Beginner to Winner Guide
New to football betting or SeriousFootballBetting? We hope this will help. You’ll find advice here on what not to do as well.
1 Getting Real
As this is written in September 2018, the SeriousFootballBetting service is over 1,000 points up for the year and on course to beat its record year of 2016 when we were over 1,200 points to the good. Such numbers are exceptional for any betting service in any sport.
We have begun on an upbeat note because what follows now may sound pessimistic when it is meant to make you realistic. Bookmakers are the enemy and they should never be under-estimated. The profits of the bigger ones can nudge a £1 billion a year. They are brilliant at what they do. Their databases are astronomic, bulging with data about sport and the betting habits of their customers. Their marketing is magic. They are superb at enticing customers into striking bets they want their customers to do. Just remember that every single wonderful free or bonus offer they make has been financed by losing bets. If only bookies ran the NHS…
With football betting, they are fishing in the same pool of stats and info as we are, but they are using dragnets when we have single lines. But they do have weaknesses. Their biggest weakness is that they have to bet on everything because they are in competition with each other – thousands of matches every week and up to 400 markets on each game – they probably frame a million markets a week even before we take into account the flickering figures of betting in play. By contrast we can pick and choose. Some professional gamblers might have one bet every three months.
What you buy into at SeriousFootballBetting is a database on the matches we choose to bet on that goes back to 1987 and bespoke software that analyses this data in ways that bookies cannot. It is a database and software combo that has helped our main tipster win ten professional forecasting competitions.
2 Getting Started
Some professional gamblers have accounts with 40 or more bookies. The idea is to make sure that they always get the best price available for every bet they make. We search that out for every bet we recommend and the price is correct at the time our text is written although these days, prices move very quickly and so should you. We recommend you open accounts with these bookies because they feature most frequently here:
We try to keep things simple. We keep background stats in mind….
In English football, the home win is the most common result – typically it’s up at 44%, so the majority of our English bets are on home wins. But all that glitters is not gold: only 60% of teams 14-17 league places higher than their visitors win. And home wins priced at 4/6 or 8/11 can oblige only half the time.
We like double chance betting – ie backing a team to win or draw – because it is a way of betting on two horses in a three-horse race – home win, draw and away win are the only possible results. Such bets are a good way of opposing favourites that we feel may slip up.
In England, odds-on always are too frequently draws.
In Scottish lower divisions and Australian State football (a great favourite here) away wins are more frequent.
We are wary of any Cup ties because the relationship between form and results is more erratic. Most teams now rotate squads for Cup games.
We like competitive internationals and Aussie State soccer because the form-results bond is closer with those.
If a team we fancy is a short price we do not try to generate a fatter return by backing the side to win to nil or to be winning at both half time and full time. The prices in such markets are seldom value. That applies to Correct Score betting too.
Whereas linking two short-priced horses for a racing bet is bad practice, it is safer in football to back hotpots as doubles, not least because at weekends especially you can choose from hundreds of games.
Most of our singles are priced at 10/11 or more. The thinking is that with prices starting up at that, we only need a 50% strike rate to stay ahead of the game.
3 Getting Accas right
The majority of bets recommended here are singles, but over a year we would normally recommend around 100 accumulators or accas – that is bets on a string of games. Some pro punters sneer at accumulators because they feel adding extra games to a bet increases the risk too much. “There’s always one that lets you down” they say.
They are thinking of the type of acca that hundreds of thousands of punters do every week, or rather the accas that punters do every week – lumping together Manchester City, Liverpool, Chelsea, Celtic, Bayern Munich, Barcelona, Real Madrid , Juventus and any obvious hotpot playing at home. That is indeed the dumbest of bets which is guaranteed to lose over time. The bookies have seen you coming. They know some customers will always do this so the odds against these teams are vigorously trimmed so they are never good value.
Our accas almost never include such teams. Our accas are built out of teams which we feel are good value and if we are right in our assumptions, the bookie’s errors multiply through so, for example, an acca offered at 80/1 should only be 60/1 or maybe even 40/1.
In any case our accas are set up to win even if one or two and on occasion three teams let us down, because our accumulators are as much about the trebles within them as the overall accumulator. Typically at the weekend we will pick seven teams to win (or maybe five or six to win plus one or two to win or draw double chance) and perm any 3 and all 7 which equals 35 + 1 = 36 bets. We get at least five right (and thus land ten trebles) frequently enough to make this viable. The usual stake is 0.5 or 1 point per bet, so the total staked is around the same as that suggested here for one or two singles.
We use a points system for all our bets. This is because the amount you stake and any staking plan is entirely up to you. There will be members staking 10p a point (and thus £1.80 or £3.60 on our acca) while others stake £10 a point or even £100 a point. We are trying to cater for everyone and don’t mind what you stake. The only rule is never to stake more than you can afford to lose. It is always best to regard gambling as an expense. It is not a way to pay the bills – it may be an extra bill. Park it in your head under “Entertainment”. It is meant to be fun – but losing is not much fun at all, and we are working as hard as possible to help you avoid that.