There are two camps when it comes to discussing value in football betting – the punters who will back a fancy whatever the odds and the percentage-driven bettors.
The former group believes that picking out a winning bet is all that counts, no matter what the price on offer is, insisting that a pay-out at 1/10 is more useful than having a 20/1 loser.
Others prefer to ignore the obvious and go in search of the crock of gold at the end of a rainbow – like backing Leicester to win the Premier League at 5,000/1.
However, in the long run, the value brigade should have the edge because of one very important reason!
The very nature of football dictates that you cannot guarantee any team is going to win a particular match, so being results-obsessed is a very blinkered game-plan.
Surely, the best way to make money from football betting is to identify odds that are greater than the chances of that outcome actually happening.
If two gamblers tossed a coin for money, each would stand a 50% chance of winning, or Evens in fractional betting terms.
However, over a period of time, there would be no positive expectation in placing a series of bets at such odds.
The heads and tails will invariably even out and so will the winners and the losers; hence you make no money in the long term.
What punters need in this situation is an edge, such as getting 2/1 for heads every time the coin is tossed.
Tails may come up on more occasions, but the percentages will almost certainly play in your favour.
The same principal applies to looking for value in football betting – trying to identify when a particular result or outcome has more chance of occurring than the odds suggest.
Golden rules for value seekers
We’ve put together a few tactics to consider when it comes to picking out attractive prices:
- Try to oppose teams who have a big fan base but are out of form. Bookmakers know they will still be well backed by biased supporters and trim their odds accordingly.
- Head-to-head records can be significant. Just like the horses for courses mantra in horse racing, some teams or players repeatedly fare well at certain venues, or against specific opponents.
- Go against the flow. Bookies know that most bettors prefer to root for a positive outcome by backing one team or the other, so the less-popular draw can offer good rewards.
- Being negative isn’t always a bad thing. Similarly to the last suggestion, most punters want to watch an entertaining contest and so bet accordingly, meaning the odds for a low-scoring, dour affair can be inflated.
Have an opinion on what constitutes value in football betting? Then put your judgement on the line!
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