When you look to place a bet, it is only natural that you head straight to the markets of the leagues that you watch week in, week out. Premier League fans will generally bet on games in that division and will stick to matches between the top teams.
Staying within your comfort zone is understandable. After all, it is good practice to wager on markets where your knowledge is strong. However, smart bettors will look to broaden their horizons to find better value and market trends. And this means exploring the world of lower league football.
Why Bet On Lower League Football?
You may be wondering why you should bet on lower league football when there are more than enough top-flight markets to keep the casual punter amused. And it is a valid question. But betting is all about finding an edge. And sometimes you have to cast your net a bit wider to find it.
Every time you look at statistics in order to research a bet, your ultimate aim is to gain an advantage over the bookmaker. But betting is not an exact science, so just like you, the bookies are estimating the probability of outcomes based on their analysis and research.
By looking at lower leagues, you can not only find different trends in the markets but you might also have a better chance of gaining a slight edge. With so many events across so many leagues, people can sometimes miss trends and betting patterns that shrewd punters might spot.
And, when the top leagues are not throwing up the greatest odds, you can find some more interesting battles further down the football pyramids.
Easier To Spot Value Bets
If you notice a trend in a lower league, such as a goalscorer who has netted in consecutive games, check out the odds for that player.
You might find that you get better value than you would from betting on a top flight player with the same record. Finding those slight advantages are essential - where that advantage comes from is irrelevant.
You can also find value early by betting early, a day or two before the game. Once the money starts coming in, the odds will usually find their level, so it is worth looking for extra value early on.
Get Out Of Your Comfort Zone
Of course, betting on lower league football or even foreign leagues may be daunting at first. And if you’re a complete novice, you should probably stick to what you know.
But once you get used to looking at cold hard statistics, you should be able to find betting opportunities in leagues that you have not even watched.
When you only bet on a league you are familiar with, your own personal opinion can creep into your decision making and you might ignore what the stats are telling you.
A bit like when you always want to back your own team to win even when the stats tell you otherwise. It is okay to take external factors into account such as injuries, pitch conditions etc. but you should avoid personal bias when betting.
By betting on unfamiliar leagues, you can remove that emotional attachment to players and teams and begin to make an informed judgement about the value of the bet based on the stats.
Types Of Bets To Look Out For
When you start looking at lower leagues, you will notice that some leagues are better for certain types of bets as these figures from April 2018 show:
- The percentage of games in the Scottish League One with over 2.5 goals was 63.53%, while the figure for the English Premier League was much lower at 52.24%. In contrast, the percentage in the Kakkonen (Finnish third division) was a huge 66.25%, while the Argentina Primera B Nacional came in at a lowly 28.25%.
- In the English Conference South, the overall Both Teams to Score ratio was 59.53%, while the Premier League’s figure stood at 50-54%.
As you can see, some leagues are better than others for certain markets. The same is also true of certain teams:
- On April 19, 2018, English League Two side Crewe Alexandra had the longest consecutive streak of matches with over 2.5 goals (10) in all of Europe’s major leagues. In their next game, this bet was priced at 10/11. In comparison, Premier League team Arsenal had a run of six games with over 2.5 goals. That bet was available at 1/2 in their next match, offering less value.
- Crewe also had the longest streak in which both teams scored (10) and that bet was available at 7/10 in their next game. Meanwhile, both teams had scored in Arsenal’s last two games yet the price for this to happen in their next match was 4/7. Once again, the League Two match offered the better value in relation to the statistics.
A World Of Value
When you start exploring lower leagues either at home or abroad, you will start to spot value bets, and this becomes even easier over time. It is difficult for bookmakers to apply the same amount of precision to the calculations across every league and every market.
With the majority of people betting on the big leagues, that is where their main focus lies. So those who are willing to dig a little deeper are the ones that find that value needed to gain a little edge.
Other Things To Look Out For
Whatever league you decide to bet on, there are other things you need to consider. For instance, it might be harder to keep up with injuries, transfers and managerial changes in more obscure leagues.
And these factors can sometimes influence the likely outcome of a match. You can trawl through social media or search online for such information but often the effects of such factors are negligible when compared to the extra value that is available.
Remember, responsible betting is all about identifying good value and wagering within your means and it does not matter where you find that value.
So, don’t be afraid to step out of your comfort zone and look at leagues that you would normally avoid, at home or abroad. You might just find a market that gives you that crucial edge.
You don’t have to be an expert; you just need to look at the data and statistics and learn how to spot trends. There are a huge number of statistics available online and you can even keep records of your own.
Betting on football is about more than just the elite leagues, there is a whole world of wagering opportunities out there and tracking them down can add even more fun to your wagering experience.