How to bet on football
Skill Level: Intermediate
How to bet on football is exactly what it sounds like, here we will do our very best to explain how to bet on football (or soccer as it's known as in other parts of the world). Many people will think that the only markets around to bet on football are Full-Time Result (often known as Match Winner), Goal-Scorers and Correct Score, however, there are many more markets including Asian Handicaps, Draw No Bet, BTTS, and Scorecast. Some are quite complex so let us explain them. So here at SBAT, we have given you the lowdown on all the betting markets in football and what they mean.
Check out all our free bet offers as well.
How is a Football game won
Explaining football is fairly simple. The aim of the game is to score more goals than your opposition over 90 minutes (2 x 45-minute halves), injury time is also added in the event of stoppages and substitutions. In some cases, certain games normally known as cup/knockout games have an extra 30 minutes (2 x 15-minute halves) at the end of the 90 minutes if the game is still level. If the scores are still level at this point, the game goes into what is known as a Penalty shootout. In a penalty shootout, each team has five opportunities taken in turn to score from the Penalty spot 1 on 1 against the goalkeeper. If the scores are level at the end of 5 penalties, each team continues to take penalties in turn until a winner is established (1 team scores and the other misses). Most markets in Football are only for 90 minutes + stoppage time, very few markets will include extra time and penalties, so make sure you read the terms and conditions if you are unsure about them. The game is played between two teams with 11 players on a rectangular pitch with two goals at either end. To score a goal the ball has to completely cross the line between the two posts and under the crossbar.
Football is a game of two halves, and the aim of the game is to score more goals than the opposition and “win” the game. There are however three possible results in most football games as it's a three-way market, you can have a home win (home teams are the ones playing at their ground), and away win (away teams are teams who don't usually play at this stadium) or a draw. A match is 90 minutes long; then time will be added onto the 90.
In each corner of the pitch there will be a corner flag and a by line, if the defending team hit the ball over their byline, a corner will be appointed to the opposing team. The corner has to be taken from a designated area and designated side depending on what side of the goal the ball leaves play.
Cards are also awarded in matches; this happens when a player does something the referee deems to be against the rules. If a player receives two yellow cards, they will get a red card, and in football markets, this will count as two cards.
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Full time result
This is when you choose either team to win or a draw.
Draw no bet
Draw no bet is exactly as it sounds, you bet on a team to win but with the safety of if it is a draw you get a refund. So if you bet on a home team to win draw no bet and the game finishes 1-1, it would be a refund, but if they win 1-0, then you win.
A double chance is an option for a punter to bet on two outcomes of the game. It gives you the option to back either team to win and draw or for both teams to win the match. This is a very attractive market for punters as it minimises risks on bets.
A correct score bet is exactly what it says; you place your bet on what score you think it'll be at the end of the game. For this bet to win the score has to be exactly as predicted at full time.
Both teams to score
Both teams to score has a yes and no market, if you bet both teams to score yes, then you need both of the teams to score a goal to win. If one or both teams score 0 then you lose, if you bet on both teams to score no, you need one or both teams to score 0 to win.
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Check out our both teams to score predictions here.
Goals over and under is a bet on how many goals you think will be scored, so if you choose over 2.5 goals in the game this effectively means you think 3 or more goals will be scored in the game.
Result and Both Teams To Score
This is a recently added market with most bookmakers; this is a bet where you bet on a team to win a game and for both teams to score yes or no. So bet on a home team to win and both teams to score yes, and if it finishes 2-1 then your bet wins, but 1-1 would be a loss. Both of these events have to happen in this game for it to win as it's effectively a double.
Result/ total goals
A bet on what team you think will win and also the total amount of goals. For example home win and over 2.5 goals, this is again effectively a double and both things have to happen for the bet to win.
Total goals/ both teams to score
A bet on the total goals in the game but with both teams to score yes or no in that match. For example home win and both teams to score yes, for this bet to win both results have to happen as again it is effectively a double.
This is a bet on the first player to score a goal; this means whoever scores first. Most bookies will refund your stake if the player doesn't start or is not on the pitch when the goal is scored, own goals do not count. You can also back this each way to make it anytime scorer.
This is for a player to score at any time during a game, check the rules with most bookmakers, but if the player doesn't start, then the bet is void. Own goals do not count.
