Although it is probably easier to win consistently at spread betting than it is at fixed odds gambling there are still some potential pitfalls that you should be aware of.

The best value spread bets are usually to be found in the markets that the spread firms disagree about. For example, say IG Index have a bookings index quoted at 36 - 40 and Sporting Index have it at 40 - 44. Well one of them must be wrong! It is usually the bookings index and shirts markets where this difference of opinion is most prevalent. Sometimes you may even have an opportunity to get on an 'arb' (although be very careful before you attempt to play the 'arbs' as you may not be able to close off a bet on the other side).

Playing the shirts market can be very profitable if you have the most up to date team information. The Soccer Spreads ratings will give you the expected goals for each team (you can calculate each teams goal expectation from the supremacy and total goals figures). Using the team squad figures that can be found in the Racing Post and other football statistic websites you should produce a percentage figure that represents each players expected goals per game ratio. Once you know the actual team selections you can then calculate each teams shirts expectation.

For a variety of reasons some teams tend to be 'bought' more than others. If you are thinking of selling a supremacy or a performance index of the any of the big London clubs (Arsenal, Chelsea, Tottenham) it can often pay to wait until an hour or so before the kick off. However this does not apply if there is a spread firm out of line with the others. For example, if you wanted to sell the Chelsea mini performance and IG and Cantor Sports were quoting 28 - 30 and Sporting were quoting 30 -32 then you should sell immediately at 30 with Sporting. If Sporting were quoting 28 - 30 (the same as the others) then it may pay to wait for a while as one of the firms might end up going 29 - 31.

You should also check if Kevin Pullein in the Spreadwise section of the Racing Post is recommending the same bet that you were going to place. If he is then you should get your bet on as soon as the spread firms open for business as the best quote won't last very long.

Never close a bet in running. This is what the spread firms want you to do as you are effectively paying twice (i.e. you are making two bets against the spread). Although there will be times when you wish you had closed off a bet in the long run you will be better off if you let all your bets ride to their natural conclusion.

Don't be afraid to sell the time of a teams first goal when they are rank outsiders. Any team can score a goal in a game no matter how outclassed they appear to be and if one team is a very hot favourite then they may not be so worried about conceding a goal as they would still expect to score more than the opposition (remember San Marino v England?). There is little risk in selling the time of a teams first goal at 69 or 70 minutes.

When placing a bet on a group of matches make sure that you check which matches are included in the group. If there is a live match on a Saturday morning some spread firms will include the live match in their group spreads (e.g. total goals) and some won't.

Try to avoid betting in markets where the spread is quite wide compared with the volatility. For instance, rather than buying a teams supremacy it is usually better to buy a teams performance or mini performance. All members receive the Excel spreadsheets which automatically calculate the optimum bet.

All content is copyright � 1999 - 2004 by Soccer Spreads. All rights reserved.