What Are The Top 10 Most Popular Football Bets?

top 10Football is one of the most loved and followed sports on the planet. Whether it be the Premier League, La Liga and the Bundesliga domestically or the World Cup and European Championship internationally, there’s almost always a tournament going on that captures the world’s imagination. Add to that the likes of the Champions League and you can see why it’s such an appealing market for bettors.

With such a wide range of options when it comes to wagers, though, sometimes people need a bit of help in deciding what to bet on. One of the ways of making that choice is by seeing what the most popular bets are and figuring out which of those are most appealing in terms of what you actually want to get out of your wagering experience. There are plenty of bets to choose form, so make sure you pick something that interests you.  Here we look at the biggest football bets in terms of number of people who bet on these markets.

Top 10 Most Popular Football Markets

MarketDetailsDifficulty
Match Result Home-Draw-Away or 1x2 betting is a bet on the result of the match and which team will win It’s often not difficulty to come up with a prediction of who will win a match, but being right about it is an entirely different matter!
Correct Score Can you correctly identify what the Correct Score will be at the end of the match? This is arguably one of the most difficult markets there is to correctly predict
Both Teams To Score Often also referred to as BTTS, this is a binary bet on whether both teams in a match will score a goal It isn’t overall difficult to predict based on both the goalscoring exploits and defensive expertise of the two teams playing
Accumulator Bets Accas are when you pick a number of markets, such as Match Result, and try to identify the outcome of all your picks. You only win if all are correct Accumulators aren’t easy to bring home, which is why there are normally such long odds. Pull them off, though, and the rewards can be great.  These are poor value bets in terms of bookmaker margins.
Anytime Goalscorer Will a specific player score a goal during the match that they’re playing in? If they do so at any time then you’ll win your bet Players can be prolific in front of goal, but no player has yet scored in every single match that they play in. Betting on them to score at any point is more likely to win than scoring First or Last
Draw No Bet You select a team to win and if the match ends in a draw then your stake is refunded It’s not so much about how difficult this bet is but rather what it’s used for, which is to hedge your bets
Half-Time / Full-Time What will the result be at half-time and what will it be at full-time? A bet that takes the difficulty of predicting the match outcome and doubles it. It’s definitely a tricky wager to go for but pays more if you can get it right
First / Last Goalscorer Though they’re two separate bets, they work in the same way. Can you predict which player will score the First or Last goal of a game? Not the trickiest of bets on the list, you can still be let down on a regular basis. Own goals don’t count, so your blushes can sometimes be spared
European Handicap A bet that ‘gives’ one of the teams playing a head start or a deficit prior to kick-off How difficult this bet is really depends on which team you’re giving the handicap to and why
Double Chance This allows you to bet on two of the three outcomes in the Match Result market The bet is broken down into combinations and if either result happens you’ll be paid out. It’s basically a bet on what you think won’t happen, which is the market you leave out

Biggest Football Bets In More Detail

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Now that we’ve given a brief overview of the different betting markets, let’s have a look at each of the wagers we’ve listed above in some more detail to help you decide if they’re the sort of bets you want to be placing.

Match Result

In many ways, Match Result betting is the purest form of betting there is on football. It’s simply a bet on what you think the result will be, so whether the home team will win, the away team will win or the match will end in a draw. If you’ve ever seen a fixture list, looked at a particular game and thought or said, “I fancy X to win today”, that’s Match Result betting in a nutshell.

There are loads of variables that you need to take into account, including form, whether particular teams do better or worse away from home and any injury news that there might be. Research will help you out in a big way here, given that it will help you to understand the odds that bookmakers will have given each outcome. Don’t overthink it, though; go with your instinct.

This is the best value of all football markets because it is a simple market (just three outcomes) and the most competitive between bookmakers, meaning they tend to run low margins on this market.

