The best time to bet on football action

The Best Time to Bet on Football

By Dan Tracey - Feb 3rd 2023

Like with many other aspects, football betting is a lot to do with timing. Get your timing right and you can maximise the odds that the bookmakers are prepared to offer. Get it wrong and you may be saying goodbye to value. Thankfully, this article will be saying hello to some key points on this topic.

1. As The Market Opens

2. An Hour Before

3. Betting In-Play

4. Bide Your Time

When it comes to the best time to bet on football, we have an awesome foursome of pointers. Which means you can put your watch away and spend a few minutes on reading our bookie beating advice instead.

1) As The Market Opens

One way to get the best prices in any football market, is to bet way ahead of the event itself. For example, if you can bet on a match a week or so in advance, the odds are yet to be affected by any external factors.

At such a distance from the game getting underway, the bookmakers are still applying an element of guesswork to their odds. Not a total shot in the dark it must be said, but there is still a lot that change in the seven days before kick-off.

Recent Results May Also Change The Pre-Match Odds

If we were to take the clash between Leicester and Tottenham at the King Power Stadium, this Premier League meeting is set to take place eight days after the time of writing and the odds in the 1×2 (win draw win) market have only just gone live.

Looking at these odds, they are as follows:

  • Leicester 3.60
  • Draw 3.40
  • Tottenham 2.05

As you can see Tottenham have been considered as favourites to pick up maximum points and although the North London outfit may well deliver, that price could also shorten in the hours that follow.

Because were Spurs were to win the league match before this by a comfortable margin or Leicester suffer a heavy defeat, it would only shorten the odds for an away win. Therefore, if the two teams still have a game to play before this one gets underway, you may want to lock these odds in early.

2) An Hour Before

While another aspect of betting timing is in the last 60 minutes before kick-off. This is undoubtedly the golden hour when it comes to testing your acumen against the bookmakers and this is all because of the team news being released.

If a game kicks off at 3.00pm, you will need to keep an eye on social media for the official tweets or post at 2.00pm. Should your star striker be an injury doubt beforehand, his appearance or lack thereof could seriously alter the odds in question.

A Confirmed Injury Could Alter The Pre-Match Odds

If we were to take a look at the odds in the West London derby between Chelsea and Fulham, this is how the 1×2 market is priced just two hours before kick-off:

  • Chelsea 1.60
  • Draw 4.20
  • Fulham 5.25

However, this market could take a massive fluctuation at 7.00pm and if Fulham’s Alexsander Mitrovic had a question mark over his fitness, you would want to wait until his selection has either been confirmed or not.

Fit To Go?

If the Serbian is fit and raring to go, Fulham’s odds of an away win at Stamford Bridge may shorten slightly and Chelsea’s may lengthen as a counterbalance. Should the Serbian be ruled out with a knock, the opposite will happen.

Therefore, if you have missed the odds as soon as the market is open, you do not want to caught placing a bet in the no-man’s land of anywhere from six days to a couple of hours before the game gets underway.

Because this is the period where the news and rumours come to light. Any whispers of playing personnel being available causes panic in the market and the only way to then override this panic is by then waiting for an hour before the game gets underway.

3) Betting In-Play

Our first two examples look at betting from a pre-match perspective, the advent of in-play betting has allowed punters even more time to place a bet. Not only that, but they can use the game itself as a guide on where to put their money.

If we were to look at this Austrian Cup match, we can see the pre-match odds on offer:

  • Wolfsberger AC – 2.90
  • Draw – 3.50
  • Rapid Vienna – 2.38

However, we can also look at the odds after 40 minutes when no goals have been scored:

  • Wolfsberger AC – 3.50
  • Draw – 2.50
  • Rapid Vienna – 2.60

Whereas Rapid Vienna were the pre-match favourites, the in-play market has now altered itself to offer the draw as the shortest price. Admittedly not by much, but if this was still the case after an hour, the stalemate would be even shorter in terms of odds.

A Lack Of Goals Will Change The In-Play Market

At just before the interval, you could make an educated guess and back the draw – something that may have been less appealing before the game got underway but because you have studied the ebb and flow of the encounter, this now becomes a far more worthwhile wager.

Not only that, but in play betting can be a perfect way to build your bankroll. A home team could be 2-0 up with 25 minutes to go and are as short as 1.15. This bet on its own will not make you rich but it certainly be a solid long-term strategy if you hold your nerve, and this leads us to our next topic.

4) Bide Your Time

There is another angle when looking at the timing of football betting and this is a long-term one. With the examples above being geared more towards short-term or in-play betting, you can also bet far into the distance.

While the distance can be as long as nine months when looking at a bet from a season-long approach. With the outright markets for competitions such as La Liga or the Bundesliga being opened before a ball has even been kicked, this is where you can extract maximum value.

If you pick your competition winner before the start of the campaign, everyone will be starting on the same balance of 0 points and although there will favourites and underdogs, nobody has generated a head start.

Because once the likes of Real Madrid or Bayern Munich generate a head start over their nearest rivals, this when their respective odds will plummet considerably and any opportunity to generate long-term profit has likely slipped through your fingers.

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

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