Football Betting Markets Explained : Which Are Best To Bet On?

Written By: Mike Lovatt
Last Updated: July 5, 2023

Football betting is hugely popular, making up over 30% of the estimated 14 billion pounds being spent on sports betting in the UK alone.

Whilst traditional high-street bookies might have focused on simple betting markets like the full-time result market, goalscorer or goal betting markets, online bookies are offering loads of markets to lure punters in.

The major online bookmakers are offering over 100 betting markets on high profile football matches, such as The Premier League, The Champions League and World Cup games. Even lower league games, especially in the UK, feature 60+ betting markets in a typical game week with Bet365.

Best Football Betting Markets – Easiest To Bet On

Many betting markets are simply there as a gimmick to lure punters in – like betting on a player to miss a penalty.

Our recommended football betting markets to focus on are:

Others worth mentioning:

Why we recommend these markets

The above betting markets are recommended as they generally meet the following criteria:

  • You can easily find huge amounts of research, statistics and analysis that allows you to make an informed and educated decision about the outcome of your selection on that betting market.

    EG you can view corner statistics for years for a given team before betting on how many corners they will accumulate in a match.
  • These betting markets are offered across a wide range of bookmakers. This means you can compare odds to know where you’re getting the best value, and not be drawn in by a seemingly “fun” market that might actually have terrible odds.
  • These betting markets have stood the test of time. Some betting markets come and go, but the ones we recommend have generally been around for years and always will. Often gimmicky markets such as “Player to take off his shirt” will exist for a matter of weeks or only for a certain match.

Football Betting Markets Explained : Which Are Best To Bet On? - Football Betting Markets To Avoid

We recommend avoiding markets like the following:

In order for football betting to be successful, you need to become a master of your market. That means regularly studying form, trends, injuries, statistics and news.

Why Avoid These Markets?

We avoid the above markets because:

  • They are essentially two bets rolled into one and represent terrible value.
  • They rely far too much on luck or chance than any research could prepare you for.
  • They are a fun/gimmick market that you would never be able to accurately predict or research.

The above markets are far too influenced by chance, luck, or entice punters into betting on their selections when the chances of winning are absolutely minimal.

Watch TV and look out for the bookies’ enhancements – “Mo Salah to score first and Liverpool to win” . You’ll see them in the window of the high street bookmakers too.

These enhancements are poorly priced – and often the chance of you picking a winner AND a first goal scorer are really minimal. The bookmakers entice you in with your own bias towards a good player and maybe your favourite team.

As mentioned above, we stick to markets that have selections that represent –

  • Good value
  • Can be easily researched
  • Remain consistent each week

Avoid Markets that Have Too many Parts

Some betting markets entice punters with big odds but the chances of them happening are often much worse value than the odds represent.

A classic example is the Scorecast market. It relies on you not only choosing the correct score of the match, but picking who will score first. It’s essentially like an accumulator bet but dressed up as a single.

Players get enticed with big odds like 59.0 (60/1) and throw their money at it. They’re the sort of small £2 or £5 punts you see returning £100+ on social media and get jealous. It often seems almost easy – picking Liverpool to beat Palace 3-0 at home and Salah to score first, only for Zaha to score first and the match end 1-1.

The match result and both teams to score is another market exactly like this as you’re essentially requiring two outcomes in order for your bet to win.

The Both Teams To Score (BTTS) market is in itself quite a gimmick of a market – as it encourages punters to take a guess or a gamble on both teams scoring, rather than actually sitting down and studying form, statistics and news to pick a winning team or a goal line bet.

Bookies originally advertised it to make it seem like an “easier” bet to place – as you didn’t need to hope for a winner, just a goal from each team. That’s fine until the match finishes 1-0 or 0-0.

Taking that into account, bookies took the popularity of that market and combined it with the normal match result market. It’s effectively offering accumulator style odds in a single selection. Not only are you hoping your chosen team wins, you also have to hope you picked correctly whether the losing team will score or not.

Avoid Markets That Rely On Luck or Rarely happen

Avoid betting on markets that seem like they might happen, but a great amount of luck would have to be involved for this to actually happen.

An example of this is the To Win From Behind market. You’re not only picking a team to win, but you’re also expecting them to go behind in the match and turn things around to win.

Again, it’s a market with two requirements – the team you have chosen to win, but also the opposing team to score first and take the lead.

How often does this actually happen? Quite rarely. It also doesn’t meet our criteria of being easy to research – as you’re researching how likely your chosen team will win (which is hard in itself), and also looking at how often they go behind in a match.

Even once you have these two data points, combining them to figure out the likelehood is extremely difficult.

Avoid gimmicky and silly markets

The bookmakers have lots of football betting markets that are almost pointless and question why any punter would want to bet on them.

A good example of this is the Total Goal Minutes market that is offered by Bet365.

This market adds up the minute that each goal was scored and offers you the option of it being higher or lower than a certain amount.

Let’s say for example that a match ends 2-0 and that both goals are scored on the 10th minute and the 25th minute, respectively. This would make 35 total goal minutes (10 + 25).

The bookmaker might offer “Under 90”, “Over 90”, or “Over 150”. You’d be hoping to have chosen “Total Goal Minutes” as “Under 90”.

When you consider that picking a winner or over/under a certain goal threshold to be difficult – but still the recommended way of betting, it makes it almost impossible to correctly guess the total number of goal minutes. All it takes is a goal fest at the end of the game to totally ruin your bet. Avoid markets like these at all costs.

Football Betting Markets Explained

We’ve covered every football betting market offered by the big bookmakers.

Each of the following guides contains information on how the betting market works, terminology of the betting market explained, betting tips and strategy for this betting market, and recommended bookies to use for this market.

Asian Betting Markets

Asian Handicaps and Asian betting lines/markets are tailored more for the more experienced bettor, but offer great value. We recommend you read our simple explanations on how these markets work.

Match Event Betting

These football betting markets usually involve a specific event (such as a player scoring a penalty), or determine the manor in which a game is won or completed, e.g, winning via penalties, winning both halves, or scoring in both halves.

Goal Betting Markets

These football betting markets involve betting on the goals scored (or not scored) in a football match. See our main guide on betting on goals in football.

These goal based markets are not just about the total number of goals in the game. There are markets dedicated to the timing of goals, total team goals, and the final match result combined with the total goals.

Each of the following goals betting market is explained in detail with examples, strategy, tips and recommended bookmakers.

Corner Betting Markets

Betting on corners is really profitable – and can be quite fun as you’re not reliant on goals to be scored. View our full article on how to bet on corners.

Each of the following corners betting markets is explained in detail with examples, strategy, tips and recommended bookmakers.

Card Betting Markets

Betting on cards can be fun – as there are statistics, news, form and data to back up your selections. Card betting is often popular when combined in a “build a bet” or “request a bet” format to effectively create an accumulator based on who will get carded, score, and win the match.

We’ve explained how the following card betting markets work, strategy for betting on them, and recommended betting sites to find them on.

Betting On Halves & Half-Specific Betting Markets

Bets are normally placed on the outcome of the football match, but good value can be found by narrowing down your bet to a specific half – such as betting on who to be winning at half time or the number of goals in the second half.

Player Based Betting Markets

The following betting markets are all directly related to a specific player – such as who will score first, get sent off, or make the most number of tackles. Whilst other punters are backing both teams to score, or a total number of goals, you can find good value with these specific player betting markets.

Mike Lovatt

Mike has over 14 years of experience with online sports betting, having used countless online betting sites. Mike previously provided football betting tips on goals and corners in Facebook groups before starting his own betting website. A huge football fan, Mike has been writing betting guides and football betting advice for years.

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