One of the key rules of betting on any sport is to ALWAYS pay attention to the basics. This is relevant for both beginners and those who have years of experience under their belts. Getting the simple things right never stops being important. The most successful bettors in the world will tell you that.
Of course, getting the simple things right is especially important when you first start learning about betting strategy. There’s no point in trying to run before you can walk. You have to begin with the basics and move on from there. That’s why the very first article in our soccer betting strategy guide is a collection of simple tips.
In the introduction to this guide, we spoke about the two main reasons why people bet on soccer. We explained how some people bet purely because they enjoy it, and some people bet because they’re trying to make money. Of course, some people bet for both these reasons. And even those who bet primarily for fun still prefer to make money if they can.
The beauty of the tips on this page is that they’re useful for everyone. It doesn’t matter what your reasons for betting on soccer are, or what you’re hoping to achieve. Nor does it matter how long you’ve been betting on soccer for. These tips WILL help you.
All the advice here is relatively easy to follow. It’s probably not going to turn you into a consistent winner straight away, but it will certainly put you on the road to success. If you are a beginner, then it will help you form good habits right from the start. And if you’ve been betting for a while, it might just help you to correct some mistakes you didn’t even know you were making. Some of this advice applies to sports betting in general, and some of it applies directly to soccer. It’s all relevant either way. Best of all, it’s presented in a way that should be very easy to understand.
Learn All About Soccer
Our first tip here is perhaps blindingly obvious. And it may not be important if you’re a big soccer fan. If that’s the case, you probably already know plenty about the sport, so feel free to disregard this tip if you want.
However, maybe you’re NOT much of a soccer fan. Perhaps you’re new to the sport, or just don’t know a great deal about it. In which case, you certainly shouldn’t disregard this tip. You can’t expect to get much out of betting on a sport that you’re not really familiar with.
The good news is that it’s not that hard to learn what you need to know. Soccer’s the most popular sport in the world, so there’s a huge amount of readily accessible information available. A simple Google search will prove this. There’s a ton of websites dedicated solely to the sport, and many others that cover it in detail too.
You don’t really need to look beyond our website though. We always make sure that everything we have to offer our readers is as comprehensive as it can be, so our soccer betting guide naturally includes a section all about the sport itself. Here’s an overview of what it includes, along with a link that will take you directly to it.
The History of Soccer
The Rules of Soccer
Soccer’s Governing Bodies
Major Soccer Clubs
Major Soccer Tournament’s & Leagues
Top Soccer Players & Managers
Understand the Concept of Value
We’ve just discussed how important it is to actually know something about soccer. It’s not enough by itself though. Many people who bet on soccer for fun are VERY knowledgeable, and yet they still lose money. This is usually because they’re not familiar with certain key aspects of sports betting.
Knowledge of a sport is undeniably useful when betting on it. It helps with assessing the possible outcomes of events and making predictions. But that knowledge is far more useful when it’s combined with a real understanding of some of the fundamental concepts of betting. There’s one particular concept that’s absolutely vital to understand:
Value is routinely ignored by recreational bettors, and that’s why so many of them lose money.
Ignoring value, or misunderstanding it, can be fatal to your chances of betting success. It really is that important. Successful betting isn’t as straightforward as trying to predict what will happen and then placing the appropriate wagers. You also have to analyze how much value a wager has to offer. This means comparing the likelihood of it winning with the odds available.
You should only ever place wagers that have what’s known as positive expected value. Positive expected value means that a wager should win in the long run, as its chances of winning are greater than the odds suggest. You could be forgiven for getting a little confused at this stage, but the concept of value isn’t nearly as complicated as it appears.
We won’t get into the detail of it here though, simply because we’ve covered it elsewhere on this site. There’s an article on probability and value in our beginner’s guide to sports betting. We’ve included it there because it’s relevant to betting on all sports, not just soccer. PLEASE take the time to read it. It will change the whole way you view betting, and improve your chances of success as result.
