Sports Betting School – Tutorial Three of Six

Football betting is of course great fun, but if you are to be a success long term, it is advisable to do your homework before parting with your cash. There are a wealth of statistics and lots of helpful information available with Topleague and you should use all of this to your advantage, but it is not the complete answer. Before making a judgement, it can pay to anticipate as many possible outcomes as you can and ask yourself what influences could affect the outcome of the game. By having this strategy in place, you can think beyond the norm. Stats and more stats There are some obvious starting points which become apparent with minimal research. If a team is on a winning run and confidence is high, you are immediately drawn to them over a side which cannot find a victory and whose confidence is rock bottom as tactics and personnel may be chopped and changed in an effort to turn things around. Average goals per match and home and away records are similarly helpful as are past head-to-head comparisons between teams and there are many more statistics available to the punters as results are scrutinised and fed through various analysis programmes. But do not be blinded by stats. If the data relates to matches from long ago when none of the current players were involved, their worthiness has to be seriously questioned. Give more credence to recent clashes between teams when the personnel and club infrastructure was largely the same and distinguish between home and away form and check out if any key players were injured and whether the teams were experiencing a good or bad run of form. Be prepared to delve a little deeper into the patterns and trends that surround the games. More than a numbers game Stats are great but betting on football simply by looking at the numbers provided in a results section or as part of a league table is a dangerous business. If all the favourites won and there was never a shock all the bookmakers would be out of business in a heartbeat and punters around the world would rejoice in harmony. Trends will often show that teams are on good runs or bad runs, in truth sides can run up sequences like that throughout the season – don’t over react to them but look at the make-up of those set of fixtures. Were the matches all easy or did the club experience a particularly brutal set of fixtures when you would not expect the said team to win, even if they were playing at the top of their form. Punters can sometimes be too influenced by recent events and we must always be prepared to look at the longer-term picture when assessing a result or a team. If it was only as easy as only looking at previous form, punters would be the ones with the advantage and bookmakers would be cutting the odds and making sure it was a lot tougher to make big profits from football betting. Follow the story Normally there is a storyline for most games that could change the outcome, Of course Manchester United will almost always be favourite to beat Wolves, but what if you know it is going to be a second-string United side turning up at Molineux? Keep an eye on the news – it’s there to help – and if you find out Wayne Rooney and 10 of his regular teammates will not be turning up, then it might be the right time to react and avoid backing a reserve team at odds-on. Injuries, illness and suspension can always change your perception of a possible result, but might not always be reflected in the odds. The same goes for referees. Referees lists are available a couple of days before the match in some countries, and some referees do tend to officiate differently and of course some are far harsher than others. This is especially important when getting involved in bookings markets and indexes. One of the biggest influences that interests football backers is a change of manager – instantly backers expect results to improve. Perceived wisdom is that a team will want to play better and impress their new boss, that argument presupposes that they are capable of impressing. Ultimately results may improve but that is then down to the quality of the new manager, the calibre of players at his disposal and probably most important these days the funds made available for transfers. Even something that might seem worth ignoring, like the weather, can have a significant impact on results. Imagine a slippery pitch, snow, rain, hail and tough conditions; they are often said to be ‘a leveller’. The impact of such weather on pitches can certainly make life harder for the skilful player and possibly the goalkeeper. Could that be the time to get involved in the total goals market? Maybe challenges will start to become reckless – time to go and back bookings? These things may sound simple but they are often ignored and it all comes down to betting with your head, filled with all of the information you have gleaned while researching, rather than your heart. So the message is to use form and statistics in conjunction with other non numerical factors. And remember bettors have the advantage of concentrating on one or a few teams that they can get to know well – bookmakers still have to cover the whole spectrum of teams that they provide prices for. Put your new betting skills to the test at - the bookie with the most markets and the best odds.