Top Tips for Football Betting Success
Welcome to Gambling.com’s ultimate tips for football betting success! On this page you’ll find useful general tips, common mistakes, guides to hedge betting and betting your own team and more! Use the shortcuts below to access specific sections or start reading below.
While there’s never a guaranteed outcome with a football bet, there are some golden rules that you should always stick to. Before throwing on that cheeky flutter, checkbox the following tips.
1. Keep Your Discipline
The golden rule of gambling in general is that you should only wager what you can afford to lose – this applies to football betting too. Just like the players on the pitch, you need to keep your discipline and not lose your head when things are not going your way.
If you're on a bad run it can be very tempting to start placing big bets in order to win back the money you've lost (known as the Martingale System), but this strategy rarely works out and is more likely to lead to even bigger losses.
VIDEO: What is the Martingale System?
Chasing losses is one of the most common mistakes that amateur bettors make – and one that the bookmakers make a lot of money from. It's far better to be patient and build up your funds again gradually through smaller, safer bets.
2. Take Advantage of Bonus Offers
With so much competition in the betting industry these days, companies are desperate for your business and offer some great promotions and bonuses to encourage you to bet with them. All major betting sites offer bonuses for new customers, normally in the form of free bets, but as well as these standard new customer offers they may put on even better promotions around specific events.
You can sometimes get ridiculously enhanced odds on outcomes that have a good chance of winning, so take advantage of these offers and sign up with a few different online bookies. Once you have signed up, they will work hard to keep you interested too, with daily specials and attractive promotions around major events like the World Cup or the start of the new Premier League season.
Some of these promotions offer great value or at least very little risk, so take them while you can get them. At the same time, do not automatically jump on every promotion out there. Consider how good the value is; while many of these promotions are almost free money, sometimes there is a good reason why the bookies will offer enhanced odds on a certain outcome, so be selective.
3. Shop Around
New customer bonuses are just one reason why it pays to shop around when you are betting on football. With so much choice available, why restrict yourself to one or two bookies? There's no room for loyalty if you want to maximise your winnings and make serious money out of football betting.
Odds on certain markets will often vary quite significantly between different bookmakers; before placing your bet, check if you can get better value elsewhere. Odds are constantly changing too, so it's good idea to do some research and be aware of trends.
4. Do Your Research
Like anything, it takes time and effort to achieve regular success in football betting. While recreational gamblers might get lucky now and again with long shots, it's research and knowledge that separates amateurs from professionals.
Bookmakers have a huge wealth of resources and stats at their disposal nowadays, so you need to arm yourself by watching matches and reading up on form and team news if you want to beat them. The more you know about what you're betting on, the more likely you are to make the right prediction.
It's also helpful to use any specialist knowledge you might have. The bookies tend to be very savvy when it comes to the major leagues, but they can sometimes be a little negligent when it comes to lower or more obscure leagues. If you follow a team that plays in one of these leagues, or you have a lot of knowledge about a particular foreign league, you may be able to use this knowledge to your advantage.
5. Keep a Record
Very few punters keep records of their betting, but if you're betting regularly with lots of new bookmakers it's advisable to do so. Keeping a record of your betting activity can help you to keep track of how much you're winning and losing, and also identify which types of bets you're having more success with.
If you have online accounts with bookmakers, they will show you your betting history, which you can easily keep track of in a simple spreadsheet. Following these tips will give you the best odds in your football betting.
You may go through bad runs and lose along the way, but with time, research and sound judgement, you can enjoy long-term success.
Now that the basics are out of the way let’s take some time to examine some common mistakes perpetrated by new football bettors.
1. Don’t Blindly Back Favourites
Many of us have noticed a football match is about to start and we’ve had a punt on the favourite for a bit of interest. However, bookies that offer football betting know that any favourite in a match will receive the weight of the money in the 1X2 market, so you rarely get any value for your bet whether this selection wins or not.
Naturally, backing a favourite means a diminished return in the first place. Another trap punters fall into is putting a bunch of favourites together in an accumulator bet without going through each match in turn and asking themselves whether they truly believe that each team will win.
VIDEO: What is a Football Accumulator?
