One of the most popular areas within football betting that you can get involved with is the Match Result markets. These are very often the first markets you will come across when you begin wagering on football matches so may already be familiar to you. Don't think that it is only the final Match Result that this fascinating area offers in terms of markets though. As we will look at in this guide, there are many different aspects within this area you can bet on and offer great value odds to make long term profits.
A Two-Part Walk Through
To make this guide easier to read and put into practice, we have split it into two main parts.
Part 1 - will go into more detail about the specific markets you can bet on in this area, so you can get a full understanding of what is involved. We will also look at the pros and cons of each market where applicable, so you are armed with all the information you need to start winning some money!
Part 2 - will look at the research and strategy you will need to make money on football betting in this way. It will go into all the various factors that you must take into account when selecting which market to bet on and also which bets are worth taking on.
Table of Contents:
What are Match Result based markets?
In simple terms, these markets are where you can place your money on a certain outcome or event happening on the selected game. The most popular one is to wager on which team you feel will win when the final whistle is blown after 90 minutes. This is just one way to utilise this type of betting to your advantage though as we will look at in this guide.
Part 1: Common Match Result Based Markets Explained
As noted above, the first part of our guide will look at the various bets you can make in this way. There are lots more than you would expect which is superb as it means more value and better bets to take on. Don't just look at the Full Time Result market only – learn about all the different bets you can put on, so you can always find one that is likely to win and make you the maximum return.
Full Time Result
The Full Time Result market is as we have noted already earlier in this guide. In a nutshell, you are staking your money and predicting one of the teams will win when the match ends. As an example, if Monaco were playing Strasbourg in Ligue 1 you would be betting on either Monaco or Strasbourg to win. If the team you pick wins at the final whistle, then you win the bet.
This is a great market for beginners as it is very simple to understand and easy to put on. There are no complicated rules or calculations to do before you put the bet on either. It is as simple as seeing the odds being offered and multiplying by your stake to work out any potential winnings.
The main downsides with this market is that the odds are not always great value especially if you are betting on a red-hot favourite. It also offers no coverage against the match ending in a draw – if that happened you would still lose your stake, even though your team had not lost.
Now we begin to move into the other Match Result / Outcome based markets that you may not be familiar with. These are really key for successful long-term betting though so keep reading and add them to your betting toolbox!
Double Chance offers you the chance to stake your money on two outcomes happening via one bet. To give an example, Celtic may be playing Hibs in the SPL and you suspect they will win but also feel a draw may take place. In this case you could take advantage of the extra security Double Chance offers. By staking your money on Double Chance - Celtic to win OR the Draw, you are covering both outcomes so will win if either happens. Of course, you could do this with either team to win OR the draw as well as Celtic OR Hibs to win. In essence, you are giving yourself two chances of winning off just one bet hence the name.
The major advantage to this is that it gives you extra protection by covering two of the possible outcomes rather than just one. It is best used where you think one favourite team definitely won't lose but feel a draw may well happen too. In terms of downsides, the odds you get will naturally be shorter than other markets such as the Full Time Result so will not pay out as much if your bet does win.
Draw No Bet
Draw No Bet is similar to Double Chance in some ways which can confuse some people. They are actually very distinct bets though and applicable in different situations.
With a Draw No Bet wager, you are betting on one team to win but would also get your stake money returned if the match ended in a draw. If Ajax were playing Excelsior in the Dutch League, then you may feel Ajax are certain winners but want to protect against the draw too. If this was the case, then you should think about wagering on the Draw No Bet market.
This is best used when you are 99.9% certain that one team will win as opposed to the Double Chance market when you are maybe not as sure. The element of getting your stake back if a draw happens is literally there to stop you losing money from a shock result.
This extra security is the main plus point with this market and you will generally get better odds than Double Chance. They will still be shorter than the Full Time Result market though which is something to take into account in the long-term. In addition, you have to remember that you only get your stake money back if the draw happens - you only get your full winnings if your team wins.
Half Time / Full Time Markets
The Half Time / Full Time market is one that can be potentially very lucrative if you can use it successfully. In a nutshell, you are betting on the half time result (i.e. Team A winning, Draw or Team B winning) AND the Full Time Result also.
This market usually gives bigger odds than the standard Full Time Result market which will obviously bring bigger returns. It is quite a tricky one to get right though so be careful! You really need a match that has a very predictable outcome due to the higher risk involved with it.
This is a great market to consider as well as it gives increased flexibility to your betting selections and offers better odds without ramping the risk up too much.
