Odds fluctuate accordingly to the demands of the betting market. Bookmaker odds and exchange odds are both subject to fluctuations. Odds can fluctuate at any time, so the odds that you select and place are
Odds fluctuate accordingly to the demands of the betting market. Bookmaker odds and exchange odds are both subject to fluctuations. Odds can fluctuate at any time, so the odds that you select and place are not locked-in until your bet has been accepted.
It is important to understand fluctuating odds because they have an impact on your Qualifying Loss (QL), i.e. your cost of qualifying for an offer or promotion; specifically:
- Your QL will increase if your back and lay odds become further apart
- Your QL will decrease if your back and lay odds become closer together
Let’s use some examples:
To keep things simple, let’s assume that the exchange charges 0% commission.
Now, let’s say you’re looking to place a £10 matched bet to qualify for a £10 free bet. You have identified a close match where the back odds are 5.0 and the lay odds are 5.3. As you can see from our Matched Betting Calculator, the QL for these odds are -£0.57; meaning that you will incur a guaranteed loss of -£0.57 on this matched bet regardless of the outcome in order to qualify for the £10 free bet.
Now let’s suppose that the lay odds have suddenly increased to 5.5 just before you’ve had a chance to place your matched bet – the odds have now become further apart. As you can see from our calculator, the QL has now increased to -£0.91, making it slightly more expensive to qualify for the free bet!
Now let’s suppose that the lay odds have suddenly decreased to 5.1 just before you’ve had a chance to place your matched bet – the odds have now become closer together. As you can see from our calculator, the QL has now decreased to -£0.20, making it slightly cheaper to qualify for the free bet!
Back odds can also fluctuate (slightly less frequently than the lay odds) and equally have an impact on the QL.
There will be occasions when the back odds become higher than the lay odds, resulting in no QL and creating an immediate guaranteed profit (without the need for a free bet or bonus!). You can see from our calculator that when the back odds increase to 5.8, becoming higher than the lay odds, this creates an immediate guaranteed profit of £0.94! This is known as an ‘arb’. We strongly recommend avoiding placing a matched bet with these odds because arbs are a sure-fire way for your bookmaker account to be gubbed. On a healthy bookmaker account, it is best to avoid arbs entirely!
As matched bettors, we want to keep fluctuations to a minimum, otherwise, we need to recalculate each time the odds change. When you’re starting out in matched betting and not yet used to dealing with fluctuating odds, especially when you’re working through the Welcome Offers, we strongly recommend that:
- You only matched bet on football to begin with, as the odds tend to fluctuate a lot less frequently compared to other sports. Once you become more familiar with the matched betting process and are able to place your bets a lot quicker, you can then move onto matched betting on other sports, including horse racing where the odds tend to fluctuate much more frequently
- You place your matched bet at least a couple of hours before the start of the match/game/race. Odds tend to fluctuate more frequently as you get closer to the start of the match/game/race, with most of the betting activity occurring within 10 minutes prior, causing odds to fluctuate wildly. So the earlier you place your matched bet, the fewer fluctuations you have to deal with
We recommend playing around with the Matched Betting Calculator yourself and see how different stakes and odds influence the QL.
Important Things To Know
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