2. Never Speculatively Punt at Big Odds
We all want to make some money from our football betting. However, blindly slapping C$10 on an 8/1 shot in the hope of a big payout is nearly always the wrong way forward! Punters should never be drawn towards big odds unless they genuinely feel as though that price misrepresents a team’s chances of winning.
Sometimes a bookmaker will quote as big as 20/1 about a team winning a Premier League match, especially if said club are facing Manchester City or Liverpool. However, there is always a reason behind a particular price and it therefore pays to consider an alternative unless you have a genuine conviction for the team in question.
3. Look at All Available Markets
Many of us like to bet on the 1X2 market or place an accumulator on a number of football teams, although the value can often be found from mining a more obscure betting market. Sometimes it pays to actually consider a match and how you see it panning out before even looking at the odds.
You might assume Team A and Team B will play out a high-scoring game with Team A coming out on top. In this instance, it might be that Team A to win + BTTS is a great bet, especially if the price is attractive. Alternatively, you might not have a strong view on which team wins but really fancy the idea of a low-scoring match which could lead to a bet on Under 2.5 Goals or even Under 1.5 Goals.
4. Limit Your Losses
We would recommend that you keep a note of the bets you place on a daily or weekly basis. Jot down information such as stake, type of betting market, the odds and the outcome of each football wager. After you have placed a number of bets, review the information to see if you’re proving to be more successful with a particular type of bet.
Sometimes a betting strategy might require a bit of fine tuning in the beginning. The aim of the game is to profit as greatly as possible with your winning selections and make sure losing bets have an element of damage limitation. However, the more work you put in will largely mean the greater the chance of enjoying a return.
While betting on football you may find yourself tempted to blindly back the team that you support for a win, or for a certain goalscorer. This is already a mistake! Considering the following before backing your squad.
How to Bet on Your Own Team
No matter which team you support, the best bookmakers are likely to have stacks of available pre-match betting markets available and you’re likely to have In-Play punting opportunities as well.
You can simply bet on your team to win the match. They might be enjoying a good run of form, have barely any injuries and be up against a team where you expect them to land the three points. There’s also the chance to add them to an accumulator.
Bear in mind that doing this gives you a double bonus or a double downer. If your team wins, you’re ecstatic because you support them and they have made you cash. If they lose, you’re gutted because they’ve been beaten and you’ve also lost money by backing them.
How to Bet Against Your Team
Now this isn’t for everyone, we’ve done it before and creates conflicting emotions, although it can also be rewarding. Say you’re a Manchester United fan and they are playing Manchester City in the derby. The thought of losing to your rivals might be a tough one to stomach and you decide to back City to win.
So you’re watching the game and City take the lead. Never good from a United perspective although you’re currently looking at a potential profit of C$50 from your bet, which could treat the family to a takeaway that night.
The problem is that your enjoyment of winning a bet could override the fact that you support United. Maybe you might find it difficult to watch as your team press for an equaliser that would normally have you leaping around your lounge but would see you lose money on this occasion.
We’ve got friends who regularly bet against their team for small stakes. When the team loses, then they make some cash for supporting an unsuccessful team. When they win, it’s the bonus of getting three points against losing C$5 or C$10. Just remember to always bet what you can afford to lose.
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Hedging is a betting strategy applied by cautious punters across the board, from the world of finance to sports betting and even casino games. But the increasing volume and variety of cash back offers in football betting now means you can add hedging to your gambling repertoire at no extra cost.
Hedging, for the uninitiated, means making an investment, or placing a bet, that reduces your exposure to a particular outcome. For example, let's say you were betting on the match between Aston Villa and Cardiff on the 9th November 2013, and had a pre-match bet on it finishing 0-0.
By the time the game passed 60 minutes, it was clear that Aston Villa were turning the screw, so a successful hedge would have been to place an in-play bet on Villa to win, or, if you were more conservative, on over 0.5 goals in the match. When these landed, they would, hopefully, eliminate some or all of your losses on the pre-match bet.
Hedges aren't just an emergency exit for your football betting strategy either. Although it's not mathematically possible to bet for and against a specific outcome and make a profit (bookies would quickly go out of business if this were the case), with some careful selection from football markets you can make a hedge that minimises risk without destroying value.
