Definitive Guide to Football Betting

Updated 31st March 2020

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If you are looking for advice on football betting and how to help improve your chances of beating the bookies then you've come to the right place! Let's face it – the saying "the bookie always wins" is well know for a reason, it's usually true, but not always.

As an experienced football tipster, this guide will give you some insight into what thought processes and research techniques go on in my head when I'm selecting bets. Because when it comes to football betting, there are a huge number of different factors that will decide if you are successful or not. Some may be more obvious than others but there might be some crucial points in this guide you aren't aware of yet which could make the difference between turning a profit or not.

Read on and let me help you gamble smarter and win more today!


Table of Contents:


Back the Outcome Not the Odds

One of the factors everyone has to deal with when betting in football is odds. Unfortunately for something so central to it, this is also one thing that causes most confusion! For the complete beginners amongst us, the odds given by a bookmaker for something happening not only dictates how much money you receive if you win but are also an expression of how likely that particular event is to happen.

For example, if we take a league game in Serie A with Juventus playing a smaller club like Crotone. The odds you would get for Juventus to win would be very short (probably somewhere around the 1.3 mark) as it is highly likely they will win. However, as you would expect, Crotone's odds of winning would be much longer (maybe around 8.0) as that is considered very unlikely to happen. So although the odds for Juventus are less appealing, it's still the sensible option.

Now there is a lot of snobbery around when it comes to odds, there are many people who believe you can only generate profit if the odds are 1/1 (2.00) or longer, as anything shorter doesn't provide enough profit to be worth the risk. Personally I don't believe this for a second, as the only thing that dictates whether you profit from football betting long term is whether your win ratio exceeds the average odds you have bet.

For example, if someone always backs 1/1 (2.00) odds selections but only wins four of every ten bets (40% win rate) on average, they will lose money long term. However if someone only backs selections with odds of 1/3 (1.33) but wins four of every five bets (80% win rate), they will generate profit long term.

Now of course as a football tipster I have seen my share of upsets where the big priced outsider records a shock win but in truth it doesn't happen too much especially in the higher quality league fixtures. If it did bookmakers wouldn't be giving those kind of odds as they would be losing too much money on the outsider winning all the time.

So don't let short odds put you off from making a selection unless you feel that the odds don't represent sufficient value for the likelihood of that particular outcome happening. Also, don't let long odds outsiders influence you because of the potential returns. Too many people look at a game and see Team A at 12/1 to win and stick their money on quickly, dazzled by the excitement of a big return. Don't do this! To make a profit in football betting, you should always be betting on the outcome and then taking the best odds you can find. If you don't think a team will win, don't back them, even if the odds look more appealing.


Stick to What You Know

This is one of the best pieces of advice I can give to you as a professional tipster. Don't fall into the trap of seeking out lots of new markets to bet on and new leagues you know nothing about. The online bookmakers can be a very tempting place, but be disciplined and stick to what works for you.

If you have found particular teams, leagues or markets that you can consistently win on, then stick with them. The only thing that matters is winning, how you do that is not important, it will differ for different people.

I read a review of my website in the past, and it mentioned other services have "more interesting betting types". Now since when has a betting type being interesting had any influence on whether you win or lose? Whether you simply back a team to win or whether you back 1st half Asian corners over 4.5, it makes no difference as long as you win. Would you rather place an interesting bet and lose or a simple bet and win? I think you know the answer.

The crucial thing is to discover a way of finding bets that win and keep doing it. Don't fall into the trap of always looking for the next thing to try like a fancy Goliath accumulator if you don't usually bet on them. This approach to betting may not be the most glamourous but it is certainly the most profitable!


Leave Emotion at the Door

Betting is like no other past-time in how it plays with your emotions. We've all been there and felt the high of a big win or the low of losing out. Over the years, I have built up enough knowledge related to football and football betting to know emotion is a key thing to avoid.

But why is emotion so bad for your betting bankroll? The main thing is that when you are thinking emotionally, you will not make correct and rational decisions. This will in turn lead you to putting on bets you should avoid making, and lose money as a result.

