Football Betting Terms

We realise that there’s plenty of football betting jargon kicking around, and if you’re unfamiliar with a term you may find yourself wondering what the heck we’re going on about. So, to help you out we’ve compiled this list of common football betting terms.

30 Minute Limit / 20 Minutes to Win It

Football coupons from Betfred which offer fixed odds when you select a minimum of three matches in which you think there will be a goal scored in the first 30 minutes (30 Minute Limit) or the final 20 (20 Minutes to Win It). It pays out at 9/2 for three correct selections up to 3500/1 for 15.


Also known as an “acca”, an accumulator is a multiples bet that includes more than one selection and relies on all selections to be successful for the bet to win. The final payout can be huge as the odds for each leg are multiplied together, but the probability of all legs being successful is reduced accordingly.


Though the term ante-post originates in horse racing (meaning “before the post”), it can be applied to any sport in relation to bets that are placed before a competition gets underway. For instance, pre-season bets on who will win the Premier League, top goalscorer or which teams will be relegated are all ante-post bets.

Anytime Goalscorer

Anytime goalscorer bets allow you to bet on whether a particular player will score in a given match. Own goals do not count for this market and it refers to normal play (90 minutes plus injury time) and not extra time or penalty shootouts.


Arbitrage refers to the process of guaranteeing a profit by taking advantage of the disparity in odds between two bookmakers. For instance if one bookie prices over 2.5 goals in a given match at 11/10 and another prices under 2.5 goals at 11/10, if you back both you will win whatever the outcome.

Asian Handicap

Asian handicaps are bets that eliminate the draw as an option between two football teams by giving each a positive or negative handicap and corresponding odds. It is most common to see the handicaps in 0.5 goal increments, so if you back a side with a +0.5 goal handicap your bet will win if they draw, while if you back a team with a -0.5 goal handicap, they must win the match for your bet to come in. When a side is a strong favourite it is common to see handicaps such a -2.5, whereby they would need to win by three clear goals for your bet to win if you backed them in this market.

Betting Exchange

A betting exchange differs from a conventional bookmaker in that it facilitates peer-to-peer betting. That is, customers have the option to not only place bets on football matches (or whatever else), but also to take (“lay”) bets from other customers. Because there is no profit margin built into the odds themselves (as the exchange takes just a small commission, usually on net winnings), betting exchanges often have better odds than fixed odds bookies.

Betting Site

A betting site is simply a website or mobile site/app run by a bookmaker that allows punters to place bets on sporting (and other) events.

Both Teams To Score

Both Teams To Score (also referred to as BTTS) is a relatively new football betting market in which – as the name suggests – you bet on whether both sides will score a goal in normal time. Some bookies will also allow you to bet against both teams scoring (so if either side fails to score the bet wins) or to combine both teams to score with the match result.

Dead Heat

Bookmakers have rules which often serve to reduce the odds when a dead heat occurs, that is when two or more selections finish level in a given market. In football betting this rarely occurs, but can do so for instance when betting on the top goalscorer in a given league or tournament. If two (or more) players finish with the same number of goals, bookies will generally pay both out as winners but at reduced odds.


A double is an accumulator that contains just two selections, both of which must be successful for the bet to win. For example, Everton to beat Crystal Palace and Hull to beat Arsenal.

Each Way

An each way bet is a way of backing a selection to win OR “place” in a given league or tournament, with the place part of the bet being paid out at a proportion of the odds. As opposed to a single bet (for instance on England to win the World Cup), an each way bet actually consists of two bets of equal stake, one on your selection to win and one on it to place. If the selection wins, both bets win; if it places, only the place part of the bet is a winner. Where football betting is concerned, a place might mean making the final in a tournament (with the each way bet paying half the odds) or finishing in the top three or four in the Premier League (the each way part paying a third or a quarter).


Evens refers to odds of 1/1 (2.00 in decimal odds) whereby your money is doubled if your bet comes in.


When you place a bet the exposure refers to the amount of money you will lose if your bet doesn’t win. It also refers to the possible loss you will incur when laying a bet at a betting exchange and the (potentially unlimited) losses you might be liable for when betting on certain spread betting markets.


The favourite is simply the selection with the shortest odds in a given betting market.

First Goalscorer

Betting on the first goalscorer market allows punters to back the player they think will score the first goal in a given game. Own goals do not count (so if the first goal in a match is an own goal, the next goal is the one on which this bet will be based… assuming that isn’t an own goal too!). There is also the option to back “no goalscorer” which pays out if the match ends 0-0 or indeed if the only goals in the game are own goals. This market refers to normal time (90 minutes plus stoppage time) only.

