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Bookmakers calculate an edge when compiling their odds and unless using a risk free strategy such as matchedbets.com, the in-built profit margins mean only the shrewdest or outrageously lucky punters can beat them in the long run.
Bookmakers & Odds
Even if the odds on offer were true odds, and that is very rare, the bookmaker is destined to win due to its bigger financial clout. The punter will eventually run out of money before the bookmaker during the inevitable losing streaks.
There is a simple formula to calculate the probability of winning in a fair game based on the size of a players’ bank. Say “M” is the amount of money the richest player has and “m” is the amount his opponent has.
The probability of the richer man winning is M/(m+M).
If the richer man has a £900 bank and his opponent a £100 bank, then the probability of the richer man winning is 90%. Ie 900/(100+900)
Also consider the bookmaker uses detailed statics, in-depth knowledge of the strengths and weaknesses of most competitors and highly developed algorithms to calculate odds, and then shave off a little from each price to give them a margin for profit. The task of beating the book can be a daunting one.
However these systems are based on past performance and don’t take into account things like team morale, manager changes, injuries, suspensions, pitch bias and opposition tactics. These can have a huge bearing on the outcome of a football match and anyone who can gather together this information before the bookmaker has an opportunity to gain a valuable edge.
Odds compilers are often under pressure to provide odds before much of the necessary information is available so value can often be found when the odds are first published. Bookmakers will react when the shrewd operators pounce and will quickly adjust the odds so they once again have the edge.