Football Betting Guide – Soccer Betting Markets Explained

soccer-betting-guide-cover football bettingFootball betting is truly the king of sports punting. It claims the lion’s share on the total amount of bets placed, a staggering 60% according to estimates. William Hill was the first bookmaker to offer fixed football odds on a coupon, back in 1934, while in 1997 Intertops made the breakthrough in online betting, by offering fixed odds on their website. Nowadays the vast majority of football bets are placed online, a factor that has brought significant changes on the products and various betting markets that bookmakers offer.

Today, almost every online bookie will offer football betting odds. It’s also quite common that over a 100 different betting markets are found on any match. Classical 3-way betting (also described as 1X2 or FT betting) has remained the top choice for punters around the world. Other popular football markets include the number of goals scored in a game (over /under betting) and Both Teams to Score (BTTS). Sheer competition between bookies has done wonders for the average bettor, as many alternative bets and services have made their appearance, such as live streaming, cash-out and live betting. Additionally, increased stakes and better odds have become a common "battleground" for betting companies, resulting to more profits for every football punter.

Key football betting markets explained

3-way betting: The most popular and straightforward bet you can find. You’re simply asked to bet on the match winner (1 for the Home Team, 2 for the Away Team) or the possibility of a draw (X). Although each betting company has its own set of rules, in this case they all follow the same term: The match result stands for 90 minutes & injury time only, unless mentioned otherwise.

Double Chance: Sometimes mentioned as DC. By choosing this market, you select two out of the three possible outcomes and improve your chances of winning by reducing the odds. The options are as follows:

1 or X: The bet wins if there’s a Home Win or Draw.

1  or 2: The bet wins if either team wins the match.

X or 2: The bet wins if there's a Draw or an Away Win

Over - Under: You bet on the total number of goals that will be scored by both teams, in a match. The most common limit is 2,5 goals (over 2.5 / under 2.5), so to win an Over 2,5 bet you need 3 or more goals and 2 or less for an Under 2,5 bet. Depending on the statistics of the league or certain teams' goal average, bookies will adjust their odds accordingly.

Both Teams To Score: In short BTTS, some bookies describe this market as “Goal-Goal/No Goal”. As the name implies, you’re betting on whether both teams will score or not by choosing among the “Yes” or “No” options. If one team fails to score or the match ends as a goalless draw, the “No” option is confirmed.

Bookies with many markets


Players Rating: (7 Rates) 6.4


Players Rating: (3 Rates) 8.7


Players Rating: (2 Rates) 8.5

Total goals: You have to predict the range of goals scored in a match. The most common ranges include: 0-1 goals, 2-3 goals, 4-6 goals, 7 or more goals. Some bookmakers may reduce the range on some of them (e.g. 4-6 goals to 4-5), which in term increases the risk and the odds offered.

Asian Handicap: A betting type that was mostly found in Asian markets, but has become increasingly popular through Europe in recent years. Instead of offering reduced odds, a goal handicap is placed on the weaker team, that has to be exceeded by the stronger team in order to confirm the bet and vice versa. The most obvious difference of an Asian handicap, is that it reduces the three possible outcomes of a football match, to two. For example, if you bet for a -1,5 handicap you will either win if your chosen team wins by two goals or more, or lose in any other case. Pinnacle is considered a "specialist" in asian handicap betting, by offering several bets regarding goals scored in a football match.

Half Time-Full Time: Commonly referred as HT-FT, on this type of bet you must correctly predict the outcome of both the Half Time and Full Time results. There are nine different options to choose from (Home-Home, Home-Draw, Home-Away, Draw-Home, Draw-Draw, Draw-Away, Away-Home, Away-Draw, Away-Away) and the added risk is accordingly reflected on the improved odds.

Special Bets on Football betting

Betting markets have boomed during the last years and have brought with them a considerable increase to various special and alternative football betting markets. Nearly all bookmakers will offer you many more options than simply who’s going to win or how many goals will be scored. A number of special bets can nowadays be found on every bookie's sportsbook. Let’s take a look at them:

Correct Score: You’re asked to predict the exact final score of a match (or at times, the halftime score). Obviously there are plenty of different options, that cover almost every possible result. Given that there's a limit on their number, every option that is not mentioned is covered by the “Other Score” bet (i.e. a 7-7 draw).

Scorers: The most popular of these markets is the anytime scorer. To win this bet your selected player must score at least one goal during full time. Other options exist as well, such as predicting if a player will score the first or the last goal and whether he will score two or more goals in a specific match. 

Corners: Predicting the number of corners is quickly becoming a new trend in football punting. Corner kick betting is ever increasing, as access to live streaming and various corner stats are being utilized by players. The betting options of this market include the number of total corners (e.g. Under 10, exact 10, Over 10), a specific range of corner kicks (0-4, 5-6,7-8,9-10,11-12,13-14, 15 or more), as well as a handicap 2-way bet (i.e. Over/Under 10,5). These options are usually offered among other similar bets, such as "Team to win the next corner" and "First team to reach 5 corners”. 