Soccer is a great sport to bet on for MANY reasons. One specific reason is the fact that there are so many betting opportunities. You’ll never be short of a chance to get some money down, as there are soccer matches being played virtually every day around the world.
Don’t feel like you have to bet on every game though.
Betting on lots of games is simply not the right approach to take. You’re never going to consistently make good decisions by betting that way. That’s why successful bettors are very selective. They don’t bet for the sake for it, but instead wait for the right opportunities. This is the approach you should try to follow. Be patient, and only bet when you’re confident that there’s a very good reason to do so.
You also need to be patient in a more general sense. If you’re learning soccer betting strategy with a view to ultimately making good money, you need to accept that it’s going to take time. You’re not going to find success overnight, however hard you try. So don’t try to rush things, and don’t get disheartened if you don’t get the results you want straightaway. Stay patient, keep learning and never stop trying to improve. Success will come eventually.
Don’t Blindly Follow the Crowd
This is one of the simplest tips on this entire page. It’s also a vital one to remember. There is absolutely no point in betting on results simply because that’s what the majority of people are betting on. This is flawed for two reasons.
The majority of bettors lose money.
When the majority of people bet on the same result, the odds go down.
These two reasons are actually intrinsically linked. Remember how we talked about value earlier? And how many bettors ignore it? This is particularly true when it comes to betting on big favorites in soccer games. The assumption that a lot of bettors make is that it’s right to bet on a big favorite simply because they’re so likely to win. That’s exactly what most recreational players do, and it’s exactly what drives down the odds: which would already be pretty low in the first place.
Most bettors don’t pay any attention to this fact though, and put their money on the favorite anyway. That’s why they lose money in the long run. They’ll probably win a good percentage of their wagers simply because the big favorites win so often. But only at low odds. And the payouts they get when they do win are unlikely to make up for the few occasions when a big favorite loses and they lose their stake. Obviously, an overall loss is inevitable.
So following the crowd really doesn’t work. All you’re doing is following people who are mostly losing, and taking poor odds in return. That’s clearly not a sensible strategy.
Please note that this doesn’t mean you should never bet on big favorites. You just need to apply another level or two of thinking. Check out the following article for more on this.
This might appear to be another tip that’s nothing short of completely obvious. But before you jump to that conclusion, ask yourself a question.
What DOES affect the outcome of soccer games?
What was your answer? The quality of the teams? The quality of the players? Both technically correct answers, but there are A LOT more factors to consider too. So if you didn’t answer this question by also mentioning all of them, then perhaps this tip isn’t as obvious as it seems.
That’s why we’ve written a detailed article explaining all the various factors you should consider when betting on soccer games. It includes some advice on how to assess each factor, and the likely impact that they’ll have. Here’s a link to the article, along with a list of some of the factors discussed.
This one probably is a somewhat obvious. It’s important though, which is why we’ve included it. The simple fact is that you’re very unlikely to make accurate predictions unless you keep up to date with the sport. Spending time on research is the ONLY way to do this effectively, so it’s basically an essential activity.
Please note that there’s no need to spend hours and hours on this. The more time you can dedicate the better, but even an hour or two each week will help. You just need to stay on top of things such as injuries, suspensions and current form. This will enable you to make properly informed judgements when betting on games.
If you can spare more time, then we recommend watching as many games as possible. Or at least highlights of games. This counts as research too, and it’s hardly an unpleasant task if you’re a soccer fan. It is a great help though, especially when it comes to analyzing the different teams and players you’re betting on.
One final point to make on the subject of research. A good time to carry out some really in-depth research and analysis is during the pre-season. It’s natural to forget all about soccer betting the moment the season ends, but this is a MISTAKE. You can give yourself a big advantage by spending this time wisely. Please see the following article for some additional advice on this, along with some other things to do during the pre-season.
