sports trading

Sports Betting or Sports Trading? Which One Should You Do?

There is a big difference between sports betting and sports trading. Both can make you a healthy side income but the two are far different disciplines and require different skillsets.

Over this post, we will highlight the two and hopefully, by the end, you can make an informed decision on which route you would like to take.

Sports Betting


The benefits of sports betting are it can largely be done as a set and forget exercise. You see, most of the time you are betting on the final outcome of a match. Take a football match, for example, the match can end only three ways.

Either the home team wins, the away team wins or the match is a draw.

Take a look at this game here between Newcastle and Chelsea.

pre match odds

You can see the odds for each scenario.

This means for every £1 staked on those you would get the odds multiplied by your stake back.

Here is what we mean. A £1 bet on Newcastle to win would get £6.50 back.

bet slip complete

This is what we call a bet. You can set the bet before the game and literally just wait it out and see what happens, you don’t need to watch the game, you don’t need to follow the game.

You can just check the result later and see if you have won or not.

This type of gambling is really only for fun. If you want to make a decent side income from this then you should never just bet or “punt” on games or sports just for the fun of it. At least do some pre-game research first.

This method of betting can be done now on a vast array of sports.

Even though this bookie I have taken the screen shots from is based in the UK you can bet on sports and teams from all over the world!

Tennis, Rugby, American Football, Basketball, e-Sports, Volleyball, Handball, Horse Racing, Dog Racing, Snooker plus more!

You really are spoilt for choice.


But, with all this choice comes risk. We will talk more on that later, but just so you know the majority of accounts set up with bookmakers are losing accounts. A huge majority in fact.

There is a reason that the bookies are so rich and most gamblers fail to make a single penny profit over all. That reason is value. The bookmakers will never really give you the true value of each outcome. If a team is 4.0 to win, you can really say that they are 5.0.

Take a two-headed coin. If you bet on the outcome of either heads or tails the outcome is 50/50 or in odds terms, it should be 2.0 – meaning if you bet a £1 you should either win a £1 or lose a £1

But a bookmaker would never give you those odds. They are more likely to price a scenario up like that at something like 1.95 meaning if you lose they keep your £1 but if you win you get £1.95

As you can see this is an unfair advantage to the bookmaker. It always happens so they ultimately will always win as they have the edge.

So, you have to bear this in mind if you are going to go down the betting route.

It is no coincidence that the UK’s highest-paid CEO is the head of Bet365 bookmakers.


She paid herself a whopping $422 Million last year

Skills Required

So, what skills are required to become successful at sports betting? Well, number one is discipline. You really need to stay focused on the sports and markets that you know.

If you are new then it’s really best to paper trade for a while until you get to grips with it.

Learn about the markets, whether its goals markets, corners, match results, or even things like players getting cards.

Once you develop your own systems and get the confidence to trust it, that is when you are in a position to grow your betting fund.

The people who just bet on random games or big accumulators (multiple games in one bet) are the bookmaker’s dream punter.

They will also rarely win long term.

So, do your research, stick to a system, and stay disciplined. You will lose now and then, this is inevitable. But always think long term.

It’s about the end of the month not the end of the day.

Do not chase bets too. If you do find yourself on a losing streak, take a break. Do not bet bigger and chase the next game.

There are always hundreds if not thousands of potentially good risk bets the next day.

Sports Trading


Sports trading is vastly different from sports betting. You are not really too bothered about the overall end result of a match.

As sports trading exchanges are very similar to the Forex and stock exchanges there are millions of pounds being exchanged every single day. Sometimes even a high stakes horse race will have over a million pounds traded on it.

Certainly, with football, it is not uncommon to have millions of pounds traded on the game either before kick off or during the game. We call the later in-play.

Take the same game we talked about earlier.

The Newcastle vs Chelsea game in the English Premier League has had over £1.8 Million pounds traded on it and this is only 12 minutes in.

inplay sports betting football market

The beauty of having a large amount of money on a game like this is it means there is a ton of liquidity. This basically means you have more chances to “extract” a little bit here and there for yourself.

That is essentially what traders do.

They “predict” which way the odds will swing and then trade out once they have either come in or gone out in their favour.

For example, the position above.

If you have backed Chelsea before the game you could have got odds of around 1.68.

You can see this by looking at the historical trade data. (This is just like a stock)

market after goal scored

So, now they have scored an early goal some traders will simply trade out at the far lower price of 1.15 for a profit.

They will not see the rest of the game play out as that would add risk. For example, if Newcastle were to equalise then the odds would jump back up.

This is a very simple trade.

Another classic trade is backing to lay a horse during a horse race.

This is a very similar thing in by which you back a horse at one price and lay it at a lower price. This can all be done before the race even begins locking in a profit with no need to even watch the race at all as you have already guaranteed a profit.

So, the benefits of sports trading are you can lock in profits before the event even starts, you do not need to watch the match or race, you only need to extract a small profit regularly to make good long term profits and you can trade many markets.

horse racing pre race sports trade

As you can see form the horse race above this person has locked in a small profit before the race has even begun. You may be thinking that £0.20 profit is nothing and you are right, but the stake was only £2.00 so that is a 10% return from this one trade within seconds of placing it.

You see this horse’s odds went up before they came back down.

sports trading market move

You can see here on the chart that the price went from 4.4 up to 7.0 – so, this trade was placed when the horse price was around the 6.8 mark and started to decline again. It did so, back to around 5.9 which meant this trader could “scalp” a small part out for himself.

Profit locked in before the race had even begun.

Sports trading like this is not really gambling, it’s about measuring the markets and taking your profits when you are happy with them.

And because you are able to put your lay positions in early too and keep them in play you are safe really.

The problem is what happens if things don’t go to plan? Well, that’s when you have to bite the bullet and cash out or trade out for a small loss.

This will happen, but trading is about minimising the losses and maximising the gains.


The downsides to sports trading are that you really need to be at your computer the whole time. This is not a set and forget method.

You need to be evaluating the markets and measuring the games or races in play should it get to that stage.

Some of the best football traders in the world always watch the games as they can get a real feel for how it’s panning out.

So, to be a successful sports trader you really need to dedicate time to it.

If you are just started out then you will need to spend hours upon hours at your PC studying the markets and developing a strategy that suits you.

Unlike betting it’s not the type of activity where you can pick your selections in the morning and check them later that evening.

There are advanced methods like using bots etc to place trades for you but that is for the serious and advanced traders only. You do not need to go to that level to make a healthy side income.

Skills Required

The skills required to become a successful sports trader are patience, discipline, and the ability to read markets or at least be able to read the way an event, match, or race is going.

Remember, you do not have to watch the whole thing. The best trades are short in and out. Set your target and stick with it.

Another massive skill for successful sports traders is knowing when not to trade. There are so many options each and every day, but it is knowing when to place your trade and when not to go near it that often separates the good traders from the ones who lose.

Which one will you be?


As with all sports betting or trading, there are risks involved. In fact, with any side hustle or online business venture, there are risks.

The world of trading on sports is no different.

However, you can get an edge. The best way to get an edge is to develop your own system. But this can take months if not years to fully develop.

This is where this site can come in to help. We have two fully developed horse racing systems that are here for you to try today!

Check out the comments from the users on the System 89p horse racing system and my other one The Hermes Racing System.

Both have very good success rates. You can judge for yourself!

Best of luck!