Football Betting Systems That WORK (& The Ones That Don’t) – 2024 Guide

Football Betting Systems That Work

Those looking to convert their football knowledge into income via a bookmaker will often use a mix of research and instincts as the basis for decision making on bets.

Yet, even when equipped with a profound knowledge of the sport, they can still be caught out without an adequate system or football betting strategy.

Despite having confidence in your own ability to make the right calls on football markets, as we all know things don’t always pan out as predicted in football and sport in general.

That’s why bettors need to have a strategy that they stick to in order to nullify the potential of abnormal results harming your bankroll.

In this guide, we’ll analyse a few betting systems in football to give more food for thought for punters who follow the global game, and help you decide on your overall betting strategy on the sport.

Betting Systems That Work

We’ve split this up into two sections for you.

This first section looks at betting systems that really work.

With these, you’re either guaranteed or have a good chance of making regular profits:

Matched Betting

Are you looking for a football betting system that works every single time?

The number one and by far the best football betting system is matched betting.

We recommend Outplayed for all your matched betting tools. Find out more here.

Unlike a few other methods listed in this post, matched betting is the only football system that is virtually risk-free (barring human error and gubbings) and will continue to deliver big profits time and time again.

The trick is to back bets and then lay them off so that you can’t actually lose a bet – regardless of the outcome, you will win.

You should be doing this on promotions where a bookmaker has promised to match your bet with a free bet. By laying off your bet, you can’t lose. You are guaranteed a free bet regardless of the outcome of the game.

You can then also lay off the free bet to ensure you make a profit no matter what.

You are guaranteed to make a profit every single month with the matched betting system.

We’ve made over £75,000 in profit since starting matched betting — and we’ve never had a losing month. (If you’re in the UK, you can start here for free.)

Betfair Trading

Did you know you can make money on football – or any sport – without even using a bookmaker?

By using Betfair Exchange, you can back for and against outcomes similarly to how you would on a regular bookmaker.

However, you will get better odds and the ability to ‘trade’ odds in real-time – you can buy and sell just like on a stock exchange.

Whether you’re betting pre-match or in-play, you can use trading to make guaranteed profits.

This can be a complex process to get your head around, but we have a post that should really help you out: The Definitive Guide to Betfair Trading.

The Betting System That MIGHT Work For You

This is a bankroll management system, rather than strictly a football betting system, but it is something you should definitely consider:

The Kelly Criterion

Based on sound money management, the Kelly Criterion is a betting system that implements a calculated method to determine the stake of a bet on an outcome with higher-than-expected odds.

The system maximises the value of the bet by determining the percentage of your bankroll you should use.

There are many variations of this formula, and some appear comprehensible only to math wizards, but here we’ve put it in layman’s terms.

Stake = (Decimal Odds x % Chance Win) – 1) / (Decimal Odds – 1) * 100

Stake = Maximum stake
Decimal Odds = Odds offered by the bookmaker
% Chance Win = Probability of winning as determined by you, expressed as a decimal point

Let’s say you have calculated the probability as 55% (0.55) on an even-money (2.0) bet:

Stake = ((2.0 x 0.55) – 1) / (2.0 – 1) x 100
Stake = ((1.10 – 1) / 1) x 100
Stake = 10%


For those who get headaches from formulas such as the above, the stake, put simply, is the difference between the probability of winning and losing as determined by you.

If you don’t have an edge, or have a negative edge, then don’t bet.

Just like any system the Kelly Criterion has its drawbacks, and these are quite pronounced in football betting.

Firstly, using the example above, it often asks you to invest a significant amount of your bankroll on a bet.

Given it’s an aggressive strategy that looks to maximise your profits, you’ll find that a large stake is often required.

The second and most significant shortcoming of this betting system lies in the Kelly Criterion’s assumption that a bettor is able to accurately predict the probability of a certain outcome.

If you misinterpret a team’s chance of winning as a percentage value, the calculations behind this method become skewed and you pay the price.

Therefore, if deciding to test the method in football betting, perhaps it’s better to be conservative and avoid overestimating the probability of a victory.

