Exclude from MSN

A beginner’s guide to betting on football


Football is the most watched and most played sport in the world. Inevitably, this means that it’s the most popular sport to bet on too. But, don’t be tricked into thinking you’re a football betting expert just because you’re a football expert. Using some of the new bookmakers 2022 in UK and our tips below, here’s how to get started with football betting.

Understanding the basics of betting

First and foremost, we need to know how betting companies operate. The basis of betting is that odds are attributed to an event happening. If it’s evens (odds of 2.00 in decimal; 1/1 in fractions; -100 in American moneyline), then we know the bookies expect the likelihood of this outcome happening is around 50%.

In truth, they believe the likelihood of this outcome happening to be a little under 50%, which is where they get their profit from in the long run. This means we’re getting slightly worse expected value when betting, so, we should take up bets that we perceive as being good value.

If something is 5/1 but you believe it has a 25% chance of happening, then this is good value. Just because you’re likely to lose the bet (supposedly a 75% chance), it doesn’t make it a bad bet. Because if you do enough of these in the long run, your good expected value will begin to yield some good returns.

There are more things to bet on than just the outright winner of a match of the competition. For the champions league, we can bet on who the top scorer will be, or which nationality the winner will be from. For individual games, there are many types of bets, such as under/over (i.e. will the game have under or over 3.5 goals).

You can multiply bets to each other in the form of an accumulator, but each bet must be for a different event. If you want an accumulator within the same event, you will need to find a bookmaker that offers bet builders.

Finally, a lot of betting comes down to your money management. Don’t bet 25% of your account balance on a 100/1 accumulator, as you won’t last long. Equally, you should set weekly deposit limits too and read up on bankroll management.

Research for football betting

Many football fans get into betting because they know a lot about football. But, don’t let this confidence fool you, it’s unwise to make bets without performing some basic research. First and foremost, form is important. Stats like “Aston Villa and Bournemouth have drawn their last 5 games” when the data stretches back 3 years – they’re different teams now with different managers. Look at recent form, stylistic matchups, injury news, packed schedules, and so on.

And then there are tipsters… Tipsters are often selling courses claiming they’re successful, rather than being quietly successful; this should tell you something. However, that isn’t to say we need to disregard them. Tipsters can be great for getting ideas from. As long as you do your own research and never follow them blindly, they can be a great source of information and ideas about upcoming matches.

Choosing the right bookmaker

Finally, football betting needs to be done on the right platform. Unfortunately, there is no single best platform, but we can help you make the right decision. Firstly, all of the unlicensed betting sites need to be ruled out – just stick to the ones that are credible. Secondly, some sites will focus on football betting more than others. So, some will put effort into having great football betting markets (i.e. lower divisions and foreign leagues), more betting types (i.e. more outcomes to bet on), and better odds. If a site seems to really focus on horse racing, be suspicious about if it does the same with football.

Promotions cannot be forgotten either. Sign up offers are a good way to split hairs when you’re unsure how to decide on one. Try and read the T&Cs before signing up, because you may find that one has really high wagering requirements whilst the other does not. Of course, you can sign up to more than one site too in order to benefit from a multitude of sign-up offers, but this shouldn’t be where the promotions end. Keep an eye out for sites that use loyalty schemes and ongoing promotional offers, as these can be more powerful over time than a single generous sign-up offer. For example, frequent £5 free bets can be really useful in experimenting with new football betting strategies without any risk.

Final Word

It’s great if you’re already a football lover, but we should treat football betting as if we know nothing about the sport when putting money on the line. Take nothing for granted, don’t make assumptions, and try starting from scratch to some extent when researching what bets to make. The most important thing is to use a good, safe broker, and apply a safe betting strategy that is conscious of bankroll management. From here, it’s all about making informed picks that appear good value with some data to back you up.

Photo by Unsplash

Share this article