Match Betting in Football: How to Bet on the Winner of a Game

Football Match

Football is one of the most popular sports in the world so it’s no surprise that the beautiful game attracts more UK betting action than any other. Football punters have always been blessed with a number of ways to bet on the sport they love, but the advent of online betting has vastly increased the choices available.

Even betting on something as simple as the winner of a football match provides a multitude of betting options. Some of these markets are simple and self-explanatory while others require a little more understanding.

In the football match betting guide below we’ve gone through the most popular Result markets to tell you exactly how they operate.

90 Mins Win-Draw-Win

90 MinutesSometimes known as Match Odds, 1X2, or the Match Winner market, this is as basic as it gets when it comes to football betting. In the 90 Mins Win-Draw-Win Market you are betting on the outcome of a particular match: will the home side win, will the away team win, or will the match end up in a draw?

You win money from the bookmakers if and when the team that you bet on goes on to win the match or you correctly predict a draw.

Even with a market that’s so popular and easy to understand each bookmaker will have slightly different rules, but the most important thing to note is that the market applies to the 90 minutes of standard play plus any injury time only. If a match goes to extra time, the Win-Draw-Win market will be settled as a draw.

Half Time

Half TimeThe Half Time market applies only to the first half of a match; that is to say the first 45 minutes plus any time added on by the officials. You are betting on whether the first half will end with the home team winning, the away team winning or with the scores level in a draw.

As the market ends when the referee brings the first half to a close, most punters who back a winner will see their profit returned to their account in time for the second half.

You will often find that the favourite is available at longer odds in the Half Time market than they are in the Win-Draw-Win market and, conversely, the underdog’s price is shorter.

Half Time/Full Time

In the Win-Draw-Win market there are only three potential outcomes, but that number is trebled in the Half Time/Full Time market.

Simply put, to get a winner in this market you must correctly predict the result of the match at the end of the first half and the second half.

In each market the selections are:

Home Draw Away
Home Home/Home Home/Draw Home/Away
Draw Draw/Home Draw/Draw Draw/Away
Away Away/Home Away/Draw Away/Away

To be clear, the Half Time/Full Time market is about which team is winning at half time and then full time, it is not the winner of each individual half. Therefore, if the home team ‘wins’ the first half 2-0 but ‘loses’ the second half 1-0, the Home/Home selection will be the winner because the home team was winning at half time and also won the match.

Win Both Halves

Football PitchWin Both Halves is the market that some inexperienced punters confuse with the Half Time/Full Time market. If we take the same example as above in which the first half score is 2-0 to the home team and the full time score is 2-1 to the home team, those who back the home team in the Win Both Halves market would have their bet settled as a loser.

For the purposes of this market, each half is considered as a separate event with each starting from 0-0. For that reason, it is a potential route to a bigger profit for punters looking to back a firm favourite than backing them in either the Match Winner market or the Half Time/Full Time market.

Win To Nil

Sometimes a team is so short in the Win-Draw-Win market that punters will be forced to look elsewhere to get a big enough reward for backing them. The Win To Nil market is a very popular place to turn. To back a winner in this market, the team you bet on must win the match without conceding a single goal.

Bets are only settled as winners at the end of the match (90 minutes plus injury time) but will be settled as losers the instant a team concedes. This is a real risk-and-reward football betting market.

Double Chance

Times TwoThe Double Chance market offers punters an extra bit of insurance. As the name suggests, you can have winners paid out on two selections rather than just the one selection of the Win-Draw-Win market.

The selections in the Double Chance market are always Home or Away, Home or Draw and Away or Draw. For example, if the home team wins the match, bets on both of the selections which include the home team will be settled as winners. Double Chance is particularly popular with punters who believe an underdog has the chance at an upset but are not convinced enough to back them outright.

Draw No Bet

Unlike the Win-Draw-Win market, there are only two options in the Draw No Bet market: a home win and an away win. If the team that you back in this market goes on to win the match your bet will be settled as a winner. If they lose, so does your bet. The difference comes when the match ends in a draw. In that case the market is settled as a push and all punters have their stakes returned.

Draw No Bet is another opportunity for punters seeking a bit of extra insurance. It is particularly useful for fixtures which are very closely matched, but the trade-off is that the odds on each team winning are always shorter than the Win-Draw-Win market.

Handicaps

Handicap Bet FootballHandicap markets in football come in many different formats. In each of them, the teams start with either a positive or a negative handicap (plus or minus a certain number of goals) to give them a better or worse chance of being settled as the winner of the market.

The most basic handicaps will see a team start with a handicap going up in single goal increments, whilst others include half goal handicaps as in Asian handicaps, which eliminate the possibility of a draw and hence reduce the possible outcomes to two: one or the other side winning after the handicap has been applied. Subject to how you see a particular football match going, handicaps are useful as either insurance or to take a bigger risk for a bigger reward.