Correct Score Betting

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In sports betting, two sets of circumstances lead to high odds. The obvious one is that the less likely a result, the higher the odds on it will be. The other relates to the difficulty of predicting the outcome of an event, which applies to a variety of markets, including the one known as “correct score betting.”

The object of correct score betting is exactly what the phrase describes—the end result of a game must be exactly as predicted for both sides in the match-up. It is insufficient to forecast the total score of the two sides combined; success requires the exact score for each of them, home and away.

Football, of course, is the most popular event for which correct score betting markets are available at most bookmakers. The “score” is defined as “score at ‘full-time,’ where the terms ‘full-time,’ ‘90 minutes play’ and ‘normal time’ are all used to denote the period of play which includes injury time but not scheduled extra time, penalty shoot-outs etc.

Because correct scores are notoriously hard to predict, the odds offered tend to be around 7/1 or above for getting it right on each game. Wagering on all ten Premiership games each week, it is difficult to get more than two or three correct, and one or none are more common. But because two out of ten is sufficient to yield a profit at odds of 7/1 or higher, it can be a lucrative approach to betting.

Alternatively, one might wager on the results of all 10 weekly matches as singles to end in a nil-nil draw. The odds on a 0-0 finish tend to be quite high—on the order to 9/1 to 14/1—so a single success is quite capable of covering all losing stakes and yielding a profit, unlike betting on 10 draws outright, for which the odds range much lower, typically from 5/2 to 5/1 per bet.

A more risky but potentially rewarding approach to correct score betting is to take a position on the 3-1 scoreline for all 10 matches at odds varying from 10/1 to 18/1. Again, a single successful pick means retaining the entire outlay and perhaps a healthy profit.

One common method of betting on correct scores is to focus the betting on one particular match and cover a range of possible results. For example, in the 17 August 2013 match-up between Arsenal and Aston Villa, with the former favoured to win at odds of 4/11, one might predict the correct winning score to be 1-0 at 15/2, 2-0 at 13/2 and 2-1 at 15/2. If any of those scores are correct, the payout will be higher than wagering the same amount on Arsenal to win outright.

Combination bets on correct scores are also possible. A simple double might include two likely scores (not outsiders), such as Chelsea to beat Hull 1-0 at 7/1 and ManU to beat Swansea 1-0 at 7/1. A winning wager of 50p on the double would result in a payout of £32.00 if both predictions come up right.

Other combination bets are popular, such as pairing correct score with first goal scorer. In fact, many bookmakers promote this type of bet in their windows or on their web sites—it is that hard to catch. It is also tempting to create trebles with micro-bets as small as 10p, looking to gain returns of over 300X. On the other hand, hitting a correct score treble just right is almost impossible, so a better strategy is to concentrate on picking multiple doubles.

Some factors to keep in mind when betting on correct score include historical performance patterns, recent streaks and current form. Look for trends, such as teams that tend to win by one goal margins or those that win consistently without scoring more than a single goal in a game. Good defensive match-ups are easier to predict than high-scoring ones, too. Although odds of 500/1 may be offered for correctly predicting a 7-0 blow-out, it’s generally a sucker’s bet.

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