A great example of this is what is known as chasing your losses. As betting tips go this is a really important one to take onboard. Picture the scenario – you put a bet on the match you have identified and it doesn't go your way. Your emotions kick in and before you know it, you have put another quick bet on with no research to try to make up what you have just lost. The trouble is, that bet is likely to lose, as it's not been properly researched, therefore leaving you even worse off. Repeat that a few times over an afternoon and you can imagine what your bankroll will look like.

What you should do instead is clearly identify your bets for the day beforehand and stick to them. If the initial losing bet was all you had planned to put on that day, simply suck it up and walk away until tomorrow. Your bank balance will thank you in the long run!

Another classic emotional mistake some punters make is betting on the team they support regardless of whether it is rationally merited. As with chasing losses, you need to avoid this so you're not putting on bad bets that have no factual reason for taking a chance on.

These two examples of how not to approach football betting are why I advise everyone to leave emotion at the door. Do your research, decide on your bets in a logical way beforehand and stick to them!


Research and Hard Work

Following on from the above, probably the most important factor as a tipster or punter is to put in your research. Winning tips are not something you can pluck out of thin air on a whim. The foundation of any successful career in football betting is hard work and knowledge. I know this is not sexy or glamorous but it is the stark reality of the situation, you have to put the hours in if you want to succeed.

There are lots of places on the internet such as which collate all the various information on the different leagues around the world, so make sure to use them. Getting a feel for what form a team is in, what their home form is like compared to their away form, how they usually fair against the opposition they are playing, and many more factors will be vital when choosing which bets to take on.

As an experienced tipster, if you don't arm yourself with this knowledge, it is a pure lottery. Do not make the mistake of treating football betting as random gambling – with the relevant research, you should be able to increase the likelihood of predicting the outcomes of the games you will bet on.


Instict - Don't Ignore it!

Despite research and hard work being a massive factor in successful football betting, gut instinct can make that extra bit of difference that will help you make long term profit. I know we have talked about leaving emotions out of betting but gut instinct is one exception. Why? Because it's like a safety net, you've done the research but does your instinct agree, or is there a nagging doubt in your mind? Whatever your instinct is telling you, don't ignore it.

For example, Liverpool are currently a very strong side, a side that statistics would indicate should beat smaller clubs like Watford or Burnley, however in recent years Liverpool have been prone to dropping points against teams they should beat on paper. That's where your gut instinct says to you "Yes, Liverpool should win, but I just don't feel comfortable backing them", and that gut feeling can make all the difference between winning and losing. Sometimes you'll get it wrong, but more often than not this will give you a good sense of whether a bet is worthwhile or not, which along with the research you do, will stand you in good stead.



We have talked about the importance of doing your homework before you pick your bets but what historical information should you be looking at?

In general terms, by far the most crucial thing to consider is recent form. By recent we're talking the last 5 games or so. If you notice Team A is in a terrible run of form while Team B is riding high, this gives you an advantage in trying to predict what will happen when they play. Also, it's worth checking any recent head2head match-ups between the two teams, to determine which team usually fairs better

In terms of football betting tips, the other handy historical factor to look out for is a side's bogey team, and it's one of the few occasions when a less recent historical viewpoint is also useful. A lot of punters don't take this into account but it is something to make a note of when sizing a wager up. For any newcomers to football betting, a bogey team is a team that often performs well against a particular side regularly. So, if you notice Team A have beaten Team B for the last 5 seasons home and away, you have a vital stat to put in your betting toolbox.


Assess Match Importance/Distractions

Another crucial element to successfully profiting from football betting is assessing the importance of the match you may be thinking of placing money on. What you need to ask yourself is "Does this game matter to both teams?"

This may sound like nonsense as you might think every game should matter to all teams. However in reality that's rarely the case – say for example a team already relegated plays a team needing to win to get into the Champions League? Are both teams really motivated for that or are the Champions League chasers going to putting that bit more effort in to win?

It's not just at the end of a season that this comes into play either. Cup games need to be carefully considered when it is the 2nd leg as if one team has a big lead from the 1st leg, they may set up to defend their lead rather than win the match.

