How to Analyse Football Matches & Improve Your Betting Skills
Learn how to analyse football matches, seek value betting opportunities, and devise the best football betting strategy
I can give you the tools you need to learn how to improve your football betting skills. Sounds good?
Lucky for you, that's exactly what this guide will cover!
Betting Institute’s football betting tutorial intends to teach you how to devise a football betting strategy, seek value betting opportunities and shop around for the best odds. It is essentially a beginners guide, a ‘how to bet on football 101′, although it does include excellent betting advice that can prove to be useful regardless of your experience as a football bettor.
Being skilled in football betting relies mostly on a punter’s money management and value spotting ability. To spot value in football matches, you must have access to information and the ability to evaluate the data you have on hand correctly.
Assessing two opponents' performance potential can be tricky, so if you want to find out how to improve your football betting skills, make sure you integrate some of these critical aspects in your football betting match analysis before drawing any conclusions.
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Analysing Football Matches
Here we’ll talk a bit about the core elements that need to be part of any football betting strategy. Betting on football looking for a yield will require a lot of work, from collecting data and information to digesting it in order to discover football value betting tips.
Objective And Motivation
I can’t stress enough how important this is: get this right and the rest will be like baby puzzle bits falling into place. If you can find out what the clubs’ short and long term goals are, you’ve already got a decent platform to build on. We’re talking about fixture commitments.
Busy clubs will sacrifice some matches in favour of others every season, so if you find out this before the bookies do, you’re basically laughing. Leaving that aside, knowing each team's actual level of motivation to win, draw or lose a match can be crucial. Yes, you’ve heard well: some managers might ask their players not to lose by no more than two goals if they have a first-leg advantage of let’s say 4 goals; they will be happy to surrender to give some players a rest and to make sure nobody becomes exhausted or gets hurt.
Just think about it for a second; it happens all the time in FA Cup games involving English Premier League teams and of course, in other competitions involving famous football clubs, such as the Italian Serie A or even the mighty Champions League.
Remember always to check the upcoming fixtures of each club, not just their recent run of results.
Home & Away Behaviour
The ‘Home Advantage’ should not be taken for granted. Some teams play better away from home, and that can even vary from one competition to another. Also, teams might have completely different approaches depending on where they play. Spotting a solid away team before the bookies become aware of it can fill your pocket with cold hard cash.
Head To Heads
Past meetings can be deceitful when analysing football matches, and that’s because final scores can be deceiving, as much as stats can be. Of course, some teams have historically had problems playing others (or at specific grounds), but things change rapidly in football these days; a simple example would be PSG’s rise: in 2010 they finished 13th in Ligue 1, next season 4th and then they ended up league champions in 2012. And well all know what happened afterwards… Do you think their head to heads mattered at all?
Form And Morale
The form is definitely an essential factor in football betting analysis, but remember that form is subject to sudden changes when you expect the least. Most punters haven’t got a proper way of determining true form: they just look at a few numbers and conclude in just seconds. And this could be the reason why those who place highly popular football bets often end up losing.
Form stats can be misleading: team who scored the first goal, goals scored, possession, corners awarded, shots on target etc. so you ideally want to watch football matches or at least highlights of those matches. On top of that, investigate advanced stats and information to figure out form, like the number of shots sent by the team and the on-target/off-target ratio, fouls, goals from action/set-pieces, mistakes made by referees – like lucky/unlucky scored/cancelled goals – and so on.
A team can play very badly and still win 2-0, as much as it can play really well and lose 0-2. Another facet that needs looking into would be morale, which is not necessarily connected to the most recent four or five results. A squad with a poor form can have good morale as a result of:
- receiving overdue wage payments
- attending a wedding of one of the players or staff members
- being promised a huge bonus if they win the next match
- the manager being sacked
- an upset of their closest rivals etc.
That is why team news can have a pivotal role in deciding the football tips to wager on. You head to read football day in and day out. Whenever a team with a very poor streak suddenly wins the game investigate why that happened. Same goes for the teams in great form that lose unexpectedly. Ideally, you’ll learn from these experiences and become better at anticipating such scenarios in the future.
Most bettors misjudge injuries and suspensions. In fact, there are many football tips out there based solely on such information: ‘Falcao is missing, AS Monaco will surely lose’.
The truth is that some teams might even benefit from such scenarios, as their substitutes might be a lot more motivated to prove their worth to the team than those that are used to feature in the starting line-up. For example, Borussia Dortmund performed flawlessly in the 17/18 Bundesliga during the first 7 matchdays, winning 6 out of 7 fixtures, despite undergoing a nasty injury crisis – several key players were sidelined from a total of +11 injuries.
When you hear about an injury, don’t just think about the loss, but try to figure out how the replacement will perform. Generally, a squad with a good squad depth can overcome such trouble, so keep that in mind as the odds might be moving wrongly (because of what people bet) and you could benefit from that if you are above the crowd.
