As betting on football is one of the most popular gambling-related hobbies practically all over the world, one would think that it should be easy and straightforward. After all, it is all about predicting the correct outcome of the match, right?
Unfortunately, it is not that simple and while some bettors are highly successful, the majority of them never see a return on their investment. There are many factors that determine whether you will make a profit while betting on football, and there are many mistakes even pros make. In this post, you will find the most common mistakes every punter should avoid when betting on football.
Betting on your favorite team
Most beginner bettors, as well as many experienced ones, fall into the trap of betting on their favorite teams. It is human nature for fans to support their team but they should not let their emotions guide them when wagering their money. Another common mistake many punters repeatedly make over the years is betting on the most popular teams. There are two major issues with this logic.
First of all, your favorite team is not necessarily the best one in the league or championship it plays in. The team’s performance during the season may be good or bad, regardless of your preferences, and wagering on it may lead to huge financial losses. Second, betting on the most popular teams is, in fact, one of the strategies that will almost certainly ensure that you will never generate a large profit. The truth is that most people also bet on the same popular teams. This shortens the odds and as a result, the value of the bet is reduced significantly.
Not betting for value
This is probably the most common mistake in sports betting as many punters struggle to understand the concept of “value”. This is a fundamental idea in sports betting and it is about balancing between the risk and the potential reward. Being successful is not about predicting the most winners in the competition but rather, about finding the odds that are in your favor. This is, actually, the only way to make a profit when betting on football (or any other sport).
LCFC lift the Premier League Trophy after being priced at 2,000-1
Photo: Peter Woodentop CC BY-SA 2.0
In order to bet for value, you need to find a wager that is much likely to win than what is reflected in the odds. In order to identify them, however, you need to have a deeper understanding of the game, to follow closely the teams and leagues you are betting on, and to know the statistics, the latest changes and news, players’ injuries, etc. This will help you formulate your own opinion, your own expertise so that you can identify the value behind the odds. Once you do, you may start betting on the underdog much often than you have ever done before. If you do it correctly, value betting could prove to be highly profitable in the long run.
But punters should be prepared for one unpleasant truth – most odds have a negative value and it might be quite difficult to identify the best odds. The reason for this is simple and it is because bookmakers would try their best not to offer value in their wagers.
Ignoring the stats
Another important aspect of successful betting on football is to consider the statistics for each player and team – score history, total games won and lost, average shots per game, goal difference, and many more. Stats have always been important for punters but nowadays, every little detail is monitored, recorded, and categorized so football fans have access to a large amount of data.
Of course, there are always surprises – it is exactly that unpredictability that makes football appealing to so many people. Sometimes, a small team with no previous wins but with a lot of ambition can create a great furor by beating all the odds and succeeding. But these are the exceptions, while generally, the better team wins. Another thing to avoid is to never consider the favorite for a match the better team. Instead, use your knowledge and your judgment to assess the probability of each team winning.
Sticking to one sportsbook
Many football fans tend to remain loyal to just one of the many bookmakers but there is no perfect sportsbook. It is a common misconception many punters believe in – that the sportsbook they put their money in always offers the highest odds. This is hardly the case, unfortunately. And in order to make a profit, you should shop around for the best odds.
Sticking to just one sportsbook is a big mistake and your loyalty will not pay off. It is a much better idea to look for the optimal odds and lines. Of course, do not forget to look for value and trust your own opinion when assessing the odds.
Having poor management of your bankroll
Last, but not least, being unable to manage your bankroll may lead to unimaginable losses. There are several tips you need to stick to in order to avoid going bankrupt. The first one is to determine a betting budget and never go over it – or, in other words, never bet more than you can afford to lose. Of course, it is also essential to keep track of every bet – this may sound tedious, but every successful punter monitors closely all bets made, all wins and all losses.
Another sign of having a poor management of your bankroll is chasing your losses. This is a common mistake among gamblers and it is probably the worst one – many people believe they can win back the money they lost with just one more bet. But it never happens and eventually, your losses may become higher than you can afford. Instead, whenever you lose a bet, simply move on and forget about it.