Profitable Football Betting Strategy Guide for Beginners
Would it surprise you to know that you can make a serious second income from gambling ? For most its a chumps game but for an informed few making smart, calculated bets on Football matches can be hugely lucrative. Bookmakers online make mistakes, and the market of gamblers can skew a football match odds so much that it creates a few opportunities per week to bet on matches where the winnings are MUCH larger than they should be.
This kind of low risk football betting system is usually for only a privileged few with huge secretive gambling syndicates.
In these series of blogs I’m going to reveal exactly what betting is, how to place winning bets time and time again without getting banned by bookmakers and how to recognise these highly profitable mispriced matches with a very high success rate.
What is Sports Betting ?
Often I get asked the question – What is sports betting and how can one get into it? Sports betting is an exciting and one of the fastest growing ways to enjoy and be involved in your favourite sporting events. Historically speaking, betting on sports has been around for the last hundred years or so if not more in some ancient societies.
In recent times, sports have seen a great increase in its popularity mainly due to the Internet. People are now much more aware and are able to research their chosen picks in a highly effective and efficient manner without leaving the comforts of their home. This convenience and increased control should continue to help sports betting grow and develop throughout the next few years.
Before I tell you all about the benefits of sports betting, I need to make sure that you understand what sports betting actually is. If you are new to the world of sports betting do not worry, I know it can be daunting. But know that you aren’t alone in this. Not everyone has family members or friends who are active in the hobby. Simply put, sports betting is the act of placing a real money bet on the outcome of a particular sporting event or another major event. Sometimes people don’t even realize they have bet on sports before.
How many times have you bet £10 on a football game or something else before with a family member or friend? If you have, then most likely you have made a sports bet. The most simple form of a sports bet is picking the winning team in the competition. You can place a money bet on who will win a competition, and if you’re right, you win.
most popular sports for betting systems
Sports betting is offered for almost every sport in existence with the most popular being football, basketball, soccer, baseball, boxing, and hockey. Most sports books also offer slightly less popular sports including combat sports, golf, and tennis. Some sports books however take this a step further and offer every sport including volleyball, handball, bowling, and croquet. Some sports books go even further and offer bets on non-sporting events such as politics, wrestling, and even competitive eating! The person is spoilt for choice and can just about bet on anything with an unknown outcome.
Now, there a lot of sporting bets offered that are a little more complex than picking a basic winner. Sometimes you can pick the manner in which a team or an individual wins the game, how long it would take them to win, or even how many points each team would score. It can get even more complex than this but now I think you have a fair idea of what sports betting actually is and the multiple options that are available. If it’s something you want to put your money on, there’s some sports book somewhere already taking bets on it.
Now that you know all about what sports betting is like let us talk about the advantages and the benefits of why you would want to make a sports bet.
Sports Betting for Entertainment
One of the main reasons people get involved in sports betting is for the entertainment value. Watching live sports sure is fun, but the thrill and rush is really turned up when you have put money on the line. I know we all have our favourite teams or favourite players but sadly they don’t play every day of the month. Often you have to wait several days or weeks to watch your favourite team or players compete. While you wait, you can watch other sports or other teams compete, but it’s usually not as exciting if your favourite team isn’t involved. Now this is where sports betting comes in to help! If you are in the mood to cheer and get amped up for a game that you would normally be less interested in, placing a small sports bet can do the trick.
You might not even care about either of the team competing – but if you have put a little money on one of the teams they will instantly be your chosen team for the duration of the game. This even works with sports where you don’t have a favourite or preferred team and might be less interested in the outcome of the game. Moreover, it doesn’t take a huge bet to get the excitement going. A small £10 or £15 bet can get you excited about a previously boring game to you.
And more, this works on the games you are already excited and hyped up about! A small bet or a cheeky big one on the game you care about can sky rocket you excitement level through the roof. However, be smart and don’t let your emotions get the best of you when putting money on your favourite team or game.
Sports Betting For Cheap Fun
Now some people may tell you that you are crazy or not being smart when putting money on sporting events. They will say this whether you are betting £10 or £10,000. If you look at sports betting as paying for entertainment (just like you would with bowling or any other activity), it’s cheaper, and you get more bang for your buck especially on the days that you win your bets. Additionally, lots of people like to go through the stats and talk with their family members of friends about the upcoming games to decide who they think is going to win.
A lot of sports bettors say that the research and actual pick making is more fun to them than watching the actual game. When you actually break it down, sports betting can be a really cheap hobby that delivers a lot of entertainment value.
sucessful sports football betting strategy
It might be entertaining, but one of the best parts about sports betting is that you have the potential to make a lot of money. Regardless of the actual money you put on the bet, you always have the ability to win which not only feels amazing but also puts a little more money into your pocket. And the money doesn’t have to stop with the odd few quid here and there. A lot of people have trained themselves to become professionals at sports trading. They have learnt to go through the stats and develop a keen eye for picking and making winning picks.
Now a lot of people have asked me – Is sports trading gambling?
My resounding answer is a resounding NO. But that depends on how you approach it. For the people who just like to make quick and easy picks while enjoying the game – sports betting is probably quite like random gambling to them. Now, if sports betting were straight gambling, professionals would not be able to make a consistent living doing it. If you are using stats and strategy to make your picks, you can gain a statistical edge depending on how good you are. For these people, sports betting is far from gambling.
However, I would like to say here that being a professional sports better is a very challenging profession. I wouldn’t recommend you go and quit you job tomorrow and start betting on every game under the sun. Start with making smaller bets and see how you do. Only bet what you are willing too lose. That is the first rule of sports betting. If things start to go well, you can take the hobby more seriously. For most people, sports betting is a form of entertainment and light fun. But for the lucky few who have developed a knack for picking games, it can become so much more.
sports Betting Strategies are best in the most popular sports
Sports are always more entertaining to watch when you know what is going on. However, to know what is going on you have to watch the sport a few times. This means to actually learn about a new sport you are forced to suffer through some confusing and boring times where you aren’t really sure what exactly is going on. Small sports bets can really help turn these boring learning periods into exciting learning periods. Putting a small bet on a game can help you be interested enough to stick around and learn what is going on. If you don’t know who to pick I suggest picking someone at random or reading some free tips online to see who the professionals like.
