In this article we tell you how to bet on football correctly and what the bookmaker betting markets are. Beginners will also find it useful to learn some tactics and markets for betting on football - the sport that accepts the most bets almost everywhere in the world, except for the country where it was invented. Yes, it's surprising, but in England in 2021 there was more betting on horse racing than on football. But this year, on the eve of the World Cup, football is likely to regain the top spot.
Football is played all over the world, so there are always a large number of events on offer with lots of bets and usually low margins.
Understanding football betting, the most popular types
Due to the great competition in the sector, bookmakers are trying to create more and more interesting offers for the most popular sport among bettors all over the world. Football has more betting options than any other sport and many of the football betting markets on offer have their own specific aspects.
Below, we will provide information on the most popular betting markets. This will help you decide how to bet on football correctly.
Before placing a bet, we recommend that you carefully read the bookmaker's rules, as well as our tips for betting on the sport. The terms should detail the conditions of accepting each type of bet.
This is the simplest type of football games bet. The bettor has to choose one of three outcomes of a football match: a win for the home team (1), a win for the visitors (2) or a draw (X).
The results of the match can usually be found at the top of the betting display. Many novice bettors, without getting into the nitty-gritty of football betting, bet on the results because of their personal enjoyment of the competition.
Football bets on the result are only accepted for the 90 minutes, regardless of possible overtimes. If there is a draw after two halves, this will be the final result.
As with all betting, get as much information as possible and don't get carried away by passion. You should rely on an analysis of the teams' line-ups, their current atmosphere, the form of the team leaders, the motivation of the opponents and a number of other factors.
The 2018/19 Nations League football match between Denmark and Wales. Due to a conflict between the Danish players and the national federation, the main line-up refused to play the friendly against Slovakia. The team was then forced to play with players from the lower leagues of the Danish Championship. In the end, the team lost (0-3) and bookmakers were faced with the question of who would be in the Danish line-up for the match against Wales after only four days. Many bookmakers removed the match from their pre-match markets, while others set a low odds of 1.36 for Wales to win. The Danish team's success had odds of 5.56 (corresponding to a probability of 18%).
The Danish line-up was kept secret almost until the start of the match. The football federation came to an agreement with the team at the last hour, and all the stars of the national team appeared on the pitch without anyone knowing this information. The result was 2-0 in favour of Denmark and those who took the risk of betting on this made a big profit.
The double chance is another of the most popular betting markets in football. Punters are offered to bet on two outcomes in the same match at the same time: the bet will be a success whether the team wins or draws. This is ideal for bettors who generally prefer to reduce risk, but remember that the odds and your potential winnings are also reduced.
Double chances in the offer are indicated as follows:
The final match of the 34th round of the German Bundesliga 2021/22 Wolfsburg v Bayern Munchen. The odds on the home team to win the match are 6.25, on Bayern Munchen 1.44. The odds on a double chance for the home club (1X) was 2.97, which is also a lot considering the status of the opponent. Betting on a Wolfsburg win or a draw was reasonable, because by the last round both teams were already demotivated in the tournament. The visitors became the German champions ahead of schedule, while Wolfsburg secured their place in the Bundesliga.
As a result, the match ended 2-2, with the 1X bet winning. With a €10 bet, you could get €29.70 (€19.70 net win).
Betting with an edge, also called a handicap, is a common option for bettors when a clear favourite is playing against an underdog. It consists of subtracting or adding a certain number of goals to the final result of a match. This type of betting is used to even the odds when one opponent is clearly ahead of the other in a football match. In other words, the team starts the match with an advantage or disadvantage in terms of goals, cards, fouls, etc.
Bookmakers offer a negative handicap (for favourites) and a positive handicap (for outsiders). Betting on a favourite with the negative handicap means that the team must win with a certain goal difference. The positive handicap indicates the goal difference that the club can lose in order for the bet to be successful.
As an example, let's take a look at the handicap betting odds for the EPL-2022/23 matchday 1 game between Fulham and Liverpool. The away team are the clear favourites to win the match, which is why the bookmaker offers the negative handicap to bet on Liverpool.
The odds are 1.896 for the visitors to win by at least 2 goals difference. With a bet of €10 the player can get €18.96 (€8.96 net profit). The bet will be successful if Liverpool win 2-0, 3-1, 4-2 or by a greater margin.
