We all like a bit of a flutter on the football every now and then - that goes without saying - but there are some unwritten rules in which we live by when we’re sat picking our bets. Some leagues have their own rules, but in general, you can look at these phenomena as an unexplained fact of nature.
We’re going to take a look at a few of those rules that everybody should always have in mind:
Never back the early kick off in an accumulator!
We’ve all been there. You’re sat drafting up your acca for the day and see that someone like Liverpool at home to Bournemouth in the early kick off at a price of 1/4, and you think 'surely that's going to come in?'. You put them in so your returns go up by about three quid because there’s no chance they’ll lose at Anfield, so it’s the selection you worry about the least.
Come half past two, you find yourself venturing to the bookies to put another acca on for the three o’clocks because Liverpool have just performed like they’d never played football before.
Avoid betting on any Italian team other than Juventus
Due to the majority of Serie A games being played on a Sunday, it’s always very tempting to chuck a couple of them into your slip as you try and build a bet for the second day of weekend football action. As difficult as it is, you cannot trust any team other than Juventus.
You see that someone like Napoli or Roma are playing a far inferior side, so you put them in without question. Ten minutes in and they are 2-0 down, had a man sent off, and your bet's pretty much over. The only time you should be confident when backing a Serie A match is if Juventus are at home, as it's the most reliable winning result in Italy.
Always keep note of the regular coupon busters
Everybody has those teams who consistently seem to let their acca down every single time you put them in. Now everyone will have their own personal ones, but there are a handful of teams who hold a firm place on the list of sides to avoid when creating your own bets. The ones who stick out for us are surely made clear throughout our social media channels, but we have our reasons.
Cash out is the devil
The Cash Out tool has been used by bookmakers for the last few years in order to try and tempt punters into taking a certain cut of their overall returns before their bet is actually finished. While this sounds great on the surface for the bettor, every time you utilise the cash out feature, you are risking throwing away a potential winner.
It’s all about whether you’ve got the nerve to see out the remaining minutes in the hope that the teams you need can nick a late goal. Now there’s no doubting that on the odd occasion you can use it to your advantage by taking the money and running in a bet that goes on to lose, but on average, you will come out second best - take this guy for example:
Never trust the live pitch view
As most of you will know, some of the bookmakers such as SkyBet and bet365 have the little live pitch view which shows briefly what’s happening in the game, including whether your team's attacking, got a corner, a free-kick, and any other occurence which happens within 90 minutes. It's agonising to watch and we’ve all been sat there, waiting for the final team on your acca to hold on to their 1-0 lead.
When it’s in stoppage time, the opponents are on a dangerous attack, and betting gets suspended; in your head, that’s it, it's all over. The side you've backed have only gone and conceded. In reality, all that’s really happening is they’ve got possession in your team's half and aren’t posing much threat all.
Never back against a team who have a new manager
A lot of people live by this, but if you don’t, then you should. When a seriously struggling team who seem to get beat every week understandably sacked their failing gaffer, do not bet on them under their new man at least for a few weeks. ‘New manager syndrome’ always seems to bring that little bit extra out of the players who now need to impress the new coach.
A perfect example of this recently is John Sheridan at Oldham Athletic. When he was employed, his side had won just once at home all season in the league. Skip forward two weeks, and they’ve won back to back home matches under him.
Never back your own team
This goes without saying, as tempting as it may well be, avoid backing the team you support. You do enough by attending the games, purchasing their shirts, arguing their case when your mates are taking the p*ss out of them, and corrupting any youngsters in your family to support them.
The only time it is ever slightly acceptable to do it is if your team are huge outsiders and are expected to get hammered. Other than that, just don’t do it. The last thing you want is to watch your team concede in injury time, check your acca, and it’s the only game that’s let you down for hundreds.
As always, the most important rule of all is to make sure you’re Gambling Responsibly. Betting can be massively enjoyable but only when it's done with a clear head, by someone who is in control of how much their staking, someone who has clear limits in their mind, and someone who knows when to stop.
Read our predictions HERE