Best Football Betting Sites UK 2024

After reading our guide, you’ll fully comprehend the world of football betting, courtesy of Sportsboom.

Football champions – football 3-way bet
Jon Young
Sports Betting Writer
Last Updated: 2024-06-12
7 minutes read

Discover expert football accumulator betting tips to boost your returns. Learn how to build accas, use boosts, and find the best markets for higher payouts on top football betting sites.

Ollie Ring
Ollie Ring

Last Updated: 2024-07-19

Louis Hobbs

11 minutes read

Football is the most popular sport in the world by viewership and the English Premier League is considered by many to be the best globally. With 72 teams making up the English football pyramid, there’s a plethora of UK football betting opportunities throughout the regular season which runs August through May.

With so much action and an incredible depth to available betting markets, we will help you understand how to bet on football.  

An Introduction to Football

Football, also known as Soccer, shares common rules and terms wherever it’s played globally. 
Like any team sport, there’s a lengthy rulebook and strategic nuance. We’ve outlined a few basic rules you’ll need to know, and often see when looking at how to bet on football online

  • Match size: 11 versus 11, each team having one goalkeeper and ten outfield players
  • Match outcome: Home Win, Draw, Away Win
  • Match duration: 90 minutes, split into two 45-minute halves.
    • In cup competitions where the match is a knockout round, an extra period of 30 minutes may be played in the event of a draw. It’s important to note that most bets placed before the match are still settled on a 90-minute basis unless specified. 
  • Match objective: The team that scores the most goals will win the match. Where scores are level, matches are settled as a draw. 

Other football-specific terms that you’ll often see when diving into betting markets are:

  • Bookings: Yellow and red cards given by the referee for foul play. If a player receives two yellow cards, they automatically receive a red card.
  • Offside: The most complicated rule in football, involves an attacker gaining an unfair advantage due to positioning. 
  • Goal Kick/Corner: A goal kick or corner is given when the ball goes beyond the goal line. 
    • If the last touch is by an attacker, a goal kick to the defending team will be awarded. 
    • If the last touch is by a defender, a corner to the attacking team will be awarded. 

How Popular Is Real Money Online Football Wagering?

There’s no doubt that UK football betting continues to be the primary market driver for the industry. According to a 2022 YouGov study, 45% of regular gamblers in the country bet on football. This dwarfs American sports leagues, such as the NBA, which only 3% had wagered on. 

The UK Gambling Commission data on gambling participation in March 2023 suggests that as much as 94% of sports bettors in the UK wager on football, far eclipsing any other sport available. 

bet365, a sports betting powerhouse, reported a 15.0% rise in sports betting revenue from 2022-2023 with combined esports and sports betting revenue reaching £3.39 billion. 

Football’s popularity continues to grow, and with betting operators pouring resources into new product development, it’ll remain at the forefront for a considerable while yet. 

How to Bet on Football

Once you’ve decided the thrill of football is for you, you will need to know how to bet on football. We’ve put together a simple step-by-step to help you get started. 

  1. Find a sportsbook: Pick from a comprehensive selection of operators that offer the best sign-up bonuses and have the markets you wish to wager on.
  2. Register an account: Complete registration, including the KYC checks so you’re ready to place a bet. 
  3. Make a deposit: Deposit an amount you can afford, making sure you follow any required steps to grab that sign-up bonus.
  4. Do your research: There’s no such thing as a certainty, but with the depth of markets available on football, research is key to success. Make sure you’ve done your research on the leagues and teams you’re going to select.
  5. Place your bet: Once you’ve decided on a league, team, and market to bet on, simply build your bet and place it.
  6. Manage your bankroll: If you’ve won, it’s important not to get carried away. Managing your balance is vitally important when betting on football. Although the 03:00 kick-off in the Indonesian Second Division may seem appealing, ensure your research is just as thorough. Also, keep an eye on any sign-up bonus stipulations so you know when you’re able to withdraw.

Top 3 Football Betting Sites

1. 888sport: 100% Match up to £250

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888sport is known for its user-friendly software platform that’s easy on the eye and makes betting on football a breeze. You can also bet on the night’s football matches through a download app for iOS or Android. 

Join the Acca Club when you open your 888 account and claim free bets to use on multiples of your choice. Plus, 888sport offers one of the best sports welcome bonuses in town. The deal is worth up to £250 when you sign up. 

