We are presenting an article that we consider sensational and that we found at the Goal.com website, written by experienced bettor David Mole!
- Be statistical and analytical
- Ability to detect value
- ‘Bravery’ is an attribute that good punters must perfect
- Ignore hunches and don’t allow indiscipline to put a dent in your profits
- Trust your instinct and have absolute conviction on your selections
Having worked in the industry for many years now, I have seen all kinds of betting strategies, nailed on favourites and huge wins (and huge losses of course!). I wanted to take this opportunity to explain the ‘Top Five Key Skills’ that a punter has to develop to take home a consistent profit from their betting activities.
You can follow these skills on a weekly basis. If you can understand all five then you have a far better chance of a profitable betting career than simply backing your hunches.
1 – Be Statistical and Analytical
One of the most important things you must do is to become analytical. You have to know and understand the statistics to have any chance of understanding the odds.
You should get used to crawling website after website on a weekly if not daily basis. You need to know a team’s form, their record home and away, how many goals they score, how they perform against teams from the top half of the table, who their main goal scorers are and who is out injured.
You should expect to spend a set amount of ‘research’ time before you place ANY bet. The exact amount of time will depend on the sites you use, your fast reading skills and your ability to absorb the information.
You need to look for patterns and statistical anomalies that allow you to bet with confidence.
For instance, how often Manchester United score late winners like Michael Owen (above) did against Manchester City last season must be borne in mind particularly if you are betting in-play.
Seeing a team win 1-0 six times from eight at home is not random and whilst looking for patterns on a roulette wheel is statistically foolish (where the ball landed on the previous spin has no impact whatsoever on the next spin), football offers reasons and variables which can give you an edge, even if they can never give you certainty.
The biggest winning punters (by which I mean they won a lot and often) I know will dedicate three or four hours every Friday to ‘research’ his bets for the weekend.
The more often you do your research the less you will ultimately have to do because you will just ‘know’ but if you want to bet on Serie B, then you have to know it inside out. Don’t forget the bookmakers have people who do this and the only way you can expect to beat them is to out-work them, doing more research than them.
Some recommended websites would be soccerway.com, imscouting.com, newsnow.co.uk (for latest news and injury updates) and it’s worth using bookmaker statistic websites as you can double your pleasure knowing that the bookmaker is paying for the stats and paying for you to out-do them. Remember though, they are relying on you to be lazy and glance at the stats to justify your naive bets or increasing your stakes.
So that’s number one, you should become good with the numbers, you have to become a statistician but remember if it works, then you are ultimately being paid to research football
If you have read this first step on how to become a statistical mastermind then you are well on your way to gaining the Top 5 Skills that are required to become a winning punter… or you are precisely 20% of the way if you implement those handy tips. Now, we will look at a key principle, and the second skill to becoming a top-class punter.
Having done your statistical analysis, you need to be able to spot value in the odds. It’s one thing to predict Manchester United to win their first home game against Newcastle, but at odds of less than 1.33 the value really isn’t there.
You need to find a way to match the stats work you have done to the odds. Only you will know best whether to develop a complicated Excel sheet to do this, or to rely on the natural instincts that a lot of the experienced gamblers that I know would claim to have.
An obvious example of value were the incredible odds of 20 that Titan Bet produced for Real Madrid to go unbeaten at home for the season. Looking at the true odds for this, perhaps only Barca will have a chance of coming away with the points from the Bernabeu this season. When that game comes in April, Barca will probably be somewhere around 1.50 to win the game.
Add to that, the fact that Real could have an off-day against any of their other competitors and the true odds could be somewhere around 9. When Titan went live with 20 it was obvious to me (and plenty of other readers) that there was real ‘value’ to be had.
That is the real difference between the true odds and the bookmaker’s offering. Now that’s an extreme example and you have to apply that to smaller differences between odds and the chance of your prediction happening.
Looking at match betting for the opening matches of the Premier League this weekend, the difference and value to be had are much slimmer than the Real Madrid example. I can understand why Manchester City have been backed for the game at White Hart Lane but a price of 3.0 doesn’t pose excellent value.
