by nasmac Caption: Manchester United’s Wayne Rooney
There might not be any certainties in life, but when it comes to betting on soccer you can get pretty close to perfection if you learn how to hedge your bets. Knowing the game well enough to understand the odds being presented to you by a betting exchange is a vital skill. However, once you’ve figured the perennial performers and eternal losers in soccer leagues you’re betting on, the process of picking a winner becomes a lot easier.
Of course, when it comes to soccer betting, the dynamics of a game are constantly changing and that means you need to stay on top of the numbers. Through a combination of general knowledge about the game and analysis of the hard facts (i.e. numerical data), you can improve your expected value (EV) enough that making a profit is easy.
It’s All About EV
In fact, improving your EV is the only thing you should be concerned about as a soccer gambler. Knowing that you’re able to make the best decisions in every situation is the sole aim for any professional gambler because they know that once they’ve made a +EV bet, the money will follow. While this doesn’t mean you’ll win every single soccer bet you place, it does mean you’ll make an overall profit if all your bets are +EV.
Thanks to the rise of modern betting apps and computer software, it’s now possible to make a guaranteed profit betting on soccer. By taking away the laborious task of running the numbers, crunching the data and coming to a conclusion, online betting apps have made it possible for punters to always make +EV bets.
One such method that’s become possible through a combination of betting exchanges and modern technology is “greening up“. Used to describe the process of simultaneously betting on both sides of a soccer fixture to ensure a profit, this technique has only really been possible in the last few years thanks to online sports betting exchanges such as betfair.
In a nutshell, greening up takes advantage of the movement of odds within a sports betting exchange. If you’re able to identify a team that you think will win a match and, importantly, one that’s odds won’t drift (get worse) then you’re able to “green up”. Basically, you want the odds to shorten for the team you’ve picked to win.
If this happens, then you can back the other side of the bet (lay against the team) and secure a guaranteed profit thanks to the difference in returns between the two bets. For example, let’s say you backed Manchester United at the start of the week to beat QPR on Saturday. Given that it’s a relatively early bet you managed to stake £10 at 4/1 (5.00) on United winning the game.
Using Numbers to Your Advantage
At this point you believe United’s odds will shorten, so you look to make a lay bet. However, you need to know how much you need to stake. When it comes to greening up, it’s good to back high and lay low. So let’s assume you want to lay at odds of 3/2 (2.50). To quickly work out how much you need to stake on your lay bet, you can simply take the return if your backed bet wins (in this case £50) and divide it by the lay odds. However, if this is too much like hard work then you can use an online calculator.
Plugging in these numbers, you’d need to place a lay bet of £28 in order to achieve an £18 profit on this bet. Sound too good to be true? Well, it isn’t. Although there may be some commission to pay on winning bets, it’s possible to use your knowledge of soccer, take some stats and crunch some numbers in order to lock up a profit regardless of how a team performs on the pitch.