In this bettingexpert How To Bet On Football guide we'll show you how to maximise your long term chances of making money betting on football. Whether you're betting on football for the first time, a seasoned and experienced football bettor or simply a sports bettor wanting to develop your betting portfolio, our detailed How To guide will show you step by step, how to bet on football games and win on a consistent basis. We will show you how with discipline, experience and persistence, you can create a winning football betting strategy.
Football Betting: An Introduction
Football betting has skyrocketed in recent years, thanks mainly to the ever increasing number of online bookmakers. There are literally hundreds of football games to bet on every week right across the globe, with bookmakers now offering football odds on a broad diversity of leagues, from English Premier League games to the Venezuelan Primera Division, from the UEFA Champions League to the AFC Asian Cup.
With hundreds of football betting markets available it can be difficult to know where to begin. Learning how to win at football betting takes time and there's always more to learn no matter what level of experience you possess.
The bettingexpert How To Bet On Football guide has been written with both the novice and experienced football bettor in mind. Our guide will show you that through the application of both sound betting theory and football betting strategies, consistent profits can be made betting on football.
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- How To Bet On Football Online
- Football Betting Odds Explained
- Football Value Bets
- How To Bet On Football And Win
- Free Football Betting Database
- Football Betting Stats
- Football Betting Calculator Spreadsheet
- Football Fixtures Excel Spreadsheets
- Football Bets Explained
- Placing Football Bets Online
- Football Free Bets And Betting Offers
- Football Live Streaming
- How To Bet On Football Tips
1. How To Bet On Football Online
If you're new to football betting it's best to begin by betting on the leagues you are most familiar with, the leagues you know the most about and where news and information is easily accessible to you.
UK Football Betting
In terms of football betting in the UK, the most popular football leagues to bet on are of course the top four divisions of English football: the Premier League, the Championship, League One and League Two.
The Scottish Premiership is also quite popular to bet on in the UK.
European And World Football Betting
Top European leagues also attract great sums of money and are among some of the most popular leagues when it comes to betting on football online. These leagues include Spain's La Liga, Italy's Serie A, France's Ligue 1 and Germany's Bundesliga. These leagues possess some of the world's most famous and successful football clubs. Clubs such as Barcelona, Juventus, Paris Saint Germain, Bayern Munich to name but a few.
But football betting isn't just about the big leagues. Most bookmakers now offer odds on football games from leagues far and wide. For bettors with a deep knowledge and access to information relating to what may be considered more obscure leagues, value football betting can produce tremendous profits.
Football betting does not begin and end with domestic league play. There are major tournaments and competitions that are extremely popular to bet on as well. Club tournaments such as the English FA Cup, UEFA Champions League and Europa League; not to mention international tournaments such as the World Cup, European Championships, Copa America and so on.
Top 10 Football Leagues To Bet On
|English Premier League||20 teams. 380 matches each season.|
|English Championship||24 teams. 552 matches + 5 playoff matches each season.|
|Spanish La Liga||20 teams. 380 matches each season.|
|Italian Serie A||20 teams. 380 matches each season.|
|French Ligue Un||20 teams. 380 matches each season.|
|German Bundesliga||18 teams. 306 matches each season.|
|UEFA Champions League||32 teams. 125 matches (excl. qualifying rounds) each season.|
|UEFA Europa League||20 teams. 204 matches (excl. qualifying rounds) each season.|
|Scottish Premiership||12 teams. 198 matches + 20 playoff matches each season.|
|Dutch Eredivisie||18 teams. 306 matches + 5 playoff matches each season.|
Where To Bet On Football Online?
Selecting which leagues and tournaments that you want to bet on is just the beginning. From there it's a matter of choosing a bookmaker (or bookmakers) for your football betting. Fortunately there are dozens of bookmakers for you to choose from, offering hundreds of football betting markets week on week across the course of the football season.
Deciding which bookmaker best suits your football betting needs is a question that we will focus our attention on later in this guide. For now, let's focus on how to make money betting on football.
2. Football Betting Odds Explained
To make consistent profits betting on football it's vital you understand football betting odds. Learning how to read football odds (and their implied probabilities) is crucial to your long term success.
The most traditional way of expressing football betting odds in the UK are what are known as Fractional Odds. For example 2/1, 6/4, 9/2. Decimal Odds (also known as European odds), are becoming increasingly popular with many bettors finding decimal odds easier to understand than traditional fractional odds. Decimal odds are presented as 3.00, 2.50 and 5.50 etc.
2.1 How Do Football Odds Work?
So let's start to explain how betting odds work by looking at how much money you will win (your profit) if your football bet wins? Let's start with decimal odds. Decimal odds show how much your return would be if you were to bet £1 at those odds. So for example, a win at odds of 3.00 would make your total return £3. This return includes the £1 that you bet. So the profit from your winning football bet would be £3 minus the £1 you bet, leaving a total profit of £2.
Likewise, fractional odds of 2/1 show that if you were to place a £1 bet you would make a profit of £2.
Decimal Odds Explained: West Ham vs Manchester City
Let's consider two examples, firstly decimal odds. West Ham are hosting Manchester City in the Premier League.
For decimal odds, calculating your profit is very simple:
|Your Profit||=||(Stake * Decimal Odds) - Stake|
So let’s say that we have placed a £20 bet on West Ham to win their upcoming game vs Manchester City at odds of 3.50. How much profit will you make on your bet if West Ham wins?
|Your Profit||=||(£20 * 3.50) - £20|
|Your Profit||=||(£70) - £20|
So in our example we would make a profit of £50 on our £20 bet if West Ham wins the match. All very simple.
Fractional Odds Explained: West Ham vs Manchester City
Now let's consider another example, this time with fractional odds. We will use the same match again, West Ham hosting Manchester City in the Premier League.
Calculating your profit with fractional odds, is again simple:
|Your Profit||=||(Stake / Denominator) * Numerator)|
The numerator is the first figure in any presentation of fractional odds. So in this example, West Ham are at odds of 5/2. The numerator is then 5. The denominator is then 2.
So let’s consider our previous example and say that we have placed a £20 bet on West Ham to win their upcoming game vs Manchester City at odds of 5/2. How much profit will you make on your bet if West Ham wins?
|Your Profit||=||(£20 / 2) * 5)|
|Your Profit||=||£10 * 5|
So just as in our decimal odds example, we would make a profit of £50 on our £20 bet if West Ham wins the match.
2.2 Football Betting Odds And Their Implied Probability
Understanding how one odds format converts to another is fairly simple. For example 2/1 fractional odds becomes 3.00, 6/4 converts to 2.50 and 9/2 converts to 5.50. The video below explains.
But what is even more crucial to successful football betting is in understanding the probabilities behind the odds on offer. Why? Because value football betting (as we will discuss shortly) is very much a product of understanding betting odds and the probabilities that they reflect.
Converting Decimal Odds
To convert decimal odds to their implied probabilities we use a simple formula. Let's for the purposes of illustration, use our West Ham vs Manchester City example again. West Ham are at odds of 3.50 to defeat Manchester City. Based on the odds we are being offered, what are the chances that West Ham will win the match?
|Implied probability||=||1 / decimal odds|
|Implied probability = 1 / 3.50||=||0.2857|
Multiplied then by 100 to express the implied probability as a percentage, we see that the odds of 3.50 suggest West Ham are a 28.57% chance of winning the match.
Converting Fractional Odds
Now let's look at how to convert fractional odds to their implied probability. Again, let's use the example of West Ham at odds of 5/2 to defeat Manchester City.
|Implied probability||=||denominator / (denominator + numerator)|
|Implied probability||=||2 / (2 + 5)||=||2 / 7||=||0.2857|
Multiplied then by 100 to express this implied probability as a percentage, and we see that the odds of 5/2 suggest there is a 28.57% chance that West Ham will win the match.
There is much more to understanding betting odds than time to discuss in this guide. However to learn more about betting odds, implied probability and bookmaker margins, please read the following articles:
How To Convert Odds
How To Calculate Bookmaker Margins
How To Calculate Betting Commission
3. Football Value Bets
Let's first make a distinction. We are not, and should not, be interested in football gambling. If you want to know how to make money gambling, the simple answer is, you can't. We are not interested in 'gambling'. The term gambling implies a certain reckless degree of risk taking.
And yes, there is risk involved in implementing even the most considered football betting strategy, but was distinguishes football betting from football gambling is that football betting is about identifying value opportunities and exploiting them, while football gambling is merely about having a punt and hoping to win big on the weekend's football.
If you want one piece of football betting advice, it is this- only bet when there is value.
What Is Value Football Betting?