It's not only the players motivation on the pitch that match importance has a bearing on either. With coaches loving to tinker with line-ups and rotate squads, a 2nd leg Cup game such as the above example can lead them to putting out a weaker team who may struggle. Similarly, if managers think the following game is more important (i.e. a Europa League Cup Final for example) they may again field a rotated, and therefore weakened team.

All this needs to be weighed up and looked at before putting any of your hard-earned money into betting on football.


Follow Form

It is often said that football is a confidence game for players and this is why form is a key element when betting. We all know Guardiola's Manchester City currently have a superb team but if they are in the middle of a poor run with players lacking confidence, it may be worth steering clear of backing them until their results start to improve.

As we have already mentioned, it is vital to focus on mainly recent form, from the last 5 matches or so as once teams are on the up again, this will no longer be a factor. Of course, by the same token if you spot a team doing very well then you may decide this run will continue in their next match and take that bet.


Check for Injuries and Bans

Let me ask you a question – are the current League Champions Chelsea still a good bet to win if manager at time of writing this guide Antonio Conte is missing half his first-team due to injuries? The answer is no, especially if they are playing a team high up in the league.

One of the best betting tips is to wait as late as possible for team news on both sides involved. By doing this, you can see if either team is severely weakened due to injuries or suspensions. In turn, this will give you an extra edge when trying to decide on the outcome of the match and if it is worth betting on.


Learn the Asian Markets

If there is group of markets within football betting that causes confusion and has an air of mystery it is the Asian markets, which can include Asian Handicaps, Asian Totals (also known as Goal Line), and Asian Corners. A lot of punters seem to struggle with this area and avoid it, which is a real shame. It's actually not that hard to understand once explained properly and gives great flexibility to enhance the odds without increasing your risk. Once you have got to grips with it, it will be one market you will use time and again.

But how does it work exactly? It works by giving a pre-game handicap on the match result, the number of goals, and the number of corners, based on recent form and results. In terms of the match result, the favourite is handed a negative handicap whereas the outsider is given a positive handicap to even the playing field up somewhat. This is based on the number of goals each team needs to win the bet in a plus or minus fashion. Once you have placed your bet, if the team you have put your money on wins the wager according to the handicap they were given, you win.

For a clear explanation of how these markets work, I recommend reading our Football Betting Markets Guide, but for this particular guide I will focus on some of the best ways to use these markets.

Lets start with the Asian Handicap market, which is where a pre-game handicap is applied to the match result. A great example of where this can be a very useful market is when there is a strong favourite who is virtually certain to win and most likely by a few goals, but at odds of 1.25 for example you may wonder if it is worth backing. Well, if you apply a -1 asian handicap to that strong favourite, your odds will increase to around 1.4, making the value of the bet more appealing. Lets take a look at the possible scenarios and outcomes of a -1 asian handicap below.

Infographic explaining the possible scenarios of a -1 asian handicap selection

Now although the -1 asian handicap means your selected team needs to win by two goals in order for the bet to win, the bet doesn't lose if they only win by one goal, it becomes void instead and your stake is refunded. The only way the bet loses is if the result is a draw, or the opposition team wins, which is no different to a standard "Full Time Result – Win" selection. Therefore, the beauty of this particular example is you have managed to increase your odds without adding any extra risk of the bet losing.

Lets now look at the Asian Totals (Goal Line) market, which allows you to select whether you feel a game will contain over or under a certain number of goals. The reason this market is superior to the standard Total Goals (Over/Under) market is once again because the Asian Totals offer more flexibility by giving the chance to increase odds with no extra risk.

Probably the most common over/under selection made is "Over 2.5 goals", however this can be a little risky as some teams my choose to sit on a 2-0 lead, and sometimes if a match is level at 1-1, both teams may feel avoiding defeat is more important than pushing for the win, so they don't over commit going forward and the match ends 1-1. The problem is that often an "Over 1.5 goals" selection is often very short odds and many might feel it's just not worth backing despite the high likelihood of winning.

This is where the "Asian total – Over 2" (Goal line – Over 2) offers us a little more incentive with no extra risk, as can be seen in the example below.

