Over the years we have looked at hundreds of betting strategies here at Honest Betting Reviews, across a host of different sports and from every conceivable angle.
Whether that’s laying strategies, backing strategies, using form and stats, market movements, trading, scalping and just about everything else you could think of!
People are constantly innovating and trying to find a way to get one over on the bookies.
Sadly, it is easier said than done and there are only a small number of betting strategies we have found that actually work.
Even fewer are able to stand the test of time and continue to work for an extended period.
Thankfully though, there are a few that have proven profitable and can be considered as effective betting strategies. Some of them have even been working well for many years.
Below we’ll take a look at the best of these betting strategies and how you can get the most out of them.
Top 10 Betting Strategies
How do you know if a betting strategy will work? It can be tough to know with so much rubbish and so many scams out there these days. Here at Honest Betting Reviews we put betting systems through a full test here on the site, recording all results in full so you can see for yourself what works and what doesn’t.
Here are the top 10 Betting Strategies we have found through our comprehensive testing. The list is in descending order from ten to one and the strategies cover a variety of different sports.
Please let us know in the comments below if there are any we have left off this list that you think should be on there.
If you’ve watched horse racing for any length of time you will know that there are certain horses that tend to follow a pattern. Some like to wait patiently towards the back of the pack for most of the race before sprinting for the finish, whilst others like to lead from the front. There are also horses that tend to often finish in the places but not actually win very often.
Patterns like these present opportunities for backing and laying certain horses. If we can find a horse that is 6.0 before the start of a race but we see often races prominently and goes much shorter in-running, it could be worth making a back bet at 6.0 but then laying them at 3.0.
This strategy is known as “double or bust,” or “dobbing” for short. You are looking for the horse’s odds to half in-play, so that you can double your money on your stake. Using historical figures from Betfair via Timeform or sites like Inform Racing, you can research horses who fit these patterns.
Now of course the strategy is flexible and you don’t always need to pick horses that half in price. You might find a horse that normally shortens 30% in-play and so put a lay bet in 30% below your back bet for example.
Either way though, Dobbing can be a powerful betting strategy when used correctly and many traders use it as part of their daily routine.
9. Betting on over 1.5 Goals – Home/Away Strategy
Goals bets have become increasingly popular in football betting in recent years, with a lot of liquidity flowing through over/under goals markets. One of the major markets is over/under 1.5 goals.
In this market you are looking for there to be two or more goals in a game if you are backing the overs. So the obvious play, you might think, would be to go for high-scoring teams.
However, the trouble with this is teams that are known to be high scoring will normally be short odds on the over 1.5 goals market. A more effective approach can be to look for teams who are a bit more “under the radar” so to speak. In particular, it can pay dividends to look for teams who have particularly stand out-stats on their home and away form.
You can see the strategy in more detail here, but in short it revolves around checking the stats and finding teams who have a propensity for hitting over 1.5 goals either at home or away. If you can find a match-up where a team at home has a high propensity for over 1.5 goals at home versus an equivalent away team, that is ideal. Utilising team news is also important to be sure that key attacking or defensive players are going to start the game.
When you do the research and find good opportunities, the win rate on over 1.5 goals can be very high and represent a solid betting strategy.
8. Concentrate on Specialist Horse Racing Markets
To become successful in just about anything these days requires specialisation. The same is true in betting, where spreading yourself too thin across multiple sports (or even across too many markets in one sport) is unlikely to lead to success.
If you look at how professional bettors operate, they usually concentrate on just one sport and then within that sport, have a particular niche. In football that might be a particular league that not many others follow or a specialist market like corners. In horse racing it could mean focusing on certain types of races – sprint races, handicaps, or novice races, for example.
Some pro punters concentrate on racing from a country outside the UK, marking them out from the vast majority of tipsters and experts who focus on UK racing. Two such examples we have come across who have done so very successfully are the USA Racing Tipster and Irish Cash Consortium. Both have developed their own niche in their respective country and found an approach that works for them – whether that’s studying pace and speed figures, or using a network of contacts.
The key point in developing a betting strategy is to think about how you can focus on a particular market or sector that the masses aren’t looking at and isn’t already saturated with information, making find an edge very difficult. Find something that works for you and preferably that you are interested in, which will make the learning and development of a strategy more enjoyable at the same time.
7. Laying Odds-On Favourites
The idea of laying odds-on favourites is an attractive one. It means your potential profit is greater than your liability and limits the downside.
