Betting Approach - What have you learned from betting on football over the years ?

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Betting Approach - What have you learned from betting onfootball over the years ?With Royal Ascot now finished and with the domestic football seasonnot starting until August, right now seems a very good time to takea break from focusing on

Betting Approach - What have you learned from betting on football over the years ?
Darren Brett Tipster Competition Manager

Horse Racing, greyhounds and snooker specialist with thirty years experience of writing about sport across multiple platforms. A QPR and Snooker fan

Betting Approach - What have you learned from betting on football over the years?

With Royal Ascot now finished and with the domestic football season not started  right now seems a very good time to take a break from focusing on betting directly and look at different aspects of punting, 


Hopefully, I can see how we do things, what we've learned, and what we do wrong.

I say 'we' because I'm most definitely a punter and have been for 20 years legally but admittedly a few more that were not legal, 

Don't blame me by the way, the bookies at Doncaster never asked me for my ID and happily took my money, and so did I in return.

Yes I'm a punter at heart and I've always been fascinated by how other punters approach their betting, 

What bets they do?

What markets do they bet on?

All with the hope and motivation of having an interesting discussion to learn from them and hopefully help others learn something as well.

I'm going to write a few blogs covering different elements of Betting Approach and Sensible Gambling starting with this one, where I'm going to look at what I and fellow punters have learned from betting on football over the years.

I will include excellent points raised by fellow OLBG members and other like-minded people.

You can also check out the huge range of OLBG betting school articles.

What have you learned from betting on football over the years ?

This is a great question and one that I could probably write a lengthy, detailed response to now, and then return to it in a few years time to repeat it all again.

My quick response is that I've never stopped learning since I first started betting on football, which is probably something like 12 years ago but I can't remember exactly, I've learned plenty and I know I'll learn more.

So to give my personal responses to the question, then I'm going to wind the clock back to when I started betting on football and see what I know now that I didn't know or understand then.


I've learned about all the different football betting markets

When I first started betting on football, I can quite clearly remember just doing very simple bets such as result based multiples, literally very simple accumulators from 4-folds up to say 7-folds, straight bets made up simply of backing teams to WIN or DRAW.

That's how it stayed for a while but then I started exploring what the bookmakers offered both in shop and on-line, 

I was very much like a kid in a sweetshop seeing all those jars full of different tempting sweets.

My equivalent of the sweets in the jars was that I came across the correct score markets, first goalscorer options and many more, 

I found looking at the on-line options to be incredible and fascinating, corners, cards, over 2.5 goals, today the list is almost endless and totally tempting.

This is also where I can definitely say, without shame, that I'm still learning about some of the markets out there, 

There are something like 200 markets on the big matches and that number will probably grow in the years to come.


Quite simply if there is a betting market that interests you but you are not sure how it works then ask, 

There will be somebody who knows, forums like OLBG will be full of members who know and can advise.

I've learned about the benefit of looking into statistics and trends

In my early years of punting on football, I will admit that I never once considered what impact previous, historical results could have on a particular fixture,

All I was concerned with my quite basic, almost gut instinct style beliefs that Team A will beat Team B or that it will be a Draw.

I wouldn't have known if Team A had beaten Team B for the last 5 years without conceding a goal,

I wouldn't have known if Teams A and B had shared 4 straight draws, 

It definitely and honestly came down to that team has better players, they are in form and they should win, or that will be a tight match and will be a draw.

I did follow football very closely, 

I was a former season ticket holder at Manchester United and watched other teams live as well

next level

I knew about the teams, players etc but I honestly did basically bet without any knowledge or understanding of statistics for probably the first 3 or 4 years of my time betting on football.

That all changed when I luckily got in contact with and since happily became good friends with Malcolm Boyle, 

He writes a daily placepot analysis on, he's had several books published on football statistics,

Indeed he's a genius with horse racing and football statistics, 

He knows betting, odds and markets inside out and basically done every job within the betting industry from bookmakers, odds compiler, author, and pundit.

