The Pro's and Con's of Betting on your Favourite Teams

Betting on the teams you support can be a big dilemma when sports betting. It’s hard to control your personal bias towards your team and bet impartially. However, if you’re able to use your in-depth knowledge of your team to notice errors in pricing or an angle the bookmakers haven’t taken into account then it could be an easy way to get an edge on the bookies.

There are many ways to use in-depth team knowledge to gain an edge on the bookies. If it’s the case of you betting against your team that also kind of provides a small win-win situation, either money or your team winning. However, it can become more difficult when to decide if you are being biased when backing your team.

Team Strength and Weaknesses

Bookmakers will price up based on macro factors and key stats that historically impact the games the most. If you know in depth the strengths and weaknesses of your team then you can take into account styles of play, tactics, player matchups and all factors that should impact the match but may not have endless data to support it. While data can provide a rough picture for the bookies, it’s possible to be more accurate with hours of visual analysis. The easiest examples of in-game analysis that can give you an edge would be things such as knowing your team struggles against teams who play high press or physical teams with a lot of height and so on.

Squad and Player Knowledge

Squad and player knowledge is another way to gain an edge on the bookie. While you can simply gain an edge by being first to react to the news on player injuries and suspensions etc. You can also have a greater knowledge of how that player (s) should affect the price. For example, last season Arsenal had no substitute left-back, as an Arsenal fan watching week in and out I noticed how much of an impact Tierney was having in attack despite only playing left-back. Arteta’s tactics were to overload the left-hand side allowing Tierney to create for the team, with him out I expected and I was in hindsight correct to expect Arsenal to struggle to score goals with him out. As he is just a left-back the bookies didn’t adjust the price of Arsenal goals accordingly. While this example is football specific, it carries through to all sports and even more so in sports where player 1v1 matchups are even more crucial such as Basketball.

The Risks of Betting on Your Own Team

While you may think you have an edge on the bookie, it’s important to make sure you remove all bias, don’t get over-invested in any fixture and gather a good sample size to confirm your edge. When betting on your own team it’s very easy to get overly invested in any single fixture or result. You will naturally take the mindset of trying to predict what will happen rather than how likely ‘X’ is to happen, which can be a dangerous approach to take when gambling.

Bias works in multiple ways, after all, most of us will be huge fans of our clubs, it’s easy to be motivated, believe and support your team, however, it’s important that it doesn’t impact your betting decisions. It’s also possible to have a negative bias, something a lot of sports bettors fail to consider. When there’s a lot of negativity surrounding a club it’s easy to overexaggerate the situation. 1 or 2 poor results don’t define a team or a season, they may not even accurately portray how the team is playing. I would suggest using some data and a good sample size to verify your logic, make sure that you are not betting with bias and that your analysis is really giving you an edge on the market.

Key Takes and Tips

  • Find good resources for news and information about your club. The more updates and specific information you can gather, the more advantage you can have compared to the bookies.
  • Try to remove all bias, use data and stats to verify your logic if possible.
  • Place the bets or start watching the markets as soon as you have the information you need. This should help you get the best odds and increase that edge. If you have an edge, it’s likely the odds will shorten with time as more punters are thinking the same thing as you. However, this doesn’t have to be the case if the angle is very specific.
  • Don’t be deterministic. Use the specific knowledge you have along with sports betting fundamentals to gain an edge. Sample size is key to knowing you definitively have an edge, test with small stakes and use previous data if possible.

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