Football Bets Explained


With the Euros just around the corner, betting fever is about to grip the country again. However, if you don’t know your unders from your overs this article will share a few hints and tips with you as we help you to learn how to bet on football. No matter who you support, a victory is always sweeter when you win money on it.

Golden Rule 1: Find a Market You Enjoy

We mentioned unders and overs in the introduction and this is currently our favourite bet, let’s explain why. As the name suggests, you are betting if the total number of goals scored will be under or over a certain amount, sounds simple right?

The reason we love this market is that it is very forgiving, it doesn’t have to be an exact science. If we bet that the game between England v Russia will be over 1.5 goals, anything more than 1 goal results in a win, it doesn’t matter if its 1-1, 2-1, 2-2 or even 5-5! We will still win the bet, the only score lines that can hurt us are 0-0 or a one-nil score-line, anything else then we are winners.

The skill in the market is judging at what figure to bet on, if teams are evenly matched then the odds tend to skyrocket if you go for a higher number for over (for example over 3.5 needs a minimum of 4 goals to return a win).

If a team on paper is rated much higher than their opposition, then you can expect the odds of an under bet to be much higher (because the bookies expect lots of goals).

Don’t be scared to stack your bets, for example I feel the game between Northern Ireland v Germany is going to be a goalfest! I think there will be at least 5 goals in it. However, I am going to cover over 0.5, over 1.5, over 2.5 and so on up to over 4.5 but with most of my stake on the over 4.5. Why? Just as a bit of insurance, you wouldn’t believe how many times this has saved me.

Golden Rule 2: Understand what the Odds are Telling You

It is the easiest thing in the world to be blinded by potential winnings, for every Leicester City story there are thousands of examples of the form book being correct. We are not saying don’t dream, just be realistic about the chances of a 50/1 shot winning.

It is possible to convert odds into what is called implied probability, this gives you a percentage of how likely the bookmaker believes an event will happen. To do this you need to do a bit of maths as follows;

Implied probability = denominator divided by (denominator + numerator)

Imagine Wayne Rooney is shown as 5/2 to score the first goal, 5 in this instance is the numerator and 2 is the denominator, so you would do the sum

5/2 = (2 / (5+2)) = 2/7 this gives us the result of 0.286, we then multiply this figure by a hundred to give us the final total of 28.6%.

So the bookmaker believes there is a 28.6% chance of Wayne Rooney scoring the first goal.

Golden Rule 3: Don’t Ruin Your Own Fun

This is the most important rule from a personal point of view. I have stopped betting on my own team with regards to first goal-scorers. The reason wasn’t anything to do with losing money, I just found that I couldn’t enjoy the game.

Even if we went 1-0 up, I didn’t celebrate if I didn’t have money on him scoring the first goal. In fact, if a defender was through 1 on 1 with the goalkeeper, I was hoping he would pass it back 200 metres to the centre forward who I had bet on.

So have fun, enjoy the football and best of luck in bashing them bookies.



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