I don’t recommend ever making a big wager on this as you are just taking a shot in the dark. Once you have learnt the sport, you can continue to bet if you choose to or just enjoy the sport that you understand now.
Football Betting System – Plan every day with ease
A lot of our favourite hobbies are great, but we just can’t play them every day. This can be because they are too expensive or maybe they are a physical hobby that our bodies aren’t strong enough to endure every day. Sports betting, on the other hand is an affordable hobby or profession that you can play and enjoy every single day. Because of the multiple varieties of sports offered, there is always something going on that you can bet on.
Players are able to enjoy sports and bet on them without leaving their homes. They can also be anywhere from a casino to a friend’s house or a sports bar to make a sports bet. For people who choose to bet online, the convenience gets even better. It really does provide the ultimate ease as well as access to fun in a stress free environment.
Easy to get started
Some hobbies and activities require you to purchase lots of equipment and learn a bunch of rules, and then put in tons of time to even be able to participate. This can be rewarding for a lot of hobbies, but it also takes time and money commitment that you might not have the time or resources to commit to.
Sports betting however is extremely easy to get started with. It requires no extra equipment or a big financial commitment to get started with. You can literally start by betting £10 on a game and lo and behold – you have made your first sports bet and are off! I should also point out right now that you are never requires to bet more than a £5 or £10 sum just because you have been going at it for a while. Be comfortable with what you bet with. Some regular players bet £5 a game even if they have been doing it for years.
With the continued growth of online sports books you have the chance to get started literally right now. You don’t need to drive to a high-street casino or book maker. You can now safely and conveniently place your wagers from the comfort of your own home in a matter of minutes.
Why does it get a bad name?
Everything has its positives and negatives and I would like to address both the sides of sports betting. If you’ve ever talked to a lot of people about sports betting, you’ve probably come across someone who spoke negatively about it. Some people think it is a bad habit and only degenerates and gamblers get involved with. Sadly for these people, they clearly do not have a firm grasp on what sports betting really is and how you can reap benefits and rewards from such a small amount.
Betting Strategies – Dont bet what you cant afford to lose
There is a very small percentage of people that get into the world of sports betting by betting outside of their means. I have always maintained my position on this – DO NOT BET WITH THE MONEY YOU DON’T HAVE OR CAN’T LOSE. These people start betting way more money than they are comfortable to use. Unfortunately, these bettors lack of self-control with their bankroll also bleeds over in their self-control with making smart picks. They are usually action junkies who are only looking for the rush. Thankfully, this is a very small minority of players, but because of them, a few people like to speak negatively about sports betting.
Sports trading can be a great hobby and source of a second income. Further, you are able to get so much value for entertainment from sports betting for a fraction of the price of other hobbies and sporting activities. People will speak negatively about things they don’t understand and are not aware of. Do not let these naysayers sway you from trying something that is fun and interesting to you.
If you try sports trading and don’t make money, and don’t think its for you, you never have to make another bet again. That is the beauty of the game. The trader is in control and is free to bet as often or little as he would like. Sports betting is not only a fun way to get together with your family or friends, enjoy your favourite game or even learn about new games but also a great opportunity to make some money.
History of Betting
Before we go on about sports trading any further, let me tell you a little about the history of sports trading. An important part of sports trading is the actual placing of bets and wagers with a bookmaker. This is quite a straightforward process that involves making your desired selection and then choosing how much to stake on it. That is pretty much all there is to it. However, as a part of the trading process, the person also has to choose how and where to place your bet as there are multiple ways to bet with a bookmaker. You can choose to place your bet over the telephone or through the internet. A lot of places around the world have bookmaking shops where you can visit to bet in cash, and many casinos have sportsbooks where you can do the same.
In this section, I briefly explain each of the different methods of placing a sports bet with a bookmaker.
Telephone Betting Services
Telephonic trading services are available at many bookmaking shops. They are easy and quite straightforward to use. You just have to place a telephone call to your chosen bookmaker and let them know all the details of any wagers or bets you wish to place. The bookmakers will then confirm the odds for your bets at the time.
Normally while using a telephonic betting service, you will be expected to pay for your bets using a credit or debit card. There may also be alternative payment methods available and some bookmakers will even offer credit to existing customers.
High-street bookmaking shops are very common in the U.K. and can often be seen on almost every high-street. To place your wager in these shops, you simply have to go up to the counter along with your completed betting slip and hand over your cash to the person behind the counter. The bookmakers will then confirm the odds if they aren’t already on display in and around the shop.
To claim a payout for a winning bet, you have to present the winning betting slip to the cashier. You will typically be paid out in cash unless it is a big amount, in which case an alternative payment method may be used.
Bookmakers in casinos are essentially the same as other bookmaking shops, only difference being the location. This tends to be an American thing though – you are likely to find sportsbooks in almost all of the big casinos in Vegas. They are bright with lots of screens displaying all kinds of sporting events from around the world. These screens are also used to show odds and lines for any upcoming sporting events that are due to take place.
One of the easiest ways to place a wager nowadays is to use a betting site or an online bookmaker. Ever since the first online sites started at the end of the 1990’s, internet sports trading has become increasingly popular. There are now hundreds of bookmakers online used everyday by millions of people around the globe.
Online bookmakers are extremely feasible and easy to use. Once you have opened an account with them and deposited some funds, you can then place any bet you want with just a few clicks on your computer. Most online betting services cover a wide variety of sporting events and some are even extremely competitive in terms of the odds and markets they offer. Additionally, some even offer bonuses, perks, and rewards for betting with them. I bet solely with online bookmakers, particularly betting exchanges. Later in this course, I will tell you why, in my opinion, they are the only way forward. Betfair has revolutionised the sports betting world. As well as offering far better odds, it is a peer to peer exchange that will never close your account if you start to make a lot of money!
How does sports betting work ?
