Football Betting - How to Select 3 Homes or 5 Aways Part
Fixed odds football pools betting is not basically different to the treble chance – or is it?
Any form of betting requires that you minimise the odds against you, but with pools betting we have
opportunities that, for example, betting on horses does not offer. There are ways to reduce the
odds and greatly improve the chances of winning. In some countries, fixed odds betting on a group
of matches – for example picking 3 draws – is more popular than the Treble Chance (the British game
of forecasting 8 score draws from 49 matches).
Generally, most football teams perform in line with their recent results history. This means that
in general they will tend to lose against better teams, and win against poorer teams. The quality
of the teams is reflected by their position in their league, when the season has stabilised and
‘all other things are equal’.
Now, we could take the basic league positions as the guide to form, but this can change on a day to
day basis for reasons unrelated to the team itself – for example by the results of other teams. So,
we need to have a slightly more sophisticated system of assessing team performance which takes
account of recent results (but how recent?). That is the first part.
Assess Each Match
Then, we need a way of assessing each match in advance to arrive at a likely outcome, ideally being
able to put a number to this so that we can compare one match with another and decide which is more
likely to be a home win, a draw or an away win. In this way we can arrive at a ranking for each of
the 49 matches on a British coupon (which may of course cover Australian football matches during
the British summer). That is the second part.
Analysis of the 2009-2010 British football season gives us an idea of what the average
outcomes are. Over the whole season (40 pools coupons), 45% of matches were home wins, 26% were
away wins, and 27% were draws (score and non-score draws combined).
So, with a team performance measure, a way of comparing matches and the above statistics, we can
start to ‘home in’ and where the draws might lie (or, for that matter, the homes and aways, if that
is your betting preference).
Overall these are just averages – each week will be different and there will be some unexpected
So, to maximise our chances of winning, whether it is the treble chance or fixed odds, we need a
method to spread our stakes. We do this using plans or perms,
which enable us cover many combinations. After all, to forecast 3 draws from 49 matches on a random
basis is quite a long shot (the odds are over 18,000 to 1). In a 10 horse race, you have odds of
10/1 of picking the winner. With fixed odds betting, the bookie will have adjusted the payout odds
to account (initially) for the likely outcomes, and the odds will drift depending on the stakes
So, whilst in practice we could stake say 10p per combination, that is a big stake for 18,000 lines
and we would not cover it with a win on account of the fixed odds (even if the bookie would take
the bet), though we would in all probability have many winning lines if there were say 8 draws in
However, if we were to lay a bet of 3 draws from 10 matches (120 separate bets), or 5 aways from 10
(252 separate bets) then we would likely get much better odds. This is because the odds are much
longer; however, if we pick our 10 draw forecast carefully, then we can reduce the odds
considerably, and still have the possibility of multiple winning lines.
(c) 2010 Phil Marks
The next part of the puzzle is overleaf - click on next.