If you are betting or trading a football match there are some important things you should always consider. Just like an investor will always research the company he is about to invest in you should research the event you are about to invest in and research it properly!
If you don’t research a football match before you commit any money to it you are nothing more then a “mug punter” and the type of person the bookies love!
So let’s say you have looked at the card for the upcoming matches and you have spotted what looks like some great odds to you. You don’t just go and lump on, you do some research first:
1) Team News
Pretty obvious this one but you will be surprised how many people just rely on hearsay when trying to work out what the team will be. Injuries can be pretty easily found out on several websites such as sportinglife, BBC or even the press conference the day before a match. There are some players who are actually key to their teams and you can be sure said team won’t perform the same without them. Recent examples can be Tevez for Man City and Fabregas for Arsenal. Those are top level examples however almost every team has a key man. If you have any doubts just wait till you see the teams announced before making your move
2) Recent form
Again this feels like a pretty obvious point but there is strong evidence to suggest that people still bet on teams based on their name and reputation. Thinking back to the 2009-2010 season it was clear to anyone that Liverpool were in poor form. However, the markets still priced them as favourites for the majority of their matches, clearly based on their previous history as one of the most successful clubs in the world! You should have a look at your teams previous 5-6 matches within that competition and if they are home or away too. Some teams can be great at home but poor away (e.g Fulham, Stoke).
3) Head to head history
There can be times when you want to lump on a team that is bang in form recently and they are going up against a team who isn’t in form. However, you should really have a look at previous matches they have played before deciding just how easy a game this will be for said team. For example, at the end of the 2009-2010 season the market had Man City as favourites (2.20) to beat Spurs in their famous champions league shoot out. However, a quick look at previous match ups between these teams will show you that Spurs have an exceptional record against City. Spurs did win that game 1-0 too! Also, its no secret that when you get a local derby being played the form book can be thrown out of the window too. Just think about Newcastle’s 5-1 demolition of Sunderland recently! It is simply one of those weird and unexplainable things about football that some teams just don’t like to play certain other teams.
It’s important to consider just how motivated a team will actually be to win a match. This is why betting on Cup competitions like Carling Cup is so often frowned upon by the professional gamblers as you simply don’t know how much a team really wants to win the match. It can happen in the premiership too as you might get a team near the end of the season who has no ambitions within the premiership but is on a strong cup run. Therefore, it’s not to be expected they will really give their all to win whichever match they are playing if they have an important match coming up. A good example of this in recent years was Liverpool who would constantly let the premiership take a back seat whilst chasing Champions League glory. Its often worth taking a look at a teams next match to give you an idea of just how hard they might be trying in the match you are about to put money on. A big match coming up might mean certain players will be saving themselves and taking their foot off the gas.
If you like to bet on the goals markets such as under and over 2.5 goals then considering the weather is really important too. Especially during winter when vast amounts of rain and snow can really affect the quality of the football on the pitch. It’s no secret that when it snows a lot teams find it harder to play and to find the back of the net!
If you can consider all these things then you will go a long way to gaining an edge on the market and making money long term. Just remember, if you aren’t sure about something then make it a no-bet! The main advantage we have over the bookies is that we can pick and choose when we get involved whilst they are obliged to price up every event.
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