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Bet on football: the ultimate guide to football betting

While most people that bet on football are casual punters looking to have some fun, there’s a growing number of people who are looking to make consistent profits from the sport. At Betbubbles, one of our biggest goals is to help casual punters make the transition to becoming profitable.

How To Bet On Football

After all, it’s a lot more fun to win.All of our football articles are designed to help punters understand the different betting options, along with tips on how to make the most of them. Consistent wins in sports betting is about slight edges repeated over and over, and proper money management. Profit is in the details.The content below will help newer punters understand the basics of online football betting, and provide a starting point to becoming a profitable punter. When you’re done here, check out some of our advanced football betting strategy articles.

How to Make Money Betting on Football

The two most important aspects to making money on football betting are getting the best prices and money management. While every bet has its positives and negatives, these are the two things that make the biggest impact on profit. We also provide some additional football betting tips before placing your bets online.

Getting the Best Price

There are two ways that sharp punters get the best prices (odds) on their wagers. The first and easiest way to ensure that you’re getting the best price is to have funded accounts at several of the best online betting sites. This gives punters the ability to place their bets at the bookmaker who has the best odds, which can help when looking to make value bets in football. Why take 5/7 at bookmaker X when you can get 5/6 at bookmaker Y? It might not sound like much on a single £20 wager, but when repeated on every bet a punter makes each year, the difference can be thousands or tens of thousands of £’s.

Think of it like bank account interest. Would you rather get 1% on your money, or 10%? If you have credit cards, you’ve probably seen the difference in 6% interest versus 15% interest. The difference adds up fast. This is exactly the same thing.

Most online bookmakers have very simple signup forms, and the most popular deposit options only take a few minutes to process. Is one hour to sign up at 5-6 bookmakers worth thousands of dollars to you? If you’re trying to make a profit in online football betting, it should be.

Predicting Line Movement

The other way that sharps find the best prices is by predicting the line movement. Just because bookmaker Y has the best odds right now doesn’t necessarily mean you should be placing your bet right now. When will the public start betting, and how will they move the odds? When will the sharps start betting, and how will they move the odds? Experienced punters follow these trends and take advantage of them.

Timing is a big issue in line movement. On some types of bets, sharps bet early. In others, they bet late. The volume of casual punters placing bets tends to increase as game-time gets closer. Knowing the trends for the type of bet you’re placing can play an important role in finding value, and the best prices.

Another common way to get the best price is to follow the odds at several bookmakers, then wait for one or two of them to move the line. If you catch these moves quickly, you can often find other books who are slower to change their odds. This can give you a window to the direction a line is about to move in, and gives you the opportunity to get a bet in before the line moves at the other books – locking in a better price. Of course this can take more time & attention than you might have available, but when you have the time to test it, give it a try.

For serious punters who want to try this strategy, there are paid services that give alerts for dozens of bookmakers, letting you know at the exact time when odds are moving at each book.

What Football Leagues Can I Bet On?

As the largest sport in the world, there are dozens of football leagues that can be bet on. Every major football league, plus local leagues from all over the world are available as well. Since football fans are so passionate about the sport, most online bookmakers offer a huge variety of betting options for football – possibly more than any other sport. Just a few of the football leagues that can be bet on include the English Premier League (EPL), La Liga, Brazil Serie A, Italy Serie A, Germany – Bundesliga, Scotland Premier League, and many more.

Essentially, if you’ve heard of the league and your flatmate doesn’t play in it, you can probably bet on it.

Betting on Internationals

Every online bookmaker offers betting on major international football events. Often pitting bitter rivals against each other, internationals generate huge attention from loyal fans rooting for their home country. The selection of bets that are available are as wide as they are for any of the biggest EPL or Spanish La Liga matchups.

A few of the internationals that can be bet on include the World Cup, Women’s World Cup, UEFA Cup, Confederations Cup, Gold Cup, Copa America, friendly matches and many more.

How to Bet on Football Matches

For people new to online football betting, the list of betting options can be overwhelming at first. There are literally dozens of different types of bets that can be made, and little variations of them from book to book. We recommend that new punters stick to the more common types of bets while they’re learning, and only branch out after they understand the basics. It’s important to understand how to find value, calculate vig, and learn proper money management skills before testing the more obscure betting options. Below are brief descriptions of the most popular football betting options.

Full Time Result (1X2) Coupons

Full Time Result coupons, also called 1X2 bets, are wagers where punters can select either team to win, or for the match to end in a draw. No handicap is employed, so odds can vary greatly between the favourite and underdog.

asian handicap

Asian Handicap

Asian handicap football bets are different from Full Time Result bets in a couple of ways. First, the draw is removed from the wager, so punters only select a winning team. Secondly, these bets employ a handicap to make matches more competitive – and more exciting for punters. If the match ends in a draw after the handicap has been taken into account, the wager is pushed (returned to the punter). Since a handicap is being used, odds on either side are typically much closer than 1X2 bets. This makes it more attractive for betting on favourites.

how to bet over under

Match Totals (Over/Under) Bets

In a standard Totals bet, punters choose whether the combined score of both teams in a match will total over or under 2.5 goals. If you expect the teams to combine for two or fewer goals, you’d select the under. If you expect them to score three or more goals, you’d select the over.

