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How to beat the bookies – football tips you can’t afford to miss

Applying a few simple rules and guidelines to some insider knowledge can shift the odds in your favour when betting on football. Take a look at our guide.

Broadcasting legend Danny Baker always says that there’s a simple test that tells the tale of bookmaker’s successes: compare the queues for paying out to those paying in. But there are ways to succeed which you may not have considered.

For example, in some situations placing a bet late or in-play at a site such as Vernons may be beneficial, as you can check teams and formations  – anyone who bet on Jose Mourinho’s Chelsea to beat a struggling Manchester United at Old Trafford last season must have sighed when they saw a formation that boasted no recognised strikers.

The true betting fan might have multiple accounts and will want to compare odds across various sites. Websites also exist where you can see odds and a ‘rating’ as to how good those odds appear according to betting experts. A three star or tick rating is a good value bet, from people in the know.

There may be no point in betting on England, Germany, Spain et al to beat a team like Luxembourg or San Marino at home. Most fans won’t be interested in betting on the game, knowing that any one of a multitude of players could score first or last as the giants tally up a big score. Bookmakers know this, so they’ll offer extra money-back incentives if a certain player scores etc.

In tighter games, always consider the number of goals in total that might be scored. Bets such as ‘Both teams to score’ (or not), or below or above a certain value, might be much easier to pick than a correct score line or either team to win. Always take a look at specials and offers; some bookmakers will pay back your stake on accumulators if only one result fails, or might put forward better odds for a specific combination of results such as ‘Bayern, Barcelona and Juventus’ to win tonight.

If you’re putting a small amount on an accumulator that will offer big profits (and therefore will likely lose), why not also put on another separate bet that covers the loss? For example, let’s say you’ve bet £3 on a 7-fold accumulator that will pay out in the hundreds. You also place another bet on a single result – for example Chelsea to beat Burnley – which will win you exactly £3. Therefore you ‘should’ end up losing no money, although there are no guarantees, even if the acca fails.

You should know your own team better than bookies know them, and if you can distance yourself from emotion and loyalty then one can really profit. For example, this writer always bets on returning teams to score any time against his team (Coventry) when they return with another club, or on players who always seem to score against his club.  No doubt similar examples exist for other clubs (notably Frank Lampard scoring against Chelsea earlier this season, although he may return to the US soon according to the New York Times).

Similarly there may be a player or manager that you just can’t stand, but who will make you money – take a look at Fabio Capello’s record in international qualifying matches, for example.

Finally, know the little idiosyncrasies of the betting world. For example, you may be tempted to bet on a 0-0 scoreline when two dour sides line up. Don’t – instead plump for ‘no goalscorer’, which will also pay out if the only goals scored are own goals. For a full explanation of online betting terminology try this A – Z guide from OLBG Sports Betting Tips.

Applying a few simple rules and guidelines to some insider knowledge can give you a good start in your betting processes. It all boils down to luck – but you can shift the odds in your favour.

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