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“Why don’t you write a bonus guide?”

Reporting from Bet Chat HQ, north London…

Recently I’ve been writing a lot about my new accumulator service, the reasoning behind it and the results so far. You may very well have signed up and already profited from it. If so, great! 

If not, you can click here to find out more and join the club.

Ever the slave driver, Bet Chat Bec thought that a good partner to the service would be a free bonus guide on what makes a great accumulator bet and, to be fair to her, I agree, so here goes…

What makes a great football accumulator bet?

The first thing to say is that my methodology is most definitely not system based. There are no hard and fast rules but there are certain dos and don’ts which, if followed, will significantly improve your chances of making a long term profit.

DO only bet if all individual selections offer value

As a standard rule of thumb, if you wouldn’t place a bet as a single, don’t include it in an acca. So don’t blindly add a team like Celtic or Barcelona just to bump up the odds.

That’s not to say you shouldn’t add the shortest priced teams, just that you need to think about it. If a full strength Celtic are playing an amateur highlands league team then odds of 1/5, while short, are still great value. Not so much if they’re in ropey form and are playing a top flight team.

DON’T be greedy

The closest thing I have to a set rule is that I’ll select a rough maximum of six teams if I’m covering league matches and 10 teams if I’m covering European or international matches (the average numbers will of course be lower).

Obviously the more teams you select, the less chance you have of winning the bet but the bigger the profit if you do win, so it’s a case of finding a balance… 

Realistically, if you place 1000/1, 20+ team accas, it probably doesn’t matter if the odds are value, because there’s every chance you’ll never actually win one.

At the same time, if the odds are value then it makes sense to include as many as are realistic.

As for my higher number of teams allowed in European/international matches, that’s purely because the gaps in quality are larger… 

Liverpool will almost never fail to beat say, the Cypriot champions, but there’s always at least a semi-realistic chance they will fail to beat a team near the bottom of the Premier League.

DO avoid teams who are typically over-bet

The best example of this is England who are almost never value odds. 

Just the other day I backed Belgium to beat them at odds of around 11/8-6/4. Belgium were at home and are the number one ranked team in the world. England had just lost to Denmark and scraped past Iceland. Crazy price.

Other teams that are regularly (but not always) over-bet and therefore poor value include Man City, Man Utd, Celtic, Rangers, Barcelona and Real Madrid. 

This does change of course depending on form. A couple of years ago Man City were value at almost any price. Much less so this season.

DON’T be afraid to add in a bigger price or two

Picking a good acca – or even one with the best chance of winning – is not about picking all the shortest priced selections. A lot of my best accas have one larger price (like Belgium at 11/8) anchoring the bet. This is because there’s more room for value in the slightly bigger prices…

It also means that you need fewer selections in total to hit good overall odds, and fewer matches means less change of a freak result costing you the bet.

Again though, this is all about finding a balance. I wouldn’t have a five team accumulator including a 5/1 shot, as that will more than likely let you down. Better placing that bet as a separate single.

Generally speaking, 2/1 would be the maximum price for a team in an acca and you don’t want more than two or three above 11/10.

Do take advantage of bonuses/best prices

Bookies generally like accumulator players because most people are terrible at them, so there are loads of bonuses on offer.

BetBull, for example, give out 10-50% odds boosts on almost every bet. The likes of Ladbrokes, Paddy Power and Bet Victor offer insurance if a selection lets you down.

Even if you can’t use a bookie offering a bonus, there is absolutely no excuse for not taking the best odds you possibly can…

The betting exchange, Smarkets, allows bets on accas and doesn’t ban or restrict people. By using them you could easily get 28/1 on a bet which is only 22/1 elsewhere.

DON’T avoid bets based on daft superstitions

The most common of these is people not betting on early kick-offs because they don’t want their bet to be over before the majority of games kick-off…

In a ‘fun’ sense I suppose that’s understandable, but we’re in it to make money (which is the most fun thing of all!), and avoiding value bets purely because of the kick-off time is just plain daft.

Last but not least…

My final piece of advice today is perhaps the most important, and it’s as follows:

It’s not about the teams you pick. It’s about the teams you leave out.

Typically when I’m choosing an acca, I’ll start by picking all the teams that I strongly suspect will win their matches. That takes 5 minutes tops and I do it largely without thinking…

That’s also where most people stop and place the bet, and that’s why most people lose.

The crucial part of the puzzle is in delving deeper into each team you’ve long-listed and finding reasons to remove them from the bet based, of course, on their odds – you would allow more leeway for an 11/10 shot than a 4/7 shot.

If you focus more on reasons not to back a team than reasons to back them, you’re far more likely to get rid of those who are over-bet and poor value.

One thing that I enjoy almost as much as winning an acca, is leaving out an odds on shot that goes on to draw or lose – that’s where the skill really lies. 

This has been a long email, so here’s something easy…

I do hope this little guide was of some use to you and helps in your own betting (the tips can equally be applied to lots of other sports and also betting on singles in a lot of cases).

Then again, maybe you just can’t be arsed and would rather somebody does the hard work for you.

If that’s the case, you can receive all of my accumulators (and only pay for the winners) by clicking here now.

Obviously current members need not apply!

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