In reality, this is an extension of the above tip. It’s a point that we want to make specifically though, because a lot of people fail to consider it. The tendency among soccer bettors is to judge a team based on their overall quality, without really getting into the detail. Although that’s somewhat understandable, there’s much to be gained from doing some further analysis.
Identifying where teams are strong, and where they are weak, is invaluable. It gives you far greater insight into how they’re likely to perform in any given situation. This insight can help with many aspects of your betting. When trying to pick the winner of individual games, for example, or trying to predict how many goals will be scored. It can help when betting in-play, or when trying to predict the winner of a league or cup competition.
Your ultimate goal should be to know as much as you possibly can about
each and every team in the competitions you’re betting on.
This obviously takes a lot of commitment, and may not be practical for those betting primarily for fun. But, as a minimum, you really should try to analyze the strengths and weaknesses of the relevant teams. That alone will help you a lot.
Consider Alternative Wagers
Many soccer bettors spend the majority of their time on trying to pick the winners of individual soccer games. This approach is just fine, but it’s not necessarily an optimal one. There are several alternative ways to bet on soccer, each of which is worthy of consideration. The best value is often found in wagers other than the winner of a game.
You may already be familiar with all the soccer betting options available. If you’re not, this is something you should look to correct. We can help, as we’ve written a comprehensive article that explains them all. Here’s a list of some examples, followed by a link to the article.
Most soccer bettors are also fans of the sport. They usually support at least one team, and being partisan is part of what makes following soccer so enjoyable. It’s what invokes the emotion and passion we see at soccer stadiums around the world. However, it does nothing to help when betting on the sport. Quite the opposite in fact. It can actually be quite harmful.
A bias towards certain teams can really cloud your judgement when making selections.
The ideal solution to this is to simply avoid wagering on anything that involves your preferred team(s) or their direct rivals. We know that a lot of people don’t like to do this though. So if you really must bet when you have some level of emotional involvement, please try to ignore the emotion as best you can. Try to make judgements based on rational and logical thinking, not on what you want to happen. Betting with your heart instead of your head can be costly.
Focus Your Attention
We mentioned earlier how many soccer games are played around the world, and how important it is to be selective when choosing which of those games to bet on. To expand on this a little further, it’s also advisable to narrow your focus in terms of which leagues and competitions you bet on. There are myriad of choices to consider, and each one has its own unique characteristics. They also offer certain advantages and disadvantages from a betting perspective. Please see the following page for more on this.
It’s important to understand that you need to know as much as possible about any league or competition that you choose to bet on. This makes it easier to make valid assessments and accurate predictions. It therefore makes a lot of sense to focus on a limited number of leagues and competitions. Ideally you want to become an expert on just one or two. It’s just not realistic to think you can do the necessary research for each and every one of them. Spreading your focus too thin is a sure path to failure.
Always Compare Available Odds
If you were buying a new TV, you’d probably shop around for the best price. This is simple common sense. We all want to get the best possible value for money when making a purchase. But do you apply the same principle when betting? Well, you SHOULD!
The odds available for any given wager can vary from one bookmaker or betting site to the next. Not usually by much, but by enough that it’s worth shopping around to get the best possible odds. Adding this simple step to the process every time you bet will maximize the potential payouts for each and every wager you place. Over the long run, this can have a very positive impact on your overall results
This is not really a strategic tip. But we’re going to finish with this piece of advice because it’s something we urge you to consider if you’re not already betting online. There are many advantages to placing soccer wagers over the internet, and it’s crazy to miss out on them. Online betting simply provides a much better overall experience. It can also help you to make more money.
Not only is it the easiest and most convenient option, the odds tend to be better too. There’s also a wider variety of wagers available, and a larger selection of bonuses and rewards to benefit from. Many betting sites regularly have special offers for soccer, such as enhanced multiples, money back offers and free bets. These can really help a bankroll prosper over time.
There’s one key point to remember here though. Not all betting sites are of the same standard, so which site you choose matters. It’s definitely worth spending some time checking out the various options. Alternatively, why not check out our recommendations?
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