Jordan Pickford of England celebrates his team first goal during the 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia group G match between England and Panama at Nizhny…
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Even if you win 55% of your bets, you will come out consistently ahead. This is, however, easier said than done and involves more than just a little reading and checking the injury reports. If Paul the octopus picked every winner in the recent soccer World Cup, picking winning football teams should be just as easy, right? Wrong. If it were that easy, lots of people would be making money and the sports books would have to go out of business. If winning at football betting involves some knowledge, some strategy and, let us face it, a dash of luck, it is because the bookmakers set very tight lines for the games. However, if you keep the following tips in mind, it should improve your chances of winning.
Bet as early as you can. Many of the sports books post their lines as early as they can and some offshore books do this by Sunday afternoon for the following week’s games. If you find a game and odds that you like make sure that there are no serious injury problems for the team that you pick. Bookmakers are not perfect and can make mistakes in setting the line. Pounce early before heavy betting irons out the mistakes.
Concentrate on a few teams. Because knowledge is important, if you concentrate on a few teams, you can build up a substantial amount of knowledge which you can use in making your bets. Also limit your betting to just a few games every Sunday.
Avoid heavy favorites. The crowd loves favorites and will rush to bet on them. However, they are not good choices if you want to maintain your 55% average in winning bets. Even if you do win a few, the payouts will be small. The best strategy is to bet on short priced underdogs because, when you win, you generally make more than you have bet.
Use totals judiciously. Totals set early in the week are generally based on predictions of good weather. In late season games, rain or snow sometimes affects the scoring and a heavy wind almost always keeps scoring down. In these conditions, you would do well by betting the Under
Use yards per play ranking. One method of evaluating teams is to look at the offensive yards gained per play and the defensive yards given away per play. Teams that gain more than they lose end up winning more games. The statistics are easily available and you can calculate the difference with a positive difference being an advantage. The rule of thumb to calculate a points spread from the yardage differential is that every 0.15 yards is worth one point. A differential of 0.60 yards between the two teams is worth four points. As with all betting tools, use your other data and information to confirm your findings.
Don’t avoid teasers. There is a common perception that teasers are a rip-off and therefore best avoided. Under certain circumstances, an NFL teaser which is a two-game parlay bet can make sense.
Pay attention to the injury reports. Read the injury reports carefully to determine what difference it is going to make to the performance of your chosen team. Do not just look at key players because all the guys in the team have to perform at their peak.
If in some cases these players have an emotional connection to the country for which they became naturalized, in other cases that no longer happens.
At a time when it is quite normal for football clubs to field foreign football players, clubs like Athletic Bilbao from Spain and Hrvatski Dragovoljac in Croatia, go against the grain in their insistence on fielding only local players.
However, when it comes to most national teams, the acceptance of foreign players is viewed differently, when they include players that can only be described as nationals in a very loose sense.
Yet this is not a recent trend and in fact the practice had been going on prior to World War II as is the case of the German team that absorbed the best Austrian players and even forced Ernst Wilimowski of Poland into its squad during the occupation of Poland.
Before the 1934 World Cup, Italy naturalized a number of fantastic South Americans of Italian descent, like Demaria, Orsi, Monti, and Guaita who helped the “azzurri” win the World Cup against Czechoslovakia.
Ferenc Puskas became a Spanish citizen after the bloody Soviet invasion of Hungary in 1956. Spain also gave passports to another Hungarian Ladislav Kubala, as well as the Argentinian national Alfredo Di Stefano who was of Italian descent. More recently, Donato Silva of Brazil represented the Spaniards.
Picking naturalized players for national teams knows no borders.
The World Cup 2010 in South Africa will have many players that were born in one country but chose to represent another. In many cases they came from former colonies, a situation quite common in the French team that won their only world title with the precious help of players born in former French territories.
Would “Les Bleus” have been so successful without great African players like Zinedine Zidane (Algeria), Patrick Vieira (Senegal) or Marcel Desailly (Ghana), Caribbean Islands reinforcements like Lilian Thuram and Thierry Henry (Guadalupe) or Christian Karembeu (New Caledonia in the Pacific Ocean) as well as Robert Pires (Portugal) David Trezeguet (Argentina), Youri Djorkaeff and Alain Boghossian, both from Armenia? It looked more like a World XI team that brought the World Cup and European Championships trophy home, to France. Michele Platini one of the best French players of all time was Italian.
Germany soon filled the absence of Klinsmann, Bierhoff and Kirsten when they retired. Players like Rink and Cacao (Brazil), Bobic (Slovenia), Dundee (South Africa), Neuville (Switzerland), Asamoah (Ghana), Mehmet Scholl (Turkey) Kurany (Brazil) as well as Littbarski, Klose and Podolski (from Poland). Poland’s national team has also adopted Emanuel Olisadebe of Nigeria.
Holland started using many fantastic players like Clarence Seedorf, Edgar Davids, Ruud Gullit, Patrick Kluivert, Frank Rijkaard, Pierre van Hooijdonk and Aaron Winter just to name some of the best, all from Surinam, a former Dutch colony in South America. Philip Cocu was French but played for the Orange team.
Despite being a recurrent process, FIFA has been battling to reverse the growing trend of naturalized players. Some measures however, have been taken to change things in the right direction.
FIFA has increased from two to five years the time required in which the player must live in a country, before beginning the process of naturalization. There is also the requirement that the player had never represented his nation of origin, including at youth level.