The world’s biggest sport has a formidable betting industry.

Football is not just more popular than every other sport (and by a considerable distance), its stars are also as famous as anyone in the world. With successful sport, betting so often follows – football is no different.

Football betting has evolved quickly, the internet, 4G and smartphones have become an integral part of the industry.

It can be a daunting area to get into, the terminology sometimes alien to those who aren’t familiar with it. Like our tennis betting guide, this article will guide you through all you need to know about football betting.


Outright Betting

As you navigate through 888’s sports betting markets to check out the football options, you will quickly realise just how many outright betting markets there are.

The worldwide game has leagues all over the planet, as a result, outright betting is available in tens of different tournaments.

Outright football betting can be anything backing a team to win the 2022 World Cup to the Championship Golden Boot winner.

The major leagues will have multiple outright markets, including Player of the Year betting and – for the Premier League, in particular – there will be a wide variety of different outright bets.

‘Best of the promoted clubs’ is always an interesting market ahead of a new season. Others include ‘league winner without Liverpool and Manchester City’ and ‘PFA Young Player of the Year’.

These bets are long-term usually, meaning bettors can have a long wait to find out if they’ve backed a winner.

In some cases, though, it can prove to be a way of getting extraordinary value (just ask anyone who put a wager on Leicester’s title-winning season).


Pre-Match Bets

Just as outright betting can be daunting, picking some pre-match bets ahead of a round of Champions League fixtures or Super Sunday can be tricky too.

888Sport have the bets organised into different categories, making it easier to navigate than some sites. Each of these ‘drop down’ when clicked on to show all the available bets.

The ‘most popular’ tab is at the top, usually including the full-time outcome, total goals, both teams to score and correct score.

The ‘full-time’ tab follows, which has a range of bets from half-time/full-time through to exact winning margin. Bettors can also wager on the over/under of goals for each team.

There’s also an area to make bets on either half. This can be picking a team to win the first or second half or a selection of other bets.

Match parlays (a combination of bets just for this match) are often available with 888Sport, too. The ‘asian lines’ section is popular with a lot of bettors, as the handicaps can be a good way to find value.

Markets for total cards in the match or for a team are usually on offer. Corners are often bet on, too.

Beyond that, there’s an array of player markets – these can be about a player receiving a card, scoring a goal or ‘specials’ such as assists or a combination of the previous three.

Scorecasts and wincasts can also be found in pre-match betting. Both work on picking a goalscorer (either anytime, first scorer or last scorer) and combining it with an outcome.

Scorecasts provide higher odds as they require the bettor to pick a score, while the wincasts just need to pick the result.


In-Play Betting

Betting 'in-play' has become an integral part of football betting.

Phones are out in pubs looking to find value, fans will sneakily place a bet while devouring their half-time pie on a Saturday afternoon. It requires quick decision-making, and can be a good way to make profit while watching a match.

Many of the markets are the same as pre-match betting, though things like ‘next goal scorer’ are added.

Bettors will often consider wagering on a goal to be scored in a specific time period, particularly if the match is opening up or one team is building pressure.

Some bookmakers will offer match streams to aid in-play betting.

The vast majority provide a diagram showing which team is attacking, which can help bettors follow the match. 


Accumulator Betting

Football accumulators are popular, whether that’s scrambling together a few ‘both teams to score’ bets in the Champions League or trying to pick the winners of the top five European leagues.

Fans can use tools like 888Sport’s bet builder to make an accumulator on a given game, or they can put together their own selections.

It’s a way to find longer odds, often by combining a selection of heavily favored outcomes.

For instance, backing Juventus and Bayern to win their respective leagues hasn’t provided value in recent years, but putting them together and adding Barcelona to win La Liga to the mix is a way to potentially make it a worthwhile bet.


*Credit for the main photo belongs to Tim Ireland / AP Photo*

Sam is a sports tipster, specialising in the Premier League and Champions League.

He covers most sports, including cricket and Formula One. Sam particularly enjoys those on the other side of the Atlantic Ocean – notably MLB and NBA.

Watching, writing and talking about sports betting takes up most of his time, whether that is for a day out at T20 Finals Day or a long night of basketball.

Having been writing for several years, Sam has been working with 888Sport since 2016, contributing multiple articles per week to the blog.