No matter what the Americans drabble on about, Football (or Soccer as they like to call it), is the biggest sport in the world.
For hundreds on countries around the globe, football is their biggest sport and they all want to compete in it at the highest level.
Every other sport has had to play second fiddle to football for decades now and it's not surprising with the amount of entertainment any one game can produce.
Football is also where the bookies make most of their cash. Of course, Horse racing wouldn't be too far behind in terms of the amount matched on each individual race but even horse racing doesn't come close to the amount spent betting on football. The mass amount of leagues around the globe means betting on football is always available night and day, seven days of the week.
Football Betting Guide
Picking a match winner in football betting
The Win-Draw-Win market as it sometimes known is generally the more popular type of market in football as it's probably the easiest to bet on. You basically have to choose who you think will win the match in 90 minutes of play. If you think the sides are evenly matched then you can choose to bet on the match ending in a draw. This market is where the vast majority of the money goes in a game, especially when the match is available on in play betting as matches tend to have several twists and turns.
Here we have listed a few brief tips on picking a potential match winner:
Teams - Ensure you get to grips with knowing the teams you're betting on. Analyse the key players for each side, pick out the danger-men, spot both sides strong points and weaknesses. This is a list of just some of the information you will need to take into account when choosing which side has the best chance of winning.
- Starting Line up & formation
- Missing Players (Injuries & Suspensions)
- League position
- Their recent fixture list (League & Domestic Cups)
- Their form heading into the match
- Their style of play
Form - Confidence is huge in football and you get this from winning games. If a team is winning games regularly then their confidence, not only as individuals but also as a team, will grow. Teams on a hot winning streak are very hard to oppose.
However, if a team is on a poor run of results and are struggling to put any wins together then the confidence and morale of the whole team will be at a low. This will in turn have a negative affect on their performance and teams with poor form should be avoided.
Conditions - Weather plays a big part in how a game pans out. Different weather conditions will benefit certain sides more than others, especially those who are not used to a change of scenery. Rain and heat are the main conditions that affect games. You will normally find that the advantage of weather is in Internationals or European competitions as the weather varies from country to country.
Rain adds a completely different aspect to any game. The ball won't bounce much on the surface and the overall tempo of the game will become a lot slower. Teams that are accustomed to rainy conditions will benefit from this.
Example: If England are playing at home to Brazil and the forecast is for heavy rain then England would have the advantage of having played in rainy conditions more then the Brazilians. England will react faster to the slower conditions whereas the Brazilians may take a while to adjust to the conditions.
Heat is definitely the hardest weather condition to play under. In extreme heat, teams will become tired faster and fatigue will start to kick in a lot earlier then it would under an average game temperature. You will see a lot more substitutions as the match goes on as players become very tired.
Example: If Brazil were playing England at home and the temperature was 36c then the Brazilians would be able to handle the humidity a lot better. They have more experience with playing in the hot weather whereas England might not be too familiar with the extreme heat. However, with heat, it will normally only take affect in the latter stages of a match where players become tired, exhausted and possibly dehydrated.
Weighing up goals
Predicting how many goals there will be (Referred to as Over/Under) in a game of football is not only our favourite type of market but it's also a personal favourite of millions of punters everywhere. With the exception of the Win-Draw-Win market, the goals markets are where the most of the punters money goes. To be successful in this area you will need to familiarise yourself with several aspects. We have listed a few below to aid your chances of success.
Style of play - The way a team tends to play is very important when betting on goals. If a team is known for it's defensive prowess then it's likely that they won't concede many goals. In this case it's advise you stay away from Predicting lots of goals. If a team consists of several quality forwards or some creative midfielder's then the chances of them scoring a few goals should be high.
Gulf in class - If there is a big class difference between the two sides then more times then not it ends up in a big scoreline. Make sure you check which league both sides are in or if it's a European tournament then read up on both countries. However, if two of the better sides in the league are playing each other then the match could be very close and neither team will want to lose. This could lead to both teams taking a more cautions approach to the game and could end in a low scoring affair.
Situation - This is the most important factor when betting on goals. Before heading into a game, the managers of both sides will know vital information on the other team. They will also have one eye on a result they would prefer or need. This factor normally comes into play in cup competitions but it's important in every competitive game.
League - If a side is fighting with relegation and only need a point to secure survival then they may very well play with a defensive mindset in a bid to secure the draw they need. This could lead to a low scoring game.
