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The Ins and Outs of Football Betting

Football is the world’s favorite sport, so it is not surprising to find that it has been at the heart of the sports betting revolution over the last 20 years.

In 2023 there are hundreds of sports betting sites and betting apps in Nigeria and other countries that offer football betting as their main betting product. Yet while there is plenty of general betting advice that also applies to football bettors, the world of football betting also has some specific pitfalls and nuances that you won’t find in other sports.

The Fallacy of Football Betting Choice

There are more betting opportunities across all sports than ever before, but football is in a class of its own. Even an ordinary low-ranking club game from a European nation will usually feature 20 or 30 markets and for Premier League or World Cup games, the number of markets may exceed 200.

This is great news for football bettors, right? Well, yes and no. The popularity of football means that you will always find a market for the bet you want to make, and it will be competitive, because football is the sport where bookmakers compete the most.

Yet so much choice can be a bad thing. It is easy to get lost in that ocean of betting possibilities and to end up betting on markets you know nothing about. Picking a path through the betting undergrowth and staying on that path is essential with football betting.

Goal Scorer Betting Pitfalls

Some of the most popular football betting markets are those involving goal scorers, mainly because they feature bigger odds than you find in most standard football betting markets.

These markets also lead to a series of pitfalls that trap football punters every day. Here are some of the main problems to look out for.

No Goals, No Bet?

If you bet on the first goal scorer market but there are no goals in the game, that means that bets are refunded, right? Not necessarily. Some of these markets include an option for ‘No Scorer’ tucked away in the list of scoring options, and missing this option can lead to some unpleasant surprises.

First Goal or Any Time?

Another common mistake for football bettors is to conflate the first goal scorer and any time goal scorer options. One is a market focused purely on the scorer of the first goal in a game, which can only have one outcome, while the second can have multiple outcomes. Muddling up one market for the other is easily done but the consequences can be frustrating.

Check Your Players

Football is a uniquely flexible team sport in which player roles are not always clear and distinct. Any player can score the first goal, even the goalkeeper; defenders sometimes play a prominent attacking role at set pieces, and it isn’t always the team’s best striker who takes penalties. Researching all of these details is essential if you hope to succeed in the goal scorer markets.

Mastering the Asian Handicap

The popularity of football betting, particularly on high profile leagues like the Premier League and La Liga has led to the development and refinement of a particular type of betting, known as the Asian Handicap, which is rarely available with other sports, and which often provides the best odds.

The Asian Handicap sets a ‘handicap’ for the better team in a game, set at a half goal. For example, you may see an Asian Handicap market that looks like this:

·        Arsenal                      -1.5        10/11

·        Bournemouth             +1.5       8/11

In this case, Arsenal is considered the stronger side and given a 1.5 goal handicap. In order to win a bet on Arsenal, they would have to win this game by two goals or more. A one-goal Arsenal win, a draw or a Bournemouth win would mean the Arsenal bet is a loser.

Since the handicap is always set at a half-goal figure, the handicap draw becomes impossible, so there are only two possible outcomes. As a result, the bookmaker’s margin tends to be smaller on these football markets than any other, which is good news for the football bettor.

In order to take advantage, you have to take your analysis a step further than simply working out which team is the best and assess the size of the goal margin between the two. This adds an extra layer of sophistication to your betting, which will help your overall football betting.


The size and depth of the football betting sector make it unlike any other form of sports betting. Getting to know the ins and outs of the football betting world is essential for bettors who want to improve their skills. You can find a reliable football bookmaker to make bets with at Match.Center, a service available in many countries and languages.


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