I placed my qualifying bet over a week ago on an Italian league match, then yesterday I decided that the Championship Play-Off final between West Ham and Blackpool represented a good opportunity to cash in the free bet – depending on how things went in the first half hour.
The reason why it depended on the first 30 minutes was because I expected goals, but didn’t want any before Over 2.5 goals reached 2/1. Sure enough there was no early goals and I got my £50 matched on Over 2.5 goals just before Carlton Cole (I know, Carlton Cole scored!) opened the scoring towards the end of the 1st half.
I then waited until half time hoping for a quick West Ham second (they missed an absolute sitter) or an instant response from Blackpool, and when it didn’t come, I layed Over 2.5 goals on Betfair as soon as the half time whistle went to ensure a tidy profit.
Much to my annoyance Blackpool equalised about 2 minutes into the 2nd half, but I imagine that if I didn’t trade out at a certain point (ie half time) I would probably end up letting the bet run and potentially end up not winning anything.
Looking at this over the long term taking a guaranteed profit is probably going to serve me better, for this reason I’m not going to kick myself, even though I did expect goals in this game and the free bet would have won had I let it run.
I lost £54.16 laying the bet on Betfair and my qualifying bet also cost me £2.31, in total a loss of £56.47. Taking this amount away from my £100 free bet winnings from Betfred left me with a nice profit of £43.53, a return of 87p in the £1 (£43.53 return from £50 free bet).
In the long run I would be more than happy to get over 80p to the £1 on every free bet offer available, but given there was an element of risk used in the tactic of needing a goal (with my free bet) I know this is probably going to be a tall ask in the long run (at a minimum yesterday I would have layed the £2.31 at some point ensuring a scratch trade at least).