Hi all, my name is David Bagdasarov, and I will help you take your first steps in the world of online betting at Metaratings. For a long time, I worked as a manager of bet clubs of the largest companies, and I know how the flip side of the betting business works. As an in-house analyst at Telecomasia.net, I help the users of our site to understand the diversity of betting operators, the rules of the game in them, special offers, and the system of legal betting operators. Today I will tell you why soccer is the most challenging sport for predictions and betting.
The problem of three outcomes
Given that draws in soccer happen quite often, it is challenging and unprofitable to always back up with double odds. Take other popular sports as an example. There is either no draw or a good “including overtime” option. And the likelihood of a tie in hockey or basketball is much lower. Most bettors rack their brains about who will win a soccer match, and only a few seriously consider or bet on a draw. Although in matches of relatively equal teams, a tie is one of the most probable and logical outcomes. Bookmakers are incredibly greedy for draws and low-scoring games. After all, it is at these games 80-90% of bettors remain in the black.
A vague interpretation of the developed rules
Not all gamblers bet on the main outcomes. Corner kicks, yellow cards, fouls, offsides, ball possession percentage, and more also work for the bookmakers. No other sport has such vague rules and subjective interpretation of a game episode as we see it all the time in soccer. It is impossible to foresee absurd situations, and we constantly fall into the trap.
Corner kicks: hundreds of times I’ve seen unassigned corners or corners that were not allowed to be played out before halftime or at the end of the match. Moreover, one referee lets the episode continue, and the other does not. Logically it is an impossible task.
Yellow Cards: The most dangerous outcome to predict of all the offered statistics. It used to be a matter of what league the referee was from. If from England, there probably won’t be many yellow cards. And if from Spain, Italy, Portugal, Turkey, or Greece – a lot. It doesn’t work now either. They seem to be endlessly improving the rules of soccer, but the situation is only getting worse. Different referees will impose different punishments for the same foul and give inconsistent verdicts. Betting on total yellow cards and expecting logical and objective refereeing is a recipe for disappointment.
Fouls: A foul would seem to be a foul, which is much easier than showing a card. And yes, it probably is. Betting on fouls is the safer option. But it’s not without its catch. Some refs don’t whistle blatant fouls and let the game continue because the team keeps the ball. Later the foul is called, again, at the referee’s consideration. Not to mention the fact that the destroyed intrigue of a match or an unexpected encounter brings a tangible imbalance to the foul rate.
Offsides: It seems that everything should be alright with finding offsides in the era of technology and innovation in soccer. But it’s not so simple here either. A massive number of offside positions go unnoticed and unrecorded. Deep analysis is carried out only if a goal is scored. All other situations are left to the mercy of fate and, again, work for the bookies.
Possession percentage: If you want problems and headaches, bet on this stat. It is important to remember that different betting operators use various sources for their calculations. Some have TV broadcasts, some do it with their resources, others use the world-famous statistical portals (like whoscored.com), and others use the official sites of soccer leagues. In short, you can place the same bet at different betting operators: somewhere you’ll get a payout and somewhere you won’t. I will never forget the guy who bet on Spain’s ball possession percentage against Morocco during the 2018 FIFA World Cup. The bookmaker gave the wrong calculation and lost the bet. Although according to the official FIFA website, his bet played with a margin.
Shots on target: Another very controversial topic that bookmakers readily take advantage of. Most gamblers have been betting for years, watching soccer, and are unaware that all hits on post and crossbar do not count as shots on target. Kicks that are obviously taken on target but blocked by defenders do not count as shots on target. Diagonal crosses, which could potentially go into the goal, again do not count as shots on target.
Red card as a factor that can change everything
I want to talk about another circumstance that you can’t anticipate. You sit and analyze the upcoming game, but it doesn’t even occur to you that a goalkeeper, a key defender, or the team leader will be sent off in the opening minutes, and this episode will turn the game upside down. At the same time, as a bonus to suspension, there might be added 11-meter shot. Immediately the original schemes, the tasks set by the coach, and the entire logic of the game change. The clear favourite of the match turns into a runner-up and thinks how not to miss more. And your odds on the victory of the original favourite turns into a frightening double-digit figure.
Recently the world of soccer brought a system of video assistance to referees. The innovations in soccer should make the game better, but we are faced with completely absurd episodes. There are many cancelled goals, where millimetres of boots, knees, and shoulders are measured for several minutes. Yes, we get around the glaring errors, but sometimes the situation blows fans’ and bettors’ minds. Given and then cancelled penalties, scored and then cancelled goals, yellow and red cards, and offsides, all of them sadly play against betting operators’ customers.
All these unpredictable controversial situations, moments at the consideration of the referee, vague interpretation of the developed rules make soccer as tricky as possible for prediction and betting. In any case, be aware of all the specifics and try to lay it when choosing a particular bet initially.
Author’s bio: David Baghdasarov
Expert at Telecomasia.net. Betting market analyst.
Born in Yerevan into a family of physicists and mathematicians. Since childhood, I have followed almost all sports events. I’ve played basketball, volleyball, and table tennis. In early childhood, dreamed of becoming a traveler, and at a more mature age, a sports commentator.
For many years has worked in the field of betting and gambling in Russia. Quickly figured out the intricacies of administration and climbed the managerial career ladder.
In Moscow, opened and headed betting points for leading betting brands, managed a VIP gaming club and attracted new customers.
I believe that statistics, psychology and financial literacy are important in sports betting. Their absence can only be compensated by total luck, but I have never met such lucky ones in my ten years of experience in gambling.