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Football Draw Strategy: Take advantage of an undervalued market

Backing draws in football is one of the most profitable bets in the game
Football Draw Strategy
Many football matches end in draws which can be very profitable for sharp punters (PIERRE-PHILIPPE MARCOU/AFP/Getty Images)


Football Draw Strategy


Betting on draws is one of the most overlooked and undervalued markets in football. Many casual bettors just don’t bet on draws. They like to watch and bet on a game that has a winner. To many casual bettors, a game without a winner is boring.

We are conditioned to think that one team has a better chance of winning than the other. It’s difficult to cheer for a draw unless you have anticipated it, had a wager on it or support a team that is a big underdog.

Favourable odds


The odds offered on draws is almost always over 3.00 which represents great value for money, considering there are three possible outcomes in every game of football. Quite often the odds on a draw will be more than 4.00 even in games where there is no clear favourite.

Betting on draws can be profitable if you correctly pick them more than one-third of the time. Many professional bettors bet exclusively on draws and swear by it, knowing that a success rate between 35-40% is enough to turn a consistent profit. 

Selecting draws


There are different methods to try and select draws. You can crunch the stats, use intuition, develop a betting model or observe certain patterns early in a season and try to find teams that have a high frequency of draws. 

Draw betting requires a different analysis than finding winners. Depending on the situation such as league position, upcoming games or fatigue, two teams will be happy with a draw and a point before the game kicks off. For many smaller clubs, a draw at one of the big guns is a great result.

Some teams and their managers have a mentality that means they are likely to draw a high proportion of games. Some managers are more than happy to earn a point in away games and focus winning at home. 

Low scoring leagues tend to have a higher proportion of draws. Putting in the work, studying the way teams play and the statistics in a range of scenarios will help you find value in the draw market.

Value


Value is the key to any form of sports betting and we can easily apply that in the draw market. If we break each football game into three possible outcomes at 33%, and the odds for a draw regularly sitting around the 3.00 mark with an implied probability of 33%, there is value straight away if you do your homework.

Just like the win and over/under goals markets in football, it is important to try and find teams flying under radar or teams that are over and undervalued. Many home teams are too short in the odds and represent significant value. Take for instance Manchester United in the 2016/17 English Premier League season.

Jose Mourinho’s side drew 15 of their 38 matches at 39% that season, with a high proportion coming at home where drew 10 of their 19 games. Mourinho’s first season in charge of the Red Devils was a prime example where jumping on the draw bandwagon paid handsome dividends.

Cash Out


In this day and age where bookmakers allow you to cash out and any time during the match, it often pays to regularly cash out of draw bets with minutes remaining. As bookmakers will shut the door with around 3 or 4 minutes of normal time remaining, that could end up being 10 minutes or more of playing time including added time.

There is nothing more frustrating than having a game in which you have bet on a draw fall apart with a last minute winner. Keep records of your bets, keep track of your cashed out bets, do the maths and find out if guaranteeing regular profit is beneficial in the long run.

Draw Accumulators


Accumulators and multi bets are extremely common in today’s betting landscape. Adding four football draws in an accumulator will get you odds of over 100/1, but understand that each added leg significantly reduces your chances of winning.

It is advisable to concentrate on single bets when betting on football draws. Trying to hit a massive accumulator is plenty of fun, but needs to be seen in the same context as winning the lottery. Professional bettors will bet only a very small amount of their bankroll on draw accumulators. 

There are some ways you can use accumulators to your advantage in the football draw market. One way is to select matches that are played on different days. For instance you could select three football draws for games on Friday, Saturday and Sunday.

If the Friday game is a draw, sit back. If it isn’t you can place an accumulator for the Saturday and Sunday fixtures. If the Saturday game is a draw, sit back. If it isn’t then bet on the Sunday game.
 
The obvious problem there is if the Friday and Sunday matches are successful but the Saturday fixture fails. That’s where it pays to bet on doubles, which for two draws is usually around 10/1.

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