If you’re a bettor who loves a weekend punt on the football but likes to place bets with their gut, then this article is for you. Bookies love a bettor who spends very little time thinking about the game they are about to invest in. It’s time to smarten your wagers and think a little deeper when it comes to football betting. Most punters don’t like to think too hard when placing a cheeky 8-fold accumulator. It may seem like a simple win, lose or draw bet, but it’s much more than that and there’s a reason why the team you expected to win, lost to a low league team in the early kick-off, which then ruined your day’s bets.

There are many different aspects to a football match that will have an impact on the result. It’s time to start thinking about the factors that could change the game and your bet. There are factors that can give a low league table team a solid chance of beating the table toppers. Let’s take a look at the important factors that you should be considering when football betting.

What’s the latest team news?

This is somewhat obvious but one that most punters won’t care to think about or research. You should know about the news coming from the teams you want to bet on. Are there any injuries? Who’s starting and who’s on the bench? Are any key players on international duty? What formation is the manager going to utilise? There are plenty of ways to find out the latest in the team news before wagering. You can find out about any injuries etc. on a number of different websites or even the press conference before kick-off.

There are players that have such an influence on the team’s performance that if they are out injured or suspended then the team may not deliver the expected performance. Take a look at Leicester this season without N’golo Kante and what happened to Liverpool when Luis Suarez left. Every team has a key man and you need to know that they are in or out of the starting line-up before betting.

The recent team form

Leicester are current Premier League Champions and now they are fighting a relegation battle, although their form has picked up since Claudio Ranieri departed, their form was terrible for the majority of the season. They couldn’t win a game in the Premier League but they were still performing in the big Champions League matches.  Was this down to the desire to win in Europe? Because they knew they wouldn’t win the Premier League were they not putting in their best performance? Usually when a team is in a slump, there is something wrong in the dressing room and it will likely to continue until a change comes about (usually a sacking).

The previous results of their head-to-head fixtures

You should always consider what the previous outcome was of the last meetings between the two sides. Many teams struggle against certain teams because of their style of play, fans, atmosphere, ground or whatever. Let’s take a look at Stoke City away, “But can he do it on a rainy day in stoke?”. This has become a well-quoted saying because teams struggled to get a result away to Stoke.

Teams like Arsenal have bad records against the likes of Liverpool, Chelsea and Manchester United. In fact, Arsene Wenger has a terrible record against Jose Mourinho in general. This is something else to take into mind, some managers just can’t compete with the other manager’s tactics. There is a battle of the brains off the pitch as much as there is a battle of skill on the pitch. Teams like Manchester City have a poor record against Spurs. You should look at the previous match ups between these teams and see if there is a pattern.

Will one team be more motivated to win?

This factor is why many punters stay away from betting on domestic cup competitions like the Carling Cup, simply because they don’t know how much a team really wants it, especially a big team that often win bigger trophies. Many managers may field a weaker side in these competitions to focus on delivering a better performance in bigger competitions. Be sure to take a look at the next fixture for those teams, if they have a big game coming up then players may be rested so they will better perform in those bigger games. This is an underrated factor in football betting. This factor has a big impact at the end of the season when teams are fighting for that Champions League spot or clawing onto points to climb out of the relegation zone.

Rain, sleet or shine

The weather will have an impact on certain aspects of the soccer match. If you like a punt on the goals markets then you should take the weather into account, if it’s wet then there are likely to be more goals scored in the game, the wet ball and slippery surface make it a lot harder for the goal keeper to keep the ball out of the net. And when it snows, it’s harder for teams to get the ball in the net.

The style of play

This is an important factor to think about when placing money on the football. How do the team’s style match up against each other? Barcelona have a style of play that is flawless, lots of passing and possession, working the ball around the players and into the goal in efficient style. Real Madrid have a more conventional style, strong around set pieces, long range efforts, incredible aerial presence. These are two very different styles of play, so how will they match up?

Home and away form

It’s well known that some teams struggle when they are playing away, some teams thrive on the rival’s turf. Get to know the home and away form of each team, this is a deciding factor in football. Some teams go a whole season without getting an away win, some teams go 12 games unbeaten at home. It’s no secret that clubs generally perform better at their own ground, statistically, the average team is around +0.74 goals better off at home than away. Home ground advantage is a huge factor when placing football bets, many punters will only bet on the home team in a bid to improve their chances of winning. Some clubs have a terrible reputation away to certain teams, like Arsenal when they play away to Stoke!

The demanding fixture list

Some players or teams end up having an exhausting fixture list that could impact their performance. This is when there are more competitions during the football calendar, a club could be playing mid-week games with domestic and European cup duties. Will they cope with resting players and revolving the team? There is a packed football schedule around the Christmas and New Year period. What’s more, the kick-off time is another consideration that could impact a performance, the earlier kick-off usually sees teams play at a time that’s removed from their best physical performance and that could go for the fans too!

‘The referee’s a w*****’

There are plenty of active referees that have a bad reputation when they are the selected official in a game against a particular team. Take a look at the reputation Mark Clattenburg has when he’s officiating a Manchester United game, you’d think he’s a fan! Some refs are quick to hand out cards and free kicks, this wouldn’t bode well for a team who likes to play a rough game of football which could make it a rough day of football betting.

Your bankroll management

Also consider your bankroll when football betting or placing bets on any other sport for that matter. You should never bet your entire bankroll and never place big money on long shot bets like accumulators, the bookies make serious profit from punters who think a 12-fold ‘acca’ will pull through week in and week out. You should always apply discipline when you’re placing a wager.

To sum up football betting

Football betting goes a lot deeper when you consider the many different factors that will have an impact on the result and your bet. To boost your chances of increasing your bankroll, you should take into account, these different football factors before hitting the bookies.