Bet Selection Tips

Bet SelectionTips

All of the selection tips discussed here are general rules. There will occasionally be exceptions that crop up outside of these guidelines that will be worth following up. Common sense should always prevail over rules when making bet choices.

How to sort through the daily fixture list

There are hundreds of fixtures every day. Over the weekend, there can be over 1000 fixtures on each of Saturday and Sunday. It would take you most of the weekend to thoroughly research all of these. So, unless you have a team working for you, it is necessary to skip the majority of these fixtures, the ones you are never likely to bet on.

So, how do you know which fixtures to skip? I start by researching all of the fixtures in the premier divisions and perhaps the next level down of the bigger footballing nations that I am familiar with. On a winter or spring weekend day, I may have enough choices just from these. However, on a weekend in summer and a weekday at any time of year, there may not be enough choices. It is then that I will research the remainder of the fixtures, though as I am not as familiar with these leagues and teams I will generally only trust selections priced between odds of 1.2 and 2.0.

My advice to you is to research thoroughly the daily fixtures of the teams and leagues you know well, the ones that you already have enough information about inside your head to make a reasonable prediction about.

On some days when there is an abundance of fixtures, you may then have enough bets for that day. If you haven’t, then it is necessary to delve deeper into the remainder of the fixtures. For these less familiar leagues and fixtures, scroll through the bookmaker’s list and research games where the team expected to win is priced between 1.2 and 2.0.

Look for potential winners of games

Search for the potential winners of fixtures, either home or away, and assess how likely it is that they will win. Take into consideration the odds offered. Sometimes you may feel the bookmaker has priced a team too low or too high. The ideal candidates are the ones you feel are priced too high but don’t discard the others just because of the price.

Drawn games are much more difficult to predict and get right, though not impossible. If you find two teams or similar standing playing against each other and the fixture history features all or nearly all draws, then this game may be a contender for a draw bet.

You may find in your research a fixture that historically ends in only one of the two teams involved winning or a draw. In this case, consider a Double Chance bet. That is Home Win/Draw or Draw/Away Win, depending on whether the usual winners are playing home or away.

 A Draw No Bet option may also be worth considering here, especially if the Double Chance odds are very low. With the Double Chance you get paid the same winnings whether your selection wins or if the game ends in a draw. In the case of Draw No Bet, if your selection wins you receive your winnings; if the game ends in a draw, you get your stake money back.

Of course, the odds for either of these bet options compared to a straight Match Result bet will be much shorter, so you will have to judge whether it is worth placing or not.

You may find a fixture that has a history of consistently producing many goals or hardly any goals. In either of these cases, consider an Over/Under Total Goals bet. The benchmark for this type of bet is over or under 2.5 goals, but you will find cases where 1.5 or 3.5 is appropriate. 

Bear in mind also with this type of bet that teams near the top of the league generally are there because they score significantly more goals than they concede; the reverse is usually true of those teams near the bottom of the league.

TIP: The bookmaker will often display as a feature the level at which the odds for both over and under are closest to each other. Say the bookmaker sets this level as 2.5. To add a safety factor to your bet, select Over 1.5 Goals or Under 3.5 Goals, one down or one up depending on whether you were considering over or under this mark. It will be a drop in price, but you will be more likely to win.

There may be cases where a Combination Bet is appropriate. This type of bet can vary in its component parts but for our purposes, a Match Result + Over/Under Total Goals combination is recommended. This would consist of the expected winning team (or draw*) element, plus the over or under expected total goals element. This type of bet has the advantage of increasing the odds compared to a simple bet. Each bookmaker has their own name for this type of bet, such as “Bet Builder” or “Combo”  and also does not make the full range of options available for every match.

*I would be reluctant to include a draw in this type of bet. If you have found a possible draw match result, you will already be getting odds of around 3.0. Adding “Over 1.5 Goals” may well put the odds up to around 5.0, which is nice, but it also puts an extra risk on the bet.

In-Play Betting

99% of the time, we will place our bets in advance of the corresponding matches starting. Now and again, we may bet “in-play”. Bookmakers will offer in-play betting on selected games. If you are paying close attention to one such game, either actually attending it, watching it on a screen, listening to commentary, or following text commentary (these are in order of effectiveness and preference), you may get a strong sense of how the match is going to progress. This is when an in-play bet of some kind may be appropriate. I recommend only placing in-play bets if you are actually following the game closely.

In-play bets may and probably will go beyond those types described in the previous section. For example, next goalscorer, next team to score, red-card to be shown, and so on, may be considered. Keep a cool head and choose sensibly if opting to bet in-play. It can be easy to get carried away and effectively throw money away at the bookmaker.