In a nutshell, this market gives you great value when betting on favourites especially. It turns the game into a 50/50 chance between both teams and generally better value for the team expected to win. Each team is given a handicap before the match – the favourite a negative one and the other team a positive one. The team you back has to win the match by a certain number of goals according to the starting handicap they were given. If they do, you win and lock in the profit from the better value odds you took on. The other superb thing about Asian Handicap is that a draw will normally see your original stake refunded in most cases.
Following the Asian Handicap market, we have the very similar European Handicap market. It basically works in the same way in that each team is given a pre-game handicap figure that they have to overcome to win the bet for you. As with the Asian Handicap, it is best used when there is a nailed-on favourite you have identified in a match. So, if your team is on a -1 Handicap and thrash the other team 4-0, they have overcome their -1 handicap to win your bet.
The difference is that if the match ends in a draw related to the handicap your team was on then you would lose your bet. If for the same game, your team won 1-0 then you would actually lose your bet. This is because although they scored 1 goal to win the game, the -1 pre-game handicap meant the game finished 0-0 in effect, leaving you with a losing bet.
Half Time Market
The Half Time market operates in the same basic way as the Full Time Market. As you have no doubt guessed, it is just that it is the Half Time result you are backing. If you back Juventus to be winning at Half Time against Crotone and they are then you are quids in. It doesn't matter if Crotone snatch a last-minute equaliser in the same way it would for your bet on the Full-Time result.
This market usually offers longer odds to reflect the riskier nature of it. You would need to select a match that you feel can be predicted with certainty to give you the confidence to make a bet on what will have happened after 45 minutes. Of course, the upside is that you will get a bigger return on your original stake with this type of bet due to the better value odds you will get.
Most of the above markets can also be used on the Half Time result market also. This is another tool to have ready when betting, particularly if you gamble in-play where you can get a better feel for what will happen come the halfway point.
The markets we have looked at already are the main ones you will use when football gambling. As a professional tipster, these are the bread and butter that are used for the majority of my bets. There are however a few more specialist markets you may consider using occasionally:
To Win From Behind
This type of bet is pretty much what it says on the tin! If you stake your money on this, you are betting on the team you back to go behind and then go on to win the game overall. If you have spotted a team that has had a habit of doing just that all season, then you may think this is worth taking on.
As you would expect, the odds you would get for this bet are usually pretty good which means more winnings if it does come in. It is a bet that comes with a warning though and is not one I would use much! The risk involved is simply too great as a professional gambler – although the returns are tempting, the risk involved is not worthwhile.
To Win To Nil
This bet involves you predicting that the team you back will not only win overall but also not concede. It is not one that I would recommend using a lot, but it can be called for in certain situations. Namely, that the team you pick is so much stronger and better than the opposition that there is no chance of the other team scoring or holding out for a 0-0 draw. Think of Man City playing Crewe Alexandra in the FA Cup!
As the above would suggest, the team you back with this kind of bet needs to have a strong defence to hold out and be the one you fully expect to win. You will generally get longer odds with this market than the standard Full-Time result market which is great for your winnings if it comes off. Of course, it is riskier as you are needing two things to happen in the game, rather than just one. A 95th minute own-goal to make it 4-1 to our team would see your bet lose!
To Win Either Half
This is another market that focuses on breaking the match down into halves. To win, you would need to predict that the team you pick would win in either the 1st Half OR 2nd Half. This is a very reliable bet that can bring regular returns if you choose your matches wisely. An example of this is Barcelona playing Leganes at home in La Liga – it's pretty certain that Barca will score more than their opponents here in at least one half, so this might be the bet to take on.
The extra security it gives you by covering both halves is superb and it can be steady bankroll builder if used properly. The main drawbacks with this bet is that the odds you get will be pretty short, meaning less profit in the long term. As the chances of being paid out are pretty high, the bookies have factored that into their prices! It only covers your team winning either half also – if it is a 0-0 bore draw or they lose to nil then your bet has been sunk.
To Win Both Halves
Following on from the above market, we have this kind of bet. As you would assume, this bet involves you predicting your team will win BOTH halves, not just one. Obviously, this makes it a much riskier proposition and one that should only be taken on when you are sure one team will completely dominate the game. If they score 3 in the first half but then concede 1 in the second without reply, you will have lost.
The beauty with this bet is that it will give big odds which can really boost your bankroll if you make the right choices. If either half is drawn, you would lose the bet also which is something to factor in when thinking of whether to use this bet.
Part 2: Research and Strategy
Now we have looked in greater detail at what markets there are to bet on in football, we will move onto the next part of our guide. This section is just as important so make sure to fully digest it all. It will show you what to look for when researching which matches to bet on in the market you fancy. Research and strategy is an essential part of a football gamblers arsenal as it will help you choose the right outcome of a match and win money.
If you neglect your research, it is just random chance if you win your bet and in the long run, this will see your bank balance wiped out!
