Helpful Guide to Betting on Accumulators
Let’s face it, we have all been there. It’s Saturday morning. A new day, with plenty of football and immense opportunity. “Today will be the day!”, you pledge to yourself as you ultimately begin to waste more money on accumulators. The problem is, we are forward-thinking dreamers. We have all—at one time or another—imagined landing that mega accumulator, the 100/1 (or higher) total long-shot that plays into the bookmaker’s hands.
But, it’s possible?! Sure, as is the lottery. Like with the lottery, we are influenced by the fact that someone will win it and are reminded of this fact with clever marketing. The same thing is happening when you view large accumulator wins on Twitter. You and your cognitive bias will remember the wins, as it reinforces your own beliefs, but just know that the odds are well and truly stacked against you. If people were to post all accumulator defeats on Twitter, you would spend hours looking for the winning bet slips.
I’m painting quite a bleak picture of accumulators here, but it’s not all that bad. There’s value to be found and money to be made once you start to respect the probability that’s on offer and combine solid research with doubles, trebles, and Bet Builders. Millions of bettors use accumulators for fun, and that’s absolutely fine. If that’s you, please, continue to enjoy them whilst betting responsibly. I’ll agree that they do make watching the football results on a Saturday much more interesting. However, if you want to get out of the rut of losing these bets and start benefiting, then please stick around for the rest of this article as it’s time to start making accumulators work for you, not the bookmakers.
How Odds Are Calculated, Bookmaker Bonuses
Personally, I use decimal odds as I find it’s easier and quicker to see the value. When you’re looking at a list of single bets, the best way to work out a close price that the bookmakers will offer as an accumulator is to multiply all of the decimal odds together. Let’s take this example below:
- Home Win at 1.80
- BTTS:YES at 2.00
- +9 Corners at 1.80
You could expect odds of ~6.48 for this treble. However, bookmakers will often offer higher prices with the more individual bets added. What’s also new, is accumulator bonuses. Bet365, for example, will offer a % of your odds as a bonus. This bonus will increase as you keep adding bets. This is very smart from the bookmakers and encourages more bets to be added to your accumulator, which in turn diminishes the probability of the bet actually winning. What seems like a friendly gesture from the bookmakers is really them shifting the advantage even further in their direction.
It’s important to get a grip on probability early on, as it will really help you when it comes to betting on multiples. As an example, if you combine a few teams at the weekend and receive odds of 125.00. The implied probability of this bet winning is 0.8%. Less than 1% chance of winning.
More Research, More Wins
The number one reason for your accumulator ending in defeat is lack of research. If you want to start taking betting seriously and making a nice income on the side, you must entertain basic research. It can improve your chances massively. The following tools can be used to find teams, competitions, and fixtures with betting on:
Match Search: The Match Search will allow you to filter through thousands of upcoming games for the stats that suit the accumulator you have in mind. Within seconds, you can view all fixtures for today, sorted by the BTTS (Both Teams to Score) occurrence across the season. If you’re looking to put together a BTTS accumulator, this moment of research will give your bet a much better chance of winning than your previous shot in the dark. The detailed filters on this page allow you to completely customise the kind of fixtures you see.
Team Search: The Team Search works in a similar way to the Match Search, but will filter for a single team. Where the Match Search will look at combined averages for both teams, with regards to a single fixture, this tool will look through and filter the stats for a single team, regardless of their next opponent. This goes hand in hand with detailed research, as you can start to compile a list of teams that consistently score plenty of goals, teams that always conceded in the second half, or even teams that have never lost a game in the first 45 minutes. It’s all possible with Team Search.
League Search: The League Search, as you might expect, works in a similar way to the previous two tools, but filters for the average league stats. I love this tool, especially for finding leagues where there’s a high average number of goals. If you’re from the UK (like me), we like to think we know our stuff about the English game. Whilst we might, the fact remains that English football is highly unpredictable, unlike other competitions.
Maximising Bet Builders
In 2018, Bet365 launched the Bet Builder tool. It allows you to combine multiple single bets from the same fixture into a single bet, like so:
- FT Result: Away Win (1.44)
- +1.5 Match Goals (2.00)
The bet builder will combine these into a single bet for us, with the odds of ~2.50. I have only used two markets here, but the possibilities are endless. You can get really creative and extract more value from a single fixture by using the bet builders, especially in the leagues where “Specials” are supported. If you get to view these fixtures early enough, you will see markets for free-kicks, throw-ins, and shots on target.
Why are bet builders important when trying to make money from accumulators? Well, because you can now combine bet builders with your existing bets, meaning an accumulator that’s made up of both standard bets and bet builders. If you come across a market that looks too short for you, dip into the bet builder and see if you can create a single-fixture bet builder to add to your accumulator, or to use as a single.
Think In Singles. Accumulate Later.
As I mentioned at the top of this article, the bookmakers love those who jump on their dedicated website or app and just throw money at accumulators every Saturday. The issue here is that bettors are going into this with an “accumulator-first” approach. However, to give yourself the best chance, you should take a step back and plan out your bets in singles. I personally open a simple Google Spreadsheet and log the bets I plan to make, along with the odds and my desired market.
Then, when you have done all of the necessary research, you can start to think about merging some of these singles into multiples. How you do this can be up to you. You can either combine bets with the same market into the same accumulator, so 4x BTTS, for example. Another way is to completely randomise this process. I find the latter to give me more peace of mind, simply because of the level of research I have already put into the fixtures. You should be confident enough to mix and match them.
Thanks for reading. I hope this guide has helped you understand just why the bookmakers love those that consistently lump on long-shot multiples. They make a killing from this and design their applications to actively encourage it, offering bonuses and sweeteners.
- Stop Chasing Large Returns.
- Use BetBuilders to Maximise Value from Single Games.
- Think in Singles. Then Ponder Multiples.
- Research Helps, Even At The Basic Level.
Do you often bet on multiples? Did you find this guide helpful or would you like to suggest something for us to add? You can get in touch on https://twitter.com/footystats_org.