This is for a player to be the last player that scores, again if the player is not on the pitch for this it is often voided. Own goals do not count. You can also back this market each way to make it anytime scorer effectively.
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Asian handicaps are one of the most complex forms of football bets, as the name suggests they originate from Asia and are a form of handicap. Asians are slightly different to most handicaps in that they offer a refund if certain events happen. If you back a -1 Asian handicap pre-game and that team then wins 1-0 with most handicaps you would lose, but with an Asian, this would be a refund. The 0 Asian handicap is the same as draw no bet (see draw no bet). The Asian lines also offer -0.5 line which is quite simple for this to win a team will need to win. Asians also offer what is called half lines or hedge lines; often it is written 0.0/-0.5 or similar this means that half your stake is on the 0 line and half is on -0.5.
Goal line bet
Goal line is another Asian market, this one bets on the over under of goals, unlike a normal over under this offers 1,2,3,4,5 and so on markets; this gives you a safety cushion as if you bet on a two goal line and the game finishes with two goals then your bet would be a refund. As with Asians, this also offers half lines, for example, a bookie may offer 2.5/3.0 goal line on a game this would mean half your stake would be on over 2.5 goals and half on over 3.0.
A scorecast is a correct score bet combined with the first goalscorer bet (so technically a double) for this bet to win the final score must be your selection, and the first goal scorer must be the correct selection.
Half time/full time
Most bookmakers now offer half time full-time results, so in this case, you bet on the result at half-time plus the result and full-time. For example being you back a home team to be winning at half-time and at full-time. These bets only win if exactly what you predicted happens.
To win either half
This is a bet on a team to score more goals than the opposition in one of the two halves.
To win both halves
This is a bet on a team to score more goals than the other team in both halves.
To win to nil
This is a bet on whether you think a team will win the game without conceding a goal. This is again, effectively a double as you need the team you backed to win and for them to not concede, both events have to happen for this bet to win.
This is a bet on whether you think the home team or the away team will not concede a goal. For example, you would select home team clean sheet yes and hope they do not concede a goal for you to win.
Half time/full time correct score
A half-time/full-time correct score bet is when you place a bet on the score at half-time and full-time. Again this bet is effectively a double, for it to win both events have to happen exactly as described in the betting slip.
A winning margin bet is when you bet on a team to win by a number of goals, with 2 goals the team needs to win by 2 goals for example 2-0 or 4-2. For this to win it needs to happen exactly as described in the bet slip.
Most bookmakers now offer odds on the number of cards in a game, this is a simple over under market and is just how many cards are shown in a match. A new market now is a team to have a set amount of cards again this is a simple over under market.
Time of first card
A bet on the time of the first card is when you have a time for example 34:00, and you bet on whether there will be a card before that time or after that time. This is a nice simple 2-way market, it either happens or it doesn’t.
A corners bet is betting on how many corners will be in the game, so, for example, you can have, Over 10, Exactly 10, or Under 10.
Total Corners bet
A total corners bet is a bet on how many corners will be in the match whether it's more or less than a number given. For example more or less than 11.
A two-way corner bet is a bet on the total number of corners taken by both teams and will it go over or under a specific number.
First half corners
This is a bet on over or under a set number of corners, the difference here is it has to happen in the first half, for example over 5 or under 5.
Corner match bet
A corner match bet is a bet on what team you think will get the most corners in the match, you can also bet on a tie.
Asian handicap corners
Asian handicap bet is the same as a corner match bet but with the team's handicap included, so team A (minus 2) or team B (plus 2).
Asian total corners
Asian total corners is a bet on the number of corners in a match; this is always a nice simple over/under 2-way market.
Time of first corner
The time of first corner bet is a bet on whether you think there'll be a corner before or after a specific time so that you can bet on a corner before 9:00 or no corner before 9:00.
A bet on a team to have over or under a certain amount of corners.
Corners race is a bet on a race to see which team can reach a certain amount of corners first, you can also bet on neither team to reach the amount.
A bet on the on the total number of first half corners multiplied by the total number of 2nd half corners.
Corners in the first 10 minutes
A bet on whether you think there will be over or under a certain amount of corners in the first 10 minutes. For example over 0.5 or under 0.5.