Unless you think the Citizens would win more than one of three encounters against Tottenham in similar circumstances to generate a profit. Tottenham seem appropriately priced at 2.5 and to me the value may lie in backing the draw at 3.4, with only one victory needed in three similar games to churn out a profit.
As someone suggested Blackpool is favourite both to go down and to finish rock bottom this season, so it may sound strange to be backing them in their opening encounter.
However, with promoted teams notoriously fast out the traps as the adrenaline of a Premier League campaign kicks in, there ‘could’ be value in a price of 4.6 away to a Wigan side who have failed to significantly strengthen this summer.
Aston Villa also appear attractive at 1.8 to better West Ham on the opening day, more so if rumours of player joy at manager O’Neill’s departure are to be believed.
To understand value, it may help to ask yourself this: “If I placed this bet 10 times, would I expect to be up or down?” This will tell you whether you are developing the bookmaker’s favourite characteristic of just hoping for that lucky winner (which never seems to arrive), or whether you have done your homework and you know exactly what profit you should be sitting on after 10 games played in the same circumstances.
So now that you understand your need to be statistical and you have developed a keen eye for value, we’ll move onto the next step.
For those of you that have followed the two previous articles on Value and Statistics well done and welcome back. For those of you that didn’t, you might want to read through the Value article to see that I was the only person in the country tipping Blackpool to start their campaign with a win! OK, so I didn’t predict a 4-0 thrashing but I wonder if a single person in the world backed that particular correct score?
The third skill of five, Bravery, is a tricky one to get across correctly and you will need to be a “tight rope walker” to ensure that you maintain the line between a brave bet (on a statistically likely outcome where value has been identified in the odds) … and just throwing your money away! If you need to remind yourself of the line, you just need to think like Mel Gibson only be sure to think “Braveheart” and not “Lethal Weapon”.
Bravery might sound like a strange inclusion in the Top Five list and you might ask “Why the hell is it above statistics in the list?” The answer is simple, when you find a good bet and you have completed your research and identified the best odds, you must be brave.
It is the gambler’s curse that when you lose, you are obviously upset and when you win, you are still upset because you wish you had bet more! And here is the key point, when you identify your bet or bets you have to be brave.
This way, the reason for including bravery is simple, even with the best statistical analysis, it really cannot pay off without the bravery to back your bets.
So, what is the difference between bravery and stupidity? Well the principle follows on from the previous tips and you will need to sensibly back your well researched bets to a high but repeatable stake.
Only you will know what that stake is but it has to be high enough to provide a return that will satisfy yourself and low enough so that if the bet does not win (and you have to know and understand that will happen sometimes), you could repeat the stake the following week.
I remember detailing a very simple betting strategy several years ago to oppose Watford in every game they played in the Premier League. I started using this strategy 13 games into the season and I could see just how much they were struggling in the big English league.
So, I went on to place one of the biggest bets I have ever placed, with the theory that I would repeat it each week whilst drawing a nice dividend. However, I went past bravery into stupidity and as it happens Watford beat Blackburn to leave me penniless on the first day.
I hadn’t accounted for losing my first bet and hadn’t placed a repeatable stake so I had to watch them play every game for the rest of the season knowing that I should have taken out a nice profit but I blew it all in the very first game. This was a harsh but important lesson on defining the line in the sand.
So, remember, you need to research your bets thoroughly and become one with the statistics and the form. You need to identify the best available odds and calculate if value is on offer from the bookmakers.
And then you need to be brave to place a sizeable and repeatable stake on the identified selection. Stick with this strategy and find out the remaining two skills that are required to become a successful punter.
Discipline is one of those things that sounds like it could suck the fun out of your weekend betting faster than one of those new Dyson hand dryers. How can you apply discipline to the life of risk taking? How can you be restrained when you want to experience the thrill of a winning bet? How can you hold yourself back when you can’t resist another punt?
Betting is about a lot more than money, it’s about experiencing a thrill, it’s about getting one over on those pesky bookmakers, about proving that you are right (that’s certainly my overriding driving force!).
But discipline is also important and could be the one key skill that separates professional winning gamblers from amateur punters.
