In the world of football betting, no type of bet is as talked-about or as controversial as accumulator bets. On one hand, there’s no denying that punters love them. There’s just something about the skill required to make good accumulator predictions and turn them into massive returns. On the other, professional bettors and statistics warn us that accas are, in fact, terrible for value and long-term profits.
Today, we’re going to take a closer look into these topics to answer some simple questions. Are accumulator bets good? If they are, why?
Value and Accas – How it All Works
Before we proceed, we’ll need to be clear about what we’re talking about. Now, we already have a short explanation of the concepts of betting value. We’ll also assume you have a basic grasp of how accumulator bets work, but we’ll do a short recap.
The notion of value is essentially borrowed from the world of investment. Say you are investing in a business, and someone offers you a lower price than the business is worth. This price difference implies that there is value in the investment. The issue, of course, is that it’s hard to know the real worth of an investment. Especially since you need to know better than the person selling it to you.
Now apply that to soccer betting. Essentially, you need to know the actual probability of a certain outcome. Say your research tells you that a team has a 60% chance of winning. You favourite bookmaker, on the other hand, is offering odds of 2.00, which have an implied probability of 50%. The 10% would be called an edge.
Of course, most of the time in online betting, it works the other way around. The bookmakers have an edge over players, which is how they turn a profit. From your perspective, this means that most bets have a negative value. To get the best football bets and predictions, you essentially need to outsmart the bookies.
We won’t bore you with math equations just yet, but consider this. Accumulators take the individual odds of several bets and multiply them. This exponentially increases the profits but decreases the probability of winning just as much. While the implied probability of your betting prediction decreases immensely, the odds grow to counteract this. In other words, if the edge was identical for all selections, it will stay the same in an acca bet.
Accumulator Betting and Return-on-Investment
We’ll go back to investment for a second. Return on investment is essentially how much you’re projected to earn from a given venture. For sports betting, ROI comes down to multiplying the odds with the edge.
Since the best accumulator bets have very long odds, it means they can turn a small edge into large profits. For example, a bet with 2.00 odds and a small 2% edge has an expected ROI of just 4%. However, an accumulator bet with 5 such selections has odds of 32 and an enormous ROI of 64%
If you understood what we just talked about, your eyes should be gleaming with the possibilities. However, a word of warning here. As we’ve noted above, top bookmakers have an edge over players in almost all betting offers. That means that most of the time, whenever you make accumulator football bets, you’re just getting negative ROI. Needless to say, this is bad for your bottom line.
This is the point we’ve trying to make. Accumulator bets take the value of their separate parts and multiply them. If all your bets have value – congratulations, you’ve just made a killer wager. However, finding a single bet with actual value can be very hard – even for the pros. Four or more is even tougher, as you might imagine. The problem is that just one weak link can drive the cumulative value down immensely and ruin the whole thing.
As such, most accumulator betting tips offer negative value despite their good intentions.
There are other things to consider here, of course. For example, remember the 5-leg accumulator we just used an example? Well, each selection has a 52% chance of winning – the implied probability of 2.00 odds plus the edge. However, an accumulator bet with 5 of these has an implied probability of 3.2%. No matter how you look at it, winning accumulator bets are a rare thing indeed.
In practice, this means that you would statistically need to play more than 30 of these to actually win one. Sure, you would turn a profit in the long run – but not everyone has that kind of bankroll. Moreover, that would require more than 150 selections which all have value. That’s a lot of work just to win accumulator bets, isn’t it?
So, are accumulator bets bad for value? No, not if you play your cards right. Are they hard to use in a smart way, though? Yes. Incredibly so.
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