Exact total goals
A bet on the total number of goals you think will be scored in the match. You have to get this exactly right as you can only bet on one single number, for example, you bet on one goal to be scored.
Teams to score
On this bet you can bet on both teams to score, the home team only, no team or the away team only. For this to win it has to happen exactly as predicted.
Both teams to score yes/no in the 1st half
A bet on whether you think both teams will score yes/no in the first half of the game. These bets have to happen exactly as predicted, so if you bet both teams to score yes then both teams must score.
Both teams to score yes/no in the 2nd half
A bet on whether you think both teams will score yes/no in the 2nd half of the game. These bets have to happen exactly as predicted so if you bet both teams to score yes then both teams must score.
Both teams to score yes/no in the 1st and 2nd half
A bet on whether you think goals will be scored yes/no in both half’s or whether they will be scored in just one or no goals will be scored in either half.
First half goals
First half goals, is when you bet on whether you think there will be over or under a certain amount of goals in the first half.
First team to score
A bet on what team you think will score first, but you can also bet on no goals to be scored.
Second half goals
This bet works the same as first half goals, you bet on on whether you think there will be over or under a certain amount of goals, but in the second half.
Exact second half goals
The same as first half goals, you bet on the number of goals you think will be scored in the second half.
Half with most goals
A bet on what half you think will have the most goals in, you can also bet on a tie.
Home team highest scoring half
This is a bet on what half you think the home team will score the most goals.
Away team highest scoring half
This is a bet on which half you think the away team will score the most goals.
Team total goals
This is a bet on whether you think the home team or away team will score over or under a certain amount of goals.
Home team exact goals
This is a bet on how many goals you think the home team will score in the whole game. This has to be exactly right because this market only allows you to bet on singular numbers.
Away team exact goals
This is a bet on how many goals you think the away team will score in the whole game. This has to be exactly right because this market only allows you to bet on singular numbers.
This is a bet on whether you think the amount of goals at the end of the game will be odd or even. Even numbers are classed as multiples of 2, and 0 is also classed as an odd number.
Home team odd/even
This is a bet on whether you think the home team will score an even or odd amount of goals at the end of the game. Even numbers are classed as multiples of 2, 0 is also classed as an odd number.
Away team odd/even goal
This is a bet on whether you think the away team will score an odd or even amount of goals by the end of the game. Even numbers are classed as multiples of 2, and 0 is also classed as an odd number.
1st half goals odd/even
This is a bet on whether you think the first goals will have an odd or even amount of goals. Even numbers are classed as multiples of 2, and 0 is also classed as an odd number.
Last team to score
This is a bet on what team you think will score last in the game. If there are no goals, this bet will lose. Unless it is only a 2-way market, then it is void.
Half time result
This is a bet on what you think the result will be at half time, either home win, away win or draw.
Half time double chance
This is betting on 2 outcomes of the first half, so in the case of football you can bet on a team to win or draw at half time, or on either team to be winning at half time.
Half time result/ both teams to score
This is a recently added market with most bookmakers; this is a bet where you bet on a team to win at halftime and for both teams to score yes or no in the first half. So bet on a home team to win and both teams to score yes, and if it's 2-1 at halftime, then your bet wins, but 1-1 would be a loss. Both of the events have to happen in this for it to win as it's effectively a double.
Half time result / total goals
This is similar to above but in this case; it is a result and over the scoreline, so say you bet on Man City and over 2.5 goals then if it's 3-0 or better or even 2-1 at halftime then this bet would win. Both of these events have to happen for this bet to win as it's effectively a double.
Half time correct score
This is a bet on what score you think the game will be at half time. This has to be exactly right to win.
2nd half result
A bet on what the result will be in the 2nd half only, so you can bet on the away team, the home team or draw in the the 2nd half only.
To win from behind
This is betting on a team to win the game, but to do it after being a goal or more down to their opponents. This is again a double; the team must win but first off they have to be losing at some point in the game.
To score in both halves
This is a bet on whether you think a team will score a goal in both halves of the game.
As well as all the different betting markets companies like Football Index and Draftkings have popped up, these essentially allow you to make money from the fantasy side of sports like football. Draftkings run daily, weekly and yearly fantasy football competitions, and Football Index allows you to trade football players as stocks. You can check out all our fantasy football tips here.