Betting On Football

Guide to Betting on Football

Betting on football is an extremely popular past-time and many punters place a bet on a weekly basis. There are numerous competitions and several different bets available with online sportsbooks and it can be a little overwhelming for newcomers. Our guide will help you understand some of the basics of successful football betting.

Key Terminology

Win/Draw/Win – This is the basic football betting market which is also displayed as 1, X, 2. This requires choosing one of three outcomes with the draw nearly always the biggest price of the trio.

Accumulator – This is a bet consisting of several different teams. Typically, these will be formed of Win/Draw/Win bets (see above) but any kind of football bets can be assembled to form an accumulator. In order to win, all of these selections need to be correct.

Ante-Post – This is a bet which is placed pre-season and winning swill not be paid out until the campaign has concluded. These are commonly based on sides to win the division, be promoted or relegated. If you don’t mind waiting nine or ten months to collect your winnings, ante-post markets are perfect for you!

Favourite – The side who are most fancied to win. Some teams cannot be separated with the home and away team beginning at exactly the same price.

90 minute betting – This is always the case when it comes to matches in the league. However some matches in cup competitions, major competitions and play-offs can also feature extra time (30 additional minutes)

Over/Under – One of the many markets which have become increasingly popular over the past couple of years is the Over/Under market. This is most commonly set at 2.5 Goals but other options include 1.5 and 3.5.


All bookies will have the major leagues such as Premier League, Championship, La Liga and Serie A priced up on a weekly basis but many online betting sites will have amateur divisions, reserve football and friendlies all priced up too.

If a match is high-profile or being shown on TV, there are likely to be more markets available on each game. As well as the 1X2 market, there will be Over/Under, Both Teams to Score, Handicap and HT/FT markets. The latter requires a side to be winning at the 45 minute mark AND when the final whistle sounds.

Many online bookies have launched request services in which punters can pick their own elaborate bets and they often combine many of these markets.

Typical football betting slip!

Goalscorers – Not every site offers goalscorer markets but the majority will price up players in the top divisions around Europe. Each player will have a price to score the first goal of the match, the last goal of the game and to score at any point during the 90 minutes. The latter is usually a much shorter-price particularly for strikers. The likes of Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo usually begin at short prices and they can also be backed to score two or more during the game.

Corners/Cards – These are usually lumped together on betting websites but offer alternatives to bettors who may struggle to predict the outcome of the contest. It is possible to bet on the total number of corners or the team to have the most corners and the same markets are available for cards. Booking points are set at 10 for a yellow, 25 for a red.

Correct Score – As simple as it sounds! Bigger odds are on offer if you can correctly predict the final score. It is possible to narrow the options down by betting on this market once the match has started.

5 Minute Markets – Another recent trend is for punters to predict what will happen during a small period of the match. Options in the 5 minute market include corners, throw-ins, penalty, card and goal.

Handicaps – This is a very popular market which is often deployed in seemingly one sided affairs. If the home team are overwhelming favourites, the handicaps allow a better way of backing them. -1, -2, +1, +2 are some of the most common handicap values. If you backed Manchester United -1, they would need to win by two clear goals in order for the bet to land. (If the match finishes 3-0, take -1 from their score and they still win 2-0). +1 is usually used to back outsiders if there is a suspicion that they may cling on for the draw.

Double Chance – This is a good way of narrowing down the options and is often used to support outsiders in the market. It is often displayed in the form of 1X or X2 and gives punters two selections as opposed to one but often at restricted prices.

In-Play Football Betting

Betting on football is no longer restricted to just punting before the match gets underway. There is now the option to get involved once the game has kicked off. This is ideal for those who are watching the match on TV or following it through the bookies’ live streaming service.

If you’ve backed the home side but they’re under the cosh in the early stages, it is possible to back the away side half way through the match instead. Some punters can’t pick a winner pre-match so they wait for the first 10 minutes to see how the match plays out.

Most online bookmakers have stats on each match which explains where the ball is on the pitch, number of corners, shots on/off target and dangerous attacks.


With the rise of TV coverage, it is easier to keep across a range of divisions and it is always advised to follow a league for a while before betting on it. Top leagues such as Premier League, Ligue 1 and Bundesliga take place August-May each year whilst others such as the MLS (USA), League of Ireland and Allsvenskan (Sweden) play through the summer months so there is always some football taking place.

The World Cup and European Championships take place every four years and remain extremely popular betting heats.

Types of Bet

We’ve already talked about accumulator bets which are a terrific way of keeping across all of the fixtures at the weekend. These require EVERY single bet to win in order to land the prize however many online sportsbooks now offer insurance if you are unlucky enough to miss out by one selection.

Accumulators can occasionally land at big odds and often it only takes two or three of these to be successful during the course of the season in order to make a profit however they’re extremely hard to get right. They are the subject of many hard-luck stories as a last-gasp equaliser denies punters yet again or one of the ‘bankers’ fails to win at home and some bettors prefer to stick with singles.

Single bets require just one selection and are much easier to land however bigger stakes are required in order to make a consistent profit. Doubles consist of two selections, trebles consist of three whilst anything above four is generally considered an accumulator.

Permutation bets such as Trixie (4 bets) and Yankee (11 bets) are great ways of ensuring some kind of return if one selection fails to land. Each selection will multiply to potentially return huge profits but they require greater stakes (4 or 11x stake).

Tips and Advice

It is vitally important to follow football in-depth before leaping in and placing a bet. Study the leagues, follow the patterns of results and get to know the manager’s styles. Most people know the Premier League but it can be extremely useful to follow a division which the bookmakers may have little knowledge of.

Follow live betting markets and study how each price changes depending on the action and this is handy for in-play betting.
Don’t expect to get rich quick backing accumulators as they are extremely volatile and it’s difficult to predict multiple teams all top win. Keep stakes small when it comes to multiple betting.

Singles are generally the best way of beginning and the handiest way of making a profit longer-term.
Always check the team news ahead of a match and if a side has key players absent (injured, suspended or called up to the International team), it’s probably best to avoid backing them.

NEVER bet with your heart! ALWAYS bet with your head. If you are backing teams because you want them to win, you will never make a profit, plus it’s often best to avoid betting on your own team (unless you’ve spotted that the opposition are overpriced). There are plenty of stats sites online which can be used to procure information which will be handy for betting.

Finally, have patience! Successful football betting takes time and dedication and it won’t come within the first month. Also, you don’t need to bet on every match or place a wager every single day. Some nights, there is very little action of note and many punters are guilty of sniffing out a bet for the sake of it! Don’t do this. Only place a bet if you are adamant it is in with a chance of landing.

Although betting on football is extremely popular, there is a growing interest in betting on eSports. This entails placing bets on people playing video games, yes, you read that correctly! In fact, this trend is growing very quickly and some pundits even predict that it will eventually outgrow gambling on real, live sporting events. If you are intrigued, why not check out they have a great site with all the relevant information you could require.

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