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Strategies for successful football bets

I. Scientific analysis of betting strategies

II. Betting on Over / Under

     1) Take home and away performance into account
     2) Take direct encounters into account
     3) Assess frequency instead of average
     4) Include more than just goals in your statistics
     5) Disregard current trends
     6) Take circumstances and date into account  
     7) Question exotic bets

III. Finding Value Bets

IV. Risk management: Placing the correct wagers

     1) Flat wagers
     2) Dynamic wagers
     3) Adjustable wagers 
     4) Progressive wagers 

V. Guidelines for a professional risk management

 

I. Scientific analysis of betting strategies

To get closer to an optimal football bet, it is not enough to use the tendencies of the last matches as a basis for your bet. It will also almost never help you to listen to your gut instinct or your intuition when placing a bet. You rather need a proficient betting strategy which you can work out with the help of the scientific analysis of relevant figures and statistics. Especially important when getting into betting are the right approach at Over/Under bets, the detection of Value Bets and a proficient risk management. We will show you the important basics for creating scientific betting strategies, so you know where and how to begin to really get started.

 

II. Betting on Over/Under

Over / Under bets belong to the most popular types of bets. Here you bet on whether in a match more or less goals than a certain figure are scored. You might also bet on other factors like the number of yellow cards, corners and many more; however, the most common type is the bet on goals. Due to that we will stick to this type of the Over / Under bet for our overview. Bookmakers will very often offer the classical Over-2,5-goals or Under-2,5-goals. With which strategy will you be successful in the long run? What should you take into account?

1) Take home and away performance into account

The home or away record of a team has a considerable indicating value of whether 2,5 goals (so at least 3) or under 2,5 goals (so no more than 2) will be scored. Many teams play better in front of their own crowd and gain more points than in away matches. Numbers prove that: Home teams score 1,66 goals on average, while away teams only reach 1,20 goals on average.

The following example from the season of 2014/15 shows that these factors has a bigger predictive value than the number of goals scored on average in the whole season (so home and away matches combined):

Example

Hoffenheim often played with different tactical lineup at home and away. That way in each match in their own stadium the scored more than 2,5 goals every second match of the first 12 match days. In away matches on the other hand only in every third match. A view to Bayern Munich within the same period emphasizes the difference even more: At home they scored more than 2,5 goals in 86 percent of their matches. Away only in 20 of their matches.

Especially the Bayern example shows how „hungry for goals“ a team can be at home. That this phenomenon, however, may also be the other way round shows the example of Borussia Dortmund also from the season of 2014/15:

Example

In Dortmund’s home matches only in every third game more than 2,5 goals were scort on average. Away the situation was completely different: When Dortmund was playing away, in 83 percent of the games more than 2,5 were scored.

Conclusion: An exclusive review of the total goals of the season can mislead your assessment. Therefore, you have to take the statistics of home and away matches into account for over / under bets. They enable you to distinguish in detail how likely it is that 2 or 3 goals are struck.

 

2) Take direct encounters into account

The results of direct encounters also let you assess whether you should bet on over or under 2,5 goals. Because: It may quite possibly happen that teams play offensively and score a lot of goals for all of the season but in a direct encounter almost no goals are being scored. That might be owed to the tactical lineup, special respect fro each other or the situation in the league. This is also possible the other way round: Although both teams are actually oriented rather defensively and normally don’t score a lot of goals, a direct encounter might make for a goal fest.

Don’t analyse matches that are too old

For your analysis of direct encounter you should not go too far back in history. Encounters from the last 3 years are especially expressive. If you go too far back, completely different teams, managers and thus, other tactical orientation have dominated the match so that you receive a wrong result.

Do not analyse too few matches

Even though Auch wenn du für deine Analyse zeitlich nicht zu weit zurückgehen solltest, nimm nicht nur 1 oder 2 Begegnungen der beiden Mannschaften unter die Lupe. Berücksichtige mindestens 3 Spiele der Teams. Denn: Es gibt immer mal wieder Aufeinandertreffen, die aus dem Rahmen fallen und in der Statistik Ausreißer darstellen. Um diese zu vermeiden und so eine bessere Prognose erstellen zu können, ist es wichtig, eine Handvoll Duelle zu analysieren.