The key to serious football betting and making consistent profits from your football bets (or betting on any other sports for that matter) is in finding what we call value bets. A value bet is when we believe that the chances of a particular outcome are higher than what the odds suggest. It point cannot be understated. You should only bet when there is betting value.
This is why understanding the implied probability reflected in football betting odds is so important to understand. Why is it so important? Let us repeat ourselves to make it clear - we should only bet when we believe the chances of a particular outcome are greater than what the odds on offer reflect.
An Example: Liverpool vs Sunderland
Value football betting is where your knowledge of football comes into play. Let's consider two Premier League clubs in this example, Liverpool at home to Sunderland. The bookies are offering the following odds for the match result market:
- Liverpool 1.50
- Draw 4.50
- Sunderland 6.50
We are keen Premier League viewers and have undertaken additional research on these two clubs including the possible team line ups for this game, knowing that Liverpool will be without their leading goalscorer and their best defender.
We also know that Sunderland need a win to avoid relegation and their leading goalscorer will be starting this match after a couple of weeks suspended. We have also taken a close look at some historical football data and have seen that Liverpool tend to underperform when expected to cruise to a comfortable victory at home.
Given all of this information we believe that Sunderland have a good chance of winning this game, making the odds of 6.50 well worth a bet. These odds suggest that Sunderland are a 15.4% chance to win. We believe their chances, while still slight, are closer to 20%. This is a value bet because we believe the chances of Sunderland winning are greater than those reflected in the odds being offered.
Calculating A Football Value Bet
As discussed, the odds of Sunderland winning the match are 6.50, which means there is a 15.4% implied probability of them winning. But through our knowledge and analysis, we believe Sunderland's chances are greater than that, we believe that they have a 20% chance of winning.
We calculate betting value with the following formula:
|Value||=||(Decimal odds * Our Assessed Probability) - 1|
So in our example, we have Sunderland at odds of 6.50 and our assessed probability of them winning is 20%. Do we have a value bet?
|Value||=||(6.50 * 0.20) - 1|
|Value||=||1.30 - 1|
When the calculation provides us with a + figure, we have a value bet. In this case we believe Sunderland are an excellent value bet at +30%. If the calculation returns a figure equal to or below 0, there is no betting value and we should not place a bet.
To be a successful long term football bettor, it's important to expand your knowledge of both football the game, while likewise expanding your knowledge of football betting markets. Developing both in unison will enhance your ability to recognise football betting value.
How Much Should You Bet?
Now we come to the topic of staking. The main purpose of betting is to make money. Yes, some people bet just for a bit of fun and that's fine, but here we're interested in earning genuine profits from our football betting.
However, regardless of whether you intend to be a serious football bettor or a fan who enjoys a punt on the weekend, there are three crucial things to remember when it comes to your staking:
- only bet what you can afford to lose
- never chase losses
- don't increase your stakes when on a winning strak or a run of losses
The topic of calculating the perfect bet stake and bankroll management is a topic that requires deeper discussion than what we have time for in this guide. To learn more about value betting, staking strategies and bankroll management please read the following articles.
How To Find Value Bets
How To Calculate The Kelly Criterion
How To Manage Your Betting Bankroll
4. How To Bet On Football And Win
Whether you're new to football betting or a seasoned sports punter, knowing how to win at football betting comes down to one thing - knowing how to find value football bets. While the basic principles of profitable betting remain true for every sport, the development of a successful football betting system or strategy comes with time and experience.
How To Bet On Football And Always Win
At this point, some of you may be wondering if there is a foolproof way to bet on football. Unfortunately there is no football betting strategy that will guarantee you profits. This simply isn't possible and anybody telling you that they know how to bet on football without losing or have discovered a football betting system that works 100% of time time, winning football bets with ease, is lying to you.
So do not be fooled by football betting sites that claim to have a simple football betting system that will make you rich and certainly do not pay money to sites that claim to show you "how to win big on football bets". It's pure marketing spin hoping to seduce you into parting ways with your hard earned money..
The reality is that while it would be nice to win football bets every time, making money betting on football is like betting on any other sport. It takes discipline, experience and persistance.
If you're keen to take up the challenge and seriously learn how to bet on football successfully, you've come to the right place. While it's impossible to win every football bet you place, there are a number of things you can do to enhance your chances of making money betting on football.
How To Win Football Bets: A Ten Step Guide
In this section we present our ten tips to win football bets at a rate that will earn you genuine profits, providing you will the fundamentals of successful football betting, introducing you to advanced betting techniques for identifying value opportunities and ultimately answer the question - what is the best way to bet on football?
4.1 Bet Only When There Is Value
By now you're probably tired of reading this. But it's a point that many football punters continually fail to recognise, the best football bets, in fact, the only football bets worth making are those where you have identified genuine betting value . If you place bets without recognising genuine betting value, you are only going to lose money in the long run. It's as simple as that.
If you skipped over the section on Value Football Betting, please read it now before continuing with our guide.
4.2 Be Prepared To Learn
A mistake made by many novice bettors is to believe that because they possess an intimate knowledge of football, that this knowledge immediately translates to a nuanced understanding of football betting markets. The reality is that understanding football and understanding football betting are two very different things.
Yes, of course, without an understanding of football, you will not be able to grasp the nuances of football betting, and yes, in time an understanding of both football the game, and football betting will compliment one another. But only in time will you come to appreciate the dynamics of football betting markets and how approaching a football match as a fan differs greatly from the approach of a seasoned football bettor.
The best way to develop this understanding is to begin with the leagues you know best and to keep your bets small. In fact some of the most successful football bettors began their journey by not placing real bets at all, but rather by 'paper trading' where you keep a record of ficticious bets so as to gain experience without the risk of losing any real money. These successful bettors only began placing real bets once they had developed a deep understanding of football betting markets, .
Humility is a good thing, particularly when it comes to football betting. Sure, you may possess a deeper knowledge of each Premier League club than many media pundits, but don't confuse this knowledge for an understanding of football betting markets.
To learn how to approach a range of football betting markets, leagues and tournaments, please refer to our detailed series of how to bet on football guides.
4.3 Bet The Leagues You Know
As stated previously, the best way to develop a genuine understanding of football betting markets is to start with the leagues you know. But even once you have developed an understanding of these markets, remain focused on the leagues your understand best. If there is no action in those leagues this week, then take a break. Or use that time to research other leagues you may want to bet on in the future. But by no means should you go hunting for a bet just for the sake of having a bet. This will only lead to ruin or at the very least, diminished profitability.
Many of the most successful football bettors and the most profitable bettingexpert tipsters focus solely on two, three, maybe four leagues. They study everything there is to know about those leagues and through time develop an understanding that exceeds that of the bookmakers.
Think about it this way, bookmakers have some of the most cutting edge analysis tools at their disposal, tools that incorporate dozens of variables enabling them to set what are for the majority of the time, incredibly accurate odds. Do you really think you're going to outwit them with half an hour of 'analysis' on a league you have at best only a broad understanding of? The answer, is clearly no.
Learn more by reading the following How To guides:
- How to bet on the Premier League
- How to bet on the Championship
- How to bet on La Liga
- How to bet on the Bundesliga
- How to bet on Serie A
4.4 Bet The Markets You Know
As discussed above, there are literally dozens of football betting markets, each with their own quirks and nuances. As you develop your understanding of football betting, you'll find yourself attracted to particular markets more than others. Put simply, some betting markets make more sense to us than others. So go with your intuition and develop a rich understanding of these markets.
Many of the most profitable bettors focus on one or two markets. There are many successful football bettors who bet only on Asian Handicaps, while others focus on 1X2 match results.
Others look to exploit in-play markets by betting on the team to score first, while others keep their focus solely on first half markets. In fact the quirkier the market, the more your experience will provide opportunity. So don't be afraid to specialise.
So long as you can get a reasonable sized bet down, limiting your focus to a few markets can reap great rewards. Specialising is often the path to profit.
We will discuss the full range of football bet types and markets available later in this guide,
4.5 Apply Sound Money Management
Key to betting on any sport is in applying a sound money management strategy. This primarily involves applying a consistent staking strategy, a strategy that will make the most of the value you have identified while suggesting a stake size that will protect your betting bankroll.
If you're seriously interested in learning how to win money on football bets, then you need to be serious about how you manage your money. Randomly betting a tenner here or a fiver there is only going to lose you money in the long run. To be a successful football bettor you need to approach your staking like a financial planner.
