The Correct Score market on Betfair is one of the most lucrative and exciting markets to use for trading football but at the same time it also one of the most complex and it is probably the hardest to master.
That being said, by the time you are done reading this page you should have a much better idea about how to approach betting and trading the Correct Score market.
I should also take this opportunity to clarify that this article is solely about the Correct Score market on the Betfair Exchange and mainly about how to trade or profit from it the smart way via the trading aspect.
If you are someone who likes to have a bet on Correct Scores and you are not using Betfair then you already making a mistake since Betfair offer much better prices than any bookmaker offers on this market and it is well worth joining just for that.
So grab a hot drink and a snack, this is going to be a good read…
Feel free to skip direct to the part of the article that you need:
What Is The Correct Score Market?
Don’t worry I am not going to bore you with the small details of what the correct score market is since I am sure the reason you are already here is because you know what it is.
But I will give you a few more extra tidbits of information about it that might prove useful.
Firstly here is the obvious part, the correct score market involves you predicting the FINAL SCORE of the football match in question.
And below is how it looks in case you didn’t know 😉
And a further bit of clarification direct from the Betfair horses mouth on this is taken from their rules section and states
“Extra-time/penalty shoot-outs are not included. This market will not be partially settled during the fixture and will be fully settled at full time.”
I know some newbies make the mistake of thinking that the score after extra-time can be counted but that is definitely NOT the case and it only applies to the 90 minute football match (plus the injury time!).
Also, some think that if they LAY a score-line (such as 0-0) then they should instantly win once a goal is scored. Whilst your LAY will have won you will not see the money for it until the market is settled at the end of the match.
This is important to keep in mind since if you were to do something like LAY a 0-0 then you may have a high liability and even though you have won your lay bet you won’t get your money out of the market till it is closed. So you can’t recycle that money and use it elsewhere until then.
Secondly, it is important to know this since Betfair may offer you a cash out amount in such a scenario and there is literally no point taking it since you will be taking the full amount if you wait till full time and the cash out amount offer will be substantially lower.
But I have known some newbies to get confused by this and to prematurely press the cash out in these instances. So don’t be tempted!
Correct Score Market Selections
So the first thing to get your head around with the Correct Score market on the Betfair Exchange is that there are 19 different selections on offer.
This is what makes this such a complex way to trade football and not something beginners should start with.
We will get into the expected price movement and understanding the market behavior shortly but with so many different selections in the market you can easily see why this style of trading is more for the advanced football trader.
Not only are all the selections behaving in their own separate way but a goal being scored has a huge ripple effect on the market and every price will then begin behaving in a very different way depending on who scored and at what time of the match.
Lots to take in but we will get there I promise ?
Understanding Betfair “Any Unquoted” Selections
So there are 19 different selections on offer to bet on but football has a potentially infinite amount of score-lines it could end in (in theory).
So why only 19 selections and such a limited amount of score-lines to bet on?
Well since Betfair are an exchange they quickly figured that they didn’t want to have to create a new market for every new possible score-line that could come up in a football match. Since they offer hundreds of in-play matches every day it would be quite the admin task to create a new market for the odd match that ended up being 8-2, for example.
So they had to draw a line somewhere and so the Correct Score market on Betfair only offers score-line selections up to 3 goals for either team.
After that you have the “Any Unquoted” selections which cover any other score-line above that.
Currently you can bet on:
Any Other Home Win
Any Other Away Win
Any Other Draw
And this covers the crazy score-lines that can come up and means Betfair do not have to keep creating new markets.
Previously, Betfair covered all other scorelines under a single selection called “Any Unquoted” but this was changed in 2014 to incorporate the extra selections.
Betfair’s Correct Score 2 Market
And so they do not totally miss out on the liquidity that high scoring matches can create Betfair introduced a Correct Score 2 market around 2010.
This is a market you are more likely to only see on top level matches and the usual liquidity on it is quite poor.
Around 2014, Betfair then split the Correct Score 2 market into 2 different markets.
Home Correct Score 2
Away Correct Score 2
Having extra markets will definitely not do much for the liquidity situation but this has been the same for several years now so either Betfair is happy with it or they don’t care much. Sometimes they forget to turn these markets in-play or even include them at all, even for some big matches, which makes me think it is the latter.
