Betting on football can take a variety of different forms.
From the most basic markets to more advanced alternatives, here’s a definitive guide to the main markets you are likely to come across when learning how to bet on football.
The simplest and most common form of football betting is match betting. This would not involve betting on the score or winning margin but simply whether the home team would win, away team would win or the match would end in a draw.
A match bet is an example of a ‘single,’ which involves betting on one outcome. An accumulator is the combination of several picks in one bet.
Accumulators can involve bets on any markets but including several match bets within one accumulator is a very common route. The combined odds of an accumulator will always greater than betting on each individual selection separately. See our accumulator calculator here to work out your potential returns.
Sometimes, there may be little value in betting on a heavy favourite to win – perhaps when the odds are as low as 1/20. Here, bettors can turn to the handicap markets.
Handicaps can cover +1 goals or +5 goals – it all depends on how big you think a winning margin could be. These bets can also work in the opposite direction: you can back a team not to lose by more than a certain amount of goals.
A double chance bet allows you to cover more bases – but at lower odds. For instance, if you are confident of a team getting a positive result but aren’t fully confident of a win or a draw, a double chance bet would cover both outcomes.
Draw no bet works in a similar fashion to double chance betting. This option gives you the chance to bet on the team you think will win a match while removing the third option of a draw.
This essentially works as insurance if your chosen team does not win. Here, the odds will also be shorter but you would be refunded if an equaliser were to ruin your bet.
A far more precise market within football betting is betting on the correct score of a match. With this option, you simply have to get the score absolutely right or the bet loses – even if you have picked the right team with the wrong score. The odds here are higher than in the match market.
Outside of the match/result markets, betting on goalscorers in football is a very popular choice. Predicting which player will score in a match opens up a variety of options, compared to deciding who will win, draw or lose. Most commonly, goalscorer betting is divided into three sections.
If you were to bet on an anytime goalscorer, you would simply be backing a player to score a goal within a match. An anytime goalscorer bet only needs the player to score once – and in any order – to be successful.
The first goalscorer market can be a more rewarding route take and this is linked to the greater odds on offer.
While a player may be 10/11 to score at any time, their odds could be at least 7/4 to score first. Considering the wide range of options within a team, first goalscorer odds can get higher and higher, with a centre-back perhaps being priced at 20/1 to score his team’s first.
In recent years, the last goalscorer option has also been increasingly offered by bookmakers. Here, you are simply betting on the player who will score the last goal in a match, with the same concept that applied to the first goalscorer market.
Back to a team focus, the BTTS market is another common one that regularly features in player accas. If you are unsure of who will win a match, though are confident both teams will score, the BTTS market offers a practical solution.
When betting on BTTS, you simply select ‘yes’ or ‘no’ at the corresponding odds. When two high-scoring teams are in action, the odds for ‘yes’ are likely to be much lower. If, on the other hand, a heavy favourite is expected to win to nil, the odds will be shorter on the ‘no’ selection.
Also looking at a team’s chances of scoring, over/under markets offer you the chance to bet on whether a match’s total goals will exceed a certain number.
For example, betting on over 2.5 goals would be a winning bet if three or more goals were scored in a match. Equally, betting on under 1.5 goals would win if one or fewer goals were scored in a game.
Whether these goals were scored by just one or both teams does not become a factor in this market, unless you bet on a certain team to score over a certain amount of goals.
Corner betting has become increasingly popular in recent years and you can, equally, bet on whether there will be over or under a certain amount of corners in a match – 6.5 being an example.
With corners, you can also bet on which team will win the most corners out of the two and, like with goals, you can bet on how many corners a certain team will earn.
Similar football betting markets to goals and corners are available for the number of bookings in a match. For example, in an El Clasico, you can bet on Real Madrid and Barcelona to accumulate more than a certain amount of cards, either by themselves or collectively.
Like with goalscorers markets, you can also bet on individual players to receive yellow or red cards – as well as who the first player to be booked will be.
In another advanced football betting market, there is the option to bet on a scorecast or wincast. Here, you combine your pick for first goalscorer with your pick for the correct score (scorecast) or the match outcome (wincast)