How To Bet On Football Online

Football is the most popular betting sport in the world. Therefore, we prepared you an ultimate guide on how to bet on football online and make it an entertaining process. Learn how to place a bet on football and win eventually.

There are more nations in FIFA than the United Nations because football is truly a global sport. The World Cup is the biggest sporting event in the world and over 200 nations are involved in qualifying and trying to win one of the 32 places at the finals. The English Premier League and Champions League are huge for football betting and matches are watched on television all around the world.

Football is a 12 month sport so there are matches throughout the year. The regular seasons in Europe run from May to August but when there is a tournament the season extends into July. Qualifiers for the following season’s Champions league and Europa League begin in that month so there is no break in how to bet on football and win.

How To Bet On Football and win

Football Scoring System

The scoring system in football is simple in that the team that scores the most goals wins a match. In knockout matches extra time of 30 minutes is played if scores are level after 90 minutes. If scores are still level at the end of extra time a penalty shootout will determine which team proceeds to the next round. Initially five penalties are taken by each team and if they still cannot be split more penalties are taken in sudden death format. If every member of a team has taken a penalty and scores are still level players may take a second penalty but only players on the field of play at the end of extra time can take part in the penalty shootout. The goalkeeper must have been on the pitch at the end of extra time and substitutions are not allowed after the match has ended. Penalties are taken alternatively and a toss determines at which end of the ground they take place.

This is the basic info about football scoring system which is extremely useful if you try to gain the knowledge on how to bet on football online.

League standings in a table are based on points won. Three points are awarded for winning a match, one point if a match is drawn and the losing team does not receive any points. Standings in the case of tied points are determined by goal difference and then goals scored. In tournaments when everything else is equal each team’s disciplinary record is used to separate the two teams and the best behaved will progress to the knockout stages of a tournament. Expanding tournaments so that third placed teams can qualify has led to more examples of points not being enough to separate teams in a group or league table. For example at Euro 2016 there was a long list of ways of separating teams with identical records and fair play could have been used if scoring records were not sufficient.

FIFA Rankings

FIFA maintain world rankings but these are not a good guide for predicting upcoming matches. Their weighting makes the rankings more subjective than they should be if the are to be a true measure of form and ability. During 2016 Belgium were second in the rankings without winning the World Cup or European Championship finals. During Euro 2016 there were many examples of the lower ranked team winning a match or progressing to the next stage of the tournament. Wales were at number 24 before the finals and beat Belgium in the knockout rounds while England lost to Iceland despite being 25 places ahead of them in the FIFA standings.  The rankings can be useful but should not be taken at face value for betting decisions. It is possible to graph a countries’ position over time and doing this will indicate whether the latest ranking is compatible with previous ones and thus if it can be trusted.


Football is a sport that lends itself to statistics because the scoring system involves basic numbers and it is easy to monitor and record related events. Beyond the fundamental objective of scoring goals other events can be recorded quickly. The most popular score in a football match is one goal followed by no goals. Across a wide range of competitions and tournaments the average number of goals is about 2.5. Roughly half of games see both teams score and generally there are more goals in the second half than the first. Roughly a typical match produce about four bookings and there is a sending off on average in one out of six matches. The team who have a greater share of possession will create more chances and score most goals.

There is a relationship between possession and corners and the outcome of matches and the team that passes best will win more matches than lose matches. There are many resources online that record results and the number of key events by team. Statistics can be a valuable tool in making betting decisions but they are not the full story. Motivation, injuries and playing conditions can also determine the outcome of a football match but statistics can help in deciding which outcomes to back. Tipping services that only rely on statistics will rarely produce profits over time as the odds on offer reflect the probability of something happening which statistics express. The key to winning money betting on football is the interpretation of the bare numbers and putting them in the context of all the other price factors. There are many non-quantifiable factors that influence the outcome of a football match.


Main Events

Football matches are played over 90 minutes and extra time of 30 minutes if required. There are 12 basic rules that apply to all forms of the game which are organised into domestic, continental and international competitions as described below:


Every football playing nation has domestic league in which teams play on a home and away basis. Playing at home is an advantage as more home teams than away teams win fixtures. Points are awarded and then the number of points won by each team determines league positions. Standings are based on goal difference and goals scored when teams are level on points. Most nations have a promotion and relegation system. Teams at the bottom of a league move down one level and are replaced by teams at the top of the next league down. Playoffs can also be used to settle some promotion issues and these take place after the regular season.

