Football Betting Guide

by Addidas football
Updated: 25/09/2020 13:40

Football is a sport that requires no introduction. It divides opinions like no other and is beloved by millions across the UK.

It is also the most popular sport to bet on in the UK. However, knowing the beautiful game and betting on it are two very different things.

In this guide, we will run through the basics and advice you can use to avoid common mistakes and increase the chances of making a profit!

Useful Football Betting Terms

Pre-game betting- Placing a bet on an event before it starts.

In-play betting- Placing a bet of an event whilst it’s live.

Full Time (1×2)- Placing a bet on the result of the game either win-draw-win. Example: Russia vs Saudi Arabia. Russia win (1) a draw (x) or Saudi Arabia win (2).

Stake- The amount of money you place on your bet.

Accumulator- Any bet that is two or more selections, so the smallest being a double. The odds will multiply in an acca and you can pick up to 20 selections on most sites. Of course, this is not recommended and will be discussed further in this guide.

Banker- A selection that someone thinks is a sure thing. Say Man City to beat a Non-League team in the FA Cup could be said to be a banker. Remember in football, there is no such thing as a banker… especially as anything can happen in the magic of the FA Cup.

Odds- If you are confused by the odds whether they are Fractions, Decimals or American. Head over to our very own betting odds guide to help you out.

Favourite- The team that is favoured to win by the bookies. If you look at the odds as the likelihood of the result happening, it will have the highest percentage chance of winning. It will also have the lowest odds.

Underdog- The team that is less likely to win by the bookies. If you look at the odds as the likelihood of the result happening, it will have the lowest percentage chance of winning. It will also have the highest odds.

Bankroll Builder- Placing a bet on an event with low odds (Usually 1.40 or lower) with a higher stake than usual to build up the money in your account. This money can be used for riskier bets or to do £10-£1000 bankroll challenge that is popular right now.

Void Bet- A void bet can occur if the event doesn’t start, or you bet on say a Draw No Bet market. A void bet will take the odds of that event out of a multiple bet. Or you can get your money back on a single. There are several different ways you can get a void bet, but don’t worry. You will neither win nor lose money on that selection.

Long Shots- A term generally used to describe a bet with a small chance of coming in. But, they usually have very high odds for a big return.

Why Bet on Football?

Football is easily the most popular sport to bet on in the UK. Not just because of our love for the game, but because of the variety, entertainment, and great odds that come with it.

The best football betting sites will give you access to a huge variety, featuring leagues and matches from all over the world, and you will find an abundance free bets and betting offers to take advantage of.

In this guide, we will explain the popular markets to choose from and some tips that could help you beat the bookie.

Bernardeschi celebrates with Ronaldo after scoring against Frosinone. Ronaldo opened the scoring in the 81st minute with a firm strike from eight yards.

Betting Markets

There are now hundreds of different betting types and markets available on most betting sites in the UK.

Full-Time Result (1×2)– Placing a bet on the result of the game either win-draw-win. Example: Russia vs Saudi Arabia. Russia win (1) a draw (x) Saudi Arabia win (2).

Double Chance- Placing a single bet with two different outcomes for more likelihood of it winning. For example, Russia vs Saudi Arabia. Russia or Draw meaning you would only lose if SA won. Double Chance has lower odds but can be great for bankroll building.

Draw No Bet- Is when you place a bet on either team to win but if they draw, the bet is void. If a draw occurs you will get your money back. If the team you choose wins, you win. It is a great way of covering yourself but still getting good odds on a favourite.

Both Teams To Score- Of course to win this bet you need both teams to score. Look for games with a strong away team as the home team is more likely to score. There is a lot more to it. You will have to look at team lineups, previous form, stats, players in form. Whether the game means something, it could be a cup game with the team using a younger/weaker side. The more research and stats you find, the more informed your betting choice will be!

Total goals Over/Under 2.5- First of all, the reason there is a .5 is so no draw can occur in this market. For example, over 1.5 goals mean you need two or more goals to win, but if they score just 1 you lose. To pick a great bet, look at both teams and see what there scoring form is like. Stats are great for this market and the lower leagues in English football tend to have more goals than the higher leagues. Research is key just like Both Teams To Score.

