How to Bet on Football and Win
Betting on football can be an extremely frustrating, and costly, pastime with many people wondering how to bet on football and win.
Whilst there are success stories of punters who won thousands from a 50p stake, most punters know the sinking feeling of a last-minute goal ruining their accumulator or the team at the bottom of the table picking up a surprise victory over the defending champions.
Some people continue to place the same type of bet week after week, with the hope that one day their ship will come in.
However, to win at football, punters must follow a few certain rules.
Research Before Betting
Rule number one of football betting is that the punter must gather as much information as possible before placing a bet.
Study statistics, recent form, head to head information, and team news to give you as much of an advantage as you can have. Knowing all of this will help you take an analytical approach and work out which outcome is most likely.
For example, the second-placed team in the league are playing a team in the relegation zone in midweek. The higher team would be priced as a heavy favourite but there may be factors to take note of before betting.
Although most people would take the league positions as a good indicator of who will win, what if the second-placed team have an all-important match with the leaders at the weekend?
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There are chances they will rest players against the lesser team, to keep them fit for the bigger challenge. They may also take the midweek match lighter than usual thinking they already have the victory.
But, taking a match lightly against a relegation threatened side who also need the points can be a dangerous tactic.
Also, what if the so-called bigger team have failed to win in their last three matches against the team in the relegation zone? What if the last five head to head meetings have all been draws? What if the team in the relegation zone have hit a purple patch of form and won their last few games?
These factors can play a huge part in determining the outcome of a match. The favourites may not look such a banker now, with the chance of a draw or even a surprise victory for the underdog being much higher.
This is one of the many reasons why we provide team news to our members.
Betting on impulse, betting with your heart, letting your emotions take over, and betting solely based on the betting odds are all sure-fire ways of losing money.
Impulse betting is where a punter places a bet on whichever matches are available, regardless of their knowledge of the teams involved. It’s something which many online punters will do, and their win percentages from this type of betting will probably be extremely low.
Betting with your heart means backing your own team to win, or favourite player to score first, regardless of the opposition or form of the player. Whilst some punters may get lucky and win often if they support a big team, those who support a team struggling against relegation every year will lose more than they win.
Letting your emotions take over is a big no-no when it comes to betting. This is usually described as chasing your losses, when you are angry and frustrated after a bet fails to win. You then place more money on another bet you believe to be a banker, to try and regain the money you lost before. This is a slippery slope and could quickly lead to a bank balance of zero.
Betting based solely on the odds is another thing punters should never do. Whilst short odds favourites obviously have the best chance of being victorious, there may be mitigating factors which could weaken that chance.
Remain analytical and do not bet on a match unless you have gathered as much information as possible.
Profit is Profit no Matter How Small
Some punters look for the big, life-changing, win every week. They place a few pounds on bets which could return thousands, with the chances of these bets coming in being small.
Those few pounds every week may be small to start with, but done every week for several years will mount up to a lot of lost money.
Punters should always be looking to make a profit, even if it’s only a few pounds.
Would you rather place £10 on a single bet which returns a £12 profit, but has a 92% chance of winning, or place two £5 bets on sixteen-team accumulators which return £10,000 each, with a 1% chance of coming in?
Some people will say the second, but sensible punters will know that £12 profit every time soon adds up.
For more information on this you might like our post on focusing on losing less often.
There’s a big chance you have sat in a pub, or café, and overheard a conversation about how close someone came to winning £26,000 on Saturday or how one team let them down for £500. You never hear the punters who were £5 up talking about their win, although they are the more successful punter.
The best advice we can give when gambling is, your first thought should be how best you can avoid losing rather than how much you will win if your bet comes in.
Look for a small profit, which will help to boost your betting bank and may ultimately lead to a big life-changing profit over time.
Keep a Betting Record
Keeping note of your wins and losses can help you see how much money you’re throwing away, and can help you change the way you gamble.
In this record, write down the type of bet you placed, the stake, the potential return, and how much profit or loss you made from it. Also add any notes which will help you moving forward, such as which team(s) let you down.
At the end of a set period, such as every week, fortnight, or month, you should tally up your results to give you an overall profit or loss.
If you are suffering constant losses betting on accumulators with the promise of a big return, maybe change the way you bet for the next period. Consider backing less teams in an accumulator or placing single/doubles/trebles bets which return a small profit.
