Football Betting Strategy: Accumulators

With mobile technology improving year on year, it’s becoming quicker and easier to place a football accumulator on the best betting sites.

Football bettors love accumulators as they allow you to rack up massive potential profits by rolling multiple selections into a single bet. Premier League odds provide a great chance to test our accumulator strategy on a weekly basis.

Some savvy punters have earned life-changing sums by laying down a relatively small stake and correctly predicting a number of football results. Yet many accumulators crash and burn due to a lack of strategy, so it pays to do your homework before taking the plunge.

A simple appreciation of basic football statistics will help when it comes to compiling your accumulator. Studying the formbook and researching team news is one thing, but understanding the underlying data behind sensible acca selections is the next level that many punters would be wise to take.

Never forget that there are always three potential results in a football match, which means a treble involves getting the right outcome out of 27 possibilities (3 x 3 x 3).

But there is so much more to accumulators than simply picking a result – learn how to mix and match your ‘multiple’, how to pick the outcomes that suit your own hunch and get the right mental approach to your bet in this complete guide to accumulator betting.

What Is An Accumulator?

Accumulator Principles: Best Practice

Alternative Ways To Bet On Accumulators

Where Should I Bet?

What Is An Accumulator?

An accumulator combines several selections into a single bet and it only pays out if all of your predictions prove to be correct. It is often abbreviated to acca, while Americans refer to this type of bet as a parlay. Each selection you add is known as a leg, and the more you add, the greater the potential payout you stand to make.

For example, you could bet on Liverpool, Crystal Palace, Juventus and Atletico Madrid to all win on a single weekend. If just one team lets you down, your bet will be settled as a loser. However, if all four win then you will earn a far greater payout than you would have done if you had simply divided your stake in four and backed each team individually.

Some of our recommended football bookmakers offer acca insurance which means you can get your stake back as a free bet should only one team let you down, but you might have to pick at least five or six teams to meet the terms.

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Be Patient

The beauty of football betting to the neutral observer is just how difficult it is to predict. Okay, so many of us will make accurate guesses as to who will win the league title, who will finish inside the top four, Premier League relegation odds and so on.

But the journeys that those teams go on to achieve their goals is strewn with obstacles and dropped points; how often do we see one of the ‘big boys’ struggle away from home against a tough but limited outfit? Almost every week.

The point is that predicting football outcomes is difficult, and so predicting four or more on the same slip is extremely tough. That’s why punters can go weeks on end without landing a winner.

To alleviate this, you could try to spread your selections out over multiple weekends, or factor in some mid-week fixtures. There’s nothing stopping you stretching an acca over a Saturday-to-Saturday seven-day period, or longer if you have the patience and the odds are available!

However, be mindful that a week is a long time in football, long enough for a key player to get injured in training and miss the last leg of your bet.

Alternative Ways To Bet On Accumulators


If you usually only pick teams to win when building your accas and have a low success rate, you should reconsider confining yourself to simply including outright winner selections, because that seriously limits your chances of success. Below are alternative outcomes you can include on your slip to add variation to your accumulator.

Draw No Bet Market

What is draw no bet you ask? Well, it essentially covers you in case the team you bet on ends up drawing a particular match. For example, you might fancy Chelsea to beat West Ham at Stamford Bridge, but you also think the Hammers are capable of nicking a point. If you are prepared to accept a less attractive set of odds on Chelsea winning, you will get your stake back in the event of a draw, hence ‘draw no bet’.

Allow us to explain further. You might find odds of 10/11 on a Liverpool win over Man Utd. If you bet €10 and they secure victory, you earn a profit of €9.10. If Liverpool fail to win, your bet is a loser. If you are wary of Man Utd’s attacking threat before placing the bet, you might want to go for ‘Liverpool draw no bet’, meaning you accept odds of around 4/11 on a Liverpool win instead. If Liverpool win, your payout is just €3.63. However, if it is a draw, you get your money back.

Now we have established what draw no bet is, how can it help you construct an accumulator? Many punters have had that sinking feeling that comes when one team lets you down and your acca crumbles, snatching a large profit away from you.

