One question that many bettors ask is: I have selected five picks I want to bet to, is it better to bet 1 unit on each, or 5 units on the accumulator?

Before answering this question, we will explain one of the most common mistakes made by beginners:

Sometimes, we try to increase single bet low odds by accumulating them to reach higher odds, thinking that if as single bets they are feasible, as an accumulator they will be too. However, this has nothing to do with reality...

Actually, due to that reasoning, bookies consider this type of bet very profitable for them. They take advantage of our erroneous reasoning explained above.

For example:

These are 5 picks that we consider feasible as single bets:

Real Madrid to win @1.3

Sevilla to win @1,4

Chelsea to win @1.55

Juventus to win @1.3

Bayern to win @1.2

The implied probability, assuming it is well estimated, for each of the events is approximately:

Real Madrid to win 73%

Sevilla to win 67%

Chelsea to win 61%

Juventus to win 73%

Bayern to win 79%

(Assuming a 5% commission for the bookie)

As an accumulator bet the resulting odds are @4.40. The combined probability of winning the accumulator, as they are independent events, is the product of the individual probabilities, 17.5%. Therefore, on average, out of 100 times, this bet would be just won 17 times, a rather lower number than one might initially think about.

Returning to the original question, and using the 5 odds in the previous example, let’s consider a tipster says that these picks have a value of 15%. This means that the amount offered by the bookmaker is 15% higher than the specialist thinks it should be.

If we bet 1 unit to each pick we will have an expected profit of 9.25%. However, if we bet 5 units to the accumulator, the expected profit is around 56%. This is because the excess value is multiplied, and it makes the expected profit to exponentially skyrocket. Therefore, on a long-term, the accumulators are a much more interesting tactic to follow. However, the profit for accumulators is much more volatile, which means that you can build longer losing streaks than when placing simple picks bets.

Therefore, the bettor should be able to balance the ability to withstand a losing streak versus the long-term profitability, and based on that, decide whether to play single bets or accumulators.