There is not an exact time to have a fully formed market. Depending on the match, the market can be formed only on the match day itself or taking shape with over 7 days before kickoff.
The are different ways to take advantage of the market formation moments to do some pre live Trading.
The odds of a match are formed by the bets that are being placed on the market.
It is natural that early on, sometimes 10 days or more before the match, as soon as the betfair markets open for a certain match, we get certain bots that place bets at the minimum Lay odd @1.01, and back at the max odd @1000.
This happens because if someone happens to match their bets, it's easy money. Bets that one can sell to much profit later on, when the market naturally adjusts.
As such, we only consider the market truly formed when there are no gaps between bets placed at the highest Lay odd and at the lowest Back odd.
Example of a formed market without gaps
Example of market not fully formed
There is not a set time at which we will have a fully formed market, it depends on the match:
- A Champions League final will have its market formed with more than 7 days to spare;
- A Barcelona vs Real Madrid match will have its market fully formed 4 or 5 days before kick-off;
- A second tier Portuguese match, probably only at the match day itself will have a formed market.
When is it worth it to go into the pre live market?
As long as the market has a minimum of liquidity, it is worth it to immediately go in. There are different reasons to go into a market depending on the moment of that market's maturity:
- At the beginning, when the market is forming it is possible to find some miss adjusted odds. Why might even get our "high up" or "down low" bet matched at a severely miss adjusted odd, a major value bet. This happens because there is always someone that makes a mistake or is in a hurry and goes into the market without it being fully formed and matches our bet.
- Later, from the moment when the market is truly formed, no gaps visible, that is, for instance the odd at which someone placed the best Lay was @2.00 and the odd at which they placed the best Back was @2.02. At this time there are also opportunities to enter the market, doing some Trading by placing a Lay @2.00 and a Back @2.02, winning a tick each time this bet pair is matched. This happens because at this time money is being matched at those two odds by those who want to enter the market either backing or laying. This pre live technique is called “working the market”.
- On the hours preceding the match we can also work some very lucrative techniques, those strategies are completely different from the ones we mentioned before though. On these 2 to 3 hours before kick-off, it is possible to perform some pure Trading. Confidence intervals and correlations won't work, only what the market dictates at that given time.
These are three distinct moments and three distinct ways to profit on the pre live market.