Football, or soccer as Americans call it, ranks as one of the most popular competitive sports in the world and as such, attracts a good deal of betting action from sports enthusiasts from different countries. The reasons for this sport’s immense popularity are easy to understand when one tracks its history.
Football’s origins can be traced back to 12th-century England, when it was enjoying such a great popularity from its very inception that it was even banned during the reign of King Henry II and King Henry IV. As you most likely know, the Brits went on to establish the biggest empire in the world and had colonies on all continents which set up the prerequisite for the global spreading of this sport. The British Empire disintegrated in the 20th century but football had already spread throughout the world like a wildfire, successfully retaining its popularity in the decades to follow.
Nowadays, this global sport is on the list of options of any bookmaker out there and has completely taken over the online sports betting universe. In recent years, an impressive number of sportsbooks have gone online, providing punters with the opportunity to bet on a huge range of markets from the convenience of their surroundings.
Another reason why this sport is a favourite of punters is that it offers an enormous variety of betting options and bet types. What further contributes to the sport’s popularity among bettors is its straightforwardness – the different types of wagers available at online sportsbooks are rather easy to understand even by people who lack experience in sports betting. This makes the sport the perfect alternative for recreational and seasoned punters alike.
Many fans of the sport prefer to take their betting action online since football betting sites offer various advantages to their customers. There are more markets to choose from, including in-play ones. Bettors can benefit from different promotional incentives and are provided with a long list of safe banking options to boost their betting balance with.
Football fans who register at acclaimed virtual sportsbooks are granted access to helpful statistics and live streams of important matches. Add mobile responsiveness and great support to the mix, and you will understand why football betting sites are so successful. The following article is suitable for both long-term punters and betting rookies as it familiarises them with everything they need to know about betting on the world’s most popular team sport at online sportsbooks.
Features of Football Betting Sites
It makes sense an increasing number of football fans are switching from landbased bookmakers to online betting sites as the latter offer them a variety of great features in addition to the higher level of convenience.
User-Friendliness and Market Diversity
To start with, the software football betting sites run on is usually very user-friendly and easy to navigate so one is not necessarily required to be tech-savvy to use it. The websites are available in different languages so that non-English speakers can find their way around with ease. Punters normally have a variety of currencies to choose from when opening their new accounts.
It is no secret to anyone that online sportsbooks offer more competitive odds than their brick-and-mortar cousins, not to mention the choice of betting options is much broader. There are dozens of markets to pick from, with many punters preferring those with fixed odds where they accept a fixed betting price when placing their wagers.
The online betting slips are no different than those you fill in when visiting your local landbased bookmaker. Plenty of leagues are covered, including major ones like the Premier League, Serie A, La Liga, Ligue 1, the Bundesliga, and Eredivisie.
Live Betting and Live Streams
Live betting on matches that are currently in play is growing in popularity and is readily available at the majority of reputable online sportsbooks. This allows players to make bets throughout the course of the game which naturally would increase their chances of making a correct prediction as to the outcome.
Furthermore, online bookies make it possible for you to watch important sports events directly at your desktop computer since many virtual bookmakers would offer live audio or video stream at their websites. Bear in mind that one is usually required to be a registered and depositing member of the football betting website in order to gain access to these streaming features.
Punters can further increase their chances of backing a winning football team by going through the online bookmaker’s statistics section. You can track your favourite teams’ results in previous matches. Other useful information in online bookies statistics sections includes how many matches the team has played, how many of them it has won, and how many have resulted in a draw.
Useful information about the footballers is also included – you can check the number of the footballer’s appearances, assists and goals as well as how many minutes they have spent on the field. All of this renders it easier to make an informed decision prior to placing a bet.
Different Odds Formats
Since football is popular on a global scale, betting sites try to accommodate punters from different countries by offering them a choice between three popular odds formats. Punters who reside in Australia, Canada, and Continental Europe are given the opportunity to use the decimal format where the odds are written like this – 2.50, reflecting how much a winning bet would pay out.
For instance, if a football fan puts £200 on stake at odds of 2.50 and the team they are backing wins, this person would collect a payout of £500. The payout is calculated by multiplying the stake by the odds like so £200 x 2.50 = £500. This odds format is considered more suitable for football mavens who prefer accumulators, also known as parlay betting.
Decimal odds may be the most popular but many football sites would also support fractional odds, which in fact is said to be the oldest format of expressing odds. The odds here are expressed in the form of vulgar fractions like 1/2, 6/4 or 1/3, hence the name “fractional”. This type of odds expression is hugely popular throughout the United Kingdom and Ireland, which is why these are often referred to as UK or British odds.
Less experienced football fans should not be intimidated by these odds as they simply reflect the total payout on winning bets in relation to the staked amount. By means of example, if a punter wins a bet at odds of 4/1 (pronounced “4 to 1” or “4 to 1 against”), this means they would collect a profit of £400 in exchange for a stake of £100. However, these odds can also be reversed and written like 1/4, in which case a winning bet of £100 would yield a profit of £25.
