How to Bet on Football

Bet on Football anytime, anywhere from your desktop, tablet or mobile!

Football is the most popular sport in the world and betting on it will always remain the main pillar for any sportsbook, especially the domestic ones.

For the top fixtures in the football calendar some of the best betting sites in the UK offer more than 200 bets. Usually all bets count for normal time (90 minutes plus added time) only, unless stated otherwise.

Types of Football Bets on Offer

All leading betting sites structure their football bets in a similar fashion. In order to make it easier for customers and ultimately channel their bets, the list of every game of football’s betting options begins with those markets, which punters find most attractive. This topic gives you the exact meaning of the most popular footy bets.

1 x 2 Betting

Without a doubt, the most common and easiest to understand form of wager. To get a return, you have to correctly predict the game’s full time result.

Example: It’s Crystal Palace against Chelsea. You can either back the Eagles to win (15/2), the Blues to come on top (2/5) or the teams to share the points (7/2). To count as winning, your guess has to be right.

Double Chance

Just like 1X2 betting, here you can choose from three selections, but the outcome probability is way bigger. Sadly, the odds are significantly lowered. That’s because different outcomes are grouped in couples.

Example: Everton host Aston Villa in the most played League fixture in English football’s history. You are not sure about the outcome, so you seek assurance. The Double Chance bets are as it follows: Everton and Draw (1/6); Aston Villa and Draw (5/4) and Everton and Aston Villa (2/9).

Draw No Bet

Draw no Bet is a football wager that eliminates the draw from the available selections. If the game in question ends without a winner, your stake will be returned.

Example: Manchester City entertain Tottenham at Etihad Stadium and the Draw-no-Bet odds are Man City (1/6) and Spurs (4/1). In case the game ends in a draw, the bookmaker will refund your stake.

Correct Score

‘What do you think will be the score tonight?’ has to rank somewhere among ‘Good morning!’ and ‘How do you like your tea?’ As one of the most popular sentences used by Brits. It’s a really fun challenge to predict a football game’s result and the source of much banter. Online bookies offer you more than enough options, you can even send a request to some of them if you can’t find the one you want to bet on.

Example: Arsenal play Marseille in UEFA Champions League and you can’t shake off the feeling that the Gunners will win by one goal to nil. This scoreline was their trademark in the 90’s, perhaps back then it was priced (1/6), but now you are more likely to get odds in the region of (6/1). Coupled correct score bets can be placed at Ladbrokes and are used for combined predictions. Say we back 1-0 and 2-1 at 18/5 odds.

Both Teams to score

‘Both teams to score’ (BTTS) is another top football bet, which is used as base for many others and various promotions too. You may choose between ‘Yes’ and ‘No’ and your bet will be settled, depending on whether both sides manage to find the net before the final whistle.

Example: Newcastle play Leicester at home and we pick ‘BTTS – No’ at 11/10. This means we will get a return only if after the end of the game St. James’ Park’s scoreboard shows at least one zero, a goalless draw will also mean the bet is winning. If we opted instead for the ‘Yes’ option, the bet could be settled in our favour as soon as both sides score in the game.

Handicaps / Alt HC / Asian Handicap

Handicap in football betting means an advantage for one of the sides that is given beforehand and is applied to the final result of the game. The usual handicap value for football is 1, but online you can also find alternative ones.

Example: You are absolutely certain that Manchester United will beat WBA in their trip to the Hawthorns, but the price of 4/6 seems kind of low to you. So you decide to go for Manchester United (-1), which returns the much better 8/5 odds. Applying this handicap, there are 3 available scenarios after the game is finished.

1. Manchester United win by 2 goals or more. Handicap result is Man Utd, so our selection wins.
2. Manchester United win by exactly 1 goal. Handicap result is a Tie, so our selection loses.
3. The game ends in a draw or a West Brom win. Handicap result is a WBA win, so our selection loses.

Asian Handicap

Asian Handicap also gives an upper hand to one of the teams in advance, but this time the draw is eliminated as a result. Another difference from the standard handicap format is Asian HC may consist 2 values, one whole and one half number.

Example: Charlton host Norwich and we bet £3 on the Canaries with Asian Handicap (-1.0, -1.5) at Evens.
1. Norwich win by 2 goals or more. The selection wins and we get full payout for our stake.
2. Norwich win by exactly one goal. Our selection wins, but we are paid only half of the prize.
3. The match ends in a draw or a Charlton win. Our bet counts as lost.

A simple tap-in or a stunning 30-yard volley, a goal is a goal! It makes millions go jubilant or break down crying in stadiums, pubs and homes. It will be on the back page of tomorrow’s newspaper and the goal is what is shown on replays over and over again. Goals are what bring excitement to the game. Read on to find out how to get even more thrill by betting on goals online.


