Football Betting Sites
There are more online betting sites out there than you can shake a proverbial stick at, and pretty much all of them let you bet on football. But that doesn’t mean that they’re all as good as each other – some are fantastic, offering great odds, competitive promotions and useful features, whilst others are simply not worth your time (or your hard earned money).
In the list below you’ll find reviews of who I think are the best betting sites for football betting. I’ve written short and to-the-point summaries of each of the bookies so that you can quickly compare them, but I’ve also written in depth reviews about each bookmaker on my other site.
Bookies & Football Clubs
The relationship between bookmakers and football clubs is a much closer one that I think many people realise. As with bookies and horse racing, the sponsorship is the biggest indicator of how important the two industries are to each other, with major bookmakers having sponsorship deals with most of the biggest clubs in the United Kingdom.
Head north of the border and you’ll find that the Scottish Premiership is sponsored by Ladbrokes, for example, whilst in England most leagues have a good chunk of sponsorship ties in place for the individual clubs within them. In the 2018-2019 season, here’s how it looked for the top four divisions in English football:
|Division||Number Of Teams In League||Number With Gambling Companies As Main Sponsors|
As you can see, the sweet spot for betting companies is to achieve a tie-up with Championship clubs. I think the main reason for this is that the Championship is the most watched division outside of the Premier League, but the Premier League is so far ahead of it that most clubs can demand sponsorship deals far excess of what betting companies can justify.
The lower divisions, meanwhile, don’t get the same sorts of crowds as the top two and sponsors therefore tend to be more like local companies and small-scale businesses. The Championship is therefore ideal because it combines the sheer number of viewers with no requirement to go too big in terms of how much money is offered in sponsorship.
Another thing that is worth noting is that clubs might not have a betting company as their main sponsor, but it’s still entirely possible if not likely that they will have some sort of deal in place with a bookmaker. In the 2018-2019 season, for example, Liverpool Football Club’s main sponsor was Standard Chartered, but they had a principle betting company sponsorship deal in place with BetVictor, meaning that clubs can raise money from bookies even if they’re not their main sponsor.
Does This Affect You As A Punter?
Knowing how many bookmakers sponsor football clubs in England’s top four divisions is one thing, but will it make much of a difference to you as a bettor? The short answer is ‘no’, but the longer answer is slightly more complex than that. The thing to bear in mind is that if you support a specific team or like to bet on certain sides then knowing about the sponsorship deals that they have in place is helpful.
Let’s say that the club that you support is sponsored by a specific bookmaker. In that instance, you’ll almost certainly find that said bookmaker will offer exclusive markets on the club that they have a sponsorship deal with, meaning that if you’re a savvy bettor then you’ll be able to take advantage of those markets. They’ll also often have deals and promotions tied in to the club that they support that are worth keeping an eye out for.
Even if you don’t support a specific club it’s worth having a look at which bookies have some form of sponsorship deal in place with which teams. After all, the likelihood is that you’re going to be betting on the side’s matches at some point so if you know that they’re sponsored by a slightly unusual company then it’s worth having a look at their offers on the team’s matches to see if they have any deals you can take advantage of.
The question as to whether or not it’s worth betting with a company sponsoring the club you support even if they don’t have deals and offers on is a complex one. On the one hand, sponsorship deals are usually for set amounts and therefore you investing more money with your club’s sponsor won’t increase the amount that they pay in sponsorship. On the other hand, however, the more money a company makes whilst sponsoring a specific team, the more likely they are to continue sponsoring them and even increase the amount they sponsor them for.
Betting At Football Grounds
Most football clubs around the country, regardless of the level they’re playing at, will have some form of onsite bookmaker that you can use to place your bets with. If the club has a sponsorship deal in place with a bookie then you’ll almost certainly find that the place you can put a bet on is run by that company, with others finding whatever way they can to allow their supporters to place a bet before and during a match.
There are a number of things to think about when it comes to betting with the onsite bookmakers. For starters, you’re locked in to the odds that they have to offer. You can’t shop around to find the best deals, promotions and odds in the same way as you can when you’re placing your bet online. This might not bother you all that much, but it’s worth thinking about.
There’s also the fact that onsite bookies won’t offer the same features that you can get when you bet online or via a mobile app. You won’t be able to take your ticket down to the bookie and Cash Out your bet, say, nor will you be able to place a bet on markets such as the next player to score or who will win the most throw-ins. The other point is that if you win, you’ll have to take a potentially large amount of cash with you as you exit the stadium and head into the city, which isn’t ideal.
Aren’t Betting Sites All The Same?
I’ve done a section elsewhere on the site in which I look at how you choose a betting site to place your wagers with, so I won’t go over the same ground here. It’s a fair question, though. After all, don’t they all allow you to place bets on countless different sports and won’t they all offer roughly the same odds?