Here is an example of a Correct Score 2 market from a high profile Champions League match, note the small amount of money matched before kick off.
In the same match, 200k+ was matched on the regular Correct Score market.
In the Correct Score 2 markets you can back score-lines up to a 7-2 victory.
There is also an “Any Unquoted” option in this market and a typical newbie mistake is assuming this means scorelines which are 8 goals plus but it actually still includes the score-lines from the original correct score market. So it might look like a great value lay but it actually isn’t!
Either way, the only time you might want to get involved in the Correct Score 2 market is when you fancy a strong home team such as Barcelona or Man City to win comfortably by 5 goals plus. Even then the liquidity can make it hard to trade but it can be useful for regular betting purposes.
Correct Score Calculators
Before we go any further I just want to mention that I have installed some online calculators that can assist with your investments on the Correct Score market.
So follow these links if you want to check them out (well worth bookmarking these!)
Trading Correct Scores – Main Advantages
So as mentioned, trading the Correct Score market is quite complex and you might wonder why someone would want to bother when there are perfectly simple markets such as Match Odds and Over/Under Goals markets to trade on.
Well the main advantage of this is the profit potential available. The prices available on Betfair are naturally bigger prices than available at any bookmaker and this is extended the higher the prices go.
So not only are the prices bigger but you can squeeze more value out of the market if you get your match forecast correct.
For example, backing Arsenal to win @ 1.50 in Match Odds might only make a profit of £50 using a £100 stake.
But using that same £100 stake to cover 2-0 to Arsenal in the Correct Score market in the same match you could return £700. Provided they won 2-0 of course!
This is just an example since when we get down to trading you would be doing more than just taking a bet like that but you can quickly see the difference in profit potential between the two. They are both going for the same outcome but the more accurate you are the bigger the return.
No Need To Get It Completely Right
Of course, predicting the exact score is not easy and so one of the other advantages of trading the Correct Score market is we don’t actually need to predict the exact score.
We just need the price movement on that particular score-line to move in the direction we want in order to profit.
For example, we might back 2-0 to Arsenal and with the score-line being 2-0 to Arsenal in the 70th minute we could lock in a profit at this point.
If the match goes on to finish 2-1 or even 2-2 it wouldn’t matter to us and this is the main advantage of trading correct scores as opposed to betting on them.
Cover Multiple Outcomes
And with Correct Score trading you can cover multiple score-lines if you wish but these score-lines might also cover multiple outcomes too.
So we could cover a home win, a draw and an away win with certain score-lines and STILL profit from a match. Imagine having no clue who might win, lose or a draw and still being able to make money? Unheard of in other markets.
Correct Score Market Behaviour
So now you understand the reasons you should be getting involved with the Correct Score market it is important to understand exactly how the market works.
This is a complex market and it will swallow you alive if you go in without being prepared.
After A Goal Is Scored
Once the first goal is scored in a football match it immediately eliminates the possibility of 4 selections from the Correct Score market and when a selection can no longer possibly happen you will see the price on that selection go to 1000 to Back.
A common newbie mistake might be misreading a score-line and thinking that they could back something at 1000 before anyone else notices but if something seems too good to be true than it usually is.
Before the advent of VAR, sometimes a goal would be scored and the score-line selection might rise to 1000 only for it to be disallowed and a good trade could be caught if you were sharp. In fact, professional football trader Psychoff shared a similar anecdote in his interview with me. However, these days Betfair tend to void such trades so it is not worth even attempting.
First Half Movement
The general rule in the first half of a football match is the current score-line and the next 2 score-lines will steam in at different speeds.
All other prices will remain static or drift out at different speeds.
When a goal is scored, all the behaviours just move “up” one and carry on like normal.
So when it is 0-0 you can expect 0-0, 1-0 and 0-1 to steam in.
But if a goal makes it 1-0 then you would expect 1-0, 1-1 and 2-0 to steam in.
And above you can see the prices in the market by half-time with no goals scored.
You can see the prices on 0-0, 1-0 and 0-1 have all steamed in with the other prices drifting or remaining static.
This is the typical expected movement in most matches.
Second Half Movement
This same behavior will continue early on in the second half but you will notice the steam on the next 2 possible score-lines will start to slow and eventually those selections will go static before eventually drifting at a rapid pace late in the second half.
