You get to various points in the footballing calendar where friendlies dominate the daily play, whether it be a winter break or just before the season kicks off. The cynical bunch amongst you may just say "never bet on friendlies, they're too unreliable" but there are plenty of opportunities when these times of the year arrive, and you'd be a fool not to consider them. I thought I'd put together a little guide for you on how to make the most out of betting on friendlies!
Now this is the big factor. Before you bet on any friendly make sure you know the lineup. Some big sides will start their friendly campaigns with fringe players and it's important to know this. The best place to find lineups is Twitter, there's absolutely no doubt about it. What I often do is just search on Twitter for "TEAM NAME XI" and more often than not you get the result. Follow some team accounts in preparation and make sure you know if they are playing their first teamers or if they're sending a load of yooves over instead! Generally, most Eastern European teams (Slovakia, Czech Republic etc) like to use Facebook over Twitter as well, so it's worth checking there also.
A Game of Two Halves You have to remember that in friendlies, it's a game of two halves more than ever. Some managers will change their entire 11 players at half time so the game can completely swing. If you've seen that your side has a decent lineup at kick off, ignore the full time markets and concentrate on first half asian handicaps or half time result. Or if you've seen that the team you're watching has a strong bench, just hold off. Wait until those decent players get on the pitch before you invest your money.
RBall Domination I've mentioned this in other articles, but there are plenty of people that just look at the Rball (the thing which shows you how many dangerous attacks a side has had) and slam their money down without thinking. Remember that in friendlies there is technically no motivation to score. A team could have had 100 dangerous attacks to 1, but if they haven't had a single shot then they might have been told by the gaffer to "just keep the ball". Shots are the key factor in anything really. If a team is having plenty of shots then I'd be inclined to get involved small and then maybe invest again once I've had the time to do a bit more research on the teams named.
Free Streams For friendly games we don't have to worry about the rights that Sky Sports or any other TV company own. Many teams will often use streaming on Youtube and more than ever this season with live streaming now available on Facebook, Twitter and Periscope etc, you'll be able to watch friendly games for free all over the show. Have a look around their twitter and their website and if you can watch the game then do it. Trust me, watching it will provide information that is a lot more valuable than just watching the Rball!
Red Cards One thing to bear in mind when betting on friendlies is that sometimes red cards don't actually count, or they are wiped clean at half time. This really depends on the type of fixture it is and the understanding between the two clubs, but as both sides are essentially trying to prepare for their upcoming seasons, sometimes they will allow a player who has been red carded to be substituted instead. If you see a red card on the Bet365 stats, don't always take their word for it. Make sure you check in a few other places to confirm that it's happened. It can also open up a betting advantage if Bet365 think there has been a red card and there actually hasn't....shhhhhh!