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How To Improve Your Soccer Bets Using The Footyforecast Method

How To Improve Your Soccer Bets is a series of articles that describe some well known and well used statistical techniques that will help the soccer punter make more informed bets. Each of the techniques has its own advantages and disadvantages and using them in isolation will improve your chances of winning. However, together they will prove invaluable in your battle with the bookies. In each article we will describe in detail how a particular method works giving you enough ...

soccer,betting,gambling,statistics

How To Improve Your Soccer Bets is a series of articles that describe some well known and well used statistical techniques that will help the soccer punter make more informed bets. Each of the techniques has its own advantages and disadvantages and using them in isolation will improve your chances of winning. However, together they will prove invaluable in your battle with the bookies. In each article we will describe in detail how a particular method works giving you enough information for you to go ahead and create your own forecasts. We will also give you information as to where you can already find websites that use this technique in comprising their weekly forecasts.

The statistical methods described in this set of articles should help you to arrive at a better decision about the match, or matches, that you are betting on.

In this article we will be describing the Footyforecast method. The Footyforecast method was originally developed for the English Football Pools and attempts to eliminate those matches that will not be draws, leaving you with a shorter list of matches from which to choose your 8 from 11. This method was introduced to the world in 1999 on the original Footyforecast website (now http://1X2Monster.com). This method is similar to the Simple Sequence method which is described in another of our articles in this series.

Here are the basic rules…

For each team work out the following,
1.Work out the total number of points obtained for the last N games.
2.Work out the maximum number of possible points for the last N games.
3.Divide the total number of points obtained by the maximum available and multiply by 100.
4.Calculate the forecast value.

In (1) and (2) above N games could be all the home games for the home side and all the away games for the away side. Alternatively N could be the last N games including all home and away games for a team.

The forecast value is calculated like this...

HOMEPOINTS = number of points for home team from last N games

AWAYPOINTS = number of points for away team from last N games

HOMEVAL = (HOMEPOINTS / (POINTSFORWIN * N)) *100

AWAYVAL = (AWAYPOINTS / (POINTSFORWIN * N)) *100

FORECAST = (HOMEVAL + (100 - AWAYVAL)) / 2

To calculate the possible outcome of a match based on the Footyforecast method the value is compared with the following...

1. A forecast value of 50 = a draw.
2. A value between 50 and 100 gives an increasing chance of a home win the closer to 100.
3. A value between 50 and 0 gives an increasing chance of an away win the closer to 0.

There are a few variables to consider, for example the number of matches to use and whether to use all matches or just home for home side and just away for away side to name but two. You may wish to experiment with these values.

By plotting actual resulting draws against the forecast it is possible to generate two threshold values, one for away wins and one for home wins, any values in-between these thresholds are likely draws. All matches outside these thresholds will be less likely to be draws. For example a value of 40 or less for away wins and a value of 60 or more for home wins. This would mean any matches falling between 41 and 59 may be draws.

What this method does, with careful tuning by the user is to eliminate many matches which will not be draws giving you a short list to choose from. This method is best used where an English Pools Plan is to be used.

Here is a worked example…

The values shown are the points gained by the team for each game in a sequence of four recent matches, you of course could choose more games to base your calculations on.

West Ham
H4 = 3 (oldest match)
H3 = 1
H2 = 1
H1 = 0 (most recent match)

Leeds Utd
A4 = 1 (oldest match)
A3 = 3
A2 = 0
A1 = 3 (most recent match)

Using only home games for home side and only away games for away side...

FFPHome = ((3 + 1 + 1 + 0) / 12) * 100 = 42
FFPAway = ((1 + 3 + 0 + 3) / 12) * 100 = 59
FFPForcast = (42 + (100 - 59)) / 2 = 42

If our threshold values are 40 and 60 then for this match the prediction lies in the expected draw region and at the lower end meaning that if it is not a draw the most likely other outcome would be an away win. This may be interpreted as an X2 prediction, i.e. draw or away win, which some bookies will accept as a bet.

Now it’s your turn…

Of course you may choose to use different values to those shown above and by experimenting you may come up with better values to use. You may also choose to use all home and away games played by each team in your calculations instead of just home games for the home team and away games for the away team. You may choose to have different thresholds than those shown above. You may also find it beneficial to plot actual results against the Footyforecast method predictions to see how many actual draws fall in the away win, draw, and home win prediction zones.