In the second half, all other score-lines will generally begin drifting and this will pick up pace as we head towards the end of the match. Depending on liquidity you might even see some selections vanish from the market as the money and interest drops out.
I have covered the expected market movement in quite a lot of detail in the below video so if you want to learn more than what is written here give that a watch.
Keep in mind that this market movement mentioned is for your average football match. Matches which involve really strong favourites behave differently and that is covered in the above video.
And once you are done watching that video you can also download my FREE Correct Score market beginners guide which you can keep and print out if you wish to help remind you of these market behaviours.
Correct Score Market Liquidity & Scalability
So you might be thinking that the Correct Score market sounds great so far and it could be the path to football trading riches but one thing you need to be aware of with this market is the liquidity and scalability issues.
I advise that to trade the Correct Score market you should have around £5k matched before kick off but this number really should be closer to £10k.
So this means the Correct Score market is only really conducive for trading in top-level football matches such as Premier League, Serie A, Champions League, La Liga, Bundesliga et al.
The main issue you might experience if trading this market in the lower level matches is trying to trade out and actually getting matched. If you are using 3, 4 or 5 figure stakes this definitely becomes an issue but is not something to worry about whilst using smaller stakes.
But this is important to keep in mind since if you develop a profitable strategy for the Correct Score market you will probably want to scale it up and you might experience resistance and a lack of opportunities once you want to use 4 or 5 figure stakes.
On the flipside, the goal markets and Match Odds markets can usually easily absorb these stakes.
How To Bet On The Correct Score Market
Before we move on to the trading side of things I think we should quickly cover how you might have a regular bet on the Correct Score market since you will see there is a natural progression to how these bets are traded.
Straight Bet To Win
I am sure you know what a straight bet on this market involves so I won’t bore you with the details.
But you would just back a score-line and cross your fingers that particular score-line is the final score.
I am not knocking anyone who wants to bet on Correct Scores like this and it can be a fun bet to have due to the high prices available. However, in my experience I have never met or heard of a professional gambler who has beat the market and profited long term from having a straight bet on the Correct Score market.
In my view, there is a reason why the bookmakers regularly entice you in to bet on a Correct Score and it is because it is a market they make the most profit on.
That should tell you enough about this approach to betting on Correct Scores.
Laying To Lose
Betfair offers the option to LAY correct scores so that if that particular Correct Score does not come up then you will profit. Sounds easy in theory but you are laying pretty high odds and so whilst you will have a long winning streak you could easily blow your profit on one loss.
There seems to be quite a trend for laying “seemingly impossible” score-lines such as the 3-3 which will often have pretty high odds of around 100-1 or higher. Those who do this will obviously experience lots of wins in a row but in the long term it can be hard to beat probability this way and that one loss will probably wipe out all profits that were made.
Another laying to lose approach to the Correct Score market that I see many novice punters do is laying the 0-0 score-line.
In theory, it sounds pretty easy to just predict a single goal and win but with laying such high odds you probably need a 95%+ strike-rate to win long term and one bad result will often wipe out all profits.
This often leads to some novice punters taking on £25- £1000 challenges (or similar) which involve laying the 0-0 and then if they win they take the winnings and add that to their liability of their next lay so they can potentially win a bit more and keep doing that in order to hit the target. Depending on the aim and the odds they are taking this may take winning 10 or 20 bets in a row to hit the target.
Like mentioned above, I do not know any serious professionals who invest in the sports markets in this way and have profited long term. I am sure it can be a thrill to complete such a challenge but this way of betting should be considered for “entertainment purposes only” and not a serious way to make long term profits.
So if you are just betting on the Correct Score market the best approach you can take is to dutch the markets and this is the approach the serious sports investors take if they do get involved in this market.
Dutching is traditionally a horse racing betting strategy and according to Wikipedia is “sharing the risk of losing across a number of runners by backing more than one selection in a race or event”
This can be applied to the Correct Score market to good effect by covering certain score-lines in order to make the same profit no matter which of those results come in.
The usual strategy involves having a target score-line in mind such as 2-0 and then covering similar score-lines one goal away from that such as 1-0, 2-1 and 3-0.
