to expel the need to go with the trends after they have happened, however tempting it might be. QPR's home performance to Liverpool a few weeks ago showed a depleted, awful side who look destined for relegation. The next match they won 1-0 at Stamford Bridge. At the end of the day, football is a crazy old sport and to be profitable you have to attempt to predict what's coming. Easy huh? Have a good week.