Infographic explaining the possible scenarios and outcomes of a

For this bet to win, 3 goals need to be scored, however unlike an "Over 2.5" selection, this selection also covers us if only 2 goals are scored by making that outcome void instead of a loss. Therefore the only way the bet loses is if less than 2 goals are scored in the game, but because 3 goals are required to win, the odds are greater than an "Over 1.5 goals" selection.

There are many more variations to all of the Asian markets. Teams may be given a -2.0 or -3.0 handicap to start but whatever the specifics are, it works in the same way. It is just the goals or corners involved for the bet to win or lose that changes. In addition, you can also bet on the weaker team in this market.

One last thing to know about this market is that as well as so called 'whole ball' figures like +1.0 or -1.0, you can have half or even quarter ball figures quoted to bet on. Half-ball are selections like +0.5 or -2.5 whereas quarter-ball odds are examples like -1.25 or +2.75. They work in a similar way but obviously the goals or result needed to win is different according to the handicap you bet on.

As you can see the Asian markets can really help us find extra value and better odds without exposing you to any increased risk. This is really the holy grail of football betting and so this market may well be one you decided to make part of your betting toolkit.


Avoid Markets that Feel Like a Pure Gamble

Many people ask me for advice on football betting as a tipster, and one of the best betting tips I always give is to avoid betting on any markets that feel like a pure gamble.

This may sound strange as isn't this the very nature of what we are involved with in gambling? In the purest sense then yes, it is but if you approach football betting like a professional then it really isn't. If you follow this guide and take all the advice contained onboard then you will actually begin making informed choices on the outcome of games which is certainly not gambling.

Some markets however will always be a pure punt and these are to be avoided at all costs. Things like odd/even number of goals, 10-minute markets and exact scorelines are practically impossible to predict. With all the research in the world, can you honestly and confidently say a certain player will get a yellow card in the 32nd minute of the first half?

Of course you can't – no one can! Save your cash and put it on markets that you can predict with a degree of certainty.


Using the Right Bookie

As we have already stated in the first section of this guide "back the outcome not the odds", which simply put means back what you believe is likely to happen without being influenced by the odds as long as you feel they are of sufficient value for the risk level of the selection. However, what happens if your bookie doesn't have the selection you feel most confident about backing?

This leaves you with three options:

  1. Adapt your bet to suit the available selections of your bookmaker.
  2. Decide not to bet until a selection you really want to back becomes available.
  3. Find a bookie with a large number of different markets, which have the selections you're looking for available.

Now if you choose the first option, you're asking for trouble because you are going to end up backing a selection that wasn't what you originally thought would happen. If you choose the second option, it's a good short-term decision as it uses the discipline necessary to do well long term in football betting. By taking option 3 however, you've made the best long-term decision; as to use a bookie with a large array of available markets is one of the most invaluable tools in football betting.

There's so many brilliant bookies around now, that there's really no excuse to not have accounts with a few of the big names (including an exchange).


Follow a Staking Strategy

Profit is the name of the game when it comes to football betting and a sensible staking strategy is a real key part of this. Take my advice and decide on a realistic staking strategy before you do anything else. If you do not then you will struggle to profit in the long-term.

There are various staking strategies you can employ so it's a case of looking at the different ones and choosing the one you like best. Two of the most popular are level stakes betting or compound staking. In level stakes betting, you put a certain amount on for each bet (say £10) regardless or how much you have in your overall bankroll. A compound staking strategy works slightly differently in that you would bet a certain percentage of your overall bankroll on each bet. If you decided on 10% for example then you would put £10 on if your overall bankroll was £100. The advantage with compound staking is that you gradually increase your stake as you win, leading to your bankroll growing faster. If you had put £10 on and won, it may leave you with £150 in your overall balance. For the next bet following a 10% compound staking strategy you would then put £15 on and so on.

Once you have set on a particular staking strategy, do not deviate from it! Ever! The one time you put everything on a 'sure thing' is the one time you may well lose it all, so be smart and persist, even through the periods when you have a run of bad results. If the win rate of the selections is high enough, then either of these two staking strategies will result in long-term profit.

