The Best Strategies for Football Betting


Football Betting Strategies – Useful or Not?

Betting on football

Football, also referred to as soccer, is one of the most popular sports in Europe. There are several different professional leagues worldwide, with games taking place almost all year round. Betting on football has been around almost as long as the sport itself

If you’re new to football betting, you might be wondering how to wagere on it, or how it stacks up against other sports. Perhaps you’re new to the sport in general, and you’re curious about how football betting works before you place your first wager. Do you want to know more about injury time, or about how long the football betting season is? Perhaps you’re looking for some tips on how to risk less and be more responsible when wagering on football, and the best strategies to do so.

Conversely, perhaps you’re already a seasoned football punter, and you’re looking for a few refreshers. Either way, we might have something for you in this article. Let’s start by taking an in-depth look at the advantages and disadvantages of betting on this sport.

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Pros and Cons of Football Betting

Wagering on any sport comes with advantages and disadvantages, and football betting is no different. Here are some of the advantages and disadvantages of betting on football:

  • Pros
  • Football season lasts almost the whole year
  • Many types of bets and betting markets
  • A popular sport that’s available at most online bookies
  • Cons
  • Many technical terms and betting types to learn
  • Requires time, patience and persistence

Football Betting Types

There’s a massive amount of markets available for football betting. Understanding all of the different types of bets can get tricky and confusing. With the right betting strategies, you can risk less when wagering, but it’s always a good idea to find a kind of bet that suits you best. Niche betting can allow you to specialise and to become an expert.

But which markets should you bet on? We certainly can’t list them all, but here are some of the most used betting markets that you can bet on:

Correct Score

Correct score is one of the simplest types of bets to understand, but it’s a tricky wager to wplace. Instead of picking a winner, you need to predict the final score of the game. Since it’s one of the harder things to guess, the odds can be long, so it’s worth considering.

Top Tip: Do some research into the two teams’ performances leading to their matchup, compared to other times they played against each other. This could give you a bit of an indication of what to expect.

Asian Handicap

The Asian Handicap adds a defect to one of the teams at the start of the match. For example, it might add a 2-goal handicap to a team which is then calculated into the score at the end of the match. Asian Handicap betting does offer attractive returns.

Top Tip: These bets can be particularly suitable as part of an accumulator bet, as the wager will have a greater chance of being correct.

Half Time/Full Time

Half Time/Full Time is an extremely popular betting market, in which you guess the score at half time and again at full time. Before placing your wager, make sure to shop around for some of the best odds.

Top Tip: Try to make liberal use of historical statistics here. There are no guarantees, of course, but using the right info here can help you to make a more accurate prediction.

Double Chance

With Double Chance, you can choose two of three possible outcomes to a football match.

Top Tip: You’ll get shorter odds for this type of bet, so you need to shop around for the best odds. It’s also a good candidate for accumulator betting strategies.

Both Teams to Score and Win

You must have heard of this common soccer bet. This market is probably one of the most popular in many professional bookmakers, and it’s available at most bookies suitable for newbie punters as well. The essence: both teams must score, but you also need to pick the outright winner of the match.

Top Tip: Teams with great attackers, but poor defenders, are prime candidates for this type of bet.

First Goalscorer

First Goalscorer is a great way to make a relatively easy and uncomplicated wager. Simply bet on who you think will score the first goal of the match.

Top Tip: Knowing your players, especially your strikers, will benefit you here.

Draw No Bet

This is probably one of the safest betting markets, and it removes the option of a draw from the game. If you’re not sure that a team will win or lose, you can still bet on them as the winner. However, if the match ends in a draw, your stake will be returned.

Top Tip: Remember, if the team you placed the bet on loses, you still lose. The removal of the draw just gives you a little bit of insurance.


With Win-Draw-Win, you’re picking a team to win the match or wagering on a draw. Most bookies make this option available.

Top Tip: If there’s a clear favourite to win, this is a good bet to place. Make sure to research the states carefully before placing any wagers, though.

Over/Under Markets

Over/Under betting is very straightforward. You’re given a set number, and you aim to say if more goals will be scored, or less. Depending on the odds, these bets can have a relatively good return if you are lucky.

Top Tip: Over tends to be more popular than under, running for the full game. Make sure that you consider your picks carefully, especially for an accumulator bet.

Football Betting Strategies

Football betting strategies

Having a good betting strategy can make a big difference. Here are a few of our favourite football betting strategies for punters who want to bet responsibly.

