Focus on losing less often
The thing that separates professionals from amateurs in a given sport or field is that professionals make fewer mistakes.
Regardless of the sport, something you see way less of when comparing the amateur and professional versions are unforced errors and self-sabotage. One of the reasons we all laugh when an own goal is scored or someone misses an open net is because these things don’t happen that often in professional matches.
Lets say you wanted to get better at scoring from corners with your head. If right now making contact with the ball just leads to random results and directions, then it isn’t scoring you need to work on, it is not scuffing the header each time.
Or what if you wanted to get better at tennis. Is it a better use of your time to practice a lob shot to bamboozle your opponent when they are close to the net or would it be better to make sure that 90% of your shots actually make it over the net and land in the court? If you are playing against someone at the same level as you, the person with the fewer errors in the game will win more often.
Lets say you wanted to get better at typing (to use a non-sports example). Unless your typing accuracy is 95%+ (meaning you rarely hit the wrong key on your keyboard) then it doesn’t make sense to focus on speed. You will see better gains by focusing on making fewer mistakes. If you didn’t improve your accuracy then hitting the keys faster will just mean you can make more typos in a shorter space of time!
So, what does this have to do with football betting?
If you want to improve your returns in football betting, it pays to focus your efforts on losing less often. This is not the same as winning more. If we could all just win more that would be amazing, unfortunately I think the bookies would shut up shop.
This means focusing on the long game and not settling for quick wins at long term expense. An example of a quick win could be an accumulator. Accumulators can be fun, but they are also a very efficient way of throwing away the value of several bets because one bet didn’t come off.
As a side note, there is a really good article about accumulators vs singles/doubles, I would highly recommend you check out the comments on the article too, there is some great discussion from some of our community.
In one of the comments Ian mentions this mentality of losing less;
Making money in betting is about losing less, not winning more, although ironically losing less does lead you to “winning” more in the long-term.
Seeing where your budget goes
If you are smart with your betting you will have a budget set aside, this is often called a bankroll. This is an amount of money you have earmarked for betting. How you spend that budget is of course up to you but something to pay close attention to is where that money is going, and not just on a week by week “I made/lost £x” but working out which bets have been more profitable for you and which haven’t.
I’ve heard from people who swear by betting on things like the amount of corners because they’ve had a couple of really big wins with them. If you looked at all their bets over a period of time you would see that actually they have been losing money on these bets, the big wins just feel bigger than lots of little losses. I am not sharing an opinion on the value of betting on corners by the way, just sharing an anecdote that I see time and time again with different bets.
Long term betting
Speaking of periods of time, this is something you should pay close attention to. It is easy to try something for a weekend and pass it off as not being worthwhile. It is equally easy to follow some advice and score big immediately and think this is the best thing ever.
Take the long view into account. It is only when you pay attention to lots of your betting data over a decent amount of time will you find patterns and groups of bets that are more or less profitable than others.
It isn’t always about the odds
Some people only enjoy betting when it is high stakes and they stand to win £1000 off a £10 bet either by some high odds or continual re-investment of winnings. If that is what you enjoy then more power to you. But sometimes taking the shorter odds can provide more value, in fact in my experience it almost always provides more value. I would rather win something than lose anything.
I’m not saying you need to be finding the lowest odds on there and only bet on the “dead certs”, but I am saying that what is sexy and what is liable to make you consistent money are rarely the same.
Win more, by losing less!