  • Support: Help Center, online message form, 24/7 live chat
  • Licenses: UKGC, Gibraltar, Malta
  • Football Markets: 20+ leagues, inc. EPL, Outrights, internationals, Asian Handicap, 1X2, top goalscorer, props, in-play betting, enhanced odds, correct score, HT/FT
  • Payment Methods: VISA, MasterCard, PayPal, online banking, NETELLER, Trustly, Sofort, ApplePay, Luxon Pay, MuchBetter, PurplePay, AstroPay, INSTADEBIT, Interac
  • Terms & Conditions: Min. deposit £10 with qualifying bet of £10+. Min. odds 1/2 with free bets 

2. Betway: £10 Free Bets for New Players

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Betway is a UK-licensed football betting site that has strong connections with football. It’s a shirt sponsor for West Ham Utd, and that commitment is reflected in the breadth of betting markets available on the site. 

The Free Bet Club is the place to earn £10 per week. Just bet £25 or more on footie accas to receive free bets on any market of your choice. 
You can claim a £10 free bet at Betway when you sign up. That’s a little lower than the offer at competing bookies like 888. However, with such a safe gaming platform, Betway is worth investing some time in. 

  • OVERALL RATING: 4.2
  • Odds & Markets (/5): 4.2
  • Promotions & VIP (/5): 4.3
  • Mobile (/5): 4.4
  • Customer Service (/5): 4.2
  • Other Games (/5): 4.1

KEY FEATURES

  • Support: 24/7 live chat, phone, email
  • Licenses: UKGC, Malta
  • Football Markets: Pre-match on 15+ leagues, internationals, handicap, 1X2, outrights, Golden Boot, Ht/FT, in-play, props
  • Payment Methods: VISA, PayPal, MasterCard, Trustly, VISA Electron
  • Terms & Conditions: New customers only. Free bets awarded as a 100% match based on first debit card deposit. Singles at 1.75 odds or higher. 

3. 10bet: 100% up to £50

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10bet operates a UK-licensed sportsbook that is gradually improving its selection of bonuses and promotions. Their acca bonus is now one of the best on the market and guarantees up to 100% on large winning multiples. 

You can find pre-match and outright odds on over 20 global leagues, though most of the best prices and markets are on the English Premier League. 

In addition, check out the free in-play bets you can make on selected world footie games. The free bets are only worth £5 each, but they are perfect for casual gamblers. 

  • OVERALL RATING: 4.0
  • Odds & Markets (/5): 4.0
  • Promotions & VIP (/5): 4.1
  • Mobile (/5): 4.0
  • Customer Service (/5): 3.9
  • Other Games (/5): 4.0

KEY FEATURES

  • Support: Live chat, email 
  • Licenses: UKGC 
  • Football Markets: 15+ leagues, internationals, World Cup, Euros, 1X2, Golden Boot, player specials, in-play, correct score, corners, cards, Asian Handicap
  • Payment Methods: NETELLER, VISA, MasterCard, PayPal, ApplePay, Skrill, Trustly, paysafecard, Fast Bank Transfer
  • Terms & Conditions: New players only, use code SPORT on sign-up. 8x wagering requirement applicable, valid for 60 days, full T&C apply. Some payment method exclusions

How We Rate Football Sportsbooks

Online football betting sites must pass strict tests before they make it onto our recommended lists. Here’s what forms our checklist when our reviewers sit down to test and analyze the best football betting sites:

  • Football Leagues & Competitions: Does the sportsbook offer markets on just the English Premier League and La Liga, or does it go further afield with minor leagues and women’s football? We assess the sports betting site’s reach to see what you can and can’t bet on.
  • Football Betting Markets: Why just bet on the outright league winner or 1X2 (Home/Draw/Away)? Our checks reveal betting sites with 100s of markets on each match, including 1st/Last Goalscorer, Asian Handicap, and HT/FT. 
  • Competitive Odds: Why suffer from lousy prices on Manchester Utd, Real Madrid, or LA Galaxy? We only recommend top betting sites that offer better odds than their competitors. 
  • Football Bonuses: A good football bonus or promotion can make or break an online sportsbook. We only rate online football betting sites that offer regular odds boosts on the night’s games, money-back, and parlay boosts. 
  • Software & Features: Good sportsbooks should offer seamless online betting through secure, easy-to-use software platforms. Placing bets, navigating mobile apps, and finding match stats should be a breeze. 
  • Banking Methods: We ensure every sportsbook we feature offers quick and free payments using cards, e-Wallets, or bank transfers. Our best football sportsbooks also offer localized banking for easier deposits where you live. 
  • Customer Support: Good customer service is a vital cog in the wheel of any online football betting firm. Localized phone support, live chat, and email should be expected at a good sportsbook. 
  • Licensing & Security: We only feature properly-licensed sportsbooks on our pages. Every sportsbook has the requisite licenses from approved gambling authorities. That means your data and personal funds are completely protected when you gamble.

