How To Bet On Football
Betting on football has seen a significant growth over the past 10 years and there are an ever increasing number of online sportsbooks offering an expansive range of markets.
Gone are the days when the casual punter would amble into their local betting shop and place an ambitious 7-fold accumulator on a Saturday morning. Yes, that is still possible, but betting online & on smartphones has quickened the process and it’s faster and easier than ever to place a bet on the move.
You could be backing goals in the Bundesliga whilst stoking up the barbecue. You could be following the action from the Russian Premier League whilst at the gym. You could be betting on the Premier League whilst rambling through the countryside. You get the idea…
If you’re new to football betting, It is best to do research and observe the markets and offerings before jumping in. We’re here to help…
EVERY online sportsbook offers football betting with each company continually adding to their range of markets. Sportsbooks such as Coral target football customers and there are a number of terrific sign-up bonuses to look out for. These will set you on your way.
The football markets are usually signposted on their websites and typically would advertise upcoming games in the English Premier League, Champions League or Internationals.
Websites such as odds-checker will compare and contrast the different odds provided by many bookmakers and are a handy tool for the value seeker.
Leagues & Competitions
Every online sportsbook will offer thousands of leagues from around the world. The best advice is to play to your strengths. If you only know the English Premier League, then stick to that.
The more knowledge you possess, the better. If you have expertise on the Japanese second tier you will find plenty of markets for these games.
Research is a good way of expanding your portfolio and following a new division each week is a good way of broadening your betting horizons, but don’t wager on a particular league simply because it’s the only one playing that day.
Most online sportsbooks will offer all of the top leagues from around Europe (Bundesliga, La Liga, Serie A etc) and most will also offer Australian A-League, South American Leagues & MLS to name a few. Markets tend to be limited on the more obscure divisions.
There are hundreds of markets available for each match and the choice can be overwhelming at times, but the more experience you gain, the better you’ll become at selecting your stronger suit.
Some people prefer to bet on goals-based markets as they find the unpredictability of team performances hard to decipher. Some bettors like to stick to outrights and there are others who will often look at potential goal-scorers as an option. You’ll find your own niche and it will hopefully be a profitable one!
The simplest of all the markets. This is the same as selecting 1,2 or X on the coupon in the betting shop. There are three possible outcomes in this market – Home Win, Draw or Away Win.
Predicting the outcome of a match is a straightforward looking task and is still the most popular market. Typically, the home side will start at the shortest odds whilst backing away teams can be profitable.
Many punters avoid backing the draw but this is usually priced 2/1 or bigger and can be a great way of making money. If Team A and Team B struggle for goals and have drawn three of their last four meetings, there’s a high chance it will finish all square.
Punters enjoy putting outright selections into Accumulators. Perms or Doubles & Trebles (More on these later…)
Both Teams to Score
An increasingly popular bet is Both Teams to Score. Most sportsbooks will provide odds for ‘Yes’ or ‘No’ in this market. The odds can be restrictive as there is a 50/50 chance of your bet landing.
If you’re struggling to pick a winner in the outright market, this can be a great way of playing.
It’s preferable to select ‘Yes’ in this market as it’s better to cheer on goals than willing sides to keep a clean sheet! BUT, if a side have a habit of keeping clean sheets at home, ‘No’ can be a great way of playing and would also cover a 0-0 score-line.
Over/Under 2.5 Goals
Another popular market with punters is predicting how many goals will feature during the 90 minutes. The bar is set at 2.5 as the majority of matches will feature either 2 or 3 goals.
Some sides are managed by coaches who simply instruct their players to push forward and not worry about defending, this will inevitably lead to a high scoring game. Online sportsbooks gradually spot the pattern and reduce the price accordingly.
Top of the table sides playing one another can often result in cagey affairs and under 2.5 goals is a regular outcome.
One of the appeals of this type of bet is the interest can be maintained until the final minute of the game. If it’s goalless at half time, an open second half could result in three goals. Occasionally a flurry of goals may arrive in the final 20 minutes.
Goalscorers – Anytime/First/Last
The goal-scorer market is an alternative which is offered by the majority of online sportsbooks. Every player who is likely to start will be priced up and options will be available on your selection to score the first goal of the game (this rolls over if it’s an own goal), last goal of the game or at any point during the 90 minutes.
Players to score 2 or more goals or even a hat-trick will often be available too.
Needless to say, strikers will begin at shorter prices and big grizzly central defenders will provide larger returns if they somehow find the net.
Handicap betting allows punters to give either team a goal advantage or disadvantage.
Home teams can often be priced too short and prices such as 1/4 or 2/9 just don’t appeal. Value can be found by backing them to win by 2 clear goals. -1 on the handicap is essentially taking a goal away from them and predicting that they will still win.
For example – A 3-0 victory (-1 goal) would still result in a 2-0 victory and the bet would land!
3(-1) -0 = 2-0
A 2-1 score-line (-1 goal) would result in a draw and the bet would lose.
Alternatively, a side who aren’t expected to win can be backed +1 on the handicap. It’s the same premise, add this goal to the underdogs score and you would collect if the match ended a draw. +2 and +3 are also other options, these are particularly handy for seemingly one sided encounters.
Other Types of Football Bet
Everybody loves an accumulator on a Saturday!
Accumulators are formed of a number of games (4 or more) and all selections MUST win to secure a return. Some punters love an ambitious 13-fold accumulator on the off chance it’ll be their lucky day, but most bettors will stick to 5 or 6 teams.
Most accumulators consist of outright results, but online sportsbooks allow any market to feature in an accumulator. You cannot have two selections from the same match however.
Landing one of these can result in HUGE pay-outs for small stakes.
These bets will generally be placed prior to a new season beginning or at the start of a competition. The most popular Ante-Post bets are ‘Team X to win the league’ or ‘Team Y to be promoted’.
Most online sportsbooks have increased their range of Ante-Post bets over the past couple of years with ‘Relegation’ and ‘Top Goal-Scorer’ also popular with punters.
These markets will be available all season (often removed on match-days) but the prices are likely to be much shorter.
Advice & Strategies
Successful football bettors often require many years to hone their craft and it can be a difficult and frustrating journey. Online sportsbooks would not be in business if betting on football was easy.
Familiarise yourself with the league and the teams within it. Watch as much as you possibly can (without upsetting those around you!) and analyse how different teams and their managers approach matches.
Home/Away form can be crucial and never dismiss recent form. Mentality is a huge part of the sport and a creditable draw can lift spirits paving the way for an unbeaten run.
A new manager bounce is not to be underestimated and serious consideration should be given to a side who are lining up with a new boss.
Goals markets can be a tremendous alternative if you’re struggling to select an outright winner. In these markets consider: Do they tend to keep it tight against the top teams? Do they struggle to break down lower ranked opposition? Have these sides got a history of playing out high scoring affairs?
Accumulators ARE fun. But they are not a money making strategy. Place a throw-away £1 or two each weekend, but betting in smaller multiples is advisable.
Singles are the most effective way of making money, but do require a large bank to begin with. Doubles are popular and stand a good chance of landing.
Online Bookmakers will always push accumulator bets as there is a higher chance of them losing.
Finally – Always trust your instinct, do your own research & don’t bet if you can’t find anything you like!