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Football Betting Guide: How To Bet On Football For Beginners

As a beginner entering the football betting arena, it can be a little daunting trying to make sense of terminology used by bookmakers and betting websites. If you have never placed a football bet before, it can be very easy to lose your money through confusion over which option to take and what the various markets and odds actually represent. Hopefully, this beginner’s guide on how to bet on football can help you along the right path towards placing your desired wager successfully. Remember, there are no sure-fire football betting strategies that work, but learning the right techniques can help you win more often.

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Explaining the Basics of Football Betting

We start our football betting guide with a look at the basics. Here is a list and an explanation of some of the more commonly used terms in football betting:

  • Stake – This is what we call the bet you place. The value of your stake is the value you lose if your bet loses.
  • Accumulator – A football accumulator is a series of individual bets grouped together. For your accumulator to win, all the selections must be correct and therefore winning picks. For example: If you put 5 Premier League matches in an accumulator, all 5 selections must win for you to win money.
  • Handicap – The handicap markets involves teams on one side of a match that are considered stronger than the other. For example, if Real Madrid were playing Walsall, then you could bet on Real Madrid -2 to get more lucrative odds from the bookmaker. For you to win, Real Madrid would have to win by 3 clear goals.
  • Half Time/Full Time – This option divides the match you are betting on into two distinct parts. For example, just say you are betting on Man Utd vs Man City. You could place a wager predicting that the match would be level at half time and Man Utd the winner come full time. This is another technique to extract better odds from a given match.
  • Banker – When a tipster from one of the many football betting tips sites talks about a “banker”, they mean that the betting option is almost certain to win. Think Barcelona vs Kidderminster Harriers. But beware of experts offering secrets on how to bet on football without losing. There’s no such thing, and while bankers win most of the time, bookmakers usually put extremely short odds on the outcome to deter punters from taking advantage.
  • Over/Under – This refers to a bookmaker market where you can put money on the number of goals scored in a given fixture. For example, you could place a wager on there to be over 2.5 goals in the AC Milan vs Juventus match. To beat the bookmaker, there would have to be 3 or more goals in the contest.
  • Returns: This is the money you get back from the bookmaker from a winning selection. The amount you win back is usually quite easy to calculate. If you place a £10 bet on a 3/1 selection, if it wins you get 3 times your stake back (£30) plus your original stake (£10), giving you total winnings of £40.

major football events you can bet on

Major Football Events You Can Bet On

Bookmakers’ coverage of football is usually extensive and exhaustive. That means you can pretty much find odds for any football match and competition in any region around the world. In fact, some of the best football betting strategies identify generous odds in more obscure leagues. However, the most popular competitions among punters remain Europe’s “big 5” – England’s Premier League, Spain’s Primera División, Italy’s Serie A, Germany’s Bundesliga and France’s Ligue 1. International football is also a favourite among bettors and bookmakers also offer a huge range of odds and markets for all qualifier and main tournament fixtures.

Types of Football Betting Markets

Before you can learn how to bet on football games and win, you should familiarise yourself with the various markets you can play in. Here are some of the most popular markets bettors like to utilise:

  • Outright Result – This is where you predict a straight home win/away win/draw of any given fixture between two teams.
  • Correct Score – This is like the outright market, but here you predict the actual score of a game ie. 1-0, 1-1, 1-2 etc. This is one of the most difficult things to predict and bookmakers usually present odds to reflect that.
  • First Goalscorer – Here you predict the first player to score a goal in a match. For example, Romelu Lukaku to score first vs Tottenham.
  • Anytime Goalscorer – In similar fashion to the market above, you back a certain player to score, but this time if the player scores at any time during the game, your bet wins.
  • Goals – In this market, you will find the over/unders, odds/evens and first half/second half goal options.
  • Asian Handicap – In this section of the bookies, you will see all of the handicap options we discussed earlier including all plus and minus goal lines ie. Man Utd -1, -2, Liverpool +1, +2 etc.

Football Accumulators vs Singles

Seasoned football bettors used both accumulators and singles in their soccer betting strategies. In an accumulator, as we explained earlier, you make multiple selections all of which must be correct for you to win. These bets are the kind of big money winners where your £5 stake could return a few hundred or even a few thousand pounds. Naturally the more selections you put in an accumulator the harder it is for the bet to win. Singles refer to a solitary match selection. The odds for these are always much shorter, but usually, you have a better chance of betting correctly on a single game outcome.

how to bet on football

Value Bets in Football

With a little patience and a few hours researching statistics and form books, you can very often identify odds that are priced generously. Some of the best football betting systems are fuelled by some good old fashioned hard work. Like anything, the more research you put in, the likelier you are to find some great value odds to take advantage of. The internet is a treasure trove of free information on team form, injuries and histories, so diving straight in there is the best way to go.

Football Betting Stats

The majority of bookmakers will have a football statistics section available to help punters make more informed bets. Here you will find things like recent form, home/away record, suspensions, injuries and head-to-head results. You can analyse the various statistics to assist you when trying to decide on where to spend your stake. The stats can help to paint a picture of what is likely to happen in a certain encounter. Football is one of the most unpredictable sports in the world, however, so it’s important to understand that stats only tell part of the story!

Football Betting Strategies

As we have alluded to above, there are no betting strategies for soccer that are a 100% fool-proof way to win money every time. The sport is simply far too unpredictable. However, that doesn’t mean you can’t win money betting on football – far from it. Certain outcomes are priced at long odds for a reason and those selections are best avoided. For example, if Brighton are 20/1 to win away to Chelsea, it’s because it would be a huge shock if they did actually manage to win. The best football betting strategy is a sensible one and remember – don’t get greedy! Only bet what you can afford to lose. Keep it fun and everything should go smoothly.

In-Play football betting strategies

In-Play Football Betting Strategies

In-Play markets are a relatively new addition to the football betting sphere. Betting on an in-play market simply means that you are betting on a match that has already kicked-off. This is a great way to better the odds of an outcome you want to pick. As soon as a match has started, the prices start to shift making the majority of markets slightly more lucrative as each minute passes. If you have time to follow the action closely, you can find a far better value for your money than regular market betting.

Best Football Bookmakers

There are dozens of online bookmakers you can use to place your football bets. Many of them will offer new customers bonuses for signing up. The bonuses might come in the shape of a free bet or the company might match any initial deposit you make to your account. Make sure to read all the terms and conditions before signing up, however, some of them can be more convoluted than others. Also, it’s a good idea to root through a bookmaker’s website before signing up. Some bookies are football specialists and offer dozens of great, fun markets for each fixture, while some bookies will only offer the basics. OddsDigger only uses the most reputable online bookmakers when collecting odds for football matches.

Simon Winter