Football betting is without a doubt the most popular form of betting online. In fact, it’s estimated that since the football pools started over ￡3.2 billion has been paid out.
Football recieves the most bets by far from the ￡700 billion bet on spots annually around the world. That’s a staggering amount of money when you sit back and think about it, and more generous estimates actually put the figure over ￡ 1 trillion, with tens of millions being bet every weekend.
So what’s all the fuss about and why are so many people engaged in betting on football online? In this quick guide we’ll explore the ins and outs of betting on the beautiful game.
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Football Betting Tips & Strategy
When you first encounter the world of footy betting, you’ll probably be tempted to search for those elusive ‘sure thing’ tips and systems telling you how to make money betting on football every time. There’s nothing wrong with paying attention to a tipster, guide, or experts with a solid record, but don’t give them ‘oracle’ status either.
The truth is, however, that everyone is guessing. Some are more educated than others and use stats to make predictions, and hence get it right more often, but in the end football is an unpredictable game and anything can happen on the day. Always remember that there’s no such thing as a sure thing before looking fo football tips.
That said, there are some common sense general tips you can follow when placing your bets. These will help you make money more often and lose money less often (both equal more cash in your pocket).
1 – Bet On What’s Likely, Not What You Want
It’s tempting to bet on our favourite team or desired outcome all the time, but that’s not really a very good way to make money by betting on football.
Like it or not, bookies are probably the best indicator of what will happen, since it is literally their business to know, and if they say Manchester United will beat West Brom, they probably will based on all the data the bookies have crunched.
You would do well (most of the time) to make bets that have reasonable odds and therefore have a fair probability of happening. You don’t always have to go with the favourites, but be realistic – if something is 500/1, it’s basically going to happen once every ten lifetimes.
2 – Never, Ever Bet What You Can’t Afford to Lose
We aren’t telling you this in a condescending way, but every experienced gambler will confirm that when you are betting with money you can’t afford to lose, you will lose more often!
Why? Some put it down to luck, speculating that lady luck doesn’t like the smell of desperation, but a much more logical way to think of it is that you probably make worse decisions when you’re not thinking clearly, eg when you’re emotional, which you are much more likely to be when betting with money you need.
You will make better betting decisions when you have a clear mind and can sit back and think about the game with a clear head. To do that, you need to be able to say goodbye to the money you are about to ebt without it impacting your ability to make rent.
3 – Form a Strategy & Stick to It
We’re going to take a closer look at some football betting strategies below, but it’s important to actually use a betting strategy rather than randomly picking an outcome you have no idea about.
Some punters believe it is all 100% luck, and while that might be true with something like casino slots, it’s not so with something like football betting. Yes, it’s an unpredictable game, but there are sensible bets which are likely to come good, and ill-informed, highly unlikely bets which basically mean you are throwing away your cash.
Knowing the difference is important. Forming a winning betting strategy is one way to avoid making frivolous bets.
4 – Make Use of Live Betting Where Possible
Live football betting is the ability to both place bets during live play, and close out existing bets before the final whistle. While the old ways required bets to be placed before kick-off which would be settled after the final whistle, live betting has changed all that and you are now in a much more flexible position.
Live betting allows you to take profits before the final whistle, meaning if your underdog team is up by 2 goals and the odds have changed significantly but you don’t think it will ed that way, you might be able to cash out in the money. Also, if you’re pick is getting slaughtered, you will be able to cut your losses and walk away.
Live betting also opens lots of potential opportunities to profit within matches. Every time there is a free kick, corner, or penalty, you will be able to have a punt on it.
How to Make Money Betting on Football
This is the point at which we look at some of the popular football betting strategies and assess their pros and cons. As you read them, remember, there is no such thing as a way to win every football bet. There’s always a tiny little element of unpredictability involved.
Strategy 1 – Stick With the Winners
There are some football matches which have a clear favourite, such as a match between Real Madrid and Wigan Athletic. It’s pretty obvious to anyone who knows anything about football what is going to happen in this scenario, and if you can’t pick the winner you should probably give it a little more time before you start betting on football.
Where there is a clear and obvious probable outcome, bet a fair amount on the favourite. Yes, you will have to bet more than you stand to gain in most cases, but the reason for that is because the outcome is virtually certain.
The downside is that every once in awhile, from out of nowhere, things like Leicester City winning the English Premier League happens. Which leads us nicely to…
Strategy 2 – Bet on the Black Swan Event
When early Australian explorers returned to Europe and told the people there about black swans, nobody believed them. They claimed it was impossible for black swans to exist, because they had never seen them. Yet later, it was confirmed that they did exist, and that they were a tiny population in the overall swan population globally.
In other words, black swans were highly unlikely to exist, but they did.
This happens from time to time in football, and if you are one of the fortunate punters who has bet on a black swan event taking place, you stand to gain a lot of money.
To go back to our previous example, Leicester City winning the English Premier League paid out odds of 5000/1 to those who had bet on it at the start of the season. In other words, if you had bet ￡10 on it, you would be able to buy a small house or a very nice car with the winnings.
There are punters who focus exclusively on this betting strategy, reasoning that all of the small losses they accumulate when the events don’t happen will be cancelled out and then some when they do.
This is a strategy which required patience and the ability to absorb lots of little losses until the unlikely event happens and you get your huge payday.
Strategy 3 – Tilt the Odds in Your Favour With Free Bets
Since most of the top online bookmakers are offering free bets, you can actually place a significant bet free of charge, meaning there is no risk of loss.
While you will have to meet some playthrough requirements before you can cash these bets out (such as betting the total amount three times), it’s still a risk free bet and since there are some many online bookies, you can make betting for free a strategy.
Note that you normally can’t use free bets in accumulators and there may be restrictions with regards the markets you can bet in.
This is a strategy with no downside and potentially significant upside. Of course, you will eventually run out of bookmaker sites offering free bets and will have to use your own money to keep betting.
Football Betting Odds
It’s important to always check the odds before you make football bets. We bring you the most up to date football odds from the top bookmakers online here.
Using a betting calculator can help you calculate the potential wins and losses of your bet before you place it. The best betting calculators will be able to calculate the outcome of several bets and tell you what the outcome may be in terms of profits and loss.
You can check out a top betting calculator here.