Are you patient enough to watch a football match for 80 minutes without being tempted to risk a penny and make your move in the last minutes? If you’ve managed to attain such self-control, you’re inches away from claiming the "holy grail" of sports betting. Making a living from punting. According to well hidden bookie stats, the last moments of a football match, especially after the 80th min., is the point where they abandon their strategy and rashly change their odds.
To make things simple, this is the right time to strike, as the bookmaker now has the same time pressure you had during the rest of the match. Think of it as a completely different match, that lasts about 10-15 minutes and you start with the same possibilities as your opponent.
Bookies will back their initial choice
Before you start putting your money on last minute bets, you should take your time observing the matches. Spend some time watching how the bookie behaves in a series of live betting matches. You’re going to notice quite a few interesting of things, some of which will often contradict a logical conclusion or a specific odds pattern.
Let’s look at an example. Suppose you are observing a match with a clear home favorite, offered at 1.50-1.60 odds before the match started. As the match proceeds to half time with both teams remaining deadlocked, the expected reaction from the bookie is to increase the odds for a home win and decrease the ones for a draw. This is simply the nature of how odds change during live play. However, this change occurs in a lesser scale than you’d expect, especially if you take into account the remaining time, and in many cases how the teams are performing.
In general, bookies tend to stick by their initial estimation, so they'll rarely switch the odds towards the underdog. Unless there’s a fact which will crucially affect the match (i.e. a red card), the home win will still appear as the most prevalent result, at least according to the odd's implied probability. So, if the match remains goalless at halftime, the home win should have been offered at around 2.50. Strangely enough this is not the case as in most such matches the home win odds won't surpass 2.00.
Get the highest odds
Analyzing last minute bets odds
At this point you realize that the away win, which is still one goal away, has reached valued odds. The time is pressuring the bookie to lower the draw odds, but he has to stand by his initial view, so he can't increase the home team's odds to the height he should. In order to keep his commission to acceptable levels, he is forced to augment the away team's odds to an edge that is far more valuable compared to how the match is progressing.
There comes a point, though, where the bookie is forced to forfeit his initial view and has to follow the match's score and facts. The exact minute is not the same for every match, as it depends on the teams and what’s actually happening on the pitch. However, the usual tactic is to start adjusting the odds after the 70th min. in case a strong favorite has not managed to score so far and after the 80th min. in virtually any other match.
Finding the edge
If you spend some time observing the odds changes during in play matches, you'll see that it's pretty easy to spot this “edge point”. After this adjustment takes place, you may find giant teams like Real Madrid or Manchester United being offered at extraordinary odds to simply score a single goal and win the match.
Think about it. It’s all about time pressure. As the match draws to its close bettors tend to place bets to the currently result (draw bets or no more goals to be scored). Unbeknown to them, they are putting this pressure on themselves, as the odds keep lowering at a frantic pace, usually around every 30 seconds. That’s where the average punter will lose his composure and place a big stake on the draw odds as he feels he can't afford to miss a profitable opportunity. His mind is so bent on claiming these supposed high odds, that he cares little about value or how the match might be progressing.
Keep calm and think like a pro
The tactics are really simple. Write down all the matches with a clear favorite, clear up those that remain at a draw result (goalless draws are best, but a scored draw is almost the same) and place a bet to the favorite, by following the bookies' preferences before the match. You’ll be able to find double, maybe even triple odds, with usually 12 minutes of an all-out attacking game by the favorite.
You can also do this with the underdog’s odds as well. Bookies tend to boost the outsider odds even higher than the favorite, in their attempt to balance the commission. However, this type of strategy requires a large bankroll and a thorough understanding of how the underdog will respond after being pushed back in their own half. Math wise tough, an underdog win priced at 12.00 odds during the last minute means you can afford to win only once in every 10 matches and still earn a profit.