Do you remember when Ruud van Nistelrooy scored in 10 consecutive league games for Manchester United in 2003? If I wasn’t 13 back them, I would definitely fancy a bet on his streak to continue. Actually, the all-time record is still held by Dixie Dean, the Everton legend who scored in 12 consecutive Division Two matches in 1930-31.

To be perfectly honest, I really doubt that bookies were accepting bets on goalscorers back then. However, today the best betting sites are oozing with goalscorer betting options, you can put your money on numerous amount of bets.

The bookies offer prices for every outfield player to open the scoring, to grab the game’s last goal or to slot home at any time during the game. Logically, strikers are given the shortest odds, but you can always try to hit it big time with backing some of the high-scoring defenders. Note that own goals do not count for those kind of bets.

Some bookies apply the Each Way rules to their First Goalscorer bets, so you can get some consolation if your man fails to break the deadlock, but scores later in the game. If you are in more adventurous mood you can try ‘To score two or more’ or ‘To score three or more’. The odds are really good, even the most prolific goalscorers have high rates.

Example: We back Steven Gerrard to score first in the Merseyside derby (12/1).
1. The former England captain grabs the first goal. Our selection wins.
2. Daniel Sturridge finds the net first, but Gerrard doubles Liverpool’s lead 5 minutes later. If the Each Way rules apply, we will be awarded a fraction of the win odds, for example 3/1.
3. A disappointing game for Gerrard, he doesn’t score at all. Our bet counts as lost.

Next goalscorer/ time/ method/ live

When betting live on sporting events, you can place bets that are strictly connected with the next goal. You will be able to select only from the players who are on the pitch at the moment and the odds will be influenced by the tenancies of the game.

There are some other attributes of the next goal that you can bet on live. The first one is the method of scoring the goal. This wager can’t be found at every bookmaker, but Bet365 has it and there you can bet on whether the goal will be scored with a shot, a header or from the penalty spot. Time of next goal usually covers a set number of minutes and varies with different bookmakers.

Example: At half time we bet a fiver on two wagers:

1. Next goal will be a header;

2. The next goal will be scored before 60 minutes played.

1. Shortly after the break Peter Crouch towers in the opponents’ box and heads home. Both our bets win.
2. Charlie Adam converts a last-minute penalty. Britannia Stadium erupts, both our bets fail.

Goal Bands

This type of wager clusters the total number of goals scored. They may apply for the one team only, both sides, the whole game or just one of the halves. The usual grouping is 0-1, 2-3, 4-5, 6+.

Example: We predict that El Clasico will produce 4 or 5 goals.

1. Full Time result is Barcelona – Real Madrid 3-2. Catalonia is happy, so are we.
2. Los Blancos manage to beat Blaugranas 1-0. No joy for Leo Messi and our account balance.

Scorecast / Wincast

Those kind of bets are perfect for those of you who are chasing unorthodox odds and big profits. Scorecast – Predicting the first goalscorer and the correct score of the game. Wincast – Picking a player to score first and his team to win the game.

Example: England play Bulgaria away in a World Cup qualifier. We put £10 on both Wayne Rooney to score first and England to win 3-0 and just Rooney to score first and England to win.

1. Rooney does open the scoreline, but there are no more goals in the game. Only our Wincast bet wins.
2. Rooney scores first, but Bulgaria fights their way back to a famous 2-1 win. Three Lions are not roaring and we are not winning anything.

Team to score First, Second or Last

This is another set of goals-related football betting markets. Prior the game you may place your stake on whichever team you think will score the game’s first and last game. After the first goal comes, in live betting mode you can back any team to score next.

Example: Switzerland is at home to Croatia and the home side has 6/4 odds to break the deadlock. The final score is completely meaningless for us, our bet is settled as the first goal is scored.
1. Rooney does open the scoreline, but there are no more goals in the game. Only our Wincast bet wins.
2. Rooney scores first, but Bulgaria fights their way back to a famous 2-1 win. Three Lions are not roaring and we are not winning anything.

We seriously considered to include Totals (Over / Under) bets in the main wagers cluster. Still, those bets have so many distinguishing characteristics, they deserve to be mentioned separately. Online you can find totals offered for virtually all countable statistics.


Goals, of course, are attracting most attention among the over/under bets. Usually 2.5 is used as a condition to define a low-scoring and high-scoring game of football. Bookies don’t limit your choices, though, online you can find alternative bets, starting with 0.5 clause. A great thing about similar bets is that it doesn’t matter which team is attacking, you always root for a goal.