The saying 'Only bet what you can afford to lose' is as true as ever and any money management strategy should take this very seriously. Begin with a sum of money that you would be comfortable losing. Of course, we are aiming to make money betting on football. But even in possession of the sharpest football betting strategy, things can and will go wrong from time to time. Only through the application of a proven staking plan and money management strategy can you endure the worst of losing streaks and exploit the greatest of winning streaks.
To learn more, please read our guide to bankroll management as well as our guide to calculating the perfect bet stake using the Kelly Criterion.
4.6 Keep A Record Of Your Football Bets
If you're serious about making money betting on football, then you must, we repeat, must, keep a record of your betting. This record should include the following:
- Bet Type
- Bet Details
- Your Stake
- Your Odds
If you're not keeping such records, then you are doomed to failure. In keeping a detailed record of your football betting, you will be able to review your results. You may sometimes say to yourself "I never win football bets". If you do find yourself saying this, firstly, stop feeling sorry for yourself and secondly, in keeping detailed records, you'll see that you are actually winning football bets at a higher rate than you assume. As bettors we can often have a tendency to recall losses more easily than we can our wins. But by keeping records of your bets, you'll be able to see which leagues you're making money on, the leagues that are diminishing your returns, not to mention the bet types you are most suited to and those markets that are consistently losing you money.
Fortunately we've done the hard work for you and created the bettingexpert Football Betting Spreadsheet. You can download it now and read more about the spreadsheet below.
4.7 Assess Performance Potential Accurately
Pundits like to talk about form. 'This team is in great form'. 'That team's form has been terrible.' You've not doubt heard it many times.
But what is problematic about 'form' is that it is fleeting. Just because a team has been in great form, is no indication that this form will continue or even that the 'form' was based on anything other than perhaps a run fixtures against lowly clubs, or more allusive yet, a run of good fortune.
When it comes to football betting, what we are really interested in is not so much whether or not a team is in form, but rather, what is their performance potential heading into a given match. There are many things to consider in this assessment:
Home vs Away performance
It's no secret that on average, clubs perform better at home than away. In fact it has been shown that an average team is roughly a +0.74 goals better at home than they are away.
Despite this, the subject of home vs away performance is a hotly debated issue. While some clubs may display a distinct ability to perform better at home than away over a given time frame, the reasons for this may have little to do with home ground advantage. Some analysts believe that what may often appear to be a distinct home field advantage, may merely be a run of better than expected performance.
When you're assessing a team's potential to perform in a certain environment, be wary of falling prey to glib cliches such as 'Oh this team is always tough at home'. The reality is that every team is better on their field than others, but the belief that certain clubs hold a distinct home field advantage that exceeds the average is often misleading.
Injuries & Suspensions
It's obvious that we should consider both injuries and suspensions when assessing a team's potential. But many people misjudge the affects of such absences. When it comes to both injuries and suspensions, what is key isn't so much that a team will be missing a player, but who will replace that player. Is the replacement a significant downgrade? Or is the missing player easily replaced in the lineup?
This is where a deep knowledge of each team's squad comes into play. Yes, many may know of the injured centre back but how many bettors know the performance potential of his lesser known replacement?
Further to this, how many bettors know how such an absence will impact a team's tactical approach? In both regards, a thorough understanding of a team's squad can profoundly assist us in the project of value football betting. Betting markets can often over estimate the impact of a missing star player as opposed to the absence of a lesser known but durable and consistent performer.
As we get deeper into the football calendar, the demands of fixture commitments come into play. This is definitely a key area of consideration for all football bettors. And just as we discussed previously in terms of injuries and suspensions, developing an intimate knowledge of each club's squad will often help you spy value betting opportunities.
A Premier League club may for instance have a run of league commitments, with both Cup and European duties in between. What fixtures are they likely to take more seriously than others? How may they alternate their line up and how may a distinctly alternate lineup perform, both in terms of tactical approach and team chemistry? The ability to answer these questions accurately will more often than not provide you with value betting opportunities.
Tactical & Personnel Match-ups
There's a saying in boxing that styles make fights. And this is also true in football. We will often see teams that we consider to be of inferior quality take it right up to more highly ranked opponents, often claiming unlikely victories or at the very least, causing headaches for their more fancied opponents.
When it comes to football betting, what we want to discern is whether or not such performances were the result of the inferior team providing a difficult tactical match up for their opponents in terms of personnel, whether such results were merely a matter of the superior team perhaps being in the midst of a congested schedule or whether or not such performances were a matter of random good fortune.
To evaluate these performances accurately we must not only be familiar with each club's squad, but likewise be familiar with how each club likes to set up tactically and how a team's personnel may impede their gameplan. If we can do this, and come to an accurate assessment of which inferior teams match up well with their more highly regarded opponents, betting value can easily be found.
Develop A Predictive Football Betting Model
Many successful football bettors have made their living through shrewd statistical analysis and mathematical modelling. What is involved in developing a football betting model? There is no single answer to this other than to say, whatever helps you identify football values bets. Some predictive football models are quite simple and only involve the use of goals scored for and against over a given sample size of matches played, while more sophisticated models incorporate a diverse range of statistical categories such as:
- Goals For/Against
- Shots For/Against
- Shots On Target For/Against
- Shot Location Goal Expectancy
- Possession Share
- Individual Player Performance
Regardless of what football statistics you choose to develop your model, the aim is the same - to assess the probability of a given match (or betting market) outcome more accurately than the bookmakers do.
The purpose of your football betting model is to identify betting value. It does not need to identify value in every match played or every betting market available. In fact, it's likely your model may only identify one value bet each week of the Premier League season. That amounts to 38 bets per season.
Not many right?
But think if you could expand your model to cover 40 different football leagues. You're then looking at a total of over 1,000 bets per season. The work involved in developing and maintaining a cunning betting model can be demanding, but the rewards can be immense.
4.8 Exploit Market Biases By Betting Against The Crowd
Consistently betting on value opportunities is what will make you a successful football bettor in the long term. Yes, a team may be at long odds and yes, we still believe that the chances of them winning the match, while greater than what the bookmakers are suggesting, are still unlikely, but it is in repeatedly betting on situations such as these that will see you turn a profit betting on football in the long term.
When it comes to football betting there are two clear market biases:
- Short Priced Home Favourites
- Higher Than Average Goal Totals
Underdogs are typically better value than favourites, particularly home favourites. Why? Because most people betting on football are thinking short term. They want a winner today. Not next week. Not next month. They want a "sure thing" now. So they place large bets on short priced home favourites. This excessive betting money on short priced favourites often disorts betting markets, which in turn artificially inflates the odds for underdogs, making such underdogs great value.
Let's consider an example, England are playing a World Cup qualifier at home to San Marino. England, with their array of star players, are massive favourites and are priced at 1.10 to win. San Marino, being only semi-professional footballers and very rarely beating anybody, are priced at odds of 21.00. Who in their right mind would bet on San Marino to win? Well yes, it's extremely unlikely that they will. The odds of 21.00 suggest that San Marino are roughly a 4.8% chance to win the match.
But through our research and analysis, we believe San Marino are closer to an 8% chance. Yes, even at 8% a San Marino win is still very unlikely. But we still believe the chances of them winning are greater than what the odds of 21.00 would suggest. Based on our analysis and our assessed probability of 8%, we believe the odds should be closer to 12.50. However unlikely that it is to be a winner, a bet on San Marino is a value opportunity and we should take it.
Another market bias is for higher than average goal totals. Why? Because the average football punter subconsciously bets with aggression. In this sense, betting on a low scoring match is a somewhat passive act and doesn't satisfy this subconscious aspect of placing a bet. Add to this the fact that very few people want to watch a football match with a limited number of goals scored, and you get a market bias for higher than average goals. This bias artificially places downward pressure on the odds for markets such as Over 2.5 goals, leaving the Under 2.5 goals market to be the better value option more often than not.
Simply betting on both away underdogs and low goal totals won't make you rich any time soon. However they both present examples of why it is often better to bet against the crowd.
4.9 Follow Football Betting Tips
Following football betting tips can be a great way of generating profits especially if you can find a genuine expert in a league you may not normally bet on.
But let's be clear. You should not follow any football tipster, expert or pundit blindly. There are literally hundreds of so-called expert football tipsters on the internet. Some even charge high subscription fees for the privilege of following their service. Some are legitimate, but most are not and will not only see you lose money through following their tips, but likewise waste money through their excessive subscription fees. There are also services claiming to have inside information on fixed matches, willing to sell that information for a price. Don't be fooled by their claims.
Before you follow any football tipster, you should do your research. For example, there are hundreds of football tipsters at bettingexpert. And while each is sincere in their attempts to turn a profit from their football tips, the majority do not. There are however a select few who are profitable, often due to an intimate knowledge of a particular football league. You can identify these expert tipsters by using our Tipster Stats Tool, where you can sort tipsters by league, rank and profitability.