A lot of people shy away or get scared about sports trading because they think it is too confusing and takes a long time to learn. However, this could not be further away from the truth. In reality, sports trading is actually quite simple and easy, and I promise you by the end of this course you will probably know more about sports trading than a lot of seasoned professionals. In layman terms, sports trading in its simplest form is placing a bet on the outcome of a particular event. If you are right, you win. If you are wrong, you lose. Sports trading can be a little confusing if you want it to be with the less popular more complex bets. However, if you stick to the popular and straightforward bets, it is extremely easy and a lot of fun as well. I am going to walk you through everything bit by bit and I hope by the end of it you will gain a lot of knowledge and learn some tips and tricks of making a winning bet.
The components of a Sports Bet
This is the first portion of making a sports bet. The selection part is as simple as what you choose to bet on, or what outcome you think is going to happen. You can’t just simply say ‘I want to bet on the FA Cup Final’. You will have to first select which team/s you want to place your bet on or what specific outcome you’d like to bet. It is actually as simple and straightforward as that. The different selections you can make are also known as the different types of bets you can make. You will learn later on that on Betfair, you can bet on many markets for each match. the most popular are match odds (which side you think will win), goals markets (will there be over 2 or 3 goals etc) and something called asian handicaps, which is where the weaker team is given a head start in goals to make the outcome more even. It is a little complicated so we will devote a lot more time to it later.
The stake is just a fancy word for how much you are willing to bet. If you choose to bet £10 on a game, then that would make the stake £10. This is where the term high-stakes comes from. High stakes refers to the people that bet large amounts of money. High is the level whereas stakes are the amount being bet. Now, the stakes a person bets is usually completely up to him. Some bookmakers will require minimum bets of a certain stake and some will impose a maximum bet/stake level. For instance, a bookmakers might have a £2 minimum stake and a £500 maximum stake for a particular bet. This just means that you have to beat at least £2 but are not allowed to bet more than £500. Anywhere between that range is good to go.
In Betfair, the online exchange that we will be using, the market is made up of buyers and sellers. In our strategy, we will always be the buyers; we will be backing teams. However, for us to be able to put the bet on, there must be another person sat somewhere at their computer who wants to ‘sell’ or ‘lay’ the team. This means that they want act as a bookmaker themselves and to accept our bet because they think the team will lose.
It might sound strange to read right now, but you will get used to this idea very quickly. In Betfair though, we must stake a minimum of £2 per bet and can bet only as much money as other gamblers want to lay. However, for this reason, our strategy will involve only the biggest teams, in the most popular leagues. So, unless you are a high roller with a few million pounds in your pot, you will not have much of a problem getting your bets matched.
The odds can sometimes be the most confusing part for the players. Theoretically, odds are the likelihood that something will occur. For instance, if the odds that Barcelona will beat Real Madrid might be 2 to 1. This means that for every £10 to stake, you will win £20. The odds will determine how much the bookmaker will pay you for your bet if you win. Not every bet in the sportsbook is paid 2 to 1.
Actually, most bets are not paid out this way. Bookmakers will pay you based on the likelihood of what you are betting on occurring. The less likely something is to happen, the more you will be paid if you win. The more likely something is to happen, the less you will be paid if you win. In our strategy, we try to calculate a probability of a match outcome ourselves. This then allows us to work out what we think the fair odds should be and we only trade when the odds are in our favour!
How do Bookmakers make a profit ?
One of the fundamental and most appealing aspects of sports trading is that it is possible to consistently make money and profit. You need to know what you are exactly doing and apply the right strategies for it to be done. However, most bettors lose money in the long run. Now this can be due to several factors, of which is the fact that bookmakers use certain techniques to make sure they are always at an advantage.
To be successful with sports trading you have to be able to overcome this advantage bookmakers are essentially your opponents and you have to learn how to beat them. Before you can do this, you need to understand exactly how they make money.
In this section, I will explain to you the methods which bookmakers use to give themselves the advantage. We will also look at the other main reason why they make money – most bettors make bad bets.
Basic Principles of Bookmaking
The basic principle of bookmaking is straightforward and quite obvious. A bookmaker takes money in whenever they lay a bet to the customer, and they pay money out every time one of their customers wins a bet. The idea is to take more money in than pay out. The art of bookmaking is in making sure this happens.
Bookmakers can’t control the outcome of sporting events, but they can control how much they stand to win or lose on any particular result. They set the odds for all the bets they lay, which ultimately enables them to make profits.
The main technique bookmakers use to put the odds in their favour is the inclusion of overround. It is built into the odds bookmakers set to help them make a profit. In essence, it’s a commission charged for laying bets. To best explain, we’ll use a simple example of a coin toss.
The toss of a coin has two possible outcomes and each is equally likely. There is a 50% chance of heads and a 50% chance of tails. If a bookmaker were offering true odds on the toss of a coin, they would offer even money. This is 2.00 in decimal odds, +100 in (American) moneyline odds, and 1/1 in fractional odds. A successful £10 bet at even money returns £20, which is £10 profit plus the initial stake back.
Now, a bookmaker has the objective of making profit. To do this, in this example, instead of paying £2 to the winner for every £1 bet, they will pay perhaps £1.90. This then changes the implied probability of the outcomes. It means that, if an equal amount of money has been bet on both outcomes, the bookmaker will pay out less then they took in and hence they make a profit.
This is a very simplified example, but it does serve to illustrate how bookmakers set the odds to give them an advantage. Things get a little more complicated when it actually comes to sports events, as the possible outcomes aren’t usually equally likely. There are more than two possible outcomes in many betting markets, and bookmakers aren’t always going to take in exactly the same amount on all possible outcomes.
For these reasons, making money as a bookmaker isn’t as straightforward as simply charging vig. Other techniques are required to ensure consistent profits, and this is where the role of odds compilers comes in.
Creating a balanced book
When a bookmaker has a balanced book on a particular market, they stand to make approximately the same amount if money regardless of the outcome. With an imbalanced book, the outcome would affect how much is made, and could even result in a loss. Therefore, a balanced book is usually the preference and for obvious reasons, and is what odds compliers usually aim for.
