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Aug 30, 2016
Aug 30, 2016

Out with soccer betting tips, in with historical data

How to use historical data to empower your betting

Which teams consistently outperform expectation?

Out with soccer betting tips, in with historical data

With an increasing number of bettors turning away from the 1X2 soccer markets and towards handicap betting to get better odds, knowing how to profit from handicap betting can get you ahead the curve. No more searching for soccer betting tips. Here’s the ultimate guide on how to turn historical handicap data into winning picks.

What is handicap betting?

Handicap betting (sometimes referred to as the ‘spread’) is simply placing a bet on the outcome of a match that involves a virtual deficit determined by a bookmaker. While the bookmaker is trying to counter perceived bias in the abilities of two opposing teams, handicap betting can provide informed bettors with more value than the traditional 1X2 in soccer betting. Read more about handicap betting.

What does previous handicap betting data tell us?

The below table looks at how well the Premier League teams did at covering the spread in the handicap market over the last six seasons, pinpointing which teams did better than bookmakers expected and which ones did worse. The teams with an average percentage of over 50% have essentially beaten the bookmakers in handicap betting.

EPL team by team performance at covering the handicap

Team

2010/11

2011/12

2012/13

2013/14

2014/15

2015/16

Average

Arsenal

39.5%

42.1%

44.7%

57.9%

42.1%

47.4%

45.6%

Bournemouth AFC*

N/A

N/A

N/A

N/A

N/A

34.2%

34.2%

Burnley*

N/A

N/A

N/A

39.5%

39.5%

N/A

39.5%

Chelsea

34.2%

28.9%

52.6%

57.9%

47.4%

28.9%

41.6%

Crystal Palace*

N/A

N/A

N/A

50%

57.9%

47.4%

51.8%

Everton

42.1%

39.5%

42.1%

44.7%

44.7%

50%

51.8%

Hull City*

N/A

N/A

N/A

39.5%

39.5%

N/A

39.5%

Leicester City*

N/A

N/A

N/A

N/A

44.7%

71.1%

57.9%

Liverpool

39.5%

31.6%

39.5%

44.7%

39.5%

39.5%

39.1%

Manchester City

42.1%

57.9%

34.2%

55.3%

52.6%

36.8%

46.5%

Manchester United

47.4%

52.6%

47.4%

44.7%

42.1%

47.4%

46.9%

Middlesbrough*

N/A

N/A

N/A

N/A

N/A

N/A

N/A

Southampton*

N/A

N/A

50%

50%

50%

52.6%

50.6%

Stoke City

50%

52.6%

55.3%

63.2%

55.3%

52.6%

54.8%

Sunderland

50%

55.3%

44.7%

42.1%

55.3%

44.7%

48.7%

Swansea City*

N/A

50%

47.4%

39.5%

47.4%

47.4%

46.3%

Tottenham Hotspur

42.1%

52.6%

55.3%

50%

52.6%

50%

50.4%

Watford*

N/A

N/A

N/A

N/A

N/A

44.7%

44.7%

W.B.A

52.6%

52.6%

47.4%

47.4%

52.6%

55.3%

51.3%

West Ham United*

44.7%

N/A

52.6%

47.4%

52.6%

60.5%

51.6%

*Teams that haven’t been in the Premier League for six consecutive seasons.

Stoke City – Consistently covering the spread

Since winning promotion to the Premier League, Stoke City has undergone somewhat of a transformation. Under Tony Pulis, The Potters were labelled as defensive and hard to beat, but since Mark Hughes took over in 2013, their style of play has dramatically changed.

The change of manager may have brought about their highest percentage of covering the spread in handicap betting (63.2% in the 2013/14 season), but from 2010/11 onwards, they have been remarkably consistent (averaging 54.8%). They are the only side to cover the spread 50% or more over the course of the season in each of the last six campaigns (50% their lowest total in 2010/11).

What does this mean for bettors? If the trend of Stoke City beating the spread continues, betting on their handicap odds (e.g. Stoke City +1 if they are playing against a stronger team or Stoke City 0 if they are playing against a side of similar perceived ability) throughout the season can lead to increased winnings, even if they fail to win those matches or only win by a narrow margin.

Liverpool – Reputation outweighing performance

Liverpool is a prime example of a club’s reputation affecting their handicap odds. Since last winning the league in 1990, they have failed to live up to expectations. Liverpool’s 39.1% average of covering the spread in the last six seasons is by far the lowest of any club who has been in the division throughout the same period.

In fact, they are the only team that has failed to cover the spread 50% of the time at least once in each of those six seasons. What this means for bettors is that betting on Liverpool’s opponents to cover their spread throughout the season could prove to be more profitable than relying on 1X2 soccer betting tips with questionable success rates.

Tottenham Hotspur – Reliable but predictable

Tottenham Hotspur is one team that, over the past six seasons, has performed almost exactly as bookmakers would expect. Despite a dip in 2010/11 (42.1%), they have covered the spread 50.4% of the time. Although this average might not provide a handicap betting opportunity, bettors can use it as a predictive tool for Tottenham’s consistency and reliability.

Other factors to consider

Instead of following opinion-based soccer betting tips, informed bettors will implement a strategy that considers numerous factors. As previously mentioned, a new manager for Stoke City produced their highest percentage of covering the spread to date. West Ham United enjoyed similar success following the appointment of Slaven Bilic for the 2015/16 season (an increase of 7.9%). Read about the effect Mourinho, Guardiola and Conte could have on their new clubs.

A good patch of form could also influence a team’s ability to beat the spread. While some soccer betting tips may advise betting on a winning streak, smart bettors will use this information in conjunction with Pinnacle's handicap table as a key tool in devising a strategy and finding an edge.

Tired of using soccer betting tips and want to test a strategy? Get the best soccer handicap betting odds at Pinnacle, the ultimate bookmaker with the lowest margin and highest limits.

See the latest odds here
Benjamin studied English with Creative Writing (BA) before pursuing a career that combined his love of sport and fascination with betting. An avid fan of numerous sports, his writing now covers anything from in-depth major sporting event previews, to examining betting trends and techniques.

By Benjamin Cronin

Read more about the author
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