If you have the necessary skills you could go away and build your own spreadsheet of data or even write a piece of software to take in results and fixtures and apply the Footyforecast method to your data. Or, if you’re lazy like me, you could grab some free software that already does this for you. If this last option is for you then visit 1X2Monster where you can download a FREE copy of the Footyforecast 2.0 software which utilises all of the statistical methods described in this series of articles. You will also be able to download FREE weekly database updates for your software, how cool is that?

Here is a list of all the articles in this series…

How To Improve Your Soccer Bets Using The Rateform Method
How To Improve Your Soccer Bets Using The Footyforecast Method
How To Improve Your Soccer Bets Using The Win Draw Loss Method
How To Improve Your Soccer Bets Using The Simple Sequence Method
How To Improve Your Soccer Bets Using The Score Prediction Method
How To Improve Your Soccer Bets Using The Superiority Method

 

How To Make A Profit From FREE 1X2 Soccer Picks/Tips

Many football (soccer to our American friends) picks and tips sites provide only a few picks/tips a week, some only one, with many charging huge amounts for the privilege. In this article I will show you how to get the very best from hundreds of free and low cost picks and tips every week by answering four important questions.

free soccer picks, soccer betting, english premiership, italian serie a, soccer, soccer tips, soccer picks, soccer forecasting

Home In On The Best Picks And Tips From Hundreds Each Week
Many football (soccer to our American friends) picks and tips sites provide only a few picks/tips a week, some only one, with many charging huge amounts for the privilege. In this article I will show you how to get the very best from hundreds of free and low cost picks and tips every week by answering these four questions.

What if you were able to pick the absolute best picks from hundreds of weekly picks/tips greatly increasing your chances of success?
What if those picks/tips are chosen based on the past performance of similar picks/tips and those picks/tips are all created using a combination of several tried and tested statistical methods?
What if you could know whether draw predictions, home predictions or away predictions are more successful for the English Premier League, the Italian Serie A, the German Bundesliga, or many other leagues across Europe?
What if you could do it all for FREE or very low cost?

Well now you can. If you’re interested then read on.

Some Tips Are Better Than Others
Using well established statistical methods along with automated software it’s possible to generate hundreds of soccer tips every week for many leagues, theoretically you could cover all of the major leagues in the world. So what, why would you want to do that? Surely many of the tips will be grossly inaccurate but on the other hand many will be correct so how can you determine which will be successful and which not? It would be much better to just concentrate on one or two matches and predict their outcome by intensive and careful focused analysis.

On the face of it the above responses that I have seen over the years have some merit and deserve careful consideration, there is a good argument for focussed analysis of a single match with the aim of trying to predict its outcome. However, consider this, when a scientist runs a statistical analysis how many data items do they select as a representative sample? One, two… or more? When carrying out statistical analysis the more data you have to work on the better the outcome. For example, if you wanted to calculate the average height of a class of school children you could just take the first two or three as a sample. But if they are all six feet tall they are going to be highly unrepresentative so obviously you would get all their heights and calculate the average from those, the result is a much more accurate answer. It’s a simplistic example but hopefully you see my point. Obviously you can apply that argument to a single match by collecting past results for each side and carrying out statistical analysis techniques using that data, but why restrict your analysis to that one match?

We know that if we make hundreds of automated tips, based on sound tried and tested statistical methods, that some will be successful and others won’t. So how do we target in on the best tips, the ones most likely to be correct, and how do we do it week after week? Well, the answer is to keep a record of how each and every tip performs, some tips are better than others and we want to know which ones. At this stage, if your thinking how can I possibly calculate all of that information for every game, in every league I want to cover, and do it every week, then don’t worry I’ll show you how it’s all done for you at the end of the article.