To ensure they achieve their aim, they attempt to adjust the odds to create this balanced book. This is one reason why the volume of bets is so important to bookmakers. As a thumb rule, generally the more money coming in means they are more likely to get the balance right. While it is actually quite rare to get markets perfectly balanced, the goal is simply to get as close as possible.
Additionally, it is also worth noting that odds compilers sometimes will actually want an imbalanced book. If they have confidence in a particular outcome, they will try to create a situation where they have the opportunity to make the most money if that happens. For instance, if a bookmaker is very confident that X could win the match against , they might decide to push the odds out on Y go get more action on that side of the book.
By now it should be clear why bookmakers have a mathematical advantage over their customers. They don’t always win money on every single market they price up, but this advantage does help to ensure that they win money in the long run.
The advantage can be beaten, however. It is not like casino games where the odds are always stacked against you no matter what you do. That being said, the mathematical advantage isn’t the only reason why bookmakers make money. Their success also comes down the the simple fact that bettors place more bad than good bets.
Sports betting strategy – what makes a good bet
To avoid being one of those bettors, you need to understand what actually makes for a good bet. Contrary to popular belief, a good bet simply isn’t betting on what you might think happen. Although this approach can be successful if you are accurate often enough in predicting the outcome of sports evets, but the reality is that most people are not.
For the best chance of making profits on sports trading, you need to be skilled in identifying betting opportunities that represent good value. This is the real key to consistently make profits and something I explain more about in the next chapter.
Win Rate in Betting
It would be reasonable to assume that the way to win money from sports betting is to accurately predict what will happen in sports events. While this is technically true, you might be surprised to learn that simply getting your predictions right isn’t necessarily enough to consistently make a profit.
This is because, no matter how good you are, you won’t get your predictions right every time. There are simply too many variables involved in sports events. No one is always right, not even the most successful gamblers in the world.
Although it obviously helps to be right as often as you can, a more important aspect of betting is to actually find value. Value is a term you’ll hear sports bettors use often, and it’s one that you absolutely have to understand if you are going to be successful.
On this page we explain what value is, and how it relates to probability. First, though, we must explain what your hit rate is in sports betting terms, and why it may not be enough to simply get your predictions right more often than you get them wrong.
When betting on sports, your hit rate refers to the number of bets you win in relation to the number of bets you place overall. It’s typically expressed as a percentage. So, for example, if you place 100 bets and win 50 of them, then your hit rate is 50%.
If every single wager you placed was a winner, then you would have a hit rate of 100%, and would clearly make plenty of money. This is entirely unrealistic though, as we have already stated. You should, of course, try to be as accurate as possible with your predictions, but a high hit rate doesn’t guarantee a profit in the long term.
We’ll demonstrate this with a hypothetical scenario, based on betting on the results of a football match. For the purposes of this example we’re going to use the third round of the FA Cup in 2018. In the early round matches of the cup, it’s reasonable to expect most of the premier league favourites to win, so you could be pretty confident of a high hit rate if you chose to back them all.
Let’s see what would have happened if you decided to bet on all the premier league sides that were matched against teams from lower leagues…… (CHECK THIS) you would have had a hit rate of 7 out of 13! That means that 7 of the premier league favourites won and six didn’t win. Notably, Arsenal lost to Nottingham forest and Chelsea drew with Norwich!
Now you must take into account the odds offered on those sides… an average of (CALC THIS) 1.25.
Based on those odds, if you had bet £10 on each match your 7 winning bets would have returned __ in total (including stake), for £__ in profit. You would have also lost 6 bets, at £10 each, for an overall loss of ____.
You’ve made a loss, but on another day the same strategy may well have returned a profit. We haven’t used this example to discuss the pros and cons of betting on the favorites in football matches though, and this is a very small sample of relevant data anyway. The point we are trying to illustrate with this example is simply that favourites don’t always blindly win and even a high hit rate by itself would not automatically mean you’ll make a profit.
To put it another way, your hit rate doesn’t reflect your chances of winning money. It simply reflects how many trades you win relative to how many trades you place. As we have just shown, winning a high percentage of your wagers doesn’t necessarily equate to making money. It isn’t the number of predictions you get right which determines your success, it’s the relative quality of your predictions.
This is where value comes into play, because it’s the value associated with your predictions that determines their quality. We’ll get onto exactly what value is in sports betting terms shortly, but first we will look at the role probability plays.
What is a good win rate for a sports betting system
The answer lies in the odds as well obviously. But lets assume for now you are asking this with regard to football betting.
The answer is that any football betting system that does better than breakeven over a long period of time is a successful system. With football you will find that many of the best Football Betting Syndicates and Football Betting Systems are often consistently getting a better than 90% win rate.
Now a 9 out of 10 win rate or above sounds AMAZING and it is! But a word of caution here, and this applies to horse race betting as much as it does for football. It also applies for fishing.
We all know the tall tale of the fisherman in the pub talking about THE BIG FISH he caught. Some even have photos. We all enjoy regaling people with tales of our biggest catch and our biggest win. We also know that every time we hear someone talking about a huge win we don’t hear the inevitable losses they probably had along the way. In the same way we don’t hear fisherman talking about the 7 previous trips where they caught nothing.
The sports betting systems with the claimed large wins are likely to have a lower win rate, and that means a much larger roller coaster of emotions as you will get much bigger and longer runs of losing trades. The trend with the big Football Betting Syndicates is the opposite. They make slow steady consistent profits from a good steady run of small wins. If you want excitement you should go to a casino, but if you are looking for consistent regular worry free profits you will need to understand that this usually does not come with a BIG WIN every week. If you think even a 3% or 5% return per week isn’t good enough you will be surprised to know that even this compounded each week adds up to a VAST amount of money in under 2 years.
The top Football Betting syndicates and Football betting systems are achieving a win rate of above 90% by betting on selected favourites to win their matches and inevitably these profits are small per match because the odds for a favourite to win a football match can be between 1.2 and 1.6 decimal odds on a match.
You simply cant bet on every favourite to win a football match because of the bookmaker over round. You will need to take advantage of the times that the odds offered are far better than the expected chance of them winning. We call this a value position and explain it below.
