Date: 27th May 2022 at 10:00am
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Assessing the most popular football betting markets is often a matter of personal taste.

Be that as it may, casual enthusiasts of football betting invariably return to tried-and-tested markets that have stood the test of time in such a competitive field.

This handy football betting guide explains to beginners about how best to approach seven of the most popular football markets by asking one simple question:

What are the best bets to make in football? 

Full-time result

The simplest, and by far the most popular football betting market across the globe. Who wins at full-time, or will it be a draw? It’s as easy as that.

Odds for either side or the draw are pre-determined by the probability of which side has the greater chance of success. The best football betting strategy for traders is to collate statistics and then decide what prices accurately reflect the full-time result market.

These include:

  • Which team is theoretically better than the other?
  • Which team is higher up in the league table?
  • Is a side either in or out of form?
  • Is a team especially strong at home or on their travels?
  • Does a side have a statistical reputation of drawing games?
  • Does a team have a history of beating, or losing, against their opponents.

Let us use the Premier League game between Wolves and Norwich City as an example:

  • Wolves were, at the time, a far superior side to Norwich
  • Norwich were already relegated from the Premier League, whereas Wolves were mid-table
  • Wolves were hardly in great form, but Norwich had lost their last five games – conceding 15 goals in the process
  • Wolves were, historically, that season good at home. Norwich were dreadful away from home
  • Neither side could be branded as ‘draw specialists’
  • Norwich had only once beaten Wolves in the Premier League – and never at Molineux

The strong probability, therefore, was of a Wolves victory. And this was reflected in the betting odds that had been chalked at the time.

If a football bettor expected a home win, very short odds were available at 46/100. Norwich were far bigger in the full-time football betting market at odds of 6/1.

Interestingly, though, the draw was quite short in the market at odds of 15/4. Despite Norwich’s woes, Wolves had very little to play for at that stage of the season, with the suspicion perhaps being that they already had one eye on their summer holidays.

Double chance

This is another hugely popular football betting market amongst lovers of the beautiful game. Essentially, it is very similar to the full-time result market – but gives you a ‘double chance’ of making a profit if your bet is successful.

As the name suggests, football traders price up the odds of two possible outcomes out of three. If we again use the Wolves v Norwich game as the yardstick by which to assess the double chance market, punters have the choice of these three outcomes:

Wolves to win (1) and the draw (X): 1/9

Wolves (1) or Norwich (2) to win: 1/5

Norwich to (2) win and the draw (X): 17/10

HT/FT result

In the case of the above double chance market, there is very little chance of making considerable profits – unless the game ends in a draw or Norwich win.

When it comes to having a bet on football, the half-time/full-time result market opens up greater possibilities – and with it better value.

When taking the plunge on this football betting market, there are nine possible outcomes on which to have a punt – but only two questions that must be answered: What will be the half-time match result and what will be the full-time match result?

In order for your bet to be successful, you must correctly forecast both outcomes to win.

Let us use the Leeds United v Brighton game as an example here. Brighton were in great form at the time, while relegation-threatened Leeds were in big trouble and had awful injury and suspension problems.

But with Leeds fighting for their Premier League lives, bookmakers were wary of the threat from the home side. To that end, a popular bet amongst football enthusiasts was for the game to finish a draw at half-time, but Brighton to win at full-time.

Although the visitors were 17/10 to win in the match-result market, the half-time/full-time result market offered a far bigger price of 5/1.

Correct score

 This market in football betting is straightforward and not without value. As the name implies, football bettors are set the challenge of predicting what the exact score a game will finish at full-time. Some punters go with their gut instincts, but the perceived logical route – at least theoretically – is to consider questions similar to those that should be asked before placing a bet in full-time result betting.

West Ham’s home game against Manchester City in the Premier League offers prime evidence about marrying statistical knowledge with speculation. City had scored an astonishing 94 goals heading into the match, but hosts West Ham also possessed plenty of attacking talent.

Football traders therefore priced up the game to end 0-0 at odds of 18/1. In normal cases, especially in the Premier League, odds of an away side to win 4-0 would be extremely big. But, in this instance, such was City’s unbelievable goalscoring record, bookmakers felt odds of 14/1 would more accurately reflect the probability of that happening. 

Both teams to score

Another fans’ favourite amongst football bettors, the both-teams-to-score market, could not be any easier to understand. Punters are simply given two options: Yes or No.

So if a football fan fancied West Ham and City to hit the back of the net, and placed a bet accordingly, they would get odds of 4/5. But if they liked the idea of just one side scoring, the price available before kick-off was even-money.

First/Last/Anytime goalscorer

Very few weekend football betting lovers fail to take an interest in these deeply popular football betting markets.

The challenge here is to predict either which player will score the first goal, which player will score the last goal or which player might score at any time.

Statistics are key – as is quick-mindedness as team line-ups, always revealed an hour before kick-off, can often catch punters unawares.

Spurs striker Harry Kane can usually be relied upon to find the back of the net and was therefore quoted at odds of 3/4 to score at any time, 5/2 to score first and 6/4 to score last in the home game against Burnley.

Though those prices still offer value, many football betters like to look for bigger prices in these football betting markets. For instance, Burnley winger Dwight McNeil had been in good form heading into the game. Though not a regular scorer, he offered great value to be the first name on the scoresheet at odds of 28/1.

Outright bets

 For those keen to play the long game, outright football bets are just the ticket. There are myriad outright bets, but the most popular market is often: Who will win the title?

A year in advance of the 2022/23 season, for example, Manchester City were, understandably, odds of 8/11 about once again claiming Premier League glory.

Other outright bets include: which team will be relegated, who will finish in the top four, who will win the FA Cup, who will score the most goals in a season – and so on.

Now that you have gained an understanding of most popular football betting markets, you are ready to embark on your betting journey.

*Odds correct at time of publication

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