Understanding the different types of football betting markets


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Understanding the different types of football betting markets

Find undiscovered value in different betting markets. Understand the major football betting markets advertised by online bookmakers and betting exchanges.

Published on
Updated on 07 December 2017

Bookings, goals, corners, first team to score, correct score, players to be substituted, players to be playing, or players to score are only some of the different types of football markets currently available to the football betting population.

You may already bet on various football betting markets, which on the face of everything will seem very easy to understand.

Although, many of the standard football markets give bettors various ways to wager and win. A normal punter will find it very difficult to win large sums of money due to the significant profit margins placed within Bookmaker betting markets.

This section will help you to understand different aspects of the more standard football betting markets. By the end of this article, you will be more aware of how different football betting markets operate, which will give you a much better chance of earning greater profits.

However, this article will provide an insight into how different betting markets operate and how you can use this information to increase your winnings.

Match Odds

Match odds, also called 1X2 betting, is the most common, most straightforward, and easiest to understand type of wager. You will need to predict the correct full time result of a selected match to receive a return on your money.

You can select from these three different betting options: home win, away win, and draw. When filling out a wager coupon, you would stamp ‘x’ for a draw, ‘1’ for a home win, and ‘2’ for an away win. Most bookmakers have a revenue margin of 5 to 12 percent built-in. The corresponding market on Betfair.com is available without a profit margin. However, you would still need to pay between 2-5% commissions on your winnings. Therefore, considering this reduction in winnings can affect the initial odds of your selection.

How would betting exchange commissions affect your odds and your overall winnings?

Bookmaker Example

It is sometimes better to consider an example, so if you were to bet £10 on Manchester United to beat Arsenal at Old Trafford at a bookmakers or a betting exchange, such as Betfair. Some of the odds offered may be similar to the example odds, below:

1 (Home Win): 1.80 with potential profit of £8
X (Draw): 3.70 with a potential profit of £27
2 (Away Win): 2.20 with a potential profit of £12

Betting Exchange Example

If we use the same odds provided at a betting exchange and we assume the Betting Exchange takes 5% commission on our winnings. This would provide:
1 (Home Win): 1.80 with potential profit of £7.60 (=£8 subtract 5%)
X (Draw): 3.70 with a potential profit of £25.65 (=£27 subtract 5%)
2 (Away Win): 2.20 with a potential profit of £11.40 (=£12 subtract 5%)

However, Betting Exchanges usually offer odds at a higher rate than traditional high street or online bookmakers. This is why the average bettor should review the odds and understand they will lose up to 5% of their profits. The initial odds should be high enough to accommodate losing 5% of profits or using a traditional bookmaker would be more sensible.

Double Chance

The double chance wager is possibly the safest option in soccer betting. You basically have two chances to get the correct result, thus the name. You get to choose 2 of the 3 possible results, and if the end result is any of your picks, then you win. However, the odds are substantially lower due to different game results matched in couples and it is much easier to win double-chance wagers than win-draw-wins (1X2).

Here is an example: Aston Villa host Everton in the most-played league fixture in English football history. You’re not sure how it will end, so you seek some reassurance with a Double Chance wager. The possible Double Chance bets are:
Aston Villa and Draw (5/4 or 2.25)
Everton and Draw (1/6 or 1.16)
Everton and Aston Villa (1.22)

Total Goals (Over/Under)

This is a popular option in the world of soccer betting, mainly because there are only two choices or outcomes. You will simply have to predict whether there will be less or more than the total number of goals quoted. The bet is normally over or under 2.5 goals, but there are many other variations like 4.5, 3.5, 1.5, and 0.5.

Many beginners in online gambling get confused with the over/under bet because it’s impossible to score half-a-goal, but the half-a-goal is really simply a marker or middle point for you to anchor your bets around. If you were to place a wager on a Goals Over/Under 2.5 betting market:

If you bet under, the total goals should be no more than 2 for you to win. Whereas, if you bet over, there should be at least three goals. The same logic applies for the other variations.

