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The UK's top football betting sites in 2021
With so many top domestic leagues and regular international competitions, the beautiful game is never off our TV screens for long. And having a flutter on the match is so easy thanks to the scores of football betting sites.
But they’re not all created equal and it’s our job to decide which ones are worthy of your attention. We’ve been busy reviewing every last detail so you can have all the very best action at your fingertips.
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Football betting introduction
Getting started at football betting sites can seem a little daunting at first. There are so many numbers and figures floating around as well as tonnes of different markets. So for a newbie, it can all feel a little overwhelming.
But we're here to put all that straight and explain everything there is to know about placing bets and deciding where to do it. There’s an amazing variety of bets available and some are a lot harder to predict than others. But if you’ve got a keen interest in the sport and like to keep your eye on the latest scores and stats, then there’s a chance that your knowledge could prove to be extremely valuable.
How we review and rate football betting sites
Reviewing any of the betting companies is no short task. It takes our team of experts days to pick everything apart and put it back together again. They know exactly what to look out for and don’t cut any corners.
Our readers are important to us and we want to make sure that we always send you off to the right place with all the info you need to make the most of your experience. And to do this, we follow a strict plan that allows us to systematically decide just how good a brand is. And if it makes the cut, then it appears on this page. It’s as simple as that.
Football betting market selection
One of the most important things that our team does is to check out all the football betting odds and the markets that they have available. You want to be able to place bets on a wide range of outcomes. And to do this, you’re going to need a great selection of bets.
It’s important to offer as much varied action as possible and our readers often tell us that it’s high up their list of priorities. So we like to see each individual match provide a range of betting opportunities. The possibilities are almost endless!
Large selection of football events
And it’s not just the variety of markets that a site offers its customers - there needs to be a decent range of events as well. There’s a great match to enjoy nearly every day for the best part of the year. And punters love to have a flutter while they watch. This may be international competitions or even domestic leagues as well.
Naturally, we like to see a bookie provide odds for a range of top domestic leagues. But it's also great when some alternative and lesser-known ones make it into the mix. The UK, for example, has some amazing lower leagues just under the top flight. And some of these matchups can present some fantastic betting opportunities.
New player promotions
Betting websites, like their casino counterparts, are competing in a very crowded market. And this is true for many countries but none are quite as congested as the UK. This jurisdiction is one of the busiest in the world and it’s hard for a bookie to stand out from the crowd.
One of the ways they can manage this is by offering an incredible welcome offer to new customers. Some deals can bring you loads of free bets that could prove to be extremely valuable if you play your cards right. But we’ll take a closer look at some of these a little later on.
Offers tailored for football events
And while we’re on the subject of offers, we are always searching for sites that tailor its deals for the football market. Generic promos are great but when they are available on top football matches, then things always get a little more interesting.
This type of offer is usually quite prevalent around the start of any big footballing event. The start of the new season or Euro championship, for example, are often the best times for picking up these top freebies.
Live streaming and In-play bets
During the match is the perfect time to spot a betting opportunity. So it’s understandable that live betting has become so popular. Some markets can change rapidly so there’s always a buzz and excitement as the odds change to match the way the game is going.
Being able to watch all the action live is essential if you want to know exactly what to bet on during live play. Sure you can read a ticker tape, but it doesn’t always give you a feel for what might happen in the latter stages of the match.
Competitive football odds are a must for any bookie. The market dictates the general odds due to the likelihood of a certain outcome but it’s up to the bookmaker to add a little extra value where possible. Squeezing a little more into the odds gives punters a reason to choose one site over another. There are loads of brands on the market, as we mentioned before. So a bookmaker will need to offer very competitive odds. If they can offer the best for a certain market, then they are sure to attract plenty of attention.
Bet builders for football
Accumulators are a terrific way to potentially land some huge winnings from a relatively small wager. Predicting the outcome of several games is a skill that takes time to fine-tune. But even then there is still an element of luck involved.
Many multi bets are presented across a selection from 1 market. For example, you might have the chance to pick winners from that day’s Premier League fixtures. But some sites have taken this concept a step further and allow you to make your own selection from all kinds of markets that aren’t necessarily related.
