Football Betting Strategy: An Introduction
Football betting has exploded in popularity over the past couple of decades. As a result, Football Betting Strategy is massive.
With the emergence of online betting and satellite television channels providing extensive coverage of live football matches from around the world at around the same time. Seeing the interest in having a punt on the beautiful game spiral.
Not only is there now access to far more games to bet on from all around the world. But there are infinitely more betting markets on which to stake your bets and far fewer restrictions in terms of no longer being required to have to bet in multiples on football matches.
Betting Strategies – Take your pick
Knowledge of historical form and statistics are major factors when it comes to football betting strategy.
And basic analysis of current form, team news (injuries and suspensions), home/away form, goals per game scored/conceded, etc are all useful in helping to determine whether or not to back any specific team or outcome.
Best prices and low margins
One key factor is to know the profit margin of any bet with a bookmaker. Finding a bookie’s margin for any market is a relatively straightforward process.
If, for example, we had one team at 13/8, their opponent at 9/5 and the draw at 11/5 in the match odds, we first need to convert those fractional odds into decimal odds.
So we have 2.63 (13/8); 3.20 (11/5) and 2.80 (9/5), from which we can now calculate the margin:
(1/2.63) x 100 = 38.02; (1/3.20) x 100 = 31.25; (1/2.80) x 100 = 35.71.
Now add the three figures together and you have a total of 104.98. So the margin for the match odds on this game is 4.98%. Basically, the lower the margin, the better.
You certainly don’t want to be backing Premier League match prices with a margin above 6% but you can also do odds comparisons to find the best prices for your picks.
Finding the “Expected Value” of a bet is another sensible football betting strategy, as it basically shows you what you can expect to win or lose were you to place a bet on the same odds many times over.
The example often given is the toss of a coin, where if you were to bet £10 on heads and you were to win £11 every time you were correct, then the Expected Value would be 0.5.
What that means is that were you to repeatedly make the same bet on heads, you would expect to win an average of 50p for each bet of £10 you made.
Total Goals (Over/Under) betting is a popular market given that there are only two possible outcomes (which also equates to a low margin). And it’s easy for anyone with a few basic maths skills to determine whether a game looks likely to be a goal feast or one where goalmouth action will be at a premium.
Likewise, Asian Handicap betting on football has very low margins and can present some good opportunities to profit.
For example, a very short priced favourite might be worth opposing on the Asian Handicap as they could have a major game on the horizon and will be content with a narrow winning margin.
Football Spread Betting Strategies
Unlike traditional fixed odds betting where you are effectively betting on a set outcome, such as the Match Result, Correct Score, Total Goals, First Goalscorer, etc, football spread betting is focused more on the movement of the market.
Football spread betting (and spread betting in general) can be very volatile, with the potential to amass big losses being far greater than with traditional fixed odds betting – you need to be aware that you can lose multiples of your initial stake.
Whilst football spread betting certainly isn’t for punting novices, you can select markets where the risk is relatively minimal.
For example, you could have a bet on a team’s total points over the course of the season in the Premier League.
Of course, a team might massively over or underperform the spread, but were you to have perhaps backed West Bromwich Albion to be over a spread of say 38.5 – 40 points this season for £5 per point, you would still be looking at a potential loss of probably no more than £50 at the season’s end and you also have the option of putting in a stop loss should you want to limit your losses at any point.
Player’s goal minutes
A more risky football betting strategy, but one that gives you more immediate results, would be to bet on a player’s goal minutes.
For example, Sergio Aguero might have a spread of around 35 – 38, so all you do is add up the times of any goals he scores in the game in question.
If he scores in the 25th and 75th minutes, that equates to 100 in total. Had you bought at £10 per point, you would be looking at a very healthy profit of £620. However, should Aguero fail to score, your losses would amount to £380.
There are a variety of markets to choose from, including Time of First Goal, Goal Scorer Shirt Numbers, etc. Again, you need to be wary as big losses can easily be built up.
Best Way to Bet on Football
There is no substitute for research when it comes to football betting strategy. The more information you have at your disposal, the better chance you have of beating the bookies.
It probably pays to concentrate your efforts on just a few leagues, rather than adopting a scattergun approach.
The reality is that the bookies rarely get their pricing wrong on the major leagues given their access to information and the vast media coverage involved.
For those more experienced in betting, it’s now becoming increasingly popular to use more complicated betting models using the likes of Expected Goals and Poisson Distribution.
You could also use a Monte Carlo simulation to analyse your betting performance.