Soccer may not be as popular in the United States as say basketball but it still ranks as the third spectator-favourite sport in the country. Major betting sites strive to accommodate all punters so many of them would also support the so-called American odds format where odds for the underdogs are expressed with negative figures like -150. If the odds offer a payout that is more than even money, they are expressed with a positive figure like so +150. You may encounter them under the name of “moneyline odds” as well. In other words, you need to bet £150 to win £100 at odds of -150 and £100 to win £150 at odds of +150.
Wider Device Compatibility
Improved responsiveness is another feature punters will benefit from at football betting websites. This enables you to place your in-play bets at the right time since you are practically carrying around an entire sportsbook in your pocket. Major sportsbooks would work on all kinds of desktop and mobile devices, including phones and tablets based on Android and iOS.
In many cases, the punters are not even required to install an app on their smartphones since many mobile sportsbooks are accessible from standard browsers and offer roughly the same features on the go. If you have any questions you can easily contact the bookie’s support team via live chat while you are on the move.
Betting on Football – How to Start?
Football enthusiasts who are just about to delve into the world of online sports betting should not feel intimidated since wagering on the web is not that much different than doing it at a landbased bookmaker. Of course, the first thing you need to do would be to find a betting website that offers the most competitive odds for this sport. You can read more about choosing a sportsbook in the article’s last section.
Once you have selected your preferred sportsbook, you need to undergo a brief registration if you wish to back your favourite team with real money. Registering is easy as you only need to enter your personal and banking information and follow the instructions on the screen. Once your account is set up, you head to the sportsbook’s cashier, select a deposit method, enter the desired deposited amount, and confirm the transaction.
When the deposit goes through, you are ready to start betting real money but first, you need to choose one of the many markets available. Choose your market carefully and do not be too quick to back your favourite football team if the odds are against it. Once you have decided on a market with good odds, you simply must click on it to add it to your betting slip.
Then you select the outcome you think the match would result in when betting matched odds. When you enter the amount you want to bet into the respective field of the slip, the software would automatically calculate the amount you can win with the odds for the respective outcome. You can add several bets to your slip if you wish.
It is important to remember that being a football expert is not exactly the same as being a sports betting expert. You may possess plenty of knowledge about the game and the teams but still be incompetent where sports betting is concerned. Keep in mind that becoming a successful punter, be it with football or any other sport, requires a certain level of commitment. You need to invest the necessary time and efforts in gaining sports betting knowledge if you want your football bets to pay off.
Common Types of Football Bets
One of the main reasons why football betting is so appealing is that there are many types of bets to choose from whereas some of the other sports offered by online sportsbooks have a more limited range of betting options. Many punters prefer football not only because they are keen on this exciting sport but also because most of the bets are rather straightforward. However, some wager types are more advanced and it would be a good idea for punters to at least learn how these work. The sections to follow offer a more in-depth look at what the common football bets are all about.
To use an example, imagine you are backing Real Madrid in a match against Liverpool. If Real Madrid wins the game, so do you with your bet. The number of goals the team has defeated Liverpool with is irrelevant in this case. The most popular example of a straight bet is the moneyline, which is also known by the name of matched odds betting.
You might also encounter it under the name of matched odds or 1×2. Novices are recommended to start by betting on the moneyline. They first need to decide on the amount they want to put on stake. If they predict the outcome correctly, they receive their initial bet back along with the winnings. The profits are easy to calculate with bets on the moneyline as one only has to multiply the original amount staked by the odds offered on the respective outcome.
Let’s provide an example to make things even clearer and assume you are betting on a game between Swansea and Southampton at the following matched odds – 3.05 for Portugal, 2.50 for Southampton, and 3.15 for a draw. If you back Swansea with £10 and the team wins, the bookie would credit your account with £30.50 for a net profit of £20.50 (£10 x 3.05). However, if the match results in a draw or Southampton prevails over Swansea, you will end up losing your initial stake.
A balanced market is achieved by assigning odds to both the underdog and the favourite. Many punters prefer to bet on the favourites because such teams have higher chances of prevailing over the underdog. You need to keep in mind, though, that the favourite would reward you with a much smaller payout. It might seem stupid to back the team that is less likely to win, yet many football fans prefer to bet on the underdogs because the odds for them offer far more substantial returns.
Point Spread (Handicap)
The odds for the underdog are expressed as +1.0, for example, and -1.0 for the favourite. The biggest peculiarity here is that goals are deducted from the favourite while the underdog is awarded additional goals, hence the positive and negative values of the odds. This increases punters’ chances of winning when they back the underdog.
Like most football bets, this one is also best explained with an example, so let’s take a look at one that involves a game between Real Madrid and Liverpool, where you are backing the favourite Real Madrid at odds of -1 whereas the underdog Liverpool has odds of +1.
In order for you to win with this bet, Real Madrid need to win by a minimum of two goals since one goal is deducted from their actual result. If the game ends with a score of 2-1 for Real Madrid, the result would practically be regarded as 1:1 because of the handicap. The opposite rules apply when one is betting on the underdog as in this case Liverpool will be awarded a single extra goal.