Common betting markets for football
Top betting sites will have a staple offering of regular markets that are available across the board. They’re the ones that most punters look for as they aren’t complicated and give you a decent chance of winning if you know your stuff.
Win/draw/win (Final Result)
Football betting odds don’t come much simpler than this one. Deciding who will win a game is the oldest bet type in the book. It’s usually the safest bet especially if a game is fairly likely to go one way or the other. But that does mean that the odds reflect this as you would expect.
Picking an obvious winner in a game between two teams at opposite ends of the table won’t get you the best returns and you’ll have to place a decent stake on it to get any kind of return worth having. However, some fans like to aim for lots of ‘likely’ bets with small margins to build up a decent profit across the board.
Half time/full time
Trying to guess the full-time result is a bet that most fans with a little knowledge of the 2 teams can have a crack at. But guessing the result at the break and at the end requires a little more statistical knowledge. Sure, you can have a guess and this may work out sometimes. But to make this market part of a regular strategy, you’ll need to have an idea of how teams set out their stall during the first half. Certain teams always have a cagey first half, so a draw at halftime followed by a likely winner after 90 minutes might be easier to predict, for example.
Some games are notorious tight affairs while others can produce a lot of goals. If you ever watched Liverpool vs Newcastle in the mid-90s, then you’ll know how hard predicting the correct score can be. Everyone knew there would be goals, but few would predict 7 of them each time!
There’s a decent amount of luck involved with this kind of bet but knowing a little data for previous matchups can make a big difference. But the best football bets are sometimes those that need a little luck to make them happen. You’ll always get better odds on a seemingly unlikely outcome that might just pay off once in a while.
Having a chance to bet on two outcomes in one game is always an attractive offer. For example, you might place a double chance bet on both teams winning. Obviously, they can’t both win, but the bet will payout as long as the game doesn’t end in a draw.
This is a much safer bet as most games usually end up with a winner. In the Premier League, for example, a draw only happens about 25% of the time. So a double chance bet is usually a good idea. But remember that the odds are heavily reduced due to the increased chance of winning.
First Goal Scorer
Another one of the most popular markets is the first goalscorer. You can land some fantastic football odds with this bet, especially in a game where none of the star strikers are on a good run of form.
It’s a tough bet to call sometimes and some previous knowledge can go a long way. Some players just have a knack for scoring against certain teams. There’s no reason for it, usually. Unless their playing style is so well suited to the opposition's defence. But it could be as simple as their confidence levels go through the roof when they play that team because they have scored against them in the last few matches.
Popular football leagues to bet on
One of the great advantages that fans of betting on football have over other sports is the sheer volume of great matches taking place all around the world. In Europe alone, there are half-a-dozen fantastic domestic leagues with others catching the eye of many football enthusiasts in South America and other countries as well.
Let's take a look at a few of the most popular leagues and competitions where you can show off your knowledge of the beautiful game and hopefully win a few quid on the side.
Undoubtedly, the most popular league in the world is the Premier League. It features the best 20 clubs from around England and Wales and is watched in every corner of the globe.
This league attracts players from around the world and is the most preferred destination to play their domestic football. Betting on the Premier League is also one of the most popular pastimes. And every Saturday, large swathes of the country come together to have a little flutter on some of the best matches around.
It's never easy to predict the winner of this league as there are so many top teams competing. And every year it only gets harder and harder to stand out from the rest. Matches are just as difficult to predict every week. so you really need to know your stuff if you are going to excel as a punter betting on this league.
The top league in Italy has been a one-horse race for many years now. With Juventus winning 9 out of the last 10 titles. But last year Inter Milan managed to knock the champions from the top spot and opened up the race a little once more. With AC Milan and Atalanta also squeezing their way in front of the usual protagonist, things are set to be even more interesting in the 21/22 season.
It is a very popular league for betting fans, not just from Italy but with a large following in many other countries as well. UK bookies will happily take bets on Serie A with a range of live betting also available.
