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How to Bet on Football

If you like football and follow the European tournaments you have surely seen many times advertisements of betting sites – but how do they work exactly?

Sportsbooks are sites that take bets and pay cash prizes in case the punter guesses correctly the result of a specific event such as a match or a tournament.

Understanding Odds

If you want to bet on a football event it is crucial to understand how odds work. An odd is a number that indicates the perceived amount of probability of that particular event happening or not – i.e. you can convert odds whether they are displayed as decimal odds or fractions or even lines into percentages.

The calculation of odds is not that complicated, if you believe for example that an event has 50% of chances of happening, that means the ‘correct odds’ that translate this percentage would be 2.0 because of the following formula: 100% / 50% (your estimation) = 2.0

If you come across odds that are much higher than that number you should bet on that event because the odds are what seasoned bettors call ‘valuable’ i.e. it holds some value that can be converted into profits in case your betting estimations are correct in the long run.

Football Betting Markets

There are several betting markets when it comes to football betting: the most relevant ones that have the most interesting betting limits are the match result markets.

The most common system of odds is the 1×2, i.e. the numbers represent the probabilities of the 3 possible events that affect the way the points will be awarded to the teams at the end of the match, let’s see a simple example:

Possibility #1: If the home team wins, they win the 3 points and the odds represented by the event ‘1’ estimate the probability of that event happening.

Possibility #2: if the match ends in a draw, both teams collect one point and the selection ‘X’ is related to the odds of the draw happening at that particular game.

Possibility #3: if the visitors win, they will bring back home the 3 points of that match and the odds related to the event called ‘2’ represent this potential event.

Football Handicap Betting

Handicap betting is a rather advanced form of betting which tries to offer the punters more interesting odds to bet on matches involving teams of much different quality like the match between Inter Turku and VPS at the most recent edition of the Veikkausliiga in which Inter Turku ‘suffered’ a handicap.

Betting on the Goals

An application of the handicap betting system is the ‘Betting on Goals’ markets which mathematically like a handicap on the match itself, as the punters try to guess how many goals the match will produce or fail to produce. The selections are called Overs and Unders and usually at retail bookmakers the handicaps are fractional to make things easier.

Other Markets

Other markets include trying to guess correctly the next winner of a tournament or specific things like the number of corner kicks or red cards at a match, these markets are called ‘special’ and the bookies normally offer them only to bet on big games.