Football is the biggest sport in the world which naturally means that it's also one of the largest sports betting markets. Be it live or online, football betting is a massive part of the sports betting world and that means one thing for you as a punter: choice. Unlike smaller sports that have just a few betting options, football is able to offer a plethora of options designed to suit prospectors of all persuasions.
Whether it's £50 straight-win bets on your favourite team, or £0.10 accumulators on a string of sides across Europe, the football betting market is literally packed full of options. Obviously, this choice is fantastic, but only if you know what you're doing. Stepping into the matrix without knowing what you're looking for or how the system works is a recipe for disaster. The sheer number of options available to the average punter is so vast that it's important to understand the market before you dive into it.
To help get you started on the path to financial freedom, we've put together a full football betting strategy breakdown so that you can ante-up with confidence with next time you're online. From the types of football available to the best ways to beat the system, we've outlined it all in this handy guide.
Types of Football Bet
Before you can run you always need to master the walk and in the football betting world that means understanding the options that are available to you. Before you ante-up and start implementing various wagering strategies, the first thing you need to do is choose the right bet for you.
To assist you in this area of the game, we've outlined some of the common football bets you'll find inside of Betfair's betting portal.
Outright Win Bets
The most common form of football bet in the online arena is the wagers that allow punters to speculate on the outright winner of a match. Pitting two teams against each other, these bets are usually defined using the fractional system in Europe and, in the majority of situations, there will be a favourite and an underdog. For example, the odds setters may believe Arsenal will beat Manchester United and, therefore, price the former at 2/1 and the latter at 4/1.
Using these odds, a customer choosing Arsenal would earn a 2X profit on their stake and anyone wagering money on United would realise a 4X profit. In these situations, the only thing a punter needs to accurately predict when they place a win bet is which team will come out victorious (or whether it will be a draw).
It is possible to take this system one step further by turning it into a scorecast (you predict the winner + the correct score); however, the main premise is always the same: pick the right result.
Football Accumulator Bets
One of the best ways to earn a huge return on your investment without risking a lot is the accumulator bet. These bets require you to stake a certain amount of money on a selection of results. For example, an accumulator bet can consist of the punter picking the winner in a list of five matches, such as:
• Arsenal vs. Manchester United
• Chelsea vs. Tottenham
• Manchester City vs. Liverpool
• West Ham United vs. Reading
• Wigan Athletic vs. Newcastle United
The bookie will offer you certain odds on the outcome of each match and if you get all your picks correct you win the bet. However, if you get one or more of your selections wrong, then your bet is decaled as a loser and the bookie keeps your stake.
The reason these bets offer such lucrative payouts is that the odds of each bet are combined to give one overall chance of your selections being right. Thus, if you choose a string of favourites, the odds of an accumulator bet will be lower than if you chose a host of outsiders. However, as a rule, accumulator bets offer the greatest returns for the smallest stakes.
The Parlay Bet
Similar to accumulators, parlay bets system work on the principle that a punter starts with an original stake and they then take the profits from a win and parlay them across a range of subsequent bets.
For example, starting with a stake of £10, a punter will first place a single win bet and, if this is successful, then they will take their cash and wager it on another match. This process of parlaying profits then continues until the punter decides to stop.
Essentially, the parlay system forces you to bet your stake and profit on the next bet until you either lose or decide to stop. This is great for football betting because it allows you to bet on big favourites and still make a big profit from a relatively small stake.
In-Play Football Bets
In the online arena it's possible to speculate on a football match while it is in progress. Known as in-play betting, these bets are profitable because a bookmaker has less time to research and set their odds. Essentially in-play betting is a reactive form of odds making and because of this gamblers can find a lot of value.
The main thing you need to bear in mind when utilising in-play betting is speed. Being quick to not only spot a change in dynamics but to place your bet in time also is essential, because online bookmakers will be quick to reset the line if they realise they are out of sync.
When you look at certain matches specifically you'll find a string of exotic bets that offer you the ability to ante-up on something specific to that match. For example, this might be a certain player to score first, the first player to get booked or the number of incidents (such as corners, fouls or penalties) committed in a game.
The odds for these outcomes will be based on the teams and the players in the match, so you'll always find something different in the exotic betting market depending on each match and the dynamics involved.
Football Betting Strategy
Now you've got a handle on the main betting options in the football world, it's now time to look at the ways you can utilise these options to make the most money possible. Of course, because everyone is different, the football betting strategy isn't a one size fits all proposition. However, the techniques we've outlined in this article should give you enough of an insight into the necessary techniques needed for success.
So, without further ado, here's a look at some simple football betting strategies that should help you improve your EV in the online arena.
Check the News: To become a successful football bettor you need to keep up-to-date with a team's news. Looking at everything from the latest signings to injuries and suspensions, you should familiarise yourself with everything that's happening at a football club you want to bet on.
Study the Form: All sports teams go through bad patches. Conversely, the same team will also go through positive patches where they can't stop winning. Knowing the form of every team you're looking to bet on is essential if you want to make accurate predictions. For example, if you know that a highly ranked team is currently suffering a bout of bad luck, then you can often bet against them and get better odds than you might normally.
Dynamics: Football players are affected by mood swings just like the rest of society. If a team has been a losing a lot then it's likely the players will lack motivation and, therefore, be more likely to lose. Similarly, if a team has just received some positive news, the players will be more likely to perform well.
Bankroll Management: While it's possible to use advanced techniques to determine the amount you should bet, such as the Kelly Criterion, the basic premise is that you shouldn't wager more than you can afford. Although everyone will have a different amount of money to wager, the percentage of their bankroll at risk should always be the same. As a general rule, you shouldn't stake more than 3%-5% of your overall bankroll on a single wager.
Psychology: The final football betting strategy you need to be aware of is psychology. Betting markets are designed to make you feel as if you don't know what you're doing. However, if you've done your research, clearly defined your bankroll and taken your time to choose the correct wagers, then you should feel confident that you'll make a profit. Similarly, when things are going against you, you shouldn't get despondent. Learning to stay positive when you're losing is a key skill in football betting and one you need to master. Essentially, if you know your overall strategy is correct, then the results should determine how happy or sad you feel.