A Guide to Ante Post/Futures Football Betting (Part 3) – Managing your Capital
This is the 3rd and final part of my guide related to Ante Post football betting. If you haven’t read the first two parts you can click on the links above.
After covering the basics in the 1st part and how to choose winners in the 2nd, in the 3rd part I want to bring my attention to how to successfully manage your capital.
Managing your capital is one of my favorite topic in betting and one of the topics that separates the serious betting investor from the recreational bettor.
1) DEFINE YOUR CAPITAL
It’s very important to decide how much you are gonna dedicate to betting at the start of every season. This is gonna be your total you are gonna calculate the Return on Capital (ROC) at the end of the season.
It could be 100 or It could be 50000, but the most important thing is that you always need to have in mind the amount you have at your disposal for betting.
Once you define the amount you can start to calculate during the season how much you can risk on one or more selections and how much you are keeping in case of things going in the wrong way (Safe Net).
It’s always better if the capital is free from any restrictions at the start of the season. This mean for example that a part of it It’s not tied to a bookmaker’s account from which you cannot withdraw it, and It needs to be in a place where you can easily use it for betting without having to wait for a 3 or 4 days transfer.
2) CONCENTRATION AND DIVERSIFICATION
As Ante Post/Ouright betting could be considered a form of investing, some of the general rules of investing also apply to it, but with some changes.
Diversification (or don’t put all your eggs in one basket) is one of the basic rules of investing. In long-term betting you want to keep this rule in mind, as you should never put everything on one selection but spread the risk to more teams or events. As sure as you can be about one selection there is always a risk that you haven’t calculated and your bet could go wrong leaving you too exposed.
On the other hand I’m a strong believer of concentration in ante post betting, and I never make more than 4-5 selection during the season.
Excluding extra-European leagues, exotic countries and small championships (which are usually more difficult to follow and with less betting opportunities), there are roughly 11-12 leagues interesting for bets. You have the Top6 (English Premier, Liga, Serie A, Bundesliga, Ligue 1, Portuguese Primeira Liga) which are easier to follow and with more bets, than the others 4-5 leagues (Dutch Eredivisie, Turkish Super Lig, Russian Premier), and finally 1-2 minor leagues you follow for a particular reason. This could be your country of origin, or just a league you enjoy watching or a country you like.
Now during the season you will only get 4-5 good opportunities from these leagues, and even if you think there are more you should always stick to your 4-5 selections, so you can easily keep up with anything that happens during the season and you can easily close your positions.
In the end you don’t want to have 10 positions open in 10 different leagues, but at the same time you don’t want all your capital on one selection.
3) SPREADING THE CAPITAL OVER THE SEASON
After focusing on how to diversify your capital on your selections, we should talk a little bit about how to spread it during all the duration of the season.
Even more obvious than “don’t put all your eggs in one basket” is “don’t put all the eggs too early”, leaving you exposed without the amount of money required to close the positions (safe net).
Usually the season of the major European Leagues runs from August to May, while if It’s a Northern Europe/Scandinavian country it starts in April and finish in November.
If you divide the season in windows, you can roughly determine how much you can bet on each of them. The 1st window starts in August and ends in November-December. It includes the first 15-16 games of the season and It is usually an important window in those leagues where there is an early strong favorite (Bayern in Germany, PSG in France, etc.). In this window you should look for some early opportunities and usually don’t bet more than 20/30% of your capital. At the end of this window and at the start of the 2nd window (that will run until February-March) some of the favorites in these leagues are already becoming too short to bet on, and some of them are even unplayable (like most years Bayern in Germany, or PSG in France).
The 2nd window is the most important in Ante Post. This is where you see how the season is shaping up in a particular league. In leagues without a usual/constant winner (Premier, Serie A, Liga, etc.) you should find those 2-3 opportunities from leagues where the leaders have all the signs in order to win the league, but they are not too favorites yet to have unbettable short odds (1.20 or less). At the end of this window you would have gone up to a 50-60 % of the capital.
With the remaining 40-50% of your capital you should have enough to monitor the situation of your selections and see if there are the conditions to increase your exposure on one or more of them in the 3rd window, or more importantly cover a potential loss. There will always be one selection who is going worse than others (teams that are losing points in April for example) and that’s why you should always keep a safe net, an amount of your capital dedicated to close your position in the 3rd window (April-May) so that you can diminish your eventual losses.
Many times you will end up in May without even betting the safe net if you have done your job correctly (or if there are no big surprises) and there are no surprises. In these cases you will bet only max 85% of your initial capital.
4) THE IMPORTANCE OF E-WALLETS
Money management includes also how you transfer money from your accounts and you don’t wanna end up paying too many fees moving your capital, or having to wait too long wasting a selection.
I don’t know how many times I see people not using e-wallets like Skrill or Neteller to transfer money. First of all they are usually free of charge (or they usually cost you less than other methods of deposit and withdrawals) and second they are faster than any other methods.
When you bet during the season you want your capital ready to be transferred fast from and to any bookmaker and you also don’t want your money to be spread on several cards or accounts, as this will cost you more and will slow you down when you decide there is a good opportunity to invest.
Once you start to use e-wallets more and more you will end up increasing or even removing the limits of transfers they put on your account at the beginning.
About safety we should always remember that nothing is safe online, but that you can take some precautions to protect your money.
One e-wallet I recommend which is the most used by bookmakers and users is Skrill. I’ve been an active user of Skrill for more than 10 years now and never had any issue transferring money with them between different bookmakers accounts. If you want to open an account for free you can click the link below:
5) BETTING TRACKER WORKSHEET
All the money management strategies would be nothing without a proper worksheet, where you write down all your bets done, your movements from one bookmaker to another and your profits or losses during the year.
There are several options online, like Excel spreadsheets already structured that you can fill with your betting data.
It’s important to find one with different sheets for different categories, like Deposits, Bets, Summary and Profits, so you can monitor these things over the years. One of my favorite is the worksheet provided by Aussportsbetting you can get here: Excel Betting Tracker. It tracks your betting history and provides data with numerous filters as well as a summary graph.
With a proper worksheet you can easily find out how much money you have bet during the year, how much you have left in every bookmaker without even login, and how you have spread the capital over your selections.