One betting strategy that has been built around laying odds-on favourites in horse racing is Little Acorns. It has been around for over 14 years now and in that time has established itself as one of the most popular and reliable betting strategies.
Essentially it involves following a small number of simple rules that identify odds-on favourites who are vulnerable on a given day. You can check these rules in 10 minutes or so via the Racing Post or another suitable racing website.
We ran our own trial of the system and it performed very well, making 189 points profit after over 100 bets. The strike rate was good at 51%, which is impressive considering they are laying at odds-on and sometimes at quite low odds.
Little Acorns has won numerous awards over the years, including our very own Best Horse Racing Service award, voted for by our members. The system has stood the test of time and made a profit every year for 14 years now.
One thing to be aware of is that it uses quite an aggressive staking system, whereby you increase your stake if there is a losing run, up to a certain point. So you need a good size betting bank and plenty of nerves if using this staking approach. You can of course just use level staking, but the profits are not as high with level staking.
Either way though as a proven, long-term betting strategy, Little Acorns deserves a place on this list.
6. Tennis Double-Break Strategy
Tennis is one of the most-gambled sports in the world, with huge volumes traded in-running on tennis matches. That means there are opportunities aplenty to back and lay with the aim of making some quick profits.
One of the most effective tennis betting strategies is the double-break strategy. This is where you wait until a player has achieved two breaks of serve in a set. So they could be 3-1 or 4-0 up, for example.
At that point you lay them. This may sound slightly counter-intuitive as at that point most people will be thinking they have the set wrapped up. However, that is actually why the strategy works so well. If that player does indeed go on and win the set, their odds will hardly change at all, meaning you won’t have lost anything.
If they drop their own serve just once however, you will get a nice movement in odds, allowing you to cash out the trade for profit. You could just remove your liability at that point and see if they get the other break back – there are different options depending on how aggressive you want to be.
The point is though that this is a very low risk approach to trading and can deliver good profits when it comes off. It is generally better to focus on women’s matches for this strategy as they tend to have more breaks of serve and seeing a double break back is not that unusual, whereas it is quite rare in the men’s game.
5. Using xG Data For Football Betting
The tools and information available to football bettors these days are far advanced of where they were a few years ago. There is now a wealth of stats and info at the click of a mouse that punters can use to try and find value in a football match.
One of the most powerful type of stats these days is expected goals data, or “xG” for short. This tells you how many goals on average a team (or player) would normally score based on the chances they created and shots they had in a game.
It has become quite sophisticated these days, including information such as where shots were taken from, at what angle and how powerful they were. The xG data can therefore give you a much more accurate picture of how a team played than just the scoreline itself, or even data such as how many shots on target they had. There is also data on xG conceded, so you can see how well a team defended.
Putting all this information together, you can start to see patterns of where a team has been under- or over-performing their xG. One betting service that has done so very successfully is Bookie Insiders Football, which is run by a team of professional bettors who used to work for the bookmakers.
They analyse xG data, as well as team news and playing styles, to find value on football matches. It has worked very well for them, with over 400 points profit made since 2014, which would be £20,000 profit at $50 per point. During our own trial they also performed impressively, making £2053 profit.
The bottom line is to get ahead of other punters and the bookies these days you need to take advantage of the best data out there and xG data is some of the most comprehensive tools available.
4. Using the Power of Goal Times in Football
Another powerful strategy is to use the effect of goal times in football. This is something that is not considered by most football punters and tipsters, so is quite an under-the-radar strategy.
The impact of goal times in football is considerable, particularly when they come early in a game. It can completely change the way that sides play and the dynamics of a match. It can mean a side that had been planning to “park the bus” and play very defensively now have to come out more and attack if they are 1-0 down.
A system that has looked very closely at the effects of goal times in matches is Trade On Sports. They are a team of professional bettors who have built a stats database of thousands of matches from leagues around the world, based on the effect of goal times. From this database they have developed an app called the “Gamestate App” that is able to identify value on games in-play.
They have built various strategies around it and you can be alerted (via Telegram) when a value opportunity has arisen on one of these strategies. For example, when it is HT in matches and the stats suggest there is likely to be at least one more goal in a game based on the goal(s) scored in the first half.
We ran a trial of this strategy – known as the “HT Overs Bot” and it made an excellent £5120 profit during our review. They have developed various other strategies that have shown promising results and the team are constantly innovating.
