We’ve all heard the line “you never see a bookie going out of business” and whilst it might ring true that’s only because of how the masses bet. Follow a different route to the crowd and you can definitely improve your chances of winning football bets.
How do we Define an Easy Bet?
Right, before we look at the sort of bets you should be placing it’s important to explain what we mean by an ‘easy bet’. The bets we’re talking about are not like matched betting or arbitrage opportunities, which are guaranteed ways to beat bookies. Instead, we’re focussing on the specific markets that offer the best probability of your selections coming in. They do still carry risk so it’s imperative that you practice safe betting.
So, what are the easiest football bets to win?
1. Over or Under Goals
The over or under goals market is one that is offered by pretty much all bookies on all football matches. The principle of the bet you’re making is whether or not there will be more or less than X goals in a specific match. Why is this easy we hear you ask?
Well, the over/under market presents tiered options meaning you can flex your bet and your chances of winning quite easily. Let’s take a look at an example to explain.
Over/Under Goals Example
On Saturday, Manchester City host Fulham in the Premier League. William Hill are currently offering five different over/under goals markets on the match.
You’d fully expect Manchester City to score in the game but still you can bet on there to be over 0.5 goals in the game i.e. the only way you’d lose is if the game ends 0-0. Of course, the odds are fairly reflective of the probability at 1/100. Equally, if you went under 0.5 goals your odds would be 16/1.
The over/under goals bets always works in .5 increments. William Hill provide bets from 0.5 goals up to 4.5 goals. Let’s look how the odds change if you jump to 4.5 goals.
If you bet on under 4.5 any combination of four goals or fewer would win you the bet whether that be a 1-0 Man City win, a 2-2 draw or a 1-3 Fulham victory. A wager of this kind would see you get odds of 4/9. If, however, you fancied Man City to score more than four goals, as they did last week against Burnley then you’d get odds of 13/8.
2. First Half Over or Under Goals
Okay, so this market operates exactly as the over or under goals bet as detailed above. The key difference here being that you’re now wagering solely on the first half. Your odds of an under X goals in the first half is much more likely to come in than when compared to that over the full 90 minutes. Your odds will shorten as a result.
Of course, the reverse of that scenario is where you fancy a team to come flying out of the blocks and predict over X goals in the first half; this sort of wager would offer you better odds than the same equivalent over 90 minutes.
3. Double Chance Bet
Again, the double chance is a bet offered by pretty much all bookies. It is a bet that is not too dissimilar from a match result bet but rather than predicting the outcome of a result i.e. win, lose or draw you can cover two outcomes of a match.
If you take a simplistic view of chance, a football match has a 33.3% chance of a home win, the same for a draw and, again, for the away win. By using the double chance, you can extend your prospect of winning to 66.6%. Of course, football isn’t a coin toss and has external factors that influence the probability. The fact you can spread your cover on an event, however, remains completely true.
Double Chance Bet Example
For this example, we’ll use odds as per Sky Bet and focus on Saturday’s fixture between Chelsea and Leeds.
If you were to ‘back’ Chelsea to win in the traditional sense you’d receive odds of 1/2. A £10 bet would return £5 profit if you were successful. If you covered the draw, you’d make a total of £35 profit because the odds are 7/2.
The double chance allows you to cover both those outcomes in a single wager. The two selections you’re betting on in this scenario are the two favourites (Leeds to win is priced at 5/1) meaning your double chance odds are reflective of this at 1/8. A £10 bet would only bank you £1.25 profit. The significant upside to this bet though is that Chelsea would have to lose for you to lose your money.
By contrast if you split your £10 stake across ‘Chelsea to win’ and ‘Chelsea to draw’ as two £5 wagers then you’re possible outcomes look like this:
£5 on Chelsea to win at 1/2 returns £2.50 profit. You would, however, lose £5 on your draw bet and therefore be £2.50 out of pocket.
£5 on Chelsea to draw at 7/2 returns £17.50 profit. You would, however, lose £5 on your Chelsea to win bet reducing your profit to £12.50. Yes, it’s a much better return than in the double chance but the risk of losing your bet is heightened because of the probability of the draw being small.