Fixed Odds Betting

Fixed odds betting refers to bets placed with conventional bookmakers who offer a specific price on football betting markets. Unlike betting exchanges, fixed bookmakers pay out on winning bets and hence they build their profit margin into the odds themselves. In reality, odds are rarely “fixed” for long as bookies change the prices they have for given markets regularly as they adapt to events such as player injuries.

Football Jackpot

The Coral Football Jackpot is a weekly football coupon that gives players the chance to win massive prizes (the jackpot has a guaranteed minimum of £100,000 each week) by predicting the match outcome (home win, draw, away win) of 15 football matches. If no one wins in a given week the jackpot rolls over and prizes of over £1 million have occurred a number of times.

Full Cover

A full cover bet refers to one in which all combinations of double, trebles and other accumulators are covered within a multiple bet. So if you pick six teams to win their given matches, a full cover bet would actually consist of 57 bets: 15 doubles, 20 trebles, 15 four-folds, six five-folds and one six-fold. A “full cover with singles” bet is the same but throws in the singles too, making a total of 63 bets in the example given – known as a Lucky 63.

Goals Galore

Goals Galore is the bet invented by Betfred in which punters select a minimum of three matches from a coupon in which they think both teams will score at least one goal. Winning Goals Galore bets are paid out at fixed odds based on the number of selections.


Handicap betting is designed by bookmakers to offer some parity in the betting odds by giving one or other of the teams a certain advantage. For instance a big underdog might be priced at just under evens to win a match in the handicap market in which they are given a two goal head start. Conversely, a strong favourite might be priced at similar odds with a two goal disadvantage in the same market. See also Asian Handicap.


A mechanism used by punters to either lock in a certain amount of profit or to minimise your losses, to hedge your bet you simply bet against your original selection. For instance if you originally backed over 2.5 goals in a match and you subsequently found out two key strikers were injured, you might choose to bet something on under 2.5 goals to minimise potential losses.


IBAS stands for the Independent Betting Adjudication Service and acts as an arbitration service between betting customers and bookmakers who are registered with them. As an independent, objective organisation they can help resolve disputes and help ensure bookies treat their customers fairly.

In Play (Live) Betting

In play or live betting has grown massively in popularity in recent years and refers to bets placed when a market is “live”, such as betting on the next goalscorer, the correct score or the time of the next goal once a match has kicked off.

Last Goalscorer

Similar to first goalscorer bets, when betting on the last goalscorer market you are picking the player you think will score the last goal in a given match. Own goals don’t count, so if the last goal is an own goal, the one before that will stand as the last goal. This market also only refers to normal time (90 minutes plus injury time), not extra time or penalty shootouts.

Mobile Betting

Mobile betting refers to bets places on any mobile device or tablet, and has been growing in popularity for the last few years and has been embraced by many of the top bookies who offer mobile-specific betting offers and sometimes live streaming of football matches to mobile devices.


A multiple bet is a bet that involves a series of selections either that must all come in for the bet to be successful – in the case of accumulators – or some combination must come in for you to receive a payout (for example, with full cover bets).

Odds Against

Odds against refers to selections in a given market which are priced at odds of more than evens (2.00).

Odds On

Odds on refers to selections in a given market which are priced at odds of less than evens (2.00).

Spread Betting

Spread betting is a particular typing of betting that – as opposed to fixed odds betting – the amount you win or lose is not predetermined at the time you place the bet. In a spread betting market, you buy or sell at a particular value so rather than simply winning or losing, the amount you win or lose is determined by how well you win or how badly you lose. For instance, you might bet on the time of the first goal in a given match, and buy at 20 minutes with your stake being £1 per minute. If the first goal is scored in the first minute you would stand to lose £19 (20-1 multiplied by your stake), but if the first goal is not score until the 90th minute, you would win £70.


The underdog is simply the outsider in a given football match and will often be available to back at big odds earning brave punters a handsome profit when they pull off a shock (such as Wigan winning the FA Cup final against Manchester City in 2013).


A betting tip is a prediction made by someone (who usually purports to possess some expert knowledge) about what to bet on in a given betting market.


A treble is an accumulator (multiple) bet with three selections, all of which must come in for the bet to pay out. For example, backing Everton to beat Crystal Palace, Hull to beat Arsenal and Chelsea to draw with Liverpool would be a treble.

Void Bet

A void bet is one which has been declared not to have been valid for some reason or other, in which case the stake is refunded to the bettor. Bets may be declared void, for example, if a match is abandoned due to floodlight failure or a pitch invasion.