Football Betting Strategies: The Importance of Form

bull789 Beneficiaries of Roman Abromovic’s billions. Drgoba. Malouda. Essien. Anelka. Cole. Terry. Cech. A team of superstars whose surnames are known the world over.

Wolverhampton Wanderers. Perennial relegation scrappers. Only not bottom of the league thanks to West Ham United being even worse than them this season. No chance.

And what happens? Wolves beat Chelsea 1-0.

Of course, if you’ve been following the English Premier League this season, you will have noticed that since a 3-0 home defeat to Sunderland, Chelsea’s form has been absolutely shocking. They’d slipped from runaway favourites to retain the title to fifth in the table. They needed the win against Wolves to leapfrog Tottenham Hotspur back into the Champion’s League places. They didn’t get it.

This is an absolutely prime example of how important is to look at a team’s form before placing a bet. It becomes even more important to look at a team’s recent form if you’re betting on a league that you don’t follow.

The simplest way to check a team’s form is simply to look at their most recent results. Look at what both teams have done in their last five games and you should get a good idea of how the form of the two teams compares.

You might also want to look at what happened the last few teams the two teams met each other, whether it was earlier in the season, or in previous seasons. Many teams have a ‘boogie team’ that, for whatever reason, they find it difficult to beat. For example, Barcelona are hot favourites whoever they face in the Champion’s League, and when they collided with Rubin Kazan in the 2010 group stages, they would’ve seemed an obvious choice to back. You may well then have lost out as Barcelona could only manage a 1-1 draw away.

If you’d looked at what happened in the group stages the year before, Barcelona’s draw with Rubin Kazan wouldn’t have been such a shock. They were drawn together in the 2009 Champion’s League group stages and Barcelona again only managed a draw away, with the game that time finishing 0-0. Rubin Kazan pulled off an even more shocking result when they traveled to Camp Nou, beating Barcelona 2-1.

These two examples both show that teams which initially seem like massive favourites might not look like such a hot pick when you examine their form. If you’re serious about trying to win when you bet, you can’t go in blind and pick a team to win based on name value or past glories. You need to look at what the team’s done lately, what happened when they last faced their opponents, and at anything else that might adversely affect them. Do they have a star player suspended or injured? Have they just fired their manager? Have they just brought in an expensive new signing?

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