For an in-depth explanation of some of the most popular staking strategies, I recommend reading our Staking Strategies Betting Guide, which also takes a look at the strengths and weaknesses of the various strategies.


Results Market

When it comes to football betting, the full time result is the one market most people get involved with. The main reason is that it's simple to understand and, as a tipster, one of the easier markets to make confident predictions on. After all, if you have picked Team A to win and they do, it doesn't matter if they scored first, had someone sent off or only had 3 corners all game.

The secret to the results market and making long-term profit is research. Don't make the mistake of thinking you can accurately decide on who will win from what's in your head or you remember from watching Sky Sports the night before! Research is king and it is facts you are looking for, not opinions.

There are some very important factors you should be looking at for the results market:

  • Form/confidence of the team.
  • Injuries, suspensions, likelihood of key players being rested.
  • The importance of the game.
  • Are there any upcoming distractions?
  • Head to head records.
  • Home/away records.

Now you may look at that list and think, "that doesn't seem like too much work", but if you're really serious about gaining an edge over the bookies, you need to look into the recent matches in detail.

For example, lets say it's only five games into the new season and Team A have won the majority of their first few games, whereas Team B have lost or drawn the majority of theirs. At first glance it would look like Team A should win, however what if you look closer and see most of their games have been at home against weaker opposition, and they have been helped out a couple of times by early red cards for their opposition, and their wins haven't been convincing (low possession stats, less shots than their opponents)? Then, you notice that Team B has dominated possession and shots in many of their games despite not winning, and most were away from home against strong teams. Then you might start thinking this easy win for Team A might not be as straight forward as you first thought, so you choose not to back them.

It's only by taking all these factors into account and more when deciding whether to place a bet, that you will gain a much higher chance of winning and making a long-term profit.

If you're looking to learn about the results based markets in more detail, you can read our Match Result Markets Betting Guide, which takes you through the various results based markets, and how to improve your chances of making profit from them.


Goals Markets

The goals market is one that can be very popular with punters and a great one to get involved with. If you are not familiar with this market, it is where you can bet on more or less than a certain number of goals being scored in a game. Typically, it is known as the under/over market as that is how the bets are usually presented or talked about.

For example, you might bet that over 1.5 goals may be scored in a particular game. Any scoreline other than 0-0 and 1-0 will win your bet as you are saying that more than 1 goal will be scored in the game. Even if it finishes 1-1, you still win.

Sounds promising. Well as with all football betting there is actually a lot of work that goes on before you make this type of bet. It is not enough to simply look at how many goals each team has scored or conceded to date as this may not give the full story. At the very least you will need to find out which games the goals were scored.

For example, if we take World Cup Qualification games, you may notice a team have scored 16 goals in their first five games. This team may seem like a good selection for over 2.5 goals in their next match as they average over 3 goals per game. However, what if San Marino are in the same qualifying group and they conceded 8 goals against your potential selection in their last match? That would mean your initially suspected high scoring team have only scored 8 goals in their other four games, giving them a more accurate average of 2 goals per game, which makes them a less desirable candidate for over 2.5 goals bets.

Other factors that influence the Goals Market are the time the goals were scored, as any late or injury time goals hold less value as they may have been due to a desperate in-game situation. Also, whether either team is missing a top striker, and if the weather conditions are terrible these may lead you to surmise it will be a low scoring affair. However, if a team is missing a key defender, they may well be more likely to concede goals.

As always, information and research is key when choosing betting tips in this market! There are other variations on the under/over market such as exact total goals in the game, both teams to score, goals scored in either half or variations based on how many and when each team may score, but they all require a high level of research.

For a more in-depth look into the goals markets, be sure to check out our Goals Markets Explained Betting Guide, which takes you through the various goals based markets, and teaches you how to iincrease your chances of profiting from them.


Corners Markets

A market that is growing in popularity within football betting is corners. Some great profit and winning tips can be found here, if you do your homework properly. This market can involve betting on the number of corners within a game, the number in each half, the number each team may get in the game or each half, and many more options. You can even bet on how many corners might have happened by a certain time or how many Team A might have got individually after half an hour!

