Match Odds Betting Explained

The most common and simplest form of football betting is that of match odds. You basically get three picks to choose from, which are home win, away win and the draw. It’s the market that the majority of football bettors will bet on as it’s often the easiest to work out if you can find any value from your bet. We will talk more on this later in the article.

Match Odds Betting Rules

The rules of betting on this market are very simple. You stake your wager on any one of the three possible result, as mentioned above, and then if that result comes in then you will win your bet at the given odds on offer.

The only thing that you need to be aware of is that more often than not these bets will not include if a game goes to extra time. The bet will be settled after 90 minutes and that is the result that will be paid out on. If the outcome after extra time and penalties if needed, is different to the result you selected, then this would be irrelevant. As a final note, the match result will include stoppage time.


The popularity of the bet essentially comes from the fact that you are betting on the outcome of a match and this is the sort of information that most people outside of betting would look for. For example, you would ask someone what the result of a certain match is, but you’d rarely ask them how many corners there were in the match. The match result market is the most important market for this exact reason, as it’s the one that most people relate to football.

Its popularity also stems from the fact that most people will be able to form a relatively strong opinion on a games match results. Simply choosing one team to win or a draw is much easier than working out if the price for the over 2.5 goals in a match is a good bet. It’s very much the base layer for football betting and can potentially be the most profitable.

Match Odds Betting Strategy

There are dozens of ways in which you can improve the way you go about formulating your match bets. Here are some tips that we like to follow for each of our bets.

Team Form

The first port of call for pretty much any football bet is taking a look at each teams form prior to placing your bet. For this to be successful we highly recommend looking to see how both of teams in that match have performed. We’d say a good place to start is the last 5 games and if you think you need to, you can increase this amount as you please.

The best thing to do is look at each game with an open mind and if you can, try to not look at the odds of each result prior to starting your research. Find out the results of the last 5 games from each team. Have they been particularly strong at home or away from home? DO they play out a lot of draws? Do they have a good record against their opponent? These are questions that you need to answer.

Once you’ve done this then try and work out what you think would be fair odds for each match result. This is an important step in working out if you think you are getting any value from the price that the bookmaker is offering you. Next try to compare the odds on offer and see if they match up or hold any value.

With every game you should be able to work out what is the value bet from that match. But, that doesn’t mean to say you have to bet on that match, instead you can compare your findings to other games and see if you can find a higher value threshold for each game. Some will be easier to spot and others will be more difficult, with the easier options often being the ones to go with.

Avoid Short Odds (value)

For the majority of us, betting on single, short priced favourites is not going to yield a massive return. A bet of £10 on a 1.10 price will return us just £1 profit, which isn’t going to be all that interesting.

In betting terms, these kind of bets offer us no value, and the goal in betting is finding value. Value can be as much as perspective thing than anything, for example you may see that a bookmaker prices up a certain result at 3.00, but you think that worst they should be 2.00, resulting in a perspective value bet.


The match betting market is probably the most popular one to use for accumulator bets. An accumulator bet is where you combine several bets into one, to create a much larger bet. The beauty of these is that you are able to get some very large returns, for a relatively small initial outlay.

An accumulator bet is a great way to include the short priced favourites that we mentioned in the above section. As we said, a bet at odds of 1.50 isn’t going to be all that thrilling in terms of a return, but an accumulator bet with five 1.50 results on will much more enticing, boosting our odds up to 7.59, returning £75.93 for our £10 bet.

The problem with accumulator bets is that it’s easy to get too greedy and by adding more results to your betting slip, you massively reduce the chances of picking a winning bet. Remember that even though you have picked short prices favourites, you only need one of your selections to either lose or even draw to lose the whole bet.

Match Odds Betting Variations

There are in fact several variants to the match betting section that you can, as a bettor, start to include in your betting strategy. Probably the most popular is that of handicap betting. The concept of handicap betting is very simple in that each team will be applied a theoretical handicap in the form of goals. The number of goals added can range, but for the favourite the goals will represent a negative number meaning that number will be removed from the actual result and for the underdog, the goals will be a positive number, representing that these will be added to the score. 

The handicap bet can be used in one of two ways; the first is to level the playing field for a certain match or you can manipulate it further to give one team a notable advantage over their opponent.

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