The “To Be Relegated” market on Betfair is not to be underestimated as it is one that can throw up opportunities galore. The problem many novices have with this market is that try and trade it like they would trade the Premier League winners market.
However, this is a big mistake since this market is what Betfair call a “Place” market in that there will eventually be 3 teams who are “winners” (or losers in this case) who will be relegated at the end of the season. This can mean that movement in this market is not quite as easy to predict and follow since you have to keep up with lots of different results and permutations.
Thankfully, here are 4 common strategies and approaches to trading this market which should help you learn how to profit from it.
1 – Lay Low, Back High, Green Up
It sounds simple enough but it really can be just that simple. A common strategy for trading the relegation market is to lay a team once they go as low as a certain price in anticipation of that price rising once again if their results improve.
This strategy is definitely best used in the early parts of the season and before Christmas in particular. Look for teams that are trading below the price of 1.50, then lay them and aim for at least a doubling of their price, although in many cases you might get even more then that.
In recent seasons we have seen some teams trading sub 1.20 and sub 1.10 in the relegation market before Christmas and then still SURVIVE at the end of the season. Crystal Palace were an example of this in the 2013-14 season as they traded as low sub 1.10 and never got relegated. In the same season Sunderland traded as low as 1.16 and survived.
Remember, as traders we do not even need the team to eventually survive we just need the price to rise. Last season, Fulham looked doomed at one point and were as low as 1.10 but went on a small run of form and their price rose as high as 2.50 but they were eventually relegated in the end. If you look for a modest return of just a doubling of the price then you should catch plenty of good trades in this market.
The beauty of this strategy is that you can repeat it multiple times on the same market with different teams. The more teams in the dogfight, the better!
2 – Back The Team On The Plunge
Sometimes the relegation markets are slow to react to a bad run of form with certain teams. The problem with getting into a bad run of form is that it is hard to shake off and a team struggling to win can often face big problems trying to turn that form around.
If you go to Soccerway.com, then go to the Premier League table you will see a tab which shows you the “form” table. This often looks drastically different to the current league table and can give you a much better idea of which team is not doing well at the moment and you can identify which teams are on the plunge and likely to fall down the table.
For example, in the 2014-15 season newly promoted Leicester City beat Man Utd 5-3 in a very impressive manner. This seemed to fool the public into thinking that Leicester City would have no relegation problems that season. Immediately after that win their price to go down went as high as 8-1. However, they then went and lost 4 of their next 5 matches and were drifting near to the bottom of the form table. Despite this the markets still had them priced at around 4 in the markets which was a pretty good price to then back them at. They were clearly a team on the plunge and at this point you would back them with a view of greening up when that price went significantly lower. The exact amount of profit you would aim for is up to you but I know some like to let it ride until that particular team wins their next match.
In this case, Leicester City won their next match 14 matches later and by that point had traded as low as 1.38 to be relegated. After their victory they drifted out to 1.60 so it would have been a pretty decent trade for anyone who got on when the price was at 3 or above and decided to let it ride for a bit.
There are examples like this all the time during a regular Premier League season so watch out for them.
3 – New Manager Effect
Do not underestimate the effect a new manager can have on a team. Laying a team for relegation that has just got a new manager is a pretty viable strategy and something plenty of traders use every year.
The relegation markets are very much aware that a teams performance can improve when the old manager is sacked and a new man is brought in. Sometimes you will see the price on a team drift as soon as a new manager is announced. However, if results on the pitch do improve then you can expect to see even bigger drifts in the price.
No bigger example then what Tony Pulis did at Crystal Palace in the 2013-14 season. When he took over they were sub 1.10 to be relegated and in a bad way. After just a few matches in charge their price had more then doubled and they eventually survived relegation that season.
A similar example happened during the 2014-15 season when Alan Pardew took over at Crystal Palace. When he took over they were priced @ 2.50 to be relegated. However, he won his first match in charge at home to Spurs and their price drifted out to 3.75.
4 – Expect The Unexpected
You can also use the strategy of laying a team when they hit a low price ahead of a match they are expected to lose knowing that if they do actually lose then the price will not shift so much but if they do the “unexpected” you can catch big price swings. This is much more low risk then just backing that team to win the match.
There was a great example of this during the 2013-14 season when Sunderland famously won 2-1 at Chelsea. Before that match, Sunderland were priced @ 1.16 for the drop and it was clear no one was expecting them to win at Stamford Bridge. Even if they lost their price would have still remained at around 1.16, especially since this was an evening kick off so no other results could go against them.
Those who speculated by laying Sunderland in the relegation market before this match would have done very well. After Sunderland won 2-1, their price drifted from 1.16 out to 2 for a return on investment close to 250%. Not bad for a practically risk free trade!
As the end of the season approaches you should watch out for these opportunities, just to be sure to only get involved when there are no other matches being played simultaneously as other results could conspire against you to mess up your low risk trade!
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