Correct Score

One of the toughest bets to win is also one of the most commonly placed, perhaps because punters want a bet with decent odds to accompany other wagers. You’re trying to predict what the Correct Score of the match will be when the full-time whistle blows, so you’re essentially wrapping a whole load of different bets up into the same parcel with this one.

You need to figure out the following:

  • What you think the Match Result will be
  • Whether you think Both Teams Will Score
  • What the Full-Time Result will be
  • How many goals there will be in the match

After you’ve worked your way through those things you’ll then need to put them together into a headline for yourself such as ‘3-1 home win’. The odds are usually pretty decent for Correct Score betting, but still not as decent as they actually should be when you consider how many variables are in play.  It is one of those markets that pays well but has high margins for the bookies, although for big matches they do compete so value can be found if you shop around.

Both Teams To Score

If Correct Score is one of the toughest to predict, Both Teams To Score is one of the easiest. Sadly because of that you normally won’t get very good odds on its outcome (ususally between 1/2 and 2/1). That’s also to do with the fact that it’s a binary wager, so you’re essentially betting on the toss of a coin. Will both of the teams playing in a match score a goal, yes or no?

The reason this is a popular bet is that people will usually combine it with another wager to lengthen the odds a touch. Match Result & BTTS is a common one, for example. So you could say ‘Liverpool will win and both teams will score in the game’, which will give longer odds than just a Match Result or a BTTS bet would give on their own.

This is one of the main bets where research into the likes of form, injuries and past results between the two sides will be your friend.  BTTS markets are very popular for accumulators, as it doesn't rely on a team to win, simply both teams to score.

Accumulators

Another very popular bet with football lovers is the Accumulator bet. This is when you bet on a certain amount of outcomes to all happen and you need all of them to be winners in order for your wager to pay out. You can place 10 bets on the First Goalscorer in 10 different games, for example, requiring the correct player to score first each time.

The most common bet is on the Match Result of a certain number of games. Normally people will bet on something such as the Match Result from every Premier League game happening on a Saturday, say. Because you need all results to be correct, the odds are usually very long for Accas.

Bear in mind that some bookies will offer something like Acca Insurance or accumulator bonuses, where you get your wager back if only one leg isn’t a winner or a bonus if you get your acca all correct.  Frankly, the reason there are so many acca offers is the bets are poor value.  Each leg added to an accumulator increases the bookies margins, which are additive.  This is exactly why they like you to place these bets and why the offers reward you more the more legs you add.

Still, accumulators are a fun bet and if they win they can pay out a large multiple of the stake amount. If you enjoy these bets you should still place them, just be aware the value is low and you should certainly look around for the best prices and offers to try and swing the odds more in your favour.

Anytime Goalscorer

A bet on whether a given player that you’ve selected will score a goal at any point during a game. It doesn’t matter if another player scores before them or someone scores after them, as long as they put the ball into the back of the net during the 90 minutes of the match, your bet will be declared a winner.

Things to think about when it comes to this type of bet, and the reason it’s such a popular one, is whether a player is in good goalscoring form. In the 2015-2016 season for example, Jamie Vardy broke the record for most consecutive games in a row in which a player scored, getting the ball across the line in 11 matches consecutively. Anytime Goalscorer would have been a good bet in that run!

Anytime goalscorer prices tend to drop once the lineup is announced (logically) so if you are confident a player will start it is worth getting those bets on in advance.

Draw No Bet

Sometimes you will have a feeling that one team is likely to win a game but that the side that they’re playing against has an outside chance of just nicking something from the match. This is where the Draw No Bet wager comes in handy, essentially meaning that you think the team you favour are likely to Win but if an unlikely Draw happens you’ll get your stake back.

The big thing to bear in mind when it comes to Draw No Bet wagers is that you’re basically hedging your bets, so the odds you’ll be offered by most bookmakers will be lower than the odds on just an outright Win bet on the Match Result betting. That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t place it, it just helps to explain why the odds don’t look as appealing as you might hope.

