The most common form of football betting is fixed odds betting, also known as 1×2 betting. In 1×2 betting, bookmakers give you three options to bet on before a match starts: home win, away win or draw, with 1 representing home win, 2 representing away win and x representing a draw. It is really very straightforward.
Bookmakers like Paddy Power Sports will generally offer shorter odds on 1×2 betting in comparison to other areas of football betting, given the more limited number of options available. For example, you might find a Centre Back at odds of, say, 66/1 to score first in a particular game. This is because common sense dictates that there are a number of players ahead of him who are likely to get themselves on the score sheet before him. However, with 1×2 betting, there are not the same number of variables; even if a team is expected to lose, their odds are never going to be particularly long.
The favoured teams’ odds are generally measured at between 1.01 and 1.36 (evens and 4/11), thus seeming like a very safe bet but giving little return on your stake. However, there are a number of factors to take into account when you consider how to analyse the odds proffered by bookmakers – and whether you think you can find a loophole in their logic.
Home advantage, for example, can be hugely important when it comes to bookmakers shortening the odds on a home win. If one team’s stadium is its fortress, then expect to see little return on a home victory wager. Moreover, if a team is in a rich vein of form, their odds – whether home or away – are likely to be considerably shortened. This can be extended to individuals who may be on an exceptionally healthy goal scoring streak; if a team has been scoring three or more goals every game on the last six outings, you can expect a further adjustment to the odds.
Other variables that might harden or lengthen the odds in 1×2 betting are any extensive injury lists incurred by either side, or perhaps what stage of the season a match may be occurring. Certain variables that might be harder to predict than one team’s attacking prowess include weather conditions, sudden pre-match injuries and any other off-field quirks that may alter a side’s performance.
The aim of the 1×2 betting game is to try and find value. If, for example, you think a team has been under-valued by the bookmakers and thus a serious underdog, you may decide that certain factors you have spotted – and which the bookies may have missed – may make it worth placing a wager. Fixed odds betting is unlikely to lead to high returns in the grand scheme of football betting, but analysis the variables and looking for potential value may just give you the edge you need.