Example: North London Derbies are famous with the impressive score lines they often produce. Over the years we’ve seen multiple 5-2’s, 5-4 and a 5-1. So we decide to put some cash on over 4.5 goals on Saturday’s late kick off at the Emirates. It’s another classic between those two sides, a 3-2 win for the Gunners and joyful times for us too, a total of 5 goals, meaning another winning bet.


We’ve all witnessed at least one of those games, when you get the feeling that nothing is happening on the pitch. A tedious goalless draw, no desire for fight shown by both sides, a real snoozefest. However, such games are great opportunity to go for ‘Under’ on cards shown. Note that every bookie nominates yellow and red with different points, so you better check them beforehand.

Example: We have a hunch that Sunday’s Tyne-Wear derby once again will turn into a bookings bloodbath. Newcastle end the game with 7 yellow cards and a straight red, while Sunderland contribute ‘only’ with 5 official warnings. Say a yellow is awarded with 1 point and a red with 3, the card points count for the game is 15. So all over 15.5 predictions will be losing and any bet with lower value will grant a return.


Corners are another option to place your over/under bets. You can bet either on the home side or the visitors’ tally, or combined. An important detail is that the corner-kick has to be taken in order to count for the statistics.

Example: We are browsing the fixtures list and looking for a potential open, end-to-end game of football. Blackpool – Wigan seems like a reasonable choice. Both sides love to attack, so it’s very possible that the game will see many corner-kicks. We bet £10 on over 10.5 corners and watch carefully.

By the end of the first half we already have 8, which is really encouraging. What is great (or bad, depending on your bet) about betting on corners is that any side can be awarded with 3 corners in quick succession. That’s exactly what happens on the hour mark and regarding our bet, the match is over.

Odd / Even

Totals include betting on whether the amount of goals/cards/corners will be an even or odd number. A pure coin toss in my opinion, but some punters may see some pattern in Milwall’s string of 2-0, 3-1 and 4-2 defeats.

Example: We bet that Cardiff – Fulham will produce an even number of goals. At the start of the second half we’re confident with the score being 1-1, but any goal will turn things around and we will have to hope for another one.

Half Time / Full Time

Half time / full time combos can be a fun bet and if combined with another bet can add great value to your selections. With this type of bet, You’re betting on the result of the match at half-time and full-time. There are 9 possible combinations of bets.

Example: Kidderminster are playing Welling United and I expect a tight game, my thoughts are it will be 0-0 at half time but Kidderminster will score late in the 2nd half. The odds on a Kidderminster victory are 8/15. The odds on a draw at half time and Kidderminster to win 2nd half are 3/1 so I can combine these two bets to give better value.

Highest scoring half result

This is a simple bet on which half (if any) will produce the most goals. This is a great bet if a team has a habit of scoring goals late on or if a team is renowned for conceding late goals.

Example: For the Kidderminster game, first half to have most goals is 2/1, 2nd half is 1/1 and for both halves to have the same amount of goals is 5/2.

Plenty of people are very attracted to the HT/FT market because they offer some really great returns for correct predictions. The highest returns (and also the hardest to predict) are usually paid out for matches that swing from one extreme to another, for example home team winning at half time and then the away team winning at full time. Picking a random game Home win (5/6) and away win at (7/2) the odds on a H/A result are a fantastic 40-1. Even games that on paper look like a more one sided match, say Arsenal (1/6) against West Ham (14/1) then the H/A will attract 66-1.

To win either half

This is an interesting market, which concerns the 45-minute periods seperately.

Example: Ipswich Town play Blackburn in the FA cup and we back Rovers to win at least one of the halves at 11/10. Turns out it is The Tractor Boys’ afternoon and they manage to put 4 past Blackburn inside the first half. The tie is practically settled, but the away side gets a consolation goal with 5 minutes to go. It doesn’t make a huge difference for them, but it’s a crucial one for us, since the second half’s score is 1-0 to Rovers and our bet turns out winning. Get in there!

To score / Not to score

As the name suggests this is simply a bet that you believe a certain team will score at any point during the 90 minutes. It is important to note that extra time in cup competitions does not count. Some other variations on this are half-time correct score and half time /full time correct score. Half time / Full time correct score is a difficult one to call and in that respect the odds

This is just a sample of the numerous bets for halves that are available online. At the top bookies in the country you will find all top end-result markets for either half, such as correct score, BTTS, handicaps and totals.

Paddy Power are known for their unusual and sometimes even freaky bets on football, but they are not the only bookmaker that offers special markets to their customers. At all top UK betting sites you can find an abundance of special options for your footy bets. We’ve prepared a teaser with some of the most common ones. To get the full picture, you may need to check it on the bookie’s website.

