There are many ways to bet on football. Here we will discuss the most popular football match betting markets.
If you're looking for looking for an in-depth guide to football betting, including:
- detailed discussions of popular football bet types,
- how to bet on football and win strategy guide
- statistical analysis of ten of Europes biggest football leagues
Pease read our comprehensive How To Bet On Football guide.
The most popular form of football betting is on the fulltime result, with two betting types being the most common – 1X2 (Win/Draw/Lose) and Asian Handicap.
With 1X2 betting, you can bet on either team to win or for the match to end in a draw. This form of betting is often referred to as 3-way betting. Asian Handicap on the other hand, was essentially created to eliminate the draw as an option and to also make seemingly one-sided matches a little more interesting. Bookmakers will offer you a goal handicap that is added to one teams fulltime score or dedcuted from the other.
For example, a handicap of +1.5 goals, means that if you add 1.5 goals to the fulltime score of that team, and the score is then greater than their opposition, that bet is then a winning bet. That team has 'covered the handicap'. A handicap of -1.5 goals on the other hand is deducted from that team. However, if that team's score remains greater than their opponents once the handicap is deducted, that is a winning bet.
It's also worth noting that the regular length of a football match is 90 minutes. In many matches, it's not uncommon to see two or three minutes of added injury time, but it still counts as normal time for betting purposes. Extra time or penalty shootout do not count in normal 3-way bets.
Betting on the result after both half and full time is also popular, but quite difficult. The basic notion is the same as with 1x2, but in this case you bet on the outcome after each half and you have to get both parts of the bet correct in order to win.
To succeed at this type of football betting, it's important to have a sense for how a match may play out and the tempo of both competiting teams. A team may be certain of victory against an inferior opponent but they may also be a team that is prone to slow starts in such situations. In this case a HT/FT bet of Draw/Win could be great value.
Instead of combining first and second half you can bet on the outcome of just the first half. Especially if you spot matches where teams are close or if they are known for great defense, you can find great value in knowing these tendancies. It's also a nice option to play outsiders here that dig in, often they manage to hold the game to a draw until halftime.
Essentially, these are three different names for the same thing: Placing a bet on more than just one outcome. Putting a number of selections on the one betting slip can give the promise of great returns as each of the odds multipy into the next.
For example, the odds on a combo bet of 4 selections is calculated the following way:
Selection One Odds 2.00
Selection Two Odds 1.50
Selection Three Odds 2.35
Selection Four Odds 1.35.
= 2.00 x 1.50 x 2.35 x 1.35
= Combo Odds of 9.52.
A word of caution when playing combo bets. Unless you have found value in each of your selections, then the bookmaker commission is multiplied with each selection diminishing the value of your combo bet. However if you have found value in each of your selections, then that value is multiplied into each selection you make.
You can also bet on the total number of goals or the fulltime score. Odds on these kinds of bets are often rather high but are rarely profitable bets. Outcomes such as these are hard to predict and precision is needed in this kind of betting.
On top of a low strike rate that makes for long losing runs, bookies also tend to have very large margins on these kind of markets for the simple reason people don't notice the lower odds as much on a market with this many outcomes. These margins are also put in place by bookmakers because of the difficulty in predicting these results. In this way, bookmakers are essentially protecting themselves from the randomness of outcome. Odds on other soccer markets simply tend to be more competitive, consistent and as a result, worthy of investing your time and money in.
Another common bet is to predict if the total number of goals precedes a predefined number. Often 2.5 goals is set as a common benchmark. You simply bet on whether a match will end with fewer than 2.5 goals or more than 2.5 goals. In other words, will the match end with 3 or more goals or fewer than 3 goals.
In this bet, a draw is not an option, meaning that in the case of a draw, you get your stake back. As a consequence the odds are lower on each team to win than in traditional 3-way betting. This is just the same bet as an Asian Handicap +0 bet on any given team.
Here, you are betting on which player will score the first goal. Pretty simple, right? It is a fairly simple concept but take time to check the rules that apply at your bookie. Issues like own goal and substitutions can differ from place to place.
In some cases your player doesn't need to be the first to score. Some bookmakers offer a variation of the bet where you also win as long as your player scores the second or third goal. These bets are called Each Way First Goal Scorer. Yet another variation is called Last Goal Scorer. Here you bet on who will score the last goal. Alternatively, you can bet on a player to score at any time during the match. This is known as Scorer Anytime.
Betting on first scorer and the final result is also a possibility and is called Scorecast. But not one to be recommended! Bookmakers are big time favourites to win that one so use your money on something more fun and with greater profit potential and consistency.