Welcome to the exciting world of betting on football (soccer) matches. The information provided on this page will help you better understand the nuances of betting on soccer. Hopefully, the tips offered in the last section will help you become a winner.
How to Bet on Football – Straight Bets
Most sports require the bettor to bet on a match or game that has two potential outcomes, either Team A wins or Team B wins. If the two teams tie, all bets are refunded.
Football betting is built on a format that’s best described as “Three-Way Betting.” That means there are three potential outcomes (Team A wins, Team B wins, a TIE). The bettor is required to bet on the option they prefer. NOTE: The “Three-Way Betting” format is waived during tournament play when an absolute winner has to be determined. A good example would be the single elimination rounds of the World Cup.
Under the “Three-Way Betting” format, each of the three betting options is assigned a money line betting value. Let’s look at an example of this format. For all examples, we will assume the bettor is going to be wagering in $100 USD increments.
Todays Premiere League match is between Chelsea at home vs Manchester City. The money line odds are listed as follows:
Manchester City +230
You will note all three options offer better than even money odds. That’s typical when there are three potential outcomes in a very close matchup. After all, the bettor has two different ways to lose their money and only one way to win. In a case where one team is heavily favored, the odds on the favored team may be stated with a minus (-), for instance -110. The minus represents the amount a better must wager if they want to win $100. The betting option with the lowest odds would be considered the favorite.
The odds payoff is calculated as follows: If the bettor wagers $100 on Chelsea, they will get back $260 if Chelsea wins. That’s a net profit of $160. The profits would be $230 n Manchester City and $200 on the tie.
There are times when the online bookmaker will decide to forgo the “Three-Way Betting: format by offering a goal spread on a match. By listing a goal spread, the betting format becomes a “Two-Way Betting” format. Any ties will result is a refund. However, bookmakers might post a goal spread based on 1/2 goal. It might be 1/2, 1 1/2, 2 1/2, etc. By doing so, it eliminates the possibility of a tie. Under this scenario, the winning team will be decided after the goal spread has been added (+) or subtracted (-) from the actual winning team’s final score. The odds might now look like this”
Manchester City +1/2 +120
Chelsea –1/2 –140
In this case, Chelsea is favored by 1/2 goal. If the final score was 2-1 in favor of Chelsea, the 1/2 goal would be deducted from Chelsea’s score or added to Manchester City’s. After doing either of those two things, Chelsea still wins the bet. If the actual game ended in a tie, Manchester City would be the winner after receiving the 1/2 goal.
How to Bet on Football – Parlay (Accumulator)
Parlays or accumulators allow bettors to bet on multiple football matches all within the same bet. The basic requirement is all games must be recorded as winners. That’s a risky proposition. However, it comes with some potentially nice payoff.
A bet becomes a parlay when the bettor decides to list at least two teams on the same betting slip. Again, it will only be a winning bet if all selections win. If ties are treated as “no contest” bets, a parlay treats the game as “no-action” and relegates the parlay down one level. For instance, a 3-team parlay becomes a 2-team parlay.
While it can get complicated, here’s an example of how a $100 winning parlay would be calculated. Here’s the parlay bet:
Chelsea game: $100 bet + $160 winnings = $260 (carried to Liverpool game)
Liverpool game: $260 bet + $236.36 winnings = $496.36 (carried to Arsenal game)
Arsenal game: $496.36 bet + $496.36 winnings = $992.72 total winnings for a net profit of $892.72.
When calculating the winnings on a minus bet, simply take the wager amount and divide it by the minus amount. When calculating the winnings on a plus bet, simply take the wager amount and multiply it times the plus amount.
Football Betting Tips
The internet is filled with betting tips from self-proclaimed handicappers. Some tips are free and others are available at a price. Tips can be useful if you don’t have to do your own handicapping. If you do your own handicapping, betting tips might be a good way to see if you have consensus with your own opinions.
Still, you should make every effort to do your own handicapping. Here’s a list of factors you should include in your handicapping process:
- Compare offensive, defensive and time possession stats between the two team
- Look at past games between the two teams for the past two years
- Look for strong home game or road game bias between the two teams
- Look at current winning or losing streaks
- Check injury reports – significant injuries can greatly affect how a game is played
- Check weather reports – Certain weather conditions could favor one team or another
- Read recent news releases – player information is relevant
As a rule of thumb, you should never bet more than 5% of your bankroll on a straight bet and never more that 3% on a parlay. Parlays are a fun way to make a lot of money with a small bet. However, you must realize the bookmaker is going to have a significant advantage. Above all, you never want to gamble with more than you can afford to lose. That means pay your bills, put some savings aside and have fun betting on football matches with whatever you might have remaining. Responsible gambling is the only way to truly enjoy the experience.