World Cup 2018 – The best Betfair trade so far

We just witnessed one of those great trading moments. Where the market goes wonky, where bots get it completely wrong and where, if you are watching the market, you can profit from something that never shows up in complex mathematical models. Even funnier, this occurred even before the match had started.

Saudi Arabia vs Egypt

Last group stage matches can be interesting. There can often be something to play for and sometimes nothing but pride. Nothing but pride was the case we faced when Saudi Arabia met Egypt. However, there was a little backstory to the match as the media had been reporting that Mo Salah was considering quitting the national team.

Reading that story, pretty much everybody felt that it should have been suffixed with the words ‘After the world cup’. But the story caught and ran a little.

Team News

Team news can shift prices around during football matches. But it’s rare to see a significant movement at a major tournament like the world cup. Afterall, everybody knows who is going to be in the team? Nobody wants the miss out on the chance to impress on the world stage.

I was having a lazy day after the manic time I had last week, so was fairly non-plussed by the afternoon sporting action. I did some pre-off trading but wasn’t really taking it very seriously and used the opportunity to test some automation. Part of the automation was to sound an alert if something odd happened.

Alarming news

You can download a similar alert here: –

I decided to potter about the garden to enjoy the sun while sorting out the watering system which is currently broken. I pointed a wireless speaker out the back window in-case an alarm went off. To my surprise it did. I quickly headed back up to the office and could see some action on the market. The Egyptian FA had sent out a tweet with the team news on it, there was no Mo Salah. The coach on the image looked equally bemused. (Click on the image to enlarge it)

The market’s reaction to the news was instant and the price of Egypt shot out as people decided to lay Egypt or back Saudi Arabia on the news. Without their talismanic player, Egypt was sure going to be in trouble. This is what set off my alarm and sent me scurrying back to my desk.

Horror echoed across social media about the absence of Salah as Egypt fans scrambled to understand what was going on. A few direct messages to the Egyptian FA soon cleared things up. I have to say, without modern technology and the ability to translate Arabic, I would have been stumped to follow events.


Market reaction



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