Winning Margin

As the name suggests, this bet requires you to guess the winning margin of the game, regardless of which side exactly will get the three points. There are also options for a score draw and the game to end goalless.

Example: We bet that the winning margin of Lazio – Roma will be 2 goals. Therefore, the list of results that will grant us a return, consists either side to win, 2-0, 3-1, 4-2 and the less likely 5-3, 6-4, etc.

Results Minute Markets

Most bookies offer their customers betting markets for exact portion of the game, say 10 minutes. Will that interval see a goal? Will there be more than 6.5 corners by the hour mark? Will a player be booked between 70:00 and 79:59? Your precise predictions are unlimited.

Clean sheet

This market (as many others) is practically offered in a different way, still some users may find it more useful to bet on any team to keep a clean sheet. For those who are not familiar with the terminology of the beautiful game, a clean sheet is awarded to a team when it doesn’t concede a goal in the particular game.

Penalty, Missed Penalty

Penalties are often the subjects of heated discussions after football games. Why did the ref gave it? Did the foul started inside the box? Will England ever win a shootout in a major tournament? It’s not a surprise that online you can bet on a spot kick being awarded, scored or missed. When there is a shootout you can predict whether the next taker will keep his cool and slot home or blast it to row Z.

Red card Y/N

We know that some footballers are more passionate than others and get booked. That doesn’t ultimately mean they play dirty, some take of their shirt when celebrating, don’t know when to keep their mouth shut or just forget to get on the pitch on time. Regardless of the way they are shown, two yellows always translate into a red, so matches, which feature such hot-headed players are good for ‘Yes’ in the red card market at online bookies.

More and more…

The list is practically endless. You will be able to bet on a team to win from being trailing in the game, on a win to nil and even on Luis Suarez to bite someone, like he did in the 2014 World Cup in Brazil! Browsing the special football betting options can be really fun, we suggest that you check them carefully. Who knows, maybe there you will find the right bet.

The biggest advantage of placing Ante Post bets online is you don’t have to keep the ticket unscratched, everything is digital after all! Let’s say you want to back England to win the 2018 World Cup. It will be much easier to place the bet online and save yourself a lot of trouble trying to remember where you’ve put the receipt when we actually do it. (Yes, I believe in it!). Here is a short summary of the most popular outright football bets.

Champion/ Cup Winner

You can predict which team will triumph in the end of a certain League or Cup competition. Logically, the odds are getting shorter and shorter with the tournament’s progress.

Relegation / Wooden Spoon winners

When there are winners, there are also losers. Fancy a team to go down in a dramatic (or not so) fashion? You clearly see the punch bag in this year’s edition of UEFA Champions League? Well, nothing stops you to benefit from their struggle.

Group Quinella / Exacta

You know the rules that apply for Europe’s top club competitions. Teams are situated in groups of 4, top two teams progress further in the tournament, the other two are eliminated. With Quinella you pick the first and second-placed teams in no particular order, while with Exacta you need to predict the correct order too.

Top Scorer

Strikers always enjoy the biggest attention among their colleagues. The media spotlight is always on them and fans prefer their jerseys in the club store. So why don’t you back you favourite hitman to get next season’s Premier League Golden boot?

Trophies for club

Do you fancy Manchester City to repeat the feat of their eternal rivals from 1999? Isn’t it time Newcastle to end their trophy drought that stretches back to 1955? Online you can find interesting trophy combos about your team with very attractive odds.

Goals for Player

When Chelsea signed Fernando Torres for £50m back in 2011, nobody expected his epic failure at Stamford bridge. The Spaniard scored 20 PL goals in his 3 and a half years with The Blues. Can you see the next big-money Premier League flop? Bet on him, Bet365 offers extensive list of markets pre-season for certain players to score in the following term.

Sacked Managers/ Next Manager It is really rare to see lengthy spells of Premier League managers, such as the ones of Arsene Wenger and Sir Alex Ferguson. Most clubs sack their bosses like crazy. Some online bookmakers give you the opportunity to bet on who will be shown the door next.

Player to sign for a club

SkyBet is one of the bookies that offers odds for the most anticipated deals for the upcoming transfer window. Like there are not enough money involved in football transfers already. However, if you are certain that your club will definitely get the hotshot striker that is linked with you can bet on it. Sometimes fans only check the odds to see how probable it is the player in question to sign for their club.

Where to Bet on Football


The number 1 Bet Exchange


Betfair is a bet exchange. It has changed the world of betting by allowing you to effectively, bet against other punters. This often results in better odds. You can "Back" a bet, just as you would at a bookmaker. You can however, also, "Lay" a bet, which means you bet on something that you think will not happen.

Click Here to Bet at Betfair