ABC of Football Betting - A Beginner's Guide [Simple and Easy Way to Learn]

You might not know this about me, but I am not an expert when it comes to sports betting, No, I am not! 

Yes, I know football inside out, but when it comes to football betting, I am just a "nepio," almost a novice.

Sometime ago,  I decided to learn more about football betting, so that I can better contribute to the conversations and the various requests from our numerous fans on this betting matter... 

I have been researching things about this subject for some time now and thought I should share them here as a guide for beginners

You may wonder why I didn’t ask my friend Daniel Abba to write this guide; he is the guru of Sports betting, you know him.

 But I thought it would be better coming from someone picking up like me. 

Abba knows too  much he might assume you know something you don’t...just like the fundermentals or even football betting terms. I didn't want to go with such assumptions!
ABC of Sports Betting is a beginners guide...a simple and easy way to learn from the scratch.

Some Football Betting Terms
I figured I would start off with some football betting terms, if I want to make this guide really ABC of Football betting. It is important you know these terms:
·         Stake – This is the amount of money you place on a bet, in other words the amount of money you stand to lose if you don’t win.

·         Accumulator – A football accumulator is a series of single bets grouped together, if each of the bets comes off then the odds accumulate together. 

Normally when you hear of people putting a fiver on something and winning a couple of thousand it is because of accumulators. Because each bet needs to win though they can be risky.

·         Handicap – This is a bet that is offered when one team is the clear favourite – Think Brazil vs your local old boys team! The handicap gives a small advantage to the underdog. For example, there may be a one goal head start given to the underdog. I am going to explain Handicapping more later in this article.

·         Half Time/Full Time – This type of bet is split nto two, when you predict the winner of the first half then of the entire game. So you could predict a draw at half time but for the home team to win by full time.

·         Banker – This is basically the closet thing to a certainty as you can get, the tipster is very sure that the bet will land if they consider it a banker. For example we give banker tips to our members.

·         Scorecast – This is when you bet on a player to score the first goal along with predicting the correct score.

·         Wincast – Very similar to a scorecast but you bet on a player to score and then predict the winner of the game.

·         90 Minute Betting – This is mentioned a lot when people bet on individual players (maybe as goal scorers) normally if the player doesn’t make an appearance the bet is called off, but if the player appears during the normal 90 minutes of the game they are eligible for the bet.

·         24 Hour Rule – Most betting websites have a rule like this, where if a match is postponed the bet only becomes void if the match doesn’t get played within a 24 hour period. 

So for example if a match was just put back 2 hours the bet would still stand.

·         Over/Under – This is when you bet on the amount of goals being scored, normally it will be over or under an amount, for example over 2.5 means if there are 3 or more goals. Under 2.5 would be 0, 1, or 2 goals being scored.

·         DNB – This stands for Draw No Bet. What this means is if the score is a draw you get your money back for your bet. 

This can be seen as a safer option but you should understand that the odds are usually lower when this is selected.

·         Double Chance – A Double Chance bet is one where you pick a winner and if they win OR it is a draw, you win the bet. If the team you pick loses then you lose the bet. Like DNB the odds are generally lower but it is a safer bet as a result.

Handicaps are something that confused the heck out of me for the longest time, so I want to spend a while looking at them in detail. This is such a common question that I have written up a guide to the differences between Asian and European handicapping.

There are two types that I will be talking about, Asian Handicaps and European Handicaps, I will mention each one in turn but first let me reiterate what I said above.

 This is a bet that is offered when one team is the clear favourite – Think Brazil vs your local old boys team! The handicap gives a small advantage to the underdog. For example, there may be a one goal head start given to the underdog.

Asian Handicaps: The best way to try and describe this is with an example, but first it is important to know that draws get refunded when you are doing Asian Handicapping.

In the most simple example Image Team A vs. Team B and the handicap is Team B + 2.5.
This means that in order for Team B to lose, Team A would need to score 3 goals against them.

For a slightly more complicated example I am going to introduce what are known as two way handicaps.

Imagine Team A vs. Team B and you get the handicap: Team B +1.0, +1.5

This means that half of your bet goes on Team B to win, draw, or lose by less than 1 goal; and half on Team B to win, draw, or lose by less than 1.5 goals.

If the final score is Team A 1-0 Team B, half your bet would be refunded due to draw (Team A 1 – +1 Team B). The second half would win (Team A 1 – +1.5 Team B).

