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How to find smart tips by following the smart money flows

Betting markets constantly change, and smart money is everywhere. Learn how you can take advantage of the markets by following the smart money flows.

Published on
Updated on 03 November 2018

Betting Tips for Today's Football

Find more value in your next football bet. You could gain a betting edge by checking out the tips and stats for today's and tomorrow's fixtures...

I believe that it’s possible to recognise potential winning selections based on big bets by smart punters. The best soccer handicappers and forecasters will provide better betting options than less-informed punters.

If we can agree the above statement is true, then the only real question we need to ask is: can you follow smart money?

If we take a step back, we can think about how realistic this really is for you to make money on the back of other punters.

If there is a lot of smart money within the betting market, it should be possible for us to understand how many selections the high rollers are spending money on.

There are countless thousands of people around the world that are placing bets across a range of different selections and a range of different sports.

Some are placing their smart bets on classic betting sports, such as horse racing, tennis and football, whereas others are more interested in high-profile sporting occasions, such as boxing or motor sports.

If you think about the money wagered on different sports, we can also understand how many bets have been placed on different events and the magnitude of the bets. This means we can use some intelligence to work out the large bets that have been placed across different fixtures.

If we check out Betfair, we can see the amount of money wagered within each book (i.e. betting event) and the value of matched bets.

This means that we can instantly identify where the largest proportion is wagered and then judge where we think the smart punters are risking their funds.

Large changes in the money wagered will indicate big money placed in short periods of time.

Are big bets always smart bets?

Not necessarily.

The best betting options may not always correlate to the most liquid betting market. So, we need to be a little more cunning and work out how to separate the uninformed crowd and the smart money.

We can work out how to beat bookies by reviewing the ratio of bettors to the combined value of the wagers on each outcome.

However, the only issue is that you cannot always rely upon large wagers as the most accurate approach to finding winning selections. This means that even big bets from high-rolling sports gamblers do not always mean that you can find smart punters.

Changing betting exchange odds influenced by smart money

We need to differentiate between large average bets placed by intelligent high-rollers and multiple larger than average stakes from other punters with deep pockets.

They’re two slightly different things and easily confused. To differentiate between the two, we need break them down and examine two factors:

1.    Bookmaker odds and betting exchange odds changing over time

2.    Money wagered on individual betting events and their outcomes

If bookmaker odds have changed immediately after a large bet, we can use the two points above to pinpoint a potential bet that can help you succeed ahead of other less informed sports bettors.

Bookmaker odds and betting exchange odds changing over time

This is sometimes tricky, but you can review the matches within the soccer statistics database and quickly see the changing form for each of the different selections.

If we have the data, we can plot a graph of the changing odds and understand how the odds have changed over the course of the past week, right up until the kick-off. This requires watching the data and the odds movement over a period, so you can recognise the changes.

Sometimes there will be little changes in the odds and this may be based on early money wagered on the event or news that comes out of the different football clubs.

For example, within a given 7-day period Home Win-Draw-Win Away odds for two opponents may look something like the chart, below:

If you can understand how the change in the odds may be affected by money moving through the market, this may help you to make better betting decisions over time.

Money wagered on individual betting events and their outcomes

The amount of money wagered on the different outcomes is demonstrated within betting exchanges. This is representative of the money flowing through the markets, as punters and traders compete.

The matched value for each selection will give you a good indication of how the accumulation of money could present possible betting options for each event. The more money accumulated represents more risk for the bettors, but also demonstrates the liquidity within the event.

Even if the classic 1X2 (i.e. home win, draw, away win) bets are highly liquid; there may be other opportunities in related markets due to the high betting demand.

What do you need in place to chase smart money?

You must simply watch the data within the betting markets and on iwinsoccerbets, so you can review the average odds across the event, providing the community with the most popular betting options and community votes for that selection.

The mashup of soccer data and community interest will help you to verify matches where you can quickly assess where the smart money is moving.

Before we understand the potential profitability, we must quickly understand the logic behind chasing the selections from punters with more knowledge.

Smart bettors require liquidity

The informed punters and smart bettors require liquidity to support their bets.

Think about it.

If you were a betting syndicate with multiple hundreds of thousands to wager across different events. Would you waste your time trying to call traditional high street bookmakers to place a bet when their limits are much less?

Probably not.

Obviously, you would go to where you know you can place your bets with certainty and the most liquid betting markets are those within the far east.

If bettors are placing bets across different highly liquid markets, this means that the far east bookmakers and exchanges are monitoring for betting patterns and possible knowledge not publicly available.

Was there an injury to a key player that was not broadcast on the sports media? Did a manager or head coach get the sack last night, but this will not be reported until the next day?

There are several different areas, where knowledge can be found in and around the beautiful game but may not be understood or known by the wider public.

