In any given weekend, thousands of football fans up and down the country will peruse over fixture lists and map out the selections for their accumulators, in the hope of earning themselves a big victory.
With a multitude of competitions to choose from, the amount of games that one can select on their accumulator is almost endless and although more names on your betting slip means the more you could potentially win, does bigger necessarily mean better?
Whether it be either an approach that is steeped in statistics or one that is more based on gut feel, trying to pick a combination of winning outcomes is no mean feat and it is the kind of bet that bookmakers love to receive. That's why they regularly offer a big number of bonuses and promotions in order to stimulate the punters to place more accumulator bets. If you are in search of these types of offers our Special offers page is the place where you will find a vast selection of promotions. In it, we gathered the best accumulator offers such as a guaranteed refund if only one choice let you down, or boosted odds for a bet with 4+ selections. Just browse a bit and determine what is suitable for you and your betting style.
The reason they love them so much, is because punters get caught up in the dream of beating the bookmakers and although picking for example 10 separate winners sounds easy on paper, the reality is that it is a far more difficult scenario.
The Premier League Accumulator example
Let’s take the Premier League for example, in this presumable scenario the fixture schedule is slightly curtailed due to the Carabao Cup final between Manchester City and Aston Villa and this means that there are eight fixtures set to take place.
A Premier League fixture list that looks as follows:
Norwich vs Leicester
Brighton vs Crystal Palace
Bournemouth vs Chelsea
Newcastle vs Burnley
West Ham vs Southampton
Watford vs Liverpool
Everton vs Manchester United
Tottenham vs Wolves
Now if we were to pick each of the favourites in those matches (highlighted in bold), a bookmaker (let’s take Betfair for this example) would offer you odds 287/1 for this eight-fold accumulator to be a successful one.
On the face of it, it sounds not too bad in terms of odds, but at the same time you have to consider that there is a lot of work to be done in this instance and especially when you take into account how volatile the Premier League has been this season.
You only need to look at the race for fourth place or the battle to avoid relegation to get an idea of how difficult it is to pick a winner this season and even just in that list alone, there are some games that have arguably been priced incorrectly.
Let’s take Newcastle vs Burnley for example, the visitors have picked up 13 from the last 15 league points on offer and they go up against a side that is not only struggling to pick up points but more importantly failing in front of goal as of late.
Now of course, home advantage is a big factor in all of this and although there is not a huge difference between Newcastle’s odds of 2.45 and Burnley’s of 2.9, you would perhaps think that Sean Dyche’s men would be favourites in this encounter.
Another example of incorrect value here, is Tottenham playing host to Wolves and when you consider the issues that Jose Mourinho has in terms of available attacking personnel, this could be a game where the visitors take full advantage.
Admittedly Nuno Espirito Santo and his players must travel to Espanyol in midweek, although they travel to Catalonia with a 4-0 lead in their back pocket and this means that the Midlands outfit can be afforded the luxury of resting their key names.
Which also means that Tottenham being priced at odds of just 2.3 looks incredibly flimsy and if we are looking at backing a ‘favourites only’ eight-fold, it looks like we could be running into some danger at the weekend.
Not only that, but in a competition such as the Premier League, it is incredibly rare for all the favourites to win in the same week and that’s before we take into account the potential for a draw or a slip up along the way.
Of course, if we were to go against the grain and just got for an eight-fold based more off instinct instead of just looking at the favourites, we would then be able to increase the potential prize pool at the end of it.
With that in mind, if we were to keep the bulk of the original selections, but change Burnley and Wolves for Newcastle and Tottenham, we get a slightly weightier set of odds for our accumulator – those being 473/1.
Fundamentally, there is one underlying principle that we need to consider here and that an eight-fold is far too big and instead of giving ourselves the best possible chance of winning, we are more likely giving the bookmakers our money instead.
WHEN DOES BIG BECOMES TOO BIG?
When looking to place your accumulator, the optimum size is no bigger than a five-fold (although some will argue that is perhaps one leg too many) and although this means less in terms of the overall prize pot, it does at least increase your chances of winning.
While there is one piece of logic that the majority of people tend to overlook and that is really you should aim to win less but more often, otherwise you will just end up placing big accumulator after big accumulator with nothing in the way of a return.
Of course, there is nothing from stopping you placing a ‘hail-mary’ bet in the example above but if you consider yourself anything in the way of a professional gambler, you will know that this is not the best way to build your bankroll.
If we were to scale down our accumulator to a four-fold instead, this would present us with less work to do in terms of a winning bet and more importantly would re-calibrate the balance between risk and reward.
If you were to imagine your bets are in the design of a seesaw, balancing precariously with an eight-fold you would have too much risk at one end and not enough reward at the other. However, by removing a handful of options, the balance will be one that is more realistic.
Admittedly, people don’t want to be told to bet with a more pragmatic approach, especially by the bookmakers and because of this, people will keep coming back with overwhelmingly large bets every weekend.
Now that’s not to say that the odd success story does not surface every now and again, but when you compare that against the amount of celebrating the bookmakers do every weekend of the football season, you can understand why you this really is such big business.
Therefore, the people who take a more pragmatic approach to their football betting, provide themselves with the better chance of getting one over the people who compile the odds and in turn adding a zero or two to their bank balance.
The flipside to this, is that the original stake will most likely need to be higher to get a decent return but when making a more informed bet, it doesn’t feel like throwaway money and if you placing a ludicrously long accumulator, the chances are you are repeating this mistake many times over.
Which means you are probably spreading out your stake money over a range of bad bets and only costing yourself more money in the long run and needing that money, to do even more work to get a winning result.
Let’s compare our first eight-fold selection at odds of 287/1 and instead let’s put 10 currency units on a four-fold for a quartet of winners, something that looks like this:
Norwich vs Leicester
Bournemouth vs Chelsea
Watford vs Liverpool
Everton vs Manchester United
Should those four teams win this weekend, that would return 10/1 and on the back of our 10-currency unit bet, we would be walking away with a total of 110 and only needing four results to get over the line. 50% less effort than the eight-fold and with less risky matches also.
Admittedly, we would not have as much money in our account if the eight-fold was a successful bet, but in giving ourselves less work to do, we subsequently have a much greater chance of victory and it is a chance that we can repeat week in and week out.
Of course, there is no guarantee that you would win a four-fold each week, but if you were to compare two gamblers bankrolls at the end of any given period, the gambler who placed more or less, rather than going for broke would have a better chance of being the overall biggest earner.
It’s easy to understand why people go for the bolder approach, because they caught up in the lure of landing a big jackpot. However, what most people tend to forget, is that odds are big for a reason and that’s because there is far a less chance of success.
Which means, if people were just a bit more pragmatic in their approach, they would have a far better of the opportunity of being a weekend winner, and although that comes with the caveat that you still need to make informed choices, it goes to show that sometimes bigger is not always better.
If you want to enhance your knowledge about betting accumulators, we advise you to read our special guide to accumulator betting. It will give you the basics of this betting type and will secure that you won’t face any issues when you want to place accumulators.
Bettingmetrics accumulator bet generator
In order to help you during your accumulator betting, we have developed a special free accumulator bet generator. If you use it, our algorithm will go through all available football events for today and shortlist the ones that match the extensive criteria of our data model.
To generate accumulator bet, select how many games you want to receive, add the risk that you are able to take (low, high, or extreme), and press the blue button. Just a second later, on your bet slip, you will see your accumulator bet. Besides, the placing of the bet directly through our bet slip will save you time and make sure that you place the bet with the highest odds.