The profit margin on this type of bet, as well as other betting markets with only 2 outcomes, is typically between 6 to 8 percent. However, unlike in other wagers, there is a clear-cut strategy involved in coming up with the correct prediction in Total Goals betting. By taking into account the rights factors and having access to the right data, you can make informed assessments or judgments regarding the total number of goals scored within a fixture.

Correct Score

Correct Score betting is a 90-minute market and this applies to cup games and tournaments with extra-time. If you place a bet on a particular team to win 1-0 in a game and it’s still 0-0 after the 90-minute mark, then your wager has lost, even if the match was a cup game and the correct score was reached after extra time. The scores are usually quoted as either Away Team Score or Home Team Score. Since there are several possible score-lines for a match, the odds in this market can be quite high, as it’s often difficult to correctly pick a final scoreline before the event.

Also, many bettors tend to avoid this market because the bookmakers have a large profit margin. In some occasions, though, the Correct Score market throws up great value. You will need to understand your team’s scoring habits in order to have higher chances of winning in this football bet.Consistently winning within Correct Score betting markets is difficult without access to consistent information on a per team basis. Any betting systems revolved around Correct Score should be closely monitored before risking your funds.

Half Time/Full Time Result

The Half Time/Full Time Result markets offer two types of bets, which are similar to the standard win-draw-win market, with a bit of a twist. With half-time result betting, you are to predict solely what the game result will be at half-time; the same logic goes for full-time result betting.Half Time/Full Time Result markets offer pretty good value, but can sometimes be tricky to predict. However, trends emerge now and then, making it worthwhile to place a bet. For instance, a team that scores many goals and does not concede may draw a lot of games at half-time. If the bookmakers are not manually compiling each market, which is usually the case, there may be value offered within this football betting market.

Half-time/full-time result is a market some people seldom bet on, because the odds are mostly in favour of the bookies and the prices tend to be out of line if you want greater value.

First/Anytime Goal Scorer

The First/Anytime Goal Scorer betting markets are quite different as far as value is concerned. The goal-scorer is usually one best avoided because again, the margin is great. Forwards are almost always offered too short and predicting which player to score, let alone who scores first, is very difficult.

You should only consider Anytime Scorer betting if there is a chance of a high number of goals within the match. You should research the teams playing and discover if the home team or the away team are high scoring teams. This would obviously offer more chances of your chosen player to score, if there is a prospect of a high scoring game.

However, be aware that the rules in this market may vary from one firm to the other. The time your player takes part in the game is another important factor to consider. If he joins for the last 5 minutes and is not able to score, then your wager has a little chance to win.

To Win to Nil

To Win to Nil is a variation of the correct-score market and only a handful of bookmakers offer it. In this market, you are betting for a team to win the game by any score to zero (i.e. nil). It is a good betting option if you’re backing a short-priced team who has displayed a solid defence, or when one of the playing teams seldom scores goals or has injury problems upfront. This market is often computer-generated and value prices occasionally appear.

Draw No Bet (DNB)

Draw No bet is just like what the name implies. It is like the full-time result bet, except there’s no option for the draw. You can only bet on either team to win; if it’s a draw, then you get your wager back. Because of this, however, the odds on the winning team are usually very short. DNB is an attractive option since there are only two outcomes to choose from and it is usually much easier to predict than other bets.

The best time to use this market is when a team has a history of drawing games or when you’re wagering in a league in which there are plenty of draws, such as the French league.

Asian Handicap Betting

The Asian handicap betting market causes a lot of confusion, but it often offers good value. It is named as such because it is the favoured form of wagering in the Far East region of the world. Profit margins are considerably lower than the majority of the other markets, usually only two percent.

Below are some short explanations on how the Asian handicap bets work. It may be confusing at first, so don’t worry if you don’t get the logic right away. If you want to play around with this market, you may do so on sites like Betfair. Simply pick a game, choose Asian handicap, and then click the ‘back’ button. A wager slip will show on the right side detailing what you would gain or lose from the outcomes.

