Betting on football is, in essence, a simple thing: just decide your market, your selection, and your stake and away you go. However, your long term success is dependent on so many different factors and on this site we aim to help with them all.
Choosing a great bookmaker is crucial, as that will help you get the best odds whilst also offering you a generous free bet to get you started plus excellent ongoing betting offers to give you long term value for all your bets.
We will assume you already have all of that stuff in hand, so here we will take a look at some key football betting tips, strategies, and guides on how to bet on football and what to look for when you make your bets.
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. For example, if someone offers you odds of better than evens on the toss of a coin then that is a value bet, because the true probability is 50% either way and the odds are better than that.
The implied probability is basically what the bookies think are the chances of each specific bet happening are.
To calculate the implied probability of odds you must first convert the odds from fractional to decimal. To do this simply divide the first number by the second and then add 1. Here are two examples:
Next, divide 1 by your decimal odds to get the percentage probability. So taking the decimal odds we now have from our examples above we would do this:
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% which is considerably lower than the true probability.
In football the probability of an outcome is not as clear cut as that of 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 from your own research or knowledge 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 can 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 as well. 5/1 implies a probability of just 17% so 5/1 is huge value but there are still no guarantees. Over time though, if you consistently back value bets you will profit from betting on football in the long term, and that’s how you have to approach it. 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 and only four rather than the expected five go on to win, you would still yield a huge profit of 14 times your stake.
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 difficult because the bookies put a lot of work into these games, but in the lower leagues where the bookies put fewer resources and so are less informed, there are often more opportunities.
Here we list some of the main instances that crop up allowing an opportunity to make a profit betting on football. Whilst most of them rely on getting information before it becomes common knowledge, there are some nice little tricks that may still help you pick out value bets without having to labour too hard on your research.
— BBC Sport (@BBCSport) January 9, 2020
Of course, finding value and being sure of it is much 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 from your football betting and enjoying it all the more.
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