 

3) Assess frequency instead of average

Goals scored by a team may be an indication when you assess whether to bet on over or under 2,5 goals. At the same time they might be irritating. Because:  If you only take into account the average figure of goals scored in a match, outliers in your statistic might lead you to false conclusions. An example from the season of 2014/15 emphasizes that:

Example

After 12 match days, matches with the participation of the VfB Stuttgart which amounted to an average 3,33 goals per match seemed to be a safe bet for a over-2,5-goals-bet. However, if you decode each match, it soon becomes clear that this statistic is misleading to you. Out of these 12 matches of Stuttgart seven times less than 2,5 goals were scored and fit time more than 2,5 goals. How can that be? In these games with more than 2,5 goals one match with 9 goals, one with 6 goals, one with 5 goals and two with 4 goals were included with the effect that matches with participation of Stuttgart amounted to the high number of 3,33 goals scored on average. That figure is misleading for you since on balance in matches with Stuttgart more frequently under 2,5 goals were scored than over 2,5 goals.

An example of Mainz 05 from the season of 2014/15 underlines this possible effect:

Example

Within the first 12 matches of the season, matches with the participation of Mainz 05 displayed an goal-average of 2,42 goals scored per match. Viewed from this perspective, an indication for you that you should bet on a under-2,5-goals-bet. However, if you review each of Mainz’s matches, you will find: Only in five matches with their participation less than 2,5 goals were scored. In seven matches they struck more than 2,5 goals. Here, just as before, simply reviewing the individual matches can explain the supposed contradiction: Among the matches with under 2,5 goals, 3 were draws without any goal. And among the matches with more than 2,5 goals there was no match where more than 4 goals were scored.

Conclusion: For you to draw conclusions from the figure of goals a team scored for you Over / Under analysis, you should refrain from mean values and instead include frequency in your calculations. Therefore, the relevant question for you should always be: In how many matches with the participation of team X more than (and less than) 2,5 goals were scored?

 

4) Include more than just goals in your statistic

Scored goals may have significance for future results, however, you should work with more indicators for Over / Under bets to exactly define the potential of a team. Especially keep in mind the shots on goal and opportunities allowed. Check the conversion of chances: How many goalscoring opportunities does a team need to score a goal? And: How many goalscoring opportunities does the opponent on average, to score a goal against said team?

Goals might be the obvious indicator for an Over / Under bet, however, statistically goals often are volatile with the effect that you can only compile a limited profound prediction for your bet. Utilize that most bettors are only guided by the end results of matches and that bookmakers use this attitude for the creation of their odds.If you include more than just goals in your prediction, you can earn a big margin and be that way bet more successfully.

 

5) Disregard current trends

The current performance level of a team is often considered to be an important indicator for Over / Under bets by betting rookies. Nevertheless, do not let your prediction be influenced too much by it. Tendencies for many scored goals may only rarely be transferred to future matches, for too many different factors of the respective opponent, such as attitude and rank within the league, have an significant impact on the number of goals. Instead, look at the last 20 matches of the team concerned and check how often matches with their participation saw over and how often under 2,5 goals.

 

6) Take circumstances and date into account

Apart from all match statistics, circumstances as well as date of the match are of interest. Pay special attention to,

• how both teams acted in similar situations,
• how previous games ended when one team was an underdog,
• whether a prolific striker or an important defender will miss the match (due to illness, injury or ban),
• whether one of the teams already reached its goals for the season (champion, staying up etc.) and might, thus, be less motivated to score goals,
• how far the season already has progressed, since each phase Features a higher or lower “goal-probability“ (cf. Vorhersagen und Prognosen: Parameter für die Vorhersage von Fußballspielen, Nr. 11: Spieltag)

If you include these factors in your analysis, you can gain a lead over many other bettors.

 

7) Question exotic bets

Apart from data and facts which directly concern the match, it is also helpful for you to question the bookmaker’s odds for Over / Under bets. Does the odd for a match seem to be too high to you? Before blindly starting to bet, calculate the commission that the bookmaker charges (cf. chapter Football bets basics – bookmakers – IV. What is the bookmaker’s commission?). Because: Ordinarily bookmakers who account for such odds, charge a commission which is significantly above the average.

