A beginner’s guide to Football Betting

One of the biggest sports in the world for betting is football. Pay a visit to an online betting site and one of the most visible sports that the bookmaker is pushing is going to be football. That is because of the massive global popularity of the sport.

The appeal of the beautiful game is everywhere from South America to the east coast of Africa, to the big markets of Europe. Because of the popularity of the game, it is why bookmakers focus a lot on delivering as many different types of bets for the sport that they do.

It’s a big competition between bookmakers for customers and that means that they are always striving to bring the best odds to players, as well as offering football betting promotions and topping it all off with features like live in-play betting and live streams.

Betting on football

There is barely ever a break from football. Not on a global platform, there is not. Even when the top European Leagues are on summer break, that doesn’t stop the betting opportunities for punters. Sportsbooks are massive operations and they cover football competitions from all over the world.

Everything from those major money-spinning competitions to the more obscure leagues that the regular punter has probably never even heard of can be discovered in the football section of an online bookmaker. 

The options that exist for betting on football, from competitions to bet types, really is just absolutely staggering. On top of all the club level action, there is, of course, the bigger stages of major tournaments like the Africa Cup of Nations, the European Championships and of course, the FIFA World Cup. 

The nuances of football betting

Because football betting is so popular, there is an abundance of statistics for punters to dig into. From the simplest look at the current standings of a league to looking at head to head records, injury lists, the home form of a team and things like how many goals per game on average a team is scoring, statistics can be very helpful.

They deliver a lot of insight, and while of course, there are no certainties in sport, they can help punters spot trends to try and accentuate their betting with. Betting on football is more than taking just a stab in the dark without any knowledge of how a team is performing. It is making educated calculations.

Some teams go through the season with better away form than home form for example. Teams go through strong spells where they concede very few goals, or adversely when they hit a barren spell in front of goal. With so much football betting, however, it can lead to it getting a bit overwhelming with so many options.

How to approach football betting

There is little use on betting on second-tier action from Peru when you know nothing about the teams involved. Instead, when it comes to football betting, pick a league/competition or two and focus on developing some betting patterns within those.

It’s not spreading yourself too thinly. By focusing on one league only, for example, you will get to know the teams involved, their strengths and trends and that in turn should lead you to make better-informed decisions for smarter betting opportunities. 

The goal isn’t to go and bet on every football game that you see listed in a sportsbook. Again, there are a wealth of them at any given time of day or night. It is about honing your betting eye on those markets and opportunities that work for you.

Live Betting & Live Streams

Such has been the tremendous growth of online betting, that features like live-streaming of soccer matches has become the norm. These are subject to blackouts in certain countries because of broadcasting rights, but it’s not uncommon now to find live streams of games from top league and competitions being shown at online bookmakers.

With the growth of live in-play betting as well, which offers a new range of active wagers once kick-off has happened, it  just builds an even bigger product for customers. The live bets allow customers to enjoy a whole different aspect of dynamic football betting, making calls about what will happen while the game is in motion.

Common Types of Football Bets

Match Outright W/D/W

The most played market in football betting is the straight forward W/D/W (or 1-2-3) market. This is simply where a punter picks the correct outcome of the three available (home win, draw or away win) and places a stake on it happening. It’s simple, straightforward and the most popular form of football betting.


If only ever sticking to the W/D/W market for football betting, that doesn’t limit your opportunities. Picking selections from different games and combining those in a multiple bet is a popular way to play. 

A simple example is building a double where two selections are chosen in one bet. Both selections have to win for the wager to be successful. Because of the increased difficulty over picking just one selection, there are higher odds to be played.

This can be done with Trebles, Lucky 15s and the popular accumulator. Accumulators, where multiple selections are picked in one bet can offer big returns from very small stakes. But with each added leg, comes higher risk. A 7-fold acca is on a whole different planet of difficulty compared to even just a selection with three legs.


This is another popular market for football betting. This focuses on goals. You pick a goal line, say 2.5 goals in a match and decide whether the fixture will end up producing over or under that goal line. The half goal ensures that a result happens with the bet.

Handicaps & Asian Handicaps

Handicaps are a way for punters to take advantage of lines set by a bookmaker which offer value in situations where a physical game looks lopsided. Barcelona v Dinamo Moscow in the UEFA Champions League would see the Spaniards as heavy favourites. But a bookie can create a -1 handicap on Barca for example, meaning that they start the game with a virtual deficit. A punter can choose the level of handicaps placed on a team to either overcome or defend.

Goalscorer markets

Even though they are notoriously difficult markets to play, there is always a lot of action still happening on goalscorer market. This is where a prediction is made about who will be the First Goalscorer, Last Goalscorer or an Anytime Goalscorer in a match. Other varieties include To Score 2 Or more and so on. These markets offer big prices because of such high levels of unpredictability.

Correct Score

Another difficult, but popular football betting market is the Correct Score. This is exactly what the name suggests. Out of a vast list of possibilities, punters can try and correctly predict what the exact final score of a fixture will be. 

Both Teams To Score

Commonly abbreviated to BTTS, this is a simple version of a football proposition bet. Will both teams score in the match, yes or no? Because it’s a 50/50 chance, the odds are never going to be anything special here, but punters can expand to a Match Result & BTTS for example, for longer odds.


These are where the outright winner of a competition or a league is predicted. So it’s nothing to do with individual games, but the overall picture in terms of a competition. For example who will win the World Cup, or who the winner of the Africa Cup Of Nations will be.


Football is a behemoth of a sport when it comes to online betting. Is too much of a good thing ever a bad thing? Well maybe if it clouds judgement. There are so many opportunities to pick from, that building your platform of sound betting practices is the best way forward.

Focus on the leagues and competitions that you are aligned with. Also with the types of bets that you are comfortable with. On top of that, don’t forget about the wealth of stats that can be found, even at bookmakers themselves, to help guide you along.

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