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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 Performances 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 Dates 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 most recent matches as a basis for your bet. It will also almost never help you to listen to your gut instinct or your intuition. Instead, opt for a proficient betting strategy which you can put together by analysing relevant figures and statistics. Especially important when betting is taking the right approach to Over/Under bets, the detection of Value Bets and a proficient risk management strategy. 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. Over/Under Bets

Over/Under bets are some of the most popular betting selections - here you bet on whether more or fewer goals than a certain figure are scored during a match. You might also bet on other factors, like the number of yellow cards, corners and many more; however, the most common type is betting on goals scored. Due to this, we will stick to this type of the Over/Under bet for our overview.

Bookmakers will very often offer the classic Over 2.5-goals or Under 2.5-goals selections. Which strategy will make you successful in the long run? What should you take into account? Read on to find answers to these questions below.

1) Take Home and Away Performances 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. The numbers prove this: Home teams score 1.66 goals on average, while Away teams only reach 1.20 goals on average.

The following example from the 2014-2015 season shows that these factors have a larger 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 line-ups during Home and Away games. In each match that took place in their own stadium, they scored more than 2.5 goals every second match during the first 12 matchdays. In Away games, however, only in every third match were over 2.5 goals scored.  Examining Bayern Munich’s statistics within the same period emphasizes the difference even further: at home they scored more than 2.5 goals in 86% of their matches, but this decreased to 20% during their Away games.

The Bayern example in particular shows how "hungry" for goals a team can be at home. However, the opposite sometimes does occur, as shown by the example of Borussia Dortmund below (also taken from the season of 2014/15):

Example

In Dortmund’s Home matches, only in every third game were over 2.5 goals scored. Their Away situation was completely different: over 2.5 goals were scored in 83% of the matches.

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. It may quite possibly happen that teams play offensively and score many goals for the whole season, but in a direct encounter, almost no goals are being scored. This may be the result of the tactical line-up or the situation in the league. The opposite is also possible, with teams playing defensively without scoring any goals; a direct encounter might actually make for a goal fest.

Do not analyse matches that are too outdated

When analysing direct encounters, you should not go too far back in history. Encounters from the last 3 years are especially significant. If you go too far back, completely different teams, managers and thus, other tactical orientations would have dominated the match, thus affecting the result of your analysis.

Do not analyse too few matches

Don’t just take one or two encounters between the two teams into account; analyse at least 3 games. There are always clashes that are out of the ordinary and that represent outliers in the statistics. To avoid this, and to be able to make a better forecast, it is important to evaluate a good number of matches.

3) Assess Frequency Instead of Averages

Goals scored by a team may be a useful value when you assess whether to bet on Over or Under 2.5 goals or not. At the same time, they may be a bit of an annoyance. If you only consider the average figure of goals scored in a match, outliers in your statistics might lead you to false conclusions. An example from the season of 2014/15 serves to underline this important point:

Example

After 12 matchdays, games played by VfB Stuttgart, which amounted to an average of 3.33 goals per match, seemed to offer safe bets for over 2.5 goals to be scored. However, after analysing each match, it soon becomes clear that this statistic is misleading. Among these 12 matches, there were 7 matches with less than 2.5 goals (and only 5 with more than 2.5 goals). In the 5 games with more than 2.5 goals, the teams scored 8, 6, 5, 4 and 5 goals. So, although the average number of goals does appear to be high, you are actually more likely to lose an Over 2.5 Goals bet than win it.

An example of Mainz 05 from the 2014/15 season emphasises this further:

Example

Within the first 12 matches of the season, matches played by Mainz 05 displayed a goal average of 2.42 goals scored per match. At a surface glance, this seems to suggest that you should place an Under 2.5 Goals bet and expect to win it. However, if you take a closer look at each of Mainz’s matches, you will find that less than 2.5 goals were scored only in 5 of their matches. In 7 matches, they actually 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 goals scored. And, among the matches with more than 2.5 goals, there was no match where more than 4 goals were scored. 

Conclusion: When carrying out an Over/Under goal analysis before placing your bet, you should refrain from mean values and instead include frequency in your calculations. Always ask yourself: in how many matches played by team X were more than (and less than) 2.5 goals scored?