To learn more, please read our guide to following betting tips.
4.10 Have Accounts With Multiple Bookmakers
Many football bettors limit their chances of making money by limiting their ability to take the best odds available. Yes, there is a certain simplicity with using just one bookmaker for all your betting. But the reality is, if you want to make money long term, you need a number of bookmakers for your football betting.
Why? Because in limiting your bookmaker portfolio, you're restricting yourself in terms of the odds available. For example, take a look at odds comparison site Smartbets. Below are the Asian Handicap odds for an upcoming match between Tottenham and Atletico Madrid.
This is but a simple example, but we can see that by merely having two competing bookmakers at our disposal, we can take the better of the odds available. By continually taking the best odds available among competing bookmakers, we severely increase our chances of turning a profit long term.
To learn more, please read our guide to calculating bookmaker margins.
5. Free Football Betting Database
If you're looking for serious betting data, our head to head football betting database is just what you're looking for.
To receive instant statistical matchup data, you can search the database by simply selecting the nation, league, season and the teams you want to compare. There are literally hundreds of leagues available for analysis.
Once you have selected your matchup, browse the football betting database tabs below to compare clubs across a range of statistical categories.
If the database does not load, please refresh the page.
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6. Football Betting Stats
Which football leagues have the highest goal averages? How often do matches ended scoreless? What is home field advantage worth? These are common questions from both football fans and football bettors alike. In this section we'll take a look at some basic football betting stats, looking at data from over 15,000 matches played the last five football seasons from the start of the 2011/12 season to the conclusion of the 2015/16 season. Our analysis considers football betting stats from the following ten European leagues:
- Belgian Pro League
- English Premier League
- French Ligue Un
- German Bundesliga
- Italian Serie A
- Dutch Eredivisie
- Portuguese Primeira
- Russian Premier League
- Scotland Premiership
- Spanish La Liga
Please note that these stats should be used as preliminary analysis only and as a guide for league by league tendencies.
6.1 What Is Home Field Advantage Worth?
An always intriguing question is the value of home field advantage in football. The table below shows the raw winning percentages for both home and away clubs across our ten leagues the last five seasons.
|League||Home Win %||Draw %||Away Win %|
|Belgian Pro League||46.5%||25.0%||28.5%|
|English Premier League||44.5%||25.2%||30.3%|
|French Ligue Un||45.1%||27.4%||27.5%|
|Italian Serie A||45.2%||27.0%||27.8%|
|Russian Premier League||43.8%||26.5%||29.7%|
|Spanish La Liga||47.9%||23.5%||28.6%|
In answering the question of what is home field advantage in football worth, we can see that there has been little disparity over the last five seasons, with La Liga showing the greatest home field advantage at a win rate of near 48% while the Scottish Premiership has displayed the greatest away win percentage at 34%. Considering its reputation for low scoring contests, it's no surprise that Ligue Un has had the highest percentage of drawn matches at just over 27%.
But what is home field advantage worth in terms of a goal advantage? The table below shows the average goals scored for both home and away clubs across the last five seasons of play.
|League||Home Goals||Away Goals||Home Advantage|
|Belgian Pro League||1.62||1.22||+0.40|
|English Premier League||1.54||1.19||+0.35|
|French Ligue Un||1.44||1.07||+0.37|
|Italian Serie A||1.50||1.14||+0.36|
|Russian Premier League||1.39||1.08||+0.31|
|Spanish La Liga||1.63||1.13||+0.50|
As we may have expected based on fulltime result win percentages, La Liga has had the highest home field advantage in terms of goals scored over the last five seasons, at +0.5 goals while the Scottish Premiership saw a home field advantage of just +0.22 goals.
Across all matches played, the average home field advantage has been +0.37 goals. This amounts to a 0.74 goal swing between an average club playing at home and that same club playing away.
6.2 How Often Are Matches Drawn At Halftime?
Let's now look at the home, away and draw percentages for halftime results. Below we can see the Home, Away and Drawn match halftime result percentages across our ten leagues over the last five seasons..
|League||Home Win %||Draw %||Away Win %|
|Belgian Pro League||34.4%||42.6%||23.0%|
|English Premier League||34.0%||42.3%||23.7%|
|French Ligue Un||34.2%||43.9%||21.9%|
|Italian Serie A||34.5%||43.7%||21.8%|
|Russian Premier League||34.5%||42.3%||23.2%|
|Spanish La Liga||37.4%||40.0%||22.6%|
Again there is not a tremendous disparity across our ten leagues of study, with Serie A seeing the highest rate of halftime draws at near 44% while the high scoring Eredivisie saw the lowest halftime draw rate at just over 38% of matches played the last five seasons.
6.3 How Often Do Home Clubs Lead Halftime/Fulltime?
Halftime/Fulltime (HTFT) betting is a popular market. But exactly how often are matches drawn at both halftime and fulltime? How often do home teams lose after leading at halftime? How often do away teams lead at both halftime and fulltime? The data below displays the percentages for each combination of results. For example, H/A reflects the home team leading at halftime and the away team then leading at fulltime.
One observation from this data is that the chances of a team leading at halftime, then having their lead overturned in the second half and losing the match, is just over 2% for both home and away clubs. We can also see that the chances of a match being draw at halftime, then either the match finishing as a draw or the home team winning the match, are similar at both 15.5% and 15.3% respectively.
6.4 Who Wins When A Match Is Drawn At Halftime?
We'll now look at the chances of a fulltime victory based on the match being drawn at the half. The table below shows the chances of both home and away teams winning a match when the match has been tied at halftime.
|League||Home Win %||Draw %||Away Win %|
|Belgian Pro League||37.9%||37.9%||24.2%|
|English Premier League||36.0%||36.8%||27.2%|
|French Ligue Un||37.9%||38.4%||23.7%|
|Italian Serie A||36.5%||39.5%||24.0%|
|Russian Premier League||33.7%||38.5%||27.8%|
|Spanish La Liga||38.1%||36.6%||25.3%|
We can see again that on average, across the last five seasons, when a match was drawn at halftime, the chances of the home club winning and the match ending in a fulltime draw were roughly the same at around 37%, while the chances of the away team winning in such circumstances were on average just under 26%.
6.5 What Is The Most Common Winning Margin?
What is the most common winning margin in football? How often do we see blowouts of three goals or greater? The table below displays a break down of match results across our ten leagues of study, based on fulltime margins.
|League||Home 3+||Home 2||Home 1||Draw||Away 1||Away 2||Away 3 +|
Eredivisie, La Liga and Bundesliga saw the greatest number of three goal or more victories the last five seasons, with the Dutch league seeing 21% of all matches end with a margin of three goals or greater (13.8% for home clubs and 7.2% for away clubs). We can also see that on average, the chances of a home team winning by such a margin (10.9%) is just over double that of an average away team (5.1%).
6.6 How Often Do Matches End Over 2.5 Goals?
What is the percentage of matches that see a minimum of two goals and what number of matches end with a goal feast of three or more? The table below shows the Over/Under results for our ten leagues the last five seasons.
|League||Over 1.5||Under 1.5||Over 2.5||Under 2.5||Over 3.5||Under 3.5|
On average just over 51% of all matches exceeded the 2.5 goals mark, with almost 60% of Eredivisie matches seeing a minimum of three goals scored, while at the other end of the scale, Ligue Un saw just under 45% of matches eclipse the three goal mark. On average, just over 75% of all matches saw a minimum of two goals, while 30% of matches saw at least four goals scored.
6.7 How Often Do Both Teams Score?
How many football matches end with both teams scoring? The table below shows the percentage of matches played the last five seasons that ended with either both teams scoring or either one team/neither team scoring.
|League||Both Teams To Score Yes||Both Teams To Score No|
|Belgian Pro League||54.4%||45.6%|
|English Premier League||51.3%||48.7%|
|French Ligue Un||49.7%||50.3%|
|Italian Serie A||51.0%||49.0%|
|Russian Premier League||47.0%||53.0%|
|Spanish La Liga||49.7%||50.3%|
On average 51.5% of matches played saw both clubs get on the scoreboard, with just under 59% of all Eredivisie matches seeing scores from both clubs, while the Russian Premier League had the lowest mark of 47%.
