Lay bets are still a relatively new revelation in the sports betting industry. They are a byproduct of the advent of betting exchanges such as Betfair.
In the case of a traditional bet, also called a back bet, because you are backing an event to happen, the bettor is wagering that a horse will win a race, or that a team will win a match or title. It could also be a bet on a player to lead the league in goals. With a back bet, the bettor is counting on a winning outcome.
In the case of the lay bet, the player is having a punt that something won’t happen. They are laying odds that a club will fail to win the title or a particular match, or that a horse will not be the winner of a race.
How A Lay Bet Works
While certainly not as common as traditional betting which is backing positive outcomes, lay betting is definitely growing in popularity. Simple logic suggests that in an 11-horse field, it’s going to be much easier to determine a horse that won’t win the race, as opposed to narrowing down the selection to the winner. Of course, picking a horse not to win generally isn’t going to offer odds as rich as betting a horse to win but the chances of cashing the bet are much greater. In the long run, winning a little is a better result than winning nothing at all.
Suppose you were to place a lay bet on Crystal Palace not winning the English Premier League title. It’s likely to come in for you but unlikely to pay out massively. On the other hand, roll the dice on a lay bet that Manchester City won’t win the EPL title and it could pay handsomely.
Lay Bets In Exchange Betting
Lay bets owe their development to the world of betting exchanges. Instead of betting against a bookmaker, a betting exchange sets up bets between two players. One is backing an outcome and the other is laying a bet against the outcome occurring.
Lay Bets In Matched Betting
Matched betting has evolved as a method of taking advantage of the risk-free bet sportsbooks provide to pure new customers to sign up. With a matched bet, one outcome is wagered, say a back bet on England to beat Poland in a World Cup qualifier. This bet is placed using the risk free first bet from a traditional bookmaker.
Next, place a lay bet that England won’t beat Poland through a betting exchange. By covering the bet either way and using a risk-free bet for one of the punts, at the very least a small profit will be guaranteed.