Betting 101: Football Betting Markets

Mon 11 Sep 2023

Understanding popular betting markets for football

Time to Read: 8 minutes

This article continues our “Betting 101” series which provides an introduction to football betting subjects. This article provides an explanation of the most popular betting markets that you're likely to encounter at bookmakers.

Some of these can be a little confusing at first so it's important to fully understand what the markets are, how they work and how they can be used.

Bookmakers often compete with each other on the range of markets available. This can be quite overwhelming at first, so it's often a good idea to start with the most common and easily understood.

Below we highlight some of the most commonly used and popular markets.

Full-time Result

The Full-time Result market, involves betting on the outcome of the match - whether a team will win, lose or draw the match. Some bookmakers refer to This as 1x2.

For example, I might see odds in the bookmaker similar to the following:
Match 1 x 2
Boca Juniors vs Platense 1.8 2.5 3.5

Another way of laying out the same information might be as follows:

Result Odds
Boca Juniors (Home Win) 1.8
Draw 2.5
Platense (Away Win) 3.5

The layout will depend on the bookmaker and the plaform page you are viewing. the former is easier in a list showing lots of matches.

This market is ideal for beginners due to its simplicity. There are no intricate rules or calculations to grapple with before placing a bet.

NOTE: As the name suggests, this market is for full-time only. If you bet on Boca Juniors to win in the examples above, and it is a cup match, if they are drawing at 90 minutes and the match goes to extra time you will lose the bet. The result at full-time was a draw. For cup competitions, some bookmakers will offer different markets for full-time result and match winner (i.e. including after extra time and penalities).

Correct Score

This is a very popular market and, as the name suggests, is based on predicting the correct score in the match. This would be the score at full-time (although see below there are also half-time markets too).

This market offers higher odds, that of course come with increased risk.

It is worth noting that markets based on goals all have the same fundamental underlying odds. The under 0.5 goals market should be the same price as 0-0 correct score. Under 2.5 goals will be the same as the combined odds for 0-0, 0-1, 1-1, 2-0 and 0-2.

The full-time result will also approximate these odds. For example the draw odds should be the total odds for the combined scores 0-0. 1-1, 2-2, 3-3 etc.


Overs and unders goal markets are a popular way for bettors to wager on the total number of goals scored in a match. These markets offer a set goal line, and bettors can choose whether they believe the total number of goals scored will be over (more than) or under (less than) that line. For example, if the goal line is set at 2.5 goals, betting on "over" would require three or more goals to be scored in the match for the bet to win, while betting on "under" would win if two or fewer goals are scored.

Overs/unders goal markets allow you to bet on matches regardless of which team is the match winner. This market is very popular in bet-builder bets or bookmaker offers where it is combined with other markets.

Overs/unders are also often available for the number of corners in a match and sometimes cards.

NOTE: take care whether any stats provided for overs/unders are for the match (both teams) or for a given team.

Both Teams to Score (BTTS)

Both teams to score (BTTS or sometimes just BTS) is a bet where you can wager whether both teams score in the match. This is similar to overs in that it allows you to bet without caring which team actually wins.

Markets are often available by half e.g. Both teams to score in the first half.

Half-time Markets

Half-time markets allow bettors to wager on the same range of markets but just within a given half. These markets will often have longer odds and associated risk.

Half Time / Full Time

In this market, you're betting on both the half-time result (Team A winning, a Draw, or Team B winning) and the Full-time Result.

This market will offer higher odds compared to the standard Full-time Result market, which translates to more risk/reward. However, it's a more challenging market to predict accurately, so caution is advised.

Win Either Half

In this market, you predict that the team you support will win either the 1st Half or 2nd Half. It's a reliable bet that can yield consistent returns when chosen wisely. For example, if Manchester City plays Bournmouth at home in the Premier League, it's likely that City will outscore their opponents in at least one half, making this bet attractive. However, the odds in this market are relatively short as a consequence.

Note: The bet only covers your team winning either half, so a 0-0 draw or a loss would result in a failed bet.

To Win Both Halves

This bet involves predicting that your chosen team will win both the 1st and 2nd halves of the match. It's a riskier proposition, best reserved for situations where one team is expected to dominate entirely.

If either half ends in a draw, the bet is lost.


Bookmakers will often provide offers with improved odds for certain combinations of markets. Popular examples include Winner and BTTS and Team to win and Player to score first.

These offer higher odds but also higher risk. These markets can be difficult to de-risk by hedging, although some exchanges do offer direct lay markets for some combinations making this easier (e.g. Smarkets).

Double Chance and Draw No Bet

These are less familiar full-time result markets and, although similar, there are some important distinctions.

Double Chance enables you to place your money on two outcomes within a single bet. If you think a team will win but there's a chance of a draw this market gives you the option to cover both outcomes, providing some level of insurance.

This added protection is the major advantage of the Double Chance market. It's best employed when you're confident that a favorite team won't lose but remain open to the possibility of a draw. The odds in this market are typically shorter than in the Full-time Result market, resulting in smaller payouts if your bet succeeds.

As an example, if a highly ranked team was playing at home against a lesser ranked team, perhaps one which has a very good defence but limited attack, you may think it likely the favourite would win; and at worst there would be a draw. You think an away win is very unlikely. In this case the Double Chance market enables you to bet on the win but also to cover a potential draw.

For Draw No Bet you're betting on one team to win while also getting your stake refunded if the match ends in a draw. This market is best utilized when you're highly confident that one team will win, as opposed to the Double Chance market, which offers more flexibility. The safety net of getting your stake back in the event of a draw is designed to prevent losses due to unexpected results.

The primary advantage of this market is the extra security it offers, and the odds are generally more favorable than those in the Double Chance market. However, it's essential to remember that you only receive your stake back in case of a draw; full winnings are only granted if your team wins.

Handicap Markets

The Asian Handicapmarket provides flexibility and better odds, especially when betting on favorites. It effectively levels the playing field by turning the game into a 50/50 chance for both teams, offering better value for the expected winner. Each team receives a handicap before the match: the favorite gets a negative handicap, and the other team receives a positive one.

Your chosen team must win the match by a specific number of goals based on their starting handicap. If they achieve this, you win, and you benefit from the better odds you secured. Moreover, in most cases, a draw results in a refund of your original stake.

The European Handicap market is similar to the Asian Handicap market, with both teams receiving pre-game handicap figures that they must overcome to secure a win for your bet. However, unlike the Asian Handicap, if the match ends in a draw related to the handicap, your bet is lost. Additionally, if your team wins but doesn't meet the handicap requirements, you still lose your bet. This market is best used when there's a highly favoured team in a match.

Betting 101 provides a range of statistics to help you analyse football matches / soccer matches. Statistics include standings, recent form, goal times - scoring and conceding, Overs for goals and corners. BTTS, clean sheets, first team to score plus many more. .
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