European Handicaps
You will be pleased to know that if you have grasped Asian Handicapping then European Handicaps are easier! They are the same as Asian Handicapping but a draw is possible.
So if you bet on Team A and they are at -2 and they win 2-0, that would be a draw and you would lose your money. (In Asian Handicaps you would get your money back)

Overs and Unders
You will often see phrases like “Over 1.5 goals” or “Under 2 goals”.
The general principle
Let’s ignore the ‘.5’ bit of these phrases for now. These bets that are stating that over (or under) a certain amount of goals will be scored.

If I were to bet that on a certain match “Over 2 goals” would be scored I would win if all the goals in that game added together were more than 2; so if the final score was 2–1, I would win because the total amount of goals is 3, which is more than 2.

Why .5?
Normally bets like these will include ‘.5’ – whilst this seems confusing (how do you score half a goal?) it actually makes the bet much easier because it removes the possibility of a draw.
If I bet that Under 1.5 goals will be scored the following score lines would mean I win;
0–0, 1–0, 0–1

This is because if you add up both teams goals, no result scored more than 1 goal.
If a game ended 1–1 I would lose, because 2 goals is larger than 1.5. There is no way for me to draw.

Not just goals
Overs and Unders don’t just apply to goals, you could have “Over 2.5 yellow cards”, “Under 20.5 throw ins”. Pretty much any event that can be easily counted could have an Overs or Unders bet associated with it.

Accumulators Vs Singles
These are the two most common way to place bets these days so I wanted to cover them in a little detail. We don’t hide that fact that Ian prefers singles but that doesn’t help you if you don’t know the main differences.

When you bet with an accumulator, all your bets need to win in order for you to be able to claim the money. This makes it much harder to win but of course the reward is far greater. As a new football bettor it is very tempting to bet on accumulators because you could see your £10 stake spiral into big bucks pretty quick.

Singles on the other hand are not effected by other bets. So if I place £10 on three different matches as singles and 2 of them come in, then I make money on those two bets. 

The odds aren’t as good if I was to role up all my bets into an accumulator, but the odds of me walking away with some money are much higher.

The main advice here is to find what it right for you. Just because some people swear by accumulators and others swear by singles doesn’t mean you should listen to the loudest voice. Do some research, maybe put some small stakes on a few different ways and see what felt good and what had a good return on your investment.

Getting your way with the bookies
Something you will encounter when you start football betting is a range of different online and offline bookmakers.

 All will have their own way of dealing with things and all will want you to work with them differently. 

This can seem daunting but you will soon understand it...and how to state your case if you think a bookmaker has wronged you.

Generally Accepted Good Tips for Beginners
A guide to football betting wouldn’t be complete without sharing some good tips! Here are some generally accepted good tips that I have gleaned from my research and also from interviewing football tipsters!

Don’t bet with your heart, bet with your head
This means don’t bet because you want a team to win, bet because you think they will win!
Likewise don’t bet against teams you don’t like just because you don’t like them, bet against them because you think they are going to lose.

Try not to get greedy
There are two things I have caught myself doing related to being greedy, the first is adding extra teams into an accumulator just because it will bump up my maximum payout. This is almost always a terrible idea!
The second thing I have done is bet more money on a team than I initially was going to. You should have a plan for how much you are going to bet and stick to it.

Have patience
You are not going to win every bet, if you want to become successful at betting on football you need to be patient and pick the right bets for you.

Never bet more than you can afford to lose
Before I place a bet I always think about the money I am going to be placing on it and think, if I were to lose this money right now would I be OK with that. If the answer is no I won’t place the bet.

Seek help if football betting is becoming a problem
If you think gambling might be becoming a problem for you then my advice is to seek help. GambleAware might be worth a visit!

Don’t bet on friendlies
They are too unpredictable, you don’t know how much effort the respective teams are putting in and reserve players may get an outing that you weren’t counting on.
If the friendlies are before the start of a new season (they often are) players will be very aware to not pick up any injuries so might not play as hard as they normally do.

Know Team Motivation
What I mean by this is that two teams can look a certain way on paper, but if one of those teams has already won the league and the other is fighting to stay in the league there is a very good chance that the team good on paper will be on auto pilot whilst the team playing to stay out of relegation is going to be fighting for their life!

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