How To Bet on Football | LeoVegas

Football Betting Guide

Football betting has never been more accessible to the millions of British adults who love to bet online and follow their teams every week of the year. From live football betting in the Premier League and Champions League, to accessing in-depth football betting markets during major tournaments like the World Cup, there’s a wager for everyone in 2022.

If you’re new to the sport or the betting community, and want to know how to bet on football, then you’re in the right place. Our football betting guide will take you through the core markets, show you how to place a bet, and how football odds work.

You’ll also discover smart tips to improve your bet choices, see which leagues are most popular to follow, and why betting on your favourite team to win isn’t always the best idea!

Football betting

If you’re a football fan who is new to the betting community then get ready for an exciting introduction into the world’s biggest sport. Supporters have enjoyed betting on football for generations – but it’s only in the past 20 years that we’ve been able to bet on football online in the UK.

These days you can bet on thousands of games per year, covering leagues from as high as the Premier League down to the lower tiers of China and South America. But no matter what you’re betting on, the same process is always the same.

It all starts with signing up to a Leo Vegas account and making sure you’ve made a deposit, and triggered any welcome bonuses available. Then it’s time to head over to the football section of our sportsbook, where all the football bets are housed…

How football betting odds work

Once you’re in the football sportsbook you’ll be able to explore the full range of fixtures and tournaments available today, as well as upcoming events. Whether you want to bet on a specific game, or wager on long-term bets (such as who will win the Champions League this season), you can do it all from the same sportsbook page.

And the football betting odds work in the same way every time. The point of the odds is the show you your potential profit or return, should you win your bet. There are three types of football odds formats: fractional, decimal and American. Here’s a bit more about each type:

  • Fractional odds – Historically the most common type of odds, fractional odds display the profit you would earn from the stake you place. For example, odds of 5/1 shows the profit (£5) you earn from a £1 winning stake.

  • Decimal odds – Decimal odds are most commonly used in online sports betting as they are easier to read in smaller detail than fractions. With decimal odds, the figure is the amount you would earn as a total return (stake + profit) if you placed a £1 bet. For example, winning a £1 bet at odds of 6.00 would earn you £6 (£5 profit + £1 stake returned).

  • American odds – This bet type is most popular in America and shows you the profit you’d make on a £100 bet. For example, a £1 bet on odds of +500 would earn you £5 profit + your £1 stake = £6 total.

Remember, you can easily change the odds format displayed in the sportsbook by clicking on ‘settings’. You can also ‘test’ how much profit you would make from a bet by clicking on the odds you’re thinking of backing, and entering your stake into the pop-up bet slip. The slip will show you your potential profits, so you can then make a decision on whether or not to bet.

Football betting markets

Regardless of your odds type, the football betting markets remain the same and the odds reflect the chances of each outcome happening. Here at Leo Vegas we feature hundreds of football betting markets, which covers everything from match winner to full-time score, goalscorers and tournament champions.

Here are seven of the most popular types of football bet…

Football match bet

The big one, a match bet in football in what you bet on the result of the game. This will either bet a home win (1), draw (X) or away win (2). It’s sometimes written as a 1X2 bet. Around 45% of all Premier League games are won by the ‘home’ team. Interestingly, Nigeria's Professional Football League (70%) and the Copa Argentina (62%) feature some of the heaviest proportion of home wins in world football.

Football accumulator bet

Many football betting fans like to combine a string of bets into one big wager. This is called an accumulator, or ‘acca’. Effectively an acca lumps together bets into one, and each leg of the big bet must win in order to secure a payout. The beauty of an acca is it can greatly boost profit potential, because the odds inflate to cover numerous outcomes. It’s also ideal when combining numerous favourites into one big wager, which is why accas are popular in cup competitions like the FA Cup and Copa del Rey.

Learn more about accumulators in our Accumulator Betting Guide.

Football Double Chance

Betting on the Double Chance offers you the chance to back two match result outcomes. You can bet on: Home Win-Away Win (1-2), Home Win-Draw (1-X) or Draw-Away Win (X-2). So long as the result covers either of your options, you win your bet.

First goalscorer betting

This is an ideal wager if you want to follow a specific player, or have a hunch they they will open the scoring. The odds are usually high on first goalscorer betting, even if the favourite is on top form. Football betting fans will usually stake a small amount on this market, acting as a side bet that could pay out handsomely. Unsure on how form may impact your choices for a first goalscorer bet?

