The Ultimate Guide to Back and Lay

A betting system is a means of turning your bets into a profit.  Rather than laying down cash with your heart or your gut, you are using your head.  As with a business professional, you are looking for the most profit.  It is not about winning all the time; it is about understanding the odds and the risk and finding the place where you gain value for your risk. Today we’re looking at back and lay.

Like all good football betting strategies, back and lay requires you to have a keen eye for value.  It begins with spotting those bets that have longer odds than they deserve.  In other words, where has the sportsbook manager made a mistake?   If you are convinced that the bookie gets it right more times than they are wrong, then you are an educated gambler.  Therefore, back and lay works best on a betting exchange than on a traditional bookie’s site.

The basics of back and lay

There are two steps within this system for it to work.  First, you can take a match where there is a clear favourite.  You can back your favourite to win.  If the favourite scores in the first half, you can then cash out your bet and likely end up with a small but significant profit.

You can then use the in-play betting options to cover your liability. If you select the same match and back a win with a £10 bet at 4.00, then, if the favourite goes in at the half time with a goal, the odds on a draw will go up.  If you then lay a bet on odds at 6.00 with a £6.50 stake, you are guaranteed a small profit whether there is a win, or whether the teams draw.  The win produces a profit of £3.50 and the draw £3.  This is a small amount, but if you are working a system, then you will hope to accrue profits over a more significant number of bets.

The essential concepts

To make this system work, you need to be happy with the ideas of value betting and working with a bank of money from which you draw your bets.

First, your bank.  No business professional would enter a deal without setting a budget.  All business deals are about managing a set of risks against the possibility of reward.  Therefore, they set an amount that they are willing to invest in this risk and project the potential profits.  To keep focused on this return, there will be a set amount of funds – a budget – made available for investing each month.  The same should be true when running this system.  You should set up your bank of money you are willing to stake, and you should not exceed this based on emotion.

Then, at the end of a period of betting within this system, you will be able to assess the level of profits you have made across all stakes.  As nothing in sport and gambling is guaranteed, some of your bets will have lost; some will have won.  You are looking for more wins than losses across the period of working with this investment of funds.

Second, use the concept of value to choose your bets.  Usually betting on the favourite is pointless across a system.  The odds are so weak that you will lose money over a set of bets.  However, as you are hedging your bet with a potential for a draw during in-play, you need to look for those matches where the bookie has misread the possibility of there being an obvious favourite.

When seeking value, you are looking to take advantage of bookie mistakes using your research and your application of maths.  With a sound knowledge of the game, including keeping up with the latest changing room gossip, you can highlight those moments when the odds underestimate the chances of one team over another.

Predict and Project

With any betting system, you are looking to predict and project.  Therefore, you should sit down on a Friday and predict what will happen in games over the weekend.  You should read the sports pages and understand the state of play in terms of injury and morale (don’t forget our team news).  The latest signings could influence outcomes, as could interventions by the Chairman of the club.  All this knowledge should go into your predictions.

From this select the matches that offer the best odds for the outcomes you select.  Now, open your spreadsheet and project your profits based on your before the game and in-play bets.  Once you have done this prep – you are ready to make the most of back and lay betting.