Stop making predictions at bookmakers!


If you massively survey players in bookmakers about what is most important in betting, the majority will answer that the main thing is to correctly predict the outcomes of matches. And this is a huge misconception. 90% + of players are in the red at the distance precisely because they are guided by this fundamentally wrong thesis. What is the difference between predictions and bets, and what is the main thing in betting? Let's decide today.

What is a match forecast?

Forecasting is choosing the most likely outcome from the player's point of view. It is not necessary to choose the victory of one of the teams, this applies to all markets. In matches of roughly equal teams, it can be difficult to choose someone's side in the outcomes, but in most cases everything is quite obvious.

For example, newcomer “Watford” hosts one of the season leaders, “Liverpool”, in the English Premier League. Most people with even a little knowledge of English football will confidently say that “Liverpool” will win, or at least certainly not lose. The same opinion is shared by the bookmakers who have put the “red” as big favorites.

Interestingly, this is quite enough for forecasting. These are, indeed, the most likely outcomes of the fight, and in most cases the forecasters interviewed will be right. Such forecasts are perfect for scoring by media personalities, commentators, journalists. But they are completely unsuitable for betting on sports.

What is a match bet?

It is impossible to make a correct bet on sports apart from the offered odds. In this case, the bookmaker offers the second odds to win 1.35. Bettor must not only predict the victory of “Liverpool”, but also deduce the approximate probability of this outcome. And then - compare it with the odds.

The odds of 1.35 are roughly equivalent to a probability of 74%. Is there such a likelihood for “Liverpool” to win? Will the “Reds” be able to win 740+ conditional matches in Watford out of a thousand? What value is there in this exodus? These are the questions a bettor who plays correctly should ask.

The odds for “Liverpool” not to lose in general turned out to be negligible, 1.088, there is no point in playing it. Consider a clear win at 1.35, although this also applies to low odds, the disadvantages of which we discussed in another article.

So, for the bet on “Liverpool” to be valuable, we need a probability higher than 74%. Ideally - under 80 percent. Consider a few simple facts:

  1. Last season, “Liverpool” failed to win almost half of their away matches (9 out of 19) - 6 draws, 3 losses;
  2. This season, the “Reds” have already lost points away, although they played only three games away (3 : 3 v “Brentford”);
  3. “Watford” were the best at home in the Championship last season, losing only 2 games out of 23 with +32 goal difference;
  4. Last five visits at Watford, “Liverpool” have lost points three times;
  5. The last face-to-face meeting at “Watford” (February 2020) ended with a 0-3 defeat for the “Reds”.

Well, does this alignment pull on a probability of 80%? Is there value there? Is it worth risking your stake for 1.35 odds under these conditions? It seems to us that the answer is fairly obvious - no.


Most bettors who risk betting on Liverpool to win at 1.35 odds will bet with negative expectation. The repetition of such bets leads to a steady minus in the distance, due to the disadvantage of the selected outcomes and the bookmaker's margin. That is why the overwhelming majority of players go into this minus.


Let's count a little. Let's say we estimated the probability of a victory for the “red” in this match at 65%, respectively, we estimate a loss of “Watford” (1X) at 35%.

  1. If we make 1000 bets of 1000 rubles at a coefficient of 1.35 with a probability of 65%, then we will receive payments of 877500 rubles (1.35x650x1000). With our turnover of one million rubles, this is a loss of 122500 rubles with Yield -12.25%.

  1. If we make 1000 bets of 1000 rubles at a coefficient of 3.54 (at 1X) with a probability of 35%, then we will receive payments of 1239000 rubles (3.54x350x1000). With a turnover of one million, this is a net profit of 239 thousand and Yield + 23.9%.

A striking difference, isn't it? If the probability of winning “Liverpool” was really about 80%, then the picture would be the opposite. We would receive payments 800x1.35x1000 = 1080000, and we would remain in the black. And if you win 20% of the bets on 1X, the payouts would be 200x3.54x1000 = 708000, which would mean a serious minus.


By the way, this is what bookmakers make money on. They know for sure that the general public will be loading the Leaver here, regardless of the odds. And they give it a priori unprofitable quotes. And still 90% of all bets will arrive there. But BC is not preparing to file for bankruptcy. The more they collect such bad bets, the more money they will get from the next Liverpool misfire. This is distance thinking that players should learn from the bookmakers.


So what is the difference between bets and forecasts?

When forecasting, it is enough to identify the most likely outcome. This is often quite easy to do, as in our example with the obvious outsider “Watford”. People who predicted a win or a loss for “Liverpool” will be right in most cases, which is enough to maintain their image as a league or sport specialist.

But for a bookmaker, simply identifying the most likely outcome is not enough. It is necessary to display the probabilities of outcomes as accurately as possible, and compare them with the odds of the bookmaker. You can only make a bet on the outcome in which the player's probability exceeds the bookmaker's. Only such an approach can lead to a plus at a distance, the rest is guaranteed to lead the players to a minus.


Answering the question at the beginning of the article, what is the main thing in betting. The main thing is to be able to determine the probabilities of outcomes as accurately as possible. This can be learned only in one case - if you literally live in your chosen league or sport.


Know all the news, insiders, tournament motivation, monitor the state of teams and players. Watch matches, regularly analyze bookmaker lines, study advanced statistics and find patterns. Yes, this is a real and very painstaking work, but all other methods are a path to nowhere, more precisely - to a minus.