Goals betting

You can bet on the total goals in any football game using the slidebar in the odds for each match. Simply choose how many goals above or below a specific line will be scored. For example, you can bet on over/under 2.5 goals being scored in a game between England and Italy. Slide the bar for over/under 3.5 goals and the odds for +3.5 will get bigger, as it’s less likely to happen.

Card betting

Some footballers are notorious for picking up yellow cards and they are usually perfect to wager on in this market. You can bet on any individual to be booked, and even wager on the amount of cards shown in a game. If you think it’s going to be a feisty encounter then this is the market for you!

Handicap betting

Handicap betting can be confusion if you’re new to the sports community, so let’s take a quick look at it. In handicap betting you effectively give the underdogs a head-start in a game, so that the odds even out. For example, you might want to bet on Venezuela to beat Brazil with a +1.5 goal handicap, which means that if Venezuela lose by no more than a goal you’d win your bet. Likewise, you might want to bet on Brazil with a -1.5 handicap. They would have to win by two goals or more for you to win that bet.

OK, but what is Asian Handicap betting all about? Well, an Asian Handicap is split further, and you can be on a quarter of a goal. Sounds weird, right? In reality it’s fairly straightforward. Your -0.25 bet is effectively the same as a -0.50 bet, so long as you win or lose. The change is if there’s a draw, and what happens next. Read our Asian Handicap betting guide for more details on this!

How to bet on football

Now you know the core football betting markets, it’s time to take you through the stages of putting your predictions to the test. Here are the stages for betting on football:

  1. Open a Leo Vegas account – If you haven’t opened an account with us yet, you can do so today and trigger a variety of welcome bonuses and other great deals. You’ll have to enter some personal details in order to complete security checks, and you must be aged 18 or older to bet.

  2. Make a deposit – Using a debit card or one of out other payment methods, make a deposit so that your new Leo Vegas account is charged and ready to go.

  3. Download the app – Add your new profile to the Leo Vegas app on your phone, so you have instant access to the best sports betting markets while you’re on the go.

  4. Search for your game / tournament – Use the sportsbook’s search bar to find the game, league or tournament you want to bet on.

  5. Explore the odds – Take a look at the various football bet types and odds available on your chosen event, and click on the odds you want to back.

  6. Enter your stake – The pop-up bet slip allows you to enter your stake on the chosen odds you’ve just clicked on.

  7. Check your risk and reward – Take a look at the potential profits available at the stake you’ve entered, and decide if you want to place your bet.

  8. Click to place a bet – If you’re happy with your wager, click to place the bet and then sit back and enjoy the game!

2022 football betting

The 2022 football betting calendar is unique this year thanks to the World Cup taking place in November and December for the first time. This has thrown the domestic calendar into disarray, with many European leagues halting their seasons less than 10 days before the beginning of the World Cup.

Betting on football over 2022 is therefore a year like no other. Here at Leo Vegas you can bet on the big European leagues such as the Premier League, Bundesliga, La Liga and Serie A, and there may be plenty of upsets in the first half of the 2022/23 season as players balance club and international commitments.

The EFL Cup may take on less significance for the big boys here, while Nations League matches in September will be the final time to test international players before the World Cup.

What’s more, the Women’s Euro 2022 gets underway in July with the likes of England, Spain, France and Netherlands all tipped to excel. And the Champions League group stage will give us a flavour of who could win the competition in 2022/23, with Madrid, Manchester City, Liverpool and Paris all likely to be competing for the crown once again.

Football Bet Builder

Here at Leo Vegas we know the feeling when you want to place a specific bet but there’s no market for it. That’s why we’ve created the Bet Builder, a platform within the sportsbook and app that you can use to craft your perfect bet.

The football Bet Builder lets you click on numerous outcomes and add them to a big wager, effectively like an acca. But what happens if you accidentally click on the result being 0-0 and there being +2.5 goals? The Bet Builder spots this and prevents you from making an error.

Try out the Bet Builder today and see how you can greatly boost your odds!

Live football betting

The beauty of betting on football online is that you can bet live too – and this opens up a world of possibility for your wager choices. Live football betting at Leo Vegas is available on practically every match in our sportsbook. That’s thousands of games every year for you to enjoy live and in-play.

Now, the live football betting odds are always changing as the market reacts to what’s happening on the pitch. If Germany suddenly score to go 1-0 up against France, their odds of winning will quickly drop, and France’s will balloon. This could therefore be the perfect time to place your wagers at different – perhaps better – odds.