This one is easy to understand because it involves precisely what its name implies. It makes sense winning with this bet is much harder because predicting the exact score is more difficult.
Naturally, winning wagers of this kind offer higher payouts. For instance, a bet on Real Madrid beating Liverpool with 4 to 2 at odds of 38.00 would yield the substantial returns of £380 with a £10 stake.
Scorecasts are commonly available at football betting sites but it should be noted it is quite difficult to win with them. In order to profit from these bets, the punter needs to predict correctly both the final score of the match and who the first goalscorer will be.
Both predictions are hard to get right which is why scorecasts are generally preferred by recreational punters and avoided by expert bettors who make a living from sports betting. As is usually the case with bets that are difficult to win, the scorecasts can potentially yield massive payouts.
First/Last Goal Scorer
In such cases, the bookmaker would publish odds for all players that are involved in the respective match. These bets offer good value in terms of odds but also involve a good deal of guesswork as there is no particular strategy which can help you. Most punters resort to such bets simply because they are more fun to place. And if one does happen to win, the payouts would be considerable.
Half-Time and Half-Time/Full-Time Result Bets
The half-time bet resembles, for the most part, the standard moneyline wagers in that one is required to predict the outcome at the half time. The options here are multiple since one team can be leading at half time but losing at the end of the game.
It makes sense that guessing the results at both half and full time would be far more difficult which is why some advanced punters prefer to steer clear of these wagers. However, if the team you are backing leads at the start of the game, there is a good chance they will manage to maintain their lead and win both at half and full time. In such cases, these wagers can be very profitable for punters.
In-play betting is one the primary reasons why so many punters are ditching landbased bookies for online sportsbooks. This gives you an opportunity to watch the action unfold on the field and then decide what to bet on.
The very nature of live betting allows for a variety of additional bet types that are otherwise impossible. For instance, there is the option to bet on who you think will be the next player to net a goal. You can even try to predict when the next goal will be scored. In-play betting is a favourite with both inexperienced and seasoned punters since it helps them make better-informed decisions, which consequently leads to more profits.
Also known as parlays, accumulators are quite popular among football enthusiasts. It is more difficult to win with those because you need to guess the outcomes of all selections in order to collect any winnings. However, many football lovers like accumulators because the payouts here are substantial and are calculated by multiplying the odds of the selections involved.
Some major football betting websites offer dedicated bet calculators where you simply need to input the odds of each of your selections and your stake to see your potential overall returns and net profit. Keep in mind, though, that football is not a predictable game and sometimes it is difficult enough to guess the outcome of a single event, let alone the results of several. Despite that, many football fans prefer accumulators because they offer more value.
The term “specials” is predominantly used in the United Kingdom, though. This is a large subclass of bets that are not directly related to the final outcome of football games but have to do with whether or not a specific thing will occur.
Such wagers may be placed on which team will score first, at what time the first goal will be scored, whether a specific player will score during the match, or whether a red or yellow penalty card will be shown. Some bookies would even offer specials on non-game related propositions that have to do with player transfers, for example. Note that specials are generally tough to predict correctly and are mostly preferred by recreational bettors because they are more thrilling.
These are normally published by bookies at the start of the season and are more difficult to win with. These bets remain open at the bookies’ website throughout the respective season.
In order to increase your chances of winning with one such future bet, you need to be very well familiar with all the teams participating in the given competition or league. A good knowledge of each team’s shape would enable you to make more accurate assessments as to who will emerge winner in the end. Note that you are not required to necessarily place your future bet at the competition’s start. It would be best to wait and see the outcomes of the first few games and then choose a team to put your money on.
Tips on How to Find the Best Football Betting Sites
The number of sportsbooks to offer odds at football is constantly on the rise, so less experienced punters might struggle to choose a website to place their bets at. There are several traits a good football betting website must possess, starting with competitive odds. Placing bets at better odds is essential if one wishes to pocket a nice profit. Experienced punters take line shopping very seriously and would often sign up and bet on several websites that offer them the best odds.
The number of markets and betting opportunities is also quite important. A good sportsbook would cover a great number of football events from a variety of leagues and competitions. This makes one’s experience all the more thrilling since there is a broader choice of bets to pick from. Always make sure the sportsbook you are registering with offers in-play markets, which is one of the most important features of football betting sites.
Another thing to consider when choosing where to place your football bets has to do with the promotions and bonuses on offer. A good sportsbook would treat its punters with lucrative offers that would increase the value they extract with their bets. New punters are usually offered generous welcome bonuses or free bets after depositing for the first time but existing customers are not left empty-handed, either. They get to partake in ongoing promotions that boost their winnings on accumulators or offer them a percentage return on their losses. It is of vital importance to go read the promotional terms and conditions, so make sure you do that before you opt in for any football betting bonus. A good football betting site would also support a broader range of currencies and secure banking methods punters can deposit and withdraw with.
The most important thing you need to look for is licensing and transparency. A good online bookmaker is always transparent about their terms and conditions and is regulated by an established regulatory body. Punters from the UK are recommended to look for football betting sites that operate under the licensing of their local UK Gambling Commission (UKGC).