Football Betting Sites
Betting on football is huge business, with around £1bn having been wagered on the 2014 World Cup alone. And for millions of people around the world (ourselves included) a cheeky wager on the beautiful game brings an extra level of excitement to this wonderful sport.
With the ever-growing number of online bookies the choices facing a punter today can be overwhelming and here we take a look at some of the options for betting on football, as well as the best betting sites to use in terms of their betting odds and offers.
There are now more football leagues around the world covered by bookmakers than ever before, with more markets, more promotions and even better free bets. In other words, we punters are spoiled for choice as rival bookmakers try to outdo one another to win the custom of football betting fans… happy days indeed!
Best Bookmakers For Betting On Football
Football is the most popular sport on which to bet, not just in the UK but in Europe, Asia and other parts of the world too. As such, almost any online bookie worth their salt offers a fantastic service for football bettors, but here we take a look at only the crème de la crème, the best of the best.
Bet365 are, quite simply, one of the very best betting sites around for virtually all sports but when it comes to football they may well be the best overall performer. They tick all the right boxes but two particular areas of expertise are their live betting console and their phenomenal array of matches that can be watched live via their streaming service.
For fans who like to bet on – and watch – some of the less popular leagues, especially in-play, they are second to none and this adds a whole new angle to betting on football. Of course, they are also first rate when it comes to the big international games, the Champions League and the Premier League – hardly surprising given they are owned by the chairman of Premier League club Stoke City! Finding your football bets is also really easy, the range of markets is brilliant and the odds are certainly well above average.
Another feature of Bet365’s football coverage – and again this really applies to the site in general – is the range, frequency and quality of the football betting offers they have. Their Euro Soccer Bonus promotion offers an acca boost of up to 100% for those betting on the Premier League and other top European leagues (ideal now Sky Sports 5 covers plenty of those games).
Bore Draw Money Back is a brilliant offer for punters who like to bet on Correct Score, Half-Time/Full-Time or Scorecast markets as it offers money back (as a straight refund, not just a free bet) on ALL football matches that end 0-0. Bet365 also offer Each-Way First Goalscorers at 1/3 the odds but will pay out on ANY scorers during the game.
In addition to all these regular offers they have ad hoc promotions for the biggest games, the best of which are dished out about four times a season and which give £50 risk free bets in-play if you place a £50 pre-match bet. Taken together all these factors mean Bet365 is far more like Real Madrid than Stoke City when it comes to football betting!
Sky Bet are owned by BSkyB, main broadcaster of the Premier League, and so it is no surprise that they offer an exceptional football betting experience. Their odds are very solid whilst their range of markets is as good as you will find almost anywhere, especially if you like specials betting, with masses of player, team and manager options.
The site works really well on both desktop and mobile and because of their link with Sky TV there are some nice extras, including Fantasy Football, access to the Sky Sports Centre, loads of stats through Opta and expert opinion from pundits via features and podcasts, including Jamie Redknapp’s blog and betting tips.
Sky also offer loads in the way of football betting promotions, with the Sky Bet Club (available on any sport not just football) offering a £5 free bet every single week, their amazing Transfer Fund promotion offering £5k to one lucky punter plus £250,000 to the team of their choice and the brilliant Super 6 offering £250,000 as well. Super 6 is a free to enter prediction game and is great fun, as well as offering amazing weekly prizes on top of the quarter of a million pound jackpot.
With regular price boosts and loads of enhanced accumulators, there is loads on offer for footy fans at Sky Bet whilst their sponsorship of the Football League (as of the 2014-15 season) means there’s also plenty of offers and promotions beyond the Premier League too.
The owner of BetVictor is man with a long history in British bookmaking and a reputation as the “Gentleman Bookmaker”. For football fans that means two things: great odds and a bookie not afraid to take a large wager. Indeed, BetVictor once accepted a bet from fellow bookie Fred Done of Betfred (see below) that Man United would finish above Chelsea – they didn’t and BetVictor won a cool £1m!
Whilst you might not stake that much, one thing is for sure with BetVictor: their odds are first class. Independent research from the 2013-14 season showed them as having the best Premier League match odds overall out of 17 major bookies, as well as top odds for the FA Cup, Champions League, Championship and Europa League. Impressive stuff and definitely a great reason to choose BetVictor for your football bets – over the course of a whole season slightly higher odds on each bet can make a huge difference to your overall profit. BetVictor also boasts a huge range of markets and some nice features, including great mobile and in-play suites.
