The beginners guide to betting on football action

The Beginners Guide to Betting on Football

By Dan Tracey - Jan 22nd 2023

By coming across this article, the chances are that you have some form of interest in football betting. You may be new to the world of wagering and are looking for additional insight, you may even never have placed a bet before.

Regardless of which of the two camps you find yourself lying within, our beginners guide to betting on football is now just a handful of column inches away. A guide that will focus on subjects such as odds, markets, accumulators, and leagues, as we look to explain how to beat the bookies and here is what we will be highlighting:

1) What Are The Odds – Just How Football Betting Works Exactly

2) The Market Is Open – The Different Kind Of Football Bets That Can Be Placed

3) Speculate To Accumulate – What Is An Accumulator Bet

4) A League Of Their Own – What Competitions Should You Be Betting On

1) What Are The Odds

No matter what kind of football bet you place, there is one fundamental aspect that is found throughout. The stake (or money) that you put towards the wager and the odds that are set by the bookmaker.

It is these two components that make a football bet and with a litany of numbers being on show when looking either online or in a betting shop, it can be difficult to decipher just exactly what these numbers mean.

Thankfully we are going to crack the code for you now and the first step will be to look at the odds part of the bet. If we see that Arsenal and Manchester United are playing at the Emirates, the odds could look something like this:

  • Arsenal 1.83
  • Draw 3.75
  • Manchester United 4.20

In this situation we are looking to predict the outcome of the match at full time and we can either select Arsenal or Manchester United to win or we could even predict that the two teams will share the points in North London.

Football Betting Is A Numbers Game

For the purposes of our how to bet on football for beginners guide, we will select Arsenal to win. In doing so, the odds that the bookmakers have offered are 1.83 and this acts as a multiplier against our stake money.

This means if we were to place a £10 bet on Arsenal to win at odds of 1.83, our winnings would be worth £18.33 if the Gunners fired themselves over the line. Any other outcome – a Manchester United win or draw and the bet would be declared a losing one.

A Certain Ratio

Ultimately, the odds are considered as the ratio between what you are prepared to outlay and what you could win. To make things easier, we will simplify Arsenal’s odds of victory to 2.00. If you were to place the same £10 bet, it is a simple multiple of 2.00 and a win would equal £20.

Therefore, the equation is as follows = Odds (2.00) * Stake (10.00) = Winnings (20.00)

2) The Market Is Open

Now that you understand how placing a bet works, you now need to select what type of bet you want to place. As mentioned above, the most popular offering is betting on the outcome of the match (usually known as the win draw win or 1×2 market) but there is far more to choose from.

For example, you can bet on the number of goals that will be scored within a game and this is usually found within an over/under bet. Of this kind of wager, it is 2.5 goals which attracts the most attention.

Here you are having to decide whether a match ends in either over or under 2.5 goals and because you cannot score half a goal in football, it can be easier explained by over requiring three or more goals and under needing two or fewer to be classified a winner.

There Are Countless Markets To Bet On

While you can also bet on all kinds of action within the course of a game. For example, you can bet on the total number of corners, fouls or throw-ins that will be awarded or you can predict how many shots on target a particular player will have.

There are so many markets for you to master that we have another guide for you to check out. Want to know your double chances from your correct scores? Feel free to read this offering from us and turbocharge your knowledge along the way.

3) Speculate To Accumulate

While the most popular football bet of all is none other than the accumulator and this is one where you can combine different matches and/or markets onto your betting slip – a combination that can also maximise the odds on offer.

Before we look at how the accumulator works, we will first take a look at the other options that are available. If we look at the earlier example of Arsenal beating Manchester United, that bet on its own is known as a single.

Adding More Layers

One selection and a bet that is easy as you like. Add there being over 2.5 goals in a game and this combined with an Arsenal win would be known as a double. Further add, more than 10 total corners to the slip and we are now in treble territory.

From here on in, things get far more interesting and any bet which has four separate selections is known as an accumulator and it could look something like this:

  • Arsenal to beat Manchester United – 1.83
  • Leeds to beat Brentford – 2.30
  • Manchester City to beat Wolves – 1.22
  • Middlesbrough to beat Sunderland – 2.45

As you can see there are four matches that have been individually added to my betting slip and selection has its own odds attached to it. However, by making a quartet of choices, the odds on offer are now combined into one single value.

This means the odds on offer are 12.24 and if we go back to our original equation, the bet would look like this:

Odds (12.24) * Stake (10.00) = Winnings (122.40)

Accumulator Odds Are A Rather Simple Equation

A far bigger potential prize on offer but it is harder to get your hands on. For an accumulator to be declared a winner, all four separate selections would have to individual be correct first. Should all the four predictions be correct, then the bookies would have no offer choice but to pay out.

While an accumulator does not have to simply stop at four selections, you can add as many as you like and really boost the potential prize point. Then again, the more you add to your slip, it becomes even harder to come out on top.

This is why we only recommend four of five selections for your accumulator and remember they do not all have to match outcomes. You can select teams to win or draw in one match and use any other markets for the rest of the matches.

For example, your accumulator could look like this instead:

  • Arsenal to beat Manchester United – 1.83
  • Leeds to win or draw against Brentford – 1.36
  • Manchester City/Wolves Over 2.5 Goals – 1.50
  • Sunderland/Middlesbrough Both Teams To Score – 1.80

Odds (6.75) * Stake (10.00) = Winnings (67.50)

As you can see, the same games have been selected but different markets have been chosen instead. This can help minimise the risk of the accumulator and especially if you adhere to our next point below.

4) A League Of Their Own

One of the most important things to consider when preparing a football bet is whether you have carried out your research beforehand and when it comes to placing a wager on the beautiful game, it is very much a case of stick to what you know.

This means if you are someone who rarely watches European football, you may want to avoid staking your money on an Italian Serie B clash. The less you know about the teams involved, the greater the chances the bookmakers will win this particular duel.

Play To Your Strengths

Whereas if you are somebody who consumes absolutely every aspect of the English game, placing bets on League One or League Two is not something that should be confusing and therefore, you have a better opportunity of coming out on top.

The key is to not complicate the bets that you are trying to make. Knowledge is very much power when it comes to football betting and if take time to research the matches that are being contested, that time can be considered a rather worthwhile investment.

This article was written by Dan Tracey on behalf of Kick Off, smart betting made simple.

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