In play betting is one of the fastest growing areas in gambling - and it can also be one of the best ways to make a profit on the game. Yes, you can bet on a game before the kickoff, or even the day before, until the eleven players from each team run onto the pitch and actually line up, you’ll have no real idea about how the game will actually play out.
In this article I detail some of the steps you can take to maximise your betting profit on in-play football. I start with a look at formations and how this should effect your betting strategy. Next are some details covering how you can gain an early idea of how a game might proceed due to player match-ups in the game. Early game events will obviously have an impact, so I’ll explain how these should be approached too.
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Assessing Formations for In Play Bets
There is every chance that you’ll work out exactly what each of the team formations will be when you see the teams announced an hour or so before the kickoff, though this will not always be the case. For example, an attacking player might be playing a little deeper than usual, or the full backs might be bombing forward more frequently. In the first five to ten minutes of the game you’ll already have a comprehensive overview of exactly how each team is set out and this will give you a much better insight into how the game might play out than when placing your bet before the game starts.
One particular market which you can focus on in these very early minutes of the match is the over/under 2.5 goals. If one team is set up to ‘park the bus’ or if it is a particularly open game, then focus on this market and look for value here.
Keep a close eye on the back four (or five) of either team, especially if they have made a change to their usual defensive line-up. How confident is this changed line-up in dealing with the ball? Keep a close eye on any inexperienced players coming in, because if they look edgy, this can have a massive impact on the result. This will especially be the case if the change is in goal.
How Player Match Ups Affect In-Play Bets
There is a school of thought that says the full backs of any team are the most important players. Whether or not you agree with this, this is definitely an area of the pitch you’ll want to focus on. Firstly, ask yourself how the full backs coping with the opposing attacking players. If they are struggling, this should set off an alarm bell. On occasions if the full backs are more attacking than usual (this can especially be the case if a team is playing with a back five), look out to see if they are leaving gaps that the opposing wingers can exploit.
Also check out the player who makes those incisive passes for a team, maybe an attacking midfielder or the deep lying forward. How much time and space do they have? If they are being tightly marked they may well be nullified, but if they do have some space, they’re likely to create opportunities.
The quality of the midfield will usually dictate which team has more possession, this especially the case with a team that are happy to keep the ball on the ground. A team that is very comfortable in possession will cause the opposition to do a lot of running in chasing the ball and this will tell over the 90 minutes. Keep these teams on side!
Reacting to Match Events
The biggest event in any game of soccer is a goal of course and this can have a massive impact on the odds of a match. I will always consider backing a favored team if they go a goal behind early, especially at home. You’ll receive much better odds than you would have at the start of the game and if they do equalize, mentally they’ll be on the up and the crowd will be hyper, while the under-dogs heads may go down and there is every chance that the favored team will go on to win.
One not so obvious aspect of a game that you should consider is the early booking, especially if it’s a defender or defensive midfielder who receives the card. This might lead to the player being more careful for the rest of the 90 minutes in fear of another card, meaning the opposing attacking player may have an easier time. Of course, this isn’t the only helpful aspect, as the chance of that player being sent off later in the game has also improved dramatically. In a situation where a team picks up a couple of bookings in the first 20 minutes, I’d always consider backing the opponents.
Early Match In-Play Soccer Betting Overview
Waiting until a match kicks off will give you many advantages over those who like to place their bets before the match. You’ll know exactly how each team has set out their stall, which players might be the influential ones (both positive and negative) and where the key battles on the pitch will take part. This will all give you the invaluable information which can only aid in your soccer betting.
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