Spain's number one domestic League is one of the most coveted in the world. With giants such as Real Madrid and Barcelona for many years proving that money can keep you at the top. But this has changed over the last few years with other teams like Atletico Madrid and Sevilla proving themselves more than capable of challenging for the title.
Recent changes to how the clubs handle their finances in La Liga has opened the door for healthier competition. So bets on this market are becoming more and more interesting. The Spanish love to bet on their beloved league and it’s also very popular in the UK too.
Another famous league that has unfortunately gained a reputation for being a little predictable. If you want to place a bet on the winner of the Bundesliga then there is really only one choice. And that’s Bayern Munich. For the last decade, no one has been able to touch them and this has driven many viewers away to other leagues that are more closely contested.
Leipzig and Dortmund have done their best in recent years to fight for the top place but it is clear that the gap it's still very much there. UK bookies will offer various markets for this league but you won't find the variety quite as exhaustive. England, Spain and perhaps Italy are far more attractive for punters looking to place bets on their favourite football matches.
One of the most viewed tournaments in the world is the Champions League. Every year, the top teams from the domestic leagues around Europe fight it out for the title. The competition takes place during the regular season with qualifiers and group stages taking place at the latter part of the year.
Things begin to heat up around the beginning of the new year as the league stage draws to an end and the top two teams from each make their way through to the knockout phase. At this point, you get to see some of the very best football matches on the planet. Given the high profile of this competition, it attracts attention from not just Europe but all over the world. And betting on these matches is just as popular. UK bookies will offer an immense range of markets during this competition including in-game betting as well.
Free bets and other promotions at betting sites
There are a ton of betting sites offers available. And they are all designed with the punter in mind. Working in such a competitive market means that online bookmakers will have to offer some of the best promotions if they want to score new customers and keep their existing ones.
There are new and intriguing offers being created all the time. But some are tried and tested and have been with us for a while.
Free bet offers
Betting websites love to offer new customers and existing ones the chance to place a bet for free. This type of offer will often coincide with the start of a new football season or competition. As the buzz grows around a new tournament so too does the opportunity to win some cash on those games.
But you may be wondering what is in it for the bookie? As you know, there is no such thing as a free lunch and there will be some requirements surrounding any free bet. Quite often, the money from any winnings that result from a free bet need to be wagered several times before they can be cashed out. So always read the terms and conditions carefully before selecting one of these deals.
Deposit match bonuses
One welcome offer that can prove to be the most profitable is where you need to part with some cash to receive any freebies. A deposit match deal is as it sounds - the bookie will match anything that you deposit into your account.
There will be a limit to the amount that they will match but it can be a substantial amount of money. We have seen deals that can gain hundreds of extra pounds in free betting cash. But again, there will be wagering requirements on this bonus money. If you take the time to fulfil all of these caveats correctly and choose your bets wisely, then there is a chance that you could hit some big scores with this type of offer.
Acca bet offers
An accumulator bet is a fantastic way for a bookie to entice a new customer. The chances of hitting every single correct score or result one after the other to win from an accumulator are quite slim. But when they come good, they can really offer a huge boost to your balance.
It's a zero initial outlay for the bookie and they know that there won't be many winning Acca bet payouts at the end of it. But with a little luck, you could be one of those that turns the tables on the bookmaker and walks off with some big cash prizes. Check the T&Cs to see what the maximum cashout is from any winnings before you sign up.
Streaming and live betting on football
We love live betting at online betting sites. Not only do you get to place in-game bets but you can often watch the action live. Expensive subscriptions to the world's top leagues can put a real dent in your wallet. But by having a little flutter at your favourite bookie online, you can watch the game for free.
Not every game will be streamed live but some of the most popular ones will definitely be available. This new way to place bets is becoming extremely popular so you can expect the live game coverage to increase all the time.
The way it works is very simple. Placing a bet at a bookie that offers live streaming will allow you to sit there and take in all the action. It is often available on their mobile site as well, which is great if you want to keep an eye on the match while you're down the pub or fulfilling the obligatory Sunday lunch with the in-laws.
