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How to bet on football: What to Know Before Placing Your First Bet

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You love football but you aren’t really familiar with betting on it and you’d love to try it out? Before you start placing bets on your own picks and getting behind other football betting tips, let’s get through some of the sports betting basics and learn how to bet on football.

Football is surely one of the most popular sports in the world and with all the thrills it has in store, it’s no wonder it’s one of the popular betting markets too with millions of bettors taking part. With the 2018 World Cup in Russia approaching by the day, football fans around the world are starting to get excited and develop a football betting strategy of their own!

Before you start searching for easy bets to win money, let’s get on the basics you need to know how to bet on football games and have football betting explained in detail.

  • Online bookies provide best football betting odds
  • Hundreds of football markets are available
  • Single football bets hold the most value
  • Accumulator bets give you a chance to win at long odds
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How to bet on football: The Basics

Let’s first get the basics you need to know before placing your first bet out of the way. What are the football odds and how they work, what are the basic bet types, how to develop a strategy and in-depth analyses of your own and more. 

The odds 

Odds are made and offered by bookies to facilitate betting, representing the profit vs. stake ratio according to the actual likelihood of any certain outcome. They are compiled by teams of risk analysts and you’ll be seeing this a lot.

Fractional odds are most commonly used in the United Kingdom and put simply, they’re two numbers split by a slash – allowing you to see how much profit you make (on the left) with a certain stake (on the right). For example, a winning bet at odds of 2/1 you get £2 for a stake of £1.

How to bet on football

English Premier League betting list

There are also decimal odds, which are more used in the rest of Europe. With decimal odds, you can easily calculate your total winnings including stakes. For example, if you bet £1 at odds of 1.5 – your winning bet would bring a total of £1.5.

American or Moneyline odds represent what stake you need to win $100 on favourites (accompanied with minus sign, e.g – 350) or how much you win with a $100 stake on outsiders (accompanied with plus sign, eg. +350).

The types of bets and markets

Now that we have covered odds, let’s get on the basic types of bets related to football betting. There are a couple of most popular ones, but bookies offer a wide range of markets you can bet on once you know how each of them works.

Football betting explained

Football betting markets for Chelsea v Liverpool

The full-time result or three-way betting is the most basic of them all. It means backing a team win and the final outcome of the match after 90 minutes, where you can go for a Home win, Draw, or Away win. Most football betting tips include such predictions and you can understand why.

Second to none other than Full-time result betting in football is Over Under or Totals betting, where you predict the number of goals we’ll see in a certain match. Unlike point spread or totals in NFL, football Over Under bets do not count goals in extra-time.

Over Under betting is also available for numbers of yellow cards, corners, team goals, first-half goals and many more for all major events. This surely makes it one of the most extensive markets you can bet on.

Other simple yet famous markets include Both teams to score – where you predict whether we’ll see both sides get on the scoresheet, Correct score where you predict the final score at great odds, Clean sheets – where you predict if a side can hold their own and not concede on the day, as well as many time-specific markets such as the first event we’ll see in the match, whether we’ll see a goal in the first 15 minutes and more.

Like Over and Under betting, Asian Handicap has become increasingly popular in matches where we have heavy favourites, as you actually get to predict how convincing they will be on the day. You can back the favourites with a disadvantage (for example, -1.5) in the hope they’ll win by a couple of goals or backing the outsiders with an advantage of +2.5, for example,  in the hope they’ll put on a solid challenge and get enhanced odds for the match.

There are also many player-specific markets in the offer and the most important one is Goalscorers market, where you get to predict who will score goals on either end. The in-form attackers will usually be favourites to find the net but you can also go for longshots for one reason or another, as well as goalscorer to score first, in the first 15 minutes and more.

The betting slip – Singles and Accumulators

Just like with the traditional bookies, you get a betting slip for every bet you’re about to make usually on the right-hand side of the website. Two most common ways to place bets are singles and accumulators.

A single is one match you predict an outcome for and back it at certain odds. Accumulators, on the other hand, mean you select multiple events which all have to come through for you to win money. The odds on ACCA bets multiply to get the total winnings, where for example – odds of 8/15, 11/10 and 6/5 combined get you total returns of £70.84 for a stake of £10.

Football betting tips

Football betting slip, singles and accumulators

Some bettors prefer singles while others make weekly ACCAs on the regular, which can feel like a great way to boost your bankroll with an in-depth analysis of multiple events.

General guidelines 

It’s important to have patience when you’re first starting out even if you’ve been a football fan for years, as no one ever wins every bet they make – let alone beginners. You don’t want to get greedy and making multiple bets for a couple of matches immediately either, because it’s more important following through with them and making out the mistakes as you go.

Also, while it might seem all fun and games, you must never bet more than you can afford to lose. Even if the tip seems very obvious and safe, football can often be an unpredictable game and there’s no denying that’s why it’s fun in the first place. However, it can all go awry with a betting slip in a matter of seconds so don’t go placing bets with your winnings before the final whistle.

How to bet on football: Talking Points 

Now that we have football betting explained and the basics covered, let’s get on how to win money on football bets. Here’s what you need to know to make your football betting work for you.

Where you bet

It’s very important you pick a good bookmaker who will give you value when you place your first football bets. You want to stick with prominent bookies who offer top-quality service, a wide range of markets you can bet on (yes, even if you will not use them all at first), and solid sign up bonus offers to start with.

You can go through one of the Bookie Checklists with Bookmaker UK or check out the many reviews available, finding the firms that will best suit you. This means you find out the minimum deposits, methods you can transfer money with, minimum and maximum bets bookies take, odds you can go by for your favourite leagues and events, and more. Feeling safe and secure with your bookie is a top priority for any beginner bettor.

How to find value

Now, let’s get on the value deals when it comes to placing bets. You want to find the best value in the markets rather than gamble your money away with a random bookmaker online. This means going with the matches and teams you are familiar with, browsing the tips more experienced tipsters have to offer, making an in-depth analysis of your own and only then wagering your money.

Analysis of any given match should include team news, current form and recent results, line-ups on the day and dressing room atmosphere, key players and more. You can easily find many detailed instructions on how to base your predictions as well as match previews from bettors who use years of practice and great knowledge making them – so make sure not to ignore these when you just start out.

Get on with it

Betting is never an exact science and learning how to bet on football is not a one-time thing to do. You will need experience and luck to make money and there’s no denying it, so it’s very important to have fun while you’re doing it too. Now that you’ve covered the basics, there’s not much to do but get on with it and join in the wild world of football betting.

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