Sports Betting Strategy: Betting on Your Own Team

One of the most common pieces of advice you’ll hear in sports betting is not to put money on a match that your team’s involved in. But if, like many punters, you think that's part of the fun, there are still ways to make it pay.

Hedge Your Emotions

Start by learning to recognise when you've placed an emotional bet - one based more on what you hope will happen than what you think will happen. If you have, look at other markets that could help recoup your stake in the event of a loss. Everyone's sad when their team loses, but putting a few quid on a negative result means there’ll still be something to celebrate at full time. It's the closest thing to a win-win scenario, and the simplest way to approach the problem. However, though it’s a valid strategy if you’re looking to minimise losses, it's not the most lucrative if you take your betting more seriously.

As an example, Arsenal fans who backed the Gunners to go on and beat Leicester in the second half of their recent meeting, with the score level at 1-1 after 45 minutes, might have regretted taking the 11/4 odds at Bet365 Sports. Their lone striker, Yaya Sanogo, was under-performing, and the manager was under pressure with 24 hours of the transfer window remaining. In fact, neither team looked likely to break the deadlock after the first 30 minutes. In this case, betting on a final score of 1-1 at 12/5 would have been a sensible hedge. And so it turned out.

Set a 30-Second Rule

A simple tip to help minimise the impact of emotional bets is to enforce a 30-second ‘cooling off’ period before you pay out, in which you take time to consider your options. This simple rule is particularly important when you’re betting in-play. After a big twist in a game, for example, you may be tempted into a knee-jerk reaction. In these periods, the odds usually fluctuate rapidly as punters rush into the main markets, so you'll benefit from letting them settle.

Keep an Eye on the Stats

A stats-led strategy when betting on matches involving your team limits how far you can be swayed by emotion or bias. Top sports betting sites like Bet365 Sports offer in-play statistics for most sports, and keeping an eye on them can provide a factual basis for your bets. If you're betting before a match begins, examine the form of both sides and weigh up their key performers. Your instincts may be right, but statistics provide useful reassurance that your heart isn’t ruling your head.

Track Secondary Markets

If your team is playing, it might be sensible to avoid 'outright winner' markets altogether, and turn instead to those that can be assessed objectively. In football betting, this could be 'corners' and 'cards'; in rugby betting it could be the 'total match points' market; and in American sports like ice hockey and basketball, it could be the 'highest scoring period'. Delving into these markets encourages you to consider the stats and other substantive elements of the game, rather than relying purely on instinct and emotion.