Football Betting Guide

Football is a great sport for bettors, with top leagues all over the world as well as international tournaments like the World Cup, European Championships and Copa America on which to bet. It is the biggest betting sport in the world, so top bookmakers such as the ones in the table below offer a huge range of markets with very competitive odds – making football even more fun, exciting and potentially profitable when placing your wagers.

Popular Football Betting Markets

Here we look at the five most commonly bet-upon football markets, all of which are ideally suited to novices and pros alike. Their simplicity is part of what makes them so popular and so they are a great place for beginners to start, whilst experts will keep coming back due to the bookies’ low margins on these markets.

  • 90 minute market – also known as match betting, 1x2 and a variety of other names, this is by far the most popular football bet there is. In any given match you are backing which side will win or whether it will be a draw. All football bets include 90 minutes plus stoppage time but not extra-time or penalties, unless otherwise stated.
  • Correct score – very simply, what the score will be at the end of the match. This is a great bet as the odds are often long and depending what you back there is a big chance your entertainment will last most (if not all) of the match.
  • First goalscorer – another simple one: which player will score first? You can also back the last goalscorer of a game, or even (at much lower odds) a player to score at any point during the match. Note that own goals do not count in this market.
  • Both teams to score – will both teams score in the match? A simple yes or no bet that is increasing in popularity because it almost always keeps the excitement going till the final kick.
  • Under/over 2.5 goals – over 2.5 goals is a bet on three goals or more, whilst under is two or less. You can also bet on different totals but 2.5 is the most popular.

Major Tournaments

There is football to bet on somewhere around the world for pretty much 12 months of the year and here we look at some of the most exciting and best tournaments and competitions for football betting.

  • Premier League – England’s top league is the most exciting in the world and with top class action from August to May and hundreds of matches on which to bet.
  • La Liga – England’s top tier may be the most exciting but with Barcelona and Real Madrid Spain’s provides the highest quality football. It’s also a thrilling league and gets decent television coverage in the UK.
  • Bundesliga – The domestic league in Germany is another great betting opportunity and provided both Champions League finalists in 2013, indicating the quality of the football.
  • FA Cup – The oldest domestic football competition in the world is famed for its giant-killings, with lower league and even amateur teams pitted against the big boys.
  • Champions League – The most prestigious club football tournament in the world sees the top teams from Europe’s best footballing nations go head to head.
  • World Cup – It may only come along once every four years but the World Cup is the pinnacle of the game, with the best international sides battling for their place in history.
  • European Championships – Like the World Cup, this is only played every four years and sees Europe’s finest teams do battle. With fewer weak teams permitted to enter some argue the standard is even higher than at the World Cup.
  • Copa America – The South American championship for international sides is a tremendous spectacle featuring the likes of Brazil, Argentina and Uruguay.