1×2 Football Betting – How to Compile a Winning Portfolio

Finding the The Market’s Inflection Points

The art of bookmaking is to counter-balance the pressure of market forces and oscillate between probabilities.

Computer mouse attached to football bearing 1X2 symbolsImage: archideaphoto (Shutterstock)

We continue with the example:

Home wins (Favourite): 56.48% = odds of 1.77 [mathematical inflection point]
Home wins (Underdog): 22.77% = odds of 4.40 [mathematical inflection point]

Now remind yourself: Bookmakers have to ‘play’ the market situation in order to balance their books.

They know that many more punters will bet on the favourites rather than on the underdogs and must therefore set their odds (and change them continually during the ante post) to ensure sufficient action is taking place on both sides of a bet.

Using the HDA Tables it is possible to find the market’s inflection points. The tables simulate five full seasons’ profits/losses when betting on every single match.

The actual inflection points (seasons 2009-10 to 2013-14) in the EPL were as follow:

Home wins (Favourite): 66.67% = odds of 1.50 [the market inflection point odds]
Home wins (Underdog): 16.13% = odds of 6.20 [the market inflection point odds]

This means that the sum total of all bets at odds between 1.50 and 6.20 returned a LOSS to the bettor.

You now know the secret that betting on all EPL matches where the home team to win was priced below 1.50 or above 6.20, returned profits when betting uniformly on all matches to be home wins in this league.

To find the market’s inflection points the HDA Simulations play a crucial role. The tables are developed with a view to finding these inflection points. However, you must be aware that all inflection points in each 1×2 bet type differ from league to league.

Backing the Underdog when playing at Home

To reiterate the findings… the mathematical inflection point for EPL favourites playing at home was 1.77, but the market’s inflection point was 1.50. This means that favourites playing at home were clearly under-priced to win.

For underdogs playing at home the mathematical inflection point was 4.40, but the market’s inflection point was 6.20. This means that underdogs playing at home were clearly over-priced to win.

Arriving at these findings, the bettor has the choice between backing favourites at home in the EPL at odds below 1.50, or backing underdogs at home at odds above 6.20. Both strategies return profits.

Designing a Portfolio for the new Season

The image below shows a selection of seven major European leagues with their inflection points for backing underdog wins at home. (Click on the image to enlarge to full size and show additional information – opens in a new tab).

The English Premier League is marked as ‘League 5’.

Table showing 1x2 Strategy Simulation 2009-14 – Backing the Underdog at home by Odds1×2 Strategy Simulation 2009-14 – Backing the Underdog at home by Odds

The other six leagues (in no particular order) are:

• Belgian Jupiler League
• German Bundesliga 1
• English Championship
• French Ligue 1
• Dutch Eredivisie
• Scottish Premiership

Reading the table… backing the underdog at home over the last five seasons would have resulted in the placement of 143 bets in the EPL at odds above 6.20.

Only 25 bets would have won but these would have returned a profit of 6,151 units (from 100 unit stakes).

The entire portfolio (using findings from the last five seasons) contained 586 games of which, 113 won (19.28% hit rate).

The Yield was 38.40% over five seasons (22,505 units profit from 586×100 unit stakes).

Distributions do not change radically from one season to another. It is pretty safe to assume that next season will follow a similar pattern (unless there is a fundamental change to the structure of a league), and a portfolio compiled from these seven leagues should therefore return a profit.

It is expected that next season this strategy will contain approximately 117 bets, and by placing bets consistently on each underdog to win at home at the odds displayed should return 4,500 units profit (from 100 unit stakes).

Remember, of course, the expected hit rate is only 19.28%.

Portfolio Size Matters

The previous chapter explained how to identify a betting portfolio for betting on the underdog to win at home. The expected hit rate is only 19.28% and this means only one out of five bets will win. Losing streaks may quite conceivably add up to more than four games in a row, but the long-term yield should always be around the 38.4% mark. However, this portfolio, although encompassing 7 leagues, only contains approx. 117 bets for the season.

There are normally 38 match days in a regular season (max. 46 in some leagues), and if a portfolio only contains 117 bets, this means that there will be only 3-4 bets for each round. This is far too volatile, and will put even the most patient person under pressure because unfortunately, winning bets do not line up nicely.

The wise approach is to select other bet types to complement and support your football betting endeavour for a more balanced portfolio – ones with a higher hit rate, paying less attention to maximising the yield. Combining these strategies will smooth out the peaks and troughs in the profit/loss curve and lead to a more stable betting bank.

Considering the restriction an individual bettor has (i.e. time and money), the minimum size for a betting portfolio should be around 30 bets per week.

30 bets x 38 rounds = 1,140 bets in total.