 

4) Include More Than Just Goals in Your Statistics

Scored goals may carry significance for future results; however, you should work with more indicators for Over / Under bets to define the exact potential of a team. Keep in mind any shots on goal and opportunities allowed. Check the shot conversion rate: how many goalscoring opportunities does a team need to score a goal? How many goalscoring opportunities does the opponent need on average to score a goal against said team?

Goals might be the obvious indicator for an Over / Under bet. Statistically, however, goals are often volatile, and therefore do not serve as a strong enough indicator to make safe predictions for your bets. Remember that most bettors only go 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 predictions, you can give yourself an edge over most bookies.

 

The ongoing performance level of a team is often considered to be an important indicator for Over / Under bets by betting rookies. However, do not let your prediction be influenced too much by this. A high number of scored goals or goal opportunities does not always recur in future matches, as there many different opponent factors (such as attitude and rank within the league) that have a significant impact on the number of goals. Instead, look at the last 20 matches of the team in question, and check how often they scored Over or Under 2.5 goals.

 

6) Take Circumstances and Date into Account

Apart from match statistics, circumstances as well as date of the match should also be taken into account. Pay special attention to:

• How both teams acted in similar situations 
• How previous games ended when one team was considered 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 has already reached its goals for the season (champion, retained their ranking, etc.) and might, therefore, be less motivated to score goals
• How far the season already has progressed, since each phase features a higher or lower “goal probability”.

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 a good idea to question the bookmaker’s odds for Over/Under bets. Do the odds for a match seem too high to you? Avoid betting blindly - calculate the commission that the bookmaker charges. Ordinarily, bookmakers who account for such odds charge a commission which is significantly above the average.

Such odds may only rarely be found for Over/Under bets on 2.5 goals, but they can be found for more exotic bets such as Over/Under 4.5 goals. However, it will be considerably more difficult to find useful statistics to analyse for such bets.

In this case, if you feel that you can’t carry out your usual analysis, you should look out for Value Bets instead. However, if you have found odds that seem implausible or unlikely, check their value and the bookmaker’s commission.

 

III. Finding Value Bets

The start of every betting strategy presents the challenge of detecting 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 how exactly do you go about finding them?

Kickform ValueBets Finder

Our KickForm Value Bets Finder can help you quickly discover Value Bets. We issue our own, scientifically sound bets for each Bundesliga match, so that you can directly compare them to bookmakers’ odds. This way, you will immediately recognise which fixtures contain Value Bets.

Calculate your Value Bet with the KickForm ValueBets Finder
To check whether you found a Value Bet, multiply our calculated KickForm probability in percentage by the bookmaker’s odds. Afterwards, divide the result by 100.

(KickForm probability in percentage x bookmaker’s odds) ÷ 100 = KickForm ValueBet

If the result is more than 1, you have found a Value Bet. As a rule of thumb, you should keep in mind that the higher above 1 the figure is, the more value the bet has. If the result under 1, it is not a Value Bet.

Example

Wolfsburg is facing off against Hertha Berlin. The KickForm Algorithm has calculated that Berlin will leave the pitch as winner with a probability of 55%. The bookmakers offer you odds of 2.0. Is this a Value Bet?

(55% x 2.0) ÷ 100 = 1.1

As we can see, the result has amounted to more than 1, so we have found a Value Bet.

Alternative Calculations (Option 1)

You think Berlin is currently in better shape and will, therefore, win with a probability of 65%. You can alternatively utilise your own assessment to detect Value Bets. To do this, simply swap the KickForm probability within the formula with your own value.

Example

(Your probability in percentage x bookmaker’s odd) ÷ 100 = Value

(65% x 2.0) ÷ 100 = 1.3

The result is above 1, so this is a Value Bet.

Alternative Calculations (Option 2)

You may also multiply your own probability by the bookmaker’s decimal quota, and then subtract 100% from the result.

If the result is above 0, you found a Value Bet. If the result amounts to less than 0 and, therefore, is negative, you should avoid placing this bet.

Example

Freiburg plays against Bremen. The bookmakers offer you odds of 1.80 on a win by Freiburg. You consider a winning probability of 65% to be very likely. Should you place the bet?

