If we want to find guaranteed profitable sports bets then soccer is a great sports to start with.
Soccer matches are priced up by all the big bookmakers and some nice guaranteed profitable bets are available if you know when and where to look. Sports bookmakers never miss a trick when thinking up new ways to extract your money from you and there are many inventive bets on offer.
Soccer can in many ways be about timing. The earlier the price appears the more likely there will be a sure-bet or arbitrage opportunity (arb).
Bookmakers clearly do a lot of research as soccer has now become a big earner for them. They need to do this as they are only too aware that the serious punters are becoming much shrewder in this market and will exploit any snippets of news that could give them an edge. They advertise heavily in the tabloids.
Whereas in some minor sports there may be only one odds compiler working for the bookmaker soccer is too lucrative for this any many odds compilers will work feverishly setting prices for the big bookmakers. Any European bookmaker worth its salt will offer odds on soccer, its a high revenue turnover sport.
Such is their turnover on the ever increasing singapore pools soccer odds betting market that Ladbrokes and other such big bookmakers are willing to take a ‘big’ bet on the outcome of a match. This is clearly great news for the arb maker. This means that the maximum bets they will accept on a bet are a lot higher.
There are many types of soccer bets. Firstly there is the match winner. This is split into 3 results, win, lose or draw. Then there are the first goal scorer and the precise match score. The less obvious bets are half-time, full-time results, total corners, total throw-ins, total numbers of yellow and red cards and so on. In fact anything where odds can be set to will offer a betting opportunity.
So which are the best soccer bets to look for? Firstly forget about predicting the match score, there are too many outcomes. The first goal scorer is a waste of time too. Both these types of bets are heavily advertised but are for mug punters only, the odds consistently being offered are poor, the bookmakers regularly taking over 15% profit on the book. These bets have far too many possible outcomes. We are looking for bets with ideally 2 or 3 possible outcomes.
Other types of bet can throw up the odd arb but the main source of arbs is on the match result over 90 minutes. This is where we should concentrate most of our efforts. Clearly this falls into 3 results, win, lose or draw.
Here is an example:
Team A versus Team B.
Team A Draw Team B
Victor Chandler 11/10
The way to play the soccer market is to open accounts with European bookmakers as the difference in opinion between UK and European bookmakers is a good source of sure bets. They both have strong opinions on this sport. They will price up the sport in their own country and the matches in foreign countries. Anything to make a profit.
Italy, for example is even more soccer crazy than the UK, with newspapers dedicated to the sport. Everyone thinks they know best on this subject and egos get in the way of sensible pricing. This is great news for us. The European bookmakers can be opinionated and where as they may well have greater detailed knowledge of the comings and goings in their own countries they are relying on third parties to collate information on their foreign counterparts.
One good starting point is in midweek games between teams of different nationalities. There is a tendency in punters to get patriotic when it comes to events where the opposition are ‘foreign’. The chances of the home team get talked up and the odds could get skewed in their favour as the weight of money is overly wagered in their direction.
Having said that the big bookmakers offer an early price, they will often advertise it in the national papers and by and large stick to it. This means that a bench mark has been set and subsequent bookmakers may take a different opinion or try to tempt money in their direction by offering different odds. If this were to happen the arb may be available for a considerable amount of time.
There are always discrepancies in odds but clearly bookmakers tend to stick around the same price. They figure there is safety in numbers. But remember they are ‘guessing’ what the odds should be just like you and me. They are basing their opinion on past experience and they might utilise statistical formulae but they still need to form an opinion on the likely outcome.
They can get it wrong and other firms can take a totally different view of the outcome of a game. A totally different view will only result in a slight variation in the odds but this can be enough to offer a sure bet profit.
Another approach is to start with the more obscure games in eg. the Spanish, Italian or Norweigen lower divisions. They can have quite lucrative discrepancies. They will be covered by a number of different bookmakers all over Europe. This does however add a complication. Although quite easy for finding arbs, the mere fact that you concentrate on these obscure matches will throw up the possibility that you are going to get spotted by the bookmakers if you concentrate your action here.
