Betting on football: Pre-game markets

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If you want to place a bet on football, quite simply, there are a lot of options. Most people are aware of the traditional Match Odds markets, as well as the Asian Handicap, 1st/2nd half and Total goals markets that are rigidly used by professional sports bettors (for more information on any of these markets, please search  through the blog archive). However, in taking into account a single match, such as England’s match against Spain on Tuesday  night at Wembley in an international friendly, here are some of the lesser-known wagering possibilities offered to punters.

Double chance

Double chance offers the punter an opportunity to bet on three possible outcomes: England to win or draw, Spain to win or draw, or one of either England or Spain to win (meaning the bet is lost if the result is a draw).

Correct Score

Although it is not unheard of for wagers to come in on a correct score prediction, doing so is obviously immensely difficult, as the odds attest to. In this particular game, the shortest odds are offered on a 1-1 draw, at around 6.00. A variation on the correct score model is the half time/full time correct score, which offers higher odds still.


An immensely attractive market for casual punters, the goalscorer market is incredibly unpredictable, although there are increased options since the days of ‘first goalscorer’ only. Nowadays the ‘anytime’ and last’ goalscorer markets have further enhanced the popularity of this market, as has the multi scorer market which offers odds on a particular player scoring more than once (specifically you can bet on two or three goals)

European handicap

Betting using the European Handicap (EH) means betting on the classic 3-Way or “1X2” scenario, but at the same time giving one team an advantage (or disadvantage, depending on your viewpoint) of one or more goals. With this handicap there is no chance of getting back the amount invested in the stake (void), because you either win or lose.

Scorecast and Wincast

Scorecast and Wincast markets allow punters to make a combination bet regarding goalscorers and final score or result. Recent innovations in these markets include the introduction of the timecast which introduces time periods in which the first goal will be scored.


Tipster Services

Due to the somewhat unchartered, unpredictable or statistically uncorrelated nature of many of the betting markets described above, professional tipsters often focus their strategies on the more conventional bet types, including the likes of match odds, total goals o/u, Asian handicap, both teams to score, first half/full time goals and result wagers. Quite simply these markets are easier to navigate with the right statistical and analytical approach, and so the other bet types mentioned remain a source of fun rather than a serious opportunity to profit, so approach with caution.

Match Odds

England 3.00, Draw 3.30, Spain 2.55

All odds courtesy of bet365 and correct as of 15:00 GMT on 14/11/16

Steve Paget