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The best way to bet on football accumulators to beat the bookies
Find the best way to bet on soccer accas and learn how to use information to discover how bookmaker odds are not always what they seem.
Published on 08 July 2018
Updated on 08 July 2018
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The best way to place bets on accumulators is to treat each individual selection within your accumulator like a single bet and research each bet from your preferred sources. A source could be anything from historical data, iwinsoccerbets Soccer Statistics Database, trusted footy tipster or other online app based resource; giving you realistic data and information.
What do the stats say about your bet?
Once you’re conducted some research, you will have a better idea about the match and the likely results. This should be enough to draw you into several possible selections that could be used within any multiple or accumulator bet.
Ensure you’re looking at a probability above 50%
How can you be so sure of the probability? You can use two main methods to work out the probability of each event:
1. Use the bookmaker odds to suggest the perceived probability of the event
2. Use the match profile within iwinsoccerbets to provide the historical probability of the event
You’ll need to look over the maths within the following section, but don’t worry, we’re not talking about rocket science, but the stuff we should have all been taught in school, so please read on.
Let’s review each of the options in turn and see how we go:
1. Use bookmaker odds to create perceived probability
Bookmakers use a variety of metrics to create odds. They will look at a combination of the historical data, recent trends and historical based statistics, alongside other bookmaker data, such as money wagered on each side of the bet, ongoing promotions and profit margins required across their betting portfolio. This is sometimes known as juice, vigorish or vig in some professional gambling circles.
What is the vig and how can it be calculated?
The vig/vigorish (or sometimes juice) is calculated by taking the different odds within each side of the bet. Using this information will help you to work out how the bookmaker has set the odds, which provides the sports betting public with the perceived odds for each sporting event. This means the bookmaker’s odds are not entirely based on the statistical likelihood of the event occurring, but based on a combination of factors that all provide a slightly inaccurate forecast of the event.
So, if we look at an example of 1X2 odds within the English Premier League (EPL).
Let’s take Arsene Wegner’s last home game in charge or Arsenal against Burnley on 6th May 2018 during the 2017/2018 season. We’ll use some quick calculations to work out the perceived probability based on the odds of the day. Arsene Wegner received a good send off with a 5-nil home victory, but what did the betting odds suggest on the day of the game?
Arsenal Home Win Odds @ 1.42
1 / 1.42 = 0.704
0.704 x 100 = approx. 70%
Draw Odds @ 5.00
1 / 5.00 = 0.2
0.2 x 100 = 20%
Burnley Away Win Odds @ 7.92
1 / 7.92 = 0.126
0.126 x 100 = approx. 13%
Now, we have the information above we can look at the suggested Expected Value. This is only suggested and not the real Expected Value because bookmakers change the odds, so the combined percentage is above 100% due to the bookmaker retaining profit (or vig) on each selection.
What is Expected Value?
If you imagine you’re back at school and you’re playing a game of hide and seek with your friends. You’re told that you have 100 chances to find your hiding friends, but you must start the game blindfolded and you’re not permitted to look at your friends while they run and hide.
Now, this is where things start to get interesting...
Would you feel more confident of finding your friends, if you were given 100 attempts to find them with some clues? Or would you feel more confident if you were not given a clue and you were only given 1 attempt to find them.
Now, that’s the interesting thing with football betting. You can use Expected Value to make your betting selections easier. The rating for each individual match for any betting market means that you can have a measure to explain how much you could…expect…to win from a selection over the long-term based on the likelihood of the desired outcome.
What does this mean for Arsene Wegner’s last home game at Arsenal?
We could calculate how much we would win and lose over the long-term based on the probabilities above. This is where it gets a little tricky, but stay with me!
Arsenal Home Win
A 70% probability means there is a 30% it will not occur
70% - 30% = 40%
40% x £10 stake = £4.00 EV positive
A 20% probability means there is an 80% it will not occur
20% - 80% = -60%
-60% x £10 = -£6.00 EV negative
Burnley Away Win
A 13% probability means there is a 87% it will not occur
13% - 87% = -74%
-74% x £10 = -£7.40 EV negative
Therefore, the Arsenal Home Win selection is the only selection where the Expected Value is above zero. This means that if the bookmaker odds are accurate, it only makes sense for you to bet on this specific selection over the long-term. As the other selections all signify that the bookmaker will take your money over the long-term.
Is there a way around this quirk of mathematics?
Yes. You could use different bookmakers to reduce your risk. You could improve your winning probabilities by placing bets with different bookmakers, so you can be a little more confident that you will produce a positive return after a certain number of bets.
Expected Value can show you the way to profits
The statistical probability or historical accuracy that a selection is likely to win is only part of the puzzle. You also need to relate this probability to the real world and theorise what this would return, based on your stake, your probability and your bookmaker’s odds.
I would go so far, as to suggest, that Expected Value should be the single most important aspect of your bets and define your entire selection process.
Proportion of stake calculated by the perceived probability
Now, you’ve read the Suggested Expected Value theory and you understand how this approach may benefit you. It’s time to add a little more information by changing how much you bet based on the Expected Value, so if the expected value for against a unit stake (i.e. £1, $1 EUR 1) is large, this means that the stake should be proportional to that bet, but within the boundary of your bankroll management rules.
So, if we go back to our Arsenal Home match, we can see that the suggested Expected Value of +£4.00 (based on a £10 stake) translates to a +£0.40 Expected Value with a unit stake. Therefore, your stake could be multiplied by the +£0.40 Expected Value, which would proportionally reduce your risk to your bank roll.
If you tried this with an acca. You could have a range of selections with various positive Expected Values and this would translate to a single multiplier for your bankroll.
For example, if you planned to place an accumulator on 3 selections, where each of the selections translated to the Expected Values, below:
+£0.5, +£0.7, +£1.0
This means that the final Expected Value would be 0.5 x 0.7 x 1.0 = +£0.35 EV
Therefore, your bankroll stake should be reduced by 0.35 or 35% therefore minimising your risk even further and ensuring you respect acca bets as an extreme risk, which should only be used as a fun and recreational activity.
Now, you should be able to review ANY bookmaker selection and understand what this should mean for your stake and if you should place a bet. You should also understand the best way to bet on football accumulators and have another method to beat the bookies!
Tags: betting strategy
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