The simplest form of Asian handicap is similar to Draw No Bet. You will see the teams with a +0 near them; the wager is void in case of a draw. Another form of Asian handicap is to bet on a team -1 or +1. You may bet on a strong favourite (-1) or on an outsider (+1). Betting on a strong favourite is basically betting on them to win by 2 goals or more. If they win by only one goal, then you have nothing to lose. You wager will be returned because the one-goal margin they have won will be cancelled out by the -1 handicap.

A slightly more complex form of Asian handicap is betting on a team to win -1.5 or +1.5. The logic here is the same as the Over/Under 2.5 bet. If the team you’re betting on wins by 2 goals, then your bet wins; if they win by just one goal, your bet loses. It is the same as betting on a team -1, except you don’t have any assurance if your team wins by a single goal. Keep this in mind: if you bet on a team -1 and they end up winning by one, you will get your wager back. But, if you bet on them -1.5 and they end up winning by only one, then your bet has lost.

The most complex Asian handicap is combining the two previous bets and choosing to bet on a team -1 and -1.5. This may look complicated but it’s actually simpler than it sounds. To understand how it works, you will first need to split the wager in two. The first half of your wager is for Team X to win -1 and the second half is for Team X to win -1.5. If you bet on Team X to win -1 and -1.5 for a £100 wager, then here are the possibilities:

* Team X wins by two or more goals = you win £100 (both parts of your bet win)
* Team X wins by one goal = you lose £50 (you lose £50 on the second part of your bet and get your wager back on the first)
* Team X loses = you lose £100 (both parts of the bet lose)

Asian handicap bets are best used if you want to bet on a short-priced favourite to win by a great margin, or on an outsider to lose only by a slight margin, or when you fancy a draw.

Scorecast (Correct Scorer / First Score Double)

As the name suggests, this type of bet combines the correct scorer (of a football match) with the first score. This bet is often otherwise called ‘scorecast’. You will have to predict both the first goalscorer and the final score; you will only win if both of your predictions are correct. This type of bet is often preferred by recreational bettors who wager mainly for fun. Serious players avoid them, for the simple reason that it is difficult to win in this market.

Both Teams to Score

The both teams to score betting option is relatively new in soccer betting. Often abbreviated as BTTS, this market proves to be widely popular. In this bet, you will have to correctly predict whether or not both teams will score in a soccer game. It is a straightforward yes-or-no selection. BTTS is a simple wager that offers high potential for earning money. By using the right strategies in the right circumstances, this market can be highly profitable.


Outrights, also called futures, are longer-term wagers. These bets aren't based on the result of individual games, but rather, on the result of the entire competition, cup, or league.

In this market, the goal is to correctly predict which team will end up triumphant at the end of the Premier League. Since it is a competitive league, doing so can be a tough call. There are often several teams to choose from at the beginning of the season. No matter how difficult, it is absolutely possible to find great value with bets like this. If you're familiar with the scoring habits and the respective quality of all the teams involved, then you have high chances of making accurate assessments regarding each team’s chances of winning at the end of the league.

The major drawback of this type of betting is that you are likely to tie up a portion of your bankroll for several months. If you practice excellent bankroll management, then this should not be a problem.

Also, note that markets like this remain open all throughout the course of the season, so you are not required to get your wager down right away. You can wait for a few games to be played and then determine which team has the highest chances for victory.

Live Soccer Betting

Live soccer betting is about placing bets on games as they take place. This type of betting changes the entire nature of betting on a soccer game. Instead of attempting to predict what will happen in the game before it begins, you can watch the early part of the game first and make your decisions based on how each team is playing. This set-up gives you more statistics to work with, and in turn makes it easier for you to come up with informed judgments.
Live betting also allows for extra forms of bets that would otherwise be impossible. Here are some examples:

* Next player to score
* Next team to score
* Next team to goal
* Next player to be booked
* Time of next corner

Live soccer betting is possibly one of the best ways to bet on games. It is exciting and appealing to recreational bettors. It can also be profitable if you’re fully aware of what you’re doing.

