Football Odds

Why The Big Price?

Why are you being offered a seemingly good price? You now know how to estimate what the odds should be on a variety of different events in a football match. You also know how to compare the odds you are being offered across a range of betting mediums and identify which ones represent the best value for money to you.

The last thing you need to know before placing a bet is why the odds you are being offered are different from what you think they should be. It is essential that you do know. Your computations could be wrong. The book-maker's assessment of the teams might be superior to your own. If so, it is better to realise this now, before you have stumped up any cash, rather than after the bet has gone down.

If you follow my ideas on assessing football teams - or any others that are remotely similar - and you believe that the odds you are being offered are wrong, it will almost certainly be because the odds you are being offered imply that one or both of the teams will perform differently today from how they have performed in the past.

It does happen. Ten per cent of what happens on the football field cannot be explained by the ability of the players, as revealed in the results they have achieved.

The odds you are being offered express not only how likely a bookmaker thinks something is to happen but also how much money his customers are betting on that something happening.

So, why does the bookmaker think one or both teams will perform uncharacteristically today? Or why do his customers think they will? Are they right to do so? And if not, why not?

In football, there is a large body of received wisdom - ideas which sound so plausible that almost everyone accepts them as being true. Some of this received wisdom is right. Some is not. The only way to find out which bit is which is by examining the facts. When the odds express a belief that the result will be influenced by an extraneous factor that actually has no influence on the result at all, those odds may represent value for money to you.

To give you a flavour of the sort of things I am talking about, here are five commonly-held misconceptions about the beautiful game. You can call them football fallacies.