The most watched and bet on leagues are the main ones in Europe such as the English Premier League, Spanish La Liga, Italian Serie A and Germany Bundesliga. The most famous Cup competition in the world is the English FA Cup the semi-finals and final of which are played at Wembley Stadium where England won the World Cup in 1966. Other European leagues have Cup competitions but none are prestigious as the FA Cup in England which regularly produces giant killings when a team beats opponents from a higher league in the pyramid. The League Cup is a secondary competition in England which only involves league teams.


The EUFA Champions League is the biggest continental competition in the world. It brings together the best teams in Europe who qualify through their league position in the previous season. The Champions League has a qualifying stage, group stage and knockout rounds played on a home and away basis. The final of the Champions League is played on a neutral ground which is usually one of the most prestigious stadiums in Europe. Every Champions League match can be viewed but not on a free-to-view channels but with subscription based broadcasters. Television money means clubs can pay the highest wages and attract the best players in the world. However, being successful in continental tournaments does not translate to nations doing well in the World Cup and European Championship finals.

The Europa League is very much the poor relation of the Champions League in Europe. Teams that finished further down the league and miss out on qualifying for the premier European competition qualify for the Europa League. Teams that finish third of four teams in Champions League groups transfer to the Europa League which carries much less kudos and prize money. The onerous format of the Europa League makes playing in it unattractive to the bigger teams in Europe who prefer to focus on their domestic league and entry into next season’s Champions League. There are similar continental tournaments in South America but the Champions League is the biggest in the world and features the best players.


The biggest and most important international tournament in the game is the soccer World Cup. The finals are played every four years and involve 32 qualifiers from regional qualifying. The teams are split into eight groups of four teams who play each other on a round robin basis. The top two teams from each group progress to the round of the last 16. The tournament then has an elimination format culminating in the World Cup Final which is usually played at the national stadium of the host country. A match to decide third and fourth place is played the day before the final. However, this is the most meaningless and least needed match in the sport because it brings together the two World Cup losing semi-finalists.

The World Cup is a huge football betting event. All matches are shown live on mainstream television and kick-offs are designed to suit the Northern Europe market. It is possible to bet on the winner of the World Cup soon after the final of the previous one. The most popular markets are the outright winner, top scorer and player of the tournament. Odds are updated after each match during the finals and prices fluctuate based on the comparative form of the leading contenders. We can expect plenty of free bets and promotions related to the 2018 World Cup in Russia. Broadcast times have yet to be confirmed but Moscow is two hours ahead of GMT but one hour ahead of CET. The 2022 World Cup is being played in Qatar which has the same time differences.

The football calendar also includes continental international tournaments such the European Championships, Copa America and the Africa Cup of Nations. These tournaments are scheduled so not to clash with the World Cup. They are generally 16 team finals but Euro 2016 featured 24 teams which meant six groups of four teams and an extra round in the knockout stages. Tournaments are suited to a 16 or 32 team format and anything else changes the dynamics. At Euro 2016 two thirds of the matches were required to eliminate one third of the teams. The four best third placed teams qualified for the next round and that led to negative football as draws were enough to get out of the groups so there was less of a premium on wins. There have been suggestions that the World Cup could be extended to 40 teams but that would also affect the dynamics negatively.


The number of markets related to a football match is only limited by the imagination of the odds compilers. It is possible to bet on every facet of the sport when there is a definite quantifiable outcome. Bookmakers will not offer odds on anything ambiguous but there is still plenty of scope for a huge range of football betting markets some of which are described below, the good and the bad.

In the table below we have listed some recommended bookmakers:

Betting OffersDetails
Betway Welcome BonusT&cs apply, 18+

Football In-Play Betting

Most football bets are now placed on mobile devices in the live environment. A younger and new breed of  bettor prefer to trade matches in-running rather than place pre-match bets and let them run to expiry. Football in-play betting has been one of the massive growth areas in the betting industry over the last decade. Before 2000 there were only limited opportunities to place football bets during matches. The advent of the betting exchange Betfair created a demand for in-play betting with traditional bookmakers. In the modern era a massive number of soccer matches are streamed live on bookmaker websites and customers can place live bets on many markets. Just about every aspect of a football match can be bet on up until the final minutes.

