I don’t think Seneca was involved in football gambling, but I am sure he would’ve done well with that kind of attitude. Preparation is the key to success in many areas of life and betting is no exception. You have to put a good amount of effort on each match you are considering in order to see all the angles, all the stats and make the best evaluation of how it could unfold.
Most people don’t take the time to research properly and that’s one of the main reasons most people lose money in the long run. In this article, I will try to highlight the most important steps in the preparation for a certain game. Of course, everyone has their own way to do this and I am sure there might be other things I could be missing, but these are the fundamentals.
Check Long-term Stats
This is probably the most obvious thing to do, but it’s also one of the most important. Check how both teams are performing during a large period of time. It could be a season, it could be 5 years, it depends on what you are looking for. The important thing is to get a good idea of the direction of both clubs – how are they developing, what are the long-term trends, what’s their style. The larger set of data will give you a good starting point and a clear view of the big picture.
That’s the next step that comes right after finding the long-term trends. Take a look at the last 5-10 games of each of the teams to find the short-term tendencies. Are they on a good run, are they on a bad run? Do they come fresh after an easy fixture list or are they exhausted after a tough schedule? All those things matter and can be easily seen if you spend a little time looking at the most recent matches of both teams. Football is a game of confidence and form is a very important factor. We’ve seen countless times that high morale can do wonders and vice-versa.
Check and Analyze Team News
Of course, injuries and suspensions play a key part in football and we all know it. There are players that simply can’t be replaced and it’s always good to know who’s playing and who’s not. The good thing is that nowadays this information is easy to get on the internet. It shouldn’t take long to find out which players are injured, doubtful or suspended.
However, here’s where most people stop and it’s a huge mistake. You should go a step further and try to predict what influence the team news might have. Take a look at stats for older games where the specific players were missing. Evaluate the strong and weak points of each team. The absence of a key centre-back, for example, might be a big deal against an opponent relying on attacking football, but nothing to worry about against more defensive-minded teams.
Check Head-to-head Stats
Sometimes certain teams or even certain players have a favorite opponent. We’ve all seen it happen and usually it’s hard to understand the logic behind it. It could be a suitable style of play or just plain luck that grew into confidence. However, such things should be considered. We all remember how Didier Drogba used to score against Arsenal literary every single time Chelsea played the Gunners.
Checking previous encounters between the teams is the best way to find such things. You’ll get a good idea how key battles between players unfolded last time around, how the styles of the opponents clashed and other important things like that.
Check Other (Competent) People’s Opinions
Nowadays you can find so many tips services and pundit predictions online that it would be really stupid not to compare your own thoughts with those of other people. Of course, that doesn’t mean random people on the internet. Try to recognize journalists and tipsters who have a genuine understanding of the league you’re betting on.
After you find some reliable sources, check their opinion for the game you’re researching. Most of the time you won’t find new information, but it’s always good to see things from a different perspective. You might get a confirmation of your own expectations or see an angle you missed. Both are useful in the long-term and can help you form more balanced opinions.
Those are the basics you need to do before placing a bet on a football match. Of course, depending on your strategy and specific market, there might be additional work required. Always make sure to prepare well since this is the only way to succeed.