Backing and Laying Cricket World Cup Bets on a Betting Exchange

Cricket and Betting Exchanges are a great combination. Whether it be Test Cricket, One-Dayers or the lively T20 format, the betting opportunities are abundant. Cricket is a game of momentum, be it a long partnership, the new ball, or a change of bowler. A well timed bet can see you score great odds, but there are other ways to make money on Cricket, and with the World Cup looming, there are going to be plenty of opportunities to lock in profits.

With the traditional Sportsbook, even those that offer live betting on the match, you can only back a team to win, and even then the odds on offer are usually affected by a sizeable margin. The prices are usually determined upon sheer mathematics.

With a Betting Exchange you are betting against other punters who don’t always place their bets using mathematics. As such if you think the price is too short for a team you can LAY them and punters who are happy with the price will take your bet. Or if you backed a team to win just before they lost 2 quick wickets you will now have a chance to LAY the same team you backed to ensure you won’t finish out of pocket. As long as you “BACK” a team at a higher Price than you “LAY” them, you won’t lose.

So let’s have a look at this in a live situation:

The 4th ODI between Australia and South Africa was delicately poised. Australia was 2/48 in the 14th over chasing 268 for victory.

The screenshot below shows Australia were favourites (shorter BACK price and higher LAY price show this)

Let’s assume you fancied South Africa’s chances given that Australia were needing more than 6 runs per over this far out and had already dropped 2 wickets, so you put $100 on South Africa to win for a return of $202.

Figure 1: WBX odds for Australia at 2/48

2 minutes later, as luck would have it, Australia lost their 3rd wicket and the prices now read

Figure 2: Greening Up opportunity on cricket match after another wicket falls

Right now is a perfect time you can lay off your liability. Without laying a bet, if Australia go on to win, you lose your $100. You may be even more confident of South Africa’s chances after the wicket fell, but why run the risk? At odds of $1.66 you could LAY $100 on South Africa. In this bet, if South Africa lose, the other punter loses his $100 to you. If South Africa win, then you lose $66 to the punter.

Still struggling to come to grips with that? Change your mind-set back to traditional bookie betting. If you see odds of $1.66 and put a $100 on it. Either you’ll lose your $100 to the bookie, or you’ll win $66 from them. The bookie is essentially LAYING the team at odds of $1.66. So in this scenario, you become the bookie! Either you’ll collect the $100 from the punter, or you’ll have to pay them $66.

So let’s do the sums:

$100 BACK Bet on South Africa @ 2.02 odds:

  • If the bet wins = $102 profit
  • If the bet loses = $100 loss

$100 LAY BET on South Africa @ 1.66 odds:

  • If the bet wins = $100 profit
  • If the bet loses = $66 loss

Possible Returns = $202 or $166, and the liability is only $166 from both bets combined.

As one if these results is GUARANTEED to happen, the worst you can do is break even. The best you can do is $36 profit.

But what you have done in the space of those 2 minutes is taken all the risk out of your bet, and you can sit back and watch the end of the match regardless of the result now. Alternatively, you could lay an extra $20 on South Africa at the lower odds and you would be guaranteeing yourself a minimum of $20 profit no matter which team wins. When you lock in a profit for every possible outcome, this is called ‘Greening Up’.

The outcome

Australia went on to win the match so if you didn’t place that LAY bet you’d have done your cash cold. If you had been placing your bets only with a bookie, you wouldn’t have had the opportunity to lay off your risk.

So which Betting Exchange should I use?

Each Exchange has its pros and cons. Betfair is first to most people’s mind. The only real benefit with Betfair is the liquidity in the markets which means even the biggest of punters have a good chance of their bets being matched. The drawbacks include their high 5% commission rate on cricket matches, monthly fees charged on inactive accounts, and their propensity to charge a winners premium where up to 60% of the profits are taken from winning punters. So these very same punters who are betting large amounts are getting the raw end of the deal by having to pay absurdly high commission if they win.

World Bet Exchange ( is the next in line. At this stage the liquidity is at perfectly fine levels for a majority of punters as you can usually get down bets of $10,000 or more on most matches. WBX also charges only a 3% commission rate on cricket matches. So if you obtained the same price as someone on Betfair would, you would end up with more cash in your pocket, which is what it’s all about after all. On top of that, regular punters on WBX also accrue loyalty points which can actually reduce the commission rate below 3%, to as low as 1.2% commission in stark contrast to what Betfair do. WBX supports live betting and members can deposit and bet in AUD currency, with minimum bets of just $1 AUD and no maximum.

Now is a great time to join WBX in time for the Cricket World Cup, new members who sign up get up to $35 in Free Bets. Australia is the favourite to win the tournament, currently at odds of 2.98 on the exchange.

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