Football is hands down the most popular sport in the world and millions of people flock to stadiums and occupy their TVs because of it. Football teams have the biggest fan following of any sport and for a good reason. As the great Anthony Burgess once said when describing the cult status that football has achieved: Five days shalt thou labour, as the Bible says. The seventh day is the Lord thy God’s. The sixth day is for football.
And it truly is like this for football fans. They go through their busy working days filled with deadlines and hustling schedules and often the only thought that keeps them going is the fact that they will attend or watch a Champions League match or a weekend derby once the working day is over.
Recently, this idea that football makes our everyday life more interesting has been given another dimension with the ever increasing popularity of football betting. This is because of the heightened passion and excitement which comes when a game of football is coupled with a wager on who will win the match or some other aspect of the game. In fact, football and betting go so well together that almost every team in Europe's 5 top leagues has a bookmaker as a sponsor in one capacity or another. Football and betting go together as bread and butter.
Because football and betting have been going hand in hand for quite some time, a special type of relationship has developed and these days you can get as many as 500 betting propositions for a single football match. These betting propositions are organized into different betting markets and the punter can choose the ones which are up to his liking. Let's look at some of the most popular football betting markets and betting options.
The match winner market is pretty much self-explanatory as the punter has the option to choose whether the home or away team will be the one that triumphs or if the match will end in a draw. This betting market is also one of the most popular ones with betting enthusiasts as it is the most straightforward way of enjoying a match by backing one of the teams to win, cheering them on and then hoping that their victory will also bring you some profit on top of the excitement and satisfaction that you had already got.
The totals markets deal with how many goals will be scored in a given match and punters can choose between various options such as whether the game will be a tight one and have two or less goals in it or if it will be an open gung ho battle with three, four, five or more goals scored.
If match winner markets are good for punters who like to cheer on one of the sides to victory, then, the totals markets are perfect for betting enthusiasts who like to enjoy a game without having to worry which team will score a goal and back a scenario in which they will enjoy following the game and not having to think about which team will win. This market is usually the choice of football purists who think that football is played for the goals and they don't care which player or team will score it.
The handicap market is really popular with punters who think feel certain that a football team can win by a bigger margin or if they feel that a surprise might be on the cards. In this market, the bookmaker handicaps one of the teams and rewards the other. Let us explain by using an example from the English Premier League.
When Manchester City played Leicester City on the 10th of February 2018 it was clear that the Citizens would walk over the Foxes without too much trouble and this meant that a Manchester City victory was a given. However, coming with odds of around 1.25 it was also not very profitable if you decided to back Pep Guardiola's side and it is in this type of situation that the handicap market is at its most useful.
In the handicap market, a punter was given the following options:
This meant that in order for your betting proposition to be a winning one, Manchester City would have to win the match with a two, three or four goal difference depending on the betting proposition that you chose.
With Pep Guardiola's side running rampant in the Premier League and with Leicester City nowhere near the form which won them an EPL title, the smart money was definitely on one of the handicap markets shown above and punters who were brave enough to go with the biggest handicap were also lucky enough to be on the receiving end of some large winnings as Aguero, De Bruyne, Silva and co absolutely trashed Leicester and the final score read 5-1.
The correct score market is not for everyone as it might very easily ruin the fun of watching the match if the score you predicted proves not to be the correct one and you lose the bet even before the match has ended.
However, if you are a punter who is confident that a final score will come to fruition then you will also be the benefactor of some huge odds as the Correct Score market odds are much higher than other markets. This is especially true for the more unlikely scores such as 3-2, 3-3, 4-2, 4-3 and so on. For example, in the match between Manchester City and Leicester City the odds for the match to end 5-1 were around 30.00.
This is another market which usually comes with higher odds than the more conventional betting markets. This is because the relative difficulty of predicting the final outcome of a match is combined with the obligation to also guess the half time outcome.
Odds are especially high if you are wagering that there will be a turnaround in the match i.e if a team will be losing at half time, but win at the final whistle. These odds usually range from around to 25.00 to sometimes 100.00.
The above listed betting markets all dealt with team based football outcomes. The player to score first or the player to score anytime markets however, deal with individual achievements in a given football match.
These markets are a good choice for a punter when he cannot predict the final outcome of a match, but is certain that a player will score based on current form. In addition to form, there are also some players such as Cristiano Ronaldo, Lionel Messi or Harry Kane who will always be prime candidates to score because of their innate ability of finding the back of the net. Unfortunately though, these players usually come with shorter odds.
The final market we will elaborate on is the Outright Winner one and in it punters can back which team or player will achieve a certain tournament or competition objective before the competition has actually started.
These markets include betting propositions such as which team will win a tournament or a league, which team will get relegated, which player will be the top scorer, which player will win the best player award and so on.
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