(65% x 1.80) – 100% = 17%

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

 

Value Bets in the Bundesliga

Our KickForm ValueBets Finder can help you discover a Value Bet in the Bundesliga from time to time. 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 because 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, meaning it is difficult to detect Value Bets for matches that are set to be played by Bayern, Dortmund or Schalke.

So, if you, for example, are quite familiar with the third Liga, use it to your advantage. In the case of matches set to be played by Halle, Kiel or Wiesbaden, it may happen that bookmakers put less effort into calculating these odds, and so are more likely to be wrong – giving you a stellar opportunity to find superb Value Bets.

 

IV. Risk management: Placing the Right Wagers

If you have found Value Bets, you need to find the correct wagers for your bets. If you want to consistently profit off your bets, it is important to set up a good risk management strategy that protects your capital prevents it from decreasing. So – what’s the best way to manage your money?

a) Flat Wagers

For flat wagers, you should always use a small percentage of your total starting budget; normally within the single-digit percentage area. This approach helps you minimise the risk of losing money. At the same time, it will take a while until the budget increases. Therefore, in the long run, flat wagers are 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

With dynamic 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 a betting budget of 100 Euros and put 2% of your budget on your first bet. Consequently, your wager is 2 Euros. Let’s say you win the bet and get 4 Euros in return. Your budget now amounts to 102 Euros. For your next bet, you place 2% of your current budget, which now amounts to 102 Euros. Therefore, you place 2.04 Euros on your next bet.

Dynamic wagers not only facilitate an exponential increase of your profits, but also your losses. Both consequently turn out higher than in the case of flat wagers.

c) Adjustable Wagers

With flexible wagers, your bets are detached from your starting or current betting budget; instead, you base your betting amounts on other criteria. Many bettors take the factor of risk into account, and decide how much money they want to place depending on how safe they think their bets are.

d) Progressive Wagers

For progressive wagers, you should always think back to whether you have won or lost your last bet(s). If you have recently lost a bet, double your wager for the next bet. You should keep doing so until you win the bet. If you have won a bet, stick to your last wager. For these 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 the above example, we initially made loss of 35 Euros from the first three bets, and then went on to a win of 40 Euros from the fourth bet. On balance, we made a profit of 5 Euros.

Many bettors begin progressive betting with a small betting amount, since it grows exponentially with each loss. If the odds are high enough, you might as well reduce the increase of said betting amount. In this case, you don’t double your betting amount after a lost bet, but increase it only by 25% or 50%. Alternatively, you can also double your budget only after two or three lost bets in a row. Both alternatives reduce your risk and therefore, the risk of loss.

 

Which Strategy is the Best?

There’s no clear answer to this. You might be able discover attractive bets with the help of research and our KickForm ValueBets Finder; however, 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, it can only take a few lost bets until the bettor has lost all their money. 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 shrinks at a slower rate.

Eventually, you need to decide what type of bettor you are. If you enjoy taking risks, you should go with dynamic wagers. If you would rather take a more cautious approach and try your luck for some time, flat wagers are better suited to you.

A professional risk management that enables you to protect your betting capital but doesn’t hinder you from making profits demands a combination of both strategies. For a proficient risk management you should, therefore, keep the following in mind:

 

V. Guidelines for a Professional Risk Management

1. Keep Multiple Betting Accounts!

To use flat wager with dynamic wagers effectively and profit from the advantages of both strategies, you should keep multiple betting accounts. That way you can test both strategies. Losses on one account may, when skilfully planned, be compensated through wins on the other account.

2. Adjust Your Wagers Flexibly!

You do not need an especially rigid Money Management strategy. 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 few wagers and use smaller amounts.

Another suggestion would be plan your strategy around your budget. Play with dynamic wagers until you fall under your starting budget and then play with flat wagers to break your free fall. Like this, you can prevent gambling away all your betting budget. If you end up above your former starting budget, you can then switch back to dynamic wagers again.

3. Let Your Bookmaker Set Limits!

Many bookmakers will allow you to set betting limits. The bookmaker then controls your planned wagers and protects you from suffering overly large losses.

4. Do Your Research!

If you want to place successful wagers consistently, it is important to do extensive research before each bet. Do not solely rely on luck or your gut instinct; be productive and look up as many relevant facts and data for each game as you can. Together with our scientifically sound KickForm Formula you can, in this way, create the best possible match forecast.

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