Before a soccer match, both teams’ fans are confident their teams will win it. They gather on the stands filled with hope and enthusiasm and never stop cheering for their favourite team until the very end of the match. Even after the game, they often blame the officials or the teams’ coaches or managers for the outcome they didn’t expect or feel that it was unlikely.
In the world of tipsters and handicappers, enthusiasm and uncertainty have no place. When they do their thing, they predict the chance of each potential outcome based on information rather than guesswork.
Tipsters and handicappers
The term “handicapper” is often used in relation to an individual who studies and looks into a sport, in general, or a specific sporting event and provides an “educated guess” on what outcome is the most likely. Handicappers are individuals – either occasional bettors or professionals making a living betting on sporting events.
Bookmakers usually have their own teams of professionals to set their soccer betting and other sports’ odds – they are called “oddsmakers”. And there are services built around people with in-depth knowledge about a sport and a knack for predicting the outcome of games – these people often provide their services – betting tips – for money, and are often referred to as “tipsters”.
How do professionals predict the outcome of sporting events?
Some athletes or sports teams are “stronger” than others – they have better players, they have a more knowledgeable coach, and they have higher-quality training facilities, among others. When it comes to betting, these teams are often regarded as the “favourite” ahead of a match, the team more likely to win a game.
But there are many other factors handicappers and oddsmakers take into account when setting the odds for a soccer match, for example.
A team will almost always perform better when playing at their home stadium than when they play in another. The effect of the unfamiliar environment and travel are taken into account by professional predictors.
Injuries and recoveries are always taken into account when trying to predict the outcome of a sporting event. If a key player is injured or missing the game for one reason or another, this will seriously impact the outcome. Also. if an important player has recovered after an injury and joined the team again, this will bend the odds one way or another.
The officials at a match must be impartial but let’s not forget that they are only human – they have their own habits that have to be taken into account. And tipsters do.
The weather is an important factor when predicting the outcome of a soccer match. Rain makes the turf and the ball slippery and will affect the performance of the athletes. For a motor racing event, the weather is even more important: cars and motorcycles need different tyres for a wet, dry, cool or hot track, so the weather can seriously influence the outcome of a race.
Can you become a tipster/handicapper?
You need in-depth knowledge of your preferred sport, and access to records and statistics often going back years about players, officials, and venues to be able to work out a system that may help you correctly predict the outcome of an event. Doing it is a complex matter with many variables that is not for everyone – yet it is likely a very satisfying job to do.