Online Football Betting Guide
Football is arguably the most popular sport on the planet. As a result, betting on football online has become very easy. This is not to be confused with American football, which is a very different game!
Besides the World Cup, international football has a number of other prestigious tournaments like the Euros (UEFA European Championship), Copa America and CONCACAF Gold Cup. At club level, meanwhile, English Premier League (EPL) and UEFA Champions League betting are among the most popular football odds gambled on.
All our recommended football betting sites offer:
- An attractive welcome bonus and regular offers
- Lots of payment methods for safe transfers
- Certified sites that will protection your personal information
How We Find the Best Football Betting Sites
With so many football betting sites out there, you’re probably wondering how we sort through them in order to come up with our recommended sportsbooks.
This checklist of what makes top football betting sites should help give you some idea:
- Sportsbooks are licensed and promote responsible gambling
- A vast range of football betting odds both for matches and outright markets
- In-play betting that’s substantial so you can bet on football live
- New customer offers and regular rewards to keep you incentivized to bet
How to Sign Up to a Football Betting Site
- Decide which football betting site you want to sign up to
- Find the 'register' button, which will be displayed prominently on the homepage
- Now fill in the registration form with personal details
- You may be asked for a security question and answer to add an extra level of protection to your account
- Set a username and password for the sportsbook
- If you’ve got a promo code, then you could be asked to enter it before completing registration to activate a bonus
- Agree to the betting site’s terms and conditions and confirm your age
Online Football Betting Bonuses
A football bet is one thing, but the types of bonuses out there are another. You’ll find there are different types of new customer offers and promotions open to all, even if you’ve registered with a sportsbook already.
These are aimed by oddsmakers at different bettors:
- Welcome bonus – Getting something when you sign up to a sportsbook is an expectation these days. Remember to check if a new customer offer claims to be giving you free bets that they really are what they claim.
- Enhanced odds – Price boosts on football are pretty common too. These could be either to win a match or a competition or tournament outright. An enhanced odds offer can be open to both new and existing customers.
- VIP club – Everyone likes to feel special when they gamble, so if you do so regularly then opting in to a VIP club that rewards your betting loyalty is another way to get bonuses. You’ll need to place a certain number or total cash amount of bets to qualify for these.
How to Bet on Football
Depending on where in the world you’re gambling, football odds may be expressed as a fraction (particularly in the UK), decimal (Europe, North America and beyond) or even in moneyline terms like US sports.
Let’s say the football betting you’re looking at are some English Premier League odds to win a match. In this particular market, there are three possible outcomes:
- Chelsea 4/5
- Draw 11/8
- Arsenal 2/1
In this hypothetical example, Chelsea are betting favorites to win the match because they are an odds-on price. For every $5 you bet on them, you would receive $4 of profit, plus the stake of your wager back, should they achieve victory. As a decimal, Chelsea’s price would be 1.80.
If you bet on a draw, then for every $8 risked you would receive a return of $19 - $11 of which is winnings. Should you side with Arsenal in the betting, then a modest $1 bet would see you make $2 profit if they win the game.
It really is that easy. If the difference between decimal and fractional odds confuses you, then may sportsbooks now offer their prices in both types and beyond. An outright match winner market is just one of many different sorts of football bet you can place.
Types of Football Bets to Take
If you’re wondering how to bet on football from among the vast range of odds, then we’ve got some handy hints on what the most popular markets are that bettors gamble on. So much football betting and tips given by experts surround these types of odds in particular:
Correct score – What will the precise scoreline be when the final whistle is blown? This applies to football matches in 90 minutes rather than extra time.
Scorecasts and wincasts – A scorecast is where you bet on a player to score first or anytime and what the correct score will be. A wincast is a player to score and either their team or the opposition to win.
Handicap betting – You can give either team an imagined advantage to hold on to or deficit to overturn. Covering the handicap is when your bet is successful. For example, Manchester City start with -2 goals and win 3-0 or 4-1. Or, Newcastle United start with +2 goals but lose the game 0-1.
Accumulators – Also known as accas, these are multiples containing several teams to record certain results against their respective opponents all in one bet. Combining two teams is a double, three a treble, four a fourfold and so on.
Goalscorer markets – You can bet on who will score the first goal, next goal or last goal, as well as at anytime, two or more in the match, or a hat-trick (three goals).