They are also very strong when it comes to football offers, with their Best Bet Bundles offering enhanced trebles and doubles, the Back of the Net promo giving you acca insurance on both teams to score bets (incidentally, BetVictor are a great option for BTTS fans) if just one side lets you down, and loads of big one-off free bets and offers for major events such as the World Cup and the FA Cup.
Coral are a long-established bookie with roots that stretch back to the 1920s and like all British high street bookies, football is a major speciality. There is nothing to fault in the football betting provision, with odds that are well above average, more than 100 markets as standard even on lower league English action and many more for the Premier League and a dedicated football “zone” that allows quick and easy access to all the major markets, as well as upcoming and in-play events. The in-play console works nicely too, with a decent range of backup stats and customisation features including multi-view and several tools to help you organise your bets.
However, whilst Coral are excellent when it comes to general football betting, it’s their range of offers that really earns them top marks. As well as their standard introductory free bet offer they also regularly offer crazy odds enhancements as an alternative welcome bonus, the most famous of which was Brazil to wear yellow shirts in the opening World Cup game of 2014, priced at 2/1 and effectively just giving away £20!
On top of that they have the brilliant Coral Football Jackpot, where you can win a guaranteed weekly jackpot of £100,000 from a £1 bet but, with rollovers, that total can go as high as a cool million! There is Late Loser Insurance available on Premier League games, whereby bets downed from the 85th minute onwards are eligible for a refund (as a free bet), acca insurance on the To Win and Both Teams to Score market and loads more for big events, making Coral a top pick for regular football bettors.
Betfred owner Fred Done calls himself the Bonus King and so it’s no surprise to see that Betfred are brilliant when it comes to offers and freebies and given Fred is a huge Man United fan (see BetVictor section above for his lost £1m bet!) many of the best offers focus on football. However, Betfred also offer top odds – especially on the Premier League and more specifically on the Red Devils – and cover just about every football league and market you can think of, including loads of specials (though these aren’t quite as strong as at Sky Bet).
Fred is also known for pioneering new bet types – he invented the Lucky 15 – and Betfred’s Goals Galore (BTTS) and other markets like 30 Minute Limit will really appeal to punters who like something a little bit different in their football betting. The in-play console is excellent, as is the mobile site and both are nice extras that many football fans will find extremely useful (especially in the pub!).
As well as the great site, it is their great offers that really elevate Betfred into our top five football betting sites. One of the best and most famous offers they have is Double Delight, Hat-trick Heaven, which doubles and trebles winning first goalscorer bets if your player goes on to net a brace or hat-trick. For fans of FGS betting this makes Betfred the logical first port of call, whilst they also offer masses of enhanced odds accas, refunds on certain markets if the game ends 1-1 via 1-A-Piece and regular in-play free bets for big tournaments and internationals.
One final thing to note is that Betfred has been known to go a little crazy when it comes to his beloved Man United, twice paying out early on the Red Devils to win the league only to see them beaten to the title (in 1998 and 2012 when they were pipped by Arsenal and Man City respectively). As if that wasn’t enough, he refunded losing bets on them to win the title in 2014 following David Moyes’ disastrous season in charge – United fans (and others), take note!
How To Bet On Football
Betting on football is really easy and great fun but with so many different markets, not to mention some unusual terminology, it can seem confusing at first. However, our guide to the main markets and the key rules to watch out for will help you out and within a week or two you’ll be as confident as Rickie Lambert over a penalty!
As said, there are so many options when it comes to betting on football, with up to 200 different markets on some big games, as well as the options for accumulators, multiple bets, outrights and in-play bets, not to mention ante post! Here we take a look at the most popular options when it comes to betting on football, although with so many different bets available we recommend checking out one of the sites listed above to see what takes your fancy.
- Match Odds – This may also go by the name of 90 minute betting, 1×2 or simply “Win” and is perhaps the most popular bet to place on a game of football. It simply involves picking who will win the match, or whether it will be a draw. It really couldn’t be much simpler and is a bet that is commonly used for accumulators, combining the results of a number of matches into one single bet.
- Correct Score – Another nice easy one and a great choice if you’re looking to win big from a small stake because the odds are usually high, reflecting the difficulty of predicting the exact score in a particular match.
