By our Special Correspondent
Now you may be slightly surprised but I’m going to answer the question in that headline by suggesting that yes there is. It’s not foolproof, but it is a method that tilts the odds just a little further in the punter’s favour.
The approach is to… hold back a little. Rather than rushing in at the start of a tournament like the Euros, or the start of the season one waits to see a little about how things are panning out.
This involves not only looking at which teams appear to be all-conquering but also which teams have sneaked but are having a good run of results.
There is also the issue of the teams that have become somewhat unnerved by events (considering questions such as is Cristiano Ronaldo losing his touch), as much as there is a good reason to look at teams that are doing much better than expected.
In fact I am basically a person who has one vision when it comes to predicting things, and that is that whatever happened yesterday will happen again tomorrow.
I actually got this from my grandmother who used to peer out of the window, study the weather and tell us what it was going to be like tomorrow. It took me a little while as a child to realise that all she ever did was to predict that tomorrow would be the same as today. But the fact was, she got it right more times than she got it wrong.
And it was not until some years after that, that I found out that predicting tomorrow’s weather will be the same as today could give me an accuracy rate better than that of the weather forecaster on TV.
So if you take a look at the recent results and then consider the odds (see for example William Hill betting for Euro 2016 ) you can then look at any odds that suit you and work back through the recent results.
In a sense what I am doing here is bringing the notion of habit into the world of football and betting. Giroud has a habit of scoring for France, and most habits continue so you put him down to score for France. If you reckon he doesn’t score in every match but gets two out of three, you’ll probably find the odds are still with you if you bet on three in a row.
Likewise when Giroud had his poor run of form for Arsenal you could gamble that his run of form would continue. Obviously one day it would come to an end and he would score again, but on each day that run continued, you win. In the end you lose once, but if you have been consistent you keep winning until the pattern changes.
Now there are people who argue the reverse, saying that all runs of form come to an end sometime – but the emphasis has to be on “sometime”. The point is that the ending of the run only happens once, while the run itself continues for three, four, five or even more matches.
Now which run you follow is entirely a matter for you – and here’s one more tip. Look for unusual runs of events rather than the runs which are mentioned in the press. If Ireland have just drawn their last five games wearing a particular strip, bet on them to win when they wear that strip. Yes you are going to lose sometime, but the chances are always that you will win more.
As a way of working it is dead simple: if you fancy a punt, try and spot a run that is underway but which has not yet reached record breaking proportions.