Every 4th year something amazing happens during the summer. The World Cup. As a professionla sports bettor and football fan, this is the perfect opportunity to enjoy the games and make some money on football betting.
My betting strategy on the World Cup has mainly been centered around keeping Trademate Sports' betting software open in the background while I work and getting in value bets on whoever has been playing on that particular day.
I usually place bets at 1 or 2 bookies having large edges — quite often on the favorites. The results of which, especially in the Round 16, have not been ideal.
I'm also trying to turn over my starting bankroll at a third bookie in order to withdraw my money since they have terrible odds and almost no edges.
For the latter, I had a good run initially before Spain managed to surprisingly get themselves knocked out by Russia and Croatia failing to beat Denmark in regular time.
What I have found to be the most surprising so far during the World Cup is that the difference between the favorites and the underdogs has not been as large.
Neither I nor the bookies, judging by their odd, had been expecting.
So if you have been betting on the underdogs, you should have gotten some great results so far.
I’ll for sure be keeping this in mind for the next big international tourney.
Another surprise has been just how many of the smaller nations on a "traditional football scale" that have players playing around in Europe’s top leagues that I was unfamiliar with before the tournament such as Laxalt (Genoa) for Uruguay or Inui (Eibar / Betis) for Japan.
In theory, international tournaments should be harder for bookies to model as a) it is a low sample size of games and b) many of the teams only play each other every 4 years.
Also, the lineups often look radically different to the last time they played.
On a different note, apart from being a professional trader, I'm also a football fan.
The boyhood dream of every professional footballer (and my own) is to win the World Cup.
The World Cup is the pinnacle of professional football.
For those of us who are not professional footballers, it is like having 30 days of Christmas Eve's in a row.
The only downside with the World Cup for me is me being a Norwegian and Norway not having qualified for the World Cup since 1998 when we beat Brazil before going out in the Round of 16 vs Italy.
Usually, I end up supporting England plus whoever is performing the best.
During this year’s World Cup I have also been fascinated by both Croatia and Uruguay which both exemplify a "never say die" winning spirit, always giving 100% and fighting to the bitter end, in stark contrast to Argentina.
There have been some amazing games, my two favorites so far being Spain - Portugal’s 3-3 draw, France - Argentina 4-3 and the thrilling win of Germany - Sweden 2-1.
My favorite team of the tournament so far have been France who is capable of playing some thrilling attacking football.
And just how fast is Mbappe?! The penalty he won against Argentina was insane.
Credits also to Belgium for all of their goals scored and their strong comeback to win against Japan, nearly avoiding extra time.
This will surely be beneficial once one gets into the final stage of the World Cup.
It will also be interesting to see how this affects teams like England when they are facing Sweden who only played 90 minutes with 3 days of rest vs England’s 4.
Will they gamble on rotating their squad? Or will they play the same team that got the job done against Colombia and risk being exhausted if they reach the semis? This could lead to some great value bets when the lineups are released. Only time will tell.
I will be looking forward to the rest of the games as now the big clashes are starting to line up with France - Uruguay, and Brazil - Belgium on Friday.
Enjoy the rest of the World Cup and I hope you get some great value bets on!
Remember, once the WC is finished it won’t be long until the Premier League, La Liga, Serie A, Bundesliga and rest of the big leagues start up again.
In the meantime, one can still find good value on the Nordic leagues, tennis and baseball.
The latter two are currently in their peak with Wimbledon just having started.
Finally, remember that watching the World Cup is a lot more fun when you have some Trademate edges on :)