How To Bet On Football

Football, or Soccer, is the world’s most popular spectator sport. For this guide, we are going to assume you know at least the basic rules of football and are looking to take the next step from a football fan to the world of football betting.

Football Betting Large

Football betting

Before we start, it’s important to remember that with its huge popularity, comes a huge amount of investment from football betting sites. Researchers, computer algorithms and human expertise all lie behind the odds that companies offer and if you are going to stand a chance at beating them, you really need to have done your homework!

At BookiesBonuses we have divided out football betting target groups into two categories:

  1. The occasional recreational bettor who puts a wager down on their team every so often. An example of this might be an individual who joins the World Cup sweepstake at work but doesn't bet on any specific match.
  2. The serious football bettor who is looking to find value in odds and make money in the long-run.

For the latter, this involves a serious time commitment as well as dedicated account management and statistical analysis. We recommend you look at the relevant articles on our site before you burrow down into the specifics of football betting, good luck!

Football tournaments and matches

In the examples below, we focus on the Premier League and the Champions League. However, the popularity of football is so great that on most betting sites you will find odds for all the major to mid-sized leagues and tournaments from all around the world.

Betting sites are continuously finding new ways to attract football betting enthusiasts and nowadays they provide a load of added services and features to improve your experience.These can include live-streaming of matches and sporting events or in-play betting services which allows you to bet on a live sporting event.

How to bet on football: Preperation

A lot of this might seem like common sense, but you should still have a checklist, or a process that you go through before you place a bet.

At Bookies Bonuses, we always look to do the following before placing a football bet:

  • An analysis of both teams recent form.
  • An analysis of the last few meetings between the two teams, including influence of home/away advantage.
  • Which referee is officiating the match and his/her record with the two teams.
  • Check the weather conditions.
  • Injury updates.
  • Head to head results between the managers.

This might come across as a little over-the-top but if you are planning on betting week in and week out, this really will make the difference between your account being in the black or the red. If you miss an injury update or a statistical anomaly, then be sure that the computers and researchers at the betting site won't have!

This is where it’s important to have a passion for the sport. There are many great apps and sites where you can get this information fast and on user-friendly interfaces and should be something that most football fans would enjoy.

We really want our visitors to love sport and betting. The latter should never come without the former. If you have both and are willing to invest time in finding good value odds, then you stand a chance of beating the bookies.

Finding the right odds

Outright winner odds

Let’s start with the simplest first. Placing a bet on the outright winner, means if you back a team and they win, then you have won your bet.

For example:

  • Arsenal are playing Liverpool.
  • The odds for Liverpool to win the match are 2/5.
  • You place a £5 bet on Liverpool to win.


  1. If Liverpool win the match you will receive £2.00 in net profit and a total payout of £7.00.
  2. If Liverpool lose you have lost your bet.
  3. If the game ends as a draw then you lose your bet.

This type of bet can also apply to the winner of a whole tournament. It’s important to remember that when you are backing an outright winner for a tournament, odds can change quite dramatically once the tournament has begun.


Michael Owen playing for Liverpool

Correct Score

This is pretty straight forward as well. Here you simply back a scoreline.

Remember, football involves a lot of luck and you can never guarantee an exact scoreline.

A match between Barcelona and a second division Spanish team in the Copa Del Rey may be a pretty safe bet in terms of outright winner (Barcelona) but to get the exact score is a completely different thing, and luck will play a huge part.

For example:

  • You have found odds for Manchester United to beat Leicester 4-0 at 15/1.
  • They have won their previous games 4-0 and you are certain they will win comfortably.
  • You place £5 on that scoreline.


  1. If Manchester United win by that scoreline then you will receive £75 in net profit and a payout of £80.
  2. Any other scoreline will result in a loss.

Marcus Rasford playing for Man Utd

Draw no bet odds

This type of bet ensures that if the match ends in a draw, then your money is refunded.

So, if we were to use the Arsenal vs. Liverpool example above, we have just entered a third outcome:

  1. If Arsenal win you win.
  2. If Liverpool win you lose.
  3. If it’s a draw the £5 bet is refunded.

1x2 odds

This term always appears more complicated than it is. It is not some complicated betting term as many beginners assume.

