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 soccer 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.