Therefore, the 117 bets discussed in the previous chapter comprise just a tenth of the final portfolio size.

Compile Your Own 1×2 Betting Portfolio

System betting using a portfolio of strategies from several different leagues is for most people a difficult subject to master.

The following series of key articles is aimed at helping you fully understand the fundamentals of profitable 1X2 portfolio betting using our revolutionary HDAFU Tables.

1X2 System Betting: Key Articles – HDAFU Tables

Last Update: 5 December 2014

Categories:1x2 Betting Case Studies

31 Responses to “1×2 Football Betting – How to Compile a Winning Portfolio”

  1. 27 July 2017 at 8:18 am #


    Thanks for getting back to me. I guess I thought I could apply some of the knowledge gained in the OU course to calculate HDAFU odds and value with these bets, but I guess your tables do this job! My next purchase will be an HDAFU table or two so I can expand my portfolio. Which HDAFU tables would you recommend to start with?

    • 29 July 2017 at 10:55 am #

      Hello Gary,

      All of the HDAFU tables contain something of interest, and we also backdate the discounts for multiple purchases if you decide to buy the tables on a drip feed basis.

      In other words, if you buy two now, we’ll refund the 20% offered once you have bought your fifth table, and so on.

      Just drop us an email to tell us when you reach each discount threshold.

      A couple of recommendations to begin with?

      Well, Italy Serie A and the German Bundesliga are great examples. You can get them here.

      Thanks again for your contribution and best of luck!

  2. 26 July 2017 at 1:55 pm #


    Following on from our previous conversation, I purchased the over / under betting course which has proven invaluable in working out how to calculate odds. I love your products!

    I’ve read the PDF from cover to cover several times and I’m confident with the maths, but now I’m struggling how to apply it?

    I’ve built a spreadsheet using the main leagues in Europe from football-data, so I can compare the odds between teams present in the respective leagues for 5 years, but then for some cases you don’t need to do that and you only need 25 games history.

    I like the idea of mixing systematic strategies with individual team strategies, but to be honest I don’t know where to go from here.

    Thanks again,

    • 27 July 2017 at 6:37 am #

      Hi Gary, from our previous conversation I understand that you are struggling to make heads and tails between the Fundamentals of Sports Betting Course and the HDAFU Tables. These two products are totally unrelated!

      Both products, of course, address the gambling market, but they look at betting not only from totally different perspectives, but also at different markets. The course is for Over/Under markets whilst the HDAFU Tables are for the 1×2 market.

      The course… allows you to calculate each match individually; you can compile a portfolio of bets for any weekend of your choice; you don’t need to bet each weekend during the season without fail; you can carry out the calculation well ahead of the matches

      The HDAFU tables… are a tool to develop a betting system for constant betting on one or more leagues, e.g. betting on the underdogs in the German BL if the odds are higher that X; the HDAFU tables don’t require calculations each weekend or any understanding of maths, but… the HDAFU tables require the punter, once he/she hve decided which system to play, to start pretty close to the beginning of the season, or at the start of the second half of the season. A betting system developed with the HDAFU tables requires that bets are being placed every weekend during the run of the system without fail.

      Summa Summarum… The HDAFU Table are for ‘Systematic Betting’; the course is for ‘Strategic Value Betting’.

      Back to the course… it does not matter if you use the Cluster Tables to calculate the probabilities and make your picks (5 years data), or the VC approach (last 25 games and H2H results). You have the choice to pick one of the two which you find more comfortable to use. I explained both in the course because in the 1st edition of the course, I hadn’t explained the VC and we’ve had plenty of queries enquiring on how to use the VC for Over/Under betting. This is why the VC was included in the course as an alternative to the Cluster Tables.

      There are many roads that lead to Rome. Which one you finally take it’s totally up to you. 🙂

      • 28 September 2017 at 1:30 pm #

        Hi Soccerwidow,

        You write… ‘the HDAFU tables require the punter, once he/she hve decided which system to play, to start pretty close to the beginning of the season, or at the start of the second half of the season. A betting system developed with the HDAFU tables requires that bets are being placed every weekend during the run of the system without fail.’

        I’m still doing the Fundamentals of Betting Course and am not quite ready to start betting. Plus, it would be a good idea for me to papertest.

        Does this mean I can’t properly do a weekly portfolio of betting systems (based on the HDAFU tables) until the beginning of next season, or at least halfway through this season? Would it be ill-advised for me to use the HDAFU and to jump into the betting in a month’s time or so?

        Also, I gather this is a wholly different system to using the value calculator to analyse individual matches and to make a weekly portfolio of bets based simply on bets I find which have value? Is it fine to start using the value calculator to place a weekly portfolio of value bets at any point in the season?

