Lay Low, Back High!

Whenever people ask for trading advice, the standard response is back high, lay low. Whilst this is meant to be funny as it’s obvious, my strategy in tennis trading is almost as simple. I however prefer to lay low and back high (in that order) as most of the money is on the favourite and there are less gaps in prices.

In tennis trading, it makes much more sense to lay low as your entry point. This is mainly because you can make more money from the same kind of fluctuations and stake than you could if you backed and layed at the same prices. You can also risk much less to make the same profit. In the Djokovic vs Warinka match the other day there were lots of opportunities and the Sultan made a good post about people declaring it as a trader’s dream here

Obviously, people would have had a variety of different approaches and there were a fair amount of opportunities but many would have tried to get Djokovic at a better price. The match itself was very close and I wanted to illustrate the difference between laying Djokovic when you realised it was a close match and backing him because you know he always prevails and his price is much better from a trading perspective.

Let’s say you layed Djokovic at 1.1 for £50 liability and his price is now 1.3… you can now green up for £77. Conversely, if you’d risked £50 backing him at 1.3 and the price is now 1.1 you can go all green for only £9! That is some difference!!
You may say that 1.3 is more likely to go to 1.1 especially with the market so biased on Djokovic though and this is generally true but in tennis (Esp. WTA) you see so many matches go short far too early or see people struggle to close out matches that there are plenty of opportunities for these more lucrative strategies. There may well be the occasional good 1.3 to 1.1 back to lay bet but is the smaller profit worth it? Remember the Pareto 80-20 and all that. Your stake will most likely be higher on the short odds too and the stress of hoping that someone can finish a match of much greater.
The odds are rarely a complete train to 1.01 especially if you chose the right kind of match so there are plenty of redding out opportunities too.
Watching a choke is much more fun and exciting too in my opinion! Azarenka nearly managed it last night and had to take a tactical MTO to win! Like anything in betting/trading, selectively choosing the markets/moments to execute your strategy is the skill that’s going to make all the difference.