There are no set rules and you can cover as many score-lines as you wish but the more selections you cover the lower your overall profit will be.
I have a link to a Dutching calculator here where you can input odds and play around with it to get an idea on what sort of returns certain scenarios will give you.
Correct Score Trading Strategies
So you know how you would bet on the Correct Score market but you probably want to know how to trade it which is what we will move on to now.
I do want to quickly take this moment to remind you that Correct Score trading is something the more advanced and experienced football trader should be looking at. Newbies should concentrate on learning the Match Odds and Goal markets first before delving in to this and if you are new to football then this article will be worth checking out first!
Dutching & Trading
So I just covered the basics of Dutching the Correct Score market above and you know how you would do that as a bet and by trading we will be take a similar approach but the aim will be to go all-green and lock in a profit during the match.
Or to exit and take a smaller loss than our full stake should things not go our way.
The initial entry points would be similar with backing a variety of selections before the match kicks off such as your target score-line and some similar score-lines.
You could dutch these for the same profit but another option can be “skewing” where you would leave bigger profits on score-lines you felt would be more likely to come in. For example, if you felt that 3-0 was more likely than 2-0 you can increase the staking on that score-line so you get a bigger reward should that selection trade lower in-play.
This approach can give you more flexibility when you trade in-play.
Here is a link to a skewing calculator so you can input some odds and a stake and see what sort of returns you can get.
When it comes to Dutching and Trading there is so much to cover and there are so many different scenarios that can play out regarding the amount of goals and the times the goals arrive.
This below video should give you an idea of how to approach this style of correct score trading.
Back To Lay
A common sports trading approach is backing a selection to lay it in-play at lower odds and lock in a profit. This is quite common in horse racing with backing a horse before the race expecting it to trade lower in-play.
And this principle can be applied to the Correct Score market also.
One approach involves backing a score-line at kick off that involves both teams scoring such as 1-1 expecting that score-line to trade lower in-play.
In this below example I show what would happen if you were to back 1-1 at 7.0 before kick off and then lay it at 3 in-play.
A £100 stake would produce a guaranteed profit of £133 no matter what the final score is.
This approach definitely needs good match profiling and discipline.
Another approach can be a simple back to lay in-play.
This can work well in the second half when we know that the current score-line is going to constantly steam in and so backing the next score-line up anticipating another goal can reap a good ROI and a better return than simply backing the next Overs market.
Above you can see we backed the 3-2 Fulham Score-line with £10 @ 4.8 with the current score-line at 2-2. This gives us profit potential of £39.
At this moment in time, the price on backing Over 4.5 Goals was around 1.60 which would give us profit potential of £6.
So you can see the big difference in profit potential that you can get using the Correct Score market.
Fulham scored not long after and we could cash out for a profit of £16.77 across all selections.
A 160% ROI!
And the later in the match the Fulham goal arrived, the MORE profit we would have been able to make which is what can make things a bit more exciting.
As mentioned earlier in the article and also in the video, scalping the Correct Score market can be a good way to profit from it since it is easy to predict the price movement.
Discipline, patience and a good understanding of this market are all important ingredients if you want to explore this.
Knowing when the markets move at their fastest is quite crucial to this and using software is always a good idea.
If you missed it earlier, scalping was covered in this Youtube video.
Correct Score Trading Pitfalls & Disadvantages
So I am sure after reading this article so far you are probably intrigued enough to go out there and start experimenting on the Correct Score market.
I am not going to discourage you from that but there are some things you definitely need to be aware of regarding it.
I always advise people to do their football trading experiments with real money but to keep the stakes small. This is even more true of the Correct Score market. There is a steep learning curve to this market and only after experiencing hundreds of them will you only begin to feel like you truly know what to expect.
Even though I have shown you the market behaviour and how to trade it, you simply need to get involved yourself to see how it really works and it will take you a few sessions to get your head around it.
TIP: Use a notepad and make notes when trading this market. Note down anything interesting or out of the ordinary as you trade it and follow the score-line movement.
PRO TIP: And if you want to take this to the next level then having some screen-recording software on this market whilst you trade it can be really good. This way you can rewind it and see where certain prices were at certain points in the match. I expect this would speed your learning up a fair bit and I wish I took this approach when starting out on this market.
