Football betting terms explained

Betting on football is one of the most popular types of sports bet but it can be tricky for fans unfamiliar with some of the terms.

Yes, football is possibly the most straight-forward sport on the planet. After all, the players simply have to kick the ball in the goal more times than their opposition.

And indeed, if you simply want to bet on a match winner than that is very straightforward too.

But regular betting on football requires a more detailed understanding of the game. That’s why we’ve created our football betting glossary so you know exactly what you’re doing on each market available in the Unibet sportsbook.

And if you want to know more about the sport, check out our Football Betting guide here!


Football betting glossary

Full time result: In Full Time Result betting, often known as 1x2 betting, a bet is placed on either the home team to win, away team to win or the game to end in a draw. This bet does not include the final score after extra time or penalties which may happen in knockout games, so only the final score after the second half counts for this bet.

Asian handicap: Asian handicap betting is a form of sports betting where a team gets a virtual advantage and you bet on which team would win given the added handicap. The reason for this is to level out the odds when one team is a heavy favourite.

  • Example: Chelsea are playing Yeovil in the FA Cup. If you bet on Chelsea to win with a -1.5 Asian Handicap, you will win if they win with two goals or more. If Chelsea only win by a one-goal difference, draw or lose then you will lose your bet.

Asian Handicaps are available with full lines, half lines and quarter lines. For a more detailed explanation of Asian Handicaps and different lines, check this convenient Asian Handicap betting guide.

3-way handicap: In 3-way or European handicap betting a virtual lead is given to one team and you bet on the outcome of the game given that specific lead. In 3-way handicaps you can bet on either teams to win or a draw.

  • Example: Bolton are playing Everton in the League Cup. The game starts with a 1-0 handicap in favour of Bolton. Therefore a bet on Bolton will win if they win or draw; a bet on the draw will win if Everton win by exactly one goal; and a bet on Everton will win if they win by two goals or more.

Over/under Betting: In over/under betting, sometimes abbreviated as O/U betting, you predict if a certain event is to happen over or under a specific total. The most common over/under bet is on the amount of goals. For example, you could bet on a game between Sunderland and Wigan witnessing +2.5 goals. If there are three goals or more, you win your bet.

You can also use over/under bets on how many cards, corners and other game statistics are offered during games. Here at Unibet, we provide a full list of our O/U bets in our sportsbook.

Half Time/Full Time betting: In Half Time/Full Time betting (known as HT/FT betting) you bet on both the result at half time and the full-time result. Keep in mind that the second part of the bet is the full-time bet, not only the goals scored in the second half. Both of the predictions have to be correct to win your bet.

  • Example: If a game between Argentina and Spain is 1-1 at half time but ends 3-1 in favour of Argentina, the correct result would be Draw/Argentina. If Argentina had led 3-0 at half time and the game ends 3-1, the correct result would be Argentina/Argentina.

Double chance betting: In double chance betting you use the 1X2 model from full time result betting but effectively back two outcomes. So, you can back the home team to win/draw (1X), draw/lose (X2) and even win/lose (12). This is a great way to start betting on football as you cover two outcomes of the match, thus reducing your chances of losing the bet. However, the odds will decrease because you are covering two outcomes, rather than one.

Double chance betting is also a fun bet if you want your team to avoid defeat. Rather than backing them to win and risking losing your stake if it’s a draw, you can bet on your team to win/draw and therefore cover both eventualities.

Combination betting: In combination betting you can build your own bet — and this means you’re in control. Combination betting (sometimes called accumulators) work by adding a number of bets together into one big bet.

  • For example, Hull are playing Doncaster in the FA Cup. You think Hull will win, but also that Doncaster will score and it will be a scrappy game. So, you can combine three bets — Hull win, Both Teams to Score, +5.5 yellow cards — into one big bet. Your odds will be greatly increased but of course so will the risk.

Combination betting can also be played across different matches and leagues. In fact, you can also combine multiple sports into this bet type, as well as TV and politics bets!

Some players like to make sure their combination bet covers a certain timeframe. So, you may back three match results on a Saturday, plus two more on a Sunday. Others prefer the long-term approach, combining the winner of a championship with two relegated teams from the Scottish first division. There is almost limitless choice to combination betting in football.

Outright betting: In outright betting a bet is placed on the result of a whole tournament instead of a single game. The outright bet on the World Cup is one of the most popular bets worldwide.

H2H betting: In head-to-head betting two players or teams that are not necessarily confronting each other will be matched up and bets will be settled based on both of the teams performances. So, you might back Stockport to beat Rochdale in the FA Cup to a greater margin than Tranmere beating Charlton.

Each-way bet: Each Way (E/W) bets find their origin in Horse Racing but are also often found in other sports such as football, where an each-way bet option may be offered on outright bets. When placing an Each Way bet the stake is doubled and will be placed half on a team to win and half on a team to place.

The terms for how many places are paid and the adjustment of the odd may vary from event to event. For the World Cup, for example, the terms are ‘0.5 first and second’, which means that the odds for placing are halved and the placement bet is a winning bet if the team plays the final.

  • Example: £10 Each Way on Brazil to win the World Cup at 4/1 would be a £20 bet.

Brazil winning the event would give a return of (£10x4) + stake = £50

Brazil placing would give a return of (£10x4x0.5) + stake = £30
If Brazil would lose in the final, the return is only £30 for the place bet, if Brazil wins the return is £50 + £30 = £80

Scorecast: A Scorecast bet is a type of combination bet. Here, you bet on a first, last or anytime goalscorer. Then, you bet on the actual score of the game. If the selected goalscorer does not start the match, the bet will be cancelled and refunded.

Wincast: A Wincast bet is a type of combination bet. Here, you bet on a first, last or anytime goalscorer. Then, you bet on the result of the game (1X2). If the selected goalscorer does not start the match, the bet will be cancelled and refunded.

No Goal No Bet: This is a bet type where you bet on a team to score either the first or the last goal in a game. Importantly, if the game finishes 0-0 then the bet is void and you get your stake refunded.

Team To Go Through: This is a popular bet in knockout tournaments such as the Champions League or World Cup. Here, rather than betting on a full time result (1X2) you bet on which team will eventually progress to the next stage of the tournament. This is crucial for some players when there is a possibility a game will go to extra time, if it’s a draw in 90 minutes. It also covers bets in penalty shootouts.

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