Betting on football can add an extra level of excitement to the game you are watching. But unless you win on a regular basis, the novelty can soon wear off.
That’s why the most successful sports gamblers develop clear strategies for their betting activities. Our in-depth guide reveals the top ten things you must consider to be a successful sports bettor.
Do Your Homework
The first thing you need to be a successful sports bettor is knowledge. Wagers should never be placed purely on instinct or gut feeling.
Every bet you place should be a result of solid research and strong knowledge of the game. So if the Premier League or Bundesliga are your areas of expertise, you should start there.
Betting with your head instead of your heart is a golden rule which should never be broken. Always do your research and look at as many statistics as possible.
And bookmark your favourite football tips and stats websites and use the information to look for trends in certain markets.
After a while, you will know which teams win lots of corners, which receive the most bookings and which concede in a high percentage of games.
You will know which goal scorers usually score first, which players get the most assists and which referees are the most card happy. All of this knowledge can be used to identify betting opportunities.
Always Keep A Betting Log
To find out if your strategy is working, and to identify areas where you could improve your performance, you should keep a betting log from day one.
Even if your bookkeeping skills are not great, you should still keep a basic log of your bets.
A betting log can provide you with a wealth of information such as what type of bets bring you the best return and which bets you need to avoid or research more thoroughly.
Your Betting Log Should Include:
- Bookmaker: Who did you place your bet with?
- Match details: Teams, venue, competition, referee etc.
- Match date: When did the event occur?
- Bet market: Type of bet placed and details.
- Odds: The best price that was offered.
- Amount staked: How much did you place?
- Result: Did the bet win or lose?
- Return: Did you make a profit or a loss?
In addition, you should also leave a space to make other notes that may be relevant such as your reason for choosing the bet backed up by any statistics you used and the sources for your data.
This may sound like a lot of effort, but you will be thankful to have this information available for future reference. And it will help you to develop your own successful strategy.
If you are good with numbers and spreadsheets, you might even take this practice to a new level by compiling your own statistical database. You could apply formulas to identify if a bet offers good value or not based on previous wagers.
If you are contemplating skipping this step, remember that every successful sports bettor keeps a log of their bets. Learning from your mistakes and building on your successes is essential if you are to produce a positive long-term yield.
Open More Than One Account
If you are planning on betting on a regular basis, having only one betting account could cost you money week in, week out.
Football betting is all about margins. Therefore, you need to maximise the return on every single bet. And that means having multiple betting accounts.
If you invest your time researching statistics to find the best betting opportunities it makes sense to place your bets with the bookie that offers the best odds. Otherwise, you are just throwing money away.
You could increase your potential returns by 10% or more by finding the best price for every bet you place. That could make the difference between a profit and a loss over the long-term.
Find Value Bets
This is a slightly harder skill to master, but it becomes easier over time. A value bet is one where the odds offered are high in proportion to the probability of the outcome.
The difficult part is calculating the probability of the outcome. By looking at historical results and considering form, injuries and other factors that may affect the result, experienced punters can arrive at a benchmark figure.
The more statistical research you do the more accurate you can be with your predictions.
Simple Formula To Find Value
If you calculate that a bet has a 60% chance of happening and the odds are Evens (2.00) then we can use the calculation 0.60 x 2.00 = 1.20 to find the perceived value. As a rule, if the result is higher than 1.00, the bet offers good value.
Manage Your Bankroll
Before you start betting, you should put aside an amount of money that you can afford to lose without putting extra strain on your finances. Then you must manage the money as if it were invested in a business.
This means betting small amounts until you get your strategy right. Even then, you should spread your money sensibly across a range of bets.
And remember, there is no guarantee you will make a profit, so it is important that you never bet more than you can afford. Even the most successful bettors follow a strict bankroll management regime.
Know Your Strengths
As you become more experienced, you will start to identify your strengths and weaknesses. You need to be honest, self-critical and be prepared to change your strategy if necessary.
If something is not working and there is not an obvious reason, stay focused on what is working. Don’t waste your time on failed strategies.
Look Out For Bonuses And Promotions
Bookmakers will sometimes offer bonuses, promotions and enhanced odds on certain betting markets. You might find that a bet you are considering is covered by one of these offers.
In which case, you could boost your potential returns by taking advantage.
Avoid 'In The Know' Accounts
If you receive a horse racing or football tip from a man in your local pub or a friend at work, don’t assume they know what they are talking about.
Always run the numbers yourself and make an informed decision regardless of the source of the information.
Know When Not To Bet
Sometimes you might struggle to find a bet that fulfils your own strict criteria. In this situation, you might be tempted to have a bet anyway and pick a wager you would not normally back.
This habit should be avoided. If a bet doesn't offer the right balance of probability and value, then it is better to not bet at all.
Don't Spend All Your Winnings!
When you do win, you should treat the cash as part of your bankroll. Remember, you need to think like a businessman and any winnings should be reinvested in your enterprise.
By all means, treat yourself to a small bonus but try to avoid withdrawing all your winnings if you are planning to bet on a regular basis.