Here’s something that might surprise you—what makes any soccer bettor successful is more to do with how they manage their money than what they know about the game. That’s why we’ve decided to give you 10 Golden Rules for Soccer Betting instead of any specific tips or strategies, although we do link you to some of these below.
Anyone can make one-off predictions about a match or bet blindly on teams playing at home, but evergreen betting advice is much harder to come by. It’s okay if you don’t yet understand the difference between a soccer tip, betting strategy or nugget of advice—keep reading and all will become clear. The best part is you can use these handy guidelines to not only improve your soccer betting but to be more profitable with other sports too.
Here are our 10 golden rules for Soccer betting…
1. Manage your bankroll
Knowing how much money you can afford to bet each day/week/month can also help you be more successful. By keeping track of your deposits and withdrawals you can easily see how well you’re doing overall. Managing your bankroll doesn’t only mean making a betting budget and sticking to it, but also deciding how much to stake on each bet.
Some punters choose to employ a Level Stakes strategy and wager the same amount on every bet no matter the odds, while others use the Kelly Criterion. However you choose to manage your bankroll, try to be disciplined enough to stay with it and you’ll see better long-term results.
2. Bet with your head, not your heart
Putting emotions aside is one of the hardest obstacles for any bettor to overcome. Most soccer punters begin as fans of the beautiful game and like to bet on the teams they love and support. But this is not a recommended soccer betting strategy for anyone.
Whether the team you support is at the top or bottom of their respective division, betting based on loyalty and faith is a sure way to lose your money. The opposition every team faces and the specific context around the match must always be carefully weighed up when choosing your bets.
3. Understand the markets
Knowing how different soccer betting markets work and the ways you can win (and lose) is also key to being successful. Betting on something you don’t understand is a complete no-no for any soccer punter. There’s no worse feeling than making a bet that would have won if you had understood the market but you end up with a loss.
With up to 1000 markets available on every top division soccer match, getting your head around every type of bet isn’t easy. So if you’re new to soccer betting, we recommend you start by learning just a few basic markets back to front—use this guide and take it one step at a time.
4. Get the best odds
This is the easiest and most underrated way to beat the bookmakers. By taking smaller odds when a better price is available, you’re leaving money on the table. Let’s put it this way—if you buy all your groceries at Woolies when you can’t afford it, you’ll go broke.
And if you always take the worst odds (price) for your soccer bets you’ll eventually lose all your money too. So always shop around at all the online bookmakers in South Africa for the best odds and handicaps you can find. And if you don’t already have an account where these are available, that’s a great reason to sign up!
5. Use promotions to your advantage
Every punter loves a welcome bonus because it’s free money to bet with, sometimes you can even get up to R10 000 without spending a cent more. But you can also use other promotions like enhanced odds and money back specials to your advantage.
Depending on the size of odds boost or refund available, these special offers can dramatically increase your profitability. Remember that you don’t have to take all your soccer bets with the same bookie, so also think about how you can play one promotion off another where possible.
6. Less is sometimes more
We all love to play that massive accumulator that could help us go into early retirement, but the truth is these big wins are hard to come by. There’s nothing wrong with throwing a few bucks on a 1000/1 multibet but a good strategy is to balance your risk by also taking some bets at smaller odds.
Try betting on smaller odds to improve your chances while increasing your stake so you win more every time. It’s always tempting to bet on every soccer match on the weekend but try having fewer bets and only choosing the games you’ve looked at more carefully.
7. Find the value
The difficulty with sports betting is not necessarily picking winning teams—the odds can give you a fairly good idea of who might win. The really tough part is finding undervalued teams or outcomes you can exploit. If the odds for a team are too big, even if that team is not very likely to win, it’s always better to back that team than an overvalued favourite.
The law of probabilities says that if you’re betting on a team at odds of 2/10 for instance unless they are expected to win that specific match more than 83% of the time, there is no real value in backing the team at those odds.
8. Don’t follow the crowd
Most of us like to follow and bet on popular soccer leagues like the EPL and Champions League. These matches are more easily available to watch or stream live and all our friends enjoy them too. The problem with always betting on the top divisions is that the bookies pay more attention to these leagues too.
As a result, the odds are very accurate and it’s harder to find betting value. There is less discrepancy between odds and so you’re less likely to find a team priced at bigger odds than they should be. In the lower divisions, bookmakers often post odds which are not as accurate which makes it easier to win more bets in the long run.
9. Bet on exotic markets
If you don’t want to start following 4th division Icelandic football it’s not all doom and gloom from a betting perspective. You can also look to some of the exotic markets in popular leagues like the EPL for betting value.
Half-time results and cards betting are some decent angles worth looking into if you have the time. Also, try combining a few bets from the same match using Build A Bet—especially if these are often correlated (goals and corners for instance)—and try taking the bookies by surprise!
10. Use a betting strategy
One of the easiest ways to improve your chances of winning your soccer bets is to employ a proper strategy. Make your goals clear and constantly review your results so you won’t know what’s working and what’s not. So what do we mean by a betting strategy?
A good strategy requires making decisions about things like how much money to bet, whether to bet pre-match or in-play, and whether to cash out if possible. For some great soccer betting strategies, check out Pinnacle Sports and Sports Geek.
We trust you enjoyed reading about our golden rules for soccer betting. If at first you were disappointed not to get soccer betting strategies, we hope you understand our reasons for wanting to give you more. Soccer betting strategies are useful but you can find these anywhere online. What’s far more important is money management and having the right mindset for betting. We hope you can put this knowledge to good use and come out richer on the other side!
- Soccer Betting Sites in South Africa
- Soccer Betting: Balancing Risk and Reward
- Betting Terms Explained
- Soccer Betting Tips
- Esports Soccer Betting Guide
You’ve heard from us, but what’s the biggest lesson you’ve learnt about soccer betting since you got started? Tell us in the comments below