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Title[Daniel Townend] Sports Spread Betting an Insider(
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Table of Contents
Prologue: Catching the Spread Betting Bug
Chapter One: Spread Betting and the Golden Age of Sporting Dominance
Chapter Two: The Mechanics of Spread Betting
Chapter Three: Managing Your Money
Chapter Four: Know Your Enemy
Chapter Five: What Moves the Market?
Chapter Six: In-running Action
Chapter Seven: Arbitrage and Why the Firms Hate It
Chapter Eight: Football Matches and Markets
Chapter Nine: Over the Season – Long-term Football
Chapter Ten: The Ups and Downs of Cricket
Chapter Eleven: Rugby and its Rival Codes
Chapter Twelve: The Mind Games of Golf
Chapter Thirteen: Playing the Field, Spread Betting and Horse Racing
Chapter Fourteen: The Equality of American Football
Chapter Fifteen: The Opportunities of Motor Racing
Chapter Sixteen: Pub Games, Greyhounds, Boxing and… Lawn Tennis
Chapter Seventeen: Spread Betting and the World of Politics
Chapter Eighteen: The World of Speciality Markets
Appendix: Main Sports Spread Betting Firms
Document Text Contents
Page 96



quote it is unlikely that it is carried through in the
rest of them. If I believe one element of the price
is wrong I like to stick to betting on that market.�

For such reasons, the advice must be to be wary with
performance markets.

However, one that is worth considering is IG�s version of
the market. This is arguably one of the most volatile markets
in spread betting with make-ups ranging from 200 plus all
the way down to minus 50. And with a spread range of only
six or seven points, the market is good value in terms of its
spread/volatility ratio.

The main reason behind the huge difference in make-ups
is the element which awards one point for every minute a
team keeps a clean sheet. A clean sheet means 90 points, even
if a team fails to get a shot on target. But letting in a goal in
the first minute usually ensures a low make-up. Bearing in
mind the volatility and the potential risk, the market offers a
cheap way of backing underdogs. An away team facing top of
the table opposition may see a quote in the region of 14�20
(away minnows in international matches do occasionally
receive quotes in minus figures). Of course, they will probably
lose, but teams that pack their defence and work to stop their
opponents scoring can be difficult to break down. If they keep
a clean sheet for more than 30 minutes, you are in profit and
the downside is relatively small.

One of the dangers of performance indices�and this also
applies to the mini-performance prices on a Saturday
afternoon which are marked up on every league game�is
that teams are disproportionately punished for bookings and
red cards. With IG, a sending-off is worth 25 points�the
same as a goal�so beware teams with a poor disciplinary

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Spread firm Sporting Cantor IG Spreadex

Win match 25 25 – –
Draw 10 10 – –
Lead at
half-time – 10 – –
Goal 15 15 25 20
Last goal – – – 10
Clean sheet 10 10 – 15
Corner 3 3 3 3
Hit woodwork 10 – – –
Each minute
with a clean sheet – – 1 –
Yellow card -5 -5 -10 -5
Red card -15 -15 -25 -10
Goal conceded – – -10 –

Scoring systems for the spread firms� football performance markets

The last word on football markets goes to football specials—
many of which are so varied and changing so often that it is
hard to keep up. The one point that should be made is that
many are specifically designed to attract buyers, particularly
on a Saturday afternoon. IG are masters of coming up with
multiple markets which offer the promise of huge gains, but
which in reality rarely come to fruition. Their goals-galore
market awards points for any league team that scores four,
five, six or more goals on a Saturday afternoon. With 100 points
on offer for teams that score more than six and an opening
quote in the 30s or 40s, IG are always looking for buyers.

Similarly, their multi-homes market, which multiplies
together the number of goals scored by named teams or in
named matches looks a potential bonanza. However, with the
market making up at zero in two out of every five weeks, the

Page 191



Long term bet – A spread bet that is settled over a period of
time, such as over the length of the football season or a cricket
test series.

Make-up – The final result at which a bet in a particular market
is settled

Margin – Payment required by the spread firms for spread
bettors to keep a long term position open. Usually called for
when a bet has turned against a client and a running position
exceeds the client’s credit limit

Market Makers – The traders at the firms who are responsible
for setting the quotes and trading games in-running. Different
traders specialise in different sports.

Match Bet – A bet on the performance between two teams,
individuals or horses in an event against each other, regardless
of how well they do against any of the other participants

Maximum make-up – A limit set by the firms before a bet
is struck on the maximum a particular market can make-up at

Multi-corners – The total number of corners gained by both
teams in the first half of a football match, multiplied by the
total number in the second half

Open position – A long term bet that has not been closed by
the client and is still running

Sell – A ‘down’ bet on a spread. A bet that the result will be
lower than the quote offered by the spread firm

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Sporting Index – The biggest sports spread betting firm with
60 per cent of the market

Spreadex – The newcomer and still the smallest of the four
major spread betting firms

Stop-At-A-Winner – Market, usually on horseracing, on how
many races must be run before a favourite wins. Make-up is
ten times the number of the race on the card (so a favourite
winning the fourth race means a make-up of 40). If no winners
make up is total number of races at the meeting plus ten (so 70
at a six-race card)

Stop-Loss – A limit on the maximum make-up of a bet. Applies
to certain markets for all clients and on most markets for spread
bettors with a limited risk account. Cantor Advantage account
allows a stop-loss on losses, but not on profits

Stake - The amount in pounds per point bet by a client. Not
an indication of how much is being risked because make-ups
can be up to hundreds of points away from the original quote

Supremacy – The most basic and still the most popular spread
betting market around, set by how much the firms expect one
team to beat another in a particular event

Ton-ups – Popular market in variety of sports including cricket
and snooker based on the aggregate scores of players who score
above 100. So in snooker, a break of 122 contributes 22 to the

Your choice – A quote where both teams or individuals are
believed by the spread firms to have an equal chance of winning.
Whichever team the bettor supports give away a small start

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