6.8 How Often Do Matches End Scoreless?
What percentage of matches end without a goal scored? And how often does the away team open the scoring? The table below shows both first goal rates for both home and away clubs plus the overall rate of scoreless matches the last five seasons.
|League||Home Scores First||Away Scores First||Match Ends Scoreless|
As we would expect, the chances of a home team scoring first are greater than the away team at a rate of 53.2% to 39.3%. In terms of scoreless draws, 7.5% of all matches across our ten leagues of analysis ended without a goal the last five seasons, with Serie A seeing the highest rate at 8.5% while the Eredivisie saw by far the lowest rate of scoreless results at just over 4% of all matches played.
6.9 Current League Standings
To view club rankings across a range of statistical categories in hundreds of football leagues around the world, first select the nation, then league/competition you want to analyse and lastly the season.
7. Football Betting Calculator Spreadsheet
As previously stated, keeping a record of your football betting is incredibly important if you want continually improve your betting returns. Only through keeping track of each of your football bets can you see what you are doing right and where you are consistently making errors in both judgement and discipline. To help you with this, we have created the bettingexpert Football betting calculator spreadsheet. It's free and you can download it now.
Download the bettingexpert Football Betting Calculator Spreadsheet.
It's easy to use. Just enter the league or tournament you are betting on, the date, the bet type description, your stake, the odds and the bookmaker you placed the bet with. Once the match has been completed or the market closed, select either Win, Loss or Refund from the Result options and the spreadsheet will calculate your profit or loss plus your running profit/loss and your overall football betting ROI.
8. Football Fixtures Excel Spreadsheets
If you're looking for 2016/17 football fixtures Excel spreadsheets for leagues across the UK and Europe, look no further. You can now download 44 free football fixtures in Excel format for the upcoming 2016/2017 season. Simply click the league to download the spreadhsheet:
Download all 44 leagues in one Excel sheet: Football Fixtures 2016/17 Excel spreadsheet.
Please remember that many leagues will reschedule matches throughout the season.
Austria Bundesliga Fixtures Excel spreadsheet
Belgium Jupiter League Fixtures Excel spreadsheet
Bulgaria A PFG Fixtures Excel spreadsheet
Croatia 1 HNL Fixtures Excel spreadsheet
Czech Republic Liga Fixtures Excel spreadsheet
Denmark Superliga Fixtures Excel spreadsheet
England Premier League Fixtures Excel spreadsheet
England Championship Fixtures Excel spreadsheet
England League One Fixtures Excel spreadsheet
England League Two Fixtures Excel spreadsheet
England National League Fixtures Excel spreadsheet
Finland Veikkausliiga Fixtures Excel spreadsheet
France Ligue 1 Fixtures Excel spreadsheet
France Ligue 2 Fixtures Excel spreadsheet
Germany Bundesliga Fixtures Excel spreadsheet
Germany Bundesliga 2 Fixtures Excel spreadsheet
Greece Super League Fixtures Excel spreadsheet
Hungary Liga Fixtures Excel spreadsheet
Iceland Pepsideild Fixtures Excel spreadsheet
Ireland Premier Division Fixtures Excel spreadsheet
Italy Serie A Fixtures Excel spreadsheet
Italy Serie B Fixtures Excel spreadsheet
Latvia Virslīga Fixtures Excel spreadsheet
Netherlands Eredivisie Fixtures Excel spreadsheet
Netherlands Eerste Divisie Fixtures Excel spreadsheet
Northern Ireland Premiership Fixtures Excel spreadsheet
Norway Tippeligaen Fixtures Excel spreadsheet
Poland Ekstraklasa Fixtures Excel spreadsheet
Portugal Primeira Fixtures Excel spreadsheet
Portugal Segunda Liga Fixtures Excel spreadsheet
Romania Liga 1 Fixtures Excel spreadsheet
Russia Premier League Fixtures Excel spreadsheet
Scotland Premiership Fixtures Excel spredsheet
Scotland Championship Fixtures Excel spreadsheet
Serbia Super Liga Fixtures Excel spreadsheet
Slovakia Fortuna Liga Fixtures Excel spreadsheet
Slovenia Prva liga Fixtures Excel spreadsheet
Spain La Liga Fixtures Excel spreadsheet
Spain La Liga 2 Fixtures Excel spreadsheet
Sweden Allsvenskan Fixtures Excel spreadsheet
Switzerland Super League Fixtures Excel spreadsheet
Turkey Super Lig Fixutres Excel spreadsheet
Ukraine Premier League Fixtures Excel spreadsheet
Wales Premier League Fixtures Excel spreadsheet
9. Football Bets Explained
A common question, especially from those new to football betting is 'What's the best way to bet on football?' There is no simple answer to this question. The best way to bet on football for one bettor may not suit another. It all comes down to what works best for you.
The good news is that most bookmakers offer many types of football bets for you to exploit through analysis and hard earned experience. Football betting odds are available on almost everything you can imagine, from manager sackings to how many corners in a game, from the time of the first goal to which clubs will be relegated. Let's now look at the most popular football bets available:
9.1 Match Result 1X2 Odds Explained
If you're asking 'How can I bet on football teams?', the match result is the most common answer. Match result betting is often referred to as 1X2 betting. It's easy to learn how to read 1X2 odds? The 1 signifies one team (usually the home club), the X signifies the Draw and the 2 signifies the opposing team (usually the away club). Match result is the most common form of football betting (along with Asian handicaps).
Below we can see an example of 1X2 betting at bet365 for an upcoming Premier League match between Burnley and Swansea. How to read 1X2 odds? Well we can see that Burnley are the home team (1) at odds of 2.50, the draw (X) is at odds of 3.25 while Swansea are the away team(2) at odds of 2.80
It's important to note, that when betting in knockout tournaments, there is often the potential for extra time to be played. If this is the case, 1X2 betting only covers the regulation 90 minutes. If you have bet on the match to end in a draw, then your bet is a winner even though extra time will be played. If you have bet on either team to win and the game goes into extra time, your bet is lost.
9.2 Asian Handicap Odds Explained
Another popular way of betting on football is the Asian Handicap (AH) market. In recent years the popularity of Asian handicap betting has exploded with tens of thousands of pounds being bet on football handicaps every weekend. What does Asian Handicap mean? To the uninitiated, Asian Handicap odds can appear a little complicated at first glance. The video below provides a basic introduction:
To put it simply, Asian Handicaps give both teams a goals handicap, either a goals advantage (+) or a goals deficit (-),.
Below we can see an example of an Asian Handicap odds, with odds at BetVictor for an upcoming match between Arsenal and Liverpool. Arsenal have a handicap of -0.5 goals while Liverpool have a handicap of +0.5 goals. What does this mean? It means that if you bet on Arsenal -0.5 goals, Arsenal must win the match for you to win your bet. On the other hand if you bet on Liverpool, then either a Liverpool win or a draw will be enough for you to win your bet.
The easiest way to understand handicap betting is to take the full time result and adjust the scoreline to incorporate each team's handicap. If a team has a minus handicap (as Arsenal does in the above example) we deduct that handicap from their fulltime score. If they still lead after the handicap has been deducted, then that is a winning handicap bet.
On the other hand, if a team has a positive handicap (as Liverpool does), then we simply add the handicap to their fulltime score. If they then lead after the handicap has been added, then that is the winning handicap bet.
Calculating Asian Handicaps: Two Examples
So let's say you have bet on Arsenal with the -0.5 handicap. The fulltime result is Arsenal 2, Liverpool 1. Is your handicap bet on Arsenal a winner? We simply deduct Arsenal's -0.5 goal handicap and we have an adjusted scoreline of Arsenal 1.5, Liverpool 1. With their -0.5 goal handicap deducted, Arsenal still "win" the match by half a goal. In this case, your handicap bet on Arsenal is a winner.
But what if we bet on Liverpool with the +0.5 goal handicap? In this example, let's then say that the match ended in a draw 2-2. Is our Liverpool handicap bet a winner? We add the +0.5 goal handicap to Liverpool's score, giving us an adjusted scoreline of Arsenal 2, Liverpool 2.5. With this adjusted scoreline, Liverpool "wins", meaning our handicap bet on Liverpool is a winning wager.
Asian handicap betting is a great way to bet on football, making even the most lopsided contest suddenly a thrilling match, not to mention the potential to find hidden value in Asian Handicap football betting markets.
There is also the possibility of betting on what are known as Quarter Asian Handicaps.
To learn more about Asian Handicap betting, please read our guide to calculating Asian Handicaps.
9.3 Over Under Odds Explained
Betting on goals over/under is another very popular form of football betting. Over Under betting doesn't require you to pick the result of a particular game, but rather to determine whether a game will have over or under a certain number of goals. The standard bet is 2.5 goals, though some bookmakers will offer anywhere from the 0.5 goal line up to 7.5 goals.
