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The sports betting industry is huge in the United Kingdom. You will see betting sites during the ad break of every sports program, as well as on the clothing of thousands of UK sports stars.
It is a big part of UK culture and is widely accepted and tolerated. In many ways, the UK has become the mecca for sports betting, and that’s great news for UK gamblers constantly striving to find the best deal, the best site, and the biggest bonuses.
How to Find the Best Sports Betting Sites
Players searching for top online casinos usually only have one thing on their mind: bonuses. As far as they are concerned, the best casinos online can be judged purely by the size of their bonuses.
But it is a different story when it comes to sports betting sites. There are a few things you should look for before making your decision:
- Sports: Some sites only focus on the most popular sports and the biggest leagues, but others have a full list of sports, leagues, and markets. Make sure you study these in advance, checking to confirm they have the markets you like on the sports you follow.
- Banking Options: Not all sports betting sites are alike when it comes to banking options. Some allow you to use PayPal, some don’t; some have a wealth of withdrawal options, others only offer a few.
- Odds: The difference between odds on betting sites can be substantial, especially on outside bets. We’ve seen odds of 1,000/1 on sites like Paddy Power and BetFair, even though smaller sites were offering 66/1.
- Offers: We have discussed bonuses extensively in our online casino reviews and as mentioned above, they are important here too. But “offers” are different. These are occasional offers created for all players, not just new ones. They are common on Paddy Power and a few other sites and include cash-back offers, accumulator rebates, and more.
- Bonuses: Finally, while bonuses are not the only thing you should focus on, they still play a major role. Look for matched deposit bonuses, free bets and bet rebates.
Most Popular Sports to Bet on in the UK
The following sports lead the way when it comes to bets in the UK, and they have done for some time now. It will take a lot to topple these popular sports:
- Horse Racing
Fastest Rising Sports
There are a handful of sports that have risen through the ranks quickly in the last few years, going from relative obscurity to become some of the most popular sports to bet on in recent years, they include:
- Formula 1
How Bookmakers Set the Odds
Bookmakers use a complex algorithm to determine what odds they should offer. There are randomised systems in place for most markets, but for everything else there are expert odds-makers who set the odds.
These are based on two factors. The first is probability, which is basically the likelihood of each bet being a winner.
The second is more to do with balance. In other words, if there is a close-contest between two teams and there can be no draw (such as a “To Qualify” bet in knockout football) the odds should be 50/50, which can be translated as 2.00 or Evens. But if that was the case and 50 people bet on one with another 50 betting on the other, the betting site wouldn’t profit.
So instead of Evens, the odds are 10/11 or around 1.90, which ensures they profit even when there should be no profit to had.
How to Beat the Bookmakers
Bookmakers know as much as you do, and most often more, when it comes to most popular sports. However, you don’t necessarily need to be more knowledgable than them in order to beat them.
The bookmaker doesn’t want to win every bet, it just wants to make sure that it wins more bets than it loses. Your goal as a punter, therefore, is simply to make sure that you are involved in more winning bets than losing bets.
There are a few ways to do this:
Pick the Right Event
Some events have more uncertainty than others, and these can confuse the bookmakers. Award shows that rely on public votes are a great example of this. Countless shows like Britain’s Got Talent and The X Factor have been won by acts who were the fourth or fifth favourite during the final weeks and were not even in the top ten prior to that.
This is not the case for award shows like The Oscars, and that should give you an insight into how they operate. The public is hard to predict, because no matter how many previous shows you factor into the algorithm, there is just so much you can’t account for.
But The Oscars are easier simply because they always vote the same way and follow on the same trends.
Get The Best Odds
Always make sure that you get the best odds. It can make a massive difference to your overall profitability. If you win 10 bets at Evens and lose 11, you’ll be in the red. If you win 10 bets at 2/1 and lose 11, you’ll be well in the black.
To make sure you always place the best odds, signup to multiple sites and check them each before placing your bets.
Choose Your Bet
Many of the bigger sports betting sites will let you pick your own bets through Twitter. You just request it and they will create it. You can do something similar in high-street betting shops.
These bets are not programmed through complex algorithms and are based on snap decisions made by oddsmakers, which means you have a better chance of beating them if you choose carefully.
The best bets to place are accumulators, using your knowledge to stack the bets and place small stakes to win big amounts. Let’s break this down for you.
Let’s assume that your favourite sport is football and your favourite league is the Premier League. There are 10 games most weeks and over the course of a season there are 38 batches of these 10 games.
If we asked you to bet for a Win/Draw/Lose on each of these ten games every week, how many times out of the 38 do you think you would nail all 10?
1, 2, 5?
If you were to place £10 per batch, the average odds would be 3,000/1. That means a £10 bet would net you £30,000, which means you would only need to get a batch like this right once every 3,000 times in order to avoid going into the red and if you were to get it right twice you would be in a sizeable profit.
We’re sure all football fans will fancy their chances of doing that.