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Football Betting for Beginners: 5 mistakes to avoid

Football Betting for Beginners: We've got five tips to help you become profitable this season
Football Betting for Beginners: We've got five tips to help you become profitable this season

Betting can be a game of narrow margins and at times can be an uphill struggle for the punter. We all have our personal preferences when it comes to how and what we like to bet on. Ultimately though, we all have one common goal, and that’s to make some profit.

I’ve put together a few of the most common mistakes that people tend to make when betting. Whether you have been gambling for a week or ten years, we all make mistakes, so hopefully these can help improve your betting traits and set you on the road to profitability.

1. Using one bookmaker

One of the most important factors when sports betting is taking the best price (odds) available. Too many punters out there use just one bookmaker, simply because they find it the easiest to use. There can be a real variance at times in how different bookmakers price up different betting selections. 

For example, William Hill may have priced Manchester United to win at 5/6, meaning if you bet £100 on them to win, your total potential return would be £183.33. However, Paddy Power have Manchester United to win priced at 11/10, meaning if you bet £100 on them to win, your total potential return would be £210, 

Over the long-term it’s paramount to your profits to take the best price that is available out there. Doing a little bit of shopping around before taking a price can pay dividends. Getting into the habit of checking where your selection is the biggest price before placing your bet is essential and gives you much more chance of being a profitable punter. 

Football Betting Tips

 2. Just betting on accumulators

There’s no denying that there’s a thrill that comes with putting a potentially life-changing accumulator on the football with a list of teams as long as your arm. The ability to stack up selections to create a bet that could return thousands off a relatively small stake has long been popular with punters. This though is one of the biggest earners for the bookmakers.

When setting the odds that are offered to the betting public, bookmakers also take a margin. These margins are then multiplied when you add numerous selections into an accumulator, thus stacking the odds against yourself and moving the odds further away from the true price of your selections.

The way punters can create long odds accumulators has evolved over the years with the ability to create a Same Game Multi or ‘bet builder’ being the latest trend. By combining selections on the same game such as a player to have a shot on target and a player to be carded, punters can replicate that accumulator feeling that was previously only possible through the 3pm Saturday kick-offs. My advice would be to keep your selections to a minimum, the more you include, the more chance of things going wrong. 

3. Chasing losses

Discipline is one of the most important parts of betting. It should always be fun,enjoyable and hopefully make you a few quid here and there. Without discipline, betting can be incredibly dangerous. Over my ten years punting I like to think I’ve seen plenty of things go against me, from red cards and last minute penalties, to teams conceding three goals in the last six minutes. What I have learnt is that nothing is a certainty and expect the unexpected.

If something does go against you, the worst thing you can possibly do, is to start chasing your losses. By placing bigger bets, you would not normally place, in the hope of recouping your losses, you can dig yourself into a bigger hole. Other opportunities will always be on the horizon and with the football schedule the way it is, in a Covid-19 riddled world, the games will be coming thick and fast. 

Setting yourself a deposit limit or using the various tools available from the bookmakers is one way of ensuring that you cannot chase losses. My advice here would be to set yourself deposit limits if you do feel you have the tendency to chase your losses. Do what you find comfortable and be disciplined with yourself about how much you are willing to wage, there are a lot more important things in life than gambling.

Premier League Top Scorer Odds

4. Betting on everything

Sports betting is absolutely everywhere. It’s on the TV adverts, it’s on football shirts, it’s on billboards, it’s in your emails, and I’ve even seen gambling content appear on dating apps through sponsored posts. The way the bookmakers market their products has evolved, and just like Covid-19 it’s something that is in your face everywhere you look. This however does not mean you need to be betting 365 days of the year.

The range of sporting events that punters can place wagers on continues to grow. From Fourth-Division Angolan football to Russian table tennis, you can have a bet on anything nowadays. You should never have a bet just because you feel like it,.Try to have an angle into your bet, why do you think that will happen? Is there something you know the bookmakers don’t. Do the stats not correlate to the price that is being offered?

By doing more research and finding a potential edge into why your selection will win, you are giving yourself a much better chance at being profitable over the long term. Again if you do feel you have a problem and are finding yourself gambling on too many events, give yourself a break and use the tools provided from the bookmaker to temporarily suspend your account. 

5. Not keeping track of your betting

It’s never been easier to place bets on the football but you should always be aware of how much you are staking. Most bookmakers now allow you to view your recent betting history for the last six months. This can show you how much you have staked in that period and how much you have won or lost. It’s also a way of seeing if your strategy towards betting is actually working and a way of seeing potential trends in your results.

If you are more of a serious gambler I’d recommend keeping track of your betting portfolio through spreadsheets. This allows you to see if your staking is something you are comfortable with and if your strategy towards your wagers needs tweaking. 

Keeping a betting bank is also a really good idea for those gambling on a regular basis. I find this allows me to cope with losing runs as the money is set aside from my regular bank account. It also takes a lot of the stress out of depositing regularly, as nobody wants to see a bank statement full of outgoing transactions to bookmakers. Keep track of your betting bank through your spreadsheet and you will have a much better understanding of how you are performing.

I understand that we are all varied types of punters, from the spreadsheet virgins, to the £1 life-changers, we all take different things from game. The most important thing though is doing what you are comfortable with. Be logical and be realistic, there’s a reason that the big firms turnover billions every year.

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