Bet Enthusiast is one of the very few sports advisory services that includes futsal in its portfolio. Our futsal analyst was the first odds compiler to offer prices on the main European leagues when he worked as a trader for a leading online bookmaker. The main European leagues have now begun and we will be offering regular trading updates for the sport.
Futsal is a variant on soccer but it is played on a smaller pitch and mainly indoors. The name derives form the Portuguese game of futebol de salao which is translated to hall football or indoor football. The Spanish derivation is futbol sala and led to the game being universally known as futsal.
Futsal is popular in South America and there are strong leagues in Argentina and Brazil. Several leading internationals began their careers playing futsal and the most notable is Ronaldinho who played 94 times for the full Brazilian national team.
However, the strongest domestic league is in Spain where players have lucrative professional contracts and matches are shown live on national television. Spain lead the current international rankings, having won or been runners-up in the last four world championships.
There are some interesting and proven fustal strategies to follow especially when betting in running. The major online bookmakers have many matches live with a good selection of in-running markets. Futsal is a sport that produces many more goals than conventional soccer. There are different averages across each league with Italian matches seeing about six goals per match, games in Spain averaging a goal more and the South American leagues seeing 9 or more goals on average per fixture.
When betting in running on fustal its worth knowing that the probability of a late goal is greater than the odds that are offered. In the early days of live betting the trader was responsible for pricing all the markets. From personal experience this requires maximum concentration as punters will be quick to identify when prices are wrong.
However, most live betting odds are now fixed using formulae so the probability of a goal at any stage of a match is automatically calculated and the appropriate odds are offered. There is one element of a fustal match that lends itself to a higher proportion of goals being scored late in a match. If a team is losing they will adapt a “rush goalie” strategy where the keeper will join the outfield players and leave his net unguided.
So many matches have ended with a late decisive goal, either scored by the team that have an extra outfield player or when the defending side gain possession and shoot from their own half towards an open goal. Sometimes they miss the target but there are enough goals scored in this way or by the team with the extra man that the odds on offer are not a true reflection of the chances of a late goal being scored.
There is another trend that leads itself to profitable trading on fustal and that is the tendency for more goals in the second half than the first. In a match in the Spanish league bookmakers will offer prices on over or under 6.5 goals. If one goal has been scored at half time the odds are adjusted on the assumption that the usual quota for a half will be maintained. The line will be set at 4.5 but the rate of scoring can increase to such an extent that the league average of six goals in every match is then reached.
The last Futsal World Cup was played in Thailand in November of last year. However, the Futsal EUFA Cup has reached the main round which takes place at the start of October .We will have regular trading updates during this tournament and weekly recommendations for the domestic leagues in Italy and Spain which have now reconvened after a summer break.