Football Betting Strategies: Team Factors

During a game of football there’s an almost limitless number of things that can have an effect on the eventual outcome. But having said that, let’s focus our attention on the things that can play a larger part in any outcome. Things like:

Current Form
Head to Head Records
Styles of Play
Home & Away Records
Injuries & Suspensions
Overall Team Quality
Motivation & Psychology

Let’s go through them one at a time.

Current Form

It goes without saying that this is your best indicator of their performance in the next match. We can see either how well or how badly they’re playing at the moment. The simplest way of checking it to look at any league table. There you’ll see the matches won, drawn and lost. We think it’s enough to focus on league matches. But if you want to be thorough, then you’ll also need to check on friendlies and cup matches as well. This way you’ll have every result at your fingertips.

Team Form

When you’re examining team form, what should you be looking for? And how can the number of wins or, say losses have any bearing on your possible betting behavior? It’s all about team psychology. If they’ve recently been through a period of great results, then the whole team will have a momentum that comes from a positive vibe. Even if they were to face a much better team, they would still be in a winning mood. Conversely, if they’ve suffered a number of recent setbacks and losses, they maybe in the doldrums, and find it hard to self motivate.

Whilst going through their league standings, also keep in mind some other factors that may have influenced those games. These factors can include:

The quality of opponents faced.
The margins of winning/losing.
The overall quality of performances in recent games.

Team Quality

You have to know the quality of their opponents during these games. A team could of won seven games out of seven played. But this is no real indicator of quality if the opposition were rubbish or suffered from missing key players. Like wise a team might of lost those same last seven games in a row. But they could of had missing star players, more might of simply lost by some unlucky goals. You must keep the margin by which a teams wins or losses in mind. Just because a team losses doesn’t necessarily mean that they were not playing well. We would suggest that it’s the final point, the overall quality of play that should be considered first and foremost.

For this you’ll need to dig a little deeper than just looking at the league standings. Have a look at the match reports for any new insights you hadn’t thought about.

This is the basic starting point for your information on any upcoming matches. The teams current form will help paint part of the fuller picture. Oh, and one other thing, just because they’re playing well/badly now, is no indicator of future play. Form is a temporary measure and can change with the right pep talk or dressing down.

Head to Head Records

Head to head records do have their place within our scheme of things, but it’s not so important. Well, not as important as you might suppose. There’s something in it if a team consistently does well/poorly against the same opponents. The real problem is that they’re not really relevant to our discussion here. Matches are won or lost for inexplicable reasons and we’d hate to start reading more into a result than there is to find. It’s information to seek out, but it’s not a deal breaker.

Styles Of Play

With current form and head to head, we’re talking numbers. Actual facts with precise data to back them up. But the style with which a team plays is something altogether more subjective. It’s not easy to identify exactly what playing styles will lead to what possible conclusions in a match. You’ll be needing a fundamental understanding of football from every angle. And then some. To be able to even formulate an opinion on playing style, let along recognize exactly what that particular style is, requires a lot of study.

Team Factors: Discipline

There’s absolutely no doubt that a team’s discipline can have a huge impact on a game. If an individual player is easily drawn into a confrontation, or the team regularly receives any number of red or yellow cards, then these become important considerations. Then there’s a higher risk of one player being sent off, then that’ll have huge repercussions further into the match. If a team has a poor disciplinary record, think twice before placing any bets on them. Many punters overlook this factor, but we think that a team without proper discipline will find it hard to find consistency during those 90 minutes.

Home and Away Records

It’s pretty common knowledge that soccer teams tend to do better in front of a home crowd. In it’s own right this information isn’t that useful to us. Yes, book makers write their odds with the home advantage built in. So if there were two completely equal teams, then the home team would have better odds. But remember that betting is about finding value. A good example of this would be if the home team was a poor performer on it’s own turf and were facing a team who do especially well away. There’s probably some hidden value in that.


Checking the weather forecast cost nothing and may provide you with some useful information. It’s something that many bettors simple forget to do or consider it unimportant. But there are some specific conditions that can have a drastic effect on playing performance. Take wind for example. High winds favor teams who don’t play the ball long. They prefer to keep the ball on the ground. So the wind will be a significant problem for a team that likes to punt long, Same with rain, but in reverse. Heavy rain and water on the pitch are the enemy of players who like the short game. If you put weather conditions together with playing style, then you’re starting to think like a pro.

Team Factors: Schedules

The number of fixtures and where they are can have a huge impact on a teams well being. A very busy schedule can really test a teams endurance. And a team that’s tired gets injured more. You’ll notice that if a team has been through a very busy period, the results start to suffer. This is more noticeable in teams who don’t have any other possibilities and cannot rotate their players enough. A tired team can also lose some matches. Lose enough, and team confidence takes a knock.

Travelling Effects

The effects of travelling should also be taken into account. mid-week games often mean travel of some considerable distances and then they have to be ready for their weekend games. It all takes a toll on both mental and physical fitness. Also keep an eye out for the schedules of individual players who may be playing at international level as well as domestically.

Injuries & Suspensions

Yes we know, this is pretty obvious. An injured star player is going to effect what’s happening on the pitch when he’s off. You’ll need to consider just how essential that player is to the team overall. Also look at his replacement and see how good they are.

These are the essential questions you should be asking:

Just how many players are missing?
How important are those players to the team?
Are their replacements any good?
Do their replacement fit into the team?

If a team relies on just one or two players, then any loss of just one of them could prove catastrophic. Look at the depth of the squad, as team without depth will suffer will just a few injured or suspended players. Conversely, a team with a surplus of good players can withstand such losses. Again, many sports bettors don’t look at this important factor. But it’s essential that you do. look at any pre-match report and you’ll see the team line up.

Overall Team Quality

This is a difficult thing to assess. The quality of an individual player is much easier to define than the qualities of a whole team. It’s a funny truism, that having a team of amazingly talented players doesn’t guarantee results. We suggest that you look at the following points for a better understanding:

Quality of the manager and coaches
Squad balance
Team spirit
Compatibility of styles

There’s a reason why the best managers are so sought after. They have the skills to get the best out of a team. They are able to find the right squad balance as there’s little point in having a great offence when the defense is surely lacking. Their relationship to their players is of primary importance. The team dynamic also has a role to play. Nothing is worse for moral than a bunch of overpaid prima donna’s who are just constantly elbowing each other out of the spotlight. You want a team that’s committed to the common cause, which should be the team itself.

Motivation & Psychology

These factors are so important it’s difficult to underplay them. Whenever there’s an unexpected result, scratch the surface and you’ll find motivation was the key element in the victory. A lesser team, if playing a final against a great and famous side, will feel especially motivated having worked so hard to get to that point. They’ll be much more focused and determined to play the best they’ve ever done. On the other hand, it’s possible that a great team might look down on a lesser one and so underestimate their opponents hunger for success. Arrogance has no place on the football pitch, and yet we see it time and again. We always feel that you should look for value by betting more on the underdogs.

Looking at both team and individual psychology means that we don’t recommend betting on teams who are too equal in stature. Derbies like El Clasico for example, the teams are too closely matched and may behave in a similar fashion under intense pressure. Look for a team that might buckle under strain, more so if they’re playing a more experienced and mature team.

Team Factors: Conclusion

There’s a lot to digest here. We’ve covered some topics in brief, yet they will need serious individual study. All the above factors have their merits. If combined together, then you’ll gradually start to build a profile of each La Liga team. You’ll begin to understand why some are so consistent with their game play and results. In order to make profits from your bets, it’s very important that you take research very seriously. It’s all there. All the information you could ever need is at your fingertips and just a quick Google search away.