Because: Ordinarily bookmakers who account for such odds, charge a commission which is significantly above the average. Such odds may only rarely be found in regard to Over / Under bets on 2,5 goals but rather for bets on more exotic results, as for example for Over / Under 4,5 goals. It will be considerably more difficult to find statistics for such bets that may be of help to you for your prediction.

Otherwise, here, too, the following applies: Look out for Value Bets. If you have found an unlikely odd, check its value and the bookmaker’s commission. If both plays into your hands, put your money on it.

 

III. Finding Value Bets

At the beginning of every betting strategy, for you, there is the challenge to detect Value Bets from variety of bets on the market. They form the basis to steadily generate profit. In the chapter Betting Odds we already showed you what Value Bets are. But, what possibilities do you have to discover Value Bets?

Kickform ValueBets Finder

Our KickForm Value Bets Finder is your tool to quickly discover Value Bets. We issue our own, scientifically sound bets for each Bundesliga match, so that you can directly compare them to the bookmakers’ odds. That way you will recognise at first sight which fixtures contain Value Bets.

Value Bet berechnen mit dem KickForm ValueBets Finder
To check whether you found a Value Bet, multiply our calculated KickForm probability in percent by the book aber’s odd. Afterwards you have to divide the result by 100.

(KickForm probability in percent x bookmaker’s odd) : 100 = KickForm ValueBet

If the result is more than 1 , you found a Value Bet. As a rule of the thumb you should keep in mind: The higher above 1 the figure is, the more value the bet has. If the result under 1, it is no Value Bet. Stay away from the bet.

Example

Wolfsburg faces Hertha Berlin. The KickForm-Algorithm calculated that Berlin will leave the pitch as winner with a probability of 55 percent. The bookmakers offer you an odd of 2,0. Did you detect a Value Bet?

(55 percent x 2,0) : 100 = 1,1

The result amounts to more than 1, you found a Value Bet. Place a bet on this match.

Alternative calculations (option 1)

You think Berlin is currently in better shape and will, therefore, win with a probability of 65 percent? Then you can alternatively utilize your own assessment to detect Value Bets. For that you simply swap the KickForm-probability with in the formula with your own value. That has the following effect for our example:

Example

(Your probability in percent x bookmaker’s odd) : 100 = Value

(65 percent x 2,0) : 100 = 1,3

The result is above 1, you should put money on the match.

Alternative Calculations (Option 2)

You may as well multiply your own probability by the bookmaker’s decimal quota and in the end subtract 100 percent from the result.

If the result is above 0, you found a Value Bet. You should place a bet on the match. If the result amounts to more than 0, you found a Value Bet. You should place the bet. If the result amounts to less than 0 and, thus, is negative, you have not found a Value Bet. Stay away from this bet.

Example 

Freiburg plays against Bremen. The bookmakers offer you an odd of 1,80 on a win by Freiburg. You consider a “winning-probability“ of 65 percent to be very likely. Should you place the bet?

(65 percent x 1,80) – 100 percent = 17 percent

The result amounts to more than 0, you found a Value Bet. You should put money on this match.

 

Value Bets in the Bundesliga

With the help of our KickForm ValueBets Finder you will from time to time discover a Value Bet in the Bundesliga. However, our experience has also taught us that you have much better chances of finding bets with a high value in lower-league matches as in the third Liga. This is mainly due to the fact that bookmakers calculate their odds for the world’s top leagues very thoroughly and in detail. Therefore, your calculations often correspond with those of the bookmakers, with the result it is difficult to detect Value Bets for matches with the participation of Bayern, Dortmund or Schalke.

So if you, for example, are quite at home in the third Liga, use it for your advantage. In the case of matches with the participation of Halle, Kiel or Wiesbaden it may happen that the bookmakers set their odd with less effort and so are more likely to be wrong. That is your opportunity to find superb Value Bets.

 

IV. Risk management: Placing the right wagers

If you have found Value Bets, you have to find the correct wagers for your bets. For you to constantly earn profitfit is important to you a risk management that protects your own betting capital and at the same time doesn’t unnecessarily hinders its increase. Which Money-Management-Strategy are there for you to choose from?

a) Flat wagers

For flat wagers you have to always use a small and percentual amount of your total starting budget. It should normally be within the single-digit percentage area. This approach has the advantage that you minimse the risk of loosing money. At the same time it takes a while until the budget starts to increase. In the long run, flat wagers are, therefore, suited for more cautious bettors who want to play it safe. If you are a rather patient bettor, this strategy might lead you to success.

b) Dynamic wagers

For flat wagers you have to always use a small and percentual amount of your current betting budget. So, contrary to flat wagers, you are not guided by your starting budget. That way your set betting amount doesn’t stay the same but (ideally) increases over time.

