Too much choice on pre-match markets?
On any given weekend of football betting there will be literally 100s of football matches played across the world, with at least eight or 10 really tasty fixtures from the top European leagues alone.
Within each of those matches, there are sometimes more than 200 different betting markets to bet on with numerous selections on each of those, too.
You obviously can’t bet on all of them, so what do you do?
Pre-match football betting: Become a specialist in one or two leagues
Few people have the time to watch matches from across several leagues every weekend. Even fewer have the time to trawl through historical stats and recent stats or watch highlights of the week’s previous matches they might have missed. And even fewer people still have the time to be fully up to date with all the latest injury news, form of key players and injury news that will help them make their betting decisions.
You’re much better off specialising in just one or two different leagues for football betting. If it’s the Premier League you watch every weekend, then specialise on that. Your knowledge of the different players, the Manager, playing styles and formations of Premier League teams will give you an edge.
If you’re more of an expert on the domestic leagues of your own country, then focus on those.
Allsvenskan football betting markets work in exactly the same way as the more high-profile Premier League or Champions League and every Euro won on Allsvenskan is worth just as much as a Euro won on Serie A or La Liga. You can’t be an expert on every league but you can certainly be a fountain of knowledge on one or two. It’s a good starting point to find your betting niche.
Pre-match football betting: Find your favourite market
Similarly, you won’t be able to master every betting market. As stated above, there are 100s of betting markets to choose from so you’re best off finding one or two that you’re really good at.
The Match winner market is an obvious place to start but it’s not necessarily the easiest market to play. In a league like the Premier League, there are no easy games for anyone so consistently finding winners isn’t as easy as it sounds. Similarly, in La Liga it may seem like a good idea to always bet on Barcelona, Real Madrid or Atletico Madrid but because of their very high win rate, the odds on offer will normally be low so you’ll have to bet on them lots of times and watch them win most of them in order to make a profit on them.
If you like steady wins where you roughly double your money with each bet, it might be worth trying to become a football betting expert on the over/under 2.5 goals market. You don’t have to be 100% right in terms of how you think the match will be played out, you just have to be right in estimating whether it will have goals or not.
If you prefer big occasional wins rather than steady and frequent ones, consider markets like correct score or first goalscorer where the odds are much higher each time you win.
Think about your own personality as a gambler and your long-term strategy before choosing which betting markets work best for you.
Pre-match betting tips
The more knowledge, the more insight
The very best football gamblers don’t just rely on one type of information before placing their bets. For example, let’s say you’re looking at the match winner market for Manchester United v Chelsea. Historical stats such as the head-to-head record between the two teams, the home and away records of each team that season and the record of the two Managers is an excellent starting point. You’d be amazed how often teams perform to the standard that historical stats suggest they will.
But they’re not the only factor. Is one of the two teams tired from a midweek Champions League game in Russia while the other got to rest in midweek? Is that particular Premier League match a priority for Manchester United or do they have a big Europa League game coming up? What’s the team news (see below)?
What are the morale and motivation factors like? Is one of the teams high on confidence after excellent recent results while the other is demoralised after losing their last two?
The more factors you consider, the clearer a picture you’ll have about the best bet to place.
Starting line-ups vital
Teams must announce their starting line-ups an hour before kick-off. It could pay to wait until you know them before deciding on your pre-match bets. It’s not unusual for a side to rest key players in the league if they have a big midweek game in Europe coming up so they stay fresh. Would you want to be betting on Manchester United at 2.2 against Chelsea if you knew Lukaku, Pogba, De Gea, Sanchez, Bailly and Martial were all starting on the bench?
The pre-match odds rarely change that much based on team news because the odds are based on long-term stats so take advantage of the fact you know what the respective starting line-ups are.