Types of Football Bets
If you are new to football betting or would like to explore more ways to bet on football, then this guide will run through the most popular types of football bet. This is a list of the most popular types of football bets available. I have added in bracket the abbreviations which you may often see referred to.
- Full-Time Result
- Football Accumulator
- Normal Time Definition
- Total Goals, (Under/Over)
- Correct Score (CS)
- Half time/Full Time (HT/FT)
- First Goal Scorer (FGS)
- Last Goal Scorer (LGS)
- Half Time Result (HTR)
- Draw No Bet (DNB)
- Asian Handicap Betting (AH)
Read on for more information on each or click a bet type above to go straight to that section.
Full Time Result
The most common football bet is on the match result or 90 minutes result. This can be called "WLD" (for win lose draw) "1x2" (being the pool notation for home win, draw and away win).
You are basically predicting whether the result at the end of normal time will be one of three options - a win for one team, a win for the other team or a draw.
Full-Time Result Example
Liverpool v Spurs:
Bet Spurs to win
Wins if Spurs win.
Lose if its a draw or Liverpool win.
The Full-Time Result sounds straight forward enough which is why many punters put several matches together in a football accumulator, trying to predict the outcome of all of them. Don't be greedy as that last one you added in will often let you down! If you strongly fancy a particular outcome then bet on that one only!
Once you have decided football accumulators is the type of football bet you want to play, then you should ensure you are betting with the best bookmaker for football accumulators. There are differences and we have a guide to explain which is the best and why.
[Important] Normal Time Definition For Football Bets
Most football bets are based on what happens in normal time. Normal time excludes extra time and penalties but includes injury time. This is also known as the 90 minutes result - when the whistle is blown after 90 minutes and injury time.c
Total Goals (Under/Over)
Also known as under/over, typically this is a two option bet on whether there will be more or less than the number of goals quoted. Normally the bet is more or less than 2.5 goals but you will often see many variations such as 0.5, 1.5, 3.5 and 4.5. Again this is at the end of normal time. This is quite a popular bet as there are only two outcomes and often it can be possible to predict high and low scoring games yet you don't really have a clue what the score might be.
Under/Over ExampleNewcastle v Bolton: Over 2.5 Goals
Wins if 3 or more goals
Loses if 2 or less goals
Correct Score (CS)
This is predicting the score at the end of normal time. Scores are quotes as "Home Team Score - Away Team Score" so be sure to check you get things the right way round.
There are many possible scorelines for a match so the odds can be quite high but also the chances of winning quite low. Often the odds offered by bookmakers on this market are not as competitive as some of the other bets so while a fun bet, it's rarely a good investment.
However, in some cases, there can be value for certain results if you know a team's scoring habits.
Correct Score ExampleChelsea v Man Utd: 2-1
Wins if Chelsea win 2-1
Loses if any other score
Half Time/Full Time (HT/FT)
Also known as "double result" this is a bet on predicting the result at half time and full time in the same bet.
HT/FT Example 1Let’s take a match between Liverpool and Chelsea. There are 9 possible results for the "double result bet".
At half time there are 3 possibilities - it could be a draw, Liverpool winning or Chelsea winning. Then for each of these, there are the same three possibilities at full time. Consequently, the options are quoted below in the form:
"Half time result - Full-time result"
HT/FT Example 2Liverpool v Chelsea: Liverpool - Draw
This wins if Liverpool are winning at half time AND its a draw at full time.
This loses if any of the other 8 situations occur.
This can be an interesting bet. In particular where one team is heavily fancied to win, betting on it to win at half time and full time will give you much better odds than just betting on it to win at full time. But it is also riskier and not always sensible to bet a team to do something they don't have to do.
Also for weaker fancies sometimes betting on there to be a draw at half time and then for them to be winning at full time can be popular, especially where there's a fair chance there may not be any goals in the match and hence a 0-0 draw at half time is quite likely. If you know the teams who come from behind to win or play safe in the first half and go for it in the second half then you could pick up some good bets using this type of football bet.
OLBG member danbradley thinks that this market now offers better value than 1x2 betting and he explains this in a blog entitled Adding Extra Value To 1X2 Bets: Part 1 - The HT/FT Market.
