If you are new to wagering on the beautiful game or are looking for the best football strategy, we’ve got you covered.

In this guide, we explain the popular markets, different types of bets and various systems and strategies to help you get the most from your football wagering. Let’s begin by looking at the major football betting markets.

Football betting markets

The first step to successful sports betting is understanding the different markets.

A market is a category of bet on a particular event. A single football match may have many different markets available to bet on. Here we describe some of the most popular wagering markets.

Outright betting

Outright betting is the most basic type of bet you can place. You just need to predict the outcome of an event such as whether a team will win the league.

For example, if you were betting on who would win the 2019 Champions League and backed Liverpool to win, you would have been successful.

These are usually long-term bets as the best value can be found earlier on in the season as the risk is higher due to there being uncertainty over how a team will perform along with a multitude of other factors.

  • League Winner
  • Top 4 Finish
  • Relegation
  • Top Goalscorer

Pre-match football betting markets

Pre-match betting refers to any market that is open before a match begins but is closed at kick-off. Bets that can fall into this category include match winner and correct score but there are many more options available including multiple bets.

Historically, all bets would have fallen into the pre-match betting category, but the arrival of in-play betting changed all that and there are now two distinct categories. This is a good place to start if you have never placed a football bet before.

In-play betting

In-play betting (sometimes called live betting) refers to bets that are placed after an event has begun and before it has concluded.

The in-play market is much more dynamic because the odds are constantly changing in reaction to events in the game.

In football, bettors may predict outcomes such as who will score the next goal or win the next corner in an English Premier League match. Some bets such as correct score and match winner may be available pre-match and in-play.

  • Popular in-play bets:
  • Next goalscorer
  • Next player to receive a card
  • Next corner
  • Half-time score
  • Number of second-half goals

Exchange markets

A betting exchange allows players to wager against each other rather than against the bookmaker.

So, as well as placing bets, you can also offer and request odds from other players. Once a bet is matched and accepted by two parties it becomes active. The exchange platform takes a small commission fee for hosting the transaction.

Best football betting strategy advice
Photo credit: Ian Walton / AP Photo

Types of bet

Once you understand the markets, you can then get to know the different bet types. Here are just a few common ones to get you started.

Single bets

A single bet is a bet containing one prediction for a particular market. A typical football single would be a bet on the match-winner, the first goalscorer in a game or on both teams scoring at least one goal in an English Premier League game.

Multiple bets (accumulators)

A multiple bet (or accumulator) is a bet made up of two or more predictions (usually from different events). The bookie gives one price for the multiple bet and all the predictions must be correct for the bet to payout.

A good example would be betting on the outcome of three different football matches. The three selections are added to a bet slip and then the bettor selects the treble at which point the bets are combined into one bet and a price is given.

Two bets combined are usually referred to as a double and three bets together are known as a treble. Four bets combined are called a four-fold, five a five-fold etc. But all of these bets are considered multiples or accumulators.

Football betting strategy system

Whatever type of bet you make, you know that there is risk involved. However, if you apply a good football betting strategy, you can minimise the risk and improve your chances of winning.

Finding the best football betting strategy system that is low risk requires a good understanding of the betting markets and how they work.

It also requires a strong knowledge of the sport involved - if you consider yourself a walking football glossary, you are on the right track. That means studying data, spotting trends and identifying potential value in the market.

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Stay focused

For this reason, many seasoned bettors focus on certain markets where they can become experts and improve their chances of yielding a profit.

For example, they might bet on the over 2.5 goals market, the first goal scorer market or the both teams to score market. All of these markets are popular amongst football betting punters and can be easily analysed to find trends.

If you spot a trend in a market: for example, a player who often scores first in UEFA Champions League matches, or a team who tend to score and concede in the majority of their European games, you can then look at the Champions League odds to decide if the bet offers good value.

As you become more experienced, you will find it easier to judge whether the odds are of good value to the probability. But even when you find a good value bet, you should check for any other factors that may have affected the price.

Is a key player out injured or suspended? Has the long-term trend you spotted shown signs of reversing in the last couple of games? It is important to always look at the bigger picture in your quest for the best football betting strategy.

Expand your knowledge

Sometimes you will find trends in lower leagues or in foreign leagues where the bookmaker is not as focused. By expanding your knowledge beyond the big money markets, you might find a value that few others have spotted.

That is why it is vital that you become an expert in your market and only bet where you can see the genuine value. You want to maximise value and minimise your risk on every bet.

Keep a football betting strategy log

To help you understand identify which betting strategies are working, you must keep a betting log.

While it may seem a little boring to keep a record of every bet you make on a spreadsheet, it could be the difference between a profit and a loss over the long term.

With such fine margins at stake, a betting log can help you find that crucial edge. You can analyse every win and loss and see what is working and what is not, and you can adjust your strategy accordingly.

Depending on how you organise your log, you should be able to spot trends that might not be obvious otherwise. A betting log is an ultimate tool for fine-tuning your low risk football betting strategy.

Keeping a log may seem boring or time-consuming but when narrow margins are at stake, a gambling log can be vital in helping you find that edge.

A well thought out log can act as a quick reference guide for trends within your betting habits. You can easily analyse your wins and losses and you can tweak your strategy as you go along.

Little and often

In many cases, smart betting comes through seeking out value bets that offer smaller returns. This “little and often” approach is favoured by the most successful bettors.

Seasoned punters rarely opt for big money outsiders unless there is some valid data to back it up and they never wager based on a “gut feeling”.

Football Betting Strategy
Photo credit: Michael Sohn / AP Photo

Take advantage of free bets and enhanced odds

If you are starting and want to try your betting strategy, you could use promotional campaigns from bookmakers such as sign-up offers and free bets to place your first wagers.

They provide a risk-free option for novice bettors to find their feet in the online betting environment. Bookies will also offer enhanced odds on certain markets for existing customers.

Make sure you take advantage of these if they relate to your betting strategy. Just make sure you check the terms and conditions of any offers so you understand what is involved.

Manage your bankroll

Finally, one of the most important aspects of any football betting strategy system is bankroll management. You should always work out what you can afford to spend without putting yourself into any kind of financial hardship and then stick to that amount.

Your bankroll should not be used for a single bet. You should break it into smaller amounts and place bets over some time.

If you do not make any money and your bankroll falls to zero, you should wait until you are in a position to comfortably fund a new bankroll before you bet again.

A summary of football betting systems

These are just a few ideas to get you started. If you follow these basic tips, you will be on the road to developing a good football betting system and avoid many of the common mistakes that punters make.

Remember, all betting strategies carry an element of risk - there is no sure-fire way to make a profit but you can take measures to maximise your returns and minimise your losses.

Getting that balance right is the secret to a good football betting system.

*Credit for the main photo belongs to Dave Thompson / AP Photo*

The 888sport blog, based at 888 Towers in the heart of London, employs an army of betting and tipping experts for your daily punting pleasure, as well as an irreverent, and occasionally opinionated, look at the absolute madness that is the world of sport.