CORRECT SCORE BETTING
This bet is generally considered a "mugs game" by serious punters.
There are so many options available that there are always tasty looking prices - the lowest price is usually at 6.00 or 6.50 - but because of the "look good" the bookie actually takes a bigger profit margin (or "juice") on these bets.
A TEST - The prices look good - but they are not. Here is an example.
Let's say that you think a game will be a tight, low scoring game. It will have three goals or less in it - without looking at the answer below - how many different scoring combinations do you think there are for a game with 3 or less goals?
The answer is 10 results. Do you still think that a price of 6.00 looks good?
0-0, 0-1, 0-2, 0-3, 1-0, 1-1, 1-2, 2-0, 2-1, 3-0
Modern football, however, consistantly throws up one option. If you can find a team that is rock-solid at the back and does just enough to win (Chelsea, Juventus, AC Milan come to mind) then the 1-0 option does offer some value if the price is right.
e.g Betting on Chelsea to win at home at prices of 1.25 - 1.30 in 2004-05 would have lost you money returning around Ł182 from Ł190 staked for 19 X Ł10 bets.
But betting on a 1-0 result would have paid off. Chelsea won 6 games 1-0 at Stamford Bridge last season - so 19 x Ł10 bets would have returned around Ł360 for your Ł190 investment.
Similarly - Juventus won 5 of 6 of their group games in the Champions League by a 1-0 scoreline - the other was draw 1-1 when Juventus conceded a penalty.
Of course it's easy to be wise after the event - and these examples are statistical freaks - but if you look closely - then you may find a hole in the odds - until the bookie start losing money.
I do, however, sometimes like the SCORE ANYTIME punt when the circumstances are right.
Sure the odds are a little less - but the "value" can be there if you do your homework - and as long as he stays on the pitch then your target player can earn you a winning bet for the full 90 minutes - even if his side is a couple of goals down. That has some appeal.
Usually top ranked strikers for big clubs are not worth taking, but there are sometimes a few holes in the prices. You should look for :
· Players who take set pieces, especially penalties
· Players from smaller clubs, especially at home
· Games where goal scoring is likely to be higher
A prime example was Crystal Palace's Andy Johnson with 21 goals last season, including 11 from the spot. Portsmouth's Ayegbeni was another with 13 goals (4 pens) and nearly all of them at home.
HALF TIME / FULL TIME
I've saved this for last because the HT-FT bet can be very lucrative - but only if you know what you are looking for.
The HT-FT bet is simply a play on a combination of the result at Halftime and then the RESULT at Fulltime. As there are nine possible combinations it pays out much higher than a standard result bet.
And I believe that certain plays can be value as most of the bookmakers HT-FT odds are generated according to a table based on their odds for the main match.
And in certain cases this is incorrect - as some teams have very different styles which does make a certain result more likely.
Chelsea are a boring side to watch in the first half of their games. That's not a criticism, but a statement of fact. If you watch Chelsea then there are not many goals early in the match - and a 0-0 scoreline at halftime is very common.
They play defensively early in - and start dominating after half-time - tiring out a side and then scoring the winning goal(s). In the 2004-05 Premiership season they had 6 home games, and 7 away games where they were drawing at Halftime and went on to win.
The median price was about 4.75 (it moves between 4.50 at home to 5.00 away) for the X/1 and X/2 results. If you'd played all 38 games to an Ł10 stake then you would have staked Ł380 to return Ł617 (and 50p).
Arsenal are an exciting side, especially at Highbury (alright you can tell I'm a Gooner right? I'll tone it down - read on).
Anyway - from January onwards - watching Arsenal at home usually meant seeing goals. They won 7/9 at home ... but significantly in all seven games that they won - they were ahead by halftime!!
If you'd bet on standard results you would have collected a small gain of around 12% during that run - as Arsenal winning at home is not a surprising result.
But if you'd punted on the HT-FT bet of 1/1 then you'd have got a median price of around 2.10 and your gain during that run would have been 63% of total stakes!!
As you can see the HT-FT bet is worth considering - if you can find a situation that is unusual - and one that the bookmakers standard systems might not have covered.
OVER / UNDER
A more common punt is the OVER/UNDER bet where you punt on whether there will be 0-2 goals or 3+ goals on a match (usually).
This betting option has some appeal to the statistical punter, because we all get a "gut feel" for whether a game is likely to have a lot of goals or not.
However, this punt should be treated with caution, and if you do decide to play it, it should always be played to "level stakes" as it is notoriously difficult to accurately predict the chances.
I have a spreadsheet system for this - last season it predicted 19 high confidence UNDER games in the English PRemier League - and 15 did finish in less than 3 goals for an overall profit margin of 47% over stakes.
But, maddingly, of the four bets that lost, three of them were the HIGHEST possible confidence bets and were blown away when an early goal was scored - completely changing the expected pattern of the match>
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