Below we can see an example of an Over Under 2.5 goals betting market, with odds at Paddy Power for an upcoming match.
As you can see, Over Under betting is one of the simplest forms of betting. If you bet on Over 2.5 goals, then so long as there are a minimum of 3 goals scored in the match, you're a winner. If the match ends with 2 goals or fewer, then your Over 2.5 goals bet is lost. If you bet on Under 2.5 goals, then your bet is a winner so long as there are a maximum of 2 goals scored in the match. Any more and your bet is lost.
The table below shows the winning results based on basic Over Under goal total lines and the total number of goals socred in a match.
|Over Under||0 Goals||1 Goal||2 Goals||3 Goals||4 Goals||5 Goals||6 Goals|
Full Goal Over Under Lines
There are also Full Over Under lines. An example would be Over Under 3 goals. If you bet on the Over, then you require at least 4 goals to be scored in the match for your bet to win. If you bet on the Under, then you require a maxium of just 2 goals to be scored for your bet to win. If the match ends with exactly 3 goals scored, your bet will be voided and your stake refunded.
The table below shows the winning results based on full goal Over Under lines and the number of goals scored in a match.
|Over Under||0 Goals||1 Goal||2 Goals||3 Goals||4 Goals||5 Goals||6 Goals|
Quarter Over Under Lines
Although not as common as Asian Handicaps, there are also Quarter Over Under lines. An example would be a line of Over Under 2.75 goals. Just like Quarter Asian Handicaps, this can be consider a 'split bet'. So if you bet on Over 2.75 goals, your bet is split into two halves, with half of your stake on Over 2.5 goals, and the other half stake on Over 3 goals (and conversely if you bet on Under 2.75 goals). In this instance, if you bet on the Over 2.75 goals, then so long as there are 4 goals scored, your bet is a winner. If the match ends with 3 goals scored, you will win your Over 2.5 goals half bet with the other half bet on Over 3 goals beng refunded. If you had bet on Under 2.75 goals, then so long as there are just 2 goals or fewer, your bet wins. If there are 3 goals scored, you would lose your Under 2.5 half bet, while your Under 3 goals half bet would be refunded.
To learn more about Over Under betting, please read our guide to betting on Over/Unders.
9.4 Both Teams To Score Odds Explained
Both Teams To Score (BTTS) betting is another market gaining in popularity. This bet type is a simple proposition bet and doesn't require you to predict the winner of the match. You options are to bet on both teams in a given match to score at least one goal (YES), or bet on only one team / neither team to score (NO).
Above we can see an example of a Both Teams To Score betting market, with odds listed by Ladbrokes. You can bet on either Yes, both yeams will score or No, they will not both score. So a simple example would be a match in the Premier League between Manchester City and Tottenham. If you bet on Yes, both teams will score, your bet is a winner so long as both teams get on the scoreboard. What the fulltime result is does not matter. All we care about is both teams scoring. If you bet on No, both teams will not score, then your bet is a winner so long as only one team or neither team scores.
An additional market is the 1X2 Result AND Both Teams To Score market. This market is popular with longer odds on offer as you must predict both the fulltime result and whether or not both teams will score a goal or not.
9.5 Draw No Bet Odds Explained
Draw No Bet (DNB) is another intriguing market on offer. Draw No Bet simply means you place a bet on one team to win the match and if the game finishes as a draw you will have your stake refunded (i.e there is no bet).
Below you can see an example of a Draw No Bet market with odds listed at bet365 for an upcoming match between Chelsea and West Ham:
It's a fairly simple bet as you can see. You can bet on either Chelsea or West Ham to win the match, with your stake protected should the match end in a draw. With the potential for a draw eliminated from the market, DNB odds are lower than if you bet on either team in the 1X2 match result market.
9.6 Double Chance Odds Explained
A Double Chance bet allows you to bet on two out of the three possible outcomes of a football match in one bet. In a Double Chance bet, you can bet on the following fulltime result combinations:
- Home Win / Draw
- Away Win / Draw
- Home Win / Away Win
Below we can see an example of a Double Chance betting market, with odds at Paddy Power for an upcoming match between Manchester City and Borussia Dortmind.
As with the Draw No Bet market, the odds offered on Double Chance are typically far lower than if you were to bet on just one result, as with Double Chance your bet is covering a combination of two possible results.
9.7 First Goalscorer Odds Explained
First Goalscorer betting simply involves picking a player and betting on them to score the first goal of a given match. Below we can see an example of a First Goalscorer betting market, with odds at BetVictor for an upcoming match:
It's important to note that if you pick a player to score first and they don't start the match, i.e. they're a substitute, your stake will be refunded if a goal is scored before they enter the pitch. It's also worth noting that you can actually bet on No Goalscorer, which is essentially the same as betting on a 0-0 draw.
9.8 Anytime Goalscorer Odds Explained
Similar to First Goalscorer betting, Anytime Goalscorer betting involves picking a player to score at any stage of a given match, regardless of whether a goal has been scored already. Below we can see an example of an Anytime Goalscorer betting market, with odds at BetVictor for an upcoming match:
The odds are typically shorter than First Goalscorer betting as with Anytime Goalscorer it does not matter when your player scores, just so long as he does score.
To learn more, please read our guide to Anytime Goalscorer betting.
9.9 Correct Score Odds Explained
A Correct Score bet is betting on the exact fulltime scoreline of a given football match. These bets are popular with casual bettors as the odds on any selection are usually long.
Below we can see an example of a Correct Score betting market, with odds listed at bet365 for an upcoming match in the Premier League between Everton and Tottenham:
A popular Correct Score betting strategy is to bet on a combination Correct Scores. This is often referred to as 'dutching'. For example, if you think a particular match is going to finish 2-0 to the home side, you can pick this as your Correct Score bet. But you can also cover a range of potential scorelines, not just the 2-0. You could for instance place additional bets on 1-0, 1-1, 2-1. Your overall returns will be shorter but in covering a range of Correct Scores, you're providing yourself with some insurance should your initial bet of 2-0 fail.
9.10 Halftime Fulltime Odds Explained
Another popular football betting market is the Half-Time / Full-Time result. This involves selecting both the halftime result as well as the fulltime result. Below we can see an example of a Halftime / Fulltime betting market, with odds listed at Paddy Power:
In this example, German club Hertha Berlin are hosting Danish club Brondby. What makes the Halftime / Fulltime market so intriguing is that it doesn't simply involve picking the fulltime result, but rather involves predicting how the match will playout across both halves. For example, we may believe that Hertha Berlin will win, but we may also believe they will get off to a slow start. So we will back a halftime Draw with Hertha leading at fulltime. We may even believe Brondby will lead at halftime with Hertha coming on strong in the second half to snatch the victory, in which case we would bet on a Brondby / Hertha result at odds of 23.00.
In this way Halftime / Fulltime betting can prove to be profitable, particularly if you possess an intimate knowledge of both a team's tactical approach and psychological tendancies. .
9.11 Outright Winner Odds Explained
At the start of each competition, whether it be a league or a cup tournament, bookmakers offer odds for every team involved to win that competition. These outright odds change throughout the competition as matches are played. As such it's possible to bet on who you think will win the competition right through to its completion.
Below we can see an example of a League Outright Winner market, with odds posted at Ladbrokes for each club heading into the 2016/17 Premier League season.
Possibly the most famous outright odds in the history of football were Leicester City's odds heading into the 2015/2016 season. Most bookmakers were offering odds of around 5001.00 for Leicester City to win the Premier League. As each unlikely victory followed another, towards the end of the season when Leicester were clear at the top of the table you could still bet on them to win the league but at odds of just 1.29. This is the most extreme example of a team's odds shortening as the league season progressed but it makes clear just how dynamic a market outright league or tournament winner odds can be.
Other Popular Outright Bets
Outright betting doesn't begin and end with league or tournament winners. Depending upon the competition format, there are many variations of outright betting to wager on. These include:
- Betting on a team to finish bottom of the table
- Betting on a team to qualify as top of a tournament group
- Betting on a team to qualify for the knockout stage of a tournament
9.12 Relegation Odds Explained
A hot topic of discussion amongst football fans at the start of the season and throughout is who's going to be relegated come the end of the season. This betting market is most commonly used in English Premier League betting, but most bookmakers offer this market throughout all European Leagues and worldwide.
Below we can see an example of a Relegation betting market with odds at bet365 for each club heading into the 2016/17 Premier League season.
Again, as with outright winner betting, the relegation betting market is available all season round. Depending on a team's standing, the odds will drift or shorten throughout the season. While many typically expect the newly promoted clubs to feature prominently in relegation betting, it's not always the case, with many promoted teams doing more than enough to keep their place in the league.
