Football Betting Strategy, Tips and Value Betting
Betting on football for the vast majority of people should be a fun hobby as so few have the determination, knowledge, resources and tenacity to make a living by betting on the beautiful game. However, a hobby or pastime has to be fun and with betting, winning is very closely linked to the fun and enjoyment you can derive.
Here we take a look at some key football betting tips: not tips in the sense of what to bet on but more a strategy and guide to how to bet on football and what to look for when you make your bets.
Betting on football is, in essence, a simple thing: just decide who you want to bet on and away you go. However, your success, long term, is dependent on so many things and here at FootballBettingHub we aim to help with them all.
Choosing a great bookmaker can be crucial as that will help you get the best odds whilst also offering you a generous free bet to get you started and excellent ongoing betting offers to give you long term value for all your bets.
However, assuming you have your favourite online – not to mention mobile – betting site sorted and ready to go, and are now looking for information on how to bet on football we have loads of detailed tournament and league guides whilst here we’ll offer more specific information and tips on how to choose your bets.
Value Bets in Football
Whilst finding winners may be most people’s aim, the serious football bettor is looking for value. Of course, you can only ever profit from winners but the key issue is that until the game is played there is no way of knowing what the winning bet is, only which bet offers value.
But what do we mean by value? The simple, technical definition of a value bet is one where the probability of the event happening is greater than the odds imply. So, for example, if someone offers you odds of better than evens on the toss of a coin, that is a value bet, because the probability is 50% and the odds are better than that.
To calculate the implied probability of odds you must convert the odds from fractional to decimal. To do this simply turn them into a fraction by dividing the first number by the second, so 2/1 is 2 divided by 1 whilst 4/6 is 4 divided by 6 and then add 1 to get the decimal odds. In the first example 2/1 becomes 3.00 whilst 4/6 becomes 1.66.
Then divide 1 by your decimal odds to get the percentage probability, such that 2/1 implies a
probability of 1 divided by 3, so 0.33, or 33% and 4/6 means 1 divided by 1.66 = 0.60, or 60%.
In the case of the coin toss there is 50% chance of heads coming up, so if someone offers you odds of 6/5 you’d snap that up. 6/5 is the same as 2.2 in decimal odds, giving an implied probability of 45% – considerably lower than the true probability.
Finding Value Bets
In football things are not as clear cut as the toss of a coin, so knowing the true probability of an outcome isn’t easy. However, assuming Man United are priced at evens to beat Arsenal, if you calculate that they have a greater than 50% chance of winning, odds of evens would be a value bet. One way of considering probability is to imagine the match was played 100 times, how many times would you expect Man United to win, based on all the information you have about the game? If you’d expect them to win 60 times that means that odds closer to 4/6 would be fair, so evens is clearly a great bet and you’re on the way to football betting profit!
Of course, even the greatest of value bets may lose. Even if you back a 5/1 shot that you know actually has a 50% chance of winning, it still has a 50% chance of losing too of course. 5/1 implies a probability of just 17% so 5/1 is HUGE value but there are still no guarantees. But over time, if you consistently back value bets you will profit from betting on football. A 5/1 shot with a 50% chance of winning isn’t, sadly, the sort of bet that comes up often – at least not unless you’ve bribed the players – but in that example, if you place 10 such bets, even if only four – rather than the expected five – win you would still yield a huge profit of 14 times your stake.
How to Find Value in Football Betting
As with betting on any sport, the secret to finding value is to do your research. If you know more than the bookie, or even just more than most people betting on the event, you should be able to find some value bets. In the Premier League this can be hard but in the lower leagues, where the bookies are less informed, there are often more opportunities. Here we list some of the main opportunities that crop up to make a profit betting on football. Whilst most of them rely on getting information before it becomes widespread knowledge, there are some nice little tricks that may still help you pick out some value bets without having to labour too hard with your research.
- Injuries – Injuries can throw up some great bets in football, especially if you hear about them early and react quickly. If a team loses one, or even two, of their best players the odds on the other side are likely to offer great value…at least until the bookies reduce the odds. Get on quickly and you can make a killing.
- Team News – Related to the above, if a manager decides to rest players, again there should be great value to be had on the opposition. With Twitter and other instant forms of media, the chance to get such information quickly is great, so take advantage and your football betting could be profitable, as well as fun.
- Players – Again, related to the above points, you may find value where a player is playing out of position. For example if a defender is set to play up front due to injuries or a regular penalty taker drops out there could be great value in the goalscorer markets. Likewise, if a team, or even both teams, have major goalkeeping issues, backing both teams to score or overs could be great value bets.
- Off-field Problems – Mass illness in a side, a managerial sacking or players on strike over unpaid salaries can all lead to huge changes in the chances of a side’s success. If you hear of such events and can get on before the bookies slash the odds you can make a real killing.
- Research – The most boring and sadly hardest way to find value bets is to study all available information and come to your own conclusions about both teams’ chances. From time to time bookies will just price markets up badly, either through laziness, an error or simply bad research and if you spot such discrepancies and are confident that your assessment of the probabilities is good, go for it.
- Old Habits Die Hard – Old habits do indeed die hard, especially when it comes to football betting. Bookies and most punters are very slow, generally speaking, to the changing reality of the world and their odds often carry historical influences that are out of touch with what is actually happening. A classic example of this is Man United under David Moyes, where, despite poor performance after poor performance and all sorts of teams winning at Old Trafford, United were consistently sent out as huge odds-on favourites, with the opposition offering great value to the canny football bettor who recognised a spent force before the masses. Another well-known example of this is betting on the draw in cricket Test matches. The draw used to be a very common result but as run rates crept up and pitch improvements were made, fewer and fewer games ended in draws. It took a long time for many people to realise this, offering up rich pickings for the wise.
Of course, finding value and being sure of it is far easier said than done but we have hopefully given you a few ideas on how you can improve your football betting. Take advantage of the many available free bets and offers too and with just a little luck you could well be profiting AND having a lot of fun from betting on football.