Outright win betting – When you back a football team to go all the way and win a league, cup competition or tournament. For example, Brazil to win the World Cup or Barcelona in the Champions League betting.
Top goalscorer betting – A market on who will be the top goalscorer in a league, competition or tournament. Many of these, like the Premier League betting, will give you four places and a fraction of the outright win odds if you bet each-way.
Stage of elimination – At what stage in a competition or tournament will a particular football team be eliminated? Common selections here are the group stage, semi-finals or be runners-up as well outright winners.
Live Football Betting: How to Bet In-Play
Mobile technology and its development means betting on football and other sports while they’re happening has become possible. It’s called in-play betting, and our advice is that you make it part of your football betting strategy.
This in turn has resulted in the creation of special live markets for gambling on football. Next goalscorer betting or the team who will score the next goal are examples of this. football betting in the USA and beyond has never been more sophisticated.
Gambling on Football on Mobile
All these smartphones and other digital devices like tablets we have in our homes means the Internet Age has forced oddsmakers to make their service as mobile friendly as possible. You can literally take your gambling with you anywhere you can get online these days.
If you’re wondering what types of devices you can bet on, then it’s any mobile phone or tablet that allows you access to the internet. Get gambling on football via a betting app, which are mainly available for devices that have iOS and Android operating systems.
Don’t worry if you’re on a Blackberry, Windows Phone or other provider, though, as mobile versions of the most popular sportsbooks come as standard in your web browser.
What Football Competitions can I Bet on?
Getting a football bet online is easy, but there are so many competitions going on worldwide at different times of the year it can seem overwhelming. Get better informed with our brief overview of the main events in football:
World Cup – Held every four years in a host country or countries, 32 teams qualify for the tournament that is traditionally held in June and July. Nations are drawn into groups with the top two in each advancing to the knockout phase. Russia hosted the last World Cup in 2018 and the next one is scheduled to be in Qatar in 2022.
UEFA Champions League – In club football, there’s an annual tournament for European teams in the UEFA confederations. The winners of all major countries’ top leagues like England, France, Spain, Germany, Italy go into the following season’s Champions League. The tournament format largely reflects that of the World Cup, with the final held in late May or early June every year.
English Premier League – England's 20 best football teams play a round robin format, and the side with the highest number of points after everyone has played each other home and away is declared champions. The top four teams qualify for the following season’s Champions League. The bottom three, meanwhile, are relegated to the EFL Championship.
Major League Soccer – Also known as the MLS, football betting in the USA centers on this. Given the vast size of the US compared to other countries, the top league is split into an Eastern Conference and a Western Conference. An MLS franchise will play all of the teams in its own Conference home and away, but then all of the sides in the other Conference once which can be at home or away. The top six teams in each Conference qualify for the playoffs, which are a series of knockout ties leading to the Conference finals and the winners of these then play each other for the MLS Cup. The regular season lasts from March to October and the playoffs then take up until early December.
Spanish La Liga – Spain's top division is called La Liga or the Primera Division. The format is much like the EPL, where 20 teams play in a round robin format for 38 games. The top four teams qualify for the following season’s Champions League too. The bottom three are relegated to the Segunda Division.
Italian Serie A – Italy’s top-flight has the same number of teams, format and rules as La Liga and the EPL. The team with the highest amount of points after 38 games wins the Scudetto, the Italian name for the Serie A league title.
German Bundesliga – Unlike other major European countries, Germany's top division has only 18 teams. They all play each other home and away too, but there are just 34 games in a season. Again, the top four Bundesliga teams play in the following season’s Champions League. Only the bottom two in the table are directly relegated, however, as a play-off between the third-bottom team and third-highest club in the 2 Bundesliga decides the final spot available.
A Brief History of Football
As one of the world’s most popular sports, soccer has a storied and sometimes controversial history. Check out our timeline for more of the major events that have shaped ‘the beautiful game’:
- 1888: The Football League is founded and soon expanded to two divisions with many Football Alliance teams joining.
- 1898: Italy’s Serie A football league is formed.
- 1900: Football is introduced as a sport at the modern Summer Olympics.
- 1904: Football’s world governing body FIFA is founded in Paris.
- 1916: The South American Football Championship, better known today as the Copa America is held for the first time.
- 1929: The Spanish La Liga is formed.