This is probably one of the most overlooked topics in football betting or sports betting in general. Before backing a favourite, ask yourself this question: “Could they do it on a cold rainy night in Stoke?” Leaving the jokes aside, take these elements into account when weighing options and try to investigate how well both teams could cope under such circumstances:
- Weather – Pay attention to humidity, altitude, pressure, not just temperature and precipitations.
- Pitch Condition – Will the match be played on grass or artificial turf? Is the pitch muddy, wet, sandy, frozen?
- Stadium & Fans – Is it a neutral stadium? Match behind closed gates? Does the home side have many hardcode fans – does this have a positive or negative impact?
- Time – Besides the eventual time zone difference, which is rarely a factor, observe how teams perform under daylight and night conditions.
- Referee – Scout for possible animosities by checking out the history of the reff concerning the two clubs. Find out if he is more lenient or rigorous on the pitch and then combine this information with either squad's aggressiveness to draw relevant conclusions.
Avoid betting on teams that usually perform very differently from a week to another. The standard variance when value betting is one thing, but if you choose to wager on unpredictable teams you’d better do it regularly to benefit from the unexpected results, otherwise just skip their matches.
Head coach or staff changes? Financial problems? Club takeover? Internal rivalries, fights, discipline issues etc. Keep every single aspect under your radar, even if this means monitoring various social media accounts, bloggers, news portals, and so on. Remember, if it were easy, everybody would do it!
Weaknesses & Strengths
Develop a football betting strategy to follow when you analyse each fixture. Take a sheet of paper and split it in half. On the left side, write each club's weaknesses and write their strengths on the right. You’ll see that everything is a lot easier to weigh when you have to put your thoughts on paper.
After reaching a fair amount of betting samples feel free to evaluate your performance and tweak the model until you’re on top of the game. Remember that the cornerstone of winning football bets is, of course, weighing everything accurately and staying away from fixtures that are too unpredictable from your point of view.
Don’t expect to win bets every time, instead focus on betting where the value is, as you will benefit from it in the long run. Of course, winning your bet is always nice, but take note that pro punters who wager on even odds generally win just about 50% of their bets.
Money Management Basics
You already know that money management is critical to success in sports betting – almost every betting guide says so – but still you might not be on the right track just yet. Don’t get lost in all the Martingale’s and Fibonacci’s, but rather stick to the flat staking method. This staking strategy falls into the advanced betting category (most pros use it). Yet, it’s very simple to work with: you select a percentage between 0.5% and 5% of your initial bankroll, and you calculate the amount chosen as your stake.
You’ll always use that same stake (with each straight bet you place, so say goodbye to football accumulators) until you deposit or withdraw funds. Of course, you can feel free to recalculate the flat stake at the end of a season or every 12 months if you consider it would be wise doing so.
The flat staking money management routine works pretty well with Asian handicapping and is one of the two most popular methods employed by professional punters, the other being Kelly Criterion. And the good news is that either can be used for betting on football, horse racing, tennis, basketball, cricket and even on the NFL Super Bowl.
Don’t get excited by betting winnings or losses and try to keep your head clear during good and bad streaks. Remember to bet on singles and try to cut the footy accas and other bet types as I said. Don’t get complacent and never chase losses. Set long-haul targets. Be patient: Good things come to those who wait!
Shop Around For The Best Odds
Every football tipster knows that winning your bets from time to time isn’t going to be enough to secure a profit at the end of the year. Football betting odds are significant for your betting success.
It doesn’t matter if you’re going for a straight bet, a double chance bet, a correct score bet or a handicap bet, if you want to wager on the English Premier League, Champions League, FA Cup or any other football competition, as long as you shop around to find the best offer. As you already know, betting lines are different with every bookmaker, so you must do your utmost to grab the best odds on the bet market.
It may not seem much at first, but if you do the betting calculations on a large sample of bets, you’ll see how many times bigger your bankroll would have been if you were picking the best betting odds offered by online sportsbooks. I recommend this bookie. If you want to learn more about odds, from decimal odds and fractional odds to the reasons why odds change, please give this resource a good read: betting odds explained.
Spot Value Bets
Don’t just bet on the favourites, but on the odds that are better than they should be. How can you achieve that? Well, there’s only one way: devise a model to evaluate estimated probabilities for football markets and tweak them regularly. Having programming skills can be useful but not anyhow mandatory.
Browse our betting guide, try to pick up some key indicators, and then focus on one of the most popular football bets, such as the Under/Over 2.5 goals or the 1X2 Moneyline. Commence by creating your own football odds and forget about copying other punter’s betting tips.
Learn how to calculate value bets, combine the stats with team news and start placing football bets only where you find value. You won’t become a successful football bettor overnight, but you will certainly have a platform to build on if you take the value betting path.