Football Betting Strategies and Tips to Help You Beat the Bookies

Football is one of the most popular sports to bet on. Nevertheless, contrary to popular opinion, being a fan can help you make an educated guess about a match outcome, but it is not necessarily going to help you make a profit at the bookies.

For that reason, we’ve created a list of the most commonly used and most efficient football betting strategies that can increase your chances of winning. Our post is tailored towards novice and experienced punters alike, and it includes everything from basic tips and tricks to advanced betting strategies for seasoned punters.

6 Betting Strategies Quick Facts

  • Data is the key to making good bets.
  • Most betting strategies require a lot of math and a dedicated bankroll.
  • Some successful football betting strategies guarantee profit no matter the outcome.
  • You should avoid the Martingale system when betting on football.
  • Betting at multiple bookmakers can net you better profits.
  • Betting without a football betting strategy can be costly to your wallet.

Football Betting Tips and Strategies

Before we get to the betting strategies, we’ll quickly go over the basic tips and tricks that every punter should firmly stick to. These will lay a foundation that you should use whenever you bet, and by combining them with the betting strategies, you will significantly improve your odds of winning a bet.

Do Your Research

Even though it might sound like an obvious tip, you would be surprised by how many people bet simply for the sake of it instead of relying on proven strategies for betting on football. However, if you are serious about making a profit from betting, you should always be diligent and do your research.

There are a ton of different aspects to consider when betting. Among many football betting strategies, being observant is one of the essential skills that can be highly profitable.

For example, everyone knows that the crowd can play a big part in a football match, so it is important to pay attention to whether the team is playing home or away. Moreover, you should consider the team’s winning or losing streak as it can greatly affect its morale and motivation.

Good football betting strategies are not all about math because the proper information is the key. For example, just because a team is a favourite, it doesn’t mean they would win. Perhaps some of their key players are injured or unable to play due to suspension or other reasons. The more research you do, the more informed bet you can make, which is why research is one of the most successful football betting strategies.

This can be particularly useful when betting on the underdogs since their odds of winning are usually high, but their chances of winning can increase significantly if the other team is not at their best.

Don’t Stick to a Single Bookmaker

There are many good bookmakers, but none of them is flawless. That said, one of the best and most profitable football betting strategies is to simply use multiple bookmakers. Namely, the betting industry is extremely competitive, and not all bookies offer the same odds. What’s more, some of them will provide lucrative welcome bonuses, while others will have more diverse betting markets.

Moreover, many of the good football betting strategies we will discuss later require using multiple betting sites, so you shouldn’t be afraid to leave your comfort zone and register at several platforms.

Assign a Dedicated Betting Bankroll

If you are betting on football or any other sport, you should expect to lose. No matter how experienced at betting you are, you will undoubtedly make some losing bets. Even if you rely on proven and reliable football betting strategies, you will lose a bet or two. However, the ultimate goal is to win more often than losing, which is why you can’t spend unlimited amounts of cash.

One way to limit your losses is to determine how much money you are willing to bet per game, week, or month. In fact, many successful football betting strategies rely on setting up a bankroll. As you probably already know, gambling can be addictive. By having a dedicated bankroll in place and sticking to it, you can make sure that you will not spend more than you can afford.

Betting Strategies

Unlike betting tips and tricks, betting strategies are advanced systems that you should closely follow to make them work. Most profitable football betting strategies involve a lot of math and calculating the probabilities but also require a designated bankroll.

Let’s take a look at how to bet on football and the different strategies.

Arbitrage Betting

Arbitrage betting combines a couple of our tips and strategies and takes them to a whole new level. Its downside is that it can consume a lot of time and put your research skills to the test. It also includes a small window before the bets are changed or adjusted, so you need to be quick on your fingers. Despite all this, however, it is one of the most efficient football betting strategies that can net you profit every single time.

The method requires you to exploit different odds across different bookmakers. As you probably already know, the odds on a football game can vary from one bookmaker to another. While the difference is never going to be huge, if it is significant enough, you can easily make a profit by arbing.

Strategies for betting on football like this one are easy to learn, making them great even for new punters. Here’s how it works.

Let’s say that Manchester United is playing Brighton and that the Red Devils are a clear favourite. A bookie would assign them 1.60 odds to win, while a betting exchange would give the odds of 2.9 for laying against Manchester United. This means that the odds of Brighton winning or the game ending in a draw is 2.9, according to the betting exchange.

So, the situation looks like this:

Manchester United
Bookmaker Back (1.60)
Betting Exchange  Lay (2.9)


The idea behind football betting strategies like arbitrage betting is to bet on both outcomes. Since we are laying against Manchester United, it means we are betting on every outcome other than Manchester winning the game. This way, we can win even if the game ends in a draw.