When Bookmakers get it wrong in your favour
Im not talking about a bookmaker paying you too much by mistake unfortunately! what I am talking about is situations where the odds offered do not reflect the actual chance of the team winning.
Let me give you an extreme example that I often enjoy showing people. I call it the ‘Patriotic Bet Effect’
Lets imagine its a Euro or World Cup game and England are playing another team. There are plenty of situations where England play a team they are fairly evenly matched against . You then see odds that are pretty much the same for England , the Draw and lets say Sweden.
As we get to game day a very predictable thing happens. The very British Betfair exchange has a load of patriotic gamblers wade in to back their glorious country. There are not a lot of Swedes on the Betfair site. We understand that bookmakers run balanced books so we see the odds offered for England shorten from 2.0 to 1.7 and the odds for Sweden drift out to 2.3.
In this simplified example we know that the two teams have a pretty even chance of winning, but due to the ‘Patriotic Effect’ the odds offered on Sweden are now VERY favourable and are far more generous than they deserve.
This is a value bet. And these types of situations happen for many many different reasons every week . The key to all successful football betting systems isn’t actually down to picking winners, its down to picking winners at ridiculously good odds…that will still probably win!
Favourable odds – The mathsy bit
Basic probability is really quite straightforward. It is a measure of how likely something is to happen, and is usually expressed as a decimal between 0 and 1.0 in which 0 indicates impossibility and 1 indicates certainty. Probability can also be expressed as percentage, where 0% indicates impossibility and 100% indicates certainty.
In many circumstances, probability can be calculated precisely. Take the toss of a coin, for example. There are only two possible outcomes, and each is equally likely. The probability of the coin coming up heads is therefore 50%, and the probability of it coming up tails is also 50%. The roll of a die is another good example. There are six possible outcomes, and again each one is equally likely. So the probability of any one number being rolled is always 16.66% (100% divided by six).
Probability in sports betting is not quite so straightforward. It is impossible to calculate the precise probability of any outcome in a sport event, as there are so many factors involved. You can apply all the statistics you want, and take all the factors that can affect a result into account, but you simply cannot determine a definitively accurate probability.
All you can do is calculate what you believe the chances of any particular outcome to be. This is all the bookmakers can do too. While the odds they set do reflect the relative likelihood of the possible outcomes, they are not necessarily completely accurate representations of the probabilities involved. Ultimately they are based on the bookmakers’ assessment of what they think may happen, adjusted to make sure there is a built in margin for them.
While bookmakers do put the odds in their favour, it is possible to overcome their advantage. This is not easy to do, but it is certainly possible. Ideally you need to really know your sports, and you definitely need to understand implied probability and expected value. In this course, we show you a way that has worked for us to calculate a fair probability so that we can take on the bookmakers and the Betfair market to achieve consistent profits.
Implied Probability and Expected Value
In sports betting, implied probability is what the odds suggest the likelihood of an outcome happening is. It is calculated by dividing one by the decimal odds. So, if the Manchester United are given odds of 2.50 to win a match, their implied probability of winning is 0.4, or 40%. If they are given odds of 1.50 to win a match, their implied probability of winning is 0.67, or 67%.
Expected value relates to how much you can expect to win from a wager. It is a theoretical measure that is based on the overall probability of it winning. Let’s use an example of betting on Manchester United at 2.50 to illustrate expected value.
If you placed a £10 trade on United to win at odds of 2.50 then you stand to make a return of £25, including your stake. Assuming the implied probability of them winning (which we’ve already established is 40% based on these odds) is an accurate reflection of their real probability of winning, you will be paid £25, 40% of the time that you make this wager. You will lose £10 60% of the time that you make this wager. After you consider your initial stake this means that, if you win, your expected profit is £6 and if you lose, your expected loss is £6. So, you break even.
This result is only to be expected since the odds you receive perfectly reflect the implied probability. Our challenge in trading is to try to calculate a probability and then calculate the expected return if we bet at the price offered by Betfair or the bookmakers. If the expected return is positive (greater than zero), then on average, we expect to make a profit on average. However, if it is less than zero, on average we expect to make a loss on the trade.
The selection process from then on is quite simple… we choose the trades that are expected to generate positive expected returns over the long term. We can also get a bit more complicated and only trade if the expected return is over a particular threshold or percentage return on the stake.
Top Tips for Beginners in Value Sports Betting Systems
A lot of sports traders waste a lot of time trying to get their hands on some sort of magic system or develop a perfect strategy that will guarantee they make money. The sad reality is that there is no such system or strategy in place. It is almost impossible to guarantee success at sports trading, even if you are a mathematical genius with extensive knowledge of sports. There are far too many factors involved.
However, do not let that deter you from making money through sports trading. It takes a lot of effort and discipline but with the right approach it can be done. It is important to note the fact that there are never any guarantees, no matter how skilled you are. All you can do is try and give yourself the best chance of success.
In this section, I run you through the top tips for doing exactly that. Now, these are largely for the benefit of beginners, although even experienced bettors may find some of these tips useful. There is nothing particularly advanced here, I am simply offering some useful advice for getting the basics right.
Be Prepared to Lose
Even the most successful traders in the world make losing bets, and its almost certain that you will as well. Even if you only ever bet on big favourites, the chances of getting all your predictions right are pretty much zero. Sports are just too unpredictable, and upsets frequently happen.
Now I am not saying this to put you off the idea of betting but rather make sure you have the correct mind-set before you embark in the direction of sports trading. The idea of losing a wager may seem strange but it is still possible to consider it a good bet. If it was well thought out, then you have no reason to worry because there will always be occasions when things don’t go according to a plan. You have to learn to accept and embrace that fact.
While you obviously want to try and make as many correct predictions as you can, the key here is to make bets for the right reasons. The bottom line is that if you apply solid reasoning to all the bets you place, the likelihood is that you will win more often than not.
Do your Research
The power of information is the key of sports trading. The more information you know or have, the more likely you are to make sensible and smart picks of what is likely to happen. You obviously do not have to spend hours and hours everyday analysing every single statistic you can find, but doing some prior research will undoubtedly benefit you.