The answer to both of those questions is ‘sort of’. Bookmakers all tend to compete with each other, trying to win your business by presenting you with different things such as welcome offers and regular promotions. Finding one with an offer than suits you or a promotion that you think you’re likely to take advantage off can put you in a good position before you’ve even thought about the bets that you want to place.
Bookies also tend to specialise in different sports or countries, so a bookie that is targeted at a European market will be able to offer you better odds and market depth than one that is firmly focused on the Premier League, for example. It means that the bookmaker you might want to use either doesn’t cover the match that you want to bet on or has significantly worse odds than a rival that regularly offers odds on that market.
Here’s a look at things to think about before you make your choice about which bookmaker to bet with:
If you only bet in small amounts then the difference in odds from one bookmaker to the next won’t make a massive difference to your life. Let’s say that you’re betting on Crystal Palace to beat Tottenham and you’re planning to stake £10.
If a bookie has odds of 3/1 then you’d stand to win £30, whilst if they offered 7/2 you’d win £35. Now I’m not suggesting that you should turn your nose up at £5, but it’s a little different to the £3,000 versus £3,500 you’d get if you were betting £1,000 a pop.
As an example, here’s a look at 888’s coverage of two matches in the Latvian Virsliga:
Compare their odds of 7/4 for the home win, 43/20 for the draw and 27/20 for the away win to in the first match to those of BetVictor:
You can see that BetVictor, who don’t tend to specialise in the lesser-known European markets, are more generous with their odds than 888 when it comes to the first match, but a little bit more stingy then them with the second. That’s because FC Riga are one of the best known teams in Latvia and BetVictor are therefore more confident in their calls on the result of that match over the first.
As I say, it’s perhaps not enough to worry about if you’re not betting a huge amount of money, but if you tend to go for rather large stakes then you can see what a difference it can make if you find the right bookmaker in terms of the odds they offer. Add to that the fact that some bookmakers will do Odds Boosts for big matches and it really is worth your while shopping around.
When it comes to coverage, there are two main things to think about: how many matches can you get odds on and how many markets within each match will you be offered? Looking at the examples from 888 and BetVictor in the Odds section, you can see that the latter company is offering 34 additional markets on both matches whilst 888 have 41 more on the first match and 25 on the latter.
The smaller bookmakers know that they’re not going to compete with the big boys when it comes to the most-watched and bet on football matches, but when they look at the smaller leagues and ones that only specialist bettors are likely to look at, they know that they can find their audience by offering more bets on more leagues.
Again, the key here is to think about what you actually want to bet on. After all, if you’re all about the race for the title in the Premier League then you’re not going to care less about whether or not a bookmaker will offer you odds on a match between Drogheda United and Bray Wanderers in the Irish First Division. Equally, how good a bookie is at giving you promotions on La Liga games will be irrelevant as you look for odds on the Norwegian NM Cup.
This one is really important to me personally for the simple reason that I tend to bet little and often on mainstream markets, so neither odds nor coverage matter to me all that much. I do like to be rewarded for being loyal, though, so I’ll often look for a bookie that has a decent loyalty scheme in place that gives me free bets on a regular basis.
If you don’t care about the ability to Cash Out, Live Stream or Edit Your Acca then you don’t need to invest too much time looking at the features offered by a given bookmaker. But if there’s something particular that you like to do when it comes to your betting habits then you might just find that one bookmaker will sway you over another.
It’s an obvious thing to talk to talk about, but a bookie that has shops on the high street will matter if you like to bet both in-person and via online services. It’s the sort of feature that online-only bookmakers simply can’t compete with, being limited as it is to those that have a real-life presence around the UK.
You’ll need to figure out for yourself which things matter to you, but if you’re the sort of person that is often coming up with wild and crazy theories about the number of things that might happen in a match then a bookie that has a Request-A-Bet feature will be important to, for example. To someone else it won’t matter at all, but in terms of whether ‘all bookmakers are the same’ this is very much one area that they differ in a big way.
Whether you’re looking for a bookmaker that is quick at sending your withdrawals to your bank account or one that allows specific deposit methods, money can be a key deciding factor for some people when it comes to figuring out which bookmaker to sign up with.
There are other key considerations that you should think about too. Does a certain bookie have a restriction in terms of their payout limit that means there’s no real point in you bothering to bet any money with them? Don’t forget that different companies will have different limits on different sports and even the divisions within those sports.
Another thing to give you food for thought is whether a bookmaker charges fees for your withdrawals or deposits. Some will only do it with certain payment methods, but if it’s a method you use then it can start to have a serious impact on your profit margin eventually. Make sure you have a look at what to expect from a bookie in all senses when it comes to your money before you pull the trigger in signing up with them.