The Openodds guide on how to bet on football
Last updated & tested: 2019-11-22
By the time you’ve finished, you’ll know how to bet on football and win and who are the best online bookmakers for you. So kick back and relax as we give you betting advice to enjoy the beautiful game.
Football betting guide – all you need to know
Welcome to our football betting guide, where we’ll tell you how to bet online and gain the best advantage possible. There is no fool-proof way of betting on football and winning every time, but by using careful strategy and learning a little bit more about sports betting you’ll be able to minimise any potential losses. You’ve got to bear in mind that when you place bets on football matches there are an awful lot of factors to take into account. Different teams have their own plus and minus points. Premier League teams may have an extra-large budget to spend on new players, but do they have what it takes to make you a Premier League betting profit?
In the next few paragraphs we will discuss the types of bets you can place, the benefit of in-play betting and using betting apps to play on the go and how to take advantage of free bets to stretch your betting budget.
Best way to bet on football: How to bet online with sports bookmakers
While the premise of football betting is simple – you decide on a game outcome and place a wager – there are a few terms that you need to familiarise yourself with to understand the different type of bets available. We can’t tell you how to win a bet every time, but we can give you an idea of how to maximise your chances.
- Single bet – One bet on a single outcome; for example, Manchester City beating Chelsea.
- Accumulator – Multiple single bets grouped together. When you place an accumulator bet, the odds of each bet are combined to give you a higher return if you win.
- Corners – A bet on the number of corners awarded in a football match.
- Over/Under – Where you bet on the total number of goals scored in a game – try goal-line bets for another way to win big.
- Scorecast – A combination bet where you bet on the player to score the first goal and predict the correct score.
- Stake – The money you place on a bet.
Handicap and spread betting
You may have heard of handicap/spread betting before, but what is it? Put simply, it’s something bookmakers use to create betting interest in a team who wouldn’t usually get a look in. This is done by creating an imaginary ‘what if?” scenario, which gives the underdog team a goal or point advantage. In the US, this is known as point spread betting, and is commonly used in American football games such as the Super Bowl. In the US, fixed odds are called money line odds. Teams with an advantage added to their score have a + next to their odds. Teams with a disadvantage when it comes to handicap have a -.
How handicap betting works in real life
Handicap betting is used effectively on domestic and international football markets, where minnows often take on the best in the world. Consider a match between Spain and San Marino. We all know that Spain are one of the best teams in the world. San Marino, however, have only won 1 game ever. To make San Marino a more interesting betting prospect, bookmakers create a “what if?” scenario where you place a bet imagining San Marino already have a goal advantage. This is known as a handicap or spread bet. Football bettors from around the world use handicap bets every day. Along with an increased chance of winning the bet, odds are changed to compensate for the new-found advantage.
Using in-play betting to increase your chances of success
In-play betting has revolutionised sports betting and continues to hold influence over football bets. As the name suggests, in-play betting allows you to bet when the game is underway. As results change, the odds do to reflect them, allowing you to take advantage of a handicap bet if the underdog are winning. Keep ahead of the game by downloading your bookmaker’s app to play on the go without being tied to a laptop.
How to bet on football using free bets and cashback
We all like something for nothing, and there are a couple of ways you can get more for your cash when betting. Football fans keeping an eye on the purse strings should look out for free bets on bookmaker’s websites. These are not always just offered to new sign ups, but for existing players who stay loyal to the site. These bonuses usually come with strict terms and conditions, so make sure that you read these carefully before signing up to a website to make sure you’re familiar with them. Some of the best football bonuses need you to input a bonus code to trigger them. Others are simply awarded to players when they make a qualifying deposit or bet.
An alternative idea is to try cashback sites when you first sign up with a bookmaker. Many of these pay you money for visiting and registering with a bookmaker’s website. How much you can earn by using a cashback site depends on the bookmaker, but don’t be surprised to get between £10-£30. Do make sure that you check you can use the bookmaker’s free bet offer in conjunction with the cashback site. Most bookmakers will allow you to combine both, but occasionally there are exceptions.
|Max. Wert||Bonus Type||Details||Get the Bonus|
|1||99 / 100||100||Fantastic £50 welcome bonusT&Cs apply, 18+||Bethard bonus|
|2||98 / 100||25||Claim your £25 bonus with bonus code OPENODDST&Cs apply, 18+||Novibet bonus|
|3||97 / 100||30||79.5T&Cs apply, 18+||STSbet bonus|
|4||96 / 100||30||£30 FreebetT&Cs apply, 18+||Betway bonus|
|5||94 / 100||30||Matched bet of up to £30T&Cs apply, 18+||Coral bonus|
|18+. UK+IRE only. Paypal & some deposit & bet types excl. Min first bet £10 a odds 1/2 or more. Tote and Pool excluded. Must be placed within 14 days of account reg. £30 credited as 3 x £10 free bets. Not valid with CashOut. Free bet valid for 7 days. Free bet stake not returned. 18+ T&Cs Apply."|
|6||92 / 100||30||Bet £10 get £30 free!T&Cs apply, 18+||William-Hill bonus|
|7||91 / 100||200||100% matched bonusT&Cs apply, 18+||TonyBet bonus|
|8||90 / 100||30||£30 Money BackT&Cs apply, 18+||Unibet bonus|
|9||89 / 100||100||£100 Matched DepositT&Cs apply, 18+||Mr-Green bonus|
|10||88 / 100||50||up to €50 bonusT&Cs apply, 18+||Bwin bonus|
|11||88 / 100||£100||Up to 100% winnings boostT&Cs apply, 18+||32Red bonus|
|12||87 / 100||100||£100 in bet creditsT&Cs apply, 18+||Bet365 bonus|
|New Customers only. Up to £100 in Bet Credits. Sign up, deposit £5 or more to your account and bet365 will match your qualifying deposit in Bet Credits when you place qualifying bets to the same value and they are settled. Min odds/bet and payment method exclusions apply. Returns exclude Bet Credits stake. T&Cs, time limits & exclusions apply.|
|13||86 / 100||30||Bet £10 Get £30T&Cs apply, 18+||888 bonus|
|14||85 / 100||150||deposit bonus up to €150T&Cs apply, 18+||Sportingbet bonus|
|15||84 / 100||50||50% bonus up to £50T&Cs apply, 18+||Mansion-Bet bonus|
|16||83 / 100||100||100% up to £100T&Cs apply, 18+||10Bet bonus|
|17||82 / 100||10||£10T&Cs apply, 18+||Grosvenor bonus|
|18||80 / 100||50||50£ FreebetT&Cs apply, 18+||Ladbrokes bonus|
|19||80 / 100||£50||100% up to £50T&Cs apply, 18+||Energybet bonus|
|20||80 / 100||50||50% on first depositsT&Cs apply, 18+||NetBet bonus|
The football betting guide to using free bets
You know how to bet on football, but most successful bettors stretch their cash. Here’s an example of how using cashback and free bets can benefit your soccer betting game.
