Cricket may be the most beloved sport in India, but football is nothing less than a newly found love. And the success of the Indian Super League (ISL) in the past few years confirms this fact.
Clubs from big football leagues such as Chelsea and Manchester United from EPL, Barcelona and Real Madrid from La Liga, and Bayern Munich from Bundesliga all have a massive fan following in India. Such a love for the game naturally creates a favourable environment for football betting in the country.
Thousands of football fans enjoy placing bets on their favourite teams and leagues. If you, too, are passionate about football and wish to experience the excitement of betting on the game, you will need some guidance in the beginning. The concept and terms of sports betting may not make sense to you right away. But we’re here to help you.
In this article, we’ll explain everything you need to know about betting on football. And even if you’re already a seasoned bettor, we’re sure you’ll have something more to learn from this guide. So let’s get started!
Where to Bet on Football
The 4-Step Approach to Betting on Football
Instead of just throwing all the information randomly in your face, we have taken a more effective approach. To get started with football betting, you just need to go through four steps:
- Understanding how odds and payouts work
- Know the types of football bets
- Pick the best platform by evaluating different online sportsbooks
- Know the game, the league, and the players
We will now explain each of these four aspects in detail.
1. Understanding Odds and Payouts
If you ever visit a sportsbook, you will see odds listed for every match all over the home page itself. Every bet is assigned an odd, which is represented as either a fraction or a decimal. Odds for a bet tell us two things:
- How likely an event is to occur
Lower odds mean something is very likely to happen, and higher odds imply an event with less chance of happening.
- How much money you win from the bet
Your winning is your bet amount times the betting odds. If the odds for a team to win is 2.0, and you bet on ₹100 on them, your payout will be 100 x 2.0 = ₹200 if they do win the game.
So, considering both factors, the more likely an event is to happen, the lower the odds and also lower payouts if you win. Conversely, if an event is unlikely to happen in the match, the odds are higher, and so will be your payout.
2. Types of Football Bets
Having learned what odds are and how they work, you now need to know the different types of football bets. There is no definite list of bets as bookmakers can set wagers on anything that can happen in the game, so there is always a possibility of making new options to bet on. But the standard and most common types of bets in football are listed below.
- Match Bets
This is the simplest type of bet where you just bet on the outcome of a match. There are three betting options for match bets – Home team to win, Draw, or Away team to Win. Remember that match bets usually don’t consider extra time or penalties, so if a game ended in a draw after 90 minutes of play, the final result for settling the bet will be taken as a draw, regardless of who wins after extra time/penalties.
- Result on Either Halves
Apart from betting on the outcome of the entire match, you can also bet separately on the outcome of each half. The same options apply here – you get to bet on either team to win or the score to be tied after the first half and/or second half.
- Score Predictions
As the name suggests, you can place bets on various types of predictions, such as guessing the correct score at the end of the match or simply guessing how many goals will be scored in total, regardless of which team scored them.
- Over/Under Bets
This is a type of bet where the bookmaker gives you a fixed value for an event in the game, such as the number of goals, fouls and cards, corners, and free kicks. You need to bet on whether you think the actual result will be more or less than the number fixed by bookmakers.
The concept of handicap bets is to set a condition such that the stronger team has a slight disadvantage to balance the bets and odds. It is mostly done by removing or adding a number of goals from/to the final score.
For example, in a match between Liverpool and Norwich, the handicap may be set as -2 for Liverpool, the stronger team, and +2 for Norwich, the weaker team. Let’s say the final score is 2-1 to Liverpool. If you bet on Liverpool, two goals will be deducted from their side, so the score will be taken as 1-0 to Norwich, meaning you’ll lose the bet even though Liverpool won the match.
Handicap bets are better suited for expert bettors who can assess the final outcome of the match and the actual margin or goal difference between teams.
- Two-Folds, Three-folds, and Accumulators
A two-fold bet is where you place a single wager on two different bets and get a single payout if both bets win. A three-fold bet is the same, but with three different bets with a single wager. And an accumulator is when you bet on four or more options with a single wager. These bets can all be on a single match or different matches.
- In-Play or Live Bets
A live bet is a special type of bet where you can place wagers even after the match has started and is in progress. For example, in a live bet, if no goal has been scored after the first 15 minutes, you can bet on the first team or player to score a goal based on how the match is moving forward.
Apart from these standard bets, there are still many other options. Bookmakers can and do set wagers for a number of events such as the first player to score, total prediction of all goals and goal scorers, the man of the match, and anything else you could imagine. Beginners should stick to simpler betting options such as Match bets until they get a better hang of the betting experience.
3. Picking the Best Sports Betting Platform
To officially start betting on football, you need to register with an online sportsbook. Here are some things you need to consider to find the best sportsbook platform online:
- Check the welcome bonuses from different operators and see which one offers the most value while also having low wagering requirements.
- Look at the background and reputation of the operator to see if they are reliable and have a good record with customers.
- Check the payment options of each operator in advance to know which one is most convenient for you.
- Take a look at the odds offered on different sites so you can go for the one which has the best odds in the market.
- Always go for an operator that has easily accessible, quick to respond, and highly efficient customer service.
4. Know the Game, Leagues, and Players
A big part of football betting is to know the game very well. If you don’t want to lose a lot of money on the bets, you must have a sound knowledge of the game and up-to-date information on what’s happening in the football world.
There are literally hundreds of leagues and thousands of matches you can bet on. Always stick to a league you are most familiar with and watch regularly. To bet on a league that you barely watch is equivalent to shooting a bullet in the dark and just a bad decision in general.
Lastly, keep yourself updated on players and their form. Knowing the players well will help you guess the outcome of a match better. You also need to keep tabs on key players for every team, injured players, strikers who are on a goal drought, physical fitness and stamina of defenders, etc. The more you know the status of players and teams, the higher your chances of making correct predictions when betting.
Some Final Words
With all the information we have provided in this guide, you should surely be able to start your own journey into the world of football betting. But while it can be fun and exciting, things can also go downhill if you aren’t careful. So we’ll leave you with some final words of advice.
Firstly, be financially responsible for betting and only wager what you can afford to lose. Secondly, don’t just bet on a whim but do some research and stick to games and teams you are very familiar with. And lastly, no matter how much research and analysis you have done, never expect to win every bet, as anything can happen at the end of the day. Sports betting is a mix of strategy and luck, so have a correct mindset and know that there is always a probability of winning or losing bets.
Having said that, we hope that both new and experienced bettors in India will find this post useful and informational.