As ever, there are a number of factors to take into account when thinking of placing a bet on this market.

Most of this will revolve around a knowledge of both teams who are playing and how they typically play the game. Teams who enjoy shooting from long range or getting crosses into the box will usually get more corners in a game. In the opposite way, a team who plays intricate through balls always looking to score the perfect goal or has wingers that always cut back inside rather than cross, will generally get less corner kicks than other teams.

Another football betting tip around this market is to think about if one team is likely to dominate the game over the other. If so, you might believe with some certainty that they will get a lot of corners as they pile the pressure on, especially if they are struggling to break the deadlock or have gone a goal behind. This particular scenario can also make this market very good for in-play betting.

Get to know the teams in the league you're betting on and the two that are playing specifically and this will all fall into place. Great profit can be made from football betting if you follow the simple advice of doing enough relevant research.

For those of you looking to know more about this interesting market, our Corners Markets Explained Betting Guide looks in detail at the various corners based markets, and the research required to profit from them.


Goal Scorer Markets

Many punters now like to put their money into the Goal Scorer Market, as it's possible to have a reasonable amount of success if you play it smartly. In this market, you will be placing a bet on a certain player (or players if you want to cover your bases) to score during the game. The beauty of this type of football bet as a tipster or punter is that you win whether the player you back nets in the first or last minute.

There are variations on this bet with the main options being First and Last Goalscorer. I would tend to shy away from those specific bets though and stick to the Anytime Goalscorer market as selecting the First or Last Goalscorer is very hard to say with any certainty. For example there could be a corner in the first minute that Team A's central defender heads in unexpectedly which torpedoes your bet on the star striker to net first.

One of the key things to think about here is the form and confidence of the players within the teams you're looking at. If there is someone in a red-hot run of form and high in the goal scorer's charts, then you may feel they represent a good value bet. Of course, in terms of winning tips, the opposite is also true. You may look at a player you know has scored in the past but is in a bad run of form currently. If this is the case, you will want to avoid backing them until they are in the groove again.

As well as the individual player to consider, you also need to consider where they play. As common sense would dictate, it is strikers and attacking midfielders who have the most chance of scoring. Imagine Tottenham playing – Harry Kane is the man you would go for first, as long as he is in form.

As a tipster, I also like to look at the most creative player for a team and check if they are playing. The main striker may be in great form but if the man who makes all his chances is missing, will he have as much chance of scoring? If you can't answer that question "Yes" with total confidence then it is not a football bet you should be making.

I also like to choose games where one side is likely to be dominant and score a few goals. This means that the player you back is more likely to be among these goals and win your bet for you. If it is going to be a close low scoring affair, you are exposing yourself to more risk that someone else might get the only goal and your bet is sunk, or that no goals are scored at all.

Another thing to look out for is head2head trends. In a similar way we look out for bogey teams when focusing on the full time result market, there are certain players who seem to have good scoring records against particular teams. I don't know whether it's the ground they play at, or the way the team plays, or even the defensive lineup, but for some reason certain players do well against certain clubs.

For example Romelu Lukaku has now scored 11 goals in his 13 appearances against West Ham, scoring goals in 10 of those appearances. Stat's like those must not be ignored.

If you are interested in learning more about this interesting market, our Goalscorer Betting Guide looks in depth at the numerous goalscorer betting markets, which goalscorer markets should be focused on or avoided, and the information researched in order to profit from goalscorer betting.


Cards Markets

An emerging market to look at when thinking about football betting is the Cards market. This has a few variations to it such as total number of yellow or red cards in a game, certain players getting sent off or booked, certain players getting sent off or booked by a certain time, and total number of red or yellow cards within a certain time zone of the game.

Although this can be hard to call for long-term profit, there are a few tips I can share with you to help. Firstly, when searching for games which might have a good number of yellow or red cards, look for games where there is a bit of rivalry or needle involved, like a local derby. Although not so bad recently, think of the Liverpool-Everton games, where there have often been a few crunching tackles from both sides over the years. Also some of the overseas derby's can be even more fiery, like the South American leagues, or in Turkey. The desire to take local bragging rights can sometimes lead to an atmosphere where players lose their heads.

