Taking elements such as home/away statistics, number of goals, managers and overall performance into consideration before actually betting will give you important knowledge and a comparative edge to other players.
An often-applied strategy is to place bets based on a team’s recent results. But results alone are rarely useful as a single indicator for a team’s performance. There is a huge difference between winning three matches in a row against all lower ranking teams compared to top teams. Maybe one team is notoriously bad away but a sure bet home.
The style of the recent wins can be important. Teams winning with three goals are looking better than teams just winning 1-0. Things like that play a major role in assessing the value of a bet. Home/away statistics combined with the number of goals in a win are therefore a much better reference than recent results alone.
Recent head to head results indicate how the teams match in previous encounters. Consider how much has changed in the meantime. New players might have arrived or maybe one of the teams suffers from injured important players. As a rule of thumb matches more than a year back will show very little about the current relation between the teams.
How do the managers preferred playing styles match the opponent? A very defensive team playing against an attacking team might yield more goals than two defensive teams only going for a couple of chances throughout the match. Also try to look back on the managers’ performances head to head. Not necessarily as managers for their recent teams but overall. A manager might have thought of a winning tactic against the other and have used it in the recent matches.(Greece against Portugal in 2004, anyone?)
During the season many teams play in European leagues as well as their own national league. If a team have played away during the week and maybe have had to travel more than a few hours they might feel fatigued thus affecting their performance.
There is also the possibility that some of the key players need to be rested for upcoming more important matches than the national league. All of this can affect the teams’ performances in the upcoming matches.
In periods with international breaks many players will be missed by their clubs making teams weaker in certain positions. This may have a massive impact on odds and make for interesting situations where good value bets can easily be found.