Many of the top sites listed here on this page will offer this service. So take a look and see which of the welcome offers you like the look of and head over to that site to see exactly what they have available for the upcoming fixtures next weekend.
In-play betting opens the door to some of the most enjoyable and fast-paced betting action around. During the game, you will pick up on certain areas of the match that could offer some nice payouts. Things such as who will score next or what the final result will be are perhaps easier to predict once you have a feel for how the game is going.
There are also many different bets such as the number of corners, cards and number of goals that are also fun to have a bet on while watching the game.
Mobile football betting sites
You won't always be sitting comfortably in your favourite armchair when you want to place a bet on a match. Sometimes you are out and about and you may spot an opportunity to win some cash. The best way to do this is to access the action from your mobile phone. There are two main ways in which a bookie can offer mobile betting. And we will take a look at those now.
Football betting apps
On our phones, we have apps for absolutely everything. They are an incredibly convenient way for any company to offer their products to their customers at the touch of a button. The big advantage of an application downloaded to a customer's phone is that new deals and offers can be pinged up in front of them at any time.
And with your account being safely saved with all your details on your phone it can be super quick and easy for you to access everything you need from that site.
Betting in your browser
Accessing a betting site through your browser is also a great alternative. This differs from an application in that you need to click on your browser icon and then type in the bookie’s web address to access your account.
It is just as safe and secure as a downloaded app and will offer you the same services that you can access via an app as well. Although you may find that a bookie offers an incentive to download the app. In this case, you can decide if you want to have the app downloaded to your phone or not. For the customer, there is very little in it between the two forms of betting access.
How to start out with football betting
Getting started with betting online is actually very simple. But if you are making the switch over from high street betting to internet betting then it can seem a little daunting at first glance.
There are a few things for you to look out for to help make the best decision. We want you to have the very best online betting experience so here is our short guide to getting started.
Compare UK bookmakers
Uk betting sites are some of the oldest and best in the world. And to be able to choose between these top sites you need to see them alongside each other. This way you can compare the deals they have available and make an informed choice.
Looking at each site to see what markets they offer is often a good exercise. If you have a particular type of bet that you like to place, then you want to know that it is available. Take a look through the details of as many sites as possible to make sure you pick the right place to play.
Make the most out of football betting bonuses
Bonuses for both new and existing customers are incredibly important for most punters. Getting your hands on plenty of bonus cash can help you make some big wins further down the line. Our list of top tested sites here on this page will show you exactly what is on offer at the moment.
Don't always be tempted by the largest offer. Remember that there will be some wagering requirements involved. Needing to bet with a large amount of money a large number of times can be an exhausting activity. So choose a deal that works for you and causes no problems in the process.
Bet on the leagues and teams you are interested in
This is simple advice but it often goes unnoticed. Having an interest in your bet, other than a financial one, is incredibly important. Football betting sites offer many different markets on many different games. But if you don't have any interest in the outcome, then it is unlikely that you will know much about the teams or the players.
If you are a big fan of the Premier League, for example, then at least at the beginning stick to betting on these matches. The other upside of this is that it adds an extra layer of enjoyment when watching your favourite games at the weekend.
Find value bets
If you know a little bit about the games you are betting on, then it will be possible for you to spot value occasionally. What we mean by this is knowing when a bookie is perhaps offering better or worse odds than they should be.
Knowing your stuff can give you an advantage in this sense. Placing a wager on a game that you feel has a very likely outcome but the bookie slightly disagrees can be potentially very profitable. Always take the time to check through the different odds available. One useful way to do this is to sign up for several accounts at different bookmakers. This way you can decide where you want to place certain bets.
Begin by betting on the simple markets
Some of the best betting is done on simple markets. It can be very tempting to place a high-paying accumulator bet, for example. But guessing everything right 100% of the time is extremely difficult. So it is often best to stick to easy markets that offer a simple way of winning.
Predicting a match-winner or who will win the league, for example, are two very simple bets. Building a bet that requires you to guess the first scorer, the correct half-time / full-time score, number of corners, and red cards etc is very complicated. So sometimes you might want to do yourself a favour and just keep it simple.
