How to Spot Value in Football Betting

With so many football betting opportunities on offer these days, it’s often hard to know where to begin – not least for punters looking for value.

There are, however, a few simple tactics that could help cut through the white noise and, hopefully, provide handsome dividends.

Here are our  top-four recommendations when it comes to hunting out value within the congested world of football betting:


It rather goes without saying that you’ll never get rich by backing Manchester City to win at home every week. But if you add Pep Guardiola’s men into an accumulator, then the betting landscape shifts markedly.

In its purest form, an Acca offers punters the chance to back several sides at once. The combined odds are then tallied depending upon how the bookmakers see each team’s chances of victory.

Across the UK and beyond, this is arguably the most popular football wagers as it offers bettors a greater chance to strike a handsome profit than if just backing one short-priced team in a single win bet.

Be warned, though. As the millions of punters packed into pubs on matchday will no doubt solemnly concur, one wayward result can often lead to heartbreak – and with it the chance of making a tidy little earner.

In-play markets

A keen eye and fast fingers can often unlock serious value when it comes to football. In-play betting is all the rage these days – and rightly so. That’s because the chances of making money out of a football game are, arguably, exponentially greater by actually watching a game than speculating upon a result before kick-off.

Let us use Arsenal v Bournemouth in March 2023 as an example. The Gunners were a 1/4 shot to maintain their position at the top of the table against the rock-bottom Cherries.

Incredulously, though, the hosts were 2-0 down after 57 minutes and faced a seriously damaging defeat in their quest to win the Premier League.

Those punters who had backed Arsenal before the game, of which there were many, must have been resigned to their fate. But those following the game live knew better. Mikel Arteta’s men, even when 2-0 down, were playing well but fortune was not on their side.

There was also 30 minutes remaining – which was ample time for a fast-paced side like Arsenal to at least reduce the deficit. Those that had taken the huge odds on offer about an in-play home win might have done so in hope rather than expectation, but it was a logical call based upon all known form and evidence of how the game had gone.

So when Reiss Nelson brilliantly curved home a winner with virtually the last kick of the game, it was not just Arsenal fans that had reason to celebrate. Many shrewd judges had backed them in-running – simply by pre-empting what might happen when a top-of-the-table side plays a team at the bottom of the league.

Check the VBET UK in-play betting section to see how odds work.

Keep it simple

With so many football betting markets available these days, it is perhaps unsurprising that many first-time punters can get seduced by glamourous odds and exotic betting possibilities – either in-running or pre-match.

From betting on the colour of referee Michael Oliver’s socks to enhanced odds on East Fife 5, Forfar 4, it’s little wonder that value-seeking newcomers might not have a clue where to begin.

To that end, it can often pay to keep things as simple as possible.

If you think the home team will win – back them.

If you think the away team will win –  back them instead.

One market, though, that is continually underappreciated is to back a game to end a draw. More often than not, you will get decent odds on a match ending all-square. You would also be surprised by the regularity in which it happens, too.

That is especially prescient in the big fixtures in the Premier League, when teams – both home and away – would be delighted with a point before kick-off and duly play that way to avoid defeat.

Games, too, in the Championship are becoming notoriously tighter – with the growing number of draw-bet punts emblematic of that.

First and last scorer

First- and last-scorer betting markets are an undisputed fans’ favourite.

Unless you are backing Kane, Rashford, Haaland, et al to strike first, there is almost always potential gold dust to be excavated within this very straightforward way of placing a football bet.

The first- and last-scorer markets do exactly what they say on the tin. Back a player you think will open, or finish, the scoring and get paid out if they do the business.

You would, however, be surprised at how much value there is on offer with these markets.

Many bettors often go with a defender to open the scoring – Harry Maguire was uber-popular before he fell out of favour at Manchester United – while others players with sound track records against their opposition also garner plenty of market support.

The last-scorer market has also grown in popularity over the last few seasons. With more substitutes now allowed in a game, managers often call upon some serious quality from the bench when things get tight.

This is when homework kicks in. Many world-class players these days are often preserved predominantly for a supporting role that can often yield spectacular results. Whenever a big gun is on the bench, the calculated risk might be to expect him to play some part in proceedings – and, quite possibly, score.

18+. Please gamble responsibly.



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