Alternative totals are also offered at a lot of online bookmakers. For example, you could select the over or under on 1, 1.5, 2, 3, 3.5 or even higher totals.

football score

Betting on Football Scores

There are several different ways to bet on the score of football matches. The most common way to bet is on the total score, selecting over or under 2.5 total goals. For punters looking for more value, other options are available as well. Here are the most common ways to bet on football scores.

Total Goals Scored

Total bets are also commonly referred to as over/under bets. At most online bookmakers, the standard total is 2.5 goals. All a punter needs to do is decide if the teams will combine to score 3 or more goals (for the ‘over’), or two or fewer goals (for the ‘under’). Odds for total goals scored tend to range from 1.50 to 2.60, but occasionally they can be even wider.

Over/under coupons are popular for a few reasons. First, they are simple bets to make. Also, they can offer better odds than other types of football bets, and can potentially be more profitable. Another reason they’re popular is because it’s often easier to predict if a match will be high or low scoring than predicting which team will win.

Alternative Totals

Some online football betting sites also offer alternative totals that can be bet on. For example, instead of betting the over/under on 2.5 goals, punters can bet on totals of 1.5, 2, 3, 3.5 or more. Of course the odds vary for each total, but sharp punters can often find extra value in alternative totals.

Asian Handicap Split Totals

Instead of a regular total bet, Asian handicap totals allow punters to split their wager 50/50 on two totals. An example might look like this: (2, 2.5) or (2.5, 3).

In this type of Asian Handicap football bet, the punter still picks the over or under side of the bet. Then, their money is split on each of these totals. As an example, let’s assume the total is (2, 2.5), and you’ve bet the under. If the final total of the game is 1, both bets are lost. If the total score is 2, one bet is pushed (2), and one is lost (2.5). If the total score is 3+, both bets win.

For another example, let’s assume a total of (2.5, 3) and you bet the over. If the final total is 2, you lose both bets. If the total is 3, you win one bet (2.5), and push the other (3). If they score 4 or more, you win both bets.

These are more creative ways to bet on the over/under in a game, and can be more conservative or more risky depending on how you bet.

Half Time/Full Time Coupons

Half time/full time coupons are wagers on the result after the first half has ended, and the result at the end of normal time. These coupons are generally offered in two forms.

The first way to bet on half time/full time coupons is to pick which team will be leading after the first half (or if it will be a draw), and then the same at the end of normal time. So, no actual scores are involved in this bet. For example, if it was a game between Chelsea and Arsenal, you could select between 9 possible outcomes. They would be:


Full Time/Half Time Correct Score

The other way to bet on half time/full time coupons is by picking the correct score after the first half, and at the end of normal time. Of course these are much more difficult bets to win, but the odds are much greater as well. For serious punters working with a bankroll, we recommend keeping these bets to a maximum of .5 – 1% of your total bankroll. It’s fun to go after big wins on bets like these, but they can also drain a bankroll very quickly.

Correct Score

Correct score bets are exactly as they sound. They are wagers based on the punter picking the exact score of a match at the end of the game. If a punter thinks team A will beat team B by a score of 2-1, they can select that exact score to bet on. Punters can also bet on draw scores, like 1-1, 2-2, 3-3 and so on.

Of course these are more difficult bets to win than over/under bets, but the odds are much greater as well. In fact, the odds are generally good enough that multiple scores can be selected while still turning a profit. Although the odds might allow this, this isn’t a recommended way to bet on the correct score. Since only one correct score can win per game, punters are guaranteed to lose on all except one bet they place. If you like making these types of bets, we recommend that you keep these limited to a single score per game, and find other games to bet on instead.

Half Time Correct Score

These bets are exactly the same as full time correct score bets, except they are based solely on the first half. These are popular bets because they offer more instant gratification for punters. The problem with half time correct score coupons is that they can be more unreliable than full time scores. It’s the same idea as a large sample size versus a small sample size. When two teams play for 1000 minutes, the results should be more predictable. However, if you take any random twenty-minute portion of those 1000 minutes, anything might’ve happened.

While I tend to stay away from half time correct scores, when I do place these bets, they’re usually when I’m getting good odds on an underdog who is strong on defense. In cases like this, I might take the underdog to be leading 1-0 after the first half – hoping their defense can hold off the favoured offense for the first half of the match. I can usually get better odds this way, with a realistic chance at a win.

Goal Brackets

Goal brackets are simple bets where the punter needs to choose from groups of total scores in a game. They are usually 0-1 goals, 2-3 goals, or 4+ goals. In certain cases when a game is expected to be high scoring there might be some fluctuation to this, but the vast majority of games have this bracket setup.

Since there are three betting options for goal brackets, they are typically harder to predict than regular over/under bets. However, the odds are better as well.

Goal Scorers

Another interesting way to bet on football scores is to bet on who will do the scoring – and when. Punters can select between almost any player in a match, and then choose them to be the first to score in the game, last to score in the game, or to score at any time during a game.

