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Betting on soccer has, like most other betting markets, changed from mostly being bet on pre-match to live in-play betting. This shift has been an abrupt one that have changed the online betting markets immensely. The pre-match market is now less efficient, which would make it more attractive to advantage gamblers, but since the boom of live betting is right now, there are several new opportunities that it is possible to take advantage of. With the increase in markets, events and betting options that are offered, there are sure to be sloppy oddsmaking at large. We are sharing some of our ideas that you can put some more thought into to hopefully make a profitable live betting strategy out of.

Live Soccer Betting Strategies

This list will be updated as I see fit and find new angles I think would be worthy to pursue. Some of these ideas are not fully developed and are merely some information and thoughts into what could potentially become a profitable betting strategy. These are mostly focused on the in-play betting part, but can also be applied to pre-match betting. Use the information as you see fit.

What is the value of a red card?

Most of you who have played soccer knows that it is a hassle playing with one man less on your team. This is even more true at the professional leagues in soccer, where the aggregate amount of skill that is lost is quite huge. Even as a mere sports fan, you are well aware of how much this a sending off changes the match dynamics and makes the game that much harder to win for the team standing with one man down. But how should one try to value such an event? What impact does it have on the game? Let us try to take a look at the numbers.


First of all, it needs to be stated that the red card is very rarely given. There are between 80-90% of matches that goes on without a single red card being given, so most matches you can’t be taking advantage of this, but be ready for those that have them.

The effect of a red card
Obviously it is bad for a team to receive it and good for the opposing team. But how good? Over at SoccerByTheNumbers.com, the have tried to estimate the point value of red cards. They have used all the games in the top 4 european leagues (the Premier League, La Liga, Bundesliga and Serie A) for the last 5 seasons (this was in 2011) and have accounted for match-specific differences like home field advantage (HFA), goals and other things.

The results they find is that receiving a red card increases the likelihood of losing from 24% to 38% (more than a 50% increase) and the odds of winning goes from 36% to 22% (a drop of about 40%). These are about the same edges that you get from having a home field advantage. So if you receive a red card when playing at home, you are essentially giving away your HFA, but you double it up if you get a red card away.

Now, as soccer is a team sport, and one that is hard to quantify, taking these numbers and use them directly would probably be stupid, but looking at the game and adding your own subjective nudge to these numbers based on the teams playing should be able to let your more easily calculate your edge. If you are watching Manchester United drawing away at Stamford Bridge against Chelsea, and Chelsea receives a red card. If you beforehand believed that Chelsea were 50% to win, you know should expect them to be about 30% to win the game.

What this means (from calculating the implied win probabilites), the correct increase in odds (if all things were kept equal) should be from about 1.91 before, to about 4.5. If you see the odds on Chelsea winning are higher than this, you should bet it, and if it is lower, you should bet on them to not win.

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