The Premier Football Betting Handbook, by Matt Finnigan and Pete Nordsted

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The Independent Culture

As the Premier League kicks off, so the uneven contest between bookies and punters is renewed.

More than £1bn was wagered with British bookmakers during the World Cup but too often the heart can rule the head, as the millions who lost their England shirts can testify. So when two professional punters share their strategies, it seems worth paying attention.

"Firmly aimed at the casual punter who enjoys a weekly bet", their advice on bets to avoid is as valuable as those they suggest. There's an exhaustive statistical rundown on each team, and referees are also in the spotlight for the bookings market: contrast Martin Atkinson's average of 3.94 yellow cards a game last season with Peter Walton's restrained 2.4. And be prepared to learn new concepts such as "dutching", a way of hedging your bets.

Their advice on how to get the best price alone would pay for this book, which with 400 fact-bulging pages represents pretty good value itself.

Published in paperback by Harriman House, £12.99

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