Results Are Not Always The Same
Simply keeping a record of how each of the hundreds of tips we make actually perform against the eventual result is not enough, what we need now is a way of analysing that data and grouping it logically to get the best from it. Results are not always the same, in other words a tip that shows one possible outcome for match A and the same possible outcome for match B will not necessarily produce the same result (i.e. a correct prediction or a wrong prediction). Why is this? Well there are hundreds of reasons why and you will never be able to account for them all, if you could you would no doubt be a millionaire. When trying to predict the outcome of a match you may look at such qualitative things as the current injury list of each team, the team sheet, morale of the players, etc. We can also look at Quantitative factors using our statistical methods to predict the outcome of the match, so we may look at such things as past performance, position in the league, or more tried and tested statistical methods such as the Rateform method. We can use all of this information to predict the outcome of match A and the outcome of match B and still not have the same result, part of the reason for this is, as explained before, that we can not account for all the factors in a match, it’s impossible. But there’s something else, something we can account for which we have not yet thought about.

When we look at one match in isolation we only look at the factors concerning each of the two teams in the match, but why not expand this to look at how the other teams they have played are also performing? ‘Why would we want to do that?’ I hear some of you say. Because results are not always the same. Let’s say our prediction for match A and match B is a home win (forgetting about the predicted score for the moment). What else can we take into account to improve the prediction of a home win? We can look at the performance of all the home win tips made for the same competition that the match is being played in and then make a judgement based on that new information. This is great as it gives us an extra factoring level to take into account that we did not have before.

Looking across all the home win predictions in a single league will give us a percentage success rate for home wins for that particular league, but we can improve on this even further. We can do this by doing the exact same exercise across many different leagues and obtaining a percentage success rate for each league. This means we can now look for the league which produces the best overall home win prediction success rate and look for home win predictions for the coming fixtures. By default we know that that league is more likely to produce a successful outcome for a home prediction than any other. Of course we can employ this technique for away win and draw predictions as well.

How Tight Is The League?
Why does this difference between the leagues occur? As with trying to predict the outcome of a single match there are many factors that make up this phenomenon, but there are just a few major factors that influence why one league should produce more home wins through a season than another. The most obvious of these could be described as the ‘tightness’ of the league. What do I mean by ‘tightness’? In any league there is often a gap in the skills and abilities of those teams consistently at the top of the league and those at the bottom, this is often expressed as a ‘difference in class’. This difference in class varies markedly between different leagues with some leagues being much more competitive than others due to a closer level of skills throughout the league, ‘a tight league’. In the case of a tight league the instances of drawn games will be more noticeable than with a ‘not so tight league’ and home wins will most likely be of a lower frequency.

So, let’s say we are interested in predicting a home win, armed with our new information about the ‘tightness’ of leagues we could make predictions for matches throughout a season for as many leagues as we can manage, and watch how those predictions perform in each league. You will find that the success of the predictions will closely match the ‘tightness’ of a particular league, so where a particular league produces more home wins then we will have more success with our home predictions. Don’t be misled, this does not mean that just because there are more home wins we are bound to be more accurate, what I am taking about is a success rate in percentage terms of the number of home predictions made which has nothing directly to do with how many actual home wins there are. For example, let’s say we make one hundred home predictions in league A and one hundred in league B, and let’s say that seventy five percent are correct in league A but only sixty percent in league B. We have made the same number of predictions in each league with differing results, and those difference are most likely due to the ‘tightness’ of each league. League B will be a ‘tight’ league with more teams having similar levels of ‘class’, whereas league A has a wider margin of class when it comes to the teams within it. Therefore we should pick out the best performing league concerning home wins and make our home win selections from that league.

We Have To Be Consistent
Of course there is more to it than that. It’s no good just taking each tip and recording how it performed we have to apply the same rules to each and every tip made. You have to make sure that the parameters you set for each predictive method you use (e.g. Rateform, Score Prediction, etc.) remain constant. So choose your best settings for each method and stick to them for each and every prediction, for every league, and for the whole season. You must do this in order to retain consistency of predictions within leagues, between leagues, and over time. There is nothing stopping you using several different sets of parameters as long as you keep the data produced from each separate.

If you are wondering what the parameters are then take the Rateform method as an example. Using this method we produce an integer number that represents the possible outcome of a match (I’m not going to go into detail about the Rateform method here as that’s the subject of another of my articles). You can set break points that represent a home win and an away win, so if the resulting rateform output for a match is higher than the upper breakpoint then that match could be deemed a home win. Similarly, if the resulting rateform output for a match is lower than the lower breakpoint then that match could be deemed as an away win. Anything that falls in-between is deemed a draw.

