How To Research For a Football Bet: 5 Things To Look For

Written By:Mike Lovatt
Last Updated: September 27, 2022

Building a successful strategy for football betting can be a real challenge. Even if you do manage to achieve it, this doesn’t mean you will just place bets and collect your winnings. Constant effort is required and there are certain steps in the preparation for each bet that just can’t be ignored.

How to Study Football Betting

The research before each football match is the key to success, as it’s the only way to get a good evaluation of what’s to be expected.

Depending on the markets you choose, there might be plenty of details, but the basis remains the same most of the time.

Let’s cover the aspects of how to analyse football matches for betting. They won’t instantly make you a winner, but it’s a huge step in the right direction.

1. Check the Performance of Both Teams Over a Long Period

This is an obvious step and yet, somehow plenty of people underestimate its importance. The long-term performance of both teams involved is the best way to get a good idea of their average performance. There is a reason the legendary Bill Shankly once said: “form is temporary, class is permanent”. Certain bookies like bet365 will under-price a well known team, just because punters assume they’ll win. Sometimes a side like Man Utd may always struggle away to Sunderland, but the bookies don’t reflect this in their odds – they want to suck people in that just jump on the big named teams.

The exact time frame depends on what you are looking for, but the minimum should be around a couple of months or even a year. This will give you a good start and a platform to build on when you go into more details later.

The important questions here are how does the team perform in terms of goals scored, goals conceded, playing home or away (depending on the game), results against teams similar to the next opponent and many more valid points that should be considered.

2. Check the Short-Term Trends

After you have a good understanding of the bigger picture, it’s time to dig deeper and see what is the current shape of both teams. As we know, confidence is key in football and certain players can look like world beaters one day and like Sunday league amateurs the next. That makes short-term trends extremely important.

Take a look at the last 5-10 games of each team, this should be enough to show you what to expect. Once again, stats such as goals scored, goals conceded, average possession and form of the best players are the things you should be looking for. It’s a good idea to actually read a short match report for each of the games in case you haven’t watched them. You never know if a team was just unlucky with some near misses, wonder goals conceded or referee mistakes.

3. Team News Is Essential

Almost every punter out there knows that you should check the list of suspended, injured and doubtful players. The problem of most people is that they don’t fully evaluate the influence of the absentees. A certain player can be badly missed against certain opposition and easily compensated against another. For example, a team missing its best centre back could struggle against an attacking-minded opponent and do well against a side that prefers to sit back.

How To Research For a Football Bet: 5 Things To Look For - has a great section in their match previews that highlights current injuries and suspensions

Of course, you should also take a look who’s going to replace the missing players. How did their subs perform the last time they played? Are they just bench-warmers or squad players that get enough minutes to be in good shape? Those questions and many more need to be answered.

There is another aspect that is often ignored. The schedule of both teams is essential, as nowadays the number of games played per season demands rotation. This is especially true for the English Premier League due to the lack of a winter break. Check the last couple of games of each team and what’s coming next. It should give you a good idea if the manager will start his strongest line-up or try to rotate a bit.

4. Previous Meetings Between the Two Teams

The next step would be to check how both teams performed against each other in the past. The last couple of games are the most telling, but the historical data shouldn’t be underestimated. Certain fierce rivalries such as the North London Derby between Tottenham and Arsenal, for example, has its own rules and the game often does not depend on form as much.

There is another important thing you might notice – certain teams or even certain players sometimes have a good streak against a specific opposition. Plenty of examples can be seen in the English Premier League where Sunderland is on a great streak against the local rival Newcastle in the past couple of years. The Magpies are also the favorite opponent for Arsenal’s striker Olivier Giroud who is scoring against them on a regular basis.

5. Listen to the Experts

Nowadays, you can find so many opinions on the Internet that could be pretty overwhelming. Most of them would just confuse you and can’t contribute much to your analysis. Still, there are certain experts that could be useful. Whether is successful punters or well-known journalists, there are people who are good at analyzing and predicting football matches.

We don’t recommend you to directly copy someone else’s opinion, but taking your time to read a preview is not a bad idea. Seeing a different perspective could confirm your own expectations or show you an angle you might have missed.

List of Soccer Analysis Websites

After we went through the most important steps you have to take in your preparation, it’s time to list some useful websites that can help you in this regard. Most of them will provide you the necessary data:


After we went through the most important steps you have to take in your preparation, it’s time to list some useful websites that can help you in this regard. Most of them will provide you the necessary data:


One of the best free odds comparison services in the business. You will find the best prices for almost any football match out there. It has all the important markets and then some more. On top of that, there are plenty of stats, betting tools, a reliable live score service and even tipsters who provide picks. It’s pretty much the full package.


The OLBG community is probably the biggest when it comes to betting. The platform has many useful features including free tournaments with real prizes, hundreds of successful tipsters and much more. One of the best things is that it’s not limited to football only, so you could check it for other sports as well.

Make your list of things to look for when betting on football

Consider this article as your starter pack for how to bet on football. It’s not enough, but it’s a pretty solid beginning. We strongly encourage you to build on it by finding your own ways for an even better evaluation of the matches you are willing to bet on. Also, there are so many reliable websites and services out there, that you should spend some time checking what can be useful to you.

Mike Lovatt

Mike has over 14 years of experience with online sports betting, having used countless online betting sites. Mike previously provided football betting tips on goals and corners in Facebook groups before starting his own betting website. A huge football fan, Mike has been writing betting guides and football betting advice for years.

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