Football is one of the most popular sports to bet on in the UK, with punters able to place wagers on a massive range of competitions from all over the world.
Betting sites offer odds on a huge number of markets these days so there is always going to be something to catch your eye, while football odds often come with free promotions and offers too.
Here at BettingTop10 we want you to be a winner, so this guide will cover everything you need to know about football betting, from the basics to more advanced tips.
With so many different betting sites offering online bets it can be hard to know where to start, but you can also check out our bookmaker reviews to help you decide which account to open.
Read on for details of types of betting on the glorious game, as well as information about odds, tournaments and tipping, in our BettingTop10 guide to football betting in the UK.
The best place to start when talking about football betting is odds, as these can be confusing for anyone who is brand new to gambling.
Football betting odds can be calculated in two main ways – decimal or fraction – and the latter is the one most commonly used by the UK’s biggest bookmakers, although you can usually choose between them.
In fraction odds, the number on the left is how much you win for your stake, represented by the number on the right.
So, for example, in Premier League betting if a team is priced up at 2/1 it means your winnings are £2 for every £1 you decide to stake and for a 5/2 bet, you win £5 for every £2 that you want to place on that selection.
Decimal odds are used on exchange markets such as Betfair and some people find them an easier way to see how much they could be in line to win.
Odds of 2.00 would be 1/1 when displayed as a fraction, which is typically known as evens.
In other cases, they are easy to work out as they are simply the fraction odds plus one – to represent the stake – so 4/1 as a fraction would be converted into 5.0 in decimal terms.
While there are a lot of conflicting football betting systems out there, the golden rule to keep in mind always, when making selections is to always be thinking about value.
Lots of UK gamblers have their own guidelines that they stick to, for instance never betting on or against their own team to win, but value is really the most important factor to consider.
Betting sites will usually have very similar odds for a bet but it is always worth checking them all out to make sure you are getting the best possible price, therefore maximising your earnings.
Odds can also change very quickly in football betting so once you have picked out a selection you want to go with, find the best price and place the wager before the odds change too much.
Stacking up statistics
Statistics can also be very useful for following trends and finding patterns in a team’s results, so a look at the numbers can often be beneficial when making football betting predictions.
But remember that the beauty of football is that anything can happen and results are sometimes very unpredictable, so there is only so much good that studying the form book will do for bets.
It is for this reason that accumulators are not always the best type of football bets to go for as well, with predicting the result of a few different games something that is very hard to get right.
Instead, it can be a better idea to simply pick out a couple of solid bets rather than chasing a big win by putting 10 bets into an accumulator that only has a very small chance of coming in for you.
Value is always the key to success in gambling, as taking a good price from a betting site, even if you do not necessarily think the outcome will happen, is likely to result in profits in the long term compared to just going with your gut.
Types of bet
The number of different types of football bet seems to be expanding all the time, with new markets being added to betting sites to encourage people to spend more money gambling.
Novelty bets have become more common but are targeted at casual punters and are not usually a good way to make a lot of money out of football betting.
At the most basic level is the match odds market, which is simply betting on one of the teams involved in a game to win, or for it to instead end in a draw.
Goals markets are also extremely popular, with over/under 2.5 goals and both teams to score two of the most common bets now being placed on football betting sites in the UK.
Of course, it is possible to place long-term bets too, rather than just looking at football matches that are taking place over the course of the next few days.
The benefit of this is that by picking out the winner of a competition such as the Premier League or the Champions League, you are likely to get better odds than once the tournament is under way.
Ante-post is a phrase used for bets that are placed at least a day in advance of the event and while the term is more commonly associated with greyhound and horse racing, betting on the winner of a competition before it begins falls into the same bracket.
A popular long-term ante-post bet in the UK is to pick out the winners of different leagues and add them into an accumulator, which can often result in massive odds being offered. A football tipster may well suggest a four or five-team accumulator to be placed.
For instance, selecting the winner of the Premier League, Championship, League One and League Two could result in a four-selection accumulator offering odds more than 100/1, depending on which teams have been picked, but these bets are very hard to get right.
The major downside to ante-post betting is the long wait you have until you can collect your winnings, of course, but on the other hand it can also be a good feeling to know a large amount of money could be coming your way in the future.
Annual football events and tournaments
The number of football tournaments and events it is possible to bet on is massive, with a lot of UK bookmakers offering the chance to gamble on matches at very low levels, while youth team and reserve games can also be used for bets too.
In the UK, the Premier League is one of the most popular competitions to place football bets on due to the high level of exposure the tournament receives throughout the course of the year, with lots of Premier League betting tips up for grabs.
The Champions League is another good option for those who like to watch Europe’s elite do battle and these are among the many events that bookies have odds on that take place every year.
Most leagues throughout the world work on an annual basis too and the way the football calendar is organised means there is almost always a few matches happening somewhere in the world.
Internationally, the World Cup is by far the largest tournament for betting on football but as it only comes around every four years it can be a long wait, unless you want to place ante-post bets.
The European Championship and the Olympic Games are also every four years – they happen in the same year – but the Africa Cup of Nations and Copa America are both every two years.
However, Premier League betting odds will be the primary focus for a lot of punters in the UK and most football tips today focus on this league too.
Winning football betting strategies
There is no guaranteed way to make quick money out of betting on football – if there was then everyone would be doing it and betting sites would be closing due to bankruptcy!
But by taking some time to research potential selections and always ensuring that the best price available with bookies is taken by carrying out careful odds comparisons, it is possible to earn a regular profit through sports gambling.
No football betting strategy is ever going to be completely foolproof and the unpredictability of football means it is always possible that no matter how well-researched a bet is, and how good value a price is, the bet could still lose through no fault of your own, even if it featured among the best football betting tips.
For example, a referee could make a bad decision to give a penalty that has the result of downing your bet, or a team’s star striker could miss an open goal to give his side a win – these things can always happen in football.
It is therefore key to never stake more than you can afford to lose and it is a good idea to keep track of your winnings and losses, perhaps in a simple spreadsheet, so you can easily see where you may have been going wrong.
Some luck is always required to be a winner in football betting but when making your football predictions today, stick with our advice here at BettingTop10 and we can help you to boost the balance of your betting site accounts.