Do It For FREE Or Very Low Cost

So how do I get all this information without having to calculate it all myself?

Footyforecast.com has been delivering this kind of information, week in week out, on its website since 1999. It covers eighteen leagues across Europe including; English Premiership, Scottish Premiership, Italian Serie A, German Bundesliga, Dutch Eredivisie, Spain, France, to name but a few. A total of seven different statistical methods are used to determine the outcome of each game played in each league, and a comprehensive record of how each method in each game performed is kept. A lot of this information is totally free to site visitors but for a small subscription fee you can gain access to the data from all eighteen leagues. Apart from how each tip performed within its respective league Footyforecast also provides the league tables of how each league has performed in successfully predicting outcomes of games. The league tables of prediction performance are produced for home win predictions, draw predictions, away win predictions, and for overall predictions and are invaluable tools to the soccer punter when deciding where to target their European soccer predictions. You can visit the Footyforecast website by using the link below:

http://www.footyforecast.com

So there you have it. Hopefully I have shown you how to target in on the best leagues in order to raise your chances of success when predicting 1X2 results, and, although I offer no guarantees, I’m fairly confident that this method will improve your profits.

 

How To Improve Your Soccer Dribbling Skills

Soccer is a great game to be played, but it’s also a great game to be watched. Someone that’s not familiar with soccer might wonder what exactly it is that makes it the most popular sport on the planet.

Just like basketball has its slam dunks and alley oops, baseball its home runs or boxing its knockouts, soccer has several key elements that make it a highly entertaining game: goals, passes, tackles and dribbling.

It’s the last one that I value most, since I believe tha...

Soccer Dribbling, Soccer Dribbling Skills

Soccer is a great game to be played, but it’s also a great game to be watched. Someone that’s not familiar with soccer might wonder what exactly it is that makes it the most popular sport on the planet.

Just like basketball has its slam dunks and alley oops, baseball its home runs or boxing its knockouts, soccer has several key elements that make it a highly entertaining game: goals, passes, tackles and dribbling.

It’s the last one that I value most, since I believe that a good dribble is not only spectacular, but it can be extremely efficient in a game, so I’m going to dedicate the following article to explaining how soccer dribbling works, how you can train it, focus on a couple of special dribbling moves and see what soccer abilities affect your dribbling skill.

Soccer Dribbling – Introduction to the World of Ankle Breakers

By definition, soccer dribbling is a method used by the ball carrier to pass the ball past a direct opponent, without conceding possession. This may be a tight dictionary-like statement, but in truth soccer dribbling is as simple in concept as that: do anything you can (in the boundaries of the soccer laws) to get past your opponent and keep possession of the ball. But “getting past your opponent” needs a little explaining.

At a first glance, that might seem restricted to vertically surpassing your opponent on the pitch, when in truth dribbling can be done sideways, or even back towards your own half (when you want to avoid a tackle for example) and in many cases it’s just a means of clearing up the space to get a pass or shot in. This doesn’t necessarily get the ball on the other side of your opponent, but it does avoid him, allowing you to continue the play to your teammates.

Soccer Dribbling – Types of Dribbles

There are several types of dribbles that have different purposes in the game and by types of dribbles I don’t mean specific moves, or specific tricks, but rather game mechanics involving dribbles that have a certain end-goal.

Pressure Avoiding Dribbles – This is probably the most common type of dribble in the game and as a central midfielder almost every touch of the ball you get will have to be followed by a pressure avoiding dribble. This involves a quick flick of the ball in an area with some empty space when being under pressure from an opponent and its goal is to give you a few seconds to execute a pass, or in some cases a shot.

The most important aspect of pressure avoiding dribbles is knowing where you’re going to move the ball even before you actually get to it. Take into consideration that you will probably only have a couple of seconds to pass or shoot the ball after such a dribble, since the defender will be quick to position himself in front of the ball again, or try to tackle you decisively.

Great examples of players who use this kind of dribble effectively include Ronaldinho, Clarence Seedorf or Michael Ballack.

Speed Dribbles – Speed dribbles are mostly popular with wing backs, since the wings are usually more open and free and they allow a fast player to virtually throw the ball forward and run for it again, smoking one or two opponents in the process.