Understanding the Odds

There are three main ways that you’ll see odds represented, and often UK soccer betting operators will have an option where you can select the one that works for you. Here’s an overview of the three typical presentations:

  • Fractional (British): When placing a football bet UK, you’ll most often see odds presented in fractional format. This is also referred to as “traditional odds.” A £10 bet at a fraction of 10/1 (ten-to-one) odds would see you win £100 for every £10 you wager, as well as the £10 you wagered. 
    • In simpler terms, you would receive a total payout of £110 (£10 stake as well as £100 profit)
  • Decimal (European/Continental): A format more common across Europe/Oceania/Canada, the number shown incorporates the stake. The aforementioned 10/1 bet would be presented as 11.00, meaning you simply multiply the decimal by the stake to determine total payout.
    • 11.00 x £10 = £110 (£100 profit, and £10 stake) 
  • Money line (American): This is rarely seen on UK football betting operators sites. The odds will be shown as a plus sign (+) for the underdog and a minus sign (-) for the favourite. The favourite odds represent the amount you need to stake to return £100. The underdogs show the amount you would win for a £100 stake. 
    • For example, if Manchester United are -860 and Sheffield United are +685, then you’d need to wager £860 to make £100 profit on Manchester United, whereas a £100 wager on Sheffield United would return £785 (£100 stake + £685 profit).  

When looking at UK football betting, odds indicate the likelihood of an outcome based on a bookmaker’s judgment. The lower the odds (fractional or decimal), the more likely an operator believes it will happen.

Odds can be influenced by numerous factors, again showing the need for careful and intricate research to fully identify value and a good bet.

Hypothetically, Manchester United could be four places higher than Brighton in the Premier League but could have had a 5000-mile round trip to face a Georgian opponent in the Europa League just three days prior. The odds may reflect potential player absences and factors such as home and away form too.  

Popular Types of Football Betting

There are now hundreds of bets that are available at the click of a button for each football match. If UK football betting, you’ll need to know your correct score from your first goal scorer bet. We’ve provided a handy summary of the most popular types: 

Full Time Result: 

A bet on the full time result will offer you Home. Draw or Away. This is simply selecting the outcome of the match within the 90 minute parameter. This is the simplest bet to place and understand. 

Player to Score: 

If you fancy a particular player to score a goal in a match, then you can select them to score. Typically, you can choose First Goalscorer, Last Goalscorer, or Anytime Goalscorer. 

First or last bets normally share the same odds, with significantly lower anytime odds. Often you can also wager on a player to score two or more goals, or a hat-trick (three). 

Goals Over/Under: 

The typical line presented for a goals Over/Under bet is 2.5. By choosing Over 2.5, you’re betting on there being three or more total goals in the game. Conversely, Under 2.5 is betting on there being two or fewer total goals in the game.
There are also alternate thresholds that you can choose, from 0.5 goals through to 7.5 (or in some cases, higher). 

Both Teams to Score: 

It is what it says on the tin. Choose from Yes/No, based on whether you think both teams will score in the match. 

Correct Score: 

A tough market to get right, a correct score bet is predicting the exact score outcome of the match. The odds reflect the difficulty of predicting the outcome, offering larger odds depending on selection. 

Half Time / Full Time: 

The Half Time/ Full Time market effectively splits a Full Time Result bet into two. It predicts the match outcome at half-time (e.g. home team win) and then the result at full-time. 

Examples of how a Half Time / Full Time bets can look are:

  • Home / Home: Home team to be winning at half-time and full-time.
  • Home / Away: Home team to be winning at half-time, the away team to be winning at full-time.
  • Draw / Home: The match to be level at half-time, with the home team winning at full-time.
  • Home / Draw: Home team to be winning at half time, with the match finishing a draw.

Handicap Bets: 

A handicap bet will offer the same markets as full time result but with at least a one-goal handicap. 
The favourite will be offered -1, which means you would be backing the favourite should they start the match one goal down. 
A tie bet is effectively a bet on the margin of victory. For example, a bet on a tie -1 would be a bet on the game’s winning margin to be a single goal.

The underdog will be priced +1, which means you are backing them to win if they start the game one goal up. 

Additional Football-Specific Betting Markets

Now we’ve covered your bread-and-butter football betting markets, we’ve outlined some of the more nuanced opportunities available. 

