Football Betting Guide

Link to blog about football betting

Football Betting is Big Business

Football is the most popular sport in the world and, with this immense popularity, come big opportunities for football betting and trading on matches. Betting is a lucrative industry, which offers a variety of excellent opportunities for millions of people, to place bets on football matches every week.

Looking to Try your Hand at Football Betting?

Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered.

Betting on football matches can be both thrilling and profitable, but it can be intimidating for beginners. In this comprehensive guide, we’ll take you through everything you need to know to place your bets.

Understanding Football Betting Odds

Before you place a bet on a football match, it’s crucial to understand football betting odds. It is the odds that tell you the likelihood of an event occurring and what your potential winnings will be. There are three main types of football betting odds – fractional, decimal, and American.

Fractional odds are typically used in the UK (although all bookmakers and betting exchanges offer the option to set the odds format to your preference) and they represent the potential profit you can make compared to your stake. Decimal odds are traditionally used in Europe, Australia, and Canada, and they show the total amount you’ll receive if your bet wins, including your stake. American odds are used in the US and represent how much you’ll need to ‘wager’ to win $100 or how much you will win with a $100 wager.

An Example of Fractional Odds for the Champions League

Simple examples to give you the basics:

Fractional Odds. You place a £10 bet on Team A at ‘3/1’. You win. You receive £30 profit and your stake back of £10 . Total £40.

Decimal Odds. You place a £10 bet on Team A at ‘6.0’. You win. You receive £50 profit and your stake back of £10. Total £60.

American Odds. You place a $100 bet on Team A at ‘+200.00’. You win. You receive $200 profit and your stake back of $100. Total $300

If you are a beginner, then it is probably best to set your odds to Decimal Odds. They are the easiest to understand, especially with shorter odds.

Now some short ‘odds on’ examples – sometimes these are harder to understand.

Fractional Odds. You place a £10 bet on Team A at ‘1/3’. You win. You receive £3.33 profit and your stake back of £10 . Total £13.33. If the bet lost, then you would lose £10.

Here you are winning £1 for every £3 bet.

Decimal Odds. You place a £10 bet on Team A at ‘1.4’. You win. You receive £4 profit and your stake back of £10. Total £14. If the bet lost, then you would lose £10.

American Odds. You place a $100 bet on Team A at ‘-200.00’. You win. You receive $50 profit and your stake back of $100. Total $150.

The minus sign indicates that the team is heavily favoured. The odds are saying ‘in order to win $100, you need to bet $200’.

In this case we used a $100 stake, so our profit is $50 and our total return $150 with our stake.

If the bet lost, then we would lose our $100 stake.

Types of Football Bet

There are several types of football bets you can place and it’s important to understand the differences between them before you start betting. Some of the most common types of football bet include:

football betting chalk board image

1. Match Result: This is the simplest and most popular type of bet on football. You simply bet on which team you think will win, lose or if the game will end in a draw.

2. Over/Under: You bet on whether the total number of goals scored in a match will be over or under a specific number.

2a. The most popular type include ‘half a goal’ so that there has to be a winner. For example ‘Over / Under 2.5 goals’. This takes out the possibility of the ‘no bet’ because there cannot be half a goal in a game of football. In this example, if there are under 2.5 goals the Unders win. If there are over 2.5 goals, then the Overs win. If the market had been ‘Over / Under 2 goals’ for instance, then if the match finished 1-1 or 2-0 or 0-2 – which are common scorelines, then the bet would have to be declared ‘void’ or a ‘no bet’. The ‘half goal’ ensures a winner / loser whatever the scenario.

3. Both Teams to Score: You bet on whether both teams will score at least one goal in a match or not.

4. Correct Score bets involve predicting the exact score of the match. It can be quite tricky to predict the exact score, so the odds for this type of bet are typically higher.

5. Half-Time/Full-Time Bets Half-Time/Full-Time bets involve predicting the result of the match at half-time and full-time. Punters bet on the team they believe will be leading at half-time and full-time.

6. Handicap: A handicap bet involves giving one team a virtual goal advantage or disadvantage. This type of bet can make the match more interesting if there’s a clear favourite team.

