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How to beat the bookies football betting; a former bookmaker’s view

Discover three top tips from a former bookmaker, so you know how to beat the bookmakers football betting.



Published on
Updated on 05 October 2018
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Betting Tips for Today's Football

Find more value in your next football bet. You could gain a betting edge by checking out the tips and stats for today's and tomorrow's fixtures...


"Price is what you pay. Value is what you get." – Warren Buffet


Picture this.


If only life were so simple, we could sit on a remote white beach in the Philippines, drinking a glass of freshly squeezed mango juice. We would do nothing but sunbathe and listen to the waves as we relax in on our sun lounger.


Unfortunately, life is not so easy, so we worked with a former bookmaker that understands more about betting markets, bookmakers and betting exchanges than most of us punters.


Read on and see if you can improve your overall betting skills and understand the best approaches to get more bang for your betting buck.


Why use football betting to beat the bookmaker?



Football or soccer (depending on your location) is the most popular sport in the world and the fact that football betting is widely offered by all bookmakers makes it the perfect sport, which provides many opportunities.


If you’re more serious about your betting, check out the following reasons why you should concentrate on soccer betting and learn more about the overall process:


•    Derivative Markets
•    Data Availability
•    Translatability
•    Popularity in Exchanges


Reason No. 1: Lots of Derivative Markets



With football’s popularity, bookmakers usually offer several derivative markets that you can exploit.


For example, if a team has an unusually higher than average number of corners per game or maybe a referee provides more yellow cards and red cards in a match when compared to other referees. There could be possible betting markets for you to exploit.


Most major competitions usually have this type of betting markets. You rarely see these highly specific special bets in other sports.

What does this mean to you?

It simply means that there is the possibility to beat those bookies in more ways than one. It doesn’t mean that it is easy, but it means there are more options and more areas for you to gain more knowledge than other punters and bookmakers who concentrate on popular markets.


Reason No. 2: Data Availability



Again, with football being popular, data is everywhere!


While looking for data can be tiring and expensive, there are several avenues to get the best information.


You could hire someone across the Internet to scrape data for a small amount of money or you could check out our soccer statistics database or other sites, which provide accurate and up to date data.


You need more than the data, but you also need to make sense of the data and this is where you need to understand the importance of specific data for specific betting markets. Simply subscribe and get more betting information.

Reason No. 3: Translatability



Let’s say you are the type that would want to do all the hard number crunching. Once you finished creating a successful model, you can easily adapt that to different leagues around the world.


If you have data for a 4th tier football league in Brazil, you can use the same model you used in the Premier League with modifications related to the specifics of that league.


Just like in our soccer prediction models, you can view likely selections based on relatively less popular football leagues where value is sometimes hiding from the rest of the market.

Reason No. 4: Popularity in Exchanges



The popularity of football makes it easy to trade with bettors on betting exchanges. The option to place wagers using bookmakers or betting exchanges means that liquidity (or the amount of money available) across soccer betting markets is vast.


This make football a very liquid place to place your money and have confidence that the bookmakers will have the funds to return your money if you’re bet is successful.


Top 3 Soccer betting tips from a former bookmaker



"…I used to work as a bookmaker and trust me, we hate what you are trying to do. Now that I am finally free from that work, I will share a couple of points that you need to consider when trying to beat bookies…"


Tip No. 1: Know the bookies that you can actually beat



Here is the thing, you can’t beat all bookies


Yes, you read that right. Bookmakers are there to make money and if you try to constantly beat them, they will ban you.


"…Back when I was with a sports betting company, we have a department that specifically tracks winning bettors. So future winner, let me warn you--they will be watching you…"


I had my own share of this misfortune when I was banned by a sportsbook after winning several bets. And worst thing is they did not give me my winnings! So, beware of predatory bookmakers!


It depends on the company policy if they will ban you or limit your account.


What should we do to combat this issue?