A relatively new development is the cash out option which allows bettors to close a bet before expiry and the result is known. Cashing out a bet mirrors laying on an exchange to counter a back bet but at advantageous odds. Exchange bettors can also place a bet at odds bigger than at which the outcome was originally layed. An icon shows whether cash out is available. The bookmaker makes an offer to the customer with a cash out figure which reflects the original odds and stake and current odds. In-play matches are ideally suited to cashing out bets and odds fluctuations determine how much is won or lost in response to a cash out offer.

Summary of Football Betting

Here are some guidelines for betting on football:

How to bet on football online – Summary

  1. All sportsbooks include football in their sports betting product range
  2. Full range of countries, leagues and markets
  3. Cash out option to guarantee a profit
  4. Over 100 markets related to the three way match result
  5. Free football bets designed to attract new customers and keep existing ones

When to bet on football – Summary

  1. Bets can be placed on upcoming fixtures in pre-match markets
  2. In-play betting on man aspects of a football match
  3. Outright winner odds updated after each round of fixtures
  4. Odds now available for the 2018 World Cup
  5. Sportsbooks provide 24/7 football betting

 Where to bet on football – Summary

  1. Licensed betting offices in the United Kingdom
  2. Online betting is legal in Europe but US players are not allowed
  3. Numerous sportsbooks in different languages accepting many currencies
  4. Online gaming legal in Australia and parts of Asia
  5. Football bets taken online, in shops, at stadia and on racetracks

We hope we provided you with the valuable tips on how to bet on football online & shared the information about renowned bookmakers where you can place your bets. Interested to learn more? We hope our rview helped you to understand how to place a bet on football. Read our article about football betting markets.

Leading Teams for Betting

The question of how to bet on football online is often intricated with the selection of the right teams to bet on. Below are the best teams for betting in the major European leagues. These teams often play in the Champions League or Europa League and are amongst the most famous clubs in the world with a huge global following. The teams listed are often covered on live television and television money allows them to develop high-class facilities and be in the market for the best players by paying decent wages. Home matches involving these clubs are well attended and gate receipts form part of the business plan but are not the biggest income stream which is TV money or merchandise.



Manchester United is arguably the biggest football in the world and the team have won more Premier Leagues than any other team in England. Their success in the recent era owes a great deal to the managerial ability of Sir Alex Ferguson. He retired in 2013 and after unsuccessful years under David Moyes and Louis Van Gaal Jose Mourinho was appointed the manager in time for the 2016-17 season.

Liverpool have won the European Cup or Champions League five times which is a record for an English club. They recruited Jurgen Klopp as their new manager part way through the 2015-16 season and he took the side to the final of the Europa League buy they were beaten by Sevilla. Liverpool have not won the title in England since the 1990-91 season but they have the infrastructure to contend again.



Real Madrid are the most successful club in the history of European football having won the European Cup or Champions League 11 times. They have the wealth to pay high wages and the prestige of the club attracts the best players. Ahead of the 2016-17 La Liga season their squad includes Cristiano Ronaldo and Gareth Bale who are two of the best players in the world.

Barcelona represent the area Cataluña area of Spain that would like independence from the rest of the country. Camp Nou is the biggest club ground in Europe with a capacity of about 100,000 most of which are season ticket holders. In Lionel Messi, Neymar and Luiz Suarez they have the best forward line in world football and are regular winners of the Spanish league and are Champions League contenders.



PSG are the major force in French football thanks to huge overseas investment. They have dominated the domestic league over the last few years but have underachieved in the Champions League. PSG have won the championship in France six times in total but four years in succession from the 2012-13 season. Winning the title has become easy and the next stage of the plan is to win the Champions League.

