You wake up one Sunday morning, decide to place a bet on the football matches that are about to take place and quickly add up the odds in your head. You have a 1/2 chance of winning £100 and a 2/5 chance of winning £10. You bet £110 on the team you favour, only to discover after the game has finished that you actually won £210! What just happened?
On the surface, it might appear that you’ve been lucky and that the bookmaker you used offered an excellent price for a winning bet. However, there is more to this story than you’d think. How did they arrive at that winning odds? How do you even go about placing a bet on a football team you’ve never heard of? These are all questions you’ll need to ask yourself before you place that next bet, because what you want to avoid is losing money by making a mistake like this.
Bets of This Kind
There is a range of bets you can make when betting on football matches, ranging from the really obvious (e.g. predicting the score) to the less obvious (e.g. laying heavy odds on a specific team or player). However, one of the more interesting types of bets you can make is on the outcome of a game, be it a match or a competition.
When you place a bet of this kind on a football team, the odds quoted by the bookmaker will generally be the line for that game at the time you placed your bet. However, they might also be a little higher or lower than the current odds, depending on whether or not there is a large amount of money already on the other side of the bet. When this is the case, bookmakers will often adjust the line to attract more or less customers (this is known as adjusting the line).
For example, say you’ve recently opened a betting account with Ladbrokes and you’ve just placed a bet on Liverpool to beat Manchester United in their upcoming match. The current odds for this game are even money, which means there’s an even chance of either team winning. Now, Liverpool are a popular team with a lot of support from the fans, so presumably, a lot of bookmakers’ customers are backing them. As a result, the odds for this game will most likely be higher than the normal odds for a match between these teams. So, while you were hoping for a United victory, instead you’ll be hoping for a Liverpool one.
What are the financial implications of this? Let’s say you’ve staked £100 on Liverpool and they win. You’ll now have to pay out £100 to the appropriate party, which in this case is likely to be Ladbrokes. However, if United win instead, you’ll have to pay out £110, plus the original £100 you originally staked, which means you’ll have to find a £10 win or £110 loss in your account. (Remember: losses must be covered by winnings or provided from other sources before you can withdraw funds, so if you’re betting with money you don’t actually have, you could run into difficulties. These are known as ‘fateful’ or ‘dangerous’ bets and are generally not suitable for new or inexperienced sports bettors.)
The Appeal Of This Kind Of Bet
On the surface, it might appear that betting on football teams is a foolproof plan. After all, you can’t possibly lose by picking a winning side, can you?
While it is true that you cannot lose by betting on a football team, this is probably not the case when you actually win the bet. In fact, this is when you’ll probably end up losing money, as you’ll have to spend more than you’ve gained from the bet to cover your losses. (This is known as a ‘negative’ or ‘reducing’ wager.)
On the subject of losing money, when you bet on a football team, you are essentially gambling on the result of an unpredictable event. Even if you do correctly identify the winning side, you might still lose due to the nature of the sport. For example, say you placed a £10 on Manchester United to win the Premier League last season and they did in fact win the league – in extraordinary circumstances like this, you’d win £10. However, throughout the season, United were never really in contention for the league title and at the end of the season, Liverpool won the league by a country mile. If you’d monitored the results throughout the season closely, you would have realised that Manchester United never had a chance of winning the league and you would never have risked £10 on them. (This is called ‘value betting’ and it’s a form of gambling that is highly discouraged by the sport’s governing bodies. However, online bookmakers often offer this as a way of generating an additional income stream, so make sure you are aware of the risks before you do so.)
In short, whenever you place a bet on a football team, you are essentially gambling on that team’s performance in a game. This makes it slightly more complicated than simply placing a bet on a horse in a horse race, because you have to consider both the game itself and the bookmakers’ odds for that game. As a result, it is essential you study the rules and regulations surrounding this particular type of bet before you place your first wager. However, once you are aware of the risks and you have a good idea on how things work, it’s not a difficult concept to understand.
An Opportunity To Make A Profit
On the subject of profits, you might be wondering whether or not there is any way you can make a profit from betting on football teams. You might also be thinking that it is unethical to place a bet with the intention of making a profit, because it is against the law to affect the outcome of a sporting event through gambling. (Pro-gamblers and professional sports bettors exploit these kinds of rules and regulations to the fullest, so make sure you are aware of the risks before you do so.)
While there is no way you can predict the outcome of a game just by observing the teams involved, this is certainly not the case when it comes to betting on a football team. With a little bit of research and due diligence, it is possible to find the current form and statistics for each team, which in turn makes it easier to predict their results. (Note: due diligence does not mean you have to blindly follow the opinions of other people, but it does mean you have to make your own independent research and come to your own conclusions.)
For example, if you search for Manchester United on Google, you’ll be presented with a variety of results. One of these results is the Wikipedia page for Manchester United. (You don’t need to go through all of these results to get to the Wikipedia page, but this is where you’d start if you wanted to dig deeper into the information about Manchester United.) If you click on this link, you’ll be taken to the Wikipedia entry for Manchester United. Below this, you will see a small box with blue text, which says ‘show details’ in it. Click on this and you’ll see a small grey box with the team’s logo in the top left-hand corner. The first thing you’ll want to do is look at the results in the table below the logo, which indicate the team’s recent matches and victories. (If there are no results, you’ll have to check back later or try another search engine.)
As you can see from this screenshot, Manchester United have won seven of their last eight games, which is a fantastic run of form and could be the key to them claiming the title this season. If you are confident that Manchester United are going to win this season’s Premier League, you could very well place a ‘pro-tip’ on them, which is information you don’t want to miss out on.
Similarly, if you click on Liverpool’s logo in the above image, you’ll be taken to the club’s official website. From here, you can check out the team’s latest news, manager’s quotes and the like. You can also click on the ‘line-ups’ tab at the top of the page to see a full roster of Liverpool players and staff. Just below this, you will see a box with the team’s logo in the top left-hand corner and the results of their last few games.
As you can see here, Liverpool have won three out of their last four games and are only a draw away from being crowned Premier League champions. This is a fantastic run of form for these guys and you might want to consider backing them to claim this year’s premier league title.