Fixed Odds Football – Any Value?

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How many times have you been in a pub on a Saturday, and someone bemoans that one team’s let them down for a thousands of pounds return. That’s fixed odds football. The bookies love these bets, as they provide so much money week after week, for barely any risk to them.

Let’s find out a little more…

Sections List

The bookies are clever, and when you look at a fixed odds coupon, you’ll see that they’re adourned with stupid bets. Bet’s such as:

Pick one from any section for 345/1 odds.


Pick 2 from any section for 1500/1 odds.

As you can imagine, in each section, the matches are as close to evenly matched as you can possibly get. The alluring odds bear absolutely no relation to the true odds of getting each game correct. It’s nigh on impossible. But the bookies prey on the vulnerable, and lets face it, and extra grand or two for a quid doesn’t seem bad does it.

It’s no wonder these coupons are next to the Irish lottery slips and the 49’s entries. It’s akin to the lottery unless you’re a little smarter.


Before the online bookies exploded onto the betting scene, football coupons were one of only a few ways of getting a football bet on. Nowadays, you can get competitive odds at the flick of a button.

Having experimented myself, the odds on a football coupon are far lower than the live match odds. Even with the same bookmaker. Why is that?

Well, these coupons have to be printed, and the odds are made days, if not weeks in advance. This allows a lead time for printing, as well as distribution time to get them to the shops. Considering a bookmakers aversion to risk, these printed prices are always well below true value.

Now I understand that some punters want to place a bet and forget about it, and that also some punters don’t have computers or internet. But, it’s not for the bookies to rip them off. With a little time, you can construct similar bets yourself, using live prices, and potentially boost your returns significantly.

For those with internet, odds comparison services can boost returns even more, but you’ll have to separate parts of the bet.

Why Use Coupons Then

Maybe I’ve already answered that, there’s very little value (if any) and professionals require value in order to profit long term.

There are tipster services for the fixed odds football, but these guys must appreciate how poor these bets are. Maybe years before online services they were good, but not now.

Books, such as The Science Of Fixed Odds Success by James Ashley laud how good the fixed odds football is, however this brought out in the early 1990’s. In fact it was this very book that exposed me to betting in this manner. Fortunately, the long winded working out can be completed with a dutching calculator.

One way of lessening the bookies hold, is to not fall for the foolish sections bets. Choose 3-5 teams that you think you can predict the outcome of, and perm them together. Using the Home, Away and Draw you can also build in a margin of error, by allowing the odd draw. The more lines you create though, the larger the total stake will be.

Better still, use the best odds from Oddschecker or a similar comparison service. Not only will you construct a good value bet, you’ll beat the returns hands down.

Match Selection

Although permutations should allow a margin for things going wrong, match selection is really key. I used to get all of my statistics from the Racing and Football outlook newspaper. I’m not sure if this is just online now. Soccerstats offer a great online alternative.

I have to admit, I know very little about football, teams or players. The game only interests me if I have a bet or trade on it. You probably are far knowledgeable than I am, but It shows that anyone can still make money.

My advice is leave the coupons for the mugs, and seek out more value.

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