Building a Football Betting Model
So, you’ve decided you want to take a crack at building your own football betting model, no doubt the following are just some of the questions on your mind.
Where do you start when setting out to build a Football betting model?
What are the key elements to developing a profitable betting model?
What else do I need to know?
In this article we discuss the basic things to consider when starting to develop a football betting model. After that, we’ll take you through, step by step, how to build a basic one.
The first thing you need to know, it will be hard work and it will take time. Its going to be difficult, its going to involve, on some counts, sourcing data, entering data, designing and manipulating spreadsheets, testing, testing and more testing. You will make mistakes, you will get frustrated, but, if you are the type of person to stick with it, the rewards will be worth it, and the lessons you learn on the journey will be invaluable.
So where do you start?
The point of any football betting model is understanding exactly what you are trying to do, what markets you want to look at. Is it just a basic results market (1X2), goals markets (BTTS, O1.5 U1.5 etc), a combination of them both, or something more specific and niche like corners or bookings.
What you are trying to do with your model, is build something that will give you a slight advantage over the bookmakers, something that will give you a reference from which you can make an analytical decision about the bet you are going to place. Your model will analyse a whole season at least, and in more complex models maybe upto 4 or 5 past season also. By taking in all this information the results it will give you will be more detailed and accurate than simply picking your bet based on the odds.
Once you have designed, developed and tested your model, you’ll be surprised at how often it can identify some true value in the markets.
How accurate will your Football betting model be?
Will it always get it right? Of course not, but a well researched and developed statistical model can produce wonderfully accurate results, such as this one from La Liga in 2016/17 season.
As you can see, all 10 of the predictions came in correctly, on this occasion a £1 bet would have returned £793, In the Goals market, all 16 of the Overs market came in too. You won’t always get weeks like this of course, but you will be surprised just how accurate it can be,
Obviously this isn’t the norm, and you’ll soon work out that going looking for that “Big Win” will leave you frustrated. One of the first things you will learn about gambling on a more professional level is money management, but we’ll get to that later.
The way this model is set up is to highlight anything with a 75% or over probability. You can then covert that % into expect odds and look for the value in the market compared to what the bookmakers are offering.
Understanding how to use a spreadsheet
In order for your model to work to the best of your advantage you need to know how to use a spreadsheet. If you know how to put formulas together in a confident and consistent manner you’ll be fine, if you don’t, then don’t worry, its really not too difficult to learn.
Excel even takes some of the difficulty away for you by include probability calculations such as POISSON() within its default list of calculations.
There will be a lot of back and forthing between the tabs on your spreadsheet.
As you add data too it, in the form of adding the results, this will feed into other tabs to collate, which in turn will feed back into your main tab for the next round of fixtures.
Data, Lots and lots of Data
As we mentioned earlier, data is the key to any successful model. Sourcing it can be a timely process, especially if you want it for free, but it is out there. Once you do find it, you may well find that its not completely fit for purpose because of the way you’ve set up your model, so some manipulation will be required for it to work. The other way is manual entry, this will take time, and it is tedious, but remember, you will only have to do this once.
One key point, and this is so important. REMEMBER TO CLICK “SAVE” OFTEN. If you’ve ever worked on Spreadsheets, you know that a crash can happen at any time, ensure you save your work regularly and avoid having to repeat what painstaking work you’ve already done.
Your first Football Betting Model..
Will be the hardest one you build, so don’t get disheartened, stick with it and you will get your reward. Remember, each and every year your football betting model will evolve, it should never stand still. You will have new ideas half way through the season, make notes, try and test them out alongside your current model without completely rewriting it mid season. You will learn new things as you develop, you learn to understand the data better and work out how to get more from it.
Keep it simple to start with, choose a couple of divisions to target and go about sourcing the data you require based on your model and what you are targeting. Your file can get large quickly, so make sure your machine is up to spec.
Don’t think that once you’ve built your model, that the hard work is done, far from it, each week you will have to enter all the results, update the stats, roll it all over for the next week, insert the fixtures for calculations to take place.
Building a Football Betting Model is a commitment. If you’re not prepared to do the work, don’t start.
If you know VBA then you can make things very easy for yourself in the long run with a bit of smart coding you can take care of a lot of the above mentioned things. Here is an example of our model doing just that
Once your football betting model is completed and you are ready to try it out, you have to keep track of your bets. You must keep track of all your bets, especially the losses, as these are the ones you will learn from. You’ve all probably got one of those mates that only tells you about his big wins. But never the losses, right?
Track what your betting on and how much. You’ll be able to analyse the losses, to try and find trends in whats happening and work out how and where you can improve.
Whilst you are in the early stages of using the model, use small stakes and look at % returns this will enable to you pick out the areas that are a success and failure easily. After that you can begin to target certain areas and increase the stakes.
You should never leave yourself with 0 balance exposure. If your fund starts running low due to a bad run (they do and will happen) the reduce your stakes until you turn the corner. Its all about managing the balance. Same applies to withdrawals, don’t withdraw too much so that a couple of losses will require you needing to top up your balance again. Ideally, once you deposited your starter fund, you don’t really want to be adding to the amount you put in.
Its not about the ‘Big Win’
As much as we all love a big win, its not the ultimate aim. We all know that they are not a regular occurrence. Its about the number of small wins, keeping the fund topped up regularly. Master this and then any ‘Big Win will really be a bonus.
Remember, set yourself targets, remain focused and stay disciplined.
Upgrade your Betting Knowledge..
Upgrade your Betting Knowledge..
The Hard work does pay off
Need convincing, check out these winners from just one month last season…
If the above has convinced you to make a start then great stuff, our next few post’s will hopefully help you out. We’ll walk you through the process of building a POISSON Model. If you want to learn more about POISSON, read this article.
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Building your own Poisson Probability Football Betting Model
For the first section of our step by step guide. Click here