Lyon finished second behind PSG in 2015-16 but 31 points adrift and they never looked like winning the title. Before the investment in PSG the club won seven titles in France from 2001-02 to 2007-08 but have fallen behind their rivals financially. Lyon have never reached the final of the Champions League or Europa League and second place in France looks likely again behind the team from Paris.



Bayern Munich are known as the Hollywood club in Germany due to their wealth and star quality. They regularly provide several players to the German national side and those players made a large contribution when Germany won the World Cup in 2014. Since the start of the 2012-13 season Bayern have won the Bundesliga four times and won the Champions League at the end of that season.

Borussia Dortmund challenged the power of Bayern Munich under Jurgen Klopp who moved to Liverpool during the 2015-16 season. They won the Bundesliga twice at the start of the decade and lost to their German rivals in the final of the Champions League in the 2012-13 season. Despite a dip in league form Dortmund won the German Cup in the 2015-16 season.



Juventus are the biggest club in Italy and have been backed by the family that owns the Fiat car company. The current squad are by far the best in Serie A and they have been champions of Italy in every season from 2011-12 to 2015-16 and are clear favourites to win another title. Despite dominating Italian football Juventus have not been champions of Europe since 1995-96.

Roma were third to Juventus in the Italian championship in the 2015-16 season but were 12 points behind the title winners and never looked like finishing ahead of them in the table. They are a huge city club but have only won three titles in Italy and not since 2001-02. Roma have won Coppa Italia nine times but have not lifted a European trophy since winning their only continental honour, the Fairs Cup in 1960-61.

Price Factors

Odds are a significant factor in placing your bets and learning how to bet on football online. Odds for football matches are compiled on the basis of the following factors:


Over the course of a number of years and many leagues around the world it appears that about half of all professional football matches are won by the home team and a quarter are won by the away team and are drawn. In qualifying for international tournaments the home side have a clear advantage, especially in a hostile environment. Home advantage is real and this can be attributed to having most support or being used to the playing conditions and facilities. However, further analysis reveals that only the top sides win more than half their home matches and middle and lower teams draw as many home games as any other result. A team in the relegation places will lose most matches and draw and win about the same number of matches.

Recent form is more significant than season long form but the result in the previous match does not always lead to the same result in the next match. Results from the Premier League show that the most common number in a run of the same outcome is one. That means after a side win a match a draw or loss is no less likely in the next match which is a significant observation for those betting on football. However, a winning team builds confidence and the squad could be injury free. Patterns emerge but mid-table sides are a bit inconsistent but an average side on a good or bad run can turn it around negatively and positively. Losing teams lacking confidence may miss the fight to avoid defeat. Confidence is a massive part of any sport and particularly one like football which is based on instinct. Automatic actions become stilted and the overall level of performance drops.

Injuries and Suspensions

Injuries are the bane of every football manager and professoinoal player. Absentees because of condition issues can have a big impact. However, some players are more important than others. A striker in form and scoring goals would be a big miss if not available due to an injury. Generally, players in a defensive unit are more important than a lone striker who is more easily replaced. Goalkeepers and central defenders in a solid group are missed more than an individual who plays in attack. When If a team captain misses a match due to injury the team can be leaderless if another senior player does not take responsibility to fill the breach. Some sides have a number of natural leaders but Liverpool were always less effective without Steven Gerrard and John Terry was a legendary captain of Chelsea and neither were strikers. Germany were weakened by injury in their defeat to France in the semi-finals of Euro 2016.

Suspensions due to yellow and red cards can have a significant effect on the outcome of a match. Aaron Ramsey picked up two yellow cards in five matches playing for Wales in Euro 2016 so was suspended for the semi-final against Portugal. His creativity in midfield was missed and Gareth Bale was not as effective. Paul Scholes and Roy Keane were banned from playing for Manchester United in the final of the Champions League in 1999 due to indiscipline and bookings. Famously Paul Gascoigne (‘Gazza’) would not have been able to play for England in the 1990 World Cup final because he was booked for a second time in the tournament during the defeat on penalties against Germany. It must be difficult for players who have been booked early in a tournament or match to play their natural game. When key players are unavailable due to injury or suspension team effectivesness can suffer.