Corner Markets: 

For those who wish to have a bet on something a little different, there are plenty of markets available on corners. Here are a few you’ll be able to commonly find:

  • Race to 3,5,7,9 corners (home/away): Which team will get to 3, 5, 7 or 9 corners first
  • First/Last Match corner (team, or time): When will the first or last corner be taken? Which team will take it? 
  • Total corners over/under & handicaps: Over and under wagers on a certain amount of corners, plus handicap markets similar to goal handicaps (home, tie, away). 

Yellow/Red Card Markets: 

Everyone loves a full-blooded contest with tackles flying in, and a market with increasing popularity is the cards market. Here are a few examples of available wagers: 

  • Total number of cards (over/under) & handicaps: Over and under markets on number of cards in a match, plus handicap markets (home, tie away) on the most cards received in the game.
  • Player to be booked/sent off: A specific player from either team to be booked or sent off at some point in the game.
  • First card (team or time): Pick which team will receive the first card of the game, as well as place a wager on the time the first card will be issued. 

Other specials: 

Some other, smaller markets relate to specific occurrences in a football match. Here are a few: 

  • To win from behind: Back either the home or away team to win having gone behind in the match.
  • To win to nil:  Back either the home or away team to win without conceding.
  • To win both halves/either half: Back either the home or away team to win either half, or both halves. 
  • To score/miss a penalty: Choose whether a specific team will score or miss a penalty.
  • Own goal: Decide whether or not the match will see an own goal scored 
  • Shots, Tackles, Offsides: Over and under markets on shots, shots on target, tackles, and offside. 

Women’s Football: An Emerging Market for Betting

Women’s football in the UK continues to go from strength to strength. Arsenal set a new Women’s Super League attendance record of 60,160 in February and is staging six of their eleven league games at the Emirates Stadium.

Given the game’s continued growth, there are now comparable betting markets for top-tier women’s football. All of the rules and regulations are identical and as such you’ll find largely the same markets to bet on. 

Football Betting Strategies

If you’ve decided to have a bet on football, research holds the key to success. Given there’s so much choice, we’ve outlined a few different football betting strategies to help get you started. 

In-depth team research

Knowledge is power in sports betting. Understanding the strengths and weaknesses of each team is vital in making any decision. Look beyond just the team name and delve deeper into the underlying figures. When researching teams, here’s some points of interest to look out for:

  • Home and Away win form: Consider if a team is particularly strong when playing at home, or conversely, away. Some teams are better set-up in a counter-attacking style which can lend itself to overachieving away from home. Generally speaking, the away team or draw provide better odds, so spotting scope for upsets is a more speculative strategy used by many. 
  • Average goals per game: Another popular market is the Over/Under proposition on goals scored in a game. If you spot that one team’s particularly leaky at the back when playing away, and another team tends to pile on the misery at home, then an Over bet could be the play. 

Analysing player statistics

In a similar fashion to teams, you can unearth some hidden gems with a little bit of digging on individual players. It might not be the figures that immediately stand out, either. 

  • Goals: Taking Egyptian superstar Mo Salah as an example, did you know he’s scored more goals against Manchester United than he has any other team? Diving into a player’s historical records can throw up nuggets of information that can then be used for a betting advantage.
  • Yellow Cards: Sol Campbell is a historical illustration of a player that made a controversial move between rivals when he swapped the white of Tottenham for the red of Arsenal. You know that when a player leaves in acrimonious fashion, they’re going to be playing with adrenaline and have their former teams' fans on their back. This could quite easily lead to full-blooded tackles and a rash booking.

Look at external factors

Outside of a team and player’s underlying statistics, there are plenty of other factors to look out for when looking for a leftfield betting strategy. 

  • Travel time: In the lower echelons of the English Football League, you can forget private jets and instead swap them for an arduous coach journey. Plymouth Argyle’s round-trip to Sunderland is a whopping 806 miles. If you think travel fatigue could come into play, there could well be a betting angle. 
  • State of pitch: In an era where every tiki-taka, short, sharp passing is popular, the state of the pitch can heavily impact a game. Stamford Bridge (circa 2003) resembled a sand-pit, and Blackpool’s Bloomfield Road has often been compared to a swamp. Short passing and running with the ball becomes infinitely more difficult, and as such a home advantage can be exacerbated where conditions differ dramatically. 

Manage your bankroll

It is of utmost importance that you manage your bankroll effectively if you want to have long-term success in football betting. Sticking to a budget, and only betting what you can afford to lose should be the bedrock of any strategy. 

Concentrate on well-researched bets that you deem to offer value and track your betting performance over time to fine-tune your approach.  

