The gambling industry is as big as it’s ever been and a massive reason is down to that of football betting. The football betting industry is now worth a reported £1.4 billion per year, with bookmakers making an astonishing gain of over £330 million.
As the sports global appeal and exposure continues to grow, we would highly expect these numbers to keep rising. As the numbers continue to rise, the opportunities for punters continue to rise. Never has there been more betting markets and more promotions based around football than today.
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How to Bet on Football
Just by entering any online sports you will immediately see just how big a role the sport has within their brand. It’s likely you will see betting markets related to betting as soon as you land, but it’s only when you really start to scratch the surface that you get an idea of how big the sport is.
If you are new to the industry then betting on football can seem quite overwhelming, but it needn’t be. Throughout this article we will guide you through everything you need to know to get started.
90 Minute Betting
The first thing that you really need to know is about the 90-minute rule. Whilst it’s pretty self-explanatory once you know, a lot of people who are new to betting often get this wrong.
Basically, the 90-minute market means that bets will be settled within the 90 minutes of a match that includes injury time added on in either the first or second half. In a cup game, if the game were to go into extra time, then unless that market specifies that it includes extra time, such as team to progress to the next round, then all bets will be settled within ‘regular’ time.
The range of football bets is massive these days. Some bookmakers offer over 200 bets per game, which is a massive number and as the sport continues to grow in popularity, so do the betting markets. Below we have listed some of the more popular betting markets and how they work.
The match odds are the most popular betting form for football. The concept is very simple in that you simply choose between a home win, away win or the draw. This market adheres to the 90 minute betting rule as mentioned above, so bear that in mind as well.
There are a number of ways in which you can maximise your net wins from this betting market by applying some fairly straight forward betting strategies. The first thing that we will say is that there is no substitute for hard work with this market. The more research you can invest into your bets, the more potential you will have to land a net win.
Team form is probably the best place to start and assessing which of the two teams are most likely to win. A good place to start is by doing this before you see the bookmakers odds for each result. Almost become your own bookmaker and choose the percentage each result has of coming in. You can then use an odds calculator to convert these percentages into odds.
Once you have your odds compare them to that of the bookies prices and see how they match-up. If the bookies are higher priced for a certain result (particularly the shortest priced result) then you are looking at your first value bet!
The correct score market is pretty self-explanatory in that you need to correctly choose the correct score for that match. You get a huge range of results to choose from, but be warned, it’s not always as easy at it looks and with odds of around 4/1 being the favourite, the odds reflect this as well.
The top tip for this market is to not look too far away from the most common results in that league. Usually these will be 1-1, 1-0, 0-0 and 2-1. These results will be the shorter prices in more competitive games at least, but even if you just went with any of these, then it’s likely you wont be too far away.
If you wanted to dig a little deeper then you need to start looking at the amount of goals that are both scored and conceded by each team. Try to make them relevant to if they are playing home or away as often these records can offset the overall results for each outcome. For example, one team might on average score 4 goals at home but only 1 goal away from, however their overall average would be around 2.5 goals per game, which away from home wouldn’t be a fair reflection.
Once you get an idea of the average number of goals scored and conceded, try to apply this for both teams, look at previous head to head scores and then form your prediction.
First/Last/Anytime Goal Scorer
Again, another pretty self explanatory market. For this you can choose between the player who is going to score first, last or at any stage of the match. It’s often a very lucrative market if you are able to get it right, paying out at odds of 4/1 and over, depending on the player.
There’s only so much strategy you can go into for this type of market and whilst it’s fairly small compared to others, it’s still more than worthwhile doing. The first thing we would say is that you need to look at players who are in form and scoring goals. These are the obvious picks and the shortest price, but as we say, even the favourites can move through to odds of 4/1 and above.
We also like to target players who are on set-pieces, such as direct free-kicks and penalties. These are always going to be players who are exposed to getting the maximum number of chances in the team and as such, provides you a greater chance of them grabbing a goal.
The scorecast is one of the more interesting markets to bet as it actually combines two markets in the correct score and first goalscorer. So, for this bet to come in you need to make sure you have the player who scores the first goal of the game and then the correct score at full time. As you can imagine, the odds for this can get pretty high, especially as you start to get more creative with your goalscorer and correct score lines.
It’s worth noting that these two markets won’t work as a double and as such you can only use it as part of the scorecast bet. This is because these two markets are dependant of each other, which essentially means that whatever happens in one market will affect the result of the other market. As a result, the bets odds have been slightly altered by the bookmaker to reflect this and in turn, it gives you the scorecast market.
