I literally get dozens of emails each week asking me to help people to form certain bets. There might be times where people ask my opinions on certain games or simply what’s my process?
It would be impossible for me to get back to each enquiry, so for that reason I’ve made this guide on how I go about forming my football accumulator bets that I send out to my subscribers every week.
The first thing that I want to address is that I hold no secrets. I don’t have a formula that I use for each selection and I don’t have a program that I run my bets through. I base my bets on the following four key areas:
- Knowledge of the sport, in this case football
- Time invested into researching each possible bet
- Knowing where to look to make sure that the stats stack up to selection
- Knowing what I want to achieve from each bet
The first part – knowledge of the sport – is the only area that will take time to really get to grips with. I have followed and played football for pretty much my entire life, so it puts me at an advantage over someone coming in fresh to the sport.
The other three areas are things that everyone will be able to achieve and will be able access simply by following the steps that I take. It takes time to grasp, but trust me, as you get used to each step it will become second nature.
Investment of time
As I just stated, if you are completely new to football betting or even online betting then you are going to need to invest your time into your bets. You will need to be dedicated in what you do and also be able to question each selection that you include.
If you aren’t willing to put the time and research into your bets, then you may as well just close this page now. But, I’m guessing as you’ve got this far already, then you are keen, which is a great start.
Step by step guide
I’m going to run you through the steps that I take for each bet and then use a live example of an accumulator that I have selected for my subscribers. It’s pretty much 95% of my method and the only real issue is that I’m writing this on a Thursday where there aren’t an awful lot of games.
But, this actually works in our favour as we need to look a little deeper than we usually do, which should make for more interesting reading.
Step 1 – Checking out the fixtures
The first thing that I do before placing any bets is checking to see which games are on that day. I usually look at my bets in the morning, looking for games that are taking place that evening. Whilst this gives me more time to form my bets, the closer you can look to kick off will actually benefit you as it’s likely team news will have been released for each match and any fluctuations in price will have already occurred.
To see what’s on the best way I find of doing it is simply by firing up a bookmaker and seeing the games for that given day. I pretty much religiously use bet365 for this as they have the largest selection of games in the industry and that I’m so used to their layout it allows me to quickly see what’s going on.
Step 2 – Highlight potential leagues
I’m now looking to narrow it down to the leagues that I like to bet on and seeing which games are taking place in that league. My favoured leagues are:
- England – Premier League, Championship, League 1, League 2
- Germany – Bundesliga, Bundesliga 2
- France – League 1, League 2
- Italy – Serie A
- Scotland – Premiership
- Spain – La Liga, 1st Davison
- Major tournaments – Champions League, Europa League, FA Cup etc.
My bets certainly aren’t limited to these leagues, but I always find that these are good starting points for me. They are a mix of leagues that I follow and leagues that have been successful for me previously from a betting perspective.*TOP TIP* – Target leagues or tournaments that you are familiar with, especially if you are just starting out.
Step 3 – Determine what you want from the acca
At this point I’m now aware of how many games are taking place and I can begin to plan out what I want to achieve from the acca. By this, I’m trying to work out if I want to get a treble going at odds of around 6.00+ or if there are a plentiful number of games on offer, a 4+ – fold paying out at odds of 20.00+.
Obviously, if we have a full list of games, such as a Saturday afternoon in England then I’m confident that we should be able to grab 4 or 5 bets pretty comfortably, targeting the upper odds bracket of 20.00+. A Thursday night however – such as the example below – will likely have much fewer games, so I’m realistic in that there might only be a couple of decent bets and the odds will take a hit as a result.
Step 4 – Try to initially highlight games
Before I dive into a fully fledge attack on the full list of games, I try to look through the games simply based on what I know of each team and see if there is anything I fancy. I realise that if you are new to the betting world, this will be impossible to do, so don’t feel as though it’s a vital step.
It’s a step that I include that essentially saves me a bit of time in the long run and something that you will be able to pick up on as you become more comfortable with those bets. If I see something I like then I’ll make a note before moving on to the next step
Step 5 – Check the numbers
This is where the procedure starts to get quite in-depth and is the area that I spend the most time on. I will start by looking through the major leagues and an overview of the games that are on offer using a site called SoccerStats.com.
This site is totally free to use and I think is one of the best resources for any serious punter. It offers you more stats than pretty much any site I’ve used and whilst it can seem quite overwhelming at first, it’s actually pretty harmless.
I will fire up my league of choice and look more at an overview of the upcoming games, similar to the picture below.
This section gives me an overview of some vital stats for each game. You can see the points per game from home and away, the total goals per game for each team, over 2.5 goals percentage and the last 4 results. The single best feature is that the stats highlight the form at home or away, so not the overall league record, which is massively important for football betting in my opinion.