One of the biggest UK cashback sites, Topcashback, currently offers £10.10 cashback on William Hill to new users. To qualify, you need to click the link on Topcashback’s site and sign up for the first time. Once you’ve signed up you need to make your first deposit of £15 or more. You can’t get the offer if you use Skrill, Skrill 1-Tap, Neteller or PaySafeCard.
When you make your deposit, you need to input the bonus code F20 which will give you William Hill’s free bet offer. This offer gives you two £10 free bets to spend on most sporting bets that have single or cumulative odds of 1.2 or more. There are some exceptions to the offer. For example, you can’t use your free bets on lottery, tote or pool bets, but everything else is fair game. Your free bets will be given to you once you make one £10 bet or more on any sporting event. Unlike most bookmakers, you can use these free bets on each-way bets, but you need to place two £10 bets to receive the free bet bonuses. Once your free bets are activated, you’ve got plenty of time to use them – 30 days in fact. By placing a deposit of £15, you will be able to play with £35 cash (including the free bets). You’ll also receive £10.10 in your cashback account, bringing a £15 spend’s value to £45.10.
Our football betting guide to best bookmakers
Italy had a nightmare in the World Cup qualifiers, failing to reach the tournament finals for the first time in 60 years. We’ve rounded up the best places who routinely provide the best football tips for betting on who will replace Gian Piero Ventura as manager of the Azzurri below.
How to bet on football: Betway the best for overall performance
Betway scored the highest in our bookmaker review with a cracking overall score of 95/100. Founded in 2006, they have licences in many countries including the UK and Ireland, so you know that you will be safe using them. They’re also eCogra tested for peace of mind and data is SSL encrypted to protect your personal data. If live betting is your game, their betting console is sophisticated, and will allow you to bet across many markets with ease.
For those interested in free betting, Betway offers a £30 free bet through their welcome bonus. This is awarded to all players who place a minimum deposit of £10, meaning you can boost your bank roll easily for very little layout.
You can bet on various sports on Betway, not just football. Tennis, snooker, darts and boxing all feature, as does horse racing.
Best for free bets: £100 deposit bonus with MyBet
MyBet offer players a great welcome bonus when they first sign up on the site. Players can receive up to £100 as a matched bonus. The deposit is matched 100% with a minimum of £5 deposit needed. To receive the bonus, you need to input the bonus code “start100”. The bonus will be added to your account immediately after your first deposit.
Using the bonus is child’s play. You can place your free bets on any sporting bet as long as the odds of the bet are 1.5 or higher. You have 30 days to use the bonus and turn it over five times. Once these requirements have been met you can withdraw any winnings you may have earned from the free bets.
Customer service is second to none at MyBet too. They have an FAQ and help section to get you started, you can contact them by email or telephone or drop them a line using live chat if you have any queries.
The established name: William Hill are a great allrounder
William Hill is the largest bookmaker in the UK, and was established in 1934. They’ve got a sterling reputation in the business, with retail branches located throughout the UK. It’s no surprise, then, that the FTSE listed company scored highly in our operator review. The bookmaker hit a whopping 92/100 in our bookmaker score. As well as the usual sports betting, visitors to the site can bet on lots of unusual markets such as TV specials, politics and lotteries. If there is a market to bet on, you’re sure to find it at William Hill.
Where William Hill truly excels, though, is their sports. Whether they are traditional ones such as football or horse racing, or more unique ones such as MMA and hurling, you’re liable to find a bet for you. You can even bet on eSports tournaments such as DOTA 2 and Overwatch games for something a little different.
Betting markets galore for football fans and punters
You’ve reached the end of our football betting guide. We hope we’ve given you some advice on how to bet on football and maximise your bankroll, while still having fun. Free bets and cashback go hand in hand with sports betting, so it goes to reason that you should explore these before you sign up at a bookmaker’s website. Don’t forget, too, the benefits of checking odds and spread betting to give you the edge in markets that would usually be inaccessible to most bettors. But if we could offer you one final word of advice, it would be this – make sure that you have fun, and remember, never bet more than you can afford to lose.