The key is finding the right bookmaker partner. I said partner, because reliable bookmakers see sharp punters as a guiding stick.


Bookmakers do not always compile the right odds. So, whenever good bettors like you bet, they will try to correct their odds. They won’t necessarily ban you, but they will be watching you, so you get to keep your winnings long term and they get to adjust their odds.


Finding good reliable bookmakers would deserves a dedicated post article, but for now, just always check the reviews of your bookmakers and be careful where you place your money.


Multiple betting accounts


Another option would be to open a betting account with an Asian bookmaker. Asian bookmakers such as SBObet, Maxbet and 188bet rarely ban players. They operate on a high turnover model and do not care about winning players.


However, depending on where you live, this may not be an option for you.


Lastly, if you can’t beat the bookie, beat another player!


This is where betting exchanges come in to play.


A betting exchange is a platform for players to bet against other players. The good thing about this is that betting exchanges do not care if you win or not, they get a profit no matter what happens!


No more bans!


The only issue that you always need to find another player that is willing to take your bet. This means that not all bets will go through, as everyone may not accept your odds or want to take a risk betting against you.


You will need to have a counterpart that will accept your proposition. Fortunately, since we are dealing with football, it is highly likely that your bet will have a "match" as numerous bettors trade in these exchanges in a similar fashion to the stock market..


Tip No. 2: Know Expected Value by Heart



We have already previously wrote about expected value.


Why do I bring it up again (and why will I continue to bring it up in the future)? Because it is the ultimate key to beating the bookies.


Real long-term bettors focus on value and the expected value is a concrete mathematical value that independently quantifies value. Here is a quick recap of the expected value:


Expected Value = Chance of Winning x Profit - Chance of Losing x Loss


If you always bet on selections that will give you a positive expected value, you’re more likely to have long-term bankroll maintenance and bankroll growth.


However, this is not always easy. Bookmakers usually eat up a couple of percentages so the "profit" in that formula will be smaller.


Finding good value bets is the key. Again, you can easily do this by crunching your own numbers and formulas.


We will even be helping you with that as we believe in sharing our expertise to our readers! However, you can always subscribe, so you don’t have to do the matchs and stats yourself.

Tip No. 3: Be an expert in one league or market


Bookmakers do not always compile odds accurately


Bookmakers are not all-knowing beings that know everything about each of their hundreds of betting markets. They do not have a Vietnam V-League 2 (or other local league) expert that know the player transfers, usual type of play of teams or even the motivational factors.


This is where you can come in. Good bookmakers partner with sharp punters. Bookies don’t know everything about every league and whenever you bet on them, they correct their prices throughout the betting.


Therefore, mastering a smaller and uncommon league, where bookmakers are not concentrating their resources, means that you can obtain a good edge over the unprepared bookies.


More derivative betting markets


Another good field to be an expert are the derivative markets.


The betting markets with the most opportunity are less popular markets where odds calculations are likely to be inefficiently priced.


For instance, during big soccer events such as the World Cup or Premier League games, some bookmakers offer a "How long will the extra time be?" market.


How will bookmakers compile such odds? One way is to check historical data of each of the teams on how long their matches usually last and from there, create a prediction model.


However, what if it is not dependent on the teams but on the referee? The referee could genuinely affect the length of extra time and also the result.


You will have to statistically check for the correlation of referees and the length of the usual extra time and added time extensions.


Are there referees that usually extend games for more than four minutes?


Maybe next time a specific referee officiates a game, you might be able bet for Overs for him in that same market and possibly get some value in there somewhere. This is just one example of how you can create value bets.


Overall, it is highly possible to beat the bookies especially in football.


Football being the most popular sport in the world creates lot of opportunities for bettors to take out some good cash from bookies. Just remember to find a reliable bookie of your choice and remember that the key to beating the bookies is knowing the risks and the value of each bet.


Knowing some of these tips might make that original beach paradise dream a little closer.


Good Luck!




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