One of the most challenging things any punter will do regardless of what sport they bet on is to pick out regular winners by backing the draw. Not many people are brave enough to do it, but those that do it now will appreciate just how difficult picking winning draws can be. Another element added to make this even more difficult is that when you want to watch a game, backing the draw gives you nothing to cheer on. That means, for those punters looking to have an interest in a live game and have someone to cheer on, a draw will not let them do that.
However, one thing that backing the draw does is it gives you a very good price about one outcome in what is effectively a three horse race. With only three outcomes available on the market, the draw usually is the only one that consistently offers you the correct price. With a 1/3, or 33% chance of a draw happening based on probability, you should expect to receive odds of 2/1 to get the correct odds based on the probability. The draw market is the only football market that will give you these odds pretty much every time, or better in some cases depending on the two teams involved.
On many occasions, the draw will actually be the outsider of the lot when it comes to a standard football market. If that is the case, anyone who can successfully predict the draw stands to make a good profit from their selections. The problem is selecting the games that will be a draw, that can be very tough.
How to Spot a Potential Draw?
No punter that I know finds it easy to pick draws, so if you are finding it hard then don’t worry, you are not alone. It is much easier to look through the football fixtures and pick out teams who will win rather than picking out draws, but these games usually offer very poor odds in comparison to the draw market.
When looking for potential draws I like to factor in a number of different things and the answers I get from these will determine whether the game is a potential draw or not. This is a pretty simple approach when it is worked out and can be adapted by anyone, either using the same questions that I ask myself, or creating ones you have for yourself.
This one probably goes without saying, but the first thing I do is make sure I create a list of all the games where the teams involved are as evenly matched as possible. This may be two teams fighting for at the bottom of the table, two in the middle of the table, or two at the top. It doesn’t matter who is the home team out of the two right now, just that they are of a similar ability. When you have your list, look down and ask yourself the first question:
‘Would I be surprised if this game ended a draw?’
If you have any games on your list that would surprise you, then knock these off as we do not want them. You want to find a list of games featuring closely matched teams where a draw would not be a surprise to you.
The next question you need to ask yourself is the following:
‘Are either of these teams on a good winning or losing streak, that will affect morale and momentum?’
Momentum in sport is very under rated and if a team can build up some momentum and morale in the camp, they will perform better or worse for a short period. If that is the case then a team with a positive streak will have more chance of winning the game, and one with a negative streak will have a smaller chance of winning. My cut off for streaks is four, if a club involved in the game has won or lost four or more games in a row then I will take the game off my list as I believe morale and momentum will influence the result.
The next question you need to ask yourself is this:
‘Does either team involved have a new manager, who has been in charge for 3 games or less?’
Under a new manager, teams often find great improvement in the short term, before settling down and finding their level. If a new manager is in his first three games or less, then that is enough to keep me away from backing on a game involving them. New managers can have a big impact and it is wise to keep away instead of trying to guess what impact a manager will have.
The next question to ask yourself is this:
‘Is the game a must win game for either club?’
This question usually applies towards the end of the season as teams often find they must win a game to keep their hopes alive, whether it is promotion, relegation or a European spot. With this pressure on the club to succeed, this can change the way that a team will play. As a rule of thumb, if a team is struggling at the bottom of the league, in a normal game they will play quite conservatively. However, if they need to win a game, despite being at the bottom they will often open up and play a more attacking game. That means it is even more difficult to predict how they will play, what the outcome will be and from a draw perspective, these games need taking out of your list because of this reason.
Positives When Looking for a Draw
After going through your initial list and taking out games because the conditions are not right for a draw, now you need to look at things that will enhance your chances and give you a reason to back. This is where I will finalise my selections, and rate the chances of each bet due to the conditions. At this moment, every game left on my list is a potential bet, with the following questions make them more likely to be a bet, depending on how the final list takes shape.
The first positive question to ask yourself is this:
‘Are any of the teams involved playing for a draw?’
After covering teams who are playing to win a game, something in our favour would be if one or both teams would happily take a draw from the game. This is my main positive when it comes to choosing draws. In my opinion, if you can find teams that are happy to play for the draw then instead of worrying for 90 minutes of the game about a draw, you will probably only need to worry for 70 minutes. If both teams are happy with a draw, they will not push too hard in the final 20 minutes, because they don’t want to make a mistake and throw away a valuable point. If you have two teams shutting down against each other, that will often lead to a very boring final 20 minutes, not great for the fan, but exactly what the draw punter wants to see.
The final question to ask yourself is this:
‘Are the two teams involved both low scoring teams?’
This is the final question I ask myself and the last thing I check before completing my list of potential draws for the weekend. It is much easier to predict a game that will finish 0-0 than one that will finish 3-3. Open games with many goals are difficult to predict, anything can happen in them and they are often wild affairs settled by a lucky bounce, a mistake or something else like that. However, 0-0 games are always full of structure, good defensive play and few chances. The games are often played at a much simpler level because teams do not want to make a mistake that could cost them the game. Teams will tend to sit back and tighten up in low scoring games and when you do that you will find the same status quo are we have mentioned above, with both teams happy to take a draw after 70 minutes. These games are often some of the worst to watch as either a fan or a neutral, but for draw punters they are fantastic.
Picking out games to back the draw is very difficult and much harder than picking a team to win. The method I use is to select a list of games, and then narrow down that list by asking yourself various questions about factors that could change the game. After you have asked yourself these questions you should be able to feel confident about the games you are left with. You will not have a winner on every bet because remember that picking draws is the most difficult thing to do in sports betting. The winners you do have will be at good prices and will give you a great feeling because you know you have done something special.