This is where the far east betting markets can take advantage of this knowledge by evaluating betting patterns and then placing their own bets and lays accordingly.

If an entire business model is around watching the flow of betting money to indicate where bets and lays should be placed. Then it’s reasonable to assume that someone may know more than the average punter.

Match fixing is illegal, so smart money needs more information

The best bettors in the markets will use similar betting models and statistical information to traders on the financial markets. Their analysis and models will be very similar to powerhouses of the financial industry.

Money flows to people that understand how money flows

Betting is the same. True understanding of betting markets takes many years of practise and knowledge.

However, there may be a short cut to this knowledge by following where the large money is flowing. Smart money and betting syndicates that choose to risk their funds on specific selections will have information and analysis, which point to valid betting options.

Access to this information will provide you with the same knowledge and understanding as other smart punters and bookmakers that accept large wagers.

Why would bookmakers encourage and accept large wagers?

This is sometimes down to having premium betting accounts with different bookmakers that work on a volume basis rather than scalping percentage points from bettors.

Eastern betting markets offering attractive odds generally provide traders and knowledgeable investors a tremendous amount of liquidity and access to favourable odds for large stakes gambling.

If you’ve been following everything, you may ask yourself, how does this work?

Surely, it doesn’t make financial sense for bookmakers to offer attractive odds to more informed punters with large stakes at their disposal.

That’s where you may be wrong!

The far eastern betting markets will use the real-time money flows to place bets of their own across the world, as they can see where the smart money is moving.

Remember, that when you own the platform you can see the large wagers and the patterns of the large wagers across different betting markets and sporting events.

This information will then be used to back and lay different betting options for each sporting event.

If we could use this information, we may be able to take advantage and make better bets for ourselves. It would also allow us to avoid areas of the market with less liquidity and focus on the selections where smart money expects to receive a significant pay out.

Bookmakers and informed exchange traders must adjust their odds

Additionally, bookmakers will require information from smart punters to allow them to adjust their odds accurately and decide when to hedge their money by laying within the betting exchanges.

Accurately pricing odds is down to several different factors, which are all interrelated.

Not only correctly estimating the statistical likelihood of the event, but also how the event is affected by a range of other factors. One of those factors will be real-time money flows throughout the betting markets and specific sporting events.

Understanding where the larger wagers are going right up until kick-off is a great way to establish where this will go and the best way to understand how this should be factored into the betting.

Odds movements can provide clues for future returns

Bookmaker odds and betting exchange odds are like a see-saw. The 1X2 prices and other markets will continually adjust as money is wagered on the event and different news is provided right up until the match kicks-off.

The changing odds is a clue the bookmakers are trying to balance the books and entice regular punters to bet on the event. This encouragement is another way of determining if this is a good approach to finding potential profitable selections.

In its raw form, when a large wager is accepted on a selection, it will cause the bookmaker to reduce their odds on the same selection and adjust the odds across the event.

This adjustment is designed to compensate for the increased liability on one side of the bet and offer more attractive odds on the other outcomes.

This all seems to make sense, but that’s not where it stops.

Bookmakers and smart traders within the exchanges will monitor money movements and automatically change their odds across the same selection, as they will understand there is something happening within the market.

Now, this means that if you were to follow the smart money, you would receive lower odds, as there is little chance of you anticipating the high-roller bets before they occur.

Remember you would still have to perform your value calculations to ensure that you have a good bet irrespective of the smart money.

The lower odds just forces you to receive a smaller return, but you have more factors that point to the same selection, which would naturally increase confidence and hopefully, your bankroll.

Clustering of wins and losses will also affect smart money

We’ve explored the longest losing sequence (title) and talked about the randomness and variance within soccer betting. However, this will also affect syndicates and people that risk large amounts of money on the outcome of football matches.

You’re not alone. Everyone loses money at some point, but some people can ride out the challenges and use their superior knowledge and information to gain an edge over the market.

This is where watching the money flows within the market will help you to gain more insights and ultimately mirror the ups and downs of the large wagers.

It may not be a fun experience, but you will understand how the big money views betting and how they place their money across a few outcomes to reduce their risk and return money from less experienced and knowledgeable gamblers.

No one can see the future, so 100% accuracy is impossible

I know that some of you want to win all the time, the number emails that we receive just reiterates the fact that people are looking for something to grasp.

Unfortunately, sports betting is not a 100% accurate activity. If you risk money on an uncertain outcome, such as a sporting event where there are an almost limitless number of possibilities; you will lose money.

The trick is to use the information from the smart punters to adjust your success rate upwards. Ensure you evaluate selections and you don’t just rely on others to give you all of the information.

Using a combination of watching smart money movements, reviewing soccer statistics database and understanding an effective betting strategy, will give you a better chance than most at growing your bankroll over time.

Good luck!

Tags: betting strategy

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