Betting on football is now the most popular type of betting and online football betting often accounts for more than 50% of a bookmaker’s turnover. This page takes a look at the most popular bets on football matches as well as some of the more obscure football betting opportunities.
Every week at bettingon.com you’ll find our free match previews and football betting tips. We highlight the latest trends and try to identify good value, based on our analysis of the latest data and team news.
The good news for people betting on football is that margins on football bets are getting smaller, as competition between bookmakers is fierce. So for a win-draw-win market, online bookmakers will now bet most football matches to a margin of just 104% (implying a long term profit of just 4%).
For example, in a match between Chelsea and Arsenal, a bookmaker might assess the true chances as 49% for a Chelsea win, 29% for a draw and 22% for a Arsenal win. With these chances in mind the bookmaker would most likely offer odds of Evens for Chelsea (implying a 50% chance), 11/5 on the draw (31.2% implied) and 10/3 on Arsenal (23.1% implied). A total implied chance of 104.3%.
Bookmakers simply work to these small margins to make a profit from large turnover. The challenge for people betting on football is to use their experience and judgement to find an edge and place bets where they identify good value. Our football betting tips are written by geeky football experts who analyse trends, filter team news and performances, then crunch the stats to bring you the best online football tips on the web. Our football previews are, and always will be, completely free.
Just like the bookmakers football punters must also work to small but consistent winning margins in order to profit long-term. With discipline and insight, football betting not only adds excitement to the games you watch, but can prove a potentially profitable pastime.
Football Betting Markets
Of course most fans consider themselves an expert on football and betting is no longer limited to simply win-draw-win (1X2) markets. Dozens of football betting markets are now offered on every match, many of which are televised and live football betting ensures the action continues until the final whistle.
Each season starts with long-term league winner and relegation betting. There are also plenty of trophies to bet on, plus season-long top goalscorer, player of the season and first managerial casualty bets.
You can bet on the simple match result, correct score, over/under goals, total corners to just about anything it seems! The world is your oyster if football betting is your thing and we’ll explain a few of the options below.
The match betting needs little explanation, although one common question bookmakers find themselves answer regularly concerns how bets are settled in cup games. The rule for a punter is simple – all betting markets generally concern themselves with the 90-minute result – that is to say the Full-Time whistle. Extra Time and Penalties do not count in the match betting market unless specifically stated in the market.
With most football bettors generally backing one team or the other to come out on top, the draw is usually a bookmakers friend and a punters worst enemy. The Draw No Bet market takes this out of the equation, and allows you to back one team or the other to win the match. If your team wins, you collect your winnings, while you also collect your stake back if the match ends in a draw.
A similar market to this is the Double Chance market, which allows you to effectively oppose a result which you don’t fancy. You could back Everton or Draw for instance if they were playing Norwich, and you would collect as long as Everton avoid defeat. The drawback to this market is that with two selections on your side in one bet, the prices are rarely that attractive.
For those looking for a bigger price, a bookmaker will often apply a handicap to the match betting market in order to allow punters a range of options to back their fancy. For instance, when Barcelona are playing at home, they are often expected to win by several clear goals – resulting in pretty uncompetitive win/draw/win prices. Barcelona can be as short as 1/25 in some matches. In such circumstances, bookmakers may offer a -1, -2 and -3 line about the home team. Taking the -2 line as an example, the away side are given a two goal head start, so if you backed Barcelona -2, you would require them to win by three clear goals to be on a winner. Likewise, if you backed their opponents +2, then you would be on a winner as long as your selection stayed within a goal of Barcelona. Should Barcelona win by exactly two goals, then the handicap draw selection would be the market winner.
For even longer prices, the Scorecast market is one of the bookmakers most popular market, although be warned, it is also one which they make the biggest profits from. The scorecast – sometimes known as goalcast – ask the punter to predict the first goalscorer and the correct score. Given the relationship between these two markets, the bookmaker offers a special price for this market rather than the straight double price.
Betting on Goalscorers is another popular market for punters, and the bookmakers generally offer 1st Goal Scorer, Last Goal Scorer and Anytime Scorer in the match, while on larger TV games the range of bets available can be much greater on the scores.
Live TV and other significantly important games also see the bookmakers offering more special markets – pricing up things such as the total corners in the match, how many bookings are shown, or if a penalty is awarded in the game. There are a wide range of statistical sites available on the internet, and its always worth checking these out in detail – the bookmaker won’t always spend as much time on these market as he might like, and it’s possible to find an edge here on occasions. Also hunt out the referee appointment lists – a harsh referee will influence the cards markets far more than the teams in question aside from the obvious city derby matches.
Whatever you bet on, it can often pay to swim against the tide of expectation when weighing up a football match. If the media is talking up the prospects of one side, the chances are the betting public will be lapping it up, backing that selection and causing the bookmaker to shorten his prices. This can often open up an advantage on the other side after the bookmaker finds the popular selection has been over-bet, and he looks to level is book up by attracting money on the other side.
Good luck with you football bets, and remember to check back regularly to bettingon.com for frequent previews ahead of the big games from our panel of experts.