Looking for under-the-radar strategies like the effect of goal times can really pay dividends then in football betting.
3. Betting on the Draw
Another powerful football strategy is one that has grown in prominence in recent years and that is betting on the draw.
Often ignored by most punters, the draw odds can frequently be inflated by bookies as they know they won’t take much money on it, with the majority of bettors wanting to back one side or the other to win a game. However, there are certain low-scoring leagues around the world where draws are very common. Some of the South American leagues like Brazil and Argentina for example, as well as certain European leagues like Greece and Spain, tend to fit this pattern.
Within individual leagues there are also certain teams that draw a lot of games. Again this tends to be low-scoring teams, as in such games the chances of a draw are higher (a lot of 0-0 and 1-1 games). Picking out these teams can prove very profitable if done right.
One bettor who has figured out how to do it right is a guy called JK Diego, the self-styled “draw king.” He spent a number of years studying the factors that tend to lead to draws in football matches and identified eight key traits.
Based on this information he built his Draw Betting System, which has made over $100,000 profit to date. We ran our own trial of the strategy and it made over 100 points profit in our trial, which would be $10,000 to $100 stakes.
The only downside is the subscription costs are high with this service so it is for high-rollers only. However, whether you are able to join JK Diego’s group of members or not, focusing on finding value in the draw on football matches is a valid and proven betting strategy.
2. Matched Betting
One of the most effective – and certainly lowest risk – betting strategies is matched betting. In essence, matched betting means using the bookies’ free bets and bonuses to set up risk-free or low-risk bets, using the exchanges to offset the original bet.
So for example you might be offered a £20 free bet if you place a £20 bet on sports. What you could do therefore is place a £20 bet with the bookie, but lay the same selection on Betfair, so you are not actually risking that £20.
Let’s say for example you placed a £20 qualifying bet with the bookie on Man Utd to beat Arsenal at 2.40. Then you would go on Betfair and lay Man Utd at 2.42. All you could lose is the small difference between the back and the lay odds and the commission (if the lay bet is successful on Betfair).
You have then got yourself a £20 free bet – and that is how matched betting works in a nutshell. Now of course you may wish to use matched betting for the free bet aswell and you can set the free bet up in a similar way to guarantee profit whatever happens.
There are now various matched betting websites and packages that bring together all of the offers together in one place. With so many bookies these days all competing for our business, there are a lot of these offers around each day.
In our view, the best of the matched betting packages is Profit Maximiser. Developed by the original matched betting guru Mike Cruickshank, it contains lots of useful instructional videos and guides explaining how to do the offers, as well as matched betting calculators, live software and a calendar with all the daily offers available. There is also a lively Facebook group with over 50,000 members, where people post the best offers for the day and any new ones that pop up.
The only thing to be aware of with matched betting is that it is not viable in every country as it depends on whether the bookies are allowed to offer free bets in your country – it works best in the UK and Ireland. So it is advisable to check first on whether you are able to make the most of it in your country before signing up to a matched betting package.
1. Taking the Each-Way Value
One of the great quirks of betting is the way each-way bets are set up by the bookies. In case you aren’t aware, each-way means putting half your stake on a selection to win and the other half on it to finish in the places (top four, top five etc depending on the event). So if you are betting £5 e/w on a horse for example, you would be betting £5 on it to win and £5 on it to finish in the places (£10 total).
The quirk comes from the fact that the place odds are always based on the win odds – e.g. a quarter, or a fifth, of the win odds. So if a horse is 10/1 to win and the place terms are a fifth, then the place odds will be 2/1.
However, it doesn’t always follow that the place odds should be a fifth or a quarter of the win odds. Sometimes they should be much lower, and sometimes higher. This is because there are certain horses – or golfers, tennis players, etc if you are betting each-way on other sports – who have a high propensity for finishing in the places and not winning. That means there could be extra value in the place odds.
There are also certain races – for example where there is a strong odds-on favourite or the bookies are offering extra places – where there is in-built value on the place, without you having to study form or anything.
Impressive software has been built that constantly scans the markets and finds these opportunities. In horse racing there is the Each-Way Sniper Software and in golf there is the 20 Minute System. The software alerts you when there is a suitable bet, with the applicable odds and then all you have to do is place the bet.
We have tested these systems extensively and found them to be clearly profitable, as well as having sound logic behind them. You can’t really ask for much more from a betting strategy to be honest!