Football Betting Markets & Bets

Betting on football is big business and with so many bookies competing against one another there has never been a better time to bet on the best sport in the world. Top online bookies now offer well over 100 different markets as standard on Premier League games and other matches from top leagues, with big, televised clashes sometimes having twice that many options. With various outright bets, specials and new bets being created all the time there are almost limitless options when it comes to deciding what to bet on.

Here we take a look at some of the most popular football bets around, as well as some of the newer, less traditional options that innovative bookies have created to give the punters even more choice and even greater football betting variety.

Standard Football Bets

  • Match Odds – The most popular bet of them all, also referred to as 1X2, 90 minute betting or simply “Result”, this is a straightforward bet on which team will win or if it will be a draw. Note that as with almost all bets at all bookmakers, unless specifically stated this bet applies to 90 minutes plus injury time but not extra time or penalties.
  • First Goalscorer – A bet on which player will score the first goal of the game.
  • Last and Anytime Goalscorer – Similar to the above but a bet on who will score the last goal of the game or a wager on a player to score at any point during the match. Own goals do not count for any of the three mentioned goalscorer bets and are totally disregarded.
  • Correct Score – This is a bet on what the final score (at 90 minutes plus stoppage time) will be, with odds usually ranging from around 5/1 for the most popular options (often 1-1 or 2-1) up to 500/1 or more for outlandish options like 9-0!
  • Half Time/Full Time – A popular way of upping the odds in matches where you are confident one side will win is to back them to be ahead at both half time and full time by using this market. You can combine any of the three possible outcomes so if you expect a tight first half between, say, Liverpool and Everton you may back draw/Liverpool, or if you are aware that Everton score a lot of late goals then backing Liverpool/Everton is an option. Note that this bet is based on who is winning (or drawing) at half time and full time, not who wins each individual half.
  • Asian Handicaps and Handicaps – For full information on this see our dedicated Handicap Betting feature but, in short, handicaps are used by bookmakers to even matches out by giving one side a head start of half a goal or more. An Asian handicap means the draw is ruled out, so you just have two options: home win or away win. Some Asian handicaps do facilitate a draw, such as the zero handicap, which is effectively the same as the draw no bet market and means that in the event of a draw the bet is a “push” and you get your stake back. A handicap allows the draw as an option whilst Asian handicaps often have half goal amounts to eradicate this, for example Man United +0.5 is the same as the double chance market of Man United and the draw. Handicaps have a number of benefits and uses so check out our handicap article for the full lowdown.
  • Draw No Bet – Alluded to above, drawn no bet (DNB) means that in the event of a stalemate the bet is a “push” or a void and you get your stake back.
  • Double Chance – Also mentioned above, this bet allows you to back two options in the 90 minute market. If you take the draw and Side A you are effectively saying you don’t think Side B will win, whilst draw and Side B is a bet against Side A. You can also opt for Side A or Side B if you’re confident the game won’t end in a draw but could go either way.
  • Both Teams to Score – A simple wager on whether or not you think both sides will score in a game. If either side ends the match without scoring this bet is a win for “no”, whilst if both sides have at least one goal then a “yes” bet wins.
  • Under/Over 2.5 Goals – The bookies offer a range of options for the total goals betting with under/over 2.5 the most common one. If the game contains three or more goals then overs wins whilst two or fewer is a win for an unders bet. The same bet is often offered for 0.5, 1.5, 3.5, 4.5 and even higher goal options and whilst for 2.5 the odds for both options are usually around evens, for the other bets this is not the case, with one side having short odds and one side much longer.
  • Half Time – This is a bet on the match result at half time, the draw often the shortest priced option.
  • Half Time Score – A correct score bet but based on the score at the break. In a tight game backing 0-0 at the interval can often be a good ploy.
  • To Win To Nil – If you think a team will win and want to increase the odds, backing them to win to nil, that is to say, to keep a clean sheet and win, is a good option.
  • Winning Margin – Another bet that allows you to up the odds when you are confident a team will win is the winning margin market. A variety of options are available, such as Team A to win by one goal, either side to win by two goals, Team A to win by three or more goals or the score draw.

New Football Bets and Specials

  • Goals Galore – Goals Galore was the bet that began the both teams to score craze and was created by Betfred. With Goals Galore you get set odds for a given number of both teams to score games and you are only looking for matches where you think both will score, not where they won’t. For example, pick three games and get odds of 3/1 whilst go for 15 games and get a juicy 1350/1!
  • 30 Minute Limit – Another nice market from Betfred offers you the chance to pick games where you think a goal will be scored in the first 30 minutes. No waiting around for this bet to be a winner – just pick three or more games where you fancy an early goal and get 9/2 (for three games) if all have a goal inside the first half hour. With odds of 3500/1 for picking 15 games you could be on to a real winner!
  • 20 Minutes to Win It – A similar offer from Fred that pays out at the same odds if there is a goal in the last 20 minutes of a game.
  • Both Teams to Score and Match Result – This is a combination of two bets, as the name suggests, and means you need to pick a match where you are confident both teams will score and you know who will win (or whether it will end as a draw). This bet pays out at nice odds and is a good way to get an extra big payout when you’re confident about both scoring and/or the match outcome.
  • Accumulators – A popular bet in football is an acca, short for accumulator. This involves picking a number of matches and trying to get the result right in all of them, although an acca can be formed by any unrelated bets, for example, both teams to score in QPR v Derby, Man United to beat Liverpool and over 2.5 goals in the Arsenal v Spurs game. You need all selections to win to get anything back but the payoffs can be huge as the winnings (and stake) rollover from one bet to the next. Most accumulators are for match results or both teams to score and they are a great way of getting a huge payout from a small stake. The Coral Football Jackpot and Colossus Bets Jackpots are variations on accumulators.
  • Team Specials – Bookies may offer team specials, for example how many trophies Man United will win in a season, if a side will qualify for the Champions League or if a side will remain unbeaten during a set period. There are also player, manager and transfer specials, regarding goals, sackings, whether a player will stay at a given club or leave and where said player may end up. In football you can pretty much bet on anything, including relegation, finishing bottom or who will be the next manager to be sacked!

Outright Football Markets

  • Tournament Outrights – At the start of the season, or indeed at any point during it, you can bet on which team will win the league, any of the domestic cups or events such as the Champions League or World Cup. Obviously the sooner you place your bets the higher the odds will be (in general) but the less information you will have.
  • Player Outrights – Top goalscorer bets are a very popular football bet, with who will win the Golden Boot for the Premier League, World Cup or any other event always capturing the imagination of the betting public. Always be aware of dead heat rules with this bet.
  • Other Outrights – As said previously, you can bet on just about anything so there are various other outright markets available for football betting fans, including Player of the Year, Manager of the Year (and month) and top promoted side.