I’ll start by looking at the percentage of points taken both away for each team. If I see one team is particularly strong over the over, such as the Leicester City v Hull City game , I will note that as a possible bet (Home win in this case).
To back up any Win-Draw-Win bets that I might be placing, I will cross-reference this with the Last 4 form stats. Again, looking for teams that are both in form and out of form as they can both play a role on the deciding factor.
To finish off with the overview I then look at both the Over 2.5 goals tab and the Total Goals (TG) tab to see games that have high percentages of each. I don’t really like betting on the under total goals as they can wreck your accumulator in no time at all, so I’m looking for high numbers here. For example, the Swansea v Burnley game has high percentages for both teams and high Total Goals, so they will be ear marked for further inspection.
Step 6 – Filter by league
I will follow the process of step 5 for each league that’s taking part that day. So, once I have completed the Premier League, I will move on to the Championship, League 1 and then League 2, before moving across the pond if need be.
Step 7 – Cross-reference potential bets with price
If I can help it, I like to keep the odds of my bets above the 1.60 mark and ideally around the even money mark if possible. This is a personal thing, but if I know that I want to include 5 teams for my bet, I know that any games around the 1.60 to 2.00 mark will get me an accumulator of 15.00 – 30.00, which for me is my sweet spot.
So, from the information that I have sourced for each game I will jump back over to bet365 and see what the odds are for certain bets. I click into each highlighted game from the process in Step 5 and see if the Match Result market or the Over 2.5 Goals market price provides good value.
For example, the stats from the Swansea City v Burnley game above are showing 76% and 67% of their games are over 2.5 goals, respectively. On bet365, they are currently offering up odds of 2.10 for over 2.5 goals, which I know is offering great value from what I’ve research. This game would then go on the list.
I repeat this process for all highlighted games.
Step 8 – Enhance the soft list
By this point I’m hoping that I have around 6 – 10 games on a soft list that will likely be a mix of Match Result and Over 2.5 Goals. If I feel like I’m lacking numbers at this point I will open up the early steps to include markets such as Both Teams To Score and the Asian Handicap, but the research process remains the same.
I now need to back up my bets with a little more data. For this I jump back to my stats site and start going through each game. There are a couple of key areas that I like to look at depending on whether the original list includes an Over 2.5 bet or a Match Bet.
Over 2.5 goals
I look at the following sections for this market:
- Scoring – This highlights the percentage of games both home, away and total that each team has been involved in for over 2.5 goals. We can expand this further to look at 3.5 goals and even take the averages from the box below it. If the percentages for over 3.5 goals are relatively high, then this just backs up our 2.5 goals bet even more
- Clean sheets – This section is pretty obvious, but for these types of bets we are looking at teams that are leaky at the back and good going forward. The clean sheets statistics are often a good indication of this. We want these numbers to be low, really low in fact!
- Offense/ Defence table – Finally I look to see where each teams place in the league for scoring and conceding. This isn’t as important, but again, I use it to back up earlier stats.
When betting on the Match Result market, I like to use the following stats:
- Recent form – This section is most important in my opinion and momentum can be huge in football. Remember to make sure that you are checking recent form of both teams both home and away as this will give you a much better feel than the overall form that will combine home and away.
- League table – The league table is still an important aspect for me and I do think that teams higher in the league will be better shout when playing teams lower in the league. Wouldn’t get too hung up on this though, as I still think form tops the league rankings every time.
- Head to head – This data is also important and can actually applied to both bets. Check to see recent results, but don’t go too far back in time. No longer than 3 seasons is my limit and anything prior to that is irrelevant as often sides will be very different now.
Step 9 – Form the final acca
At this point I now know which bets are looking good and which I am favouring. I want to reduce my soft list and create my final accumulator. After the research above some will appear to be better value than others, so obviously go with these.
Don’t be afraid to totally disregard bets that initially you were thinking looked good. It can be easy to get attached, but try to remain level-headed. For example, if a team were averaging over 2.5 goals games at over 70% but when you dig into your research you see the last 5 games have all been under 2.5 goals, then just sack them offer or at least re-think your bet.
Step 10 – Justify the bet
As I know that my bets are getting sent to thousands of people via the email list and the app, I want to make sure that I can justify my bets. I know that after I send there will be someone that contacts me asking about why a certain bet is in and arguing against me. I need to know that I can fire hard stats back at them and justify why I have selected them.
Whilst it’s likely that you won’t be putting your bets up in front of thousands of people, it’s really good practice to assume you are doing so and it helps with making sure you haven’t made any mistakes.
I like to double check the stats and argue with myself – weird I know – why an alternative bet might be stronger for that match. If I can’t, then the bet sticks. If I can, then I may rethink that selection.
Step 11 – Leave it and come back
I always leave my bet for about an hour before placing it. I can’t stress how important this step is as well!