Also they are going to be reluctant to accept high maximum bets on matches where they have done little research. On the other hand it is a training ground for arb spotting and may gain you valuable experience. You need to weigh up the pros and cons of this strategy.
This is a fairly obscure area of betting and if someone was to check your account over a number of months and found solely these obscure foreign matches on your account it could ring alarm bells. The motto here is to dilute the bets by betting on as many different type of sport and events as possible so that your accounts have varied bets on them. This shouldn’t be a problem as many different sports are great for sure bets.
The more prominent European ties will also produce arbs and they are less likely to attract attention to you and the maximum bets will be higher.
As before you cannot control whether the individual bets win or lose but soccer is a 3 way result and so 2 losing bets to one winning one can be useful on your account. The point here is that not many people are interested in the lower European divisions and it may become clear that the betting pattern is a little unusual. This is especially true if your bets towards the maximum permitted.
Injury news can be a lucrative area in soccer. Think about it. If a player fails a late fitness test on a Saturday and he is the teams star striker then this will greatly affect their chances. Recently Alan Shearer turned up to play a premiership game for Newcastle but was declared unfit to play at the last minute. Newcastle were soundly beaten. I am not saying this wouldn’t have happened, I don’t know. But the odds on the game clearly changed the minute this news broke.
Some bookmakers were alert to this and altered prices as the money poured in for the opposition. Some were slow to react or would not have reacted at all. Either way arbs were available. This type of last minute frantic activity is particularly keen on the betting exchanges like Betfair where you can act as the punter or the bookmaker (lay bets).
You can find injury news through one of the many soccer web sites. Alternatively satellite television channels always have comprehensive news coverage of all the games and are quick to offer any ‘off the press’ news. Slowly the bookmakers’ prices will all change, but not all at the same time, only one by one so creating sure bets.
In this scenario where prices are changing bet on the old price first. The new price is the one that wont change the old price is the one that is about to and so may be lost if you are not quick.
To re-emphasise, arb hunting can be all about timing. When the odds are first produced or have reason to change then the arbs are much more likely to appear.
Recently the English referees have become more lenient in the issuing of yellow cards. This had an effect on the prices for the total number of bookings in a game. Some of the bookmakers adjusted their prices accordingly and others did not. This will affect the bet ranges applied for total bookings.
Let’s look at the red and yellow card market. If you didn’t know the yellow and red cards bet is calculated as 10 points for a yellow card and 25 points for a red. A player can get a maximum of 35 points in a match (10 + 25).
The betting here is normally split into 3 ranges. Under 11 points at say odds of 100/30, 11 to 30 points, at 6/4 and over 30 points, the most likely outcome, at about 11/10. This doesn’t vary much unless there is a history of animosity between the teams in which case the odds are adjusted accordingly.
Here is an example:
Team A versus Team B – Total points for red and yellow cards during the match.
Less than 11 points 11 to 30 points Over 30 points
William Hill 6/4
Victor Chandler 11/10
Usually this type of bet will not figure strongly in your plans. Also it is unusual to find information being issued that will affect the total bookings bet. But a simple piece of news like the policy for issuing cards has just changed can affect prices and lead to one or more arb. The conclusion is not to expect too much sure betting activity from the issuing of red and yellow cards but it simple enough to check the odds.
Soccer and the English football league is the basis of a lot of arb opportunities. A Saturday morning is a very hectic time in the soccer season and if you only allocate 3 hours on each Saturday morning, up to half a dozen arbs could appear every week. Equally spending the same time researching prices when they are first issued earlier in the week can equally be rewarding. Have a game plan and concentrate on how you are going to organise your trading activity.
The obscure British matches are more likely to offer an arb than one of the premiership games. This is because there is less information available on team selection and injuries. Bookmakers will spend a lot of time gathering information on the likely result of the premiership games because they are high profile but are less likely to research the more minor games. They tend to try the ‘safety in numbers’ approach and all give a similar price for the games where they have little or no current information on the outcome.
This can lead to some more informed bookmakers, who have a stronger opinion, seeking out the money by offering differing prices. This inevitably leads to arbs appearing. Injury news is clearly a news event that will change a team’s chances, so keep informed of the injury news by looking at one of the many soccer websites that are running.