A Guide To Popular Soccer Bets And Some Better Value Alternatives

By Ian John
March 23, 2023

Soccer or football betting is a huge part of any online betting service, making up a massive chunk of the sites overall turnover.

Along with horse racing, betting on football of all kinds is one of the most popular forms of betting there is.

And within that, there are some very popular bets that punters like to make on football matches.

But did you know that sometimes there is a better alternative to these hugely popular bets?

An alternative that may offer you a shorter price, but which would increase your chances of success markedly?

In this article, we are going to look at some of the popular soccer bets you will find with industry-leading betting sites such as bet365 Sport, and then we will give you some alternatives to that bet, which may well offer you a better chance of a win, even at shorter odds.



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So let’s begin with a look at one of the most common bets made on football games, the Correct Score bet.

Betting on the correct score of a game is always a bet that appeals for a number of reasons.

Firstly, the odds are generally appealing to punters, with even the shortest priced selections offering a return of at least three or four times your stake, while longer odds bets can offer much larger prices.

Secondly. It appears to be a beguilingly easy bet. Plus, you can always do a little extra research to help decide which of the scorelines is the one you want to back.

There is also the fact that you can pair this bet with a bet on the first or last goalscorer in a game (more on this particular bet below) when you use the Bet Builder function at bet365, which will give you much greater odds.

How Easy Is It To Win A Correct Score Bet?

However, the reality is that the correct score bet is a very tough bet to hit.

Statistics show that the most common score for a home team win in the Premier League is a 1-0 win to the home team, but this happens just 11.5% of the time. The next most common score is 2-1, which happens 9.2% of the time.

And did you know a 2-0 home win happens 5.7% of the time, the same as a 4-0 win in the Premier League?

That is just for home team wins, there are separate odds for away team wins and drawn games, which when you factor everything together, does make predicting the correct score much, much tougher than you would think.

What An Alternative?

A good alternative for the correct score bet, which sits neatly in between the odds for the correct score and the shorter odds for the Full Time Result bet, is the Match Result and Both Teams To Score market.

With this bet with bet365 Sport, you are picking which of the two teams will win, or whether the game will be a draw, and you are also predicting whether both teams will score in the game, or whether at least one team will not.

Here’s a look at how the odds for these different types of bets work out taken from bet365 Sport’s odds for the Italy v England Euro 2024 Qualifier on 23rd March 2023.

Let’s say that we want to bet on Italy to win the game 2-1.

Here’s the options open to us together with how much you would stand to win for that bet for a £10 stake:

  • Full Time Result – Italy To Win – 15/8 (£28.80)
  • Result/Both Teams To Score – Italy & Yes – 11/2 (£65.00)
  • Correct Score – Italy To Win 2-1 – 10/1 (£110.00)

With the Full Time result, this bet covers ANY Italy win. The Result and both teams to score bet covers any Italy win where England also score while the Correct Score option only covers a 2-1 win to Italy.

You can see how by using the Result & Both Teams to Score bet offers you much more flexibility, but generally good value odds compared to the other two options.

Picking which player will score the first or also the last goal in a game is another popular bet that is deceptively difficult to hit.

It is tempting to think that teams that have players who score lots of goals in their team are the teams and players to back here.

Such as Erling Haaland (Man City), Harry Kane (Tottenham), Mo Salah (Liverpool) and Marcus Rashford (Manchester United).

However, you must remember that out of all these players goals, only a fraction of them will be the first, or last, scored in a game.

There are a number of reasons for that:

  • The opposing team may score first in the game.
  • The backed team may score first but the player backed may not score that goal.
  • The backed team may not score at all in the game.

In all these cases, a bet on the first goalscorer would be a losing bet.

Translating this into real world examples, if you backed Mo Salah to score first in every one of Liverpool’s games this season, then the Reds have scored first in just 10 of their games in the Premier League this season.

Mo Salah has scored 11 goals for Liverpool in the Premier League this season, but just four of them have been the first goal in a game.

So if you had placed a £10 bet on Mo Salah to score first in every Liverpool game this season, you would have wagered £270 as they have played 27 games. And out of those bets, you would have had four wins.

So to make a profit, you would need Mo Salah to be odds of at least 7/1 in each of those four games to score first, and the fact is as a leading player in the EPL and for Liverpool, his odds are usually lower in value (around 4/1 usually).

What’s An Alternative?

The Anytime Goalscorer bet is a better option as it offers you complete flexibility over when your choice of player scores in the game. If they grab a goal, then you win.

The odds on the anytime market are shorter of course, but this bet covers your chosen player scoring at any point in the game.

This means for a player like Erling Haaland, who has played 26 EPL games for Manchester City this season, if you had backed him to score at any time in all of those games, admittedly at a shorter price, you would have won on 17 occasions.

So, as you can see, there are alternatives to popular soccer bets, it is a question of finding those bets that offer more possibilities for a win, but also decent value odds.

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