In terms of strategy, the best thing we can say is that you combine the two pieces of info from the previous section for the individual markets. So, you need to work out likely score lines based on both previous and current results, before then seeing which players are going have the most opportunities to score the first goal.
BTTS (Both Teams to Score)
Both Teams To Score betting is one of the more recent additions to the sport, but it’s now grown to be one of the most popular. The concept is very simple in that you simply choose games where you think each team will score 1 or more goals. The result or the final score is irrelevant, as long as both teams have managed to score.
There are a couple of twists on this market as well, such as BTTS no, where you are essentially saying that both teams wont score and also Result and BTTS, which requires you to pick the winner of the match and BTTS.
Strategy is pretty simple for this in that you are looking for two free scoring teams. Ideally they will have poor defences and good offences, which means they are able to both score and concede. Another good area to look is previous head to heads, often this will give you a good idea of how the teams have lined up previously and what sort of attitude they have towards each other within a match.
The Over/under market is where you are betting on the number of goals within a single match. What you will find is that the bookmaker sets a line for that match and you simply choose if there will be more (over) or fewer (under) goals.
Often with these types of markets the line will be a decimal. For example, the most common form of bet for this will be over/under 2.5 goals. This essentially means that over bets will need 3 or more goals and under bets will need 2 goals or less. The result or which team scores these goals is irrelevant.
For this market we need to start looking at previous games that have been over 2.5 goals. A lot of stats based football sites will give you the percentage of previous games that have been over or under. Obviously, the higher the percentage the more solid your bet is likely to be.
But, you don’t necessarily need to pick games with teams that score a lot of goals, as long as they concede a lot of goals. For example, a game such as Chelsea v Plymouth is going to be pretty on-sided in Chelsea’s favour and it’s likely they are going to grab a fair few goals, even though the chance of Plymouth scoring is slim.
Handicap betting is, in our opinion at least, one of the most underrated bet types in the industry. For this one of the teams will have a handicap applied to them in the form of goals and then the final score will then be adjusted by said handicap.
For example, if you backed a team with a -1 handicap, this would mean that at full time they would have 1 goal removed from their score. Let’s say they go on to win the game 3-1. The handicap would remove 1 goal, to make the adjusted score 2-1, with the team still winning. Now, let’s say that the game finished 1-1 with the same -1 handicap being applied. It would then be adjusted of 0-1, meaning they would lose the game.
Handicap betting can also include Asian Handicap markets as well. The Asian lines work a little differently, in that they are in fractions rather than whole numbers. This eliminates the draw for any adjusted results, meaning that there is always a result from this bet.
For example, if you backed a team at -1.5 goals, and they won the match 3-1, then the adjusted handicap score would then be 1.5-1. But, if they only won that match 2-1, then the adjusted score would be 0.5-1, meaning that bet would lose.
Handicap betting is great for getting value out of short price favourites. Let’s stick with our Chelsea v Plymouth example above and say that on the match result market the odds are as follows:
- Chelsea to win = 1/5
- Draw = 2/1
- Plymouth = 6/1
Not much value in backing any team at odds of 1/5, no matter how much of a sure thing they are. Let’s apply a handicap of -1 to see how the odds might be adjusted:
- Chelsea -1 = 4/5
- Draw = 2/1
- Plymouth +1 = 2/1
We can see that at odds of 4/5 Chelsea are a much more appealing bet, especially in a game they are considered to win and to win well. It does mean that essentially they need to win by 2 or more goals for our bet to win, but this shouldn’t be a problem given their opposition.
Don’t forget that with handicap betting you don’t always have to remove goals from a team and that you can add them to a team. As you can see above, you could back Plymouth with a +1 handicap, which means that 1 goal will be added to their score.
Own Goals in Football Betting
Own goals are player’s nightmares when it comes to football, but it’s also a punters nightmare as well, with some markets including them and some markets excluding them. Below we have listed a few markets that own goals will affect in different ways.
The first goalscorer is the most common that an own goal affects. Essentially an own goal is still a goal, but for this market is doesn’t actually affect your first goalscorer bets. So, if you have placed a bet on this and an own goal is scored, for the purpose of this market it will assume that no goal has been scored and your bet is still live. If your player goes on to score the goal after the own goal, then your bet will be paid out as a winner.
Other markets that carry the same rules in that own goals don’t count include:
- Last goalscorer
- Anytime goalscorer
BTTS, Match Result & Other Markets
Conversely, if an own goal is scored then it will count for the following markets, with the game being played out as normal and the goal counting towards the final result:
- Match result
- Correct Score
- Handicap markets
- Over/under total goals