Of course it’s much more difficult to predict if a certain player will be first or last to score during a game than it is to predict if they will score at all, so the odds are much greater for these coupons.

For ‘anytime’ goal scorers, odds generally start as low as 1.70 for top goal scorers, but they can be even shorter.

To consistently win these bets, punters must be very aware of both teams and how they play. It’s not enough to assume that a great scorer will score a goal simply because they are top scorers. Punters also need to be aware of opposing defenders skill levels and how they match up against each other. Will that player get his chances, or will he be played more effectively than he usually does? What type of defense will the opposing team be playing, and how will it affect that player? Odds on these types of bets can be relatively low for ‘anytime’ coupons, so betting without deeper regard to strategy is a losing proposition.

It’s also very important to know who the penalty takers are and which order they’re likely to go in. You’ll feel very smart if you win this bet because you’ve done your research on this. You’ll also feel very stupid if you lose the bet because you didn’t.

There are other variations of goal scorer bets as well, depending on the bookmaker. However, most of the other variations are very difficult to predict, and therefore poor choices for serious punters.

Other markets available

Once you understand the basics of pre-match betting, you can transfer these skills to live football betting. The types of bets and their operation are exactly the same; they simply apply to games that have already started.

Apart from conventional options, other markets are also available. Bettors may place bets on the number of corners awarded during a match; bets on the cards, they depend on the total number of cards distributed to both teams.

Learn more about betting on football corners.

Outside the match-specific markets, players may enter different long-term bets: for example, who will win the competition, who will score the most goals in the championship, which team will be relegated and how many points will win one given team over a whole season.

football betting tips

Football Betting Tips

Unlike other forms of gambling, where the house has a built-in advantage, football betting online actually gives punters a chance to win long-term profits. That is because punters can use skill and research to consistently make winning football bets, and the outcome is not merely random chance. However, the house does take juice (or vigorish) from losing bets as a fee, and this amount is normally 10% of the total wager.

For example, if you bet £11 on a football team and lost, £10 of your bet would go to paying winners, and the other £1 would be kept by the online sportsbook as juice. This being said, you need to take juice into account when considering your long-term chances of winning at football betting.

Types of Football Betting

The football betting strategy you use will often depend on what type of football betting you are dealing with. After all, your strategy for over/under lines, which involve the total score of a competition, will be different than the straight-up wagers seen with the money line. Now this is not to say that you cannot use general football betting strategy for all styles of wagering, but it helps to use specialized tips for each form of betting. The basic types of football betting are money line, over/under, and proposition betting.

Football Betting Tips for the Over/Under

When wagering on the football over/under bet, it is especially important to look at the weather forecast for a game. After all, football teams have a much tougher time scoring in rainy/bad weather, so picking the under is a good option when bad weather is predicted (assuming the line is not unusually low already). In addition to this, it is also important to look up recent matches between the two teams that are playing, and try to come up with a solid combined score. Assuming there has been a key player addition to one team – in particular a great striker – you should also take this into account when deciding the final score. Their travel times if playing away from home, altitude, and even the ball can play a role here, as seen in the World Cup 2010 where many players/goalies complaint about the ball, causing for lower goalie performance, and even low stricker performances too.

Football Betting Tips for Money Lines

With money line football betting, you are trying to package a team’s chances of winning and the featured odds into a strong bet. Before we expand further on this concept, take a look at the following money line:

England 1.75
France 2.30
Draw 2.05

If you wagered on England with this bet, you would win £0.75 in profit for every £1 bet. But assuming you found an online sportsbook that gave England 1.90 odds, you would earn £0.15 extra per £1 wagered on a winning bet. Looking for the best football money line odds is one of the things you should focus on the most with this style of betting.

Football Betting Tips for Proposition Bets

Football proposition and parlay bets are wagers offered on alternative outcomes in a football match, such as ‘who will score the first goal?’, or ‘how long will it take for the first goal to be scored?’. Prop bets are normally only offered on the bigger football games, so punters tend to view them as more of a fun bet, and put little research into making these wagers. However, you can make a much more informed decision simply by putting a little time into the matter and studying individual aspects of your bet. For example, if you want to bet on who will score the first goal, you should look at statistics from both teams’ top scorers, and try to figure out who tends to score the quickest.

Basic Football Betting Tips

As mentioned before, there are some basic tips that you can apply to all forms of football betting. One of the best basic tips is to look for weak lines in various matches. Sure bookmakers are professionals who try to predict football matches as accurately as possible; however, they are also prone to human error, which many skilled punters are able to capitalize on. You can usually find a lot of weak football betting lines towards the beginning of the season, when bookmakers do not have as many statistics to go off of while creating lines. Furthermore, many of the teams are not totally in sync at this point, so they will have bad days on the field.

Beyond this, it is really important to extensively study statistics throughout the season whenever you are planning on making a bet. Sure the stats can only give you averages on how teams/players are performing, but these averages go a long way towards making informed football bets over the long-term. Above all, just realize that even the best punters are dealing with small edges, so there will be plenty of highs and lows with football betting; and as long as you are willing to hang in there through the low points, you have a good shot at improving as a punter for football betting.


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