As an example, take a look at a previous Premier League match between Tottenham and Newcastle. Betfair Sports' odds on Newcastle to win at 6/1 seemed like a worthwhile punt given their performance against Chelsea the previous week, but you may have perhaps wanted a bit of security before parting with your cash. Choosing a general market to minimise the chance of losing all your bets would have been the best course of action here.
It's sensible to start with a nice, broad market that could payout regardless of the team that eventually took home the points. And with the goal scoring prowess of both these teams, betting on over 2.5 goals at 4/5 would have been worth considering.
Another hedging option is to utilise markets that factor in a hedge in exchange for lower odds. For example, betting on Newcastle or draw at 13/8, or Newcastle draw no bet (draw returns your stake) at 17/5.
Money Back Offer
Hedging your football bets without destroying value has become increasingly more simple with the recent rise in money back offers. Betfair Sports in particular has come up trumps in this area. As well as offering to return your stake when one leg of a five-fold (or more) accumulator lets you down, their Cashback Extra promotion allows punters to choose from a selection of cashback triggers in certain matches.
1. Check the Site’s Legitimacy
The vast majority of football betting tips will be found at various sites across the web. A quick visual check of the site will help to determine whether it’s legitimate. See if the site has an industry standard footer including links to responsible gambling sites. Look for the word ‘secure’ or a padlock in top left of your browser. This will let you know whether your connection to the site is legitimate.
Try to get a sense of how many authors write for the website. Do a google search to find out if the authors on the site write for any other publications. If they write for top football betting sites, it’s more likely that they wouldn’t lend their name to a dodgy site, thus furthering the likelihood that the site you are on is trustworthy.
2. Research the Author’s Online Presence
Plenty of tipsters will have a Twitter account on which they preach their tips to avid followers. If you can find the social media account of a football betting tipster have a look at individual threads to gauge whether people are trusting of them or not. If users are asking for more tips, it’s more likely the author is legitimate.
If the tipster writes for other publications make sure to read through their work extensively. Ask yourself would you have used their tips in the past. If the answer is yes, and you’re satisfied with their online presence, it may be worth looking into their recommendations more.
3. Make Sure the Tips Are Backed up by Data
Never use an author's football betting tips if there is no rationale behind them. If a tipster provides in-depth statistics about player/team performance and can illustrate their recommendations by using those statistics then it makes it easier for you to make an informed decision on whether to act on their tips.
Make sure to fact check a sample of statistics before taking the authors word for them. The Premier League, La Liga, Serie A and the Bundesliga all have individual sites full of statistics where you can corroborate things. Bonus points awarded to tipsters who have used in-play data to inform positive football betting outcomes during a game.
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4. Find out if Other Punters Are Using the Tips
Comment boxes on articles can be useful. Find out if other punters have used a tipster before and whether or not they’ve found that it helpfully informed their football betting pursuits. Plenty of forums exist online where sports bettors group to discuss and analyse the information provided by football betting tipsters.
Research these forums to see if there has ever been a positive/negative conversation around the author you’re looking at and his/her football betting tips. The football tips community is generally an open one in which users will exchange helpful information.
5. Only Accept Tips from an Author Who Is Using Them to Bet Too
When planning on using tips, make sure that the author is putting his money where his mouth is. If a tipster refuses to abide by their own betting advice or asserts that they “don’t need” to make the bet, you should disregard the information they’ve provided.
A useful analogy here is to think of a chef that refuses to eat his own food for fear of being poisoned. On the flipside, tipsters are humans and should not be expected to bet all of the time, so try to strike a balance if you do end up directly questioning them.
Be smart with your money and, if using a tipping source for the first time, bet conservatively. Remember that a tipster can never truly guarantee you a win, regardless of how certain they are about that surefire accumulator.
Tipsters are simply giving their advice for a market and you are taking it knowing full well that nothing is guaranteed in the world of football betting - meaning they can not be held accountable for your losses. With all that said, a trader or tipster acting on their own advice is certainly a helpful indication that they truly believe in their bet.
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