Picking Selections

Types of Bets

If you think that simply picking a winner is enough to ensure success, you couldn’t be further from the truth.

Sure, if you pick the winner every time there’d be no problem, but not even the best of the best gamblers can do that.

Simply looking for winners is a sure fire way to lose money over time and drain your finances. To become a successful sports bettor in the long term, a few more essential factors must come into play.

Getting really good at this takes patience, effort and commitment. If you’re only interested in betting for the odd bit of recreation, then don’t get overly concerned by all of the finer details, just keep betting, following the tips and enjoy yourself. If you’re really serious however, this is how to pick your selections.

Look for Value

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We’ve discussed this before, but it’s so important we’ll cover it again. One of the most crucial aspects when picking selections is to consider the value of what you are betting on. That means you need to consider what the actual chances are of an event occurring against the price you are being offered.

If you are betting on a coin toss and are being offered EVS, the bet is neither good nor bad value. The price offered exactly reflects the odds of you picking the correct selection. On a roulette wheel,

EVS on a red or black is slightly below value as you have the 0 in European roulette and the 00 in American roulette. Your chances of winning are less than EVS.

Once you consider exactly the chances are of an event occurring you will be able to better reflect upon whether you have a good value bet.

Measuring Probability

When measuring the probability of result in any given sport you must first consider a number of variables. Some of the best indicators to whether your bet will be a success include recent form and head-to-head records. It is simply a case of weighing up which of these factors is the most important.

In Leicester’s run towards Premiership glory in 2016, their form became a much more important indicator than their head-to-head record. In fact, they pretty much tore up the rulebook in that year, leading to many bookies paying out at ridiculous odds of 5,000/1. Still, no one shed a tear for the bookies. They never deliberately offer prices at such great value, but they do sometimes get it wrong.

When measuring probability, it is fair for the most part to take current form and head-to-head records into account as well as environmental factors, physical condition (including injuries) and so on.

Other factors to consider are the venue, scheduling and motivation of the participants. All of this will allow you to measure probability against the value of the price you are offered.

Pick Conservatively

One of the big habits when picking selections is to aim for the moon and to stick a pound on a 10 or 12 selection accumulator. These types of bets come in so rarely that when they do they make national news headlines. You could make a good few hundred thousand pounds from a bet like this (usually a lot less), but every negative to sports betting is magnified with every extra selection. Just imagine trying to build a 10-floor house of cards with only 1 card per floor.

It is easy to get optimistic or greedy when picking selections but use your head. If the bookie has tried to price every selection to their advantage, then every selection you pick adds to the bookies advantage. A bookmaker might make a mistake in their valuing of one event or maybe two, but they get more right than they do wrong. Picking 10 or 12 selections just increases their advantage.

Look at Every Market

When you begin to really analyse your bets and really know your sport, you’ll begin to pick up on things others can’t. Sometimes the best value bets don’t lie in picking the winner, but in something else entirely. In football it could be HT/FT or under and over markets or something else entirely. It doesn’t matter what the betting area is, if it is clearly to your advantage and of good value that’s what you should be putting your money on.

There are a huge number of available markets online and looking past them to bet on the most popular choice is often the worst of possible tactics.


Picking your selections is about so much more than finding winners. To make money consistently, you need to do your homework and find value in your chosen sport, even where others may not bother to look. By doing this you can make great selections which, although they may not win every time, will certainly pay more handsomely.