Other good games to consider for this market are games with a lot riding on them. Sometimes if a team is desperate to avoid defeat in order to avoid relegation, their players might do whatever it takes to stop the opposition scoring, even if that means breaking a few rules here and there with some professional fouls like shirt pulling or obstructing a player who's on a counter attack. Again, this could well lead to a situation where red or yellow cards are brought out.

You may also find a game where one team is not technically as good as the other and so their only hope is to rough them up to put them off their stride. For the older punter out there, think back to the Wimbledon team of the late 1980's with Vinnie Jones and John Fashanu in! These sorts of tactics are still employed within the modern game at times to level the field so be on the lookout for that type of game. Obviously, if Team A roughs Team B up too aggressively they may well be looking at some red or yellow cards.


In-Play Betting

A major growth area within football betting is that of betting in-play. For anyone who hasn't come across this within football before, it is simply that you place your bet on an event happening after kick-off, not before. Although it seems a fairly outlandish concept to some, as I tipster I can recommend it for the increased opportunities and degree of extra certainty it brings.

The real big bonus with in-play betting as opposed to pre-kick off wagering is that you can get a feel for what will happen by watching how the game is unfolding as it occurs. After all, we may quite correctly assume that Barcelona may beat Granada at home before kick-off but may have a different view once the game is in-play for a whole host of reasons. For example, if Barca get two sent off in the first ten minutes, are they still sure to win?

As mentioned above, the other great feature with in-play betting for a football tipster and normal punter alike is the additional opportunities for profit it brings. A big market within this is around the favourite for the game you are watching live and planning to bet on.

Now, we all know that in football not everything always goes according to plan! The big favourite may go behind in the first five minutes which leads to their odds of winning increasing. If you can see it was just a lucky goal for the other team and the big favourites are all over them, you may jump on the better odds for them to still eventually win. The advantage here is obvious – you will back the win at odds of 2.0 for example, where it may have only been 1.4 before the game started.

Another fairly common scenario is that the favourite may be going in at half-time only drawing the game when they were expected to be winning easily. This presents you with an opportunity to back them for the win with only 45 minutes left as you will get better odds and the other team will begin to tire and could make mistakes that lead to the goal. All these little things add up over the course of a season and getting the best odds you can is a sure way to increase profit.

It is not just the win market where in-play betting can offer increased opportunities for extracting more value from a bet. If you like to dabble in the goals market, in-play suits this area a lot. If we take the example of the big favourite being one goal down or level at half-time even but they have been far the stronger, you may still feel they will win eventually. This will naturally demand they score goals in the second half and you can back this in-play and get much better odds than pre-game.

The Corners market is similar to the Goals market in that it is fantastic for betting in-play. These sorts of markets can be hard to call pre-game as very often, until it starts you just don't know with much confidence how these markets will pan out. Once the game has been playing for a little while though, you will see which is the better team on the day pushing forward more. It is this team that are more likely to get more corners especially if they are pushing for the win.

An interesting addition to the above scenario for the Corners market is that once the stronger team take the lead, the number of corners they will get is likely to decrease. The reason for this is simple – once this team have scored, they may shut up shop to protect their lead and the game will go into a kind of midfield stalemate.

For a more in-depth look at in-play betting, I recommend reading our In-Play Betting Guide, which takes you through various tips and strategies, and how best to maximise your profit from live betting.


Betting Systems

If you have spent anytime within football betting then the subject of betting systems will have crossed your path. There will be free ones on the internet to follow or ones that people want you to pay for. All will promise great results and unrivalled success – but beware!

Be very careful if you decide to follow a betting system especially if you have not developed it yourself. There is no guarantee that just because it's on the internet and someone says it works that it does! It really is better to do your own research and come up with the bets you want to put on yourself if you can.

Another danger with betting systems is that you will hop from one strategy to another every few weeks and never give yourself the time to build up a winning strategy. This is a real no-no as all you will do is waste money on system after system without giving yourself the advantage of time to properly succeed with one. The keys to winning at football betting are as advised in this guide – do your homework, be disciplined, be patient and expect a few ups & downs along the way.