You can then see if your overall profit has gone up.
If you regularly see a + amount in the profit/loss section, it will be a big eye-opener that the way you were previously betting was wrong and you should stick to your new approach.
Remember, You Will Not Win Every Time
If there was a fool-proof way of winning on football every time, bookies would go out of business and football betting would cease to exist.
However, there is no fool-proof way because football is unpredictable and shocks happen. The favourite doesn’t always win, everybody has off days, and punters will often be out of pocket. There are no 100% guarantees in football betting.
In those times, you must remember to have fun, stay analytical, and follow our advice to give you the best chance of making a profit.
Want to read more?
- What is a Football Accumulator?
- Spread Betting
- The Types of Football Bets that We Should All Know About
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How to Bet on Football and Win – Here we share some common sense advice from a football betting site you can trust.
How to win at betting in 10 easy steps the bookies don’t want you to know
What’s the best way to get round the bookies’ tricks that try and pull you through their doors? Let us tell you.
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- 14:12, 11 APR 2018
Gambling is, by its very nature, a risk-ridden way to fill your time or even to try and make money. But, when done sensibly, it can also be a fun and exciting addition to watching sport.
But how do you make the most of your bet? What’s the best way to get round the bookies’ tricks that try and pull you through their doors?
It’s all about finding the best value for money. Whether that’s the right prices, the right markets or even the best time to put your bet on, follow these tips from an ex-betting shop employee and see if you can make the most from your gambling experience.
1. Know your sport inside out
It’s not just about which football team has won their last six games but how well they have really played offensively and defensively. Were they good at keeping possession or were they lucky?
Which tennis player is having a spat with their coach? That golfer might have won two majors this season but how much experience does he have on a links course?
These are the kinds of details that will inform your betting and will better prepare you for spotting those good-value markets.
2. The favourite doesn’t always win
This seems obvious to point out but it is difficult for any punter to ignore the price bookies have given.
A good example? When Rafael Nadal took on Fabio Fognini at the Barcelona Open back in April, bookmakers had Nadal as the heavy favourite. He was as short as 1/10 with some.
On the surface this would make sense. Nadal is the King of Clay and has won this very tournament a record-breaking eight times.
What the bookmakers had overlooked was that Fognini had beaten Nadal on clay only a few months earlier in Rio De Janeiro. Combine this with Fognini’s record of knocking out top seeds and suddenly his 8/1 price is looking very attractive.
Fognini went on to beat Nadal in straight sets.
3. Don’t just stick to one bookmaker – shop around
There is a big emphasis on brand loyalty in the betting business. Because it’s such a competitive sector, companies will try and lure you to bet with them and only them.
Whether this is through various loyalty schemes or special in-shop offers, the intention is the same. Don’t let them make you think you shouldn’t shop around. Use www.oddschecker.com to see which bookmaker has the best price for the market you want.
Check the offers available for specific bets. The first goalscorer market is one of the most popular bets in football and as a result, bookies all have their own spin on it.
Betfred will double the odds if your player scores twice and treble the odds if he scores a third time.
Ladbrokes, on the other hand, will double the odds if he scores within 25 minutes and you will probably find that most other bookies have their own version to try and get you through their doors instead of someone else’s.
Your research should tell you which of these offers will most suit you for any given match. Be flexible and be prepared to put in the leg work.
4. The fewer selections, the better
This is something that, even though it seems like common sense, punters forget all the time. The fewer selections you include in your bet, the more chance you stand of winning.
If you’re betting to make money think small, not big. One team or selection if you can stake enough. Three or four maximum. Once you find yourself putting that 20-fold accumulator on, you really are on cloud cuckoo land.
Bookies lose most of their money from singles. An extreme example would be some high-roller coming into a shop and putting £10,000 on a 4/6 shot.
Just one single at an odds-on price but the shop would have to turnover £6,666 to cover that payout alone.
If you do enough research, you should feel relatively safe putting £5 or £10 on one selection. But trebles usually offer a decent return if you really do want a higher payout.
5. Avoid the temptation of odds-on prices
If you do find yourself desperately wanting that long-shot bet on a Saturday afternoon, do not pad out your accumulator with odds-on selections. You’re decreasing your chance of winning for next to no extra cash.
This is really easy to do in tennis. It’s the opening week of a Grand Slam and you see the top players are all drawn against relative unknowns.