The first thing we need to do is bet on Manchester United at the bookmaker. Let’s say we have decided to place £50 on the Reds. The next step is to calculate how much money we need to lay against Manchester United at the betting exchange to win the same amount as for placing £50 on Manchester.

The fastest way to do that is to use an online arbitrage betting calculator. There are tons of them online, and most of them are free to use, so make sure to find one that looks the most comprehensive to you. Once you’re done, you can use it to calculate the amount you need to bet at the betting exchange. In our case, we need to lay £27.59 against Manchester United.

Now, this is where the magic happens and why arbitrage betting is one of the best football betting strategies.

Remember, we invested £50 for one bet and £27.59 for another, which is £77.59 in total. We bet £27.59 against Manchester United at the odds of 2.9. If we win, we will earn £80. However, if Manchester United wins, we get 1.60 x 50 = £80 from the bookie. Since we bet £77.59 in total, we will win a little less than £3 regardless of the outcome.

Granted, while £3 doesn’t sound like a fortune, it’s still a profit. More importantly, this is just an example of how arbitrage betting works. Additionally, you can take advantage of other good football betting strategies and combine them with arbitrage betting, like betting on draw no bet games or using price boost promotions for arbing.

Lastly, make sure to use websites like Oddschecker, where you can easily compare odds across multiple bookmakers and find a match where you can apply arbitrage betting to secure profit.

Matched Betting

Matched betting relies heavily on free bet promotions to work, which is its only downside. However, like other good football betting strategies, this betting strategy guarantees that you are going to make a profit.

To use matched betting, you will first need to find a bookmaker that offers a free bet. While it may sound somewhat tricky, virtually every reputable bookmaker out there offers a free bet to new players upon registering. Moreover, bookmakers often have ongoing promotions that are a big part of different strategies for betting on football, so make sure to check their bonus and promotion sections on a regular basis as well.

If you are unfamiliar with lay bets, it means that you are technically betting against a team. For example, at regular bookies, you would place a bet on Arsenal to win, play draw, or you would simply bet on the other team. At a betting exchange, you are betting on all the outcomes apart from Arsenal winning.

So, how do football betting strategies like matched betting exactly work?

First, you need to find a game with close back/lay odds and then back one team at the bookmaker and lay the same team at the betting exchange. For example, an ideal matched betting game would be if a bookmaker is giving Arsenal, let’s say, 1.7 odds to win, and the betting exchange has 1.75 lay odds on Arsenal.

The small difference in odds would usually result in a small profit loss. However, as we said earlier, matched betting is one of the football betting strategies that work, and the free bet promotion is the key in locking profit. Namely, if you were to invest £10 and bet on Arsenal, then lay the same amount at a betting exchange, you would win £17 at the bookmaker and £17.5 at the betting exchange.

While this is less than £20 you needed for two bets, remember that we are using a free £10 bet promotion. In other words, you just made a profit of £7 or £7.5, depending on the outcome of the game. Once you collect your winnings, simply look for another free bet promotion and rinse and repeat.

Price Boost Betting

Price boost betting is quite similar to matched betting and is one of the most profitable football betting strategies if used correctly. Instead of relying on free bet promotions like matched betting, you should look for games with boosted odds.

Namely, bookmakers often boost the odds of a match they want you to bet on, which usually means that the odds on that particular game will have much better value than usual. For example, if Arsenal is playing Liverpool, and the regular odds were 1.9 for Arsenal to win, 2.2 for a draw, and 2.0 for Liverpool to win, the newly boosted odds may look like 2.7 for Arsenal to win, 3.0 for a draw, and 3.3 for Liverpool to win.

One of the best football betting tips and strategies we can give you is to always take advantage of these price boosts. Furthermore, you can combine price boost betting with matched or arbitrage betting and find games that have excellent value and can net you a hefty profit.

Keep in mind that price boost betting is nowhere as reliable as the other two successful football betting strategies we have already mentioned, so you should always use your best judgement when relying on this betting system.

Spread Betting

Spread betting puts your football knowledge to the test. Even though it is not as reliable as other betting strategies we’ve already covered, football spread betting strategies deserve a place on our list simply because of how profitable they can be.

Spread betting doesn’t work like conventional betting. When betting at the bookies, you are generally betting on fixed odds. For example, if you are betting £5 on Chelsea to win at odds of 1.5, you will win £7.5 if your wager is successful. If Chelsea loses, you lose your initial stake of £5, and that’s all there is to it. However, unlike other strategies for betting on football, spread betting works a little bit differently.

Instead of betting on fixed odds and a single outcome, you are buying or selling a spread of outcomes. This can include anything from the number of goals in a match to the number of corners, yellow cards, or more.