The least you can do is stay abreast with the relevant news and recent happenings related to football. You might assume that a football team is almost certainly going to win an upcoming match against a lesser side, but you might not think the same if you found out that their star striker was unlikely to play due to an injury and the opposing team was in great form.
The efforts you put into researching your preferred game or sport will almost certainly pay off in the long run, so it’s well worth spending some time on it.
In our course and the product that we offer, we take the hard, time consuming and boring parts out of the sports trading process. We have designed the system, the computer programme, we put all the statistics into the computer for you. This means that on match day, you will just wait for the final news and add the last minute information before executing your trade!
Limit what you Bet on
While it is entirely possible to be an expert on many different sports and markets within each sport, the reality is that most people are not. In this course, you are gaining an understanding of football, pricing and the dynamics of the sport, so it is a good idea to focus on football and limit other sports and/or games you bet on. However, that is not to say you should never bet on any other sports, as you may find other attractive opportunities. But there is definitely an advantage to specializing in a small number of sports though.
Online betting offers a number of advantages over some other forms of betting. For one, it is extremely convenient as well as easy to do. You will notice that the odds you get online are usually very competitive, and if you have multiple accounts at a few different sites you can shop around and find the best price for you. Trading sites also give away lots of perks and value in the form of bonuses, promotions, and rewards. All these things add up and can make a notable difference to how much money you make over time.
If you do choose an online bookmakers, please make sure you use one of the top sites. You can use our system with any bookmaker but we highly recommend the Betfair Exchange.
Experiment & Keep Records
There are no set rules for what will make you money when betting on sporting events, so you should never be afraid to try out new approaches and betting strategies. By trial and error experimenting you can find out what works best for you and what doesn’t. However, you need to remember that no strategy or system is going to guarantee a win on each and every bet you place – you need to think about the long term when betting.
It is also useful to keep records of your betting when trying out different strategies. This will enable you to analyse your results, which in turn will help you decide how to maximize your chances of making a profit. In this blog, all the material is focused generally at sports trading, but more specifically towards football and then particular strategies and approaches. Therefore, I strongly suggest that you follow our path and once you master it, there is nothing to stop you branching out.
Be Patient & Disciplined
Possessing a degree of patience is considered to be a very important skill in sports trading, particularly when you are starting new as a beginner. There is no use in getting frustrated and giving up when you don’t get instant success because very few, if any, bettors make money from the moment they start betting. There is a learning curve to sports betting and you will have to take time to learn everything there is to learn and develop the skills you need to be successful.
Discipline is considered equally important. If you do not have the necessary self-control to make bets within a set budget and make rational decisions, then you will almost certainly end up losing money. Good discipline will help you trade responsibly and place the right kind of bets at the right time.
Now I cant guarantee that any of these tips will make you a successful sports bettor, but they will definitely help you in making informed decisions. If you follow my advice, then you will give yourself a great chance of making a profit from sports trading.
Betting mistakes to avoid
In the last chapter I gave you a few tips about what you can do to improve your chances when betting on sports. Successful sports trading isn’t all about what you should do though, its also about what you shouldn’t do.
All traders make mistakes at one point or another, even experienced ones. With real money on the line, these mistakes can be costly. However, those mistakes can also help develop and hone your betting skills. You will need to accept when you have made a mistake and what you can learn from it. And of course, you will still want to make as few mistakes as possible.
To help you with this, I have listed some of the most common betting mistakes that people make. I have also provided some advice on how to make sure you avoid making them.
Trading Too Often
I consider this one of the biggest mistakes that both beginners and recreational bettors make. It is quite an easy one to make too, as there is so much you can place a bet on. Majority of betting sites offer markets on a wide range of sporting events around the world along with plenty of betting options, and so it can be really tempting to place a lot of bets.
If you are betting recreationally or for fun, this isn’t a big problem providing you are sticking to an overall set budget. However, if your goal is to make consistent profits, then it is rarely a good idea to place a large amount of bets. I recommend a better approach. I think you should make fewer but better thought out trades, where in you have identified value and good reasons to bet. This is the essence of our strategy. We developed a huge database of statistics and programmed a computer to churn through the data and understand relationships and inefficiencies in the markets. We basically apply lots of filters and focus on fewer value bets!
Letting Your Heart Rule Your Head
This is another classic mistake that is particularly common amongst recreational bettors. It is extremely easy to bet on what you want or wish to happen, rather than what you genuinely think will happen. A lot of bettors lose money by always betting on their favourite team/s or player/s without really thinking if that’s the right thing to do.
However, if you are serious about sports trading, then you really need to try and take the emotion out of it. There is no room for sentiment in sports trading and you have to try and be as objective as possible. This is not to say that you should never bet on something that you want to happen, but you do need to be absolutely sure you are doing it for the right reasons and have backed that up with research about the same.
By the end of our course, you will have mastered the basics through to some sophisticated techniques and a robust strategy to follow. My advice is to be focused and firm. Choose a strategy and follow it, whilst always reviewing the results and refining your approach.
This is one of the most damaging mistakes a bettor can make not only with sports trading, but in any form of trading. It is also one of the most common mistakes made by both recreational and experienced bettors. Chasing a loss has been the downfall of many a bettor, and sadly, it is all too easy to do.
One of the toughest things to do when trading is to remain in control. A run of bad luck can be extremely frustrating and depressing, especially when you are not doing anything wrong. It is tempting to assume that your luck must turn at some point. It usually does, but there is no way of knowing when that turnaround is likely to happen.
This is the main reason why you should never chase your losses. If you keep increasing your stake and your bad luck continues, you might run out of funds before you can get the wins you need. It is imperative to stay disciplined and keep your stakes at a sensible level. This way you allow yourself time to turn the run of luck around. This practice is called bankroll management and is a skill you absolutely have to master if you want to become a successful bettor.
Blaming Bad Luck
Having mentioned runs of bad luck above, please note that you will almost certainly have them from time to time. Even the most successful of bettors in the world have to go through periods where they can’t seem to make profits and pick a winner, so you don’t necessarily have to worry too much if the outcome don’t go your way for a while. Luck does play a role on sports trading, and there will be times when it just doesn’t favour you.
