Advice

How to Bet on Football – tips for beginners

(Last Updated On: March 1, 2014)

If you’re new to the world of betting, the world of football can be a tricky place to start. The sheer variety of possible bets is enough to overwhelm the amateur punter. You’ve got standard wagers, which won’t cause too much confusion, such as picking outright winners in individual games or which team will top the Premiership at the end of the season. It gets complicated when you get into the wagers for events in certain games: you can pick one of over 30 different scores, the average number of goals in the first half, when the first goal will be scored, how many corners will be taken. And often these bets can now be placed while the game is live. So if you need a helping hand, take a look at this list of our top tips.

A brief explanation of the odds

Many modern online sportsbooks now use decimal odds which make it easier to calculate your potential winnings. There is still the option to show odds in the usual manner, that is to say 2/1 and 2/3, if you’re a traditionalist. However, for any newbie, non-decimal odds can be hard to fathom: It’s not immediately obvious how much you’ll get back on a 4-1 bet. Whereas if it’s written as 5 there’s no confusion, you know that for every £1 you bet, you can get £5 back. And don’t be misled by fractional odds like 1/20. These types of bet are for odds on favourites and mean you have to spend £20 to win just £1 back. There are new bets every day at Betsson, where you can check out the odds for all the upcoming fixtures.

Think about new players/managers

Past form is something worth evaluating when picking an outright winner for example. But it doesn’t factor in changes to personnel. For example this Premiership season, City has lost Roberto Mancini, Manchester United are heading into their first campaign without Alex Ferguson, and Jose Mourinho is back at Stamford Bridge. Important transfers like City’s signings of Navas and Fernandinho and Swansea’s signing of Wilfried Bony could have major impacts on their final positions in the league. United’s Robin Van Persie is still favourite to be top scorer but maybe Michu and Bony’s partnership will lead to more goals for them both and City’s midfield signings will result in more goals for Aguero and Dzeko. It’s worth looking at the whole team. And more eyes are on the managers than the players this time round.

Do your homework

With any sport, there’s an element of risk when placing a wager. The aim of sensible betting is to reduce that risk as much as possible. Look at as many stats as you can get your hands on when you’re thinking about placing a bet on a head-to head encounter. Look at all previous matches the teams have contested to see if there is any patter. Check out individual player stats, from completed passes for midfielders and average shots on goal for strikers, to clean sheets for keepers and interceptions for defenders. Factor in injuries and major changes to the line-up as well as seemingly insignificant things such as animosity between managers and players that have flared up in the media.

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