4. Draw No Bet
The ‘Draw no bet’ market is a halfway house between your standard match result bet and a double chance wager. Your task as the punter is to predict the winner of any given match. In a ‘match result’ wager, you would lose your stake if the match ended in a draw. That’s not the case with a draw no bet but you also don’t win the bet like you do with the double chance. Instead, your stake is returned in full, as cash. You either win your bet, lose your bet or, in effect, have your bet voided.
The odds are calculated taking into account the probability of your prediction with a nod to the reduced risk you face.
A Draw no Bet Example
We’ll stick with the previous example we looked at, Chelsea Vs Leeds.
Your odds for a draw no bet fall somewhere between the match result bet and the double chance bet. So, in the Chelsea example, backing the Blues to beat Leeds would give you odds of 1/6. This is worse than the 1/2 odds of the match result market but better than the 1/8 double chance market. Your potential bet outcomes are as below based on a £10 stake:
Chelsea win equals a total return of £11.67
Leeds win equals you lose £10
The match ends in a draw equals £10 is credited back to your account. No profit and no loss.
5. Both Teams to Score
The final bet we want to mention in our overview of the easiest bets is the ‘both teams to score’ or BTTS bet. You select a match and then choose either ‘yes’ or ‘no’ to whether or not both teams will score. Where an easy bet comes in, is in regards to the ‘yes’ answer.
You simply choose a game where you believe both teams will score in the game. The time of the goals, the order of the goals and the final score means nothing. If both the home and away team score then you win your bet. If either or both teams fail to score, you lose.
An Example of the Both Teams to Score Bet
For this example, we’ll look at the odds offered by STS Bet and, since they’re endorsed by Peter Schmeichel, we’ll focus on the West Ham versus Manchester United match that is due to take place at the weekend.
The odds on ‘Yes’ for both teams to score are 8/13. From a £10 stake, you’d win £16.10 total returns. It’s less than you’d win by backing Man United at evens (i.e. £10 stake equals £20 return) but you have no interest in the score line and, if you both teams do score, your bet will be settled before full time.
There you have it, five betting markets that give you the best opportunity of winning football bets. Before you head off though, it’s worth familiarising yourself with some of the more difficult bet types too.
Difficult Football Bets to Win
If the five markets we’ve just covered stack the deck in your favour then what bets swing the pendulum of chance the other way? We’re going to look at a few popular markets here.
The scorecast bet is a favourite amongst fans – particularly those who operate with lower stakes – because of the fact it generates big odds. There is a reason for that though. Firstly, you have to predicted the correct score and, on top of that, you have to name the first goal scorer as well. It’s a bet that is near on impossible to win on a consistent basis.
2. Correct Score Betting
Correct score betting is another market that ranks highly with punters. It probably shouldn’t though. To win your bet, you have to predict the exact score. The odds are regularly north of 6 or 7/1 for any score prediction but ask yourself this; if score predictions were easy then surely straight forward match results i.e. predicting who will win would be a doddle. Despite that, most people struggle to win those more straight forward bets on a regular basis.
3. Odd or Even Goals
The final difficult bet we’re going to talk about is odd or even goals. That’s simply a bet that says whether or not the total goals scored in the game will be an odd or even number. There is no amount of skill or research that will assist you in predicting the outcome of this sort of bet whilst you’ll usually find the odds of ‘odd’ and ‘even’ are the same and tightened in the bookmakers favour e.g. they might both be priced at 5/6.
Should I Focus on Easy or More Difficult Bets?
It’s a good question isn’t it? One success at a difficult bet could, potentially, be worth more than several wins of an easier bet. That said, if your intention is to make money from football betting then our personal lean would be towards the easier side.
The reason is simple, it’s the safer strategy and you’re more likely to win in the long run. The more difficult bets are tempting because of their odds but even with extensive research they’re hard to predict. In fact, no amount of research gives you any true insight into the outcome of those bets. Yes, you might be able to, for example, win one in every 20 scorecasts but if you lose 19 in a row before that happens then you’ll already have your betting bankroll significantly in the red.
Whatever side you come down on, bet safe!