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A Quick Guide To Betting On Football

November 12th, 2013 · No Comments

If you love to bet and you love to watch football, then it only makes sense to combine your two passions. The only thing that can make watching a game more enjoyable is knowing that a payday is riding on the result. And doing so is becoming increasingly common online – meaning you won’t even have to leave your favourite armchair to do so.

There is far more to betting on football than just “I bet that Team A beats Team B” though – there’s a myriad of different bets that you can make, each with their own advantages and disadvantages. Here’s the lowdown on the various bets available to you:

Money lines – easy, common, lower-risk
Money lines are the typical way of displaying odds, in the form of a positive or negative number. For example, if Team A is +120 and Team B is -140 it means that Team A is the favourite. You will risk $1 for each $1.20 you bet on Team A; conversely you will risk $1 for every $1.40 you bet on Team B.

With a money line bet it is simple – you are just picking which team you think will win the game. You are risking more for less by betting on the favourite, but of course they are more likely to win.

Point spreads – popular, simple, riskier
A very common way to bet on football, this relies on your chosen team winning by a certain number of points or more. These points spreads are determined by the bookmaker and showcased in much the same way as the money lines detailed above:

Team A: +8.5
Team B: -8.5

In this example, if you were to bet on Team A then the team would need to win by 9 points or more in order to give you a return on your investment.

Totals or Over/Unders – super simple, moderate risk
Another extremely popular betting method – likely because they are very easy to understand. The bookmaker simply “sets a line” for the total points scored in a game, and you (as the name suggests) decide whether the final score will be over or under this total.

Note that this is the combined score of both teams – for example if the line is set at 51.5, a score of 31-25 would be 56 and therefore the “over” would win. The return on investment here is a typical double or nothing deal as the odds are effectively set by the bookmaker’s line.

Parlays or Accumulators – a little more complicated, high-risk and high-reward
The less frequently used name for these bets, “accumulators”, gives some clue as to their nature. These are the accumulated results of two or more bets and can potentially be the most lucrative bets one can make.

You simply bet on the winners of multiple games, and with each game added your potential payout increases dramatically. Of course, the risk increases too and if just one of your chosen teams loses then your entire bet is lost – even if seven out of eight of your teams win.

Futures – long-term bets, potentially lucrative
If you want to play for the long term then futures are your friend. Typically this is betting on a team to win a division or championship. You can also bet on season win totals, which is betting on the over/under of total wins for any given team in a season.

Props, halftimes, quarters, and more – everything else you can think of
You can bet on the points spread or totals for just one half or even a quarter of the game – the bets work in exactly the same way, but only for the given period of the game. Additionally, “props” refer to miscellaneous bets on anything the bookmaker sets odds for: points scored by a player, total distance run by a player, even whether the coin toss will be heads or tails. If there’s odds, you can bet on it.

Now you know what kinds of bets you can make, how do you go about doing things properly?

Of course you can just jump right in and start making small wagers (only what you can afford to lose!) if you feel comfortable, but it’s worth doing some research – check out the form of the teams you’re betting on and read up on the games to see if you can get any information that will give you an additional edge.

That said, maybe you just want to back up your love for your team by putting your money where your faith is – and there’s nothing wrong with that either. Whatever you choose, good luck to you!

Tags: soccer · Misc · NFL Football

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