Half-Time / Full-Time

Do you think you’re able to predict how the match will look at half-time and how it will look at full-time, result-wise? If so then this is the bet for you, given that that’s exactly what it’s asking you to try to figure out. Let’s imagine that you’re watching two teams play in the World Cup and you think that ‘home’ team is fitter than the ‘away’ side but the opposing team ‘wants’ it more.

This might be a good reason to bet on a Draw at half-time, given the team that ‘wants’ it more will try really hard in the first-half, but a Win for the ‘home’ team at full-time because their superior fitness will show as the match goes on. A wager of ‘Draw - Home Win’ on the Half-Time / Full-Time market will see you right in that instance.  You would get significantly better odds than betting on the full time match result only, but of course the risk is higher.

First / Last Goalscorer

Much like the Anytime Goalscorer market, this bet type is asking you to predict which player will score the First or the Last goal in a game. If an own goal is scored then it is excluded from the bet, so you will still win a First Goalscorer bet on Dominic Calvert-Lewin in an Everton match, for example, if there’s an own goal after 2 minutes and he scores the next goal after 5 minutes.

It’s a popular bet for people to place because there are plenty of different variables that go into a player managing to be the First or Last Goalscorer. Will they be substituted off with 15 minutes to go? Will they pick up an injury? Because you need to specifically identify whether they will score First or Last, the odds are longer than for Anytime Goalscorer wagers.

Do remember that in a 1-0 win the player who scored the goal, provided it wasn’t an own goal, will be the scorer of the First goal and the Last goal as well as an Anytime Goalscorer.  Again, like correct score, these markets are difficult to price and so odds value tends to be poor but bookies will compete for top players in big matches so having a scan around the top bookies could make a lot of difference.  For a leading game today, at the time of writing, the odds on the favourite to score first varies from 5/2 to 5/1, depending on who you bet with.

Like with anytime goalscorer you will get better odds on these markets before the line up is announced.

European Handicap

There are many different handicap bet types in football, with Asian Handicap betting also being popular. It can be confusing to those that don’t know how it works, though, so European Handicap betting tends to be more popular with football lovers. In European Handicap betting you’re basically going to level the playing field between two teams if one is stronger.

Let’s look at an example of an imaginary FA Cup game between Manchester City and Oxford United. City are obviously the better team, so you might decide that they will get a 2 goal deficit to your bet before the match has even kicked off. In order for your bet on City to be a winner, they’ll have to beat Oxford United by 3 clear goals.

You can give City a 2 goal deficit and bet on the Draw if you want, meaning that City will have to win by 2 clear goals regardless of the scoreline. Those 2 goals will be ‘taken off’ the full-time score to decide whether the bet is a winner or not. So a bet on the Draw with City -2 would be winner if the final score was 3-1 to City, because the ‘bet scoreline’ would be 1-1.

Double Chance

Betting on the Match Result is popular because it feels like a pure form of football betting, but you can strengthen the chance of your bet winning at the same time as you reduce the odds you’ll receive if it does by betting on Double Chance. In essence, you’ll bet on one of the following options:

  • Home Win or Draw
  • Away Win or Draw
  • Home Win or Away Win

If one of the two outcomes that you’ve bet on happens then your bet will be a winner. The odds may be lower, but the chance of winning your wager will be higher so you’ve got to decide which one matters more to you.

Important Points To Remember

football tacticsThe key thing to remember with all of the above bets, especially when it comes to placing wagers on knockout competitions, is that your bet is relevant only for the 90 minutes of the match. Stoppage time because of injuries is included in that 90 minutes, but if the game has the ability to go to extra-time then that won’t count towards your bet.

Let’s imagine that you’ve placed one bet on Marcus Rashford to score in a Manchester United Europa League quarter-final second-leg and another one on the Match Result to be an Away Win. The 90 minutes ends 0-0, sending the game into extra-time when Rashford scores and United win 1-0 away from home. Neither of your bets will be winners because they didn’t happen in the 90 of the match proper.