Money Line

The soccer money line is a straight bet. It commonly offers odds on 3 different game results. When betting on this market, it is important to be aware if the rules the sportbook applies on money line bets.

Typically, this type of wager only covers 90 minutes and the injury time of the regulation play. Penalties and overtime are often not included but overtime may be included in some occasions, so make sure you understand what you’re betting on prior to placing your bet.

Depending on the differences of the two teams in terms of talent, the odds in this market may range from an even match at -110 on both sides (wager £110 and win £100) to strong favorites at -1000s (wager £1000 and win £100) and the underdogs at +1000s (wager £100 and win £1000). The odds on a draw also vary greatly, depending on how evenly-matched the teams are and how high the likelihood of ending up to a draw is.

Point Spread

Point spread betting is an alternative to the 3-way betting offered on the money line. Most games offer a point-spread bet with the underdog at +0.5 and the favourite at -0.5. If you bet on the underdog, you get a chance of eliminating the draw from the potential odds. Those who bet on the underdog pay a slightly higher juice, but they win if their team wins or draws the game. 

In games where there is a clear favourite, the spread is fixed at -1.0/+1.0. People who bet on the favourite have great odds in point-spread than in moneyline because they have to win by 2 goals for their bets to cash, while those who bet on the underdog have more security than when they’re wagering on the outright up-set.

Accumulator (Acca) or Parlay

In a soccer Acca, a bettor chooses two or more sides and wins only if each selected side wins. The advantage of betting in this market is that if each of your selected side wins, the payout is far greater than it would’ve been if you bet on each side individually.

As such, soccer parlays are best used when heavy favourites are involved in the game. If you like a team at +120, you may parlay it with a team like Chelsea -600 over a lesser opponent. Instead of wagering £100 to win £120, this £100-parlay will win you around £155. Of course, there are also some risks to strategies like this, but if you use it wisely, it can be highly profitable.

Prop Betting

In this context, ‘prop’ is the shorter term for proposition bet. There are quite a lot of terms used for this wager type, such as exotic bet, side bet, and novelty bet. Prop is the most commonly used term in the U.S., while special is mostly used in the U.K. and other parts of Europe.

Speciality betting offers a broad array of specific bets on statistics and players throughout the game. With this wager type, you can bet on various possibilities such as the first player to score first, the exact final scores, and the team that will score the first goal. Betting on the exact final scores pays great odds, especially if the score is widely unexpected. If you’ve determined that a mid-fielder has a high possibility of exploiting the opponent’s defence, then you may find good value on a prop bet by betting whether or not that player will score a goal during the duration of the game. Whether you’re betting for value or merely for entertainment, soccer prop bets are always a great option.

Here is a list of a few types of prop bets that bookmakers often offer on soccer games:

* First team to score
* Goal in both halves (yes or no)
* Number of bookings
* Number of corners
* Penalty to be given
* Player to score (yes or no)
* Red card to be shown (yes or no)
* Time of first goal

Double Delight and Hat Trick Heaven

The double delight/hat trick heaven type of bet is a popular option among football punters and is unique to Betfred. This is a good way to increase your earnings from your first goalscorer bets: you can double or triple the odds on your prices.
You bet which player will score the first goal. If your chosen player scores within 90 minutes, your first scorer price is doubled. If he shoots a hat trick within the 90-minute mark, you get triple the odds.


A treble consists of three bets, and all three should win in order for you to win. For instance, you place a £100-treble bet on England, Brazil, and Spain:

England 1.64 to win over Paraguay
Brazil 1.45 to win over Croatia
Spain 1.77 to win over Ukraine
If England, Brazil, and Spain all win, you get your £100 wager back, plus your winnings (£100 x 1.64 x 1.45 x 1.77) = £420. All in all, you make a £320 profit.