Like other football betting strategies, spread betting requires mastering the odds. Let’s say a bookie is offering a 10-12 spread on the number of corners between Chelsea and Arsenal. If you think there will be more than 12 corners in the game, you will buy a spread. If not, you would sell it. If there are anywhere between 10 and 12 corners, the only one that wins is the bookie.

Now, we need to calculate the profits and make sure spread betting is one of the profitable football betting strategies. This is done a bit differently with spread betting since the more accurate your bet is, the more you can earn. Simultaneously, the more far off you are from the bet, the more you will lose.

Let’s say there are three corners in the game and that you sold a spread at the initial stake of £5 because you thought there would be less than ten corners in the game. In this case, there are seven corners or seven points less than the spread bet the bookie offered (10). Each point represents one initial stake, so if you bet £5, you would win 7 x £5 = £35. In other words, you can easily win a lot, which is why spread betting is one of the most rewarding football betting strategies.

However, if you have decided to buy a spread and there were only three corners in the game, you would lose 9 x £5 = £45.

Since spread betting can be as risky as it is rewarding, it is extremely important to manage your bankroll properly, as we have already mentioned in our football betting tips and strategies previously.

Accumulator Betting

Accumulator betting allows you to bet on more than just a single match. For example, you can bet on the number of goals between Chelsea and Fulham, the winner of the Arsenal and Manchester United match, and even add a Champions League match between Real Madrid and AC Milan to the mix. The selection of each match is multiplied with your initial stake, allowing you to win a hefty payout, which is just one benefit of the football accumulator betting strategies.

Because accumulator bets are riskier, many players bet only on single games, and bookies often have promotions designed for accumulator bets to encourage players to use this type of football betting. Some of these promotions can even net you a full refund of your stake if you bet a certain number of games and you are only one selection away from making a successful bet.

To use football accumulator betting strategies successfully, you need to find several games that are not played at the same time. Ideally, there should be at least a two-hour gap between every match. You will then place your accumulator bet at the bookie and lay your initial stake from the bookies against the first selection from your accumulator bet at the betting exchange.

You will then continue laying at the betting exchange against the games on your accumulator bet until you hit two losing bets, at which point you will lock the profit at your betting exchange account.

The most difficult part about football betting strategies that work like accumulator betting is working out the math and knowing how much you need to stake and lay at the betting exchange. Since the number varies depending on the outcome of the previous selection, the best and easiest way is to use an accumulator bet calculator to work out the math easily.

Betting Strategies You Should Avoid

Naturally, there are many more football betting strategies out there, but not all of them are as effective as the ones we’ve already mentioned. In fact, some of them may even end up costing you a lot more than what you are willing to lose, which is why we recommend avoiding them.

Here are a few examples of the popular betting strategies you might have heard of and why you should avoid them.

Martingale System

The Martingale method is one of the betting strategies that you should avoid. While it may be effective in a casino, it’s unlikely to do you much good at the bookies and is not a good football betting strategy. The idea behind the Martingale method is to continuously double your stake until you win, at which point you reset and start betting your initial stake again.

For example, if your initial stake is £1 and you lose, the next bet you would place would be £2. This quickly escalates to £4, £8, £16, and so on. If you win, you start all over again by betting £1.

While the system might sound logical, it is designed for betting on roulette on odds and evens or reds and blacks. However, football has multiple outcomes where odds change all the time, which is why we recommend you simply focus on other football betting strategies that work for sure.

Kelly Criterion Method

The Kelly Criterion method is based on two mathematical equations. The first helps you calculate whether you should bet on the event or not, while the other helps you determine how much money you should bet. In theory, the Kelly Criterion method works wonders. In practice? Well, we wouldn’t agree it’s one of the successful football betting strategies, despite what other guides might say.

Namely, to calculate the first equation, you need two things: the odds and the actual probability of an outcome. Getting the odds is easy since you can simply take them from a bookie’s site. However, getting the actual probability is difficult, if not impossible, since you have to calculate it yourself. This is why the Kelly Criterion method is among the football betting strategies that don’t work.

Note that there is no actual way to calculate probability, and the equation is based on a personal hunch. For example, one punter would give Arsenal a 70% chance to win, the other would give them 50%, and the number would continuously change from one punter to another.

After all, if you knew the exact probabilities of every game, you wouldn’t really need football betting tips and strategies as you would simply bet on the matches where a team has 90% or higher chances to win.

Unfortunately, it only gets worse. If you mess up with your prediction and get an incorrect probability, both equations will give you skewed results. And since every punter is on the lookout for profitable football betting strategies, it wouldn’t be all that fun if you bet and lose a large amount of money.

Final Thoughts

You can find dozens of other football betting strategies out there, but the most important thing to know about betting is that it is a risky business that requires good self-control and mental fortitude.

Regardless of the betting system you decide to use, make sure to pace yourself, bet only what you can afford, and bet based on the information you have, not emotions.