Team Selection

Managers often make team selections that weaken their side with the long term picture in mind but that strategy is fraught with danger. The most successful sides are settled especially in international tournaments. At Euro 96 Terry Venables basically went with the same players for each match and England reached the semi-finals. Conversely Roy Hodgson made six changes from the England eleven that scored in the last minute to beat Wales in Euro 2016. Momentum was lost and England drew 0-0 in the next match against Slovakia. They finished second in the group and were lucky to face Iceland in the last 16. However, the lack of consistency in team selection contributed to the worst performance by the England national team in living memory. It is debatable whether England would have had a better tournament without making the changes but things couldn’t have been much worse.

Arguably the most significant outcome from a team selection was the final of the 1966 World Cup. Ahead of the tournament, Jimmy Greaves was the best striker available for selection. However, he was injured early in the tournament and was replaced by the relatively inexperienced Geoff Hurst. Greaves was fit for the final but the England manager, Alf Ramsey, selected Hurst ahead of him. That player scored three goals to help England beat West Germany and he is still the only player to score a hat-trick in the World Cup final. Team selections can change careers and it is said Greaves never recovered and later in life suffered from a severe alcoholism problem which has been in remission for many years. A decision made by a manager when selecting a team for a specific match changed the course of football history.

Recent Head-To-Head Results

The result of one match does not equate to the same result in the next match. Football bettors tend to put a great deal of weighting on the most recent form. However, the most common run of the same result is one which means a win for any team is more likely to be followed by a draw or loss in the next match than another win. This trend is useful when looking at recent head-to-head results between two teams in a match. The team that won the previous match is in fact less likely to win a fixture than their opponents. If two teams are evenly matched the same result is less likely in successive matches than different results. In a league programme teams meet on a home and away basis so there are only two league fixtures in any one year. Changes in personnel can make recent head-to-head records redundant but when both sides are settled they can be useful in making football betting decisions. However, records from more than five years ago have little value in assessing relative form.

Recent Events

Football matches are played in the context of events of the field and these should be factored in when assessing betting markets. A manager’s job may be under threat during a poor run and he may have lost the confidence and respect of the players. During the 2015-16 Premier league season in England Newcastle United were badly run and managed by Steve McLaren. He was clearly unsuited to the job and was replaced by Rafa Bentiez. Although Newcastle were still relegated there was an improvement in form and results after the departure of McLaren. Clubs under financial pressure or a leading player out of form can demoralise a side and that impacts on their value in the betting. External events should be considered when deciding which team to back to win a football match. Players or managers returning to their former clubs can be motivational factors and affect betting value. When two teams meet with little to play for league positions and recent form are less important price factors and outcomes are more unpredictable.

Derby Games

There is a saying that form goes out of the window in derby matches which bring together local rivals. In the 1970s and 1980s Liverpool had much more success than Manchester United in winning league titles. However, United produced results beyond expectations because these sides are close geographically and have a historical rivalry.  Home advantage can be negated in a derby match as the visiting team may be motivated rather than demoralised by the hostile atmosphere. Intense rivalries are not restricted by location and arguably the biggest rivalry in world football is between Real Madrid and Barcelona who are based in different parts of Spain. In England there are bitter relationships between southern and northern teams which can affect value in the betting markets in matches when they meet.  International teams have traditional rivalries which can motivate one or both sides.

Progressive Betting System

There are many betting systems that can be followed when trying to make profits betting on football and learning how to bet on football online. Bookmakers are happy to accommodate customers who follow systems because most are unproven and will lose money over a sustained period of time. A system may enjoy good results in the short term but these can be due to anomalies in results and not predictable trends that can be applied to future matches. Progressive football betting systems are not exciting and there is no scope for discretional decisions but there are claims that they can make substantial profits though it is debateable if the potential returns are worth the risks.

The Fibonacci football betting system is one such progressive strategy. The system has simple rules and that are to bet on the draw in a football match and if that is a losing match bet on a draw in the next match. The process should be continued until there is a draw and then started again with the original staking. The system identifies an optimum price so only draws with a probability of 2.618 or more should be backed. This minimum draw price translates into progressive betting and increased stakes in this sequence: 1,1,2,3,5,8,13,21. The theory is that draws are more difficult for bookmakers to predict and increasing stakes will cover the previous losses. In time there will be draws and past history suggests at odds higher than the required probability so with infinite funds the system will make money.

