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Away Wins and Big Profits: How to Find Both

(Originally posted 30 April 2004)

We’ve been cashing in with visiting team underdogs at juicy prices in recent weeks. Winners included Leeds over Blackburn (3.75), Southampton over Man City (+330), and Blackburn over Everton (3.30). Spotting value in an away team is an essential skill in soccer handicapping. This article will provide a few tips on how to do it.

Home field advantage is the primary factor in handicapping soccer and it weighs heavily in the oddsmaker’s take on a game. For the most part, lines favouring the home team are an accurate reflection of that team’s chances. The top teams seem virtually unstoppable on their home turf. In fact, they’re far from invincible (contrary to what some announcers would have you believe). Home losses are not uncommon, and when they happen the visiting team is typically available at a huge price (4/1, 6/1, even 8/1 and higher). Sometimes the line is so greatly skewed that road teams at big prices become hard to resist. Don’t believe me? Take a look at some of this season’s results:

» 30 August 2003:
Newcastle loses at home to Birmingham 1-0

» 25 October 2003:
Manchester United loses at home to Fulham 3-1

» 9 November 2003:
Valencia loses at home to Racing Santander 2-1

» 13 December 2003:
Chelsea loses at home to Bolton 2-1

» 21 December 2003:
Milan loses to at home to Udinese 2-1

» 28 December 2003:
Newcastle loses at home to Blackburn 1-0

» 25 January 2004:
Valencia loses at home to Osasuna 1-0

» 11 February 2004:
Manchester United loses at home to Middlesbrough 3-2

» 28 March 2004:
Roma loses at home to Bologna 2-1

» 11 April 2004:
Real Madrid loses at home to Osasuna 3-0

» 25 April 2004:
Juventus loses at home to Lecce 4-3

Sure, there are often situations where a home win is a near certainty because weak teams are dreadful on the road. You could have backed Lazio over Ancona at 1.11 a couple of weeks ago. This weekend Parma to beat Ancona is available at 1.10, if you’re so inclined. Top-table teams rarely lose home games to bottom-dwellers. (They might draw once in a while, but they almost never lose) If you’re looking for a away team with a decent chance to earn an 'upset', focus on the boring yet solid teams in the middle of the table - the Birminghams, Osasunas and Udineses of the league. These workhorses lack the flair and skill of the high-flyers, but to compensate they focus on what they’re good at: defence and counterattack. They may also lack the consistency of some of the elite teams (which explains their position in mid-table). But when they’re up for it, these clubs are fully capable of playing with the big boys and winning.

But even the best of teams can flop when playing on the road. Fourth-placed Newcastle are a horrendous 2-10-4 away from home. You can’t expect mid-table teams with similar away records to steal wins against the league’s best. But there are a remarkable number of teams, with respectable road records, who aren't given the respect they deserve by the oddsmakers. Others have that rare condition of playing better on the road. Relegation-bound Celta, for example, has a better away record than fifth-placed Athletic Bilbao.

So keep an eye out for value in the visting team.

Other Articles About Soccer Betting:

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» UEFA Champions League Prediction: Group Stage
» World Cup Qualifiers 2006: European Zone
» Carling Cup Prediction: Second Round Preview
» Italian Soccer Prediction: Serie A Preview 2004/2005
» French Soccer Prediction: Singing Les Bleus
» Spanish Soccer Prediction: Primera Liga Preview 2004
» German Soccer Prediction: Bundesliga Preview 2004
» English Premier League Prediction 2004/2005
» Olympics Soccer: Redemption Time
» Copa America Prediction: Samba or Last Tango in Peru?
» Asian Cup Prediction: Here We Go Again
» Copa America Betting: At the Copa...
» Betting Euro 2004: The Final Four
» Euro 2004 Gambling: Propaholics and Rooney-Mania
» Euro 2004 Predictions: Handicapping Secrets Revealed
» Euro 2004 Tips: Props - Part 1
» Euro 2004 Bets: Props - Part 2
» International Friendlies: How to Cash In
» Road Dogs and Big Profits: How to Find Both
» Uefa Champions League Betting Tips: The Final Four
» Man Utd v Arsenal Prediction: Clash of the Titans
» Premiership Predictions: EPL Roundup
» UK Bookmakers: Where the Action Is
» Legal Betting: A Gambler's Paradise
» Cup Competitions: Where the Money is
» Profit from Home Field Advantage

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