After all, even Bill Gates or Steve Jobs had a few bad days every month I expect. They didn't radically alter their approach every time this happened – they just worked harder and refined what they were doing to make it better.

There is only one betting system we're aware of which is guaranteed to bring success if carried out correctly, and that's "matched betting, which takes advantage of bookmakers offers and promotions to bring guaranteed profit. If you want to learn more about this system, then check out our Matched Betting Guide.


Avoid Bad Tipsters!

As a professional and reputable tipster, nothing gets me madder than a football tipster who is a scammer or fraud. Unfortunately, there are a lot about now particularly online so be very careful who you take advice from. Anyone can tell you they think Team A will win or Player X will score three goals in the next game but think carefully before you trust them. After all, it's your hard-earned money you will be losing if it all goes wrong!

As well as checking out some reputable Tipster Review sites, there are a few sure ways to spot a fake tipster a mile off though. Firstly, if they are promising frankly ridiculous returns on small initial stakes, walk away! Remember, if it sounds too good to be true, it usually is! Any service that gives out unrealistic promises is to be avoided at all costs. Even if they are not frauds in the purest sense of the word, they will be using a staking plan that will end up bankrupting you.

Slow and steady profit, month on month is what football betting is really about. Don't let anyone else tell you otherwise!

Another classic sign of a bad tipster is their lack of or refusal to share previous results. As well as actual results, you also want to see their profit and loss figures. When you think about it, this is only common sense. If you are going to be risking your own money on their advice, you really want to make sure they know what they are talking about first. If they claim not to have any results to show or refuse to, then simply walk away.

Facebook scams seem to be more and more popular these days and so this is another area to take great care with. Social media in general can be quite risky for following tipsters and allegations of supposed fixed matches being sold have been heard recently. Now just think about this for a second, match fixing is illegal, so why would people be broadcasting a fixed tip, guaranteed to win on social media? It would increase the chance of the people involved being caught, and also if enough people bet on the supposed fixed outcome, it will shorten the odds and reduce the profit of the people involved. Therefore, people genuinely involved in match fixing aren't going to be shouting about it on Facebook or Twitter, so avoid any page that says they have fixed tips. That's not to say there are not some reputable football tipsters using social media to reach fans but they wont be claiming fixed games – just be very careful who you are trusting with your money as always.

There are many fine subscription services out there with great results and good people behind them who can generate log term profit. However, if you are planning on betting with small stakes, they may not be the right tipster for you if the membership fees are so large they put a big dent into your monthly betting profit. Make sure the monthly fees are worth paying once you know the amount of profit you stand to make each month at your chosen stakes.

With smaller stakes and large membership fees, any winnings are unlikely to pay off the monthly subscription fee leaving you out of pocket even though the service is good. Even if it does cover the monthly fee, it will more likely than not leave you little profit to show for your efforts.

For an in-depth guide on how to avoid bad tipsters, we recommend you take a look at our 10 most important tips to help you avoid the bad tipsters.



So, there we have it - the definitive guide to football betting. Don't think that this is only advice for the new comer to football betting – the information within this document also contains some great winning tips for experienced punters too. I am confident that by reading through some of the tips and tricks I have picked up over my career, you will become a smarter and more profitable gambler.

Whether you use this to sharpen up your current skills or delve into new markets within football betting you have never tried, this guide will give you a helping hand toward long-term profit. Remember, football betting is no get rich quick scheme and it would be wrong of me as a football tipster to promise this. However, if you follow my advice and have the patience to stick with it in a disciplined fashion then overall, you should have an increased chance of seeing profit.

Photo by: Prakash via Flickr

Leave a Comment

John natala 18-5-2021 2:50 pm
Am greatful for this advice
Steven 28-10-2019 10:25 pm
Totally agree about learning the asian markets, since finally getting to grips with them they are by far my favourite type of bet.
Tommy 10-1-2019 11:47 am
Very useful article. Definitely worth a read if you're new to betting like me.
SS 20-12-2017 12:26 pm
Good advice and critical to success
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