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A beginner's guide to betting on football 2022

Chuck Blake

Updated: Nov 15, 2022 09:56

A beginner's guide to betting on football 2022

Make use of our in-depth guide to football betting, including all the most popular markets and where to find the best value within them


The sheer scale of football betting markets means you can back practically anything

A beginner’s guide to betting on football

A startling 40% of all bets made by gamblers in the UK are placed on football, making it one of the most popular sports to wager on.

It is crucial that you, the bettor, are aware of all the essential components of the football markets.

The abundance of matches has fueled the industry's expansion and allowed bettors to play on a wide range of markets, with many betting sites providing exclusive promotions and appealing odds.

In order to help you navigate the murky waters of the markets, we'll go over all you need to know about football betting right here.

A brief introduction to how betting works

If you want to put a bet on a particular outcome, odds are the ratio between the stake and potential earnings. Odds are determined by a bookmaker. You can choose which to use; they are typically shown as fractions (e.g., 2/1), but they can also occasionally be shown as decimals (e.g., 2.00). For instance, if you wager £1 and the outcome of the event has odds of 2/1 (or 2.00), you will win £2.

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How football betting works

There are thousands of football matches taking place every week, with even more markets available to bet on through bookmakers offering a huge variety of different odds on every little detail of matches. They will give their prices on the outcome of matches and events within the match, such as the number of goals scored, corners won, red and yellow cards shown, and individual goalscorers.

There are lots of different bookmakers who will continually have special offers and competitive odds to try to ensure that you have the best value bet. Once the outcome of the event is confirmed and your bet is a winner, you will be paid out your original stake plus the winnings from the odds.

Throughout there are a number of different types of bets, including accumulators where you can combine different selections to make one large odds price to place your bet. This is available with the majority of football markets.

Asian handicap bet

An Asian handicap bet is one in which your selection has a “handicap” to overcome, and what makes the bet unique is that it eliminates the possibility of a draw in betting terms.

The bookmakers give each team a plus or minus figure to denote their handicap. This can be either a whole-goal handicap (such as +1 or -2) or a half-goal handicap (+0.5 or -1.5).

How each works is best illustrated by a brief example.

Whole-goal handicap

Liverpool -1, Arsenal +2

The figures next to each team are applied to their score in the match.

If you bet on Liverpool, you win if they win by a two-goal margin or more. You lose if they draw or lose. And you get your stake back if they win by a one-goal margin, which is cancelled out by the -1, making the handicap result a draw.

If you bet on Arsenal, you win if they win, if they draw or if they lose by only a one-goal margin. You lose if they lose by a three-goal margin or more. And you get your stake back if they lose by a two-goal margin, which is cancelled out by the +2, making the handicap result a draw.

A whole-goal handicap better offers the safety net of your stake being returned.

Half-goal handicap

Liverpool -1.5, Arsenal +1.5

If you bet on Liverpool and they win by a two-goal margin or more, you win. A win by one goal, a draw or a defeat and you lose.

If you bet on Arsenal and they lose by one goal, draw or win, you win. If they lose by a two-goal margin or more, you lose.

A half-goal handicap bet eliminates the possibility of a draw altogether.

European handicap bet

A European handicap is similar to an Asian handicap but with two main differences: one is that the draw remains an option and the other is that the handicaps are only ever whole numbers.

Again, how it works is best illustrated by a brief example.

Liverpool -1, Draw -1, Arsenal +2

If you bet on Liverpool, you win if they win by a two-goal margin or more.

If you bet on the draw, you win if Liverpool win by a single goal.

If you bet on Arsenal, you win if they win, draw or lose by only one goal.

Over and Under betting

This is a bet on the total number of times an event (for example, goals, corners, yellow cards) will happen during a match.

Bookmakers allocate a baseline number to a match and you can bet on whether there will be more (over) or fewer (under) than that number. The baseline number will never be a whole number, which guarantees that the outcome will be one of two: over or under. (You can’t score half a goal.)

So in a match where a bookmaker is offering Over or Under 2.5 goals, you win if you bet on Over and three or more goals are scored, but you lose if the total is none, one or two. Likewise, if you bet on Under, you win if none, one or two goals are scored and lose if the total is three or higher.

How to find value when betting on football

It's crucial to keep in mind that there are never any sure bets in football betting. There is always a chance for a shocking outcome, and that is one of the things that makes sports so fascinating. You can study a game as much as you like and know everything there is to know about it.

For this reason, you should use your understanding of football betting to choose the game and bet you want to focus on.

Less seasoned gamblers would benefit more from basic wagers like Match Bet or goalscorer markets, as well as wagers with lower stakes like Draw No Bet.

To reduce the chance of losing money, make sure you bet on well-known markets. Research and knowledge are two of the most crucial elements while looking for value.

Today, there are also a ton of statistics available on free websites for any bettor to look at, and doing so can help you grasp some of the more precise prop markets that are now available across the many bookies.

For instance, a football fan who regularly follows the Premier League would be more suited to wager on this particular league than to take chances on unresearched leagues throughout the globe.


Football betting is quite accessible and offers a wide range of markets and bookies, making it simple to get started.

As long as you stick to betting on the hundreds of thousands of football games played worldwide, betting can be a lot of fun.

The greatest method to make money and prevent the disappointment of losing is to choose bets that offer good value.

You may now increase the thrill of watching football by placing a wager, but please exercise caution when doing so.

Check out more information of football games, players, teams and news on ClevPicks: Reliable football betting prediction using artificial intelligence.

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