The 1 and 2 represent the home and away teams and the x represents a draw. So it is a way for betting companies to show the three different odds.

For example:

It's the 90s and Newcastle are playing Chelsea at St James' Park.

  • Shearer is looking sharp and the bookies have Newcastle (team 1) at odds of 2/5 to win.
  • Liverpool's (team 2) away form has not been great and they have odds of 2/1 to win.
  • A draw (x) is 13/5

You place a £5 bet on a draw (x)


  1. The match ends in a draw - most 1x2 odds will only count normal and injury time, not extra time - you will win £13 in net profits and receive a payout of £18.
  2. Any other result will result in a lost bet.

Alan Shearer in the 90s

Over/Under odds

This bet looks at the number of goals you believe will be scored in a match rather than the winner.

The bookie will provide you with odds for a over or under a certain number of goals. The number they will provide will usually contain a half decimal.

Of course, you can't score a half goal but it is a way of eliminating a third outcome.

For example, under 1.5 goals will mean 1 or no goals scored in a game. Whereas over 1.5 goals will mean 2 goals or more goals scored.

The most common over/under odds offered is at 2.5, which requires you to decide wether you believe there will be 2 goals or less, or 3 goals or more.

An example of half over/unders:

  • Chelsea are playing Tottenham and there are odds of 3/2 on under 2.5 and odds of 11/5 on over 2.5.
  • You do your research and you see that there have been a lot of goals in this fixture before and that the strikers in both teams are looking in form. So you think there will be 3 goals or more.
  • You place a £10 bet on over 2.5 at odds of 11/5.
  • The game ends 3-2 to Chelsea and you win £22 in net profits and a total payout of £32.
  • It can get a little more complicated when you get to quarter over/unders which effectively make you split your bet.

An example of quarter over/unders:

  • An over bet of 3.75 will require you to bet on both over 3.5 goals and over 4 goals.
  • If you bet on over 3.75 and there are more than 5 goals your bet wins but if it ends with 4 goals then your over 3.5 half of the bet wins and the other half of the bet will be refunded.
Asian Handicap

Both teams to score odds

This requires a simple yes/no bet.

For example:

West Brom are playing Stoke. You look at the Stoke and West Brom’s recent form. Both have an excellent defensive record but have struggled to score. They are both mid-table.

You are pretty confident that with their records, at least one of the teams will end up not scoring. If one does, then it’s likely they will just shut up shop.

You place a £10 bet on ‘No’ to both teams scoring with odds of 3/1. It ends 1-0 to Stoke, so you win and your net profits are £30 with a total payout of £40.

First goalscorer odds

This is very straightforward in terms of betting theory but requires a lot of knowledge if you are to find value in the odds.

The player who is most likely to score first can be different to a club’s top scorer. It’s important to see if a player has a record of scoring early and if it’s a game in which many players are likely to score, then it might be worth betting on an ‘anytime goalscorer’.

Let’s put it like this: in Champions League finals of late, if you look at the first time scorers, it’s often not the big names, who go on to score and win the game. If we take the Champions League final in 2014, it was Godin for Atletico Madrid who opened the scoring in the 36th minute, before Ronaldo, Ramos and Bale finished the game for Real Madrid.


Diego Godin scores for Atlético Madrid in the Champions League 2014 final.

Anytime Goalscorer odds

As mentioned above, these odds refer to a player scoring at anytime during the match.

Asian Handicap

If you bet using an Asian Handicap then you rule out the possibility of a draw, leaving only a win or draw as an option.

The betting company will give both teams a handicap at the beginning of the match. This makes it more interesting to bet on a match, even if one team is a strong favourite.

For example:

You are looking to bet on Arsenal vs Swansea.

A normal betting company might offer you odds for an Arsenal win at 7/20. This doesn’t give you a return if you are to bet on Arsenal and the game ends as a draw.

Here, the Asian Handicap is a good alternative, as you could bet on Arsenal -1.0 with odds of around 21/20.

Swansea begins the game with a 1-0 lead.


  1. If Arsenal wins with more than one goal then you have won your bet.
  2. If Arsenal loses, then it means you have lost your bet.
  3. If Arsenal wins with exactly one goal then you will get your money back.