Draw no bet
Players who want to minimise the risks but not lose too much in odds department may consider a Draw No Bet. This works as follows. Let's say you put a Draw No Bet on Team 1 (the home team). Variations of events:
Asian Handicap Bet
The Asian handicap is a type of handicap in which the amount of a bet is conventionally divided in half and calculated differently.
For example, a -0.75 Asian handicap consists of two European handicap bets: -0.5 and -1; a +1.25 Asian handicap is made up of two positives plus +1 and +1.5. In other words, half of the bet goes on the value of the (traditional) European handicap which is 0.25 plus, the other half goes on the value of the handicap which is 0.25 less.
The handicaps are calculated according to the usual rules. Below is an example of the Asian handicap bets in the Fulham - Liverpool match.
Suppose you bet €10 on the home team's (Fulham) victory with Asian handicap (+1.75) for odds of 1.81. This bet can also be put down as (+1.5;2). In this case, half of the bet (€5) is allocated to the handicap (+1,5), and the other half (€5) to the handicap (+2). Both halves of the bet need to be added to the final result.
Let's say Liverpool win the match 3-1. After adding the first leg of the handicap (+1.5) to the result the score becomes 3:2.5 in favour of the favourite, so the first half of the bet loses. After applying a handicap (+2) the score becomes 3:3, which means a return is made on the second half. The result is that for a bet of €10 you get €5 back. The bet would play out in full if Liverpool won by 1 goal, a draw or a Fulham win. In that case, the bettor would get 10*1.81 = €18.10 (net win = €8.10 minus the bet amount).
Outrights are long-term bets on competition winners. Bookmakers accept bets on matches of different championships, international club tournaments (Champions League, Europa League, Conference League - in Europe, Copa Libertadores, Copa Sudamericana - in South America and others), national team competitions (World and European Championships, African Cup of Nations and etc.). In addition to betting on games, you can bet on the outcome of the entire tournament: who will be the champion, what stage the selected team will reach, who will be the top scorer and many other options. You will have to wait days, weeks or even months to find out the outcome.
Here are some betting offers for the winner of the 2022 World Cup.
Since it is difficult to predict the outcome of a tournament, odds for long term bets are usually high in general (5.00-6.00 and higher). Outrights are always a gamble, as it is not possible to predict how to bet and how things will unfold over the course of the entire tournament or season.
Sometimes companies offer bettors the possibility to cash out before the end of the tournament. An example from the last decade is Leicester City's Premier League title in the 2015/16 season. Before the start of the competition, Leicester City's victory had odds of 5001. Not everyone had faith in Leicester: one Leicester City fan, who bet £20, made the cash out during the course of the season and withdrew £29,000 instead of the £100,000 he would have received at the end of the season.
Players Stats Set
Bets on player statistics in leagues or competitions are either short term or long term. The former refers to the statistics of the players in the specific match. There can be several variants of the bets, but they mainly boil down to goals scored:
As an example, let's look at the player statistics for the Ludogorets 1945 - Shamrock Rovers Champions League qualifier 2022/23.
It is rarely possible to bet on player statistics without taking goals into account. For example, if a player makes a successful pass, he receives a caution/suspension.
Long-term betting offers the punter to guess whether a player will be the top scorer, whether he will win the Ballon d'Or or other prestigious award, or how many red cards he will receive during the competition. The main disadvantage of these bets is the long waiting time.
Half-time & Full-time Bet
In this type of bet the user places a combined bet: on the result of the first half and on the final score. In order for the bet to be successful, both parts of the bet must win.
In the match odds, these markets are indicated by two abbreviations separated by a slash (/). Before the slash is the result of the first half and after it - the final score. A draw is usually indicated by the letter "X".
Over time, other variants of the half-time&full-time bet have appeared. Some bookmakers add double results or goal totals to the nine basic options. This results in the combined market as W1/W2X, which means that team 1 wins the first half and the match will end with a draw or a win for the second team.
The advantage of this type of betting is the bigger odds. The disadvantage is that it is more difficult to guess the result because you have to predict it before half-time and afterwards.
These are a combination of two or more single bets on unrelated events. The odds are multiplied and the total odds can be very large.
