How To Bet On Football
Football is the most popular betting sport in the world. Therefore, we prepared you an ultimate guide on how to bet on football and make it an entertaining process.
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.
Recommended Football Bookmakers
Unibet is now a massive global betting brand based in Stoke in the north Midlands of England and is involved in online betting. The owners also own Stoke City Football Club and Unibet are the shirt sponsors and funded the building of a modern stadium. Unibet also offer a welcome bonus for all new players consisting of 100% deposit bonus up to £50.
*Significant T&C’s: New customers only. Aged 18 years or older. Located in United Kingdom. Only bets with odds of 2/5 (1.40) or greater will count. Only bets settled within the bonus validity period of 30 days will count. Sportsbook: Bet your bonus 6x. If you received £10 bonus money you need to bet £60 to complete the bonus conditions. Only one bonus per household is permitted. Certain Payment methods are excluded.
The company promote their products on mainstream commercial television in the UK and in the mainstream and specialist gaming Press. These matches are televised and feature domestic teams and British teams in Europe and major football tournaments. The free bet is promoted in the betting Press and Unibet customers are reminded with an email.
Unibet live streams many football betting matches from around the world. During in-play coverage the site records key events and displays a graphic which indicates the position of the ball. After a key event the match is suspended for betting for a few minutes while odds are updated. Customers are offered a Cash Out amount during each match. The offer is based on the original odds, current odds and stake unit. Cash out with traditional bookmakers is a relatively new service. Some operators have taken the concept further by allowing customers to change the teams backed in an accumulator once the bet is active. Betting exchanges have made the industry more competitive and innovative and more product developments are expected.
The Unibet welcome offfer is subject to the following terms and conditions:
- New customers are eligible
- Aged 18 or older
- Located in UK
- Bets with odds of 2/5 (1.40) or higher will count
- Bonus validity period is 30 days
- Turnover requirements: 6x
Ladbrokes was once known as the biggest bookmaker in the world because of the number of betting offices they ran in the United Kingdom. They have fallen behind some online brands and their digital product has suffered by comparison in the past. A potential merger with Coral is being reviewed in light of competition concerns and Ladbrokes may have to agree to offload some betting offices before the deal can be ratified. The company are still one of the biggest online football bookmakers in the industry and are involved in football betting. Ladbrokes have been involved in football sponsorship and their television adverts in the UK feature some well known ex-footballers who now work in the media. Ladbrokes is a familiar brand trusted by football bettors and those who enjoy football betting.
New customers who know how to bet on football can register and claim welcome bonus offer consisting of £50 on bonus once you place your minimum deposit of £5.* The free bet is not sport specific but can be used on football markets at odds of 1/2 or bigger. The offer applies to new Ladbrokes customers.*
*Significant T&Cs apply: 18+. Certain deposit methods excluded. Min €/£5 win or each-way bet excluding Tote or poles = max match €/£50 free bet. Min odds 1/2 (1.5). Bet must be made within 14 days. Free bet valid for 4 days. Free bet stake not returned. free bet cannot be used on certain markets. T&Cs apply.
Football is the first sport on the main menu on the Ladbrokes Home Page. Clicking this option takes readers to various categories of football fixtures such as current matches and future matches. Football betting markets are also divided into today’s football, tomorrow’s football and future football. Matches can be displayed by time and date and competition. Ladbrokes offers odds on about 20 football leagues from around the world. An empty betting slip is displayed on the football page above the various sports betting related promotions. The most popular casino games and slots also have banners and links from the football page.
William Hill has been identified as the most trusted brand in the UK betting industry. The company has licensed betting offices in many towns and cities and a digital arm which uses the recognised branding. Reliability and great promotions are two of the main reasons for new players to open an account but William Hill gets new customers on the strength of its reputation. New customers are eligible for a bet £10 and get a £30 bet promotion*
*Significant T&Cs apply: New online customers only. Min. £10 stake, win only, min. odds 1/2, free bets paid as 3x£10, 30 day expiry, free bet/payment method /player/country restrictions apply.
William Hill also offers enhanced odds for some markets in key football fixtures for customers who enjoy the challenge of betting on football. Bets can be cashed in during a match or after some legs of an accumulator. A goal in a football match for the backed team will move the odds in favour of the customer who made the bet. Cash In My Bet allows customers to take advantage of a favourable move in the odds after a goal has been scored. William Hill also offers best odds guaranteed on greyhounds and horse racing. William Hill has a social media profile on Twitter and Facebook and William Hill In-Play Radio provides exclusive betting updates, previews of important football matches and predictions and punditry. The company have established some partnerships with British football clubs and competitions.
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.
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 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.
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.
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 – Summary
- All sportsbooks include football in their sports betting product range
- Full range of countries, leagues and markets
- Cash out option to guarantee a profit
- Over 100 markets related to the three way match result
- Free football bets designed to attract new customers and keep existing ones
When to bet on football – Summary
- Bets can be placed on upcoming fixtures in pre-match markets
- In-play betting on man aspects of a football match
- Outright winner odds updated after each round of fixtures
- Odds now available for the 2018 World Cup
- Sportsbooks provide 24/7 football betting
Where to bet on football – Summary
- Licensed betting offices in the United Kingdom
- Online betting is legal in Europe but US players are not allowed
- Numerous sportsbooks in different languages accepting many currencies
- Online gaming legal in Australia and parts of Asia
- 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 & shared the information about renowned bookmakers where you can place your bets. Interested to learn more? Read our article about football betting markets.