It would seem like a great idea to lump them altogether in a multiple to try and win some easy money. But this would be a mistake.
Tennis is notorious for offering terrible prices on match-betting and so you could put the world’s elite in a ten-fold and still only manage to scrape returns at 3/1.
Is it really worth £10 to only treble your money when any single loss at a price of 1/8 (for example) would result in your entire bet going down? Probably not.
It would make more sense to do some research and find an up-and-coming player who has a favourable draw and back them at a better price.
6. Consider the less obvious markets
Again, once you’ve done enough research, you should know you’re sport well enough to find better value in the hundreds of other markets the bookies offer.
It is arguably a way for the bookies just to provide you with more ways to lose but you can find the good prices if you look hard enough.
For example, you might not feel safe putting Leicester City to beat Man City in your accumulator.
They’re higher than them in the league but does that mean they’re a stronger team? That’s for the football pages to discuss.
But just a minimal amount of research shows that Jamie Vardy is the league’s top scorer. So betting on him to score anytime is as safe as bets come. And at 7/5, it’s not bad value either.
7. Make sure you understand the markets
While we’re on the subject of the less obvious markets, if you do pick an obscure one, make sure to check the terms with the betting shop staff.
A common mistake is the half time/full time bet vs to win both halves. If you put a HT/FT bet on, your team simply has to be winning at half time and then win the match.
If you back your team to win both halves, you are betting on them to win the first half and the second half separately. The team must score more goals than the opposition in both halves for you to win your bet.
It’s a subtle difference but frustrating for punters who come looking to collect winnings when they’re team was leading 2-1 at half time and won the match 2-1. The second-half score must have been 0-0 and so the bet goes down.
8. Don’t bet with your heart
You might really want your team to win. You want it so badly you even start to convince yourself it’s possible. Before you know it, you believe it so much that you’ve put your money on it.
And bookies love it because each week they’ll rake it in from all the home fans willing their soon-to-be relegated team to beat the table leaders.
Similarly, avoid important events like derby games. The unpredictable element is magnified because there’s more at stake and players may elevate themselves for that extra degree of honour and pride.
If you must bet on these events, consider the other markets. They probably won’t beat the table leaders but could they get a goal? Result and both teams to score could be a more sensible bet.
9. Pick your moment
It’s difficult to pinpoint the right time to place your bet because, unlike with horse racing, it’s not ‘best odds guaranteed’ on sports bets but it’s usually best to do it on the day.
But most bookies will enhance prices or have special offers ahead of a popular event.
Some will do this for the full day of the event itself. Others will boost a price for a set period at random points meaning unless you spend the day in the shop, you’ll only come across these by chance.
If it’s a particularly popular event, the bookies will almost certainly be promoting it with offers designed to persuade you to part with your cash.
It could mean money back as a free bet if the favourite scores first in a football fixture.
It could also mean that a shop may boost the price of a player to score anytime from EVS to 6/5 between 12pm-3pm, for example.
10. It pays to follow less popular sports
As bookmakers try and offer more and more ways for us to hand over our cash, they are forever expanding the list of sports and markets they cover.
This undoubtedly means that they are covering sports they might not know as much about as they would like.
A good example is MMA. The sport of mixed martial arts is on the rise and so we are getting increasingly more coverage and more information about competitors.
When world bantamweight champion, Ronda Rousey, stepped into the Octagon at UFC193, she was heavy favourite and her opponent Holly Holm was out as far as 9/1 early and still 6/1 when the fight got underway.
But why was Rousey at such a short price? Holm is a boxing world champion while Rousey’s striking is somewhat lacking. Rousey’s strength was her judo, yet Holm had defended 100% of takedowns going into this fight.
It was never going to be as clear cut as everyone thought and any real look at the stats ahead of the event suggested that 6/1 was amazing value.
Not only did Holm go on to win the fight but she KO’d the champ in just two rounds.
If there was an unbeatable formula, bookies would soon go out of business and we’d all be millionaires.
Everyone will have good days and bad days but follow these tips and you should soon be able to spot the best value bets available and hopefully reap the rewards!
Just remember only bet what you can afford to lose, never chase your losses and if the fun stops, stop!
What’s the best way to get round the bookies’ tricks that try and pull you through their doors? Let us tell you…