The advantage is that you can win a large sum of money with a single bet. The disadvantages are the high risk and the high margin. If you lose even one event in a bet, you lose the whole bet.
Accu bets are very popular with beginners who are tempted by the prospect of a quick profit. Our advice is not to overuse Accas.
How are the odds calculated in Accu bets?
You have chosen three bets with odds of 2.00 each. If you bet €10 on each bet and two or three bets win, you win (€10 and €30 net profit respectively). If only one bet is correct, you will lose £10.
Now let's imagine that the same 3 events were combined in a Accu bet with total odds of 8.00 and you bet on this one 30 euros that you wanted to place. If one or two events are successful, you will lose the entire bet amount. On the other hand, if three events are successful, you will win 8.00*30 = 240 euros.
The screenshot below is a classic example of Acca with two standard outcomes and a double outcome. The odds are multiplied together to make the total of 3.97. In other words, with a bet of 10 euros you can win 39.70 euros. For this, all three bets must not fail: Arsenal and Liverpool win, and Leeds don't lose.
This is the most popular form of betting on player statistics. The bettor has to guess which player (scorer) will score a goal, in which minute, and how many goals he will score.
The most common option is to bet on a player scoring a goal at any time, i.e. this player must score the goal during the match. However, the rules regarding the player's participation in the match differ between operators.
Here is a guide to the most common conditions:
The totals (or Over/Under Bets) are one of the most popular markets in the world of football betting. The word "total" means both the sum of the game indicators and the bet itself: total goals for both teams or a single team, total yellow cards, etc. The bookmaker assigns a certain numerical value to the market (goals, cautions, fouls, etc.). The bettor makes a prediction as to whether these events will be more or less than this numerical value.
The standard total number of goals in football matches is 2.5. With the bet on more than 2.5 goals, the bettor will win if 3 or more goals are scored in the match. In order to win the under 2.5 goals bet, the teams must score a maximum of 2 goals.
Example. In Premier League football match 2022/23 Crystal Palace - Arsenal the odds for bets over or under 2.5 are almost even. According to the statistics of the games in recent years, the teams score 3 or more goals 8 times in the last 10 matches. Moreover, in 8 of the last 10 Arsenal games (taking into account the previous season) the bet on Over 2.5 won. Betting on 3 or more goals in the match Crystal Palace - Arsenal at odds 1.98 seems logical.
In addition to the standard goals total, there are many variations of this football betting market. Here is a quick look at what to bet in O/U department:
Live Bet in-play
You can bet on football at a sportsbook before the match and during the event. Live football betting is available at all modern football bookmakers. Some offer online streaming of matches on their websites, while those without this option offer a match tracker and real-time statistics.
Live betting on football gives you the opportunity to watch the game on the field before you choose the market and place bets. Some bettors prefer to wait a certain amount of time for the market odds to rise in order to place more favourable bets. But if your thoughts on the pre-match bet were correct and you are almost certain of the winner, it is possible to miss the right time to bet. One of our top tips for live betting is to get as much information about the match as possible and keep a cool head without getting carried away by passion.
Bookmakers also offer options unique to in-play betting. These can be predictions on the scorer of the next goal(s), bets such as "which team will get the next corner" or "which team's player will get the next yellow card".
The match between Real Madrid and Manchester City in the semi-final of the Champions League 2021/22. At the beginning of the beautiful game the odds for the home team to win were 3.36, in the course of the match they dropped to 3.11. Everything changed in the 73rd minute when Manchester City scored the goal: the odds for Real Madrid to win went up to 19.00 and continued to grow until the 90th minute of the match (68.00). The home team turned the tables in a minute and a half, as Real Madrid equalised in the 90th minute and their odds dropped to 9.50. Moments later the home team scored their second goal and the odds dropped to 1.12.
By taking the risk of betting just €10 on Real Madrid winning in the 88th or 89th minute of the match, a punter could make a huge profit of €680. Catching such a moment is almost impossible, but many punters try to bet live just for the big odds that can be higher than the pre-match odds. To do this, you need to follow the game closely and be able to spot the changing odds on the field.
Correct score, Scorecast, Wincast
All bookmakers offer the possibility to bet on the exact score, not the winner of the match, but not all punters risk betting on this market. Guessing the exact goal scoreline is not as easy a task as predicting the winner of a match, and even the high odds do not attract customers.
