Experienced sports bettors know that injuries are inevitable during the intense play of major international soccer tournaments like the World Cup or Euro. A single injury can change the effectiveness of a team, or it can have little or no impact. Soccer bettors who want to be successful in handicapping these events need to be able to accurately assess the impact of an injury and how to compensate for it. Here are seven factors to consider when betting on soccer:
How had he been playing? – It should be obvious that the impact of an injury is much more significant if the soccer player had been playing particularly well than if they had been struggling. When bettors are evaluating this, they need to look beyond just the score sheet to get a sense of what is really happening. A player, even a striker, can be wildly effective and impactful without showing up on the box score because soccer can be such a low scoring game.
How long is he out? – A soccer team will have to make far more adjustments, and could be affected more as a result, if a player is hurt early in a tournament and will be out the rest of the way than if he is only likely to miss a single game. When a player is only likely to miss one game, the team can just make a temporary adjustment. When he’s out for an extended period, the team will have to make a more permanent change to their approach.
How is the depth? – If a soccer player is injured he obviously needs to be replaced. Teams that are able to replace him with a player of a relatively comparable caliber, and that don’t have to change around the rest of their roster as a result, are going to be better positioned to weather the injury than those that have a big drop in talent between their starters and everyone else. They could be good bets.
Is he a key leader? – Soccer is very much a team sport, but there are inevitably some players who are much more important to the fate of a team than others. It could be because they are the striker that drives the offense, the keeper that stops the scary balls or the defender that shuts down opponents. It could also be that the player is a particularly important leader who keeps the team grounded and focused. If a crucial player is out then he could be missed on the field and the team could also suffer in confidence due to the absence.
Is his position crucial to the style of play? – Some soccer teams value some positions more than other teams do. A team with an explosive offense would miss a high profile striker more than a team that wears down their opponents defensively. A team that tends to win shootouts would miss their star goalkeeper more than one that has a very strong defensive unit. If soccer handicappers just generalize about the impact of a position without understanding what that position actually means to a team then then can make costly betting mistakes.
Has he missed time before? – It’s easier for a team to adjust to the loss of even the highest profile of players if they have had to make do without him in important games before. Was he injured or suspended in major tournaments or in qualifying in the past? Did the team thrive, hold their ground, or struggle? History can be a valuable indicator in these cases.
How will the public react? – There are some injuries in soccer that will cause the public to panic. That includes high profile players, players that play very key positions or injuries that get a lot of media attention because of the circumstances in which they occurred. Other injuries won’t nearly the respect or attention from the general betting public as they should. As is always the case in sports betting, the more aware you are of what the public is likely to think and how that impacts how lines are set and how they move, the better off you are going to be.