        • 28 September 2017 at 2:33 pm #

          Hello again Audiendi,

          The HDAFU Tables are designed for long-term system betting, whilst the Value Calculator can definitely be used as and when required on individual games or weekends.

          Therefore, it doesn’t matter when you start betting with the Value Calculator – you can dip in and out of a season as you see fit.

          With the HDAFU Tables, it also doesn’t really matter when you start, so long as you view the exercise as a long-term project and are prepared to keep it going until you have met your personal targets or need a break.

          However, with both approaches, the start of a season is usually the most volatile time as results are a little more random, with more statistical noise, and a league usually takes several rounds before things have settled into recognisable patterns.

          As ever, we advise that you paper test everything before committing real money to any strategy. You may feel that having done all of the homework to prove that something works historically, that it must also work going forwards, and that it is okay to risk money from the start.

          However, you will often find that things need fine-tuning in a live arena and this is a painless exercise if you don’t have to worry about losing money at the same time.

          You will also find more focus to getting a system right if you are looking objectively at the situation rather than being emotionally drawn by a series of bets during the experimental phase. Placing those initial bets on paper achieves exactly the same result.

  3. 3 September 2016 at 7:04 am #

    Hi it’s ok I know that they’re different bet types. I’m just very interested in exploiting the mismatch in bookie’s odds, whether it be 1×2 or under/over goals. I’m also very interested in working out how to calculate the odds. Just confusing which one to choose now, as a novice.

    • 3 September 2016 at 9:03 am #

      Go for the course. It’s a very comprehensive piece of work which teaches a huge amount about betting. One of our readers even said “It’s not just about over/under betting. It teaches you everything.” You will learn how odds are calculated, how bookmakers make their money, false beliefs are being removed.

  4. 2 September 2016 at 10:09 pm #

    Thanks for your help. I may try the over/under x goals pdf as this comes with the bundesliga table.

    • 3 September 2016 at 6:39 am #

      Hi Gary,

      1×2 and Over/Under are two completely different bet types. The tables, you were referring to in your previous comments are 1×2 simulation tables, the course is about Over/Under betting. Right now, there is no course on 1×2 betting, only the tables.

      In addition, the 1×2 tables are for ‘systematic’ betting, and the Over/Under course is for ‘value betting’.

      Thanks for this question, I will see if I address it in an article as you are probably not the only one who gets confused.

  5. 1 September 2016 at 10:29 pm #

    thanks for the reply. Was thinking of doing some small stakes testing of the tables for this season, maybe start with the Bundesliga or Eredivise.

    • 2 September 2016 at 6:33 am #

      Hi Gary, if you are thinking of starting with only two, try the Bundesliga and France Ligue 2. They both play uncanny ‘statistically correct’. 🙂

  6. 31 August 2016 at 10:22 pm #

    Hi. Fascinating website. I’m very interested in purchasing a 1×2 table. Which leagues prove to be the most profitable, year in year out?

    • 1 September 2016 at 7:52 am #

      Hi Gary, there is no league which stands out to be more profitable than the other. They all have different inflection points (meaning different profitable odds clusters).

      What you are looking for, is a portfolio of different leagues in order to spread the risk and to increase the number of bets for one betting round.

      Whatever system you choose, for a betting round you may find 2 matches in one league which fit, and only 1 match in another league. This is far too little for one weekend. What you want is 10 to 15 matches for one weekend, and this means, at least 5 different leagues to diversify your risk.

  7. 6 March 2016 at 3:08 pm #

    Hello Charles,

    Thanks for your very valid comment.

    Consistency is the key. Stick to Pinnacle if it’s easier for you, or pick the highest odds from a selection of bookmakers. But don’t mix the two approaches.

    As you are always looking to place bets at the highest prices available to you, then it is probably better to choose all the bookmakers you have accounts with. This will provide you with a more realistic picture.

    Of course, the fewer games you analyse, the more margin for statistical error there is. If you are analysing five seasons’ worth in any league, then choosing just one bookmaker will usually suffice. If it’s a smaller sample size, say just one season, then a bigger pool of available data would be better – i.e. data from several bookmakers.

    I hope this helps and good luck!

  8. 4 March 2016 at 4:13 pm #


    When trying to calculate ratio bets, should one use odds from one site or can it be from different sites to get the best odds?

    For ex. when looking for 0.78-0.84 ratio (Draw odds / Away odds), should I use the Draw and Away odds from Pinnacle, or should I use odds from two different sites if I get higher odds?

  9. 9 November 2014 at 7:07 pm #

    Hello again Betakos,

    I am sorry but I do not really understand the question – What exactly do you mean by “How the home win % are different?”

    Please explain in a little more detail to help me answer your query.

    Many thanks.