It's also important to note that the relegation process can differ from league to league. For example, in the Premier League the bottom three clubs at the end of the season are relegated to the Championship. However, in the German Bundesliga the bottom two clubs are automatically relegated, while the team finishing third from bottom plays a relegation / promotion playoff against the third place finishing club in Bundesliga 2. Before you place your relegation bets, be sure you understand the league's relegation process..
9.13 Top 4 Finish Odds Explained
The Top 4 Finish betting market is especially popular with English Premier League bettors as the top 4 places offer teams a Champions League place for the following season. As with outright tournament winner and relegation betting, top 4 finish markets are available at the start and throughout the season, with each team's top 4 odds fluctuating depending on a team's standing.
Below we can see an example of a Top 4 Finish betting market with odds listed at Paddy Power for each Premier League club heading into the 2016/17 season:
Teams that consistently finish in the top 4 will have shorter odds than teams who rarely or never finish in the top 4 places. In terms of the Premier League, it can be worth looking at sides who consistently finish 5th, 6th or 7th but who have spent big on players in the summer and who in your opinion stand a good chance of competing for a top 4 finish deep into the season. For example, in the early 2000's Manchester City were consistently finishing mid-table in the Premier League until they were subject of a takeover in 2009. That summer they spent money on excellent players but their odds of finishing top 4 were still longer than the traditional top 4 finishers above them. City went on to finish third.
There are a number of top 4 finish variations. You can also bet on teams to not finish in the top 4. Spotting a traditional top 4 club that is set for a dissapointing season can prove to be quite profitable. For example, Manchester United finished top 4 every Premier League season under Alex Ferguson. However the season following his retirement they finished seventh.
You will also find similar markets across any number of football leagues. You can bet on top 2, top 3, top 6, top10 finish as well as league promotion markets in leagues such as the Championship, Bundesliga 2, La Liga 2, Serie A and Ligue 2 to name just a few.
9.14 League/Tournament Top Goalscorer Odds Explained
An always popular market is the League or Tournament Top Goalscorer. This is simply a matter of betting on the player who you think will finish the league season or tournament as the top goalscorer.
Below is an example of a typical pre-season top goalscorer betting market, in this case, the odds from bet365 for the player to be the top goalscorer in the 2016/17 La Liga season.
As with most outright markets, it is possible to place bets throughout the season, giving you the potential to trade in and out of the market as well as identify value based on upcoming fixtures, injuries, suspensions and tactical tendencies.
9.15 Next Manager Odds Explained
A slightly perverse but always popular football betting markets are the array of markets that come under the heading of manager betting. These markets include betting on the next manager to be sacked in a given league, the next permanent manager to be appointed to a particular club as well as betting on manager of the year awards.
Above is an example of the Next Manager market, in this case, odds from BetVictor for the next fulltime Arsenal manager.
9.16 Player Transfer Odds Explained
A popular specials market, particularly during the off-season are player and club transfer markets. Transfer betting typically involves betting on which club a player will sign with next and can sometimes involve a timeframe, for example, betting on the club a player will play with next following the summer transfer window.
Above is an example of Next Club odds, in this case odds posted by Power Power for Cristiano Ronaldo's next permanent club.
9.17 Club Season Specials
Bookmakers like to be creative and they know that a number of football punters enjoy betting on quirky betting markets particularly if it involves a bet on the club they support. To this end, many bookmakers now offer a deep menu of club specials. These include but are not limited to:
- Table Finish
- To Finish Higher/Lower Than Rival Club
- Club Top Goalscorer
- Total Points Won In A Season
- Total Trophies Won In A Season
9.18 Football Accumulators
Football accumulators are always a popular betting option when it comes to football. Throughout the season, millions of pounds are wagered on football 'accas', with punters attracted by the promise of huge payouts for small stakes.
To learn more about football accumulators, how they are calcualted and how you can improve your chances of generating consistent profits, please read our detailed guide to betting on football accumulators.
9.19 Other Popular Football Betting Markets
We have now covered the most popular football betting markets, but there are any number of markets for you to bet on. The majority of these additional markets are variations on or cominations of the markets discussed above. Popular markets include:
- Exact Goals: Betting on the total number of goals scored in a given match
- Halftime 1X2: Betting on the result of the first half
- Halftime Correct Score: Betting on the exact score at halftime
- Halftime Goals Over Under: Betting over or under total goals at halftime
- Halftime Asian Handicap: Betting on a handicapped halftime result
- Winning Margin: Betting on the margin of victory in a given match
- Team To Score First: Betting on which team will score the first goal
- Win To Nil: Betting on a team to win the match without conceding a goal
- Team To Score: Betting on a team to score at least one goal
- Time Of Goals Scored: Betting on the timing of a goal
- Highest Scoring Half: Betting on which half will see the most goals scored
- Over Under Corners: Betting on over or under a number of corners in a match
10. Placing Football Bets Online
Now that you now how to bet on football games, the next question is obviously, where can you bet on football games?
Fortunately, thanks to the internet, online betting has made placing bets on football games as simple as a few clicks of your mouse.
Which Is The Best Bookmaker For Football?
Selecting the right bookmaker for football betting involves more than simply asking yourself 'Where can I bet on football?' There are many dozens of bookmakers online with many offering welcome bonuses of varying generosity to attract new customers. At bettingexpert we have compiled comprehensive reviews for dozens of the world's most popular bookmakers. If there's a bookmaker you're curious about, it's likely we've reviewed them.
The answer to this question depends entirely on your needs as a football bettor. What may be the best football bookmaker for you may not be suitable for another. Which bookmaker(s) you choose to bet with depends on your preferences, what leagues you want to bet on, which bet types and so on.
When choosing the right bookmaker for you, there are a number of things you need to consider
Trust, Reputation & Media Profile
The first thing to consider when selecting a bookmaker for football betting or for betting on any sport, is the issue of trust. The good news is that the majority of bookmakers are trustworthy. You can deposit funds easily using a range of methods and when it's time to withdraw your winnings, your funds are easily accessible.
But if you're unsure, consult detailed bookmaker reviews and if you're still unsure, do your own research. Read betting forums, ask other bettors on Twitter or consult with users on sites such as Quora. Fortunately the internet age has made it increasingly difficult for scam betting sites to take advantage of unsuspecting punters.
Football Bet Types & Markets Available
It's important that your bookmaker offers a large range of football betting markets on a deep range of leagues and tournaments. Some bookmakers focus on traditional football markets such as 1X2 and Asian Handicaps, limiting their football betting menu to a shallow number of only the most popular leagues. Other bookmakers offer a greater selection of exotics including both club and player specials, with a deep menu of markets focusing not only on the most popular leagues but also more obscure leagues and competitions.
If you're just beginning to bet on football, it's worth choosing a bookmaker with a diverse range of markets and leagues. This will allow you to discover which football bet types and leagues you're approach is best suited to. Once you decide which markets you are more likely to profit from, you can then narrow your folio of bookmakers to those who offer those markets.
In-Play Football Betting & Cash Out
In-Play betting has become increasingly popular over the last decade. Not only does in-play betting provide you with additional markets and bet types to exploit, but it also gives you the flexibility of trading on your pre-match bets, suring up a certain profit when events trend in your favour.
To this end, an increasing number of bookmakers now offer what is commonly referred to as Cash Out. Typically Cash Out allows you to take a profit (or mitigate your losses) based on current odds while a match or event is in-play. If a bookmaker doesn't have a Cash Out feature (most bookmakers now do), you may want to consider another bookmaker, particularly if you are looking to bet and trade on in-play markets.
Football Betting Odds & Bookmaker Commissions
In an earlier time, it was crucial to find bookmakers offering the best odds on football betting markets. This involved selecting bookmakers offering the lowest commissions. While it is still important to bet with bookmakers offering better than average betting odds, unkind commission rates can be mitigated by having accounts with multiple bookmakers. Having accounts with a minimum of three (but preferrably six) bookmakers, will provide you with a greater range of odds, giving you greater flexibility and minimising the amount you will “pay” in commissions.
For example, you may want to bet on Over 2.5 goals for an upcoming match. You have accounts with three bookmakers:
- Bookmaker A is offering 1.90
- Bookmaker B is offering 1.91
- Bookmaker C is offering 1.94
Which are you going to take? It's obvious you will bet with Bookmaker C. However if you were to only have an account with Bookmaker A, you would be forced to take the lesser odds of 1.90.
