When it comes to betting, few sports can compete with the global reach of football, or soccer as it is known in some places.
It is known as the world game for a reason; it is played in almost every country, its World Cup is on par with the Olympics as the most-watched sporting events and its appeal is second to none.
Top of the table in terms of popularity of soccer is the English Premier League.
England’s top-ranked teams fight it out week after week with the world’s best players duking it out on the biggest stage. For this reason it is arguably the most league in the world on which to bet, with billions of dollars in turnover generated by the EPL every year.
With that amount of money being tossed around, it’s important to know how to bet, what the best markets are and where you should invest your money each week.
We will run you through some of the more popular betting markets, the myriad of options at your disposal and lastly, how to place a bet on the world’s most popular soccer league.
This form of betting is as straightforward as it sounds, with one slight difference – due to the regular occurrence of draws, punters can secure markedly better prices about either side winning.
For example, mid-table Everton may be playing the high-flying Manchester City. The Toffees may be struggling to kick-start their season, and going up against the title contenders in City, even at home, is an onerous task. However, with the draw as an option, City may still present value in the match-up.
Head-to-head betting in the Premier League offers markets like this every week, and for punters who like to mitigate risk, double-chance markets are offered. A double-chance market gives punters three options: team one plus the draw, team two plus the draw, or either team to win. The odds can be restrictive, but it is a far safer option if you are looking to add a Premier League bet to a parlay.
One way to find value in short-priced favorites is to utilize the half-time/full-time double. You may back the favourites to lead at half-time and full-time. You will gain greater odds than the price of them simply winning the match but this bet also means they must score in the opening 45 minutes or the wager is done.
Another option is the draw-no-bet. Essentially this means if there is a draw you get your money back.
Total goals markets
This is a popular option if you are not really sure who will win the match.
You can bet on the total number of number of goals to be, for example, over or under 1.5, 2.5, 3.5, 4.5 etc.
The good thing with this option is you are still alive regardless of which team scores first. It basically comes down to cheering for the attackers against the defenders, or vice versa.
This bet type can often stay alive until the dying stages. You can also often bet on the exact number of goals scored, and whether both teams will score and myriad other options, including taking a stab at the correct final score.
If you can get it right on an unusual scoreline, 6-2, for example, the prices can be huge.
First goal-scorer market
One of the more popular options in English Premier League betting is the first goal-scorer markets.
Betting on who will score the first goal makes a game infinitely more exciting from the outset. There is money to be made on this bet, too, with even the most favoured strikers usually paying more than $5 – even when their team is short-priced favorite to win the match.
Helpful hint: if you select a striker who also takes penalties for their team, the chances of him scoring first increase greatly.
There is also the anytime goal-scorer market, which is exactly as it sounds. In this one you may like to target a player who is at better odds than a striker, but still finds his way on to the scoresheet with regularity. Perhaps a midfielder who takes his team’s penalties.
Parlay betting on Premier League
Parlay, or multi-betting, is the process of selecting several results over an allotted span of time, with each dividend multiplying on to the next match until the overall slip is complete.
In the simplest terms, it means if you pick, say, four results over the course of a Premier League weekend, each selection is multiplied on to the next match – if all your bets win you should gain a healthy dividend.
This option is attractive because you can select short-priced favourites and combining them can create a dividend that is worth your while.
Futures markets on the EPL
The main futures betting on English football is simply on who will win the title.
There are no finals in the EPL; whichever team finishes the season on top of the table is crowned champion. Given the lack of a salary-cap system, the bigger clubs generally stay near the top.
Manchester United, Manchester City, Chelsea, Liverpool and Arsenal are considered the big five and have dominated the league for decades.
There is a greater chance of a surprise winner in the FA Cup and League Cup, while you can also bet on which teams will be relegated from the EPL at the end of the season and which teams will escape the dreaded drop.
Then there are player futures markets, headed by betting on who will top the goal-scorer charts in the league.