Now you know why the bookies use the .5 format, you can apply this to the rest of the markets. For example the Cards and Corners markets. There can be no draws in the markets with .5 apart from the Asian Markets. Check out our guide for a full explanation of the Asian markets.

What to Avoid When Football Betting

Betting Emotionally- Most of us will have favourites or teams we dislike. When betting, take away any emotions you have towards them. Bet with your head, not your heart. It is a sure way to lose money in the long run if you bet with your emotions. However, betting should never be seen as a sure way to make money. Remember it is fun. When the fun stops, stop.

Not using the odds right- See odds as more than just numbers, they represent the likelihood of the event occurring. I use decimals as it is quick and easy to work out the percentage. Simply divide 100 by the decimal odds and you will have the percentage. Remember betting sites pay for the best research when deciding odds. They have the advantage do not fall into their trap. Work out the % and see if there is value in the bet and make informed decisions for every selection.

Placing bets without doing any research- Don’t get me wrong, you can win plenty of bets by what you feel could come in. But let’s face it, your luck will run out. To prevent you from making a loss over time, you need to be meticulous in your research. You will not magically pick winning bets every time, but it will increase your chances.

Placing Acca’s only- Diversifying your betting types can help you to win or at least minimise your losses. If you only ever place long shot acca’s, yes you may win big once or twice. But you will be chasing that win and racking up losses in no time. Bet smart. Use bankroll builders and don’t risk too much money on longshots. You can make a more sustainable profit by placing smaller bets with higher stakes than smaller stakes on huge bets.

Still, place acca’s as they are fun and it’s a great feeling showing off your big win. But use bankroll builders and bankers to build up money so you can use for it long shots.

Betting on the same markets- There are so many different markets to choose from it can be overwhelming. However, take the time to learn about the different markets and you will be reaping their benefits in no time.

Chasing Losses- Arguably one of the biggest mistakes you can make whilst gambling and also a potential sign of a gambling problem that might need to be addressed. Never, and we do mean never, chase your losses! Firstly, only bet on football with money you can afford to lose. Secondly, only bet on football if you are having fun, when the fun stops, stop!

What to do When Football Betting

Research and more research- It is almost criminal to ignore the vast amount of information out there at your disposal. It can only aid your betting selection with stats, previous form, team lineups and so much more. Just be wary of tipsters. Sometimes but not often you can find “fake tipsters”. They can profit from your losses.

We post tips here at BettingLounge but you do not have to copy them, use them as a guide or inspiration for your selections. That goes for all tipsters and tips you come across. There is no guarantee when it comes to football, but we are happy to put in the hours of meticulous research it takes to make an informed decision when picking a bet.

Always check the team news- It is important to check the team news before you place a bet. Not just for any injuries or suspensions, but more often than not, teams rotate their players. It is necessary for the demanding schedule many teams face. Start your research with the team news as all the stats and form could go out of the window if they start a completely different line-up.

Use promotions to your advantage- With the industry being so competitive you will find an abundance of promotions to maximize your profit potential. From price boosts to best odds it is always wise to check different promotions. You can find all the best promotions and offers here at Bettinglounge.

Try to avoid being greedy- You might have a great looking treble or acca but the odds aren’t quite “big” enough. So you add a few more selections for that huge win. But it never comes in…Try to keep the number of selections down unless it is a small stake longshot and you can afford to lose the money. Otherwise, resist the temptation and be smart with your betting choices.

Compare odds and work out betting margins- Finding the best odds available does not always mean the best value over time. But for a specific event, it’s best to compare the odds and find the best value. You can do this by using an odds comparison website or just checking your favourite betting sites.

Betting margins can determine the value of your bets and profit in the long run and should always be considered before joining a betting site.

Or try our betting margins beginners guide if you’re asking “what are betting margins?”.

Seek help if you think you need it- Gambling can cause serious issues in both your finance and mental health. If you feel like you need help check out GambleAware.

Steven is the product manager on BettingLounge and is an experienced iGaming writer who has been working in the industry since 2018.


  1. John 14/10/2019 06:23

    Great guide, have been wanting to get into football betting for a while now and i guess il have to do it now that i finally understand betting more 🙂

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