Yellow/Red Cards: A really interesting market is betting on how many cards will be awarded during a football match. Bookies will offer various bets concerning the total number of cards (both 3-way and 2-way options), specific number of cards for each team and which team will receive the most bookings. Several betting firms might even allow you to wager on whether a red card will be shown in the game.

Score/Miss Penalty: An extremely risky market, but highly entertaining as well. Bookmakers offer odds on whether a penalty kick will be awarded in the game, if both will earn a penalty kick and whether they will manage score from the spot or not.

Combo Bets on soccer betting

This has been a recent addition to the various betting markets. Combo bets are a combination of two (or more in some cases) basic or special bets. The is an added risk obviously, as you need to correctly predict two aspects in order to win, but your earnings will be certainly be higher, due to the increased odds. Some of the most popular combo bets include:

Winner & number of goals: You must predict which team will win and how many goals will be scored in a match. A similar bet exists in case of a tie (e.g. draw & under or over 2.5).

Winner & Both Teams to score: Pretty much the same as the above, you’re asked to bet on the full time result and predict whether both teams will score or not. Α wide variery of combo bets can be found at Βet365.

Total goals & Both Teams to score: Another combination of basic bets, in which you have to predict if both teams will manage to find the net (or not) and how many goals will be scored.

Correct score Half Time-Full Time: An increasing number of bookies are starting to offer this combination bet, in which you have to correctly guess the score both at halftime and full time.

Scorecast: In order to win a scorecast bet, you have to accurately predict which player will score the first goal and what the final score will be at full time. You can also find a combination of an anytime scorer and final score, or the first scorer and winner of a match.

The best football betting sites

Bookmakers Why to Bet Why to Bet Bookmakers Rating    
  • Betting in anonymity
  • Extra security with 2step authenticator/sms 
  • Cash out/partial cash out
  • 1. Betting in anonymity
  • 2. Extra security with 2step authenticator/sms 
  • 3. Cash out/partial cash out
Review Bet Now
  • 100% up to $5000 welcome bonus
  • Ηigh odds on soccer, basketball, American sports
  • Great range of alternative markets
  • 1. 100% up to $5000 welcome bonus
  • 2. Ηigh odds on soccer, basketball, American sports
  • 3. Great range of alternative markets
Review Bet Now
  • 50% up to $1000 welcome bonus
  • Ηigh odds on tennis
  • Tons of alternative markets
  • 1. 50% up to $1000 welcome bonus
  • 2. Ηigh odds on tennis
  • 3. Tons of alternative markets
Review Bet Now
  • US bettors are welcome
  • Quality mobile service
  • Possibly the highest deposit bonus
  • 1. US bettors are welcome
  • 2. Quality mobile service
  • 3. Possibly the highest deposit bonus
Review Bet Now
  • US players accepted
  • Great variety of sports and US markets
  • Low minimum bet amounts
  • 1. US players accepted
  • 2. Great variety of sports and US markets
  • 3. Low minimum bet amounts
Review Bet Now
  • 25+ sports
  • Wide range of American Leagues
  • High limits on pre-match betting
  • 1. 25+ sports
  • 2. Wide range of American Leagues
  • 3. High limits on pre-match betting
Review Bet Now
  • 24/7 Livebetting with more than 5.000 Events/Month
  • Best online mobile website in the US
  • More than 20 years’ experience in the US market
  • 1. 24/7 Livebetting with more than 5.000 Events/Month
  • 2. Best online mobile website in the US
  • 3. More than 20 years’ experience in the US market
Review Bet Now

10,000+ have already benefited from

Register to our newsletter and be the first to get our exclusive bonuses and promotions. Fill in your name & email and stay tuned on the latest offers and the new bookmakers in your country.

I agree with the terms of use.


Last chance, best chance. The US Open tournament stands as the last Grand Slam tennis tournament of the season. Held in glamorous New York every year’...

Read more »

Before we get started, we have to share a universal truth. Betting is hard. You have to invest a lot of time researching every single bet you place an...

Read more »

One of the things that make betting so appealing, is the fact that you can be as creative as you like whenever you place a wager. It allows you the fr...

Read more »

Few other sports can offer such upsets like football does. We’ve seen Leicester City win the English Premier League and witnessed the Champions ...

Read more »

Do you really think that the total number of corner kicks in a football match is depending mainly on luck? Well, it seems you don’t know how to ...

Read more »

When it comes to betting online on the NFL, where you choose to bet is just as important as who you choose to bet on. To give you the best chance of w...

Read more »

No matter how many professional punters you ask, every one of them will tell you that the only acceptable way of controlling your game and bankroll is...

Read more »

Multiple parlay bets exist in two different types: the ones you have to choose which combinations you bet on and the so-called full cover bets, where ...

Read more »

Staking low, winning big. That’s what betting is all about. Or what most punters would like to be: Risking low amounts of money to high odds and win a...

Read more »

Given that the main purpose of sports betting is to win as much money as possible, developing a way of calculating profit will inevitably become a cor...

Read more »