However, it is also important to note that losing runs aren’t always due to bad luck. It may be that you aren’t making the right decisions, so it is essential to always look at the reasons why you are losing your bets. With a little analysis you will be able to quite possibly correct what you were doing wrong, but only if you are honest with yourself and don’t just blame bad luck every time you lose a wager.
Greed can present and show itself in so many ways when it comes to sports trading, and almost always causes all kinds of problems. Betting too much money rather than sticking to a set plan and practicing good bankroll management is a common result of greed which invariably leads to going bust. The same could be said of betting high odds regularly, as well as placing parlays or accumulators with a lot of selections.
While there is nothing wrong with going after a huge win in the right circumstances, you need to make sure that you are taking measured risks and are not reckless. It is acceptable to occasionally place a bet at increased stakes than usual if you really believe you have a great chance of winning. Equally, it is okay to place a speculative bet at high odds if you believe it represents good value.
The point is really that you should not be in a rush to make as much money as you can and as quickly as you can. If you are driven by greed and are making decisions solely on the potential of the returns, then you will almost certainly lose in the long run. The most successful sports bettors take a measured slow and steady approach with the aim to gradually increase their bankroll over time.
Exhibiting laziness can just be as detrimental to your chances of success as being greedy. It takes some time and effort to make money out of sports trading and if you are not willing or prepared to put the work in, then you can’t expect to be a successful or winning bettor.
I am not suggesting you spend hours and hours on end on every single bet you place. Often you will be able to find decent opportunities without a lot of work, and sometimes your instincts and gut will be enough. The only way to consistently identify good opportunities though is by studying and researching betting markets and analyzing your betting strategies when necessary.
Betting On Sports You Don’t Understand
While you do not need to be an expert on every sporting event you bet on, you should at least have some prior knowledge and understanding of how the sports works. If you do not really understand a sport, then you are very unlikely to make money from betting on it.
This is a very similar mistake to betting too often, and my advice for avoiding it is basically the same. You should only make bets when you have a good reason to. It is very difficult to justify a wager on a sport that you don’t know much about as you don’t possess the necessary knowledge to make an informed and measured judgement.
Betting Under The Influence
Now this might seem too obvious but worth a mention anyway. Your judgement is impaired when you are under the influence of a substance, and so the chances are that you will make some bad decisions. It is extremely easy to blow through all your funds during the course of a drunken evening, so its best simply to never bet when you are drinking or under the influence.
If you can avoid all of the mistakes I have talked about here, then you will have a good chance of becoming a successful trader. Please remember not to get disheartened when you do make mistakes though. It is important to learn from out mistakes and they teach us not to make the same mistakes twice.
What is Big Data and how does it help a Profitable Betting Strategy
We humans get tired and make mistakes. Tipsters can be emotional and unreliable. The best systems for making money from betting are ones that incorporate ‘Big Data’. Using computers and gathering all the match data for lots of teams going back a few years a computer and algorithm will start to notice predictable patterns of teams win rates ( home v away etc ) and also when the odds offered are far better than they should be.
The best Football Strategy Betting Systems incorporate this Big Data approach which is one of the reasons they do so well. The skill is to avoid ‘data mining’ where eager people that just want to sell anything look for patterns that don’t actually exist.
The five most popular betting systems
Mathematician John Kelly Jr. created a staking formula that many professional gamblers follow to this day. Kelly states, “Playing strategy is maybe a third to a quarter … of what you’re going to get out of it. Betting strategy may be two thirds or three quarters”.
Let take a look at the five most popular strategies and systems and show you the pitfalls of some and the advantages of others.
Bet it all in one go.
This results in one of two outcomes, you wither win big or you go bust in one bet. This is complete lunacy and you wouldnt seriously do this would you ?
The Martingale Strategy
This seductive system is dangerous in that it works MOST of the time, but without realising anyone that uses it is cruising towards an inevitable and catastrophic bankruptcy.
The Martingale system is simple. If you lose a bet simply double the bet size and bet again. If that loses double it again and keep doing it until you win.
Simple eh? Lets take a look at what happens in Roulette if you try this. You roll and lose your stake of 1 pound. So you stake 2 pounds and lose. 4 pounds and lose. 8 pounds and lose. 16 pounds and lose…
now after only 11 throws you are risking 1024 to make 1 pound profit. And guaranteed you will see a run of 11 reds or 11 blacks in roulette every few HOURS. Your next throw is now larger than most house limits …. You are now bust .
This is the most sensible in my opinion. This means that you increase the size of your stakes according to the the size of the disparity between the implied odds and the actual odds offered. Over time with a good selection system this is quite simply the most profitable way to manage your staking
Keeping your stakes the same wont work in the long term because as your bank grows in size your relative stake size ifs smaller because your overall bank is bigger. You might make 30 pounds from a starting bank of 300 in your first week and be very pleased, but if you then kept your stakes fixed and made 30 pounds of a 3000 pound bank the year after you would get frustrated.
A lot of traders use Fibonacci sequences to trade Forex, Shares and even staking systems. I am not a fan of using Dan Brown Da Vinci stuff to make profits on Soccer Matches. I actually think this ‘golden ratio’ number sequence can effectively be curve fitted and dropped on to any graph or sequence to explain it. Its useless because in my opinion you can make it fit almost anything.
All of these staking betting systems assume you have a system that has an edge of at least a few percent over a coin toss.
Lets look at some actual simple strategies you can apply to this staking system
Bet on the Draw Football Betting System
This is elegantly simple. Every week look at the top league of football matches played on a Saturday and select the three matches where the draw odds are being offered are as low as possible.
Once you have selected those 3 matches you bet equally with about 5% of your betting bank on each of those matches to have a draw.
It really is that simple. The idea is that given the odds usually offered on the draw exceed 3.0 you only need one win to breakeven and two wins is a huge profit. For you a ‘win ‘ is simply the match ending in normal time with a draw. This works rather well because the ‘Patriotic’ effect rarely changes the odds of the draw on a match.