Malcolm and I made contact via him working, we then worked together on for a few years with Malcolm producing incredible statistical work and myself writing match previews,

Ideed previews which now included me looking at Malcolm's brilliant statistics and I have to say it was eye opening.

I can't recall the exact statistics now but I do remember being amazed at how the statistics which Malcolm produced did most definitely help me repeatedly highlight winning betting opportunities and indeed value bets, 

That is why I now look at and consider statistics such as previous scorelines, goalscorers, goalscored etc when I'm doing my previews on football, or indeed horse racing for that matter.

Of course today there are loads of different websites covering hundreds of different football related statistics and information regarding previous results is far more easily available than it used to be, 

I do wish Malcolm's publishers had backed him to continue the Football Betting books he produced and which he kindly gave me the honour of inviting me to write a section in his book - "Premiership Betting Companion - 2009/10" - the book covered incredible details for all the Premier League teams at that time and it had everything I needed

Regarding statistics then I have of course also learned that no statistic is 100% bombproof and no statistic can point you to exactly what will happen, 

You must always remember that a statistic is a report on something that has happened, not something that definitely will happen, 

It is a guide figure to consider in your betting approach and help in your decision-making process.


Consider statistics if you don't already, again ask advice if you are not sure

Those two areas are without doubt the biggest things I've personally learned from football betting over the years and there is no doubt that they have a massive impact on what I do and the way I work now.

So they are my main things that I've learned, now I'm going to highlight the points kindly made to me via twitter @tbuckleythinks from fellow OLBG members and other football betting friends :

There is no such thing as a 'Banker'

That was the first response I got on Twitter from OLBG member Casino 55 and I think it's a great point to discuss because it applies to all betting.

The term 'Banker' is something we've all discussed as punters, all punters have at some point looked for that really solid one that simply can't fail, football team or horses, we've all done it and we've all certainly fallen into the 'banker' trap before.


I worked in bookmakers for 4 years and I saw it first hand

Literally hundreds of punters putting the same 1/6 shot in their accumulator, with them believing the odds made it the banker and impossible to lose, and then watch as the 1/6 shots fail - 

I actually witnessed a punter miss out on an incredible 12-fold for something like £20,000 because a team at 1/6 drew, just imagine that.

His exact words, well not exactly as I can't publish swear words, were "how can a 1/6 banker fail ?" -

The mentality is, and it is something we've all done, is that the 'banker' won't lose, it can't lose and it's won as soon as we include it in our bets.

Major European leagues profitable towards end of season

Stephen O'Connor sent this one to via twitter and I'd say this is something that I've noticed as well and sure other punters have 

A relegation-threatened side at big odds to beat a top 4 side and winning, his examples being Sunderland and Leicester City in the last 2 seasons.

I would also say that it's not just in the Premier League, 

There are examples with Juventus losing their long unbeaten run against a small team who were huge odds, others like PSG, PSV, Real Madrid and Barcelona dropping points and failing against teams who were huge odds to win or just draw.

Consider Betting Value/Look for the right odds

Andrew Jones kindly offered me this comment - "if you want to make a profit, you need to find value which inevitably means odds greater than even." 


 Now I know the terms 'value' and right odds are open to debate and mean different things to different people as some people can see value in 1/3 shots and others don't believe anything less than 6/1 is value,

It is about personal choice and interpretation for sure, but you cannot question the fact if you repeatedly bet at the wrong odds ie too short then you are highly unlikely to win, unless you somehow develop an almost perfect strike rate.

When I'm looking at football matches, I will certainly often feel that the DRAW option is a good value option, especially when both teams are evenly matched and evenly priced, 

Often the Draw is the biggest price of the 3 possible outcomes and for me that represents value as it's a bigger priced than I think it should be.

They are 5 valid points that fellow punters and I have learned about betting on football over the years, I'm sure everybody reading this will relate to them and hopefully it will help you in some way in the future.


 Feel free to add your own points via comments on here or to me on twitter @tbuckleythinks and also include @olbg so OLBG members can join in, just really interested in hearing what people think and see how we can all learn of each other.

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