Welcome Bonus, Football Free Bets & Promotions
Most online bookmakers offer welcome bonuses to attract new customers. Most welcome bonuses involve depositing a certain amount of funds with the bookmaker then matching the deposit with additional bonus funds. The most famous welcome bonus is bet365's 100% welcome bonus where they match your deposit up to a maximum of £200. If you deposit £10, bet365 will boost your total funds to £20. If you deposit £200, bet365 will boost your total funds to £400. Others bonuses involve matching your first bet with a free bet.
While a number of welcome bonuses may appear attractive, it's important to recognise that each bonus comes with some fine print, most often involving meeting certain minimum odds, limited bet types and turnover requirements.
An increasing number of bookmakers also offer regular promotional offers such as free bets, money back offers and price boosts. We will discuss these in more details shortly.
Mobile Betting And Apps
If you're a casual football bettor who likes to have a bet while watching the weekend's football at the pub with your mates, mobile betting should be a priority when considering a football bookmaker most suited to your needs.
Fortunately most bookmakers not only have a smooth mobile betting site but also free betting apps that are available to download. If betting on the go is important to you, then a dependable mobile betting experience is a must.
So now that you know what to consider when selecting a bookmaker for football betting, consult our detailed bookmaker reviews for further details. We've reviewed over 50 of the industry's leading bookmakers with everything you need to know to find the bookmaker best suited to your betting needs.
11. Football Free Bets And Betting Offers
As well as welcome bonuses, most bookmakers now provide football betting offers for both new and existing customers. Free football bets and promotions are a great way of enhancing not only your betting experience but likewise, your account balance. The most popular promotional offers are:
Money Back Specials
Most bookmakers offer money-back specials in one form or another. A money back offer is where a bookmaker will refund your stake (either as cash or as a free bet) should your bet lose. It's important to note the maximum refund on offer.
For example, a bookmaker may be offering odds on Chelsea to win an upcoming Premier League match, with money back up to a maximum of £25. This means that if your bet on Chelsea loses, your bookmaker will refund your stake but only up to £25. If you bet £50 on Chelsea, you will only receive a refund of £25. If on the other hand you had bet £10, you'll receive a full refund of your £10 stake.
Bet Insurance offers you a refund of your stake (either as a free bet or as cash) if a certain requirement of your bet fails. It's most commonly used to enhance the value of football accumulators.
For example, a bookmaker may offer you insurance on football accumulators of five legs or greater, with your stake refunded if your accumulator fails by one fold (i.e four of your five legs were winners).
This is a very popular form of promotional offer where bookmakers offer larger odds on certain markets. For example, Manchester United may be at odds of 2.00 to win an upcoming FA Cup match. To attract customers and increase betting on this match, a bookmaker may offer enhanced odds of 3.00 on United to win the match.
While enhanced odds offers are popular, it's important to note that the maximum stake on such offers is typically quite small, often around a mere £10. Regardless, for the casual football bettor, enhanced odds are tremendous value.
Check out some of our enhanced odds pages here:
Best Bookmakers For Football Free Bets And Offers
While a number of bookmakers offer regular promotional offers, our top bookmakers for football betting offers are:
And for details of all promotional offers currently available, please consult our free bets listing.
12. Football Live Streaming
Many bookmakers now offer football live streaming direct from their websites, with dozens of leagues available and broadcast live. If you're tired of looking for quality free live streams or have paid high online broadcast subscription fees, then bookmaker live streams are well worth your consideration. While the leagues available differ from country to country, most bookmakers offer a wide range of both European and world football.
Please note, gaining access to football live streams can sometimes involve you either having placed a bet on the match in question or having your account funded. The good news is that the minimum requirements for both are usually small.
What Football Leagues Can You Watch Via Live Streams?
Bet365, Ladbrokes and Betfair are the best bookmakers for football live streaming. They offer a combination of both audio only and audio/visual streams each day.
To access bet365's live streams you must have either a funded account or have placed a bet within the last 24 hours. To access Ladbrokes and Betfair live streams all you need is a funded account.
Unfortunately, each of these bookmakers do not offer English football league video streams to UK customers, however audio only streams are available for some matches.
The following football leagues are available via bet365, Ladbrokes and Betfair live streaming for all UK based customers:
|Asian Champions League||Yes|
|Belgium Pro League||Yes|
|Champions League Qualifiers||Yes*||Yes*|
|China Super League||Yes|
|CONCACAF Champions League||Yes|
|Croatia 1. HNL||Yes|
|Denmark Division 1||Yes|
|Ecuador Primera A||Yes||Yes|
|Europa League Qualifiers||Yes*|
|France Ligue 1||Yes|
|France Ligue 2||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Germany Bundesliga 2||Yes|
|Greece Super League||Yes|
|Holland Jupiler League||Yes|
|India Super League||Yes|
|Israel Ligat Ha'Al||Yes|
|Italy Serie A||Yes||Yes|
|Japan J1 League||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Japan J2 League||Yes||Yes|
|Korea K League||Yes|
|Mexico Liga MX||Yes|
|Norway Division 1||Yes|
|Paraguay Professional Division||Yes|
|Peru Primera Division||Yes|
|Portugal Primeira Liga||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Portugal Segunda Liga||Yes|
|Pre Season Club Friendlies||Yes*||Yes*|
|Russia Premier League||Yes|
|Russia Division 1 (FNL)||Yes||Yes|
|Serbia Super Liga||Yes|
|Slovenia Prva Liga||Yes|
|South American Internationals||Yes||Yes*|
|South Korea K-League Classic||Yes|
|Spain La Liga||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Spain La Liga 2||Yes|
|Switzerland Super League||Yes|
|Switzerland Challenge League||Yes|
|Switzerland Schweizer Pokal||Yes|
|Turkey Super Lig||Yes|
|UAE Arabian Gulf League||Yes|
|USA Major League Soccer||Yes||Yes|
|Ukraine Premier League||Yes|
|Venezuela Primera Division||Yes|
* UK customers cannot access live streams for England internationals or matches featuring English clubs.
Other Bookmakers Offering Football Live Streams
There are a number of bookmakers that offer live streaming of football matches around the world. Along with bet365, Ladbrokes and Betfair, we recommend:
To learn more, please read our guide to accessing bookmaker live streams.
13. How To Bet On Football Tips
Looking for winning football bets today, tomorrow and throughout the season? Wondering which are the best football bets this weekend and next? At bettingexpert you'll find free football betting tips from hundreds of experts offering match previews and football predictions across dozens of leagues and tournaments. No matter league you're looking to bet on, bettingexpert tipsters share their football betting advice each week of the season.
bettingexpert Football Betting Tips
If you want to know how to pick winning football bets and which tipsters have posted the best football betting tips for this weekend, bettingexpert tipster stats is here to help. What separates bettingexpert from the other football betting sites is that you can access each user's tipster statistics to see how successful their football predictions have been in previous matches via the user statistics tab.
There are previews of football matches worldwide. And what's best is that each tip at bettingexpert is free. Yes, free football bets, no deposit, no subscription fees, no charge.
If you're looking for the top football tips for today, the best free football tips available on the internet, please visit the bettingexpert football betting tips page.
Best Football Betting Tipsters 2015/16
If you're looking for the best football bets for this weekend's matches and a genuine beat the bookies football tipster, looking at who our best football tipsters of last season are tipping is a good place to start. So who were bettingexpert's top football tipsters last year? Below are our ten most profitable football tipsters of the 2015/16 season. How many will return profits in 2016/17?
To learn how to follow betting tips, please read our guide to following betting tips.
14. How To Bet On Football: Summary
This concludes our How To Bet On Football guide. By this stage you should understand that profitable football betting requires both discipline and a sensible bankroll strategy but most importantly the ability to identify betting value. If you're able to apply each of these consistently while developing an understanding of what factors influence team and individual form, you should see a genuine improvement in your overall football betting returns.
To improve your chances of being a long term profitable football bettor always remember:
- Whichever sport you're betting on, betting odds reflect the probability of a particular outcome. It's no different in football betting e.g a team winning an upcoming match or perhaps winning a league or cup competition.
- Crucial to long term betting success is in finding betting value. A value bet is a bet where you believe the probability of a team winning the match is greater than the probability reflected in the odds offered by a bookmaker.
- Exploit as many football betting markets as you can. Seek out value betting opportunities away from just betting on match results. Use handicaps and alternative markets to exploit betting value.
- Research and develop an understanding of what factors influence both team and individual performance.
- Sign up with at least three bookmakers, each offering both attractive odds, a deep menu of football betting markets as well as regular free bet and promotional offers.
If you keep these five points in mind whenever you are placing a football bet, you should soon see your football betting returns improve and see you earning consistent profits betting on football. Good luck.