- Goalscorer Bets – Betting on which player will score is another bet that usually offers long odds. You can usually bet on a named player to be the first, last or anytime goalscorer, the latter option at significantly shorter odds than the first two. See our rules section below for more information on own goals.
- Half Time/Full Time – Often abbreviated to HT/FT this bet necessitates predicting who will be ahead at the break (or if it will be a draw) and what the outcome will be at the final whistle. A good way to up the standard match odds, especially if you predict an easy win for one side, where, for example, you might back Liverpool/Liverpool (so the Reds to be ahead at half time and full time).
- Both Teams to Score – Often abbreviated to BTTS, this market is fun and exciting. It’s simple to understand too – if both teams score, that is to say neither ends the game with zero goals, the bet wins, or where there was a yes or no choice, the “yes” bet wins. Any score from 1-1 upwards lands a bet on “yes” and because the odds are usually around evens this is a common bet to include in an accumulator. A recent addition to this market combines the match odds as described above and BTTS, so you might, for example, bet on “Arsenal to win and both teams to score”, another good way of upping the standard match odds.
- Under/Over – Under/Over betting usually refers to betting on the total goals in a game, though other options may be given. The standard total is under/over 2.5 goals, meaning two goals and less or three goals and more but options from 0.5 goals up to 7.5 goals – or even more – are available.
- Outright Betting – Outright betting refers to wagers made on who will win a particular event, rather than a single game. You may, for instance, bet on who will win the Premier League, which player will be the top goalscorer at a World Cup or who will win the FA Cup. These bets can be great fun as they often provide excitement over a longer period with lots of movements in the market and the chances of your bet winning changing as the season/competition develops.
- Accumulators – Accumulators have been mentioned above and involve combining a number of unrelated selections into a single bet, whereby all legs of the wager have to win in order for the bet to be successful. Popular accumulators include backing the big Premier League sides (for example City, Chelsea, Liverpool and Arsenal – sorry Man United fans!) all to win on a given weekend, predicting the winners of all four divisions of English football at the start of the season or selecting a number of games in which you think both teams will score. The odds from each selection are multiplied with the stake from one leg rolling over onto the next, meaning winnings can be huge but, of course, landing such an accumulator, even one for four big favourites to win, isn’t as easy as it may sound.
Betting on football is, essentially a simple and straightforward matter. Most online bookies have the same basic rules and whilst anomalies can crop up (either at lesser bookies or when something very unusual like an abandonment happens), in general your betting should be hassle free. Of course, as with most things in life, there are rules and as long as you know the basic ones you should avoid any nasty shocks. So, here are the essentials…
- 90 Minutes – Most bets, unless specified, apply to 90 minutes plus injury time but not to extra time, penalties or replays. So a bet on Spurs to win 2-1 in the FA Cup that finishes 1-1 but Spurs win 2-1 in extra time would settle as a loser. Likewise a game that ends 0-0 and Lionel Messi scores the first goal in extra time would not be a winning bet for any Messi goalscorer bets.
- Own Goals – Own goals do not count for a number of markets, including first, last or anytime goalscorer. As such, if the only goal – or goals – in a game are own goals than the winning selection is actually “No goalscorer”. This bet is often priced at the same odds as 0-0 but offers more value as it may also pay out even if the game doesn’t end 0-0. Own goals are completely disregarded for scorer markets, so the first legitimate goal after an own goal will win a first goalscorer bet whilst the one before an own goal will win the last goalscorer market (assuming the own goal is the last goal of the game). Note that for both teams to score, over/under, match results and most others markets own goals count as normal.
- Abandoned and Postponed Games – Games hit by weather, crowd trouble or other unforeseen eventualities will be subject to the bookies’ rules and these vary from firm to firm and depend on the competition, if and when the game is replayed and how many minutes had been played when the game was called off. This is such a rare occurrence however that most punters won’t need to worry about it.
- Dead Heats – Dead heats also rarely occur but can impact certain outright bets, for example top goalscorer markets or stage of elimination bets in cups. Where two or more teams or players tie this is often settled as a dead heat, meaning the stake is divided by the number of players/teams involved in the tie, with one portion being settled as a winner and one as a loser. Dead heats can apply to all sports but this is definitely one to watch on top goalscorer bets in football.