7. Accumulators: This is a bet on multiple matches or outcomes, and all must be correct to win.

8. Futures: This is a bet on the outcome of a tournament or season.

Placing Bets at a Bookmaker

You can place bets your bets at a bookmaker either online or in a betting shop.

Online Bet Placement

When you choose an online bookmaker, the bet placement options are pretty much the same. You navigate to your market, choose your selection which will appear in a betting ‘slip’, add your stake, then place your bet.

Here’s an example in an upcoming International football match between Denmark and Northern Ireland:

First navigate to the match you want to bet on.

In this example, I’ve selected Northern Ireland at 10/1.

Note: you will generally have the choice to set your odds to decimal odds or fractional odds. This option is generally found in settings / preferences.

The bet appears in the bet slip on the screen:

Next I choose my stake which will be £5.

Once you enter your stake, you should see information regarding your potential profit / total return (profit + stake back) which in this case is £55.

Then just click ‘Place Bets’ and your bet will be placed and confirmed. You can usually see any bets you have placed in your account area.

Betting Shop Bet Placement

You may choose to place your bet at one of the high street bookmakers. There are many ways to place your bets depending on the type of bet. One of the simplest ways, however, is to grab a plain betting slip (which is basically a blank piece of paper) and write out your bet.

betting shop betting slip

For football bets, you generally just need to fill in the basic information, especially if the match is up soon. For racing bets you need to add a bit more information, like the meeting, the race time and so on. It’s not a bad idea to get the bookie to confirm the odds of your bet, before they give you your receipt.

You can also place your bets online at a spread betting company or a betting exchange. You can read more about these here:

Sports Spread Betting

Betting Exchanges

Factors to Consider when Football Betting

Now that you understand the basics of football betting, it’s time to look at the factors to consider when placing a bet. Here are some essential factors to keep in mind:

  1. Team Form: A team’s recent form is an important consideration when placing a bet. If a team is on a winning streak, it may follow that they will perform well in their next game.
  2. Head-to-Head Record: Some teams perform better against certain opponents over others. It’s important to check the head-to-head record between two teams before placing a bet.
  3. Team News: Injuries, suspensions, and other team news can have a significant impact on the outcome of a match. Make sure to check the team news before placing a bet. A key defender or striker not playing will generally affect the odds / market.
  4. Home Advantage: Most teams tend to perform better when playing at home than away. Therefore, it’s important to consider the home and away form of the teams playing in a match.
  5. Motivation and Momentum: This can really affect a team’s performance. A team fighting for a championship or in a relegation battle may perform better than a team that has nothing to play for.
  6. Tactical Setup: Formation and tactics can influence the outcome of a match. Has the manager opted for an offensive or defensive formation?

Bankroll Management

Bankroll management is a crucial aspect of football betting. It’s important to manage your bankroll or betting fund effectively to avoid losing all your money on a single bet. Here are some tips for effective bankroll management:

1. Avoid Chasing Losses: Don’t try to recoup your losses by placing bigger bets. This can lead to even bigger losses.

2. Bet with Discipline: Don’t let emotions guide your betting decisions. Make sure to bet with discipline and stick to your strategy.

3. Understand the Game: Before you start betting on football, it’s essential to understand the game’s rules and nuances. This knowledge will help you make better betting decisions.

4. Set a Budget: One of the most important aspects of successful football betting is managing your finances. Set a budget for your betting activities and stick to it.

5. Shop for the Best Odds: Different bookmakers offer different odds for the same matches. Shop around to find the best value for your bets

6. Keep Records: Keeping records of your bets is essential for tracking your progress and identifying areas for improvement.

7. Research and Analysis: Researching and analysing team performance, player statistics, and past match results can give you an edge in football betting.


Football betting can be a fun and exciting way to enjoy football matches and potentially make some extra money. By understanding football betting odds, types of football bets, objective and subjective factors and effective bankroll management, you can greatly increase your chances of success. Remember to bet responsibly.

Maybe you’d like some more help and advice? Learn more about the strategy I use. Check out my personal football betting results or join my football trading service.

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