Best payment methods for football bet sites
To start placing bets at your favourite bookies, you will need to think about getting some cash into your account. There are many ways you can do this and some are a little faster than others. The majority of sites won't charge you anything to make your deposit but always check before making a payment just in case.
Below, we will walk through the four most commonly used deposit methods.
E-wallets are definitely the way forward if you like speedy transfers with top privacy. There are many different products available in this market but the three biggest providers are PayPal, Skrill and Neteller.
They are extremely simple to use and get your money moving in a matter of seconds. You can top up your electronic wallet with your own cash or you can receive transfers from other people. Many products will have a prepaid debit card available. And this allows you to spend your money easily at a site that accepts Mastercard or VISA. Although this isn’t obligatory and you can simply transfer funds from your account instead.
E-wallets can be used to make transfers around the world and in various currencies as well. One thing you will need to check before accepting a welcome bonus is if the site allows e-wallet deposits to qualify for the bonus.
Bank transfers are one of the oldest and safest forms of money transfer available. In the past, they were the only way to get your money moving but now it is becoming quite an old fashioned product.
It takes a long time to get your cash from one place to another via bank transfer. So don't expect to be playing in an instant or withdrawing any winnings back to your account in a flash. It can take several days for this to happen.
Perhaps the most popular way of topping up a betting site balance is to use a debit card. The funds are moved directly from your bank account straight to your betting account instantly. It is much the same as purchasing a product from any other store or online.
All bookies in the UK will accept this form of payment and the vast majority will not charge any fees for doing so. You can also have winnings withdrawn back to your bank account by the same debit card. And this helps keep things simple.
Credit cards banned in the UK
In the past, it was possible to send money to your account via a credit card. It was an incredibly simple and convenient way to complete the transaction. However, this allowed some punters to make purchases that they perhaps would not have done had they been using funds directly from their bank account. And it was deemed that UK players could experience financial difficulty by using credit cards if they were not careful. As a result, it is no longer possible to use a credit card for this purpose in the UK.
There is a lot of information to cover when discussing the top places to enjoy a bet. There are many sites available and many different markets to get involved with. If anything is missing above, then you may find it in our section for frequently asked questions.
Are there free bets for football?
Yes, there are free bets to be found on many betting websites. These bets will allow you to have a punt on a match without spending any of your cash. And this is always great news. Although you should be aware that the winnings that result from a free bet aren’t usually available to withdraw immediately. Always read the terms and conditions before you opt-in.
Where can I find the best odds for football betting?
The best betting sites UK can be found right here on this page. And they will all have a fantastic selection of bets available. But they won't always be the same, and this is where you can get some great deals on certain markets. Always look through the odds available for the specific bet that you wish to make. There is a good deal of money to be made by choosing the best odds each time.
Are UK bookmakers safe to use?
Absolutely! UK bookmakers have to go through a rigorous process of registering for a Gambling Licence. And this is done via the UKGC. But they don't just hand out licenses to anybody. It is one of the toughest jurisdictions to trade in so you know that any site offering its services legally in the UK is very serious about providing a long-standing relationship with its customer.
How do I know if a football betting site is licensed?
It is very easy to find out if the best betting sites have a valid license, especially in the UK. By law, they must show their licence number on their website. For added security, you can always run this number through the UKGC register as well.
Can I cancel my football bet?
Betting sites won’t often allow you to cancel a bet although it does depend on the circumstances sometimes. If you need to amend something quickly after making the bet, then speak to the bookie. It may or may not be possible to change the bet or cancel it.
What's the best league to bet on?
This all depends on what league you like to watch. If you’re a fan of the Premier League, Then it’s often a good idea to stick to that. This is because you know the teams and the players and probably have a better chance of predicting the outcome.
What are value bets?
Some of the best football bets are ones where you have a slight inkling that the bookie is offering higher odds than they should. In this case, you have found yourself a value bet that could pay more than you would have expected if the result goes your way.