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Strategy tips for backing a winning team

Most rugby fans like to put down the occasional wager to add a little extra frisson of excitement to their weekend. For the dyed in the wool supporters of a particular team, that usually means putting a few dollars down as a show of faith and support – even if it is against your better judgement.

It is a clear case of betting with the heart not the head, and there’s nothing wrong with that. If your team wins, you get to share the success with a little financial reward and if they lose – well, that’s sport. Of course, betting in this way is a far cry from the approach taken by professionals, and it is not likely to make you rich. It’s a little like selecting your fantasy team – sentiment has nothing to do with it if you want to finish top of the league. So what if you want to let the head rule the heart, and are really betting to win?

 Choose your platform with care

The first thing to keep in mind is with whom you are entrusting your wager. There are more sportsbook sites out there than ever in the virtual world, and some offer highly tempting introductory offers. That’s fine, but make sure you read the small print and understand any catches or wagering requirements that might be attached to the win. If something looks too good to be true, it usually is, and often it is better to stick with a name you know. For example, the Unibet betting rules are set forth in black and white (or in this case, black and green) for everyone to see. No ambiguity, and what you see is what you get.

 Truly understanding form

Form is a concept that seems simple but that is easy to misinterpret. Say you are looking at a forthcoming game between Brisbane and Gold Coast. Suppose Brisbane have won their last three games, while Gold Coast have lost their last two. Brisbane have form on their side, right?

The answer is a resounding “sort of.” The problem is you are only looking at half the story and you need to also assess the opposition in those games. A string of fixtures against particularly strong, or weak, opposition can give false positives or negatives. One of the most important things to consider when assessing form is those teams that are consistently able to grind out a win in those matchups where it is hard to call a favourite. In this information age, there is a vast amount of statistical data out there, so use it.

 Look at the points difference

It might sound obvious, but winning is all about scoring points. When assessing teams, look at the points difference for each – you do this by subtracting the total points conceded by the total points scored and dividing it by the number of games played. This immediately tells you the average winning, or losing, margin for each team – it’s a handy indicator of just how close a game it is likely to be.

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