11 Criteria For Choosing A Bet

This article discusses what is important to know when analysing games and making your selections. If you learn how to make such analysis, that will guarantee you a dramatic increase in your hit rate.

Surely, you can always simply watch the day’s matches and choose your pick but this is not a viable strategy for consistent winnings.



Analysis and Making Selections: Criteria

  • Choice of sport. For starters, it is a good idea to decide which sport you will bet on. I write about football here but these tips apply to any sport. It is really important to choose a sport you take an interest in and have plenty of information about. The betting opportunities offered by the sport are essential, and so are the promotions available. Bonuses depend on what a bookmaker’s primary sport is. For instance, British bookies promote horse racing most heavily while overseas bookmakers give away bonuses mostly for American sports.
  • Choice of championship. The choice of championship is closely related to the type of bets you intend to place. If you opt for the over 2.5 betting system, it might not make much sense to bet in low-scoring leagues. Some championships are more predictable than others and top teams win more easily when they play home. Review the statistics over the last 3-5 years quickly and select those tournaments that are likely to offer you a higher hit rate.
  • Type of match. There are European tournaments, friendly matches, various championships, national leagues, etc. Each match has specifics insofar as a national league match will require a different approach from a Euro Cup one. Personally, I avoid national leagues, especially minor ones.

    Top teams usually play a number of games during a season, and minor league matches only provide valuable learning experience for young players. I don’t bet on minor league finals, either, even if they feature an overwhelming favourite.
    Friendlies are often characterized by open play and numerous experiments with team selection. Sometimes there might be as many as 11 substitutions, and such matches are likely to get more goals scored.

    As for European championships, there could be surprises in the first round because top teams are not yet in optimal form and their aim is just to qualify for the next phase, no matter how.

  • Importance of match. This is another major criterion that you need to consider. The best clubs play lots of matches during a given season so they aim to have their priorities straight (it is too difficult to show top play in all tournaments). Read interviews by coaches and pay attention to the objectives they set for the team before the start of the season. Favourites don’t lay much weight on matches from the German or French Cup, for example.
    Mid-season when multiple matches are played across championships and top-class clubs compete on numerous fronts, it is very often the case that mid-table clubs win a title.

Clubs that have already faced the drop release the pressure and subsequently play much better. As a result, there might be surprises so you had better stay away from such matches as they are not easy to predict.

Yet local derbies are a totally different story, and neither the form of the players nor the number of matches they have in that period matter.
Normally, everyone gives 110% in local matches so the outcomes are hard to predict.

  • Championship phase. The first few rounds are quite unpredictable. Teams are still warming up and have yet to fulfill their potential while newbies are eager to prove their abilities and aren’t sparing their efforts, which leads to surprises.

Mid-season, things fall into place and predictability increases. Towards the final phase of the championship, there have already been a lot of matches and fatigue for top teams, while those in fear of relegation are desperate and fight to beat the drop. In turn, mid-table clubs have released the pressure and don’t have anything to play for. All of these factors could bring about surprises.

  • Standings. This shouldn’t be a relevant criterion for your choice of match, especially during the first 5-6 rounds when I advise that you don’t look at the standings at all. They can be an indicator of a team’s motivation, though. The latter differs based on whether the team is 2 points in front of the promotion zone for the Champions League, or it is close to the relegation zone, or it is mid-table, without chances of success.
  • History. Go 3-5 years back so as to determine a team’s tendencies, e.g. how they score at home/away, what their performance is in attack/defence, etc. If you spot a tendency, compare it to the club’s current form and you may find good odds.
  • Form. This is one of the primary criteria bookmakers use when they set the odds on a particular club. Review the club’s performance in the past 3 to 6 matches.
    • Wins/Losses
    • Home/Away performance
    • Number of goals scored and conceded
    • Who scored the goals?
    • Hard-earned or overwhelming victories
  • Current fixture workload. How often a club has played over the past month. The difference in a team’s performance is considerable if over the past 4 weeks they have played once every Sunday, or have had matches on weekdays as well, which, coupled with travelling, wears players out immensely.
  • Upcoming matches. Never fail to check the clubs’ upcoming matches so as not to wonder why they are using the substitutes when you are dead certain they should be demolishing the opponent. Then it turns out they are having a round of 16 Champions League match in two days.
  • Weather. Remember to check the weather forecast as it greatly affects a team’s performance. If used to technical football, a team will face difficulty playing against a tough opponent at a wet and muddy football pitch. If you have been playing in warm Spain and then you go to Russia where it is -10ºC, your performance will surely suffer, and the outcome of the match will be unpredictable.


When I began dealing with sports betting seriously, I made a checklist and used it every time I analysed a given match:

  • What the type of the match is
  • What phase the championship is in
  • What the team’s current form is
  • What the motivation for the match is
  • What the current fixture workload and upcoming matches are
  • What the weather is like

The most important thing to take away from this article is that your hit rate increases with every further factor you take into account when making your selections. Use these tips and you will soon see the difference.