The Sudden Death Aspect
One issue with trading the Correct Score market is the realistic possibility that goals could fly in against you and your whole trading stake could be taken by the market. This can be hard to handle since most of the time you will get the opportunity to at least trade some of your stake out of the market in the event of a loss.
And because of this sudden death aspect you have to be prepared for this possibility and keep that in mind when staking your money into the market.
The Discipline Required
Sometimes when trading Correct Scores you can forecast the match perfectly but if the goals do not arrive at a good time (i.e too early) then you might still be in a losing position. As a trader you have to be disciplined enough to protect your trading stake and take the loss in these situations.
This take a good level of discipline and many novices or those with a gambling background would be very tempted to let it run in these situations especially since they feel they are “right”.
It is up to you how you approach your own trading but if you have a plan you need to always stick with it or you will not get far in the long term.
The Decision Making Needed
If you watched the video of the dutching and trading examples then you will see that there are lots of decision that you need to make when trading the Correct Score market. This is not like trading other markets where you just wait for a goal (or no goal) and trade out. There are not many “one size fits all” or “Lay The Draw” style strategies for Correct Scores.
Almost every match can play out differently and you need to be ready to react and make the best decision in that moment.
You will be constantly making decisions and it is ultimately YOUR decision making that gives you an edge in this market.
So for that you need to be constantly sharp when trading Correct Scores and which is why this is more suited for the more experienced football trader.
My view about trading correct scores is that the secret isn’t in picking the right score-lines it is about how you handle and react to the movement in-play.
Similar to a Poker player, it is not about the cards you are dealt but how you play them.
Correct Score Trading Mistakes & Misconceptions
And on that note, I think it is important to brief you on some of the big misconceptions about Correct Score trading so you are not flying in their without knowing exactly what you are getting yourself into.
Here are some of the big misconceptions many novices have about this market:
Correct Score Trading Is EASY [Misconception]
As you have probably gathered from this article, the last thing I want anyone to think is that this is an easy market to trade. Unfortunately, there are some marketers out there who would like you to believe otherwise which helps to create these misconceptions.
Some want you to believe that you can cover various score-lines and win almost no matter what happens but as mentioned earlier, the more score-lines you cover the lower your profit and then it only take 1 loss to undo all the hard work.
So definitely do not go into this expecting it to be easy even if you have good football trading experience. Use small stakes always in the beginning.
Big Profits Happen Often [Misconception]
The Correct Score market can be quite lucrative and big profits and returns are definitely possibly and more likely in this market when compared to others.
However, you certainly can not expect this on every trade that you win and the average returns will actually be quite “average”.
Do not expect you can use a £10 stake and make a profit of several hundred at the end. This is still trading and not a slot machine.
As with any form of investing, you often get out what you put in. If you put in big stakes you will get similar in return but you can not expect to put small stakes in and regularly receive ten fold back. That is definitely not realistic and if you approach these markets expecting that you are setting yourself up for disappointment.
Having NO Plan [Mistake]
Something I often hear about with novices who trade the Correct Score market is they will back a few selections at kick off and then depending on how the match develops they will start covering more and more selections.
This is fine if you have a specific plan but the more selections you cover the lower your profit potential and eventually you might be risking BIG to win close to ZERO.
There needs to be a point where you say you called the trade wrong or it is not going in your favour and so you will take a loss and move on.
Don’t let things spiral out of control.
Over Complicating Things [Mistake]
One big mistake I see novices make on the CS market is coming up with some over complicated strategy, seemingly for the sake of having a “strategy”.
When the reality is that it offers no actual advantage over something you could do in the Match Odds or Correct Score market.
If you are trying to formulate a strategy to use on the Correct Score market then always ask yourself if there is a more simple way to do what you are trying to achieve.
And if the CS market is actually offering any sort of advantage or increase in value.
And keep in mind… Simple is BETTER. Always.
So from the words, videos and images on this page you should now have a much better idea of how to approach betting and trading on the Correct Score market.
If there is anything more you want to know then feel free to leave a comment as this article will be constantly updated as time goes on.
And in case you missed it, you can download my free Cheat Sheet that shows you all about the expected market behaviour. This is well worth downloading and printing out whilst you get to the grips with the market.