First Goal Scorer (FGS)
This is pretty much as it sounds - who will score the first goal. There's an option for "no goalscorer" which is if there is no goal scored in "normal time".
The only issues can be with:
- Own Goals - you need to check the policy of each bookie on this. Usually, they are ignored so the next normal goal counts as the first goal scorer, and if there are no other goals, then bets on "no goalscorer win". This is one reason why its often better to bet on "no goalscorer" than on "0-0" as the odds are regularly the same yet, the first still wins if there's an own goal.
- Substitutes - if you back Welbeck to score first for Man Utd but he stays on the subs bench, or comes on after the first goal do you get your money back - usually yes - but check with your bookie.
The bookies' margins can be quite high but in certain circumstances, it could be worthwhile. Make sure you know who the penalty takers are. If you really know your stuff then you could take advantage here.
FGS ExampleMan Utd v Stoke: Welbeck to Score First
Wins if Welbeck scores the first goal (excluding own goals).
Loses if any other player scores first.
You normally would get your stake back if Welbeck is on the bench and hasn't come on when the first goal is scored.
Each Way First Goal Scorer
A more recent variation where bookmakers offer you the chance to win if your player scores the second or third goal in the match.
Half your stake will go on the first goalscorer outright bet and half on the player being the first, second or third scorer.
You will normally get something like 1/4 the outright odds for the place part of your bet. So for example if you bet £10 each way on Beckham to score first for England at 16/1, 1/4 odds the first three, and Beckham scored the second goal then you would receive £10 x 4/1 = a £50 return.
As the first goalscorer bet is a good fun bet, the each way version is growing in popularity with bookmakers and punters.
Last Goal Scorer Bets (LGS)
The same as the first goal scorer bets but in reverse! Bookies normally quote exactly the same odds for a player to score last as score first. If you know your teams and players well then you could take advantage of this one!
Half Time Result (HTR)
Same as the Full-time result but based on the result at Half Time. As you might expect this is the score when the whistle goes, including first-half injury time. As with a full time bet, there are three possible outcomes but the draw is much shorter of course.
If you can find a tight encounter where neither team will be taking big risks in the first half you could be onto a good bet for a half time draw.
HTR ExampleMan City v Everton: Half Time Draw
Wins if its a draw at half time.
Loses if one team is winning at half time.
Draw No Bet (DNB)
This is like a full time result bet other than there is no option for the draw. You can bet on either team to win and if its a draw you get your stake back. The downside is that the odds on each team winning are reduced because of this. This has the attraction of there being only 2 outcomes to the bet and is often quite an easy bet to call (in theory) - i.e. you're saying "I think Chelsea will win, but Id like a saver on the draw".
DNB ExampleTottenham v Aston Villa: Aston Villa (DNS)
Wins if Villa win the match.
Loses if Tottenham win the match.
You get your stake back if its a draw.
Asian Handicap Betting (AH)
This is a very popular football bet.
Each team is given a goals handicap and you bet on the match result after that handicap.
Because of the variations in the handicaps given and the different types of handicap, this can at first appear confusing.
However, there are good value bets to be found as the bookies margins are often a lot lower than in normal full time betting markets.
We have devoted a whole lesson to understanding Asian Handicaps. Take a look at our Asian Handicap Guide.
Once you understand, make sure you are using the best bookmaker for Asian handicap betting which we outline in our guide
Scorecast (First Scorer/Correct Score Double)
As the name implies this bet combines the first scorer (of a football match) with the correct score. Often known as a 'scorecast'. Very popular with bookies as they know people rarely win on it! If you are going down the pub and want to invest a pound with the possibility of winning £100+ then it might be a slightly better option than dropping your pound down the drain. Otherwise, leave well alone!
ExampleMan City v Newcastle: 2-0 + Silva
Wins Man City win 2-0 AND Silva scores first (or second if the opening goal is an own goal).
Loses if any other final score or any other first scorer.
Other Football Bets Available
There are many other football bets available and one of these that a particular OLBG member has had success with is Goal Timings. danbradley has explained how he has gained an edge in this market in his blog Adding Extra Value To 1X2 Bets: Part 2 - Goal Timings.