Newcomers to betting on football will tend to recognise it as being an easy hobby with the benefit of some hefty returns. Although this is mostly true, the ability to land winning football bets takes more skill than many realise. One of the primary downfalls for those who are narrowly missing out on landing their football bets is the lack of variety with the leagues and markets they’re betting on.

There are several issues at play here. One of the main problems is that players like to stick with the bets they know. How many gamblers do you know who place the same bets week-in, week-out? They might opt for the Both Teams to Score Bet, they might prefer the Over/Under Goals Totals. They might even stick with the Correct Score or First Player to Score. Whatever they do, they tend to do it consistently as this is what they are most comfortable with. They get into a habit, and this sticks throughout their life, affecting their bets every single week.

This habit has a hugely negative impact on a player's potential returns. It can also lead to problem gambling, because whenever you make a habit out of something addictive, you create problems. And even if you ignore the potential issues with problem gambling, it's easy to see why this is an issue. Take the Both Teams to Score Bet as an example. If you're playing this every time you bet, it means you're forcing yourself to play it on televised games just because you want to bet on them, even though, in your heart of hearts, you don't think that it will win.

So, add some variety to your bets, don't get stuck in a rut, and allow the game to dictate what you bet on, not your habit. Here are some top European football betting tips to broaden your gambling horizons.

The best bets for beating the bookie with football betting

Betting on Foreign Football Leagues

Experienced punters tend to stick to a couple of specific football leagues rather than considering divisions they aren’t as knowledgeable about. This is somewhat advised, as it’s always preferable to bet on football teams you’re more clued up on. But with lots of teams who constantly win their fixtures across the pond in Europe and America, it seems like a lost opportunity.

You don't necessarily need to know a lot about these leagues to bet on them, you just need to know the game of football. As an example, let's assume that you're a big Premier League fan who decides to bet on MLS for a week. You don't know which teams are good or bad, but you can quickly access the form book and the league table, you can recognise a few stand out players (many European legends head to MLS to finish their careers) and you will have a good idea of who should beat who. Even if you don't do extensive research using multiple sites, you can still find basic info on your chosen sportsbook and this is often enough to give you the information you need.

Play Accumulators

Taking what we said above into account, one of the best ways to bet on multiple games across many leagues is to use an accumulator. This is something that many football bettors overlook, because they prefer the instant satisfaction of a big win and they struggle to see it through to the long term. But, let's look at this more closely to see why accumulators are so important.

Imagine we task you with guessing the outcome of every game played over the English Premier League gameweek. That's 10 games, and you simply need to guess whether each game will end in a Home Win, Away Win, or Draw. If you had to do this every week throughout the course of the season, how many times do you think you will get it right?

Most football fans will guess at between 2 and 5. Some of the more confident amongst you will even opt for 10 or more.

Now, let's imagine that you put your money where your mouth is and bet a £10 accumulator on each of those predictions. Your total cost over the course of a season would be £380. However, the average odds returned during each gameweek would be around 80/1. This means that even if you made a correct prediction for just 1 week out of 38, you would earn a profit of £420 for the entire season. If you guessed 10 correctly, that profit would be over £7,500.

Now do you see why accumulators and football knowledge work so well together? Check out our guide to PayPal Online Gambling to discover one of the best ways to place these bets.

The Best Betting Markets

How to beat the sports book when betting on football

There is no "best betting market for football" as such, however, there are some markets that make a little more sense than others. Accumulators are one, as you can bet small and win big, and if you know your stuff then you can profit over the long run. Outright markets are also useful. These rte the markets that you bet on prior to the start of major tournaments, the markets where you predict who will win the entire tournament, who will finish as the runner-up, etc.,

If we use English football as an example again, some of the best Outright markets can be found in the domestic cups. The League Cup has been won by one of the favourites for the last few years at the time of writing, but traditionally it has been more wide open. In 2014 and 2017, one of the dark horses made it to the Final; In 2013 it was contested by two big outsiders; and in 2011 it was won by Birmingham, who were also a big price.

It's the same with the FA Cup. In the last 7 seasons, there have been 5 big underdogs in the final (Watford, Crystal Palace, Aston Villa, Wigan, Hull) with one of them winning. If you had bet on these teams making it to the finals before the tournament began, you could have cashed-in odds as high as 100/1.

The opposite is true, however, for league competitions and it all comes down to the variables at play. Typically, the longer something goes on, the more likely the bookmakers are to win. Imagine that you flip a coin 10 times. What would be the odds of the heads/tails ratio being 50/50? They'd be pretty low, as you'd need exactly five of each. However, if you flipped the same coin a million times, they'd almost be exactly 50/50.

Such is the case with football leagues. Manchester City may slip up during the odd game, but they will eventually right themselves and win back those points. The reason cups are the exception is because there is no way to "right yourself". If you slip and lose, you're out, your cup run is over and the bet is lost. And because even the best teams are prone to losing, you should always avoid the short-priced teams and focus instead on the potential dark horses.

They can also slip-up, of course, and because they are not as good there is a greater risk of them doing so, but the payout is infinitely more rewarding, which reduces the risk and increases the reward.

So, get those accumulator and Outright bets in! And if you want to learn more tricks and tips related to online gambling, take a look at our guide to real money slots and discover the secrets of Live Casino gambling.