If you throw draw no bet selections into your accumulator, you mitigate the risk of this happening. In the event of a draw, that leg of the accumulator will be struck off and your stake simply rolls over to the next selection. It reduces the potential final payout, but it prevents one drawn game from torpedoing your acca.

Both Teams To Score Market

The both teams to score market is a great option if you feel like a particular game will be open and entertaining, or a tight and cagey affair. If both teams like taking risks and leave gaps at the back, you might go for ‘yes’. If it is a clash between two mean defences, you might want to opt for ‘no’ in this market.

You may find betting on ‘both teams to score’ and even ‘both teams to score in both halves’ offers great value, while it is also easy to research how often both teams score when a particular side is playing. This type of bet can be a great addition to an accumulator, as it allows you to find value on a match in which you are unsure who will win.

Handicap Accumulators

By placing a handicap odds accumulator instead of a match odds accumulator, you can sometimes get as big a return from your stake by making three selections with a handicap multiple as you can by making six selections with a match odds multiple.

If you’re not familiar with handicap betting, it’s a market that allows you to plump for sides to effectively win by a bigger margin than just one goal.

For example, you might expect Manchester City, Liverpool and Chelsea to win their respective matches but also win by at least two clear goals. Theoretically, each team could be 1/2 to win their game but 11/10 with a -1 goal handicap.

Therefore, by putting three 11/10 chances in your multiple, you are creating odds of 7/1 from those selections alone and you then just have to hope that the match favourites are able to win their respective matches by a sufficient margin.

Alternatively, a match handicap bet might see you go for the outsider with something like a +2 goal start which means the team could still lose by a single goal for you to win on your bet as you’ve backed them with a two goal advantage, or ‘head-start’.

Given that Premier League, La Liga and to a lesser extent Serie A produce one-sided affairs every week – especially when you get one of the strongest teams against one of the weakest – the handicap market is a good route to go down whether you’re considering a single, double, treble or accumulator wager.

Remember though, having a fewer number of selections reduces the chance of a particular leg letting you down and you can focus hard on getting the right selections to put in your handicap multiple bet.

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Over/Under Goals Accas

If you're unhappy with the odds offered on your favourite teams, consider changing your football betting strategy and building your next accumulator around the 'over/under goals' market.

Betting on total goals is an accumulator-friendly way to boost your chances of seeing a return, given that the market limits the number of possible outcomes.

If you were to back team A in the 'match odds' market, for example, you'd have a one in three chance of winning, as team B could also win, or the match could end in a draw. When betting on 'total goals', however, there are only two outcomes - the number of goals scored will either be over or under your chosen total.

The betting options can start at as low as 0.5 goals per game, climbing up to 9.5 goals in some circumstances, giving you the chance to tailor your bet on a per-game basis. You can also decide whether you want to bet over or under your chosen total, so if you think a match is going to be relatively tight and low-scoring, under 1.5 goals may be a sound option with reasonably high odds. On the other hand, if you think the game is more likely to be a goal-fest, then you could take a punt on over 3.5 goals, meaning a minimum of four goals must be scored.


To demonstrate this strategy, let's consider a typical Barcelona or Real Madrid match. Both teams are strong in attack and their individual games often end up with four or more goals, so a bet for over 3.5 could be a good way to test the waters. Taking this a step further, let's look at a potential €10 fourfold accumulator – a solid beginner’s bet.

Say for example Betfair is offering odds of 13/10 on over 3.5 goals in the Villarreal vs Barcelona match and also 13/10 in the Getafe vs Real Madrid game. Add to this the 10/11 odds for over 2.5 goals in the Southampton vs Manchester United match for example and 4/7 for over 2.5 goals in the Man City vs Newcastle game and you’ve got a potential return of €158 – a tidy €148 profit. If you compare this to the €40.90 return when simply backing all of the favourites to win, you can see the money-making potential of this exciting market.

Where To Bet?

All sportsbooks will offer accumulator betting, so now that you know how to construct the perfect acca that suits your own desires, head over to the best football betting sites to put your new-found knowledge to the test.

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