    • 10 November 2014 at 9:11 pm #

      Hi there ok lets just focus on why the mathematical inflection point for home favorites differs to the market one? What are the calculations for finding the markets inflection point?

      • 11 November 2014 at 8:54 am #

        Hi betakos,

        the inflection points are the points where when betting on a specific result profits turn into losses, and vice versa. There are certain odds clusters in which bookmakers constantly reduce their prices to ensure profits, and other odds clusters, where the demand for bets is low, and therefore these prices are increased.

        Sorry, I cannot explain in a few words how to calculate this. It’s a pretty complex topic.

        • 12 November 2014 at 8:28 am #

          If I understand correct we compare the mathematical inflection point of a league to a certain cluster of the league. I use your idea of clustering home odds/away odds. So lets say the mathematical point for premier league is 40% for home favorites and the 0,55 cluster inflection point is 55% how should I behave then

  10. 8 November 2014 at 9:38 pm #

    Ok i feel a little bit dummy. Could you explain why the mathematical inflection points differ to the markets?i can not follow on this. How the home win % are different ? We still have the same wins out of the total dont we?
    Thanks in advance and keep it this way. Very good job

  11. 1 October 2014 at 2:26 pm #

    Your site is the most interesting and most valuable that I’ve seen until now after more than 10 years of betting … or trying to bet 😉
    A must read!

  12. 28 August 2014 at 6:35 pm #


    I have my Question: are calculations based on a Fixed win/risk Staking Plan or not?

    Thank you

    • 29 August 2014 at 6:09 am #

      Hi Roman,

      all calculations are based on a fixed risk (backing using the same stake) staking plan.

  13. 14 August 2014 at 10:40 pm #


    This was a very informative piece. Can I just ask, in the graphic above, do the leagues match up as follows?

    League 1 – Belgian Jupiler League
    League 2 – German Bundesliga 1
    League 3 – English Championship
    League 4 – French Ligue 1
    League 5 – English Premier League
    League 6 – Dutch Eredivisie
    League 7 – Scottish Premiership

    Thank you

    • 15 August 2014 at 6:17 am #

      Sorry John… No, the leagues do not match up in this order.

      Although this article is certainly a helpful educational piece for the public, it is mainly written for buyers of our HDA tables to help them to understand how to utilise the simulation tables to compile a winning portfolio…

      Backing the underdog at home in some leagues is only one subset of a plethora of possible betting strategies.

      At Soccerwidow we educate bettors in odds calculation and how to develop your own winning strategy. We strongly believe that it is crucial to understand the betting market and odds calculation in order to become a long-term winner.

      Every bettor has his/her own preferences and therefore, it is simply impossible for us to provide picks or any ready-usable strategies applicable to a wide audience.

  14. 8 August 2014 at 11:05 pm #

    Hi, I enjoyed the article, I have been reading Soccerwidow for a while, and I would like to thank you very much for these instructive articles.

    But I didn’t understand how the bets on favourites at home work. Could you please explain better?

    I think I get it with the Home underdog. If the dog has a probability of winning of 22.77%, placing a bet at odds of 6.2 will have an expected value around 1 times the bet. Then, clearly if the odds are greater than 6.2, the expected pay will be large than the bet size.

    But it seems that the same logic should work for the home favourite. If the favourite has 56.48% probability of winning, odds of 1.77 will make the expected received value to be 1 and anything above will be a profit. Why then, should we bet on favourites with odds BELOW 1.77?

    Could you please explain?

    Thank you.

    • 9 August 2014 at 6:23 am #

      Hi Alex, odds calculation and making profits from betting is a very, very complex matter. I’m sorry for your confusion, but there is no short answer to your question which I could provide here. I would have to dive deep into statistical analysis, distributions, etc.

      However, I’m currently working on a 1×2 odds calculation course and many thanks for your question, I will remember to address it in depth in the course. Questions like yours help hugely to know what topics need to be addressed, explained and explored.

  15. 28 July 2014 at 6:07 pm #

    Great piece! I really enjoyed it and it has grabbed my interest even more than most of your work.

    My only question is how you calculated the actual market inflection points in the EPL. You mentioned that the HDA simulations will help you but I’m not sure you fully explained how it is worked out. What data is used for you to get odds of 1.50 & 6.20?

    Apologies if this was explained and I didn’t pick up on it.

    • 28 July 2014 at 9:19 pm #

      Hi Matt,

      Thanks for the praise 🙂

      The tables this year have received a serious upgrade, and they calculate up and down the ladder (almost) every direction the user wants to explore. We are planning to publish a video which guides the process of identifying the inflection points in the HDA tables. Watch this space!

    • 6 August 2014 at 6:27 pm #

      Hi Matt, I just uploaded the promised video on Youtube. An article to go with the video is in hand.

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