Matched Betting: Underlaying & Overlaying

Jack Taylor

13 Dec 2018

Updated: 24 Apr 2023

If you underlay a bet and that bet wins at the bookmaker, you will end up with more profit. If you overlay a bet and that bet loses at the bookmakers you will make more profit.

This might sound like some complex maths, but actually all the hard work is done for you by our calculators. All you have to do is get your head around the concept. We always stay one step ahead at Profit Accumulator, so our members are never left behind. Technology is developing so fast though that it can sometimes be hard to keep us. Google for instance now has an AI assistant that can make calls for you.

Even though underlaying and overlaying are more advanced techniques, there is no reason why all matched bettors shouldn’t have them in their armoury. They can be very useful indeed!

Essentially underlaying is laying less than our standard lay amount, and overlaying is laying more than our standard lay amount.


So when is it that we actually want to underlay our bets? When does laying less than the standard amount benefit us?

Bonus when the back bet loses - Any time we receive a bonus when our back bet loses, we can seek to underlay to lock in profit. Eg. Bet £20 on Man City v Monaco, if your bet loses then get a £10 free bet. This is a prime opportunity to underlay our bet, and in fact the Profit Accumulator equal profit lock in calculator is perfect here.

Offers with wagering - When sports offers have large wagering attached it can be a good strategy to underlay our bets. This way if the bet wins in to the bookie and we have to complete the rollover, we at least made no loss on the original bet and protect our bonus. If it loses then we have lost more than by laying the standard amount but the offer is over, money won into the exchange, profit won and no more wagering left for us to do.

Accumulator refund offers - Some people like to underlay legs of their acca's on big favourites they feel will win, this results in a higher profit should those selections go on to win. Bear in mind though that if the underlaid selections lose, you will lose more money.


Overlaying offers is less common but there is one specific offer that this works well for.

Bonus when the back bet wins - Any time we receive a bonus when our back bet wins, we can overlay to see if profit can be locked in.

A good example of this is the Bet365 4/1 horse offer which they run everyday. If we pick a winning horse we get a risk free bet, and by overlaying we can make guaranteed profit if the odds are good enough.

Examples With Numbers

Below is an example of a bet in the advanced calculator, stake of £100, back odds of 2.0, lay odds of 2.04 with commission of 5%.

Read more about matched betting calculator

Here is a graph of the stakes we lay:

Underlay - £96.15
Standard - £100.50
Overlay - £105.26

Here is a graph of our profits/losses for said stakes:


  • Back wins - No Loss
  • Lay wins - £8.65 Loss


  • Equal loss regardless of outcome


  • Back wins - £9.47 Loss
  • Lay wins - No Loss

Hopefully now you have a better understanding of what people mean when they talk about underlaying/overlaying bets. It's an advanced technique, but ones that all matched bettors should be aware of.

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