How to Bet on Football

In 2013, research was released that claimed up to a trillion dollars a year was wagered on sport across the world, with 70 percent of that coming from football. You can bet on anything from the World Cup final, to games in the Colombian Primera A and everything in between, with the opportunity to stake in-play on matches between the under-21 squads of two teams, the names of which you probably can’t pronounce!

There are a multitude of markets on offer for games as low down the footballing pyramid as the Vanarama National League and, even below that, you can find outrights on individual fixtures and the winners of the various semi-professional divisions.

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Common Bets

In addition to the outright winner bets on matches, punters often like to wager on the exact score, both at half time and full time. You will find a first goalscorer market, as well as one for a player to score at any point during the game and for the last person to hit the back of the net. Bookmakers will often provide score/win doubles, with bettors having to predict the winning team and one of their goalscorers in order to receive their prize.

Asian handicaps are often associated with football betting as they provide a way to level the playing field between two mismatched teams and eliminate a draw as an outcome in the process.

Football games are popular subjects for accumulators, with punters hoping to win big from staking a small amount of cash on the results of games from around the world. This can help liven up a dull mid-table clash on TV on a Sunday afternoon.

Tips and Strategies

Football inspires heightened emotions amongst fans and it is easy to let those feelings cloud your judgement when placing a football bet. However, you need to bet with your brain, not your heart, and if you can’t face betting against your favourite team, pick another fixture. It is also a good idea, especially when betting in-play, to keep a level head if you can, rather than rushing in to a decision.

There are plenty of football statistics from respected companies such as Opta available online for your perusal. These can give a good idea of the bets that might be worth taking, those worth avoiding and those that you should cash out once you are ahead.

There is sometimes good value to be had in the lower leagues, where bookies’ knowledge of players is not quite as far-reaching as in the Premier League. For example, before the 2013-14 season began, many bookmakers had Scunthorpe United’s Sam Winnall at a massive 80/1 to be top goalscorer in League Two. Winnall ended up six goals clear of his nearest competitor for the honour and stung a few sportsbooks for a hefty amount of cash in the process.

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