Example  

You start with betting budget of 100 Euros and put 2 percent of your budget on your first bet. Your wager is consequently 2 Euros. Let’s say, you win the bet and receive 4 Euros back. Your budget amounts now, therefore, to 102 Euros. For your next bet you place 2 percent of your current budget which now amounts to 102 Euros. Therefore, you place 2,04 Euros on your next bet.

Betting with dynamic wagers facilitates an exponential increase of your profits but as well your losses. Each consequently turns out higher than in the case of flat wagers.

c) Adjustable wagers

For flexible wagers you bet detached from your starting budget or current betting budget and align your betting amounts instead on other criteria. Many bettors condition their amounts on the risk of the bet and decide how much money they want to place on the bet dependent on how safe their feel with their prediction of the probability.

d) Progressive wagers

For progressive wagers you have to condition your wagers on whether you have won or lost your last bet(s). If you loose a bet, double your wager for the next bet. You will keep doing so until you win the bet. If you have won a bet, stick to your last wager. For this type of bets you need enough betting capital and a high risk disposition.

Example

1. bet: wager 5 Euros – lost
2. bet: wager 10 Euros – lost
3. bet: wager 20 Euros – lost
4. bet: wager 40 Euros – won

In this example you initially make a 35 Euros loss from the first three bets, to then make a 40 Euro win from the fourth bet. On balance you made a profit of 5 Euros.

Many bettors start progressive betting with a small betting amount since it grows exponentially with each loss. If the odds are high enough, you might as well set the increase of the betting amount lower. In that case you you don’t double your betting amount after a lost bet but increases it only by 25 or 50 percent. Alternatively, you can also double your budget only after 2 or 3 lost bets in a row. Both alternatives reduce your risk and therefore, the risk of los.

 

What strategy is the best?

There’s no clear answer for that. You might be able discover attractive bets with the help of research and our KickForm ValueBets Finder, nonetheless, the final result of the match and whether you win your bet depends on many other factors as well as chance.

Flat and dynamic wagers are very popular. Brave bettors who work with wagers can quickly increase their betting budget with good bets and some luck. However, just a few lost bets and the bettor is broke. More cautious players who work with flat wagers need a longer „Run“ to decisively increase their budget. On the other hand, a few lost bets don’t hurt them as much since their budget only shrinks slowly.

Eventually you have to ask yourself what type of bettor you are. If you love the risk, you should choose dynamic wagers. If you prefer a more cautious approach and try for some time, flat wagers are better suited for you. A professional risk management that enables you to protect your betting capital but doesn’t hinder you from making profits either, demands a combination of both strategies. For a proficient risk management you should, thus, keep the following in mind:

 

V. Guidelines for a professional risk management

1. Keep multiple betting accounts!

To intelligently connect flat wager with dynamic wagers and profit from the advantages of both strategies, you should keep to betting accounts at the same time. That way you can test both strategies. Losses on one account may, when skillfully planned, be compensated through wins on the other account.

2. Adjust your wagers flexibly!

You do not have to tightly hold on to your Money Management. Instead, you can switch between flat and dynamic wagers (within an account). If, for example, you made losses with your last bets, adjust your next wagers and use smaller amounts.

Another possibility: Orient yourself by your starting budget. Play as long with dynamic wagers until you fall under your starting budget. Then you play with flat wagers to break you free fall. That way you prevent gambling away all your betting budget. If you are above your former starting budget, you can then again switch back to dynamic wagers.

3. Let your bookmaker set limits!

Many bookmakers will offer you to set betting limits. The bookmaker then controls your planned wagers and keeps you in a fixed „betting-frame“. A good mechanism that protects you from too big losses.

4. Do your research!

To always place your wagers with a good feeling (and in the end bet more successful), do an extensive research before each bet. Do not rely on luck or your gut instinct but be productive and collect all relevant data and facts for each game. Together with our scientifically sound KickForm-prediction you can, that way, make the best possible prognosis for a match.

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