Main Football Competitions to Bet on

The most popular football tournaments around the world are unsurprisingly the most wagered on. From a domestic football perspective, here’s a few of the best leagues to bet on:

  • English Premier League: Often described as the best league in the world, the Premier League is home to many of the world’s best footballers. 
  • English Football League: Arguably less predictable, the football league in the United Kingdom offers three additional tiers of football gambling UK. 
  • Serie A: The pinnacle of Italian football has seen four different teams win the title in the last four years, offering a competitive betting experience.
  • Bundesliga: Bayern Leverkusen’s sheer dominance this year has taken the world by surprise, and knocked Munich off its lofty perch. The German top-tier offers another compelling gambling product. 
  • Ligue 1: The French league has been dominated by Paris Saint-Germain of late, but the rest of the league tends to be at a comparable level.
  • La Liga: Rounding off the big-hitting European leagues is La Liga, the home of juggernauts FC Barcelona and Real Madrid. Other notable names include Athletico Madrid, Sevilla and Valencia showing the considerable depth of the Spanish league. 

What is Football Live Betting?

Live football betting allows bettors to wager on a game that is currently being played. Betting operators have live, to the second data, and as such dynamically update the odds throughout the game reflecting the current status of the game.

A lot of the markets we’ve previously outlined are available with in-play betting, but certain markets are completely unique to live. 

Some popular markets to consider are: 

  • Next goal scorer: Whereas pre-game you can back first, last or anytime, by betting in-play, you’re able to back the next goal scorer at any point.
  • Time-gated markets: Live markets often allow you to place specific bets at larger odds for something happening in the ‘next ten minutes’. This could be match events such as ‘red card in next 10 minutes’, ‘penalty to be awarded in the next 10 minutes’. 

Betting on International Competitions

Outside of domestic competition, there’s also European competition throughout the regular season, and then the small matter of international fixtures through the summer. These competitions can offer a different betting experience, so here’s a few to look out for:

  • Champions League / Europa League: Competition featuring the best teams from each of Europe’s domestic leagues. Teams will often play each other home and away so there’s plenty of extra research to do. Consider teams' travel times, different playing surfaces, and time zone changes when looking for the bets you want to place. 
  • Euros/World Cup: The two biggest international football tournaments take place every four years. International football takes place less frequently, and the best teams on paper do not always gel cohesively. There are often shocks aplenty in international football, and the depth of data isn’t as robust as it is with domestic competitions. 

Responsible Betting

It’s important to stay in control of your gambling, and only bet what you can afford to lose. Responsible betting is a mantra of most UK-regulated operators now, and there are several tools you can use to help stay in control: 

  • Set deposit limits: A limit on the amount you can deposit per day/week/month. 
  • Set stake limits: A limit on the amount you can stake per day/week/month. 
  • Set deposit curfews: Set certain times that you can and can’t make a deposit.
  • Reality check: Set a time that an operator will remind you that you’ve been logged in for. 
  • Self-exclusion: Ask an operator to shut your account for a pre-determined amount of time. During that time, you won’t be able to login to that operator.

 

Other industry-wide tools include:

  • GAMSTOP: Block yourself from accessing any gambling accounts with businesses licensed in the UK for 6 months, 1 year or 5 years. 

It’s important to know what you’re wagering and manage your bankroll effectively. Don’t chase your losses, and keep betting fun. 

Football Betting FAQs

What is the legal gambling age for online betting?

The legal gambling age for UK football betting is 18 years old. 

What payment methods can I use to fund my account?

Most UK-licensed betting operators have a huge array of deposit methods. These include:

  • Debit Cards
  • Google/Apple Pay
  • Bank Transfer
  • Neteller
  • PayPal
  • PaySafeCard
  • Skrill
  • Trustly

Are there any fees associated with deposits or withdrawals? 

Make sure you check with the specific operator and payment method you use for associated charges. It’s rare to find a bookmaker now that will have charges associated with deposits and withdrawals. 

Can I combine multiple bets into a parlay for a bigger potential payout? 

Of course. Parlays, also known as accumulators, are a popular betting product in the UK. Certain outcomes can be combined into an accumulator which will provide a larger return should all outcomes win. 

Another popular product is the same-game accumulator, where you pick multiple selections from the same game (eg: players to be booked, over 6.5 corners, both teams to score). These also then provide higher potential returns.

Where can I find information on specific football betting markets?

Read our handy guide above for information on different football markets. There are several websites that provide statistics and historical information around football leagues. 

Stay tuned to Sportsboom.com as we provide you with the most in-depth betting guides out there.