There are various football betting strategies in the current marketplace, but which are the best and most popular options from the perspective of punters.
It’s fair to say that football is one of the most popular sports from the perspective of bettors, with an estimated 76.8% of footie fans thought to wager on the action as it unfolds.
However, the football market is deceptively broad and complex, which means that there are numerous ways and means that can be deployed when looking to profit from individual games and tournaments.
You can learn more about some of these betting strategies on this page, but in the blog below, we’ll delve into our particular favourites and ask whether or not they’re suitable for you.
- Back and Lay Betting
We’ll start with one of the most popular betting strategies, with the bet and lay technique synonymous with minimising risk and seeking out value in the marketplace.
In simple terms, ‘backing’ a bet refers to a traditional online wager. So, if you were to bet that Barnet were to beat Altrincham in the National League, you’d be backing the former to win as a single outcome wager.
‘Laying’ a bet is typically what bookmakers do. If we take the same wager as an example, a sportsbook will effectively lay the bet of Barnet winning, which means that other outcomes will deliver a win for the operator. In short, laying a bet means wagering on something not to happen, which is completely at odds with the traditional sports selection.
So, how do you deploy a back and lay wager? In truth, there are several ways to accomplish this, such as laying the draw on an exchange at odds of 4.5. Then, if Barnet takes the lead in the first half in the aforementioned contest, you can cash out to claim a profit.
Another, and arguably more popular option, is to hedge your bet by backing the draw. So, after the first goal goes in, the odds for the draw are likely to rise, which means that backing this price with an amount that covers your liability will deliver a guaranteed, albeit modest, profit.
Ultimately, this strategy is all about managing risk in real-time and optimising value, as you look to seek out longer odds that can deliver the best possible returns.
- Value Bets
Next up is value betting, which is particularly popular in football and ideal for fans who boast superior knowledge and experience of wagering markets.
The reason for this is simple; as a value bet essentially refers to selections that you believe have a bigger probability of winning that the bookmaker has recognised.
For example, let’s look at England’s opening Euro 2021 clash with Croatia at Wembley, with the latter priced as high as 5/2 to win by some sportsbooks.
However, if you believe that Croatia boast superior midfield quality and have a slightly better chance of winning (closer to 50% probability, for example), this wager represents huge value and one that should be backed as soon as possible.
In this respect, value betting is entirely subjective, as one punter’s idea of value will be completely different to the next.
Still, there remains a simple mathematical approach to value betting that you may want to consider, which requires you to multiply the published odds by percentage probability and divide this by the value of 100.
If the answer generated is greater than 1.00, this is indicative of increased value that may enable you to secure higher returns if your instinct is correct.
Ultimately, you’ll need to be a confident and experienced bettor to place successful value bets, but there’s no doubt that this is an excellent way of beating the bookmakers and earning incremental gains over time.
- Handicap Betting
We’ll close with handicap betting, which refers to a scenario where certain teams are handicapped by a predetermined number of goals for the purpose of a specific wager.
For instance, let’s look at the upcoming Europa League final between Manchester United and Villarreal. The Red Devils are heavy favourites to prevail here, with an average price of 5/2 being published across the board.
In this case, however, you could apply a handicap of -1 goal to United with a handicap bet, which effectively means that they’ll have to win by at least two clear goals for the wager to come in.
While this may have a minimal impact on your probability of winning, it will also have the impact of lengthening odds and enabling you to bank higher returns as and when successful.
This is undoubtedly a selective betting strategy, and one that should only be deployed when backing a heavy favourite to beat an unfancied underdog.
Depending on the extent of the mismatch, you can extend the handicap and live odds accordingly, potentially boosting your price without overly compromising your chances of winning.