Betting on football in the UK is absolutely huge. In 2018, the Gross Gambling Yield (GGY) in the UK was £14.5 billion. Of that, £2.5 billion was generated through online bookmakers, predominantly on football and horse racing bets. So it would seem, that as nation, we are quite happy to have the odd flutter on our favorite game.
But how does football betting work? Can you ever really make money betting on football? And who do you know which are the best bets when the odds are low or evenly matched?
Basics Of Football Betting
Football, as a game, has three outcomes. A team can either win, lose or draw in 90 minutes (plus stoppage time). The most basic bet that you can place is on one of those three possibilities. Two teams go head-to-head and you predict which team will win or if there will be a draw.
Odds on offer across all major bookmakers will generally be the same. And the more evenly matched the two teams are, the lower and closer the odds will be. As an example, one of the opening fixtures for the 2019/20 Premier League is between Crystal Palace and Everton. They are so evenly matched, according to the bookies, that they are both 13/8 to win. The draw is marginally more favourable at 9/4.
When teams are not evenly matched the odds are wildly different. On the same day, Liverpool will open their Premier League campaign at home to Norwich. Liverpool is overwhelming the favourite to win the tie and so they are odds ON at 1/8 to win. That means for every £8 that you bet, you would win £1 back if successful. Norwich are 19/1 to win.
If you want to bet on football online, you have to open an account with a bookmaker. From there you deposit your money, click on the sport of your choice and browse through the game options. When you are ready to make a bet you simply click on the odds and a little betting slip opens with the boxes prefilled.
You then type in the amount you want to bet and click confirm. It is that simple. If you win, your winnings go back into your online account. If you lose the bookmaker keeps your wager.
Different Types Of Football Bets
We covered the basics in the paragraph above. But what happens if you want more of a challenge or even better odds? That's when you have look beyond the basic win/lose/draw odds.
On almost every football game available to bet on, there can be up to 50 different markets. Quite a few of them relate to the Over/Under Goals market as well as the Over/Under Corners market. But, that said, the choice is still a little overwhelming.
The ‘Correct Score‘ market is incredibly popular. That is generally because we like to think we know which game will go and predicting the correct score comes with great bragging rights. However, it is also one of the most difficult markets to predict. And the odds really don't reflect that.
A better option is the Over/Under Goals market. This allows you to bet on how many goals you think will be scored, but who scores them is irrelevant. So if you think the end result will be 2-2 then you would bet on ‘Over 3.5 Goals'. Then, as long as more than three goals are scored you win, no matter what the final score is, or who won.
Another popular football betting market is ‘First Goalscorer‘. Again, this is particularly tricky. Sure, we all want our favourite player to score first, but that doesn't mean they will score first.
An alternative market, a better one, in my opinion, is the ‘Anytime Goalscorer‘ market. This is where you bet on a specific player to score at any point in the game. It doesn't matter when or how as long as they put the ball in the back of the net. Then you win.
Both the Over/Under Goals and Anytime Goalscorer markets give you a fighting chance to win, right until the final whistle blows. They at least keep things interesting.
Can Football Betting Make You Rich
This is a more popular question than you would imagine. With any form of gambling, there is always a possibility of it making you rich. But honestly, it is the exception and not the rule. Unless you have a crystal ball and an encyclopedia of football knowledge, making it pay is very difficult.
Of course, there are always those incredible winners who took a massive punt, on something like the Scoop 6, and it paid off. But for everybody else, you have to be content with winning £20 here and there. Anything can happen in football and there are no sure things. So bet wisely, and use it as a tool to have a bit of fun, not as a way to make a living. Because the odds are that unless you are incredibly lucky, you will fail.