Football is the most popular sport to bet on the internet. As it’s played in all time zones and seasons differ from one location to another, there are always matches available for internet betting.
How to bet
There are more than 125 markets for big matches and 30+ markets for less popular matches. All betting sites offer 1 x 2 betting or 3-way market where you can bet Home, Away or Draw where each has unique odds. The bet is for regulation time, not added periods and penalty kicks. Your bet is lost if the regulation period ends with a draw when you bet home or away.
Over/under total goals is also offered by online bookies where bookmakers set a predicted number of goals. You can then wager if the total goals scored by both teams will exceed this total. Other markets offered in most sites are:
- Total goals where you bet on the number of goals scored in a match.
- Odds or evens which is a 2-way market based on whether the number of goals scored in a match by both teams totals an odd number or an even number.
- Half time/full time where you predict the result of both the first half and full game.
- Correct score which is a bet on the exact final score. Options have big odds and is a good way to try a large payout for a small stake.
- First goal is a bet on which team will score the match’s first goal
- Last goal is a bet on which team scores the match’s last goal.
- Outright markets is a bet on which team wins a specific league or tournament.
Many betting sites also offer goal scorer bets like anytime goalscorer, first goalscorer and last goalscorer.
These are just the popular bets; there are lots of other football bets online bookies offer.
Famous football betting fixtures
While most sites cover top leagues and second and third divisions from more than 80 countries, there are some online bookmakers offering odds on football matches of the most remote leagues, tournaments and competitions.
European football leagues
The most famous football leagues betted online is in Europe, which is governed by the Union of European Football Associations (UEFA), the largest of FIFA’s six considerations. Here is the English Premier League, the largest and most heavily sponsored football league with world-wide media coverage and betting action.
As betting has long been legal in England, many teams have an official online betting partner and have betting booths inside their stadium. Many countries, especially Asia follow EPL football more than their domestic clubs and teams like Liverpool, Manchester United and Chelsea are household names.
Though EPL is so popular, there are still debates about which UEFA league has the best players and team. Spain’s La Liga gives EPL competition and has Europe’s two top teams in Real Madrid and Barcelona. Other completive teams are Serie A from Italy, German’s Bundesliga and many more.
Teams compete for the league championship and a spot in the UEFA Championship League during domestic season. The UEFA Championship League draws as many betting revenue, viewership and international following as many top UEFA leagues.
While many international football competitions take place every four years and draw the largest betting volume, the World Cup is the most prestigious. 32 qualifying nations compete for the world championship.
The Euro 2016 (UEFA) and 2015 Copa America (CONMEBOL) are the next majors while other four FIFA regions also have regional championships.
Next comes 2015 Asian Cup contested by Asian countries like Japan, Korea and Middle East nationals like Iran and Saudi Arabia and even India and Israel. Australia was also included since the 2007 version.
Then comes the 2016 OFC Nations Cup contest by New Zealand and many small Island Nations of the Asian Pacific region.
While there are some other regionals held every two years, the 2016 Olympics is another popular football betting tournament. The event uses a nation’s under 23 team with a few professional players.
There are other popular football leagues like the Major League Soccer (MLS) from US which has attracted big names like David Beckham and Robbie Keane. As it runs from March to December through the break of major European leagues, it attracts wagers from Europeans trying to fill the void.
FIFA regional body Confederación Sudamericana de Fútbol (CONMEBOL) governs South American football and has popular leagues like Argentine Primera Division and Brazil’s Campeonato Brasileiro Serie A. The leagues’ top teams and other South Americna leagues like Mexican Primera Division compete in Champions League called Copa Libertadores, which offers online betting.
Another regional worth mentioning is the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) with top leagues like Japan’s J-League and Korea’s K-League. AFC Champions League is another league contested by the top teams of each division.
Each bookmaker takes bets on dozens or hundreds of football leagues and competitions. As there may be differences between online betting sites, start with the best football betting websites before covering famous leagues and competitions.