The start of the football season also sees gamblers pick their doubles, trebles and bigger multiples of league winners in a bid to celebrate the following May with a monster pay-out. Very few succeed and Ladbrokes and William Hill welcome them with open arms. In contrast, the start of a football season opens up a much wider cupboard of long-term delights for the spread bettor. And while fixed-odds betting offers poor prices and little chance of winning, the spreads have a much better hit rate.
This is down to two main reasons. The first is blindingly obvious. The first long-term football markets come out in late July or early August. This gives football fans a month to evaluate the form and consider their options. Prices on a live TV match during the season come out 48 hours before a match at most. Just the chance to deliberate more and do that extra research can make the world of difference.
It means there is less spur-of-the-moment trading minutes before kick-off and more educated thought instead. As always the less emotional and on impulse a trade is, the more likely it is to be a winner. The fact that the size of the bet is likely to be bigger since it is spread over a season also tends to concentrate the mind.