The art of soccer betting: Devising a winning strategy and analyzing matches


By a long way, soccer is the most bet-on sport in all the world. This is due in no small part to its popularity as a global game – while other sports may be bigger in their home countries, soccer seems to transcend the borders of countries and continents. Even in the places where there isn’t a strong domestic game or a good national team, soccer has plenty of adherents; you’ll see Manchester United shirts in Mumbai and Barcelona fans in Beijing. And this goes a long way to explaining why so many people bet on the round-ball game.

It also neatly summarises why there are so many people who want to know how they can make better bets. A love of football doesn’t mean that you’re going to be successful betting on it. Indeed, many people would advise potential soccer bettors checking out for new betting sites to at least avoid betting on their favorite teams. It’s always important to keep a clear head when betting on sports, and that’s not easy when emotion is involved. Below, we’ll look at a few ways to ensure you’re making the smartest bets.

Know the best types of bet to make

There are more ways to bet on a soccer match than perhaps any other sport around. You can bet on the game winner, the first goalscorer, total goals in a game, whether there will be a penalty or a red card, and even on the number of corners there will be. A good rule of thumb is to avoid getting too deep into the weeds when choosing a type of bet. A penalty or a red card are generally rare events, and betting on them even when the two teams are fierce rivals is usually a waste of money. Stick primarily to predicting the winner, and the total goals, and your analysis will pay off more often. One other thing – a first goalscorer bet may seem attractive when there is a great striker playing, but in an open game anyone can score.

Do your analysis in the right areas

There is a saying that goes “there are lies, there are damned lies, and then there are statistics”. We may be hurriedly decontextualizing that quote, but when it comes to soccer, stats absolutely have their place. If you’re going to make a real go of betting on the sport, and want to have a strategy in place, you should always know as much as possible about stats for the games you’re betting on. This includes knowing a team’s recent form, how many goals they tend to score, and head-to-head records against other teams. You should also check out home and away records. Tipsters and sportsbooks can over-value home advantage, and if a team has a poor record on their home ground, it can work for you.

Don’t over-rely on historical data

By this we don’t mean statistics like the above. If you hear a stat like “Team A has beaten Team B the last four times they met”, you should make sure you’re paying attention to when those meetings were. If one or more of those meetings was over two years ago, the chances are a lot has changed, including team managers and players, and those players that are still around are, for better or worse, at least two years older. That can radically affect the way that they play. The two most important meetings between soccer clubs are the last one, and the next one.

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