Bets on the exact result of goals in football are accepted for 90 minutes, excluding extra time and possible penalty shootout. The screenshot below shows the prediction offer for the match Ludogorets 1945 - Shamrock Rovers.
There is a betting guide for betting on the exact score. By following these strategies, the bettor increases his chances of success and decreases his prediction errors.
Identify unproductive championships and low-scoring teams. If teams rarely score on opposing goals, the chances of a 0-0 draw will be higher.
Exclude from the list of possible matches games where fierce opponents or highly motivated teams are playing against each other.
For this betting strategy you need to find a bookmaker that offers at least six exact scores for a particular match. Allocate a certain amount of money and place it on the six most likely outcomes, according to the bookmaker's odds. The lower the odds, the higher the probability.
The money should be distributed according to this scheme or guide:
Let's take the Crystal Palace - Arsenal match as an example.
200 euros are distributed as follows:
If none of the bets win, you lose the total amount of the bet (€200). If bet №4 or №5 is successful, you will take a small loss, otherwise you will make a profit. But keep in mind that it is more difficult to guess the exact score in matches with a potentially high number of goals.
In addition to betting on exact scores, bookmakers offer combinations and exclusive bets with this market. Possible options:
Football Specials Bet
For experienced players who already know how to bet on football matches, bookmakers offer a number of special markets. Here everything depends on the imagination of the providers of the odds, there are no limits. They can be both short-term forecasts and outrights (for example, on which team's coach will be sacked first during the season or whether Cristiano Ronaldo will leave for a certain club this summer).
There are an unlimited number of variants of special football bets. Here are some of them:
The rarer the football betting market offered by a company, the more difficult it is to predict the outcome. Special bets are designed for those who have information and have thoroughly studied how to bet on football with the popular markets and want to try something new, for which the consultation of statistics is important.
Football Betting Strategies and Tactics
A large number of different types of football predictions have given rise to a wide variety of strategies. However, it is important to keep in mind that none of them is entirely beneficial. In this short guide we offer some of the most popular strategies, from which each bettor can choose the one that suits him best:
Example: how to choose a corner bet based on the strategy
Corner betting is a fairly small market and bookmakers can occasionally make mistakes when releasing odds. A particular case of the strategy is to bet on less than 10.5 corners in the match.
The games of the top Premier League teams are suitable for this strategy according to the available data. TOP clubs prefer to keep the initiative and create pressure on the opponent. In the match between two evenly strong teams, events tend to be concentrated in the centre of the field, which is why we do not expect a high number of corners.
Match selection criteria:
The game between Manchester City and Liverpool on 10 April 2022 fits all these parameters. The odds are 2.15 for the home team to win and 3.44 for the visitors to win. The odds for total corners less than 10.5 are 1.80.
Result: Manchester City earned a corner four times, the visitors had only one corner in the entire match. Betting €10, you could get €18 (net profit = €8).
Remember that this is just an example. No strategy in football guarantees profits. And to put theory into practice, you need to spend a lot of time selecting matches and analysing data.
We strongly recommend that you think of football betting primarily as fun and not as a way to make money. This will help you to enjoy betting and not lose all your money.
Football betting tricks for Beginners
Our football betting guide would not be complete without some basic tips for beginners on how to bet correctly and avoid mistakes. When betting on football (and other sports), pay attention to the following factors:
When choosing predictions for a particular football match, try to take into account as many factors as possible: the current form of the key players, the teams' past history, their position in the tournament and the motivation level, the referee's statistics, the venue, the state of the field, the weather, etc.
There is no consensus on the most profitable type of betting in football. Some believe that you can profit from any of the football markets (you have to carefully analyse the match to predict complex outcomes), others say that the sport is generally difficult to predict, so before placing bets, look for the simplest outcomes backed by the best possible reasoning.
When choosing a football match for betting or forecasting, it is necessary to take into account the results of the last matches (ten or more), the statistics of the games, the presence of personnel problems of the rivals, the physical and psychological condition of the players, the weather conditions, etc. Attention should also be paid to the motivation of both teams in the competition. Try to make a comprehensive analysis of the match: in addition to the statistics, take a look at the movement of the odds of online betting sites, expert opinions, the latest news and starting line-ups.