Let me try and explain. I imagine by now you have read the first few articles with a nod of appreciation but perhaps a feeling of “I already do all that”. And in fact, most, or certainly a lot, of even keen amateur punters will research their bets and identify the best odds.
The main difference is whether you can resist backing a hunch. I have seen many punters in the past follow a pattern of researching their bets thoroughly and perhaps selecting 4 or 5 clever bets for the weekend.
And then proceeding to bet more than the combined stake on those selections on a ridiculous “Scorecast”, simply because they have a feeling!
You need to imagine a betting mentor standing over you as you add your selections to the bet slip. If there is a Mr Miyagi of the betting world, you need to imagine “Wax on, Wax off”!
The experienced gambler will track each bet they place and keep a record of their overriding profit margin and I would hazard a guess that anyone reading this not only doesn’t do that, but if they did, there would be a pattern of occasional large stakes but repeatedly remove their well-earned profits from their other more disciplined betting activities.
Another key discipline is fighting the tendency to back your own team. It’s that feeling that your team could win this weekend that is made up entirely of emotion and a hope that they win which can cause many a punter to lose their crust.
I have a strict rule of never betting on my own team, having found that hopes and wishes would affect the betting waters. Hearing stories of the Blackpool fans backing their team to win the Premier League at 10,000/1 makes me wish I had found them prior to placing their bet so that I could have set fire to their money and at least they would have got some warmth from their notes.
So, don’t let indiscipline undo all your hard work, don’t let a hunch or wish blow your profits out of the water and make sure you follow the key skills to becoming a successful punter and don’t slip into old habits.
So here we have it, the number one skill required to be a successful punter. You have no doubt trawled through the earlier episodes of statistical analysis, identifying value, bravery to back your bets and discipline to ensure you stay on the correct path to profit. What, I hear you ask, can be the last sting to the bow of the successful punter?
The answer is simple, ‘be single minded’ probably to the extent of bordering on Jose Mourinho levels of arrogance, you simply cannot afford to listen to all the opinions of everyone else out there. If you follow every tip that you are given, you will lose out overall and you must be prepared to make your own decisions.
The real skill is deciphering the important information from the wealth of dis-information that is available to punters today. You need to choose your sources very carefully, especially when you are doing your avid research as part of your statistical analysis from the first key skill.
You must be prepared to make decisions, to take a stance and back that up and to ignore what others may tell you or opinions that you see during your research.
Now I don’t mean close your mind and back your hunches, in fact that is the complete opposite to the skill I am describing. I am suggesting that you need to do your research, analyse the statistics and read the opinions but you need to develop your own.
If you follow everything you see and read you will end up backing the home team, the away team and the draw!
Trust yourself, know the work you have put in and don’t believe everything you read. Quite often, so called experts will put out opinions based on nothing but guess work and sometimes just old grudges, especially beware of this one with ex-pros.
“Talent at one third consists of instinct, by a third, from memory and one-third is from the will.” – Carlo Dossi
So, believe in the research you have done. As a punter, I find nothing sweeter than a winning bet but the most beautiful situation is a winning bet that goes against the norm, that proves you were right against the general consensus. Sweet!
Now I couldn’t include this as a key skill but the other factor that you have to consider when all is said and done is luck. Even the most well researched, best value, focused bettors require a dash of good fortune.
Anyone (at least in theory) should be able to maintain a small profit margin by following the rules but those who want to win big must find themselves on the right side of the lucky tree. I have seen many big winners in my time and each story contains a four-leaf clover along the way.
Look at the recent punter who scooped £500,000 when his two fivefold accumulator bets paid off. Many of his selections weren’t the favourites and while no doubt he did his homework a portion of lady luck was involved in helping him land the fortune.
Luck comes in many forms good and bad and we have all seen a dubious sending off in the first half, a free kick out of nowhere that gets deflected into the goal or an extra six minutes of injury time at the end of an otherwise predictable game (Michael Owen against City last year for example).
The key is to create your own luck, account for the fact that these things will happen and adjust your stakes accordingly. Look to profit from several games and don’t put all your eggs in one basket. Come up with a strategy and follow it for several weeks before you judge it on one result.
So, there you have it, five key skills and a dash of good fortune to end it all.
Source: David Mole at Goal