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The world game, the beautiful game, soccer or just simply football – the sport is known by many different titles but is instantly recognisable and is played in just about every country in the world.
Whether it is the fierceness of the English Premier League, the majesty of La Liga in Spain or the highest scoring league in the world – Italy’s Serie A – there is no shortage of betting options for those wanting to get their football fix.
While watching a game with impartiality can be fun, but it can be a lot more fun with a wager on it. What can those looking to make some money bet upon in a game of football?
This article will take you through the main markets that you can invest your cash on, and the best way to go about placing a bet on football.
Finding a football betting site
The above table is geo targeted to your location and only show bookies that you can sign up at from your location. On the table is the welcome package they offer, where they are based and the ability to access reviews of each of the bookies that we endorse.
As football, and in turn football betting, is so popular all over the globe you would be hard pressed, barring niche bookmakers, to find an online betting site not offering soccer. Most of them, particularly the big British corporates, have a huge range of betting options, both in-play and fixed odds futures.
You will find bookies like Bet365 and William Hill will ramp up their betting coverage of the matches on game day, with the aforementioned both boasting two of the most formidable ranges in the industry. They are also both available in many countries.
SafeBookies.com is heavily frequented by bettors in the USA and China. If you are situated in the USA our no.1 betting site is 5Dimes which has some of the most competitive money lines in the business.
Chinese punters will find everything they require at Bodog88, which uses some clever strategies to get around the tough gambling laws there. It is part of the Bodog empire, which includes Bovada which focussed their attentions on the USA market.
Match betting – the options are plenty
Head to head betting on football is like every other sport in the world, placing your money on the team you think will win the contest, but there is one stark difference. The draw is always a very real prospect in a football match. This means the win result is has boosted odds compared to what it would be compared to another sport, but also means the draw is going to be a lot shorter given the regularity in which football matches end in draws.
The head to head market also has a draw no bet option, which simply gives you one team against another, with money back if the match ends in a draw.
Another option is the multiple outcomes option, where you can choose either team to win, or one particular team and the draw to occur.
One specific market on match betting investors can place their money on is the correct score market, which is selecting the score of the match at the completion of the 90 minutes.
The correct score market is always at the end of the 90 minutes unless specified, meaning a match that goes to extra time will be paid out on score at the end of regulation time.
There is also half betting which can be betting on who will win the first or second half, or whether it will be a draw.
Along with the half betting there is also half-time full-time double where you pick who will be in front at the conclusion of either half, with the draw included.
Another market you can bet on is the come from behind market which is a bet on your team to concede the first goal but go on to win the match. This type of bet is considered risky at best, but there can be handsome dividends if you nail the right one.
There are many options in the goal scorer market for gamblers who think they know who is ready to find the back of the net.
One of the more popular options is a first goal scorer bet, which is self-explanatory – pick the player that will put his name on the scoresheet first, or pick no goals to be scored.
There is also a last player to score market, which can be a good bet to make live if you believe there will be no further additions to the score in the match.
Typically if you put a bet on the first goal scorer, and he does not start on the pitch yet a goal is scored, your investment is returned.
Another market that draws a lot of investors is the anytime goal scorer which sees money placed on any player from either side to register a goal within the 90 minutes.
If you are confident your man can find the back of the net more than once you can bet on multiple goals scored where you can bet on a player to score two goals, or to score a hat-trick.
There is also a first team to score market which simply offers markets on either team to get on the scoresheet first, or an option for no goals scored for the match.
Along with that, there is a last team to score market which follows the same principle, but can be placed live after a goal has been scored.
Some online bookmakers also offer the method of first goal market too, with shot, header, penalty and free kick amongst the betting options.
Along with goal markets, you can also invest in team to score which can be both teams, one particular team only or no goals scored.
The total goals scored market is simply, how many goals will be scored in the match – irrespective of who scores them.
Lastly, the time of first goal market is another hugely popular one, with 15 minute intervals of time allotted per betting market.
One of the more interesting markets in football betting is the totals market – and there is a vast array of options you can take.
One of the more popular markets is the goals over/under market, which gives you a total to surpass and a set of odds to match.
Typically an over/under market in football will start at 0.5 goals (meaning will there be at least one goal scored in the match) and can potentially go all the way up to 5.5 over/under.
Another market that is bet on with regularity is the total corner market, which is also an under/over market, and the total cards market, which is a particular card amount or an over/under bet.
Exotic football bets
Are you a fan of the big dividend? Well football has the markets for you.
Do you think there will be a red card in the match? If you are confident that a player from a certain team will not be able to keep their emotions in check for the 90 minutes you can place money on him to see red.
Along with the goal market too, there are some specific areas that can earn serious dollars but these can often range from the ridiculous to absolute chance, like what colour hat a coach will wear.
You can bet on whether there will be a penalty in the match awarded, and separate to this, you can bet on whether or not the penalty will be converted which can generate big dividends.
Another in the goal market is will there be an own goal in the match which pays a big price given the scarcity of own goals.
What leagues can you place a football bet on?
There are many leagues all around the world to which you can place a football bet on.
One of the most popular leagues in the world is the English Premier League, with all the recognisable teams like Manchester United and Liverpool.
Every Saturday and Sunday there are multiple games going on at once so you have more chances to bet.
The Spanish La Liga is boasts two of the most famous teams in the world – Barcelona and Real Madrid. The league may not be as strong as the Premier League in terms of overall competition, but La Liga’s strength lies in the powerful clubs and the rivalry generated.
The El Classico – the bi-annual match between Barcelona and Real Madrid – typically gets seen by in excess of 400 million people. The world’s best knockout competition is the UEFA Champions League, which pits the best teams from every league against each other to see who reigns supreme across European football.
Nowhere else in the world will you see titans like Manchester United clashing with Real Madrid in competitive competition, making it one of the most unique and captivating tournaments across any sport the world over.