Betting on soccer is massively popular in a global context and with the worldwide love affair with the game and gambling both growing it is no surprise that bookmakers are offering a wider range of bets across a greater number of leagues than ever before. Here we take a look at some of the most popular soccer betting markets and some of the newer ones that bookies have introduced in recent years just to keep things interesting.
Main soccer betting markets
By far the biggest and most popular bet is the match odds, also known as win/draw/win, 1×2 or 90 minutes. This is simply a wager on which team will win a given game (or whether it will end as a draw) and almost always includes injury time but excludes extra time.
Another popular wager is on who will score the first goal and in this market own goals do not count at all. So the first goal after an own goal is classed as the winner and if the only goal or goals are own goals then “no goalscorer” will be the winning call.
When the odds are the same as the 0-0 outcome in the correct score market, as they usually are, backing no goalscorer is a good bet if you think a game will end 0-0. This is because your bet will win on 0-0 and also where own goals are the only ones scored in the match. Backing the correct score is another popular bet, often at long odds.
First Goalscorer and Correct Score bets are also just as popular with the bookies who, more often than not, make them the subject of their money back specials or other football betting offers (bettingoffers.org.uk have a regularly updated list of such offers).
Another bet at longer odds than the match odds market is the half time/full time betting. This entails predicting which side (if either) will be ahead at both half and full time, with options such as Real Madrid/draw, draw/draw or Barcelona/Real Madrid.
A hugely popular bet at shorter odds is to back under or over a certain number of goals in the entire game, with 2.5 the most common bet. Effectively this means three goals or more, or two or fewer, and the odds are often around evens for both options. If you think the game is likely to be low scoring then backing under 0.5 or 1.5 goals could be an option, whilst over 3.5, 4.5 or even higher are good when you predict a goalfest.
Outright betting is also very popular in soccer and this involves picking a team to win an entire tournament. So you might back Everton for the FA Cup, Brazil for the World Cup or Bayern Munich to win the Bundesliga, for example.
New soccer betting markets
In recent times bookmakers have introduced some newer bets and these have proved very popular. Perhaps the most popular is backing both teams to score (or not to score) which is as simple as it sounds – you are placing a wager on whether or not both teams will score in a given game, with own goals counting. The popularity of this market owes a lot of its success to the Goals Galore market at Betfred, which is essentially a BTTS accumulator incorporating a pool of pre-selected games for you to choose from.
In-play betting has also become hugely popular in the last few years, with bets on who will score next or even who will win the next corner adding instant excitement to soccer betting. Other bets include the 30 minute limit, where you predict if a goal will be scored in the first 30 minutes of a match, whilst other bets breaking the game down into time blocks are also great for increasing the tension.