Speed dribbles aren’t very fancy in terms of ball control, however the dribbler needs to focus on pushing the ball forward just right so that he doesn’t loses possession to an opposing defender or throw the ball out of the playing bonds. A few examples of great speed dribblers include Arjen Robben, Cristiano Ronaldo, Marc Overmars or Dani Alves.

Receiving Dribbles – This is probably one of the most effective ways to dribble, but it can also be the hardest: going around your opponent straight from receiving the ball. It can throw an entire defense off balance and create havoc for the opposing team, but you truly have to be a skilled player to produce great receiving dribbles.

First of all, you need to have impressive vision on the pitch, knowing exactly where your opponents are and where you can find some open space on the field, even before the ball gets to your foot.

Secondly, you need to be in perfect control of the ball receiving technique, since pushing it too soft or too hard will ruin the dribble. Last but not least, you need to use your body to trick your direct opponent off balance, allowing you to turn and push the ball into open space unhindered.

Soccer Dribbling – Skill Factors Involved in Dribbles

You’re probably tempted to say that ball control is the only skill involved in dribbling, but in truth there are a lot more factors that need to be added up for a successful dribble. Let’s take’em step by step:

Ball Control – Indeed, ball control is a general principle that is required for almost all types of dribbles. Ball control is the ability to move with the ball, without losing possession, so it basically requires you to know how hard to hit the ball when moving forward with it, as well as organizing your body movement in such a way that allows you to follow up and get the ball to your feet again.

Ball control also refers to being able to trap or receive a ball without pushing it too further away from your body, which, in our case, is extremely useful in receiving dribbles. Ball control is important for all types of players when dribbling, regardless of their position on the pitch.

Strength – Strength is a major factor in receiving dribbles and positional ones, since it allows you to use your body as a wall between the ball and your opponent, repositioning him or her so you create an advantage towards the enemy goal.

If you look at some of the players that are considered the best dribbles out there nowadays, such as Ronaldinho or Zinedine Zidane, you’ll notice that they very often use their body in dribbles, in order to surpass an opponent or relieve themselves of pressure and find a pass or a shot.

In what regards soccer dribbling, strength is mostly important for central midfielders, who are under constant pressure from the opposing team and for attackers who will have to use their bodies to shield the ball before they can unleash a dribble in the box.

Speed – Being faster than your opponent is one thing, but knowing how to get the ball past him AND gain back possession is the key to a successful speed dribble. If the speed difference is greatly in the favor of the attacker, he can simply push the ball forward along the pitch in an empty area and run for it.

If the space is limited, or if the speed difference is not so great between the ball carrier and the defender, the moment you start the dribble is extremely important.

You need to start upping the pace when the defender is off balance (possibly after you throw him off-balance with a movement from your body) and make sure you have enough space to maneuver around him.

Weaker Foot Ability – Dribbles often involve using both feet and various parts of the foot (the sole, the instep, the backheel, the front, the outside or the inside) in order to work properly and your weaker foot can often cause you problems.

Being unsure of your weaker foot will leave you very vulnerable in front of an intelligent defender, since he’ll know there’s only one direction you can dribble towards using your strong foot.

Soccer Dribbling – Training Your Dribbling Skill

You can train dribbling individually, with a teammate or in a group. Individually, you can set up an obstacle course, then wave your way through the obstacles like a skier would through flags. Make sure you use both feet, so you learn how to dribble in each direction and using your weaker foot as well.

Pairing up with a teammate is also a great way to practice your soccer dribbling. This method has two advantages: first of all, it allows you to train your dribbles against a real opponent, which changes quite some parameters in how you train in comparison to avoiding ground obstacles.

Secondly, assuming you change roles with your teammate every now and then, allowing him to become the dribbler, you will also act as a defender and will learn how defenders think when having to cope with an opponent’s dribble.

Knowing your “enemy” will help you read your match opponents like an open book and you’ll soon know what to do in any match situation where a dribble is required.

Group dribbling training sessions mostly focus on pressure avoiding dribbles rather than individually going around a single opponent. Practicing in a group simulates match conditions best and it’s a solid way to work out your dribbling skill naturally, rather than forced like you would have with individual or paired training.

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