Back and Lay / Arbitrage / Matched Betting

Back and Lay betting, also known as Arbitrage betting, is one of the most popular betting strategies used today. It goes hand in hand with Matched Betting, which uses an arb strategy combined with free bet offers.

The idea is to place a bet both for and against the same outcome. You won’t be able to place both of these bets at a bookie. Instead, you’ll need to place a back bet at your preferred bookmaker, while placing your lay bet at an exchange like Betfair, for instance. There’s risk involved, though. If you make a mistake while wagering, like misreading the odds, it will be quite a blow.

Bookmakers also don’t like it when players use this strategy, so be wary. If they find out, you might just find your account limited or blocked.

Value Betting

Value betting is probably one of the easiest strategies to understand, but one of the hardest to implement. The trick with value betting is having an in-depth understanding of a sport. You need to know statistics, player information, team details and it involves hours of research and mathematical calculations.

That said, it’s one of the most popular strategies among seasoned punters for a reason. Value betting is, in essence, a strategy that gives you an edge over a bookie. Experts use value betting by calculating their odds independently and then comparing it to those offered by bookmakers.

Your calculations need to be as accurate as possible for a game of chance. If you don’t calculate your odds correctly, then the entire strategy falls apart. However, if you’ve calculated your odds accurately, then you’ll be able to spot when there’s a significant difference between your odds and those offered by the bookie.

If the bookmaker’s odds are shorter than yours, you’ve found yourself a value bet. With value bets, you can try football betting with lower risk – as long as you put in the time and effort to do research and calculate accurate odds.

General Tips for Betting on Sports

We’ve given you several tips for betting on football and, hopefully, you now understand it better. However, there are a few more general tips that we can give you to help you improve your betting experience. No matter what sport you’re betting on, there are a few things you can do to protect yourself against losses and improve your overall skill.

Here are a few of our top tips for punters who want to get the most out of their football betting experience.

1. Bankroll Management

Managing your bankroll properly is probably the most important advice we can give. The chances of you becoming a successful bettor with poor money management are slim to none. It can be difficult to stop losing at spots bets, and you need to be exceptionally disciplined.

Find ways to limit your spending and protect your bets. Make it as difficult as possible to place impulsive or emotional bets.

2. Research and Watching the Games

This might be one of the biggest mistakes that new punters make, and it’s one of the easiest ones to avoid. If you’re going to be placing wagers on a sport, it’s important to actually spend time learning about it and watching it.

Researching facts and statistics about a player, team or sport is essential, but dry information can only give you so much to work from. Watching the games and following the news will provide you with a deeper insight into the abilities and habits of different players. If you want to risk less when wagering on football, then you’ll be better off if you already have an interest in the sport.

3. Understanding Markets and Niches

Football has one of the widest varieties of betting markets available today. One of the biggest mistakes that many punters make is trying to bet on all of them. Successful football betting isn’t about the number of wagers you place, but about making smart bets. Find those betting markets that you understand the best and learn as much about it as you can.

4. Shop Around for Odds

Say there’s an upcoming game between Barcelona and Real Madrid. Tickets everywhere are sold out, but you’re lucky enough to find two operators that still have a few tickets left. The one is offering tickets at £/€/$35, while the other is selling them for £/€/$32. Obviously, you’ll go for the cheaper option.

The same applies to odds. Instead of sticking with one bookie, you should shop around to find the ones with the best possible odds. With better odds, you can risk less by spending less.

5. Log and Analyse Your Wagers

You’re going to make mistakes as you go. It’s inevitable, and it’s one of the ways that punters learn how to refine their strategies, what works and what doesn’t. By keeping a logbook of your wagers, you can go back and analyse your performance.

Reviewing your bets can give you a deeper insight into which strategies are successful, and which ones don’t work.


Risking less when betting on football isn’t difficult if you know what you’re doing, and provided that you bet smart. Understanding the sport is particularly important, especially the different types of betting markets, strategies and best practices.

Many punters choose wagering on football, but you need to have the time and discipline to stay responsible at all times. You’ll need to research games and statistics, develop strategies and more. Most importantly, you’ll need to be able to face up to any mistakes, or you won’t be able to identify problems in any betting strategies you use.

Hopefully, this article gave you a bit of insight into how to go about wagering on football. All we can say now is, good luck and remember – Always play responsibly!

Javia Alex
Javia Alex is an expert-level Copywriter/Editor with a wealth of experience in the iGaming scene. A self-described player advocate, Javia’s player-first mindset, “tell it like it is”, has earned her an oft-cited voice across gambling circles. She frequently works late nights and long hours, fact-checking reviews and pages for accuracy.