So now you are well on your way to becoming a successful sports betting system user. This blog has explained what a sports bet is, the factors to consider when gambling professionally and a deeper understanding of odds and win rates . I’ve also given you a free system to get started with.
For those of you that might be interested in learning a bit more I thought Id add more detail about the thinking behind the idea of this type of trading.
I present an overview of how we (my team) developed a statistical model which focused on trading within pre kick off football match markets. The model was then continuously developed over the last 8 years; it was further refined and enhanced by incorporating advancements in machine learning and data science. The result of the development was a statistical methodology which offered highly profitable live trading results over three years, along with consistent robust profitability in further back testing and simulations.
Development – Sports Trading Profitable System
The model was originally constructed by building vast databases of football match results and compiling hundreds of variables for each team and players within teams. This was previously all done on an excel sheet – and data was obtained freely online form popular and comprehensive websites such as soccerstats.com, oddsportal.com and soccerway.com. It was a largely manual process by simply copying and pasting data form websites can often mean that spreadsheets do not accept it as numbers, to which formulae can be applied.
Microsoft Excel is a great tool and often under estimated when conducting statistical analysis. Providing you can make use of pivot tables and you can develop the skill to calculate key statistics, then you can filter data effectively across many variables and begin to understand relationships and patterns within data. In football data, this is effectively giving you an introduction in understanding inefficiencies and then biases in price setting by bookmakers.
Excel is an excellent starting point, but in the current era of data science, it is a clunkly way of managing data. You see, every column which calculates a new statistics has a repeated formula for every observation. If your sheet contains 200 columns and rows for 100,000 matches, then suddenly you have to have a very powerful computer to stand any chance of running that program. Any additional analysis will simply take too long in processing time. However, once you have a good idea of how the data and variables are structured along with perhaps some understanding of relationships that you would like to understand better, then transporting that to a purpose built statistical software is probably the way forward.
A really popular stats program which is completely free to use is called R. I don’t need to go into the details of it now because you can google it and obtain a wealth of information. What is even better is that you can also get excellent free tutorials for R off youtube along with free manuals which will teach you everything you need. I find that R is a very user friendly package for someone with limited or intermediate knowledge of coding. By copying and pasting pre existing code, you can learn on the go in an enjoyable manner.
Once familiar with a program such as R, it is probably an ideal time to begin understanding machine learning. It is worth reading a couple of introductory books; one in particular is called ‘an introduction to machine learning,’ which has applications in there specifically for R which you can apply to your own data sets.
We seem to be using machine learning in every aspect of business to gain an informational competitive advantage. You can experiment with varuous basic techniques which actually yield valuable results for a sports trader. Regression techniques are possible but consider the type of data you are handling. Outcome sof sports matches lend themselves to discrete outcomes. You either win or lose or draw in football. Or when betting in goals markets, you either have an outcome above 2.5 goals or below 2.5 goals. Therefore, classification methods are preferable. Initially when we began designing betting models, some basic classification techniques were used to make predictions of winning trades across a number of different betting markets. In effect, the system attempted to generate a more accurate probability than a bookmaker’s implied probability. It would then make a trade and exploit this edge when odds were in its favour by a significant margin. Over time, by incorporating more advanced machine learning techniques, we have been able to focus on the highest margin, most profitable trades.
The Football Trading Industry
There have been huge developments in the football trading world over the last decade. The majority of betting will always be by unsophisticated gamblers, who bet on the team they support regardless of the probability of an event. This stands to reason; regular punters do not have the mathematical background or desire to compute statistics and probabilities for every match at the weekend prior to placing a bet. Many betters also suffer from psychological biases prevalent in behavioral economics. Further, gamblers look for excitement when betting – they want a 5-1 winner; the prospect of making 10p on a £1 bet would not represent a good story to their friends, whereas we would view it as a 10% profit and an excellent trade, providing the risk was manageable.
We effectively operate in an unsophisticated financial market, with huge biases in the betting sentiment, and prices offered by bookmakers respond to this to maximize bookmaker profits and to ensure they are not over exposed to particular match outcomes.
Advancements in Stats and Data for Sports Betting
The advancement in statistical and data science has led to many funds emerging, dozens of machine learning based tipster services and they have had mixed success. The problem has often been a misuse of techniques, a reliance on computer analysis without a thorough understanding of football and a mismanagement of risk.
Risk management is fundamental in our approach. Many raw statisticians think of risk in terms of a percentage likelihood of failure. They are comfortable with being exposed to 1 in 100 events and look no deeper. Our method correctly acknowledges that very rare events happen more often than people think and there is correlation in unlikely events within football because of the large effect of psychology on match outcomes. We manage risk levels to remain robust with multiple ‘black swan’ events occurring within short periods of time.
Further, the architects of our model and whole approach to the methodology have been immersed in the sport and football industry for the whole of their adult lives. Combining this insight and approach with financial trading techniques by experienced professionals, we may then have a particularly strong trading opportunity.
Ability to Consistently Beat Bookmakers
I have explained this systematic mispricing within sports betting. It originates with gamblers who do not bet with a rational approach and objective to maximise their financial return. They do not correctly evaluate probability or risk and their irrationality is enhanced by additional psychological biases. These betters determine demand for particular bets on match outcomes. For example, if many gamblers want to bet on Barcelona because it is better known side than their opponent, then bookmakers must respond to an extent. They must alter the odds offered to make alternative bets more attractive and reduce their exposure to a ‘Barca’ win.
This is prevalent even in the major leagues across Europe where all most all teams in the top divisions are well known with an abundance of statics available to people free of charge. However, the most profitable trading system in the world has limited value unless the traders have enough liquidity to place the trades they need to, when they decide the timing is optimal. Many high street bookies will simply close your account if you make consistent profits. Betting exchanges solve this problem to an extent but there are still constraints on liquidity for large funds or if you find an edge in very obscure football divisions. For this reason, because we wanted to form a betting fund with great scalability, we focused on trying to find an exploitable edge in the major European leagues. This is a lot harder, as these leagues are studied a lot by people attempting to do exactly the same as we are doing. However, by refining our process over a long, sustained period, we are now in a place of continuous extraordinary profitability.