Remember that live football odds chance in-play, and so timing your bets is vitally important. Many players like to keep an eye on the stats and watch football online at the same time as betting, so as to make the smartest decisions with maximum information at their fingertips.

With an audience of three billion people, it’s only right that the Premier League is considered the biggest football league on the planet. It’s the most popular when it comes to TV rights deals – and the more people are willing to pay, the more the league is followed avidly.

But the Premier League isn’t the only popular league in Europe that fans like to bet on. Thanks to online streaming and gaming, supporters know more about La Liga, Serie A, the Bundesliga and Ligue 1 than ever before. Fans also love to bet on the ‘big’ teams in other domestic leagues, such as Amsterdam in Holland, Copenhagen in Denmark and both Celtic and Rangers in Scotland.

Outside of Europe, America’s MLS is the ideal league to wager on into the evening, as kick-off times are late for European punters following live games from the other side of the Atlantic. And plenty of punters also love to follow Australia’s A-League, the Japanese J League and the Chinese Super League, as these games usually kick off in the morning for Europeans.

Of course, outside the domestic divisions, there is huge popularity in betting on Champions League football, as well as Europa League and Europa Conference League action.

What’s great about betting on tournaments and leagues is that you don’t have to be restricted to individual games. You can bet on season-long markets and reap rewards months after placing your original wagers. Here are just some examples of long-term football bets in leagues around the world…

League champions

No matter the league, you’ll probably have the option to wager on the league champions come the end of the season. These markets can go live in pre-season and last all year, changing as teams win and lose. Even the favourites – such as Manchester City and Liverpool – have long odds at the start of this market, because who knows what will happen as the season progresses!

Golden boot winner

Golden boot betting is particularly popular in the Champions League and World Cup. With so many star strikers on show, it’s obvious why these tournaments attract competition for the golden boot. This market is also ideal if you want to back an outsider. Only once in the past four World Cups has a golden boot winner also won the tournament.


It’s not a big priority for many football fans but relegation betting is a very active market. The reason? Teams in danger of relegation are highly unpredictable, which makes their odds generally higher than usual. There is more opportunity to win high profits in the relegation battle, especially if a traditionally ‘big’ team is in danger of the drop.

Top 10 finish

Another surprisingly popular market, especially for seasoned football betting fans, is to wager on a team finishing in the top half of the table. This is usually focused on the Premier League betting market, where at least one newly-promoted club has a good stab at nailing a place in the top 10. The odds are pretty good for this too, especially at the start of the season.

Tournament progress

In the Champions League and Europa League, backing a team to reach a certain round of the tournament is considered a wise bet if, for example, you expect them to top their group. Much like tennis betting, you can wager on the progress of a team all the way through a tournament, and then pull back when you don’t think they can go any further. Backing ‘big’ European clubs to make the Champions League semi-finals is a regular wager here.

Can I bet on the World Cup?

Of course you can! Leo Vegas has a dedicated World Cup page where you can bet on everything from qualifying teams to who will make the final, golden boot, group progress, and even top assist makers.

We’re adding more and more World Cup odds to our sportsbook every month in preparation for the 2022 tournament. So make sure to keep an eye on the latest markets throughout the year!

Football Betting Guide: FAQs

Still have questions about betting on football? Check out the answers to these common queries from our community below…

Can I bet on football?

Yes! You can bet on football online from all over the world via Leo Vegas. We cover thousands of games per year, from the Premier League to the National League and everything in between.

What does each way mean in football betting?

Each Way in football betting doesn’t reality exist as it is a term more commonly found in horse racing. However, you can bet on a team to reach the final of a tournament, or to come in the top four of the Premier League. In a loose sense, this is each way betting, as you are covering yourself if the team doesn’t win the tournament/league.

Looking to learn more about Each way betting? Check out our Each Way betting guide.

What is BTTS in football betting?

BTTS stands for Both Teams To Score and is predominantly found in football betting. Here, you simply bet Yes or No on both teams scoring in a game.

Does my football bet include extra time and penalties?

It depends. If you have wagered on the match bet market (1X2) then it would not cover extra time or penalties. However, if you bet on the ‘team to progress’ market then this scraps the draw option, and your bet will win if your team wins the game by any means.

How does handicap work in football betting?

The football handicap bet system is fairly straightforward. The handicap marks the amount of goals added to or subtracted from the final score. In imposing a handicap, you effectively even out the game so that the odds are better. Example: you bet on Paraguay to beat Peru with a -1.5 goal handicap. Paraguay must win by two goals or more for you to win your bet.