This is mainly about football but you can apply the thinking to other sports that are available to bet on.
Bet with head or heart?
First you have to determine why you are betting on sports. Is it just to add some excitement to the televised game or to bet a small amount on your favorite team? That is fun, exciting and as long as you don’t bet more than you can afford to lose, there is absolutely nothing wrong with that.
However, if you are into sports betting to make some money, you need to put a greater amount of thought into your choices. Here are some useful tips, but remember that you should question everything you read. Does this sound reasonable, and it is something that could work in reality? There is a great deal of bad advice out there in the sports betting world...
Value Betting; understand this and you will be a winner
The big secret in sports betting is betting for value. If you flip a coin it is easy to spot the value. The chance for each outcome is exactly 50%. A 50% chance is equal to odds of 2.0 (decimal). We know that the correct odds for each outcome on a coin flip are 2.0. So if someone offers us the odds 2.20 for one outcome, we can be 100% sure that we have a bet with value, a value bet.
Unfortunately it is never that simple in sports betting, because you can never know the chance for an outcome, you can only estimate. And that is what it all comes down to in the end, who has made the best estimation, you or the bookmaker?
If the bookie has estimated that the chance for Arsenal to beat Man United is 33.3%, he converts the chance into decimal odds like this. 100 /33.3 = 3, meaning the odds is 3.0. But he wants some margin so he will probably offer something like 2.8.
If you make the same estimation of the chance for Arsenal to win, 33.3 %, same as odds 3.0, and place a bet at the odds offered by the bookmaker, 2.8 you have no value in that bet. EV = expected value, and here you place a bet with negative EV. You can of course win this time, but in the long run you will lose if your bets have negative EV.
But if you estimate that the chance for Arsenal to win is 40%, meaning you think the correct odds is, 100/40 = 2.5, then you have a positive EV. If you place a bet at the odds 2.8 offered by the bookmaker in this example and you think the correct odds is 2.5 you have made a value bet, and that is what you are looking for.
So, to be a winner in sports betting you have to make better estimations than the bookmakers. It is not easy, but remember that the bookie has to offer odds in all games. You can just sit patiently and wait for him to make a mistake, and then you place your bet and hopefully collect your winnings!
How to predict the outcome of a game
There are a lot of factors to consider when you try to estimate the chances for the outcomes in a game. Here are some:
How do you rank the teams?
Simply, which team do you think is the best. Sometimes the league table can be misleading. A team can be a lot better or worse than the position in the table suggests for a number of reasons.
How has the teams performed recently? You can look at the last 5 games when you consider the form and make a judgment from this. Is one team on a winning or a losing streak? Do you think the one team is underrated or overrated at the moment? Bear in mind, that the team may have had a run of fixtures against tough opposition or weak teams so there may other factors to consider when examining the form guide.
This is a very important aspect. At the end of the season the teams fighting for promotion or relegation always have a high level of motivation. The teams in the middle of the table may find it hard to find the right motivation in the end of the season. Look at which teams are fighting for a place in the European competitions or to avoid relegation as an idea of which teams will be motivated.
Many teams don't take the domestic Cups seriously, so consider this when betting, especially if the team is fighting at the top or the bottom of the league. However, for some teams the Cup is the only chance to lift some silverware and these teams will have motivated. Make sure you know all about the teams motivation before you place your bet as it is not fun to find out that the team you backed is playing with the reserves...
If a team has a game in the Champions League, it can be profitable to bet against them in the domestic league in the fixture just prior or after their European match. It is not unusual that the team rests some key players for the fixture before the Champions League game and some teams struggle to find form after the highs of playing on Europe's big stage.
Many English and Italian teams don't take the Uefa Cup seriously and sometimes they field weakened teams, so keep that in mind. Also bear in mind when the Uefa Cup changes to the Europa League more teams will be playing in Europe so you will have more teams to think about.
Injuries and Suspensions
Make sure you are fully aware of the injuries and the suspensions in the team. These days it is very easy to find that sort of information, there are so many web sites providing that information and some television channels have sports news stations which will keep you informed.
When betting in the smaller leagues, it can be very profitable to get your hands on injury information about key players. If you are able to place your bet before the information become widely known you will stand a good chance of getting better odds for your predicted outcome.
Some teams are very strong playing at home but weak when playing away. You can find out about all that in a table which separates the home and away outcomes for teams. It can also be interesting to look at the teams previous meetings as sometimes a team can have a bogey team, a team that they always lose against. This can become a psychological issue for teams and players and can be worth a bet.
Don’t bet if the odds are slashed
Say you find some injury information you think will impact on the result and you want to bet against that team. If you check the odds and find them at 1.9 having been slashed from 2.2, this is not good. That means the market knows about the injuries and some other punters have bet on the game at the higher price.
The bookmakers change the odds when a lot of people bet and often there is no value left. That’s why you have to be fast! You can often find out if the odds are slashed by looking at an Odds Comparison.
Some other things
What is the weather like and what are the condition of the pitch? If it is windy, rainy and the condition of the field is bad, that is usually not so goof for the more technical team. The outsider often takes advantage of bad weather conditions as has been shown in the cup competitions throughout the team.
How is the spirit in the team?
A new coach will often improve the teams next performance as player try harder to impress their new coach or perhaps they are relieved that the previous coach has been sacked.
Is there a lot of turbulence in the club and rumors about selling players?
Have the team been celebrating something before this game? I like to bet against a team that has already won the league but has a number of games left to play. Perhaps the players will have been celebrating their triumph a little too much or perhaps their motivation levels won’t quite be at the same high level. Go with your gut feeling, sometimes you can have an instinct about how a game will turn out and you should act upon this.
Watch as many games as you can, and remember to focus on the game and, not on the beer!
this is good advice but you should make it a hub! I fyou do I bet you'll get alot of hits on it.
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