You will have consumed yourself with so much data and information that it can often scramble your brains. At least, it does for me! Leave it alone for a while, go do something else and come back. Repeat step 10 and then you know you are good to go.
Step 12 – Decide the stake
At this point I decide how much I want to bet on my accumulator. I tend to keep it pretty low stakes to be honest and range between £10 and £20, but sometimes I deviate upwards of this number.
The odds usually dictate this and if it’s a low odds bet – less than 10.00 – then I will likely bet £20+ to get a decent return. If it’s higher odds – more than 10.00 – then my stake is more often than not between £10 and £20.
That’s pretty much how I go about forming every acca that I place. Whilst it may seem long and arduous, it’s something that you will need to invest time into to get the best returns possible. You will also find that the longer you do it for, the easier and quicker it will become.
It’s also worth noting that the process can be applied to any league, competition or betting market that you want. I often use the Match Result and Over 2.5 goals bets, but you could definitely apply this to Both Teams To Score bets, Asian Handicap Bets, Scorecast and loads more really. If you put the time in and can always justify your selections with data, then you are on to a winner!
I wanted to end with a quick example of how I formed my bet for a recent email that was sent out. I know I have used a few examples above, but this should give you an idea of how it can be a little trickier when selecting games from a more concentrated market.
I’ll use a step by step guide as well and whilst the process will be the same, it wont be in as much detail and how and more about why.
Step 1 – Check the games
As I always do, I jump across to bet365 and see which games are taking place on the upcoming evening. As you can see, the games are limited as it’s a Thursday evening, but I still feel that there are enough games to at least get something worthwhile together.
Step 2 – Leagues
There are limited leagues for this bet that I want to target. The Belgium Under 21 Cup doesn’t fill me with much joy, so I know straight away that is going to be a smaller acca, likely with 3 selections.
Step 3 – Research the games
Due to the limited games on offer, I know I will have plenty of time to combine all my research for each game. This means I will look within the stats site to see if either the Match Result or the Over 2.5 will be of any use.
The overview for the two Spanish games shows me immediately that Sevilla are very strong at home and that Atletico are relatively strong away from home.
I jump into the Sevilla game stats first and see that their home form is amazing. 3 wins from last 4 games with 1 draw. Bilbao on the other hand have lost 3 from 4 with 1 draw. Next, to check out home and away record for each team.
Again, Sevilla are strong at home and Bilbao relatively poor away from home in the context of the league. I now know that Sevilla to win this game is going to be a good bet. The odds of 1.60 aren’t huge, but still offer good value given the data we have compiled
I follow a similar train of thought with Atletico and jumping immediately we can see that Deportivo, whilst aren’t terrible at home, Atletico are in fine form. Their only loss in the last 8 against Barcelona, but a tight 2-1 loss at that, which is no shame!
Again, a quick look at some of the vitals, such as home and away form for each team, and I’m happy to go with Atletico, even at 1.65.
Finally, I check out the French Cup game between Bergerac and Lille. I know this is a vital game for me as if I can’t pull a bet out from it, I likely don’t have a bet to place. But, I mustn’t let that influence me.
At first glance, the price of 1.36 for any team will put me off. But, when you consider that Bergerac are in the French 4th Division and Lille in the French 1st (top) Division, it doesn’t look all that bad.
Lille are currently sitting mid-low table at the minute, but the question that I have to ask is if that bears any reflection when they play a team who are placed 3 divisions below them and are essentially and amateur team?
I decided that it does not and they should be so much stronger than their opponents that all I can see is a comfortable win for the League 1 team. Now I need to decide which markets I want to bet on and because there is such a gulf in class it has to be either goals or Asian Handicap.
The Over 2.5 price is at 1.72, which isn’t all that bad, but the Asian handicap of -1.5 for Lille (essentially means that they have win by 2 or more goals) priced at 2.10 looks massive. I mean, a team who are 3 divisions higher should easily be beating these teams by 2 or more goals, even if they aren’t on the best of form. Lille at -1.5 get the nod!
Step 4 – Take a break
With this bet probably more than any, I need to step back and take a break. The reason behind this is that the Lille bet was based very much on feel and what ‘should’ happen, rather than simply data alone.
So, I have an hour or so, come back and make sure that my picks line up. The two Spanish games I was more than happy with and when checking out more about Lille’s opposition, it made me feel very comfortable about that bet as well.
Step 5 – Place the bet
All that’s left now is to place the bet and hope!
So there you have it, that’s the process that I go through for each of my accumulator bets. As you can see from the final example, there will be times where you might need to be creative or you need to deviate away slightly, but the process will remain constant for around 90% of bets that I place.
Let me know in the comments below if your method is any different or if you think there is another step I could add?