In a previous article here, I discussed ways to maximise betting winnings that are separate from the actual selections you make. Let's call this meta-strategy. The article referred to selecting profitable combination bets that would produce the potential for huge winnings without massive risk. In this article I am going to discuss another aspect of meta-strategy that is so often overlooked at the better's cost.
It's simply this. Sometimes as punters we spend so long picking out our teams and the right betting system that we are failing to get the best prices for our bets. I'm going to use the example of a forthcoming World Cup Qualifier: Wales v Scotland. I've run the fixture through FootySimulator and it makes the following predictions: most likely score 1-1 which should be 11-2. Wales should be 6-4, Scotland 7-5 and the draw 11-5. I've set the projection to Bookmakers odds rather than True odds as I wish to compare what Bookmakers are offering with what FootySimulator thinks they should be offering. Betting comparison site Oddschecker shows the prices for a variety of bookmakers and you should open up accounts with as many of them as possible. In the case of the recommended correct score bet, oddschecker shows that Victor Chandler are offering 11/2 on a 1-1 draw while YouWin are offering just 97/20 (less than 5 to 1). In the first case a winning £10 bet wins £65, in the second £58.50 . That difference is practically 2/3 of your original stake. Wales' price varies between 8/5 (2.60) and 16/11 (2.455), Scotland's between 19/10 (2.90) and 8/5 (2.60) and the draw between 11/5 (3.2) and 2/1 (3.0). These differences can make a big difference to your overall profit/loss. And it's even bigger when you've got an accumulator going. Three correct scores at 5/1 would turn a £1 bet into £216. Three correct scores at 6/1 would turn £1 into £343, you'd be making more than half as much again for just one extra point per selection.
Oddschecker is a site comparing UK bookmakers. For our North American readers I'd flag up sportsbook review as a site that can help you decide which sites to sign up to. It impartially reviews a number of North American sportsbooks giving feedback on trustworthiness, customer service etc., it identifies current bonuses and promotions and it also gives pointers as to tips on NFL, NBA, NHL and MLB.
Although your individual betting selections will determine whether you win or lose over a weekend, gambling should be seen as a long term proposition. And in the long term that extra half-point or point here and there will have a tremendous impact on your bottom line. Think how much money casinos make on roulette and consider that the house margin on a normal wheel with one zero is less than 3% per spin. As punters, we should always be looking for the best price possible for the selections we carefully make.