Laying the Draw Explained in Detail

Laying the draw is one of the most popular online trading strategies, and it is suitable for beginners.  It involves betting on football, which is the biggest sport when it comes to both betting and fans, meaning most people interested in trading have got a head start.

Trading football on betting exchanges such as Betfair often leads to the creation of strategies.  These strategies are designed to make trading easier and more profitable but do they work?

Most people understand how a football match develops and this makes lay the draw a good place to begin trading.  Continue below for an explanation on how lay the draw works.

How Does it Work?

The first thing to consider is what lay the draw actually means.  Lay the draw means betting on a draw not to happen.  In other words, when you lay the draw you want a positive result by either the home team or away team winning the match.

The lay the draw strategy is most commonly used when betting in-play.  If you are unfamiliar with in-play betting, it involves betting when a football match is taking place and has become very popular with punters around the world.

So, let’s take a look at lay the draw in action.

Lay the Draw Example

Laying the Draw Explained in Detail
Sukhothai 2-3 Chiang Rai United Friday 26th April

Using the final fixtures of the 2018/19 Premier League season as an example, Liverpool are playing Wolverhampton Wanderers at home.  Liverpool are the most likely of the two teams to win this game and they have been scoring plenty of goals at home this season in the Premier League.

However, Wolves had performed well against top six teams this season and after 70 minutes the score remains 0-0.  Liverpool are piling on the pressure because they need to score a goal, especially with the title potentially on the line. 

There are currently odds of 1.90 for the draw and you can lay the draw by placing a £10 lay bet.  You must understand the liability is £9.00 for this bet but you will make £10 profit should either team score a goal and win the match.

Make sure you bet with a bookmaker that allows you to cash out and you can so do so before the game enters the 90th minute.

Liverpool find the back of the net after 80 minutes and with the score at 1-0 to the favourites, the odds for the draw have increased significantly.  Not only are the favourites winning, which makes an equaliser less likely, time is quickly running out for another goal to be scored.

You can, of course, leave your bet run until the end of the game but in doing so, you run the risk of Wolves scoring an equaliser. 

Another way to lay the draw would be to place the lay bet before the beginning of the game.  Wait for the first goal to be scored and the odds for the draw will move out.  You will then be able to lock in a guaranteed profit by cashing out.  The profit may not be huge but could easily equate to 30% or more on your lay stake and they soon add up.

Which Match to Use for Lay the Draw?

If it was as easy to lay the draw successfully every time as in the example above, everyone would be doing and making money on a daily basis.

Clearly, it is not as easy as that and there are some things you must keep in mind when using the lay the draw strategy.


You must make sure there is enough liquidity to trade out your bet when the deadlock is broken in a football match.  Look for games where at least £25,000 has been matched prior to kick-off and you will be in safe hands. 

High Scoring Games

The more chance there is a team will score a goal the better the chance the match will not end in a draw.  Therefore, you want to choose games involving teams who regularly score and/or concede goals.  You can also check to see how many of their recent games have had over 2.5 goals scored.

You can also use the odds for the correct score market to judge if there are likely to be goals scored in a match.

Statistics to Consider

Other statistics to consider before laying the draw include the team news (are any good players missing?) and recent head-to-head scores (have there been many draws?).  If the teams have been drawing often when playing each other, you may want to look elsewhere.

Timing of Goals

If you are planning on placing your lay bet later in the game, knowing when teams score the bulk of their goals is important.  If a team scores most of their goals after the 70th minute, that would be a good time to lay the draw.

The Underdog Opens the Scoring

As with any form of trading, there is always a risk, however small, that something could go wrong.  The underdog scoring first in a game is not necessarily a bad thing but can make things difficult for this strategy.

The circumstances of the goal can have the biggest influence here.  If the underdog is playing well and they have taken control of the game, the draw odds will rise and you can make a profit.  However, if it was a lucky goal, against the run of play, the draw odds might drop and this can leave you in trouble.

In the second instance above, you may be tempted to hold on in the hope the pre-match favourites will come back to win the match but that is a big risk.  In most cases, unless the in-match statistics say otherwise, you are better off cashing out for a small loss and accepting it.

Don’t forget, always keep a record of your profit and loss when laying the draw and participating in any form of trading.  You will not know how you are performing and be unable to identify your strengths if you do not keep a record.

Caan Berry on Lay the Draw

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