The movie Moneyball, starring Brad Pitt as Oakland A’s general manager Billy Beane, encapsulates much that is true about football betting and how to be successful at it.
Moneyball is based on the real-life story of Billy Beane, manager of the Oakland A’s baseball team. The Oakland A’s are a small-time club competing against the big guns of baseball, the likes of the New York Yankees and the Boston Red Sox. Although they are punching above their weight, Billy knows that they can never win a major title unless they try to do things differently.
And so Billy starts to assemble a team of players based on certain performance stats, focusing in particular on an individual player’s ability to get on base and score runs. He finds value in a bunch of players that are being overlooked and undervalued because they don’t conform to the accepted standards of what a baseball player ought to be.
This, of course, upsets the scouts that have been working for the club for years. It has been their job to find the talent and they believe that they have a special instinct when it comes to identifying game-winning potential.
But Billy does not want to do things the way they have always been done. The results, he says, will just be the same. Besides this, he does not believe that the scouts have the ability to know if a player is actually going to perform or deliver when it comes to the crunch. He himself used to be a player and the scouts who discovered him were completely sure he was destined for greatness. But he failed to live up to their expectations. When it came to the big games, he could not produce the kind of play that was required and expected of him.
Adapt or die!
In this scene, Grady, the Oakland A’a head scout, confronts Billy about the new system he is implementing. Grady is understandably angry. His job and his expertise is being undermined by the new approach. He simply does not, or cannot, believe that it will produce superior results. He argues that Billy has lost his mind, that it is not possible to win games by just reading the numbers. He tells Billy:
Baseball isn’t just numbers, it’s not science, because then anyone could do what we do. But they can’t, because they don’t know what we know. They don’t have our experience and they don’t have our intuition … There are intangibles that only baseball people can understand.
Brad Pitt’s character is unmoved by this show of anger and frustration, telling Grady, ‘You don’t have a crystal ball. You can’t look at a kid and predict his future any more than I can’. Scouts might have an eye for someone who can hit the ball cleanly and get the crowd-pleasing home-runs, someone who looks like a typically good baseball player. But put them in a team in the big leagues and there is simply no knowing how these players will actually perform. And by perform, he means get results – the kind of results that win games.
Billy would prefer to have a team of players that have statistically proven they can get on base a sufficient number of times over the course of a season. Because getting on base wins games. If he can assemble a team of players who have a proven record of doing this, he knows that the team stands a very strong chance of winning enough times to be champions.
And this is exactly what Billy does. He identifies a group of players who are being overlooked or undervalued by the other teams because they don’t have the obvious eye-catching qualities. But he knows that they will produce the necessary results collectively to win a sufficient number of games over the course of a season to get the Oakland A’s where they need to be.
Lessons for Football betting
This movie – and this scene in particular – sums up a lot of what I think is true about football betting. The objective for me is to make money. I don’t treat it as a form of entertainment or amusement. My objective is simple: make a lot more money than I lose and do this consistently.
When it comes to trying to make money from football betting, you have a couple of choices. You can follow the lead of tipsters who purport to have a special ability to foretell what is going to happen in matches, often before they even commence. Such tipsters are like Grady, full-sure of their expertise and intuition when it comes to how teams will perform. But they don’t have a crystal ball and, for the most part, they don’t know what the outcome is going to be.
The alternative is to drown out all the noise and just focus on what is actually happening in a given game. Is the team that was expected to dominate and score actually dominating and scoring. If so, then how likely are they to continue dominating and score further goals. The in-play stats will tell you all you need to know.
There are sufficient games each week where the in-play stats clearly indicate that a further goal will be scored in the match and the odds on this happening are sufficiently profitable. If this is the case, then why bother trying to guess or anticipate how games are going to go before they commence. Why place a bet on there being x number of goals in given half or match before you see how the teams are actually playing?
In-Play stats are a game-changer
Football betting is very emotional. And it doesn’t help when there are people clamouring to profit from your efforts to make money. You can be bombarded by calls to take exciting, long odds or to place your money on some bet-builder or partake in a bet challenge. The key, however, is to take emotion out of it and just look at the numbers in front of you. In-play stats, along with the odds on various outcomes, provide you with all you will ever need to find profitable opportunities.
The other important thing is to take control of your betting. Don’t blindly follow what others recommend. Find a way of making money that works for you and stick with it. This way you are not depending on the whim of others to determine whether or not your day or week will be profitable. Again, the in-play stats enable you to do this. You don’t need to be an expert on the form of individual teams and players or have any special football knowledge. You simply need to look at the numbers in front of you to see whether or not an immediate opportunity exists.
Betting, like baseball, is ultimately about results. The Oakland A’s won 20 consecutive games all because Billy stuck with system he created. When it comes to your betting you need to have a system that you know will work in the the long-term, that will provide you with dependable profit. And you can only be sure of this when you take control and stop depending on those who claim to have special, intuitive insights or abilities when it comes to picking winners.