The statistic from the English Premier League suggest there is one draw in four matches and these are generally above the probability threshold of 2.618. On average there should be a win every four games which equate to the fourth stake unit in the sequence which is 3. Over 380 games in a Premier League season, this progressive system has the potential for decent profits. However, many matches are played at the same time so all matches cannot be covered for sequential backing of the draw. Fixtures that take place at the same time may produce more draws than the average and this would upset the odds. The biggest flaw is that long runs of fixtures that are not drawn could empty the betting bank before a winning bet. Stakes increase exponentially and huge losses are possible. The theory of progressive betting is sound but the practicalities mean they should be applied with caution.

Football lends itself to tipping services and there are many online that have varying degrees of success. Some services merely interpret past results and identify potential draws. This type of service offers little unique and more than that can be gleaned by statistics. Draws are hard to predict in football because there are so many variables. Progressive betting systems based on backing draws are susceptible to a long run of losers. The stake unit soon builds and betting limits could be reached so that bookmakers will not take the next bet in the sequence so the ongoing losses cannot be offset by one win. Strategies can be devised based on evidence and past results but football is an unpredictable sport and nothing is certain. Tipping services should be proven over a full season as anything less could be a statistical anomaly.

Match Statistics

The following match statistics are available online and can be used when deciding which team to back and if the odds offer betting value:

  • Shots on target
  • Fouls conceded
  • Shots off target
  • Fouls won
  • Possession %
  • Corners won
  • Total passes
  • Accurate passes
  • Yellow cards
  • Red cards

Player Statistics

  • Full name
  • Position
  • Club
  • Age
  • Height
  • Weight
  • Place of birth
  • Nationality
  • Date signed
  • Fee
  • Season
  • League appearances
  • League goals
  • Domestic Cup appearances
  • Domestic Cup goals
  • European appearances
  • European goals
  • Goals per game by type of fixture and total
  • Records from previous

Team Statistics

Details of Club

  • Nickname
  • Stadium
  • Manager
  • Year founded
  • Chairman
  • Address
  • Website


  • Competition
  • Date
  • Home team
  • Away team
  • Odds
  • Score


  • Player in or out
  • Club signed from
  • Club signed for
  • Fee

Club All-Time Records

  • Record attendance
  • Record gate receipts
  • Best league win
  • Worst league win
  • Best Cup win
  • Worst Cup win
  • Most capped player
  • League appearances
  • League goals
  • Goals in one season
  • Transfer fee paid
  • Transfer fee received

Head-To-Head Records

  • Opponent
  • Wins
  • Draws
  • Losses
  • Split by League, Cups and total
  • Historical results showing score, scorers, possession shots and corners

Although statistics are useful in making betting decisions other price factors must be considered. One major flaw with stats is that just because something happened in the past doesn’t mean it will happen again. Bookmakers have access to the same statistics so the key is for the bettor to interpret them more accurately than odds compilers. Football market makers have a built in profit margin which means bettors have to be right more often than not to beat the book.

Useful Websites

Here is a list of some useful websites that provide odds and information for football betting:




How to Bet On Football And Win – Closing Comments

Football betting continues to grow and each successive major international football tournament is bigger for betting than the previous one. Therefore, the question regarding how to bet on football online becomes more prominent for inexperienced bettors. Football is now played over a 12 month season and a day does not pass without a football match to bet on and watch. Free bets are offered by all the major bookmakers to encourage football betting by new customers and maintain the loyalty of existing ones. Football accounts for most bets taken by sportsbooks and betting exchanges. More leagues and markets are offered than for any other sport. Expanding tournaments has increased the number of matches and betting opportunities. New television deals have put a massive cost on live coverage which encourages betting. The industry will consolidate but continue to develop innovative football betting products. The growth in football betting does not look like slowing down. Several major football clubs have business relationship with bookmakers such as shirt advertising, naming rights to stadiums and official partnerships. The extra revenues in the game will see football continue to prosper and that betting will be part of that expansion and business model.

We hope we provided you with comprehensive and useful information on how to bet on football and win. You can read also: Guide on betting markets