The accumulator betting approach in soccer: How to make it a useful betting option

Published: June 11, 2024
The accumulator betting approach in soccer: How to make it a useful betting option

The advantages and disadvantages of accumulator bets, short ACCAs, have raised two opinions within the betting community. On the one hand, they promise high returns from a relatively small stake. On the other hand, they come with significant risks, often leading to considerable losses. This dual nature sparks debate among punters and experts alike.

Why ACCAs Are Extremely Risky

ACCAs are a collection of multiple bets linked together. To win, all individual bets within the accumulator must succeed. This structure means that even if one selection fails, the entire bet is lost. Bookmakers promote ACCAs as safe bets, yet our experience shows they are substantial money-makers for the betting companies. Here's an example to illustrate*:

  • Manchester United to win against Chelsea at 1.50 odds
  • More than 2 goals in Arsenal vs. Tottenham at 1.85 odds
  • Draw between Everton and Leicester City at 3.80 odds
  • Aston Villa to win away against Norwich City at 1.95 odds
  • More than 3 goals in Leeds United vs. West Ham at 1.30 odds

Combining these bets would add up the odds to 26.73, but the chances of winning are extremely low. As all outcomes need to occur exactly as predicted, there are too many similar outcomes possible that don’t fulfil the goal. Just imagine, Leeds wins only 2:0 or Arsenal and Tottenham play out a 1-1 draw.

The Potential of ACCAs

Despite the risks, ACCAs are uniquely appealing, especially for those confident in their football knowledge. Successfully navigating ACCAs can yield substantial rewards. Imagine, a bookmaker offers you a £10 single Free bet with minimum odds of 1.50. You could bet on Fulham to win against Norwich City at 1.75 odds or Watford vs. Birmingham City to draw at 2.75 odds. In most cases, the amount of the Free bet is not paid out, so you would only win £7,50 or £17,50 respectively.

To raise your expected win to an acceptable amount, you could combine both bets and get cumulative odds of 4.81, or in this case, a win of £38,10. But now you see, there are a lot of ‘secure’ bets with clear favourites, but the odds are all under 1.50. Most bookmakers allow you to use ACCAs with combined odds to reach the minimum odds, so why not head for some more? A £10 accumulator bet on all 7 games* could yield £168.30 (£158,30 win), thanks to the cumulative odds of 16.83. (2.75 x 1.75 x 1.12 x 1.07 x 1.07 x 1.35 x 1.04 = 16.83) :

  • Watford vs. Birmingham City to draw at 2.75 odds
  • Fulham to win against Norwich City at 1.75 odds
  • Celtic to win against Ross County at 1.12 odds
  • Rangers to win against Hibernian at 1.07 odds
  • Aberdeen to win against St. Mirren at 1.07 odds
  • Hearts to win against Dundee United at 1.35 odds
  • Burnley to win against Bristol City at 1.04 odds

This significant difference highlights the potential allure of ACCAs. You can get much more by taking a few more risks. This also applies to all other bets that you make without a Free bet, in which case you do not have to deduct the £10 from the calculations.
*All play encounters and odds are hypothetical.

Some of the Biggest Football Accumulator Wins

The high-risk, high-reward nature of ACCAs is exemplified by this three huge wins over the past years:

  1.  £650,000: A London punter bet £100 on eight in-progress games, predicting unlikely draws and comebacks.
  2. £585,000: A Maltese punter's €1 max bet on a 19-match accumulator won big thanks to a late goal by Glen Johnson.
  3. £500,000: A fan's 30p, 15-event accumulator correctly predicted various league outcomes, including Bayern Munich winning the Champions League.

Is It Possible to Make It Useful?

In the long run – probably not. There's a reason why most successful tipsters stick to single bets and avoid accumulators.

The explanation is quite simple: accumulators come with a high margin (when you combine multiple matches, the margin increases along with the odds) and a high risk. It's also hard to imagine placing even 1% or 0.5% of your bankroll on accumulators and staying afloat for long.

For serious tipsters, accumulators are often seen as a "lottery". You can try your luck, of course. For instance, you might set aside ten pounds or dollars a month, placing small bets on high odds. That way, you won't lose much, but you'll have a chance to win something.

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