How to upscale your football accumulator bet with handicap markets

  • Discover how to use handicap markets to increase your returns
  • Pocket more money without making more selections

Bookies love an ACCA (or accumulator bet) especially when the ACCA contains five teams or more.

Accumulators attract the dreamers, wishful thinkers and casual punters and they’re the bets that bookies rarely need to pay out on.

Boost your betting on sports with handicap accumulators.
Boost your betting on sports with handicap accumulators.

Of course, there are those rare occasions when a high street or online bookmaker has to pay out on a wonder bet, but these are so few and far between they rarely dent the bottom line.

An accumulator bet by a mother has scooped her £600,000 from a £1 bet.
An accumulator bet by a mother scooped her £600,000 from a £1 bet earlier in 2017.

Every selection is a risk and every match holds the possibility of unforeseen events. One way to decrease your exposure to freak occurrences and fluke results is to reduce the number of selections you make. That way your bet is far less likely to fall victim to a dodgy penalty decision, a sending off or a 94th minute wonder strike.

Boost your ACCA

The most common way punters try to improve their returns on an ACCA is to pick more teams. When football coupons were pieces of paper there was good reason for this, but with online betting there is so much more you can do. With those increased returns comes an increased number of random factors that can potentially ruin their day.

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Let’s take a look at a typical coupon with the teams in bold as our selections. All prices taken from William Hill:

Everton v Chelsea 8/13

Man City v Bournemouth 1/10

Tottenham v Southampton 4/11

Liverpool v Swansea 1/5

Man Utd v Burnley 2/9

With these selections a £20 bet will return you £71.80. It’s not exactly enough to get excited about or to have a great night on the town, but you wouldn’t say no to the money either. You’re feeling a little more ambitious so to boost the ACCA you add:

Watford v Leicester 19/10

Crystal Palace v Arsenal 4/6

Now your £20 will give you a much more handsome £343.53. That definitely looks more like it, but now your ACCA contains two more away wins including a potentially tricky match for Leicester at Watford. Remember, around 48% of fixtures result in a home win so away selections contain more risk.

Handicaps

Returning to the original teams, giving them a one goal handicap would change the odds in our favour as follows:

Everton v Chelsea -1 17/10

Man City -1 v Bournemouth 1/4
Tottenham -1 v Southampton 19/20

Liverpool -1 v Swansea 4/9

Man Utd -1 v Burnley 4/7

Now that same £20 bet returns a much sweeter £298.77. A much healthier figure without adding extra games. Alternatively you can instead mix and match handicap markets with a simple wins. In this case let’s try the following:

Everton v Chelsea 8/13

Man City -2 v Bournemouth 7/10

Tottenham -1 v Southampton 19/20

Liverpool -1 v Swansea 4/9

Man Utd -1 v Burnley 4/7

Your £20 bet will now see you pocket £243.10, a clear £171 more than if you had simply stuck with the win, lose or draw markets. In this instance we’ve given Chelsea a simple win to account for the fact they’re away from home while giving Man City (who are scoring for fun right now) a handicap of two goals. Whether you think that is a good bet or not is another thing, but it does keep your betting slip down to size.

Bookies do everything in their power to encourage you add extra games to your ACCA, but the best way to boost your returns is with better bets, not more selections. Good luck!

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