A question that often lands in my inbox from STL readers is “What is the most profitable sport to trade on Betfair?”.
I must admit this is not an easy question to answer since just how do you define, “profitable”? Do they mean what sport can make the most money for them or for traders in general? Or just what sport is the most worthwhile to trade?
My view is that it all DEPENDS on your own ambitions and what you want to get out of your Betfair trading. For example, someone who wants to make a second income from trading will have a very different outlook on it all when compared to someone who wants to go full-time with it all.
Either way, I will now attempt to delve into how to find what is actually the most profitable sport to trade on Betfair. Here are 5 factors that I feel will help YOU decide what would be the most profitable sport for YOU.
1 – Liquidity
Liquidity in the sports market you are looking to trade has to be the first most important factor. After all, you are here to try and make money and if there is no money to be made then there is no point getting involved.
The best sports for liquidity are, in no particular order, Football, Tennis, Horse Racing and Cricket. There are fringe sports that also have good liquidity but are perhaps not as consistent as the previously mentioned sports and these include Basketball, Darts, NFL, Rugby and F1. At this time of writing it is Football that provides the most money turned over on Betfair but that is probably mainly due to the popularity of the sport itself. In my opinion the sport with the most money actually seeded by traders themselves has to be Tennis.
What you ideally want is a market that you can easily scale into. No point learning a market only to find out that 3 figure stakes are the best you can get matched on it. You really want markets that can absorb 4, 5 or even 6 figure stakes. For those the best would be Football, Tennis, Cricket and, to a smaller extent, Horse Racing. Keep in mind that these are usually only the “match odds” markets that have the best liquidity in these sports and when you look at the more obscure markets you will find liquidity dries up there.
2 – Frequency
So there is no point learning how to trade a particular sports market only to find out that there are not many opportunities since it is a sport that is only on at particular times of the year. The NFL markets are a good example of this since they run only from September to early February in earnest and so you will be stuck for trading opportunities in the rest of the year unless you diversify. Darts and F1 are other good examples of low frequency sports that are probably not worth learning to trade if you want something to trade on a very regular basis.
The best sports for frequency are undoubtedly Football, Tennis and Horse Racing which all run through most months of the year. Horse Racing in particular only has several days off per year so lots of opportunities there.
3 – Convenience
Then comes the matter of convenience. Just how convenienct are these sports to actually trade for you?
Whilst Tennis, Racing and Cricket have lots of frequency, you will often find their biggest events happen during the daytime when you might be at work. This can make it tricky if you are still trying to learn the markets or looking for a second income.
In this case a sport like Football is ideal to learn since most people can fit in trading on evenings and weekends. But everyon has a different schedule so only you can answer this part of the equation.
4 – Potential ROI
It would make most sense to look at profitability by measuring your potential ROI. For example, for every £1000 you turn over in the markets produces how much in profit?
However, this is not so easy to predict since it would depend largely on your strategy and your own risk-reward ratio. Once you have a good idea of what that is then only you can decide on which sport produces the best ROI for you.
What you should think about is actually the best ROI on your TIME too. For example, if you can trade 2-3 football matches per weekend and produce the same amount of profit that you would make having traded a whole weeks worth of racing then it is pretty obvious as to which sport you should focus more on.
5 – Enjoyability
Lastly, the enjoyability factor should not be underestimated. Ask yourself why you are considering taking up sports trading and the reason is usually deep rooted in wanting to make money doing something you enjoy.
Therefore, if there are sports you find boring or not particularly enjoyable then it is not worth your time trying to learn to trade them. I was faced with this dilemma when it came to horse racing many years ago. I tried to learn how to trade it but slowly realised I did not enjoy the sport in the slightest and even if I became profitable doing it then I would really not want to do it full time.
I enjoy Football and Tennis far more and so I stick to those as the most important aspect of any of this is that you enjoy what you do.
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