If Man Utd are second in the table and can only win the title by beating Bolton by 4 or more goals then expect Man Utd to attack at every opportunity.
Cup - If teams are playing a two-legged tie where both teams will play home and away then expect a tactical battle. If Liverpool win the first leg at home 2-0 against Chelsea then chances are Liverpool might line up in the second leg to defend the 2-0 lead. This could lead to a low scoring game. Then again, Chelsea know they need to score three goals to go through. Cups are the hardest to predict and you really do need to weigh up all the information and statistics.
Conditions - Just like predicting a match winner, the weather conditions will come into affect when betting on goals. If there's heavy rain then the ball tends to get stuck on the ground and passing on the ground will become harder. Shots will also become a lot slower and in general, goals are hard to come by when there's a lot of rain.
With heat comes exhaustion. When the temperature is very hot and you've put your money on goals, you'll basically be hoping for a few early goals. The second half is where players will become tired fast and their energy levels will drop. This will lead to very few goalscoring opportunities and players simply won't have the energy required to create enough decent goalscoring chances.
Cultural style of play - Every country plays football in a unique way. This can range from a patient passing game to an all-out attack minded side. Both are just as good as another in terms of helping a side win a game but they can affect the amount of goals scored, despite the quality of the players on show.
Every country is different and each has it's own plus and negatives. We have provided an example of just two countries but it's best you watch a couple of Internationals whenever you can to try and familiarise yourself with each countries style of play. After just a couple of views, it will become second nature assuming how each country/team will play.
England - The English game has been touted as the best in the world. The Premiership is known for being the hardest league in the world as it takes a while to adapt to the fast pace of their game. Teams from England tend to play on the front foot and spend little time passing the ball about. If they see an opportunity, they go for it. You will often see lots of attempts on goals and generally, a lot of goals.
Portugal - The Portuguese like to pass the ball around a lot! Instead of seizing on the odd half-chance that may come their way, the prefer to pass their way into space. Teams in Portugal are very patient on the ball and appear to be in no rush to score. The national side is often criticised for trying to score the perfect goal by passing the ball into the net. With all this passing, comes a lot of time wasted. They can keep the ball for large periods of time and this tends to end in low scoring affairs as goalscoring chances are at a premium.
Whatever you fancy
As football is arguably the most popular sport in the world, the bookies have thought up literally hundreds of different markets for punters to wager on. There is now very little in football you cannot predict through betting with the bookmakers, especially online. Your local betting shop will be very limited in not only the range of markets they can accept but also the amount they can afford to pay out. For more betting opportunity's you really do need to visit the web. Online bookies such as Bet365, Ladbrokes, Bwin, Betvictor & PaddyPower all have everything in regards to football to suit your needs.
Range of markets:
That is a very short list of some of the markets available. You will need to visit one of the many online bookmakers to see the huge list of markets they allow you to have a punt on. Trust us, there's a lot!
Best for value
This is a question often asked by punters. With so many bookmakers out there now, they will now be competing against each other for clients. Many will focus on sweet introductory offers to entice potential punters onto their site but some will ensure they offer the best prices on the market. Getting the best price is hugely significant to every punter as each fractional difference in price could decide whether you receive an extra £5 in winnings or an extra £50.
Our favourite bookmakers for prices:
All four listed above tend to give out the more generous prices when it comes to football. However, if you don't trust our word for it then you could just check them all yourself by using an odds comparison site - like www.oddschecker.com or Odds Comparison at Online - Betting .me.uk
To become more successful at predicting the outcomes of football games you will need to do some homework. We have provided a few links that will aid you in your bid to become a better all round football predictor.
Statistics - http://www.soccerstats.com/
Gathering information beforehand is crucial before betting on any game. The site listed above should provide you with vital information such as; League standings, teams form, goals scored, goals conceded, the amount of goals scored on average in each league, plus much more.
Latest Scores - Online Betting Live Scores
Keep yourself informed on what's going on around the world in regards to football matches. The link above will provide you with the latest scores from football matches across the globe including all the major European countries and even teams from South America & Africa.
Line Ups - Live Centre at Skysports
Before betting on any match you should find out who's starting for both teams. SkySports have made a free livescore site where anyone can view not only the latest scores from all the major European leagues but it will also allow you to see who's playing and the formation of the teams. Internationals, English premiership, Spanish La Liga and the Champions League are just some of the competitions that feature on this site.
We hope you found our little football betting guide interesting!
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