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For 99.9% of sports betting fans, the first experience of football betting comes from the match result market. Whether placing a wager against a bookmaker or a friend, you’ll just want your chosen team to beat the opposition. This is the simplest form of betting, and the perfect way to introduce yourself to the world of sports betting.

To become a better bettor, though, you must learn to appreciate that there are dozens of alternative football betting markets out there. Incorporating them into your strategy can be the difference between long-term success and failure.

Ready to take your betting journey to the next level by unlocking the full potential of football’s other markets? Read on and your ROIs will look bigger and better than ever in no time!

Why Did New Football Betting Markets Appear?

Sports betting, and particularly football betting, has evolved at a rapid rate over the past few generations. It is now a multi-billion-pound industry.

As the industry has grown, new markets have surfaced to reflect the growing demands of punters. The need for new bet types has also been influenced by the increased competition borne from the digital age as well as the boom in televised matches.

Essentially, people now want to bet on a host of different elements that may develop within a match. The bookies responded to those wishes, making it a simple case of supply and demand.

Why Consider Alternative Football Betting Markets?

Backing a Home Win, Draw or Away Win is the simplest type of bet to understand. It’s also the longest running type of betting market for football punters to use. However, that doesn’t always mean it’s the best.

When backing a team to win, you could encounter a number of problems, including;

  • Low odds, making it almost pointless to back a team
  • Too much risk, especially when backing an underdog to cause an upset
  • 90 minutes is a long time, and anything could happen
  • Over 1 in 4 matches (in the major leagues) ends in a draw
  • Teams might not always need a win, especially if other results go their way

Depending on the alternative markets selected, you can often overcome those problems in an effective manner. That ability to pick more frequent winners at increased prices puts you in a far stronger position in the pursuit of profit. That’s something that all punters from casual to professional should grab with both hands.

Does that mean Giving Up the 1X2 Market Altogether?

Not at all. The straight match result market can still be an extremely profitable market when used well. After all, winning games of football is still the ultimate aim for any team. There will be many situations, both pre-game and in-play, where simply backing a team to win will seem the most natural choice.

Nonetheless, a knowledge and understanding of the additional markets essentially gives you more options, more control, and more chance of unearthing the value. When you frequently land the best possible returns in relation to your predictions, the hopes of making healthy profits from the realm of sports betting will look better than ever.

What Can I Bet On?

Realising that you don’t always have to bet on the winner of a match opens the door to a whole host of new betting opportunities. Nowadays, you can bet on virtually any aspect within a game of football.

This even includes match action bets where you bet on whether a goal, free-kick, or throw-in will be awarded in a certain minute of the match. While going for something quite so niche probably isn’t advised, here are just some of the things that you may wish to bet on:

Margin of Victory:

Rather than simply betting on a team to win the game, you could look at various other markets focused on the margin of victory. Some of those markets include;

  • Correct score: Backing the final result of a match instead of the winner alone (2-0 or 1-1 rather than Home win or Draw)
  • European handicap: Backing a team to win the match after the addition of a hypothetical advantage. So you could back a team -1 goal to win by 2 or more goals, or a team +1 goal to avoid defeat
  • Asian handicap: Similar to the European handicap, but with draws (after the advantage is applied) resulting in refunds. The odds will be lower to reflect this
  • Double chance: Backing a team (usually the underdog) to either win or draw
  • Draw no bet: Backing a team to win the match just like on the 1X2 coupon, but with pushes (refunds) offered if the game is a draw

Goal Action:

Instead of betting on the match result, you could simply back a match (or just one team) to score a certain amount of goals. Those markets include, but are not limited to;

  • Over 2.5 goals: Betting that there will be at least three goals in the game. They can be scored by one team (3-0) or shared between the two (2-1). If there are four, five, or more goals, the bet still wins
  • Team goals: Similar to the match goals line, only the goals have to be scored by one team. However, it doesn’t matter if the other teams scores just as many goals
  • Both Teams To Score: Both teams need to get at least one goal during the game. Again, the winner of the match is irrelevant
  • BTTS & Over 2.5: Backing that there will be three or more goals scored in the game, but with neither team keeping a clean sheet
  • Next Goal: If the chosen team scores the next goal in the game, the bet wins even if the other team wins the match

Obscure Novelty Markets:

In addition to betting on the big issues like the goals, you can place bets based on the less significant features. This includes;

  • Total cards: Betting on how many bookings there will be in the match
  • Corner bets: Which team will win the most corners? Who will get to 5, 7, or 9 corners first? Will one team get X amount of corners more than the other? You can bet on all of these things
  • To win from behind: Backing a team to fall behind yet still pick up the victory
  • HT/FT: Backing a team to be winning at half-time, and hold onto the lead by the end of the match. Alternatively, you may look to bet on them to win both halves
  • To score a penalty: Betting that a team will be awarded, and convert, a penalty

Player Action:

You can also bet on the performance of a specific player rather than the team as a whole. This can include betting several things to happen, including;

  • First goalscorer: Betting a certain player to score the first goal
  • Anytime goalscorer: Betting a certain player to score within the 90 minutes
  • To be carded: Betting that a player will get booked (yellow or red) during the game
  • Man of the Match: Betting that a specific player will be named MotM
  • Multi-scorer: Betting that a player will score at least 2 (or 3) goals in the match

First-Half Bets:

If betting on the full 90 minutes doesn’t feel right, first-half markets work in the same way but only last for the first 45 minutes. This can relate to various factors, including;

  • Half-time result: Betting on either Home, Draw or Away, but only for the first 45 minutes
  • First-half handicap: Backing a team to be winning at half-time, after the addition of the hypothetical advantage or disadvantage
  • First-half goals: Backing a number of goals to be scored or not scored within the first 45 minutes of the match
  • First-half BTTS: Backing both teams to score a goal in the first 45 minutes of the match, regardless of who is winning at half-time
  • Half-time correct score: Predicting the score (1-0 or 2-1 for example) when the ref blows the half-time whistle

With a plethora of options out there, the idea of staying exclusively loyal to the match result market seems utterly bonkers. Quite frankly, it is. Learning a bit more about those additional markets could be the key to transforming your results for the better.

It’s Not Just About Singles Either

As well as opening your eyes to the different markets on offer for most football matches, you should consider the multiples. Football accumulators are where you combine multiple selections in one bet. While the chances are a little lower, the possible winnings can be huge. When you know how to use different markets too, the odds are suddenly back in your favour.

In today’s world, you don’t even have to bet on the action before it’s started. In-play betting lets you react to what’s happening on the pitch, giving you the best shot at removing bad bets from the equation.

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