Football is the most popular sport on the planet, watched by billions of fans all across the globe from Reykjavik to Ushuaia and everywhere else in between. The action that takes place on the pitch is just one part of the thriving footballing industry though, beyond that there are huge revenue generating sectors like TV, podcasts and the written press.
As well as being a hot topic for debate, football is a frequent favourite of gamblers looking to use their knowledge of the beautiful game to their benefit and make the most of the football betting odds.
Unfortunately there is no step-by-step guide that you can follow to start winning big on your football bets with the bookmakers more often than not, being the only ones that win. There are however a couple of things you can do to increase your chances of winning more football bets, read on to find out what they are.
Do Your Research
When the bookmakers are deciding the odds for a game, an outright title or individual accolades they use a team of dedicated researchers and analysts to compile the probabilities of every single eventuality.
Only after conducting all of that research do they then decided on the betting odds, which are specially chosen to give them the edge over punters. Against odds like that, how are you going to win big if you don’t at least put in a little bit of research?
Instead of choosing with your heart or following perceived wisdom, dig down into the stats and make sure your betting decisions are based on cold hard facts and are the result of analysing the data.
Don’t know where to start? Here’s a great list of websites to get you started.
(Want to win more bets? Do the work.)
Avoid accumulators. Yes they have the best odds but that’s because the chances of one of them coming off are astronomical. If you want to maximise your chances of winning pick trebles, preferably ones where you back the favourites.
Backing Arsenal to beat Luton Town at home might not offer the best odds, but pair that up with bets for Manchester City and Liverpool to win and you’re all of a sudden increasing your odds whilst still backing relatively safe bets.
Fill out Your Bet
Whilst multi-team accumulators are to be avoided at all costs, beefed up bets on individual games shouldn’t be sniffed at. Take that hypothetical Arsenal vs Luton game mentioned above, to add value to it why not back Arsenal to have more than 7.5 shots on target, more than 7.5 corners and Luton to have more than 3.5 yellow cards?
All those things are quite likely to happen, but by adding them together in the same bet you are increasing your odds and therefore increasing your potential winnings.
Whilst bookmakers do go to great lengths to ensure that their odds are as accurate as possible, they don’t have the time or the manpower to do a deep dive on every team in the world every couple of days in between fixtures.
If you’re betting on lower leagues you can gain the edge by going the extra mile and keeping your finger on the pulse. Imagine Huddersfield are flying high in the league under Neil Warnock next season and you fancy backing them for their trip to Coventry.
One check on their fan forum Down at the Mac would tell you that Huddersfield don’t do well at Coventry, for whatever reason they invariably struggle when they take on the midlands side in their own stomping ground.
Every club has a fan forum, don’t be shy about checking it before you place a bet. It might not always come up trumps and tell you about a hoodoo that a club has at one ground, but it will give you an idea as to the form of the team you are betting on.
(Can’t find a forum? Twitter is another good place to go to gauge fan feeling, although beware that Twitter users can be a lot more reactionary than forum users.)
Set a Budget
If you think you can beat the bookies in the long-term you’re at best an eternal optimist and at worst… well, we’ll leave that one for you to decide. The house always wins when it comes to gambling so set yourself a budget and make sure that you never, ever get into a scenario in which you are chasing your losses.
Sports betting is supposed to be fun, it’s supposed to be there to maximise your enjoyment of your favourite sport. When it goes too far in the opposite direction and becomes something you feel you need to do, then perhaps it’s time to take a break and revaluate.