Strategy, Look for unusual home and away form


Look for unusual home and away form

Playing on home turf is a big advantage in most football leagues. Support from the thousands of screaming fans gives a boost to the home club and intimidates the visitors. Teams noticeably struggle in away games, and even top clubs can't replicate their home form. Of course, the bookies know this as well as anyone, which is why the odds are shorter on a team playing in their own stadium.

But there are exceptions to the rule, and these can be very profitable if you find them.

Some teams won't fit the pattern and will actually play better away from home.

Here are a few examples from the 2005/2006 season in England, Italy and Spain:

Wigan home: 7 wins, 3 draws, 9 losses
Wigan away: 8 wins, 3 draws, 8 losses

Treviso home: 1 win, 4 draws, 13 losses
Treviso away: 1 win, 8 draws, 10 losses

Deportivo home: 6 wins, 5 draws, 8 losses Deportivo away: 9 wins, 5 draws, 4 losses

As you can see, Wigan, Deportivo and Treviso all had better records on the road. There are various explanations for this. Sometimes a team feels too much pressure from its home fans. Other teams adopt different playing styles and tactics in away games, which are often more successful than their game strategy at home.

But how does this affect your betting? Even though we've spotted this unusual pattern, the bookies will continue to make their odds assuming these teams have a bigger home advantage than they actually do. That creates value betting opportunities, because the odds on Wigan, Deportivo and Treviso will be bigger than they should be in away games. Similarly, it is worth betting against these teams when they play at home, because the bookies are factoring in home advantage where there is none.

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