That will ensure your stakes aren’t exuberant and the losses don’t eat up all of your bankroll.

Betting Systems That DON’T Work

Here, we look at the betting systems that are not sensible or profitable long-term investments of time or money.

Whilst you may have heard about them elsewhere, or have been recommended them by people you think you can trust, they are absolutely not worth pursuing – ever.

Martingale Method

First, let’s get the football betting systems that should be avoided out of the way.

The Martingale Method basically entails a bettor doubling their stake immediately following any losing even-money bet, thereby allowing the first win to recover all previous losses.

Good in theory, not quite the case in reality.

Why? Because a run of bad luck could essentially bankrupt any bettor using this method.

Let’s say you lost four even-money bets in a row having put £10 on your first wager. Your second bet would have to be £20, third  £40 and fourth £80. Before you know it you’re out of pocket to the tune of  £150.

Anyone who has invested time and money in sports betting understands that no matter how sound your research and analysis has been, a series of losing bets by account of bad luck is entirely possible.

This method is common in roulette and people think it’s fail-proof. Well, let me tell you, chasing losses is never good – I’ve seen it land on black 20 times in a row before, seriously.

So, when implementing the Martingale Method it may seem tempting to think: “The next win will make up for all the previous losses.”

The reality is a lot different. That win may not come before you realise that you’re out of cash.

It’s simply not wise to chase your losses when gambling in general, and this is method asks you to do so blindly.

Stay clear of the of the Martingale Method when wagering on football – the only way it would ever work is if you had infinite amounts of money. This is impossible of course.

Fibonacci Method

Among the three possible outcomes to football matches – win, loss or draw – one often gets overlooked, the draw.

Perhaps this is because they can be more difficult to pick than either Team A or Team B winning.

That’s certainly the reasoning behind implementing the Fibonacci Method, which is based on the theory that it is harder for bookmakers to predict a draw that the other two possible outcomes.

So, by using the Fibonacci Method in football betting, the bettor tries to exploit this.

The Fibonacci Method is based on a mathematical sequence where each new number equals the total of the previous two.

It looks like this: 1, 1, 2, 3, 5, 8, 13… and so on.

How does this all apply to football?

Well, implementing this method has been encouraged on those wishing to bet on draws.

Basically, the method entails the implementation of two principles:

  • Find bets on draws with a probability above 2.618 as reflected by bookmaker odds
  • In the case of losing bets, increase your subsequent betting stake by following the Fibonacci sequence

As with the Martingale Method, Fibonacci thinking relies on continually increasing your stake to cover your previous losses.

We’ve outlined the dangers of this, but by comparison to the Martingale Method the increases within a sequence of Fibonacci bets are gradual, thereby minimising the total amount of liability during a bad run.

That’s not to say that this method protects you from the risks of seeing your bankroll disappear in the case of losing streak. It can.

But the mathematical principle behind the Fibonacci approach is a lot more measured than simply doubling your stake each time.

If pursuing this method, perhaps it’s worth reviewing the amount of draws that have taken place across several seasons in different leagues, and choosing a league where draws are more common.

With some statistical analysis as your back-up, this is certainly a method that would be worth testing the success of over time.

Betting Systems: Are They for You?

It’s all about maximising your edge over the bookmaker in the sports gambling business.

With matched betting, you can guarantee that edge 100% of the time. Sign up for our free matched betting course via this link.

Other than that, a betting system based on proven mathematical principles is a good starting point.

Look towards Betfair Trading or challenge bets.

Combine that with sound knowledge of the sport and disciplined decision making, and you may have found a pathway to profit.

But as this post has highlighted, there are risks aligned with some betting systems when it is applied to football, some more prominent then others.

Assessing the value of one betting system over another is crucial, so hopefully we’ve helped with that.

Testing the one you think is most risk averse is perhaps worth pursuing, but if over time the numbers don’t add up it’s not the strategy for you.

Through patience, discipline and perhaps a little bit of a conservative streak, you may just find that a betting system can give you the advantage you crave.

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