Here are the key things to think about when choosing which matches to bet on and which bet to take:
Recent Form / Confidence
In amongst all the money and glamour around top level football, it is easy to forget the human element involved. Football players are normal people and, no matter how good they are, can be affected by human emotions when they step out to play. This can significantly affect the outcome of a match, so you need to factor it into your research efforts.
The confidence levels within a team are the primary indicator of the above. We have all heard managers say their team is playing badly as they are low on confidence at the moment and this is very true. Check out what has happened to the club in recent months – have performances and results been poor for a while, is there rumours of unrest in the dressing room or a boss under-fire? All this could leave a team low on confidence and hard to back, even if the team they are playing would be someone they would usually beat.
Of course, the reverse of this is that a team may be flying sky high and playing like world beaters, with lots of confidence. If this is the case then they are ones that you may consider backing, depending on who they are facing.
As already covered in our Definitive Guide to Football Betting, recent form is another important element to look at when doing your pre-bet research. Don't just think that looking at their win, loss or draws over the last few games is enough though! You really need to dig deeper than that as it will ensure you are betting on the full set of information which will make a winning outcome more likely.
Take the time to access the various sites on the web that collate all the stats for teams in the major leagues around the globe. Have a look at the game stats for both teams – look at factors such as possession stats and shots on goal to get a full picture of which team is really on song at the moment.
Another vital piece of information to collect for each team in the game you are looking at is the latest team news. You will want to see if any key players are injured or suspended for both teams as this will affect their overall performance greatly. As an example, if Chelsea were playing Burnley without Hazard, Fabregas, Morata and Pedro would they be as likely to win? If Burnley had a full-strength team, you would have to seriously wonder about that.
As above, there are various sites on the internet where you can access the latest team news pre-game. Do it as late as possible though so you are working on the most up-to-date information when you put your money down.
Importance of Game
In the modern game, managers are notorious for picking and choosing when they will rest players, based on how important the next match is to their club personally. We have all seen those FA Cup ties when a big Premier League club will field a second-string team against lower opposition. Sometimes the lower placed team spring a surprise – mainly because the Premier League team were not playing their best players. With this in mind, you can see that considering how important the game is to each team, is key to deciding what might happen.
It can also be useful to factor in any potential upcoming distractions for the same reasons. If Manchester City are to play in the Champions League final a few days after the game you are looking at, they will probably save their key players for that. This would then mean the match you are looking at takes on whole different complexion.
How crucial a game is can also affect the players out on the pitch, even if the team is their best starting 11. We have all seen those last day of the season results where one team who have nothing resting on the game doesn't turn up. This is a great example of what we are talking about – remember to think about this as it can be very important for the outcome of a game.
Head to Head Record
This tip is a great one but can be something that a lot of people miss! Football is a funny old game as they say and some teams just do better against others, regardless of how they are doing generally in that season. By looking at how they have fared in the last few matches when they have met, you can glean vital information to use when selecting your bet.
If Team A has won every game for the last 2 years against Team B, then you would be very tempted to get on them to continue that run. The evidence suggests that Team A have some sort of mental hold over Team B which will probably see them triumph again. As well as the overall Head to Head record, take a look at the Home and Away records too. You might find Team A always win when they play Team B at home which is more hard evidence to base your decision on.
A closely related area to this is that of bogey teams! Some teams just always win against other teams – it is a quirk of the game! Get to know each teams bogey teams in certain leagues as this is definitely something to look out for when deciding which bets to take on.
Don't Get Swayed By Odds
If there is one part of football gambling that can get people overly distracted, it is odds. Most people get it all wrong and look at the odds as the main factor in whether they will place a bet. The typical approach is to discard any 'low' odds and look for ones that will return the biggest amount.
This is a real mistake though!
You should always base your betting selection on hard fact and the research you have put in. The odds that are being offered when you go on to place the bet you have decided on should not affect this process. The only caveat to this is making sure you are getting value in terms of the odds being offered for your selection.
Give Bad Weather A Miss
This can be a tough one to do if you're betting in the English leagues but is worth it! If you notice a match will be played in driving rain or a gale, then it is worth giving it a miss. The problem is that the bad weather makes it hard to accurately predict the outcome of a game. As a serious football gambler, this is to be avoided at all costs!
The weather will balance out any difference in quality between the teams and make it a much closer contest, that is hard to call. Find yourself another game that is not suffering from the elements and make a decision on that one instead.
Time To Put It All Together
If you are serious about profiting from football betting, then it is time to put what this guide has shown you into practice. Get to know the different markets inside out and then apply the proper research methods to your selections. If you combine all this into one effective betting strategy, then you will be well on to the way to making long-term profits from football gambling.
Photo by: Prakash via Flickr