Getting the Best Odds on Soccer Betting Markets
There are many ways to bet on a football match. Increased competition and the ability to lay bets on Betfair have made it possible to take the same bet at different prices depending on the market.
The most obvious one is the -0.5 Asian Handicap (AH) and the straight win on the 1X2 market. You are betting on exactly the same thing if you take these bets. As the margin is lower on the AH, its almost always best to take the AH. It baffles me why some bookmakers put the bets adjacent on a coupon with different prices.
A draw no bet is the same as an AH of +0. Again, the AH is usually the best. However, if one team is highly backed on the AH the odds may drop and betting on the draw no bet is better value.
Unders/ overs, goal line and total goals are sometimes the same. There's one bookmaker I know that offers all three of these on the same coupon but sometimes at different prices. I've seen 3 or more goals on the total goals market priced better than the overs on a goal line of 2.5. They are exactly the same bet.
An X2 double chance is the same as laying the home win on Betfair. As Betfair operates with a margin of 2.5% (5% commission but you will on average lose half), its going to always be better to lay the bet on Betfair than taking the bet on X2. Some double chance bets are the same as the AH. Take the best odds.
A +1 European Handicap is exactly the same as a +0.5 Asian Handicap, which is exactly the same as laying the team on the 1X2 market. I've seen times when European Handicap has offered the best value. As this market is the smallest, the prices don't move if a bookie gets in wrong. I once found an arbitrage that paid 10% using a European Handicap. The price didn't move at all because not many people bet on it.
No first goal scorer is almost the same as 0-0. NFGS is slightly better as own goals do not count. It doesn't happen often but as these markets pay the same odds, its best to go with the NFGS bet. Djimi Traore scored an own goal when Liverpool played Burnley in the 2004/2005 FA Cup. Liverpool lost the game 1-0. PSV scored an own goal and lost 1-0 to Arsenal in the Champions league the same season. Its rare but it does happen.
I could go on but I expect you to get the message now. Next time you are placing a bet on a soccer match it could pay to just check the odds on other markets.
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