The Use of Statistics in Football Betting

Predicting who will be top of the league or lifting a trophy at the start of the season requires an understanding about how good each team is. This knowledge comes from an analysis of the overall quality of the football teams that are playing and is vital in helping you identify value betting opportunities. The use of statistics in football betting can create an advantage, though there are disadvantages to relying solely on statistics when making your decision.


The advantages of using statistics in football betting

Whilst randomness plays a key role in the game of football, using statistics together with other information will improve your betting judgements, even though there are some limitations. The main data you use to assess a football team’s performance and potential include goal differential, possession, shots on goal, shots on target, location of shots on goal and more. The results are based on quantifiable data, much of which is readily available online, free or for a fee.

Statistics that help you identify the strengths and weaknesses of a team, allow you to make a direct comparison in a match, giving an idea of how a game will play out, or how the team may fare over the entire season. This in turn will confirm the true value in the betting odds and lines.

The disadvantages of using statistics in football betting

Whilst statistics have some merit in football betting, there are some disadvantages, which suggests that you do not rely on them completely.

One good player cannot always make a good team. Many football teams feature at least one player with excellent individual statistics, but these don’t count for much if the rest of the team are rated much lower. Be careful not to overvalue a particular player, instead assess the quality of the overall team to be sure you’re making a good betting decision.

Valuable insights from statistics usually only come from a good sample size. One team may have better statistics in almost every measure against another team, but this doesn’t mean they are the better team. The team with better statistics may just have had an easy start to the season, with a settled team and no injuries. The opposing team may have integrated several new players, got a new coach, had their captain out injured for three of their first five games whilst facing some strong teams, involving extensive travelling.

Context is just as important as sample size, numbers need to be put into context in order to gain maximum value from them.

Technical knowledge

With so much information available about football teams, the more technical aptitude you have, the more likely you will be able to predict football games accurately and find value bets consistently. Being able to work your way around a spreadsheet or database will help you find dozens of value bets across a season, without which you might only be able to find seven or eight bets.


However you approach your football forecasting, you need to be able to identify value bets and a number of value bets that make maintaining your model or system worth your time. This requires an approach that allows you to accurately assess team performance and future potential more accurately than the bookmakers.