With the possible exception of horse racing, football is the most popular sport on which to place a wager. It certainly attracts the most amateur punters. These are people who are less interested in betting with the objective of winning than in simply placing a wager to “put their money where their mouth is” and backing their favourite team, regardless of the odds on offer or the chance of success.
Football betting has gathered new momentum in the internet age. No longer does placing a bet mean queueing up in a betting shop with your betting slip in hand. The ability to bet online has opened up the idea of football betting to more people, but it has also led to a wider variety of bets that can be placed. Let’s take a look at some of the most popular.
Full time result and the Asian Handicap
The obvious type of bet is on the full time result. This might sound self-explanatory, but even this has variations. Sure, you can simply bet on Sheffield United to beat Manchester City if you wish, but there is also the possibility of an Asian Handicap or a double chance bet.
The Asian Handicap concept is designed to eliminate the draw as an option and also to make seemingly one-sided match ups a little more interesting. So in the above example, a bookmaker might give Sheffield United a handicap of +1.5 goals. This will be added to their score at full time. Effectively, this means that if you back Sheffield United, then you need them to win, draw or lose by a single goal in order to collect your winnings. On the other hand, if you back City, they need to win by two goals or more.
A double chance bet does exactly what it says and doubles your chances of winning. Here, you bet on two of the possible three results, ie:
- Sheffield United win or a draw
- Manchester City win or a draw
- Sheffield United win or Manchester City win
Just keep in mind that with a double chance bet, the odds are going to be significantly shorter.
Betting on the long game
It’s not just matches you can place a bet on. Before the season even gets underway, punters are fond of betting on who is going to finish top of the table. But that’s only one of the long term bets you can place. Here are some other popular ones:
- Top goalscorer – last year, the Premier League golden boot was shared three ways – surely that can’t happen again. Right now, Sergio Aguero is front runner, but you can never rule out Harry Kane, who looks a good call at 4/1.
- Relegation – will we see this year’s promoted teams yoyoing back down? Right now, Newcastle look in the biggest trouble, but there’s plenty of time for that to change.
- Top Six finish – there’s a real possibility of a change at the top of the table, with some Big Six teams struggling this year. If you’d backed the likes of Bournemouth or Leicester to finish in the top six at the start of the season, you’d be laughing now!