How to Bet on Football

For most Nigerians, when they think of sport, they think of football. Plus, when they think of sports betting, the beautiful game is also what springs to mind. It’s a rich and entertaining sport with highs and lows that attract millions of fans. 

A way to kick things up a notch is to take your love of the game and mix it with some knowledge to make some football predictions. However, when you first arrive at a bookie, it’s not always clear how to proceed. We’ve got you covered with our ultimate guide on how to bet on football. Keep reading to discover the bet types, available opportunities for wagers and how to read football odds.

A Brief Look At Football Odds

Our football betting guide begins with reading the odds. For football, the main bet is the 1×2, where 1 means a home win, x means a draw, and 2 means an away win. Each of these three predictions will have odds set by the bookie. 

Most use decimal odds, which tell you two things. One is the return you can expect on your bet and the other is how likely the bookie thinks an outcome is. For example, your three odds are 1.35, 2.10 and 2.56. The bookie thinks a home win or a draw is more likely than an away win. If you bet ₦1,000 on a draw, you’ll get ₦2,100 back, including your stake.

The Most Popular Types Of Football Bets

At a sports betting site, football wagers are organised under events, such as English Premier League games, World Cup tournaments and Champions League groups. To know how to bet on football, you need to know which bet type to choose.

The most popular football bet types are:

  • 1X2 – predicting a home win, draw or away win
  • Total goals – the bookie sets a number (usually 2.5) and you predict whether there will be more (over) or fewer goals (under)
  • Double chance – 1X, X2 or 12 bets mean you can cover two of the three possible outcomes.
  • HT/FT – this bet makes predictions on the outcome of the match at half-time (HT) and full-time (FT)
  • Accumulator – you can combine predictions to increase the risk and potential reward for a bet. For example, predicting the winners of three matches and the correct scores.
  • Correct Score – predicting the exact score at a particular point in the match
  • Asian Handicap – these bets give the underdog a head start, meaning the opponent needs to beat them by a certain margin (set by the bookie) if you back them.

Football Outrights and Prop Bets

Outright bets focus on the overall winners of competitions, such as the Champions League, EPL or World Cup. The odds are available well in advance of the event. However, you can continue to wager on the outcome once the league has started. For example, you can predict the winner of the EPL mid-season, but if there’s a clear favourite, the odds won’t be as favourable.

Prop bets are usually found in the pre-match section, although you can find in-play options too. They usually revolve around a player or an action. The key aspect is that it doesn’t directly link to the winner of the game or the score. Some examples of prop bets include the number of corners in a game, yellow cards, and whether a certain player scores with a header.

Live Streaming and In-Play Betting on Football

If the match has already started, you can still find ways to bet by heading to the in-play section. Live betting means making predictions as the game unfolds. You’ll usually have specific options based on the current scoreline and how long the match has left. 

For example, you’ll get options for the active players on the pitch to score before half-time. You can also make predictions on whether anyone will get sent off as the second half unfolds. The odds are based on the current action, so if the game involves a lot of bookings, the odds will reflect that.

How to Bet On Football: Step by Step

We’ve created a simple step-by-step guide on how to bet on football.

  1. Register or log in to your account
  2. Browse the football markets
  3. Choose the event you want
  4. Browse the odds to understand the likelihood according to the bookie and your return
  5. Click the odds to add it to your bet slip
  6. Enter your stake and either confirm or add more bets.

Football Betting Strategies and Great Tips

You can now read football odds, choose between bets and place your wager. What next? We take you to the next stage of our football betting guide with some tips to build a strategy that improves your performance.

  1. Bet on what you know – use your team and player knowledge to your advantage to find bets that will deliver value.
  2. Get comfortable, then explore – start with a few singles from the most popular markets. Once you feel like you know what you’re doing, feel free to explore other markets and try accumulator bets.
  3. Use promotions – a fantastic way to reduce your risk is to use free bets or take advantage of bet insurance from a bookie.

Things to Avoid When Betting On Football

We love football because we live the highs and lows. You can still enjoy that side of the game, but don’t let it cloud your judgment when betting. Follow your team with your heart, but bet with your head.


There isn’t one standout football bet that you can choose every time. However, most beginners start with the 1X2 bet, as it’s a straightforward wager where you’re predicting the match winner. After you’ve got some experience, the best football bet will be the one with competitive odds that offer good value.

Most bookies display the 1X2 odds first, especially if you’re viewing all of the upcoming matches. Next to the two teams competing or next to the odds, you’ll see a number. By clicking on it or the event, you’ll land on the page with all the markets for that match.

A bet builder is a tool provided by certain online bookmakers for putting together football bets. You can use it to help you customise football wagers. Typically, you choose selections from different upcoming matches to create an accumulator or system bet.

Knowing how much to stake is a personal matter that hinges on several factors. You can base your decision on how much to stake by considering how much you can afford to lose, what other bets you want to place, the likelihood of winning and what your return will be.

There are plenty of opportunities for Nigerians to bet on football. Just about every sports betting site features the sport, but the coverage, promotions and competitive odds are what set them apart. You can find the best online bookie by reading our reviews of Nigerian sports betting sites.