- 1930: The inaugural FIFA World Cup takes place in Uruguay and the hosts win.
- 1955: The European Cup is created, and Real Madrid win the first 5 editions.
- 1956: FIFA’s AFC confederation stages the first-ever Asian Cup.
- 1957: The inaugural Africa Cup of Nations is held.
- 1960: FIFA’s UEFA Confederation stages the first-ever European Championship, also known as the Euros.
- 1963: Germany’s Bundesliga is founded.
- 1991: FIFA puts on the first Women’s World Cup; the CONCACAF confederation stages the first-ever Gold Cup.
- 1992: The English Premier League is formed; the European Cup becomes the UEFA Champions League.
- 1993: The MLS is founded, and the league starts in 1996.
- 1995: The Bosman ruling for transfers of football players at the end of their contract is made.
- 2012: Goal-line technology is approved for use in football.
- 2017: Neymar becomes the first football player to cost a transfer fee in 9 digits after a reported £200,000,000 move from Barcelona to Paris St-Germain.
- 2018: The use of video assistant referees (VAR) is introduced to football, and featured heavily in the 2018 World Cup.
Choosing the Best Football Betting Sites
By now you should have a pretty good idea about gambling on football. If you want to get down to placing wagers yourself, then check out our selection of top football betting sites.
Whether it’s Premier League odds or a bet on the World Cup, all of our recommended sites have been extensively reviewed by experts who can vouch for them as safe and secure places to gamble. Get some lucrative wagers on your favorite football side today by joining one of these highly-regarded sportsbooks.
Frequently Asked Questions
What are the best football betting sites?
You’ll only find the top recommended sites to bet on football through here on this page. Our experts have verified that the sportsbooks listed here are all safe and treat your personal information with care. They also have great prices that make gambling on football and other sports a value and potentially rewarding experience.
Is football betting legal?
It is generally legal to bet on sports online in the US, but there are a few regulations in place. We only feature fully licensed betting sites among those we recommend. These sportsbooks are committed to responsible gambling and provide further information if you need reassurance about their credentials.
How do I bet on football?
If you’re looking for a football betting strategy, then we’ve featured lots of the types of markets you can gamble on further up this page. As a quick refresher, here’s how to bet on soccer:
Pick a team to win or player to score, or even combine both in one bet. That’s soccer gambling on its most basic level. There are more detailed football betting tips and further discussions of other markets on this page.
What are the most popular football bets?
Betting on a football team to win a match in the regulation 90 minutes is one of the most popular markets. Plenty of bettors pick out several of these and combine them into one bet called an accumulator or acca for short.
Goalscorer markets – to score first, last, next, anytime, twice or more in a game – are also popular. The correct score betting is another that gamblers like. You can even combine these elements together in a single bet, called a wincast (match winner and player to score) or a scorecast (player to score and correct result).
Can I bet on my mobile?
You sure can! Football and indeed all forms of sports bets are available on a sportsbook’s mobile site or betting app that is free to download. Most mobile phones use an Android or iOS operating system, but if you’ve got another provider like Blackberry or Windows Phone don’t despair! It’s just less likely a bookmaker will have an app compatible with those, but there’s always using your web browser to access the mobile version of the sportsbook.
What are football betting lines?
Betting lines are the American English phrase for the outright match result market in football. There are only three possible outcomes of this: team A wins, the game ends in a draw, or team B wins.
Unlike other US sports, a handicapping element to the moneyline in football may be housed under a different market name created by oddsmakers.
What is spread betting in football?
Spread betting is the handicap, or imaginary head-start or deficit, that a sportsbook gives to the underdog or favorite in a football match. In order to cover a spread of -1, a team must win a game by a margin of two goals for your bet to be a winning one.
How do you read football odds?
The odds on a football match can be expressed differently depending on where in the world you are. British and Irish sportsbooks use fractional odds. If you back a football team to win at 6/4, that means for every $4 you wager on them you win $6 (plus your stake back) if they emerge victorious.
In Europe and beyond, decimal odds are used. Here, for example, you back Brazil to win the World Cup at 6.00, that means for every $1 you gamble you will get a return of $6 ($5 of which is profit) if they lift the trophy.
In moneyline terms, a plus or minus sign will appear next to a team. The plus means that football side are underdogs, while the minus indicates betting favorites.