Ante-Post Betting

Ante-post betting is all-digital, so you won’t have to worry about where you placed your tickets or about keeping them unscratched. Here are some of the most popular ante-post bets:

* Champion/Cup Winner: You are to predict which soccer team will win in the end of the tournament, just like the ‘Futures’ bet that was discussed earlier in this article.
* Group Quinella/Exacta: In Quinella, you choose which teams will end in the first and second place, in no particular order. In Exacta, you will have to predict the right order as well.
* Top Scorer: The strikers always receive the most attention among their colleagues and enjoy the media spotlight as well. Fans love to buy and wear their jerseys, too! In soccer betting, you can also bet on that player who is likely to get the golden boot next season.
* Goals for Player: While most bettors bet on which player to score, this market lets you bet on which player is likely to flop. On Bet365, there is an extensive list of the different types of this betting market pre-season.
* Trophies for Club: You can find interesting club trophy combos online for which you can bet on. The odds in this market are also quite attractive.


Many betting sites offer plenty of special options for your soccer bets. These types of soccer bets have practically nothing to do with what team will win or lose in the game. These bets are aimed mainly at the recreational bettors, since they are thrilling. It is possible to use strategic thinking when placing bets in these markets, but you’re primarily depending on guesswork. These wagers often do not suit serious bettors, perhaps with only a few exceptions.Below are some of the most popular ones. You may need to visit a bookie’s website to get the bigger picture.

* Red card to be shown (Y/N): Some players are more ardent than others and end up getting booked. This does not necessarily mean they play dirty or have unethical practice. Some simply don’t know when to shut their mouths or fail get to get on the field on time, while others like taking their shirt off when celebrating. Regardless of the manner in which they are shown, 2 yellow cards always translate to 1 red. With this in mind, you confidently bet ‘Yes’ on a match that features hot-headed players.

* Winning Margin: This wager requires you to predict the winning margin of the match, regardless of which side gets the 3 points. Options for a goalless end result or a score draw are also available.
Example: You wagered that the winning margin will be two goals. Thus, the list of outcomes that will give you a return consists of either team to win, 2-0, 4-2, 3-1, and the less probable 5-3, 6-4, and so forth.

* Clean sheet: For those who aren’t familiar with the terminologies, a clean sheet is given to a team when it does not concede a goal in a certain game. This betting market is practically offered in a unique way, yet some bettors may find that betting on any team to maintain a clean sheet proves more useful.

* Results Minute Markets: A lot of bookmakers offer betting markets for an exact portion of a soccer game, say 10 or 30 minutes. Will there be over 6.5 corners by that hour mark? Will there be a goal within that interval? Will a footballer be booked between the time of 70:00 and 79:59? Your accurate predictions are seemingly endless.

* Penalty/Missed Penalty: Often, penalties make a good subject for heated discussions right after a football match. Did the foul start inside the box? Why did the referee give the penalty? Will the U.S ever win a shoot-out in a major football tournament? Typically, you can bet on spot-kicks, both missed and scored.

* Others: The list of special bets is practically unlimited. You’ll be able to back a team to win after trailing early in the game or to win to nil. You can even bet on a player to bite someone on the field, which has actually happened! Looking around the special soccer betting options can be fun and exciting, so do check them closely.

Note that many betting sites and bookies also offer other accas, props and specials that aren’t related to individual matches. For instance, transfer-related and manger-related wagers are becoming increasingly common now. These include betting on which team manager/coach will be sacked, or on which next team a high-profile player will join in the following transfer window.

The list above covers the main types of soccer bets available at most betting sites. As you can see, there are plenty of ways to bet in a soccer game, and you are no longer restricted to the traditional types of wagers.

Now, you can make money even if your team ends up losing the match. So the next time you go soccer betting, feel free to explore the countless possibilities and do not limit your wagering to just a single bet. You can spread your wagers by trying out the other betting markets. You only need to know the teams and understand their playing habits very well.

Section: Types of football (soccer) betting

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