AS the UK’s most popular sport, it’s not surprising that football features so prominently among the leading online bookmakers.
From the domestic club season to major international tournaments such as the World Cup, there are hundreds of games to bet on every week.
However, some football betting sites lead the way in user reviews, and it is those that this article will focus on.
Ranked #1 for overall football betting: bet365
There’s a number of reasons why the UK’s own bet365 takes the top spot as a sportsbook for football. They range from the quality of its lines for the most popular football markets, the ease of use of its website and app, the generosity of its promotions and odds boosts, and the versatility of its bet builder tool. top of that, they have a range of sports betting offers, promotions, and a variety of events covered for your wagering needs.
Following closely behind bet365 were these other highly rated football betting sites:
- William Hill
- Grosvenor Casinos
How we ranked the bookmakers: our criteria
We considered several measures and reviews to compile the best football betting sites in the UK. After several analyses and experiments on these sites according to our criteria, we ranked the top sites.
- Range of football games and leagues – Some bookies focus on the major leagues only. However, the best UK bookies include all the professional football leagues, semi-pro leagues, to the lowest-ranked leagues to give the bettors a wide range of selections.
- Best football odds – Odds are crucial for attracting UK gamblers because they define how much a player will gain upon their bet settlement. Therefore, it’s essential to have quality betting odds.
- Betting markets and options available – Besides choosing single and multi bets, the listed UK sportsbooks include additional betting types like over/under, parlays, accumulator, etc.
- Live betting option – lots of bettors enjoy the excitement of live betting as the match flows, which makes the players attached to their phones and glued to the match screen, waiting for the final whistle to check if they won as well.
- Cashing out during a match – Cash out during the event, where players prefer to withdraw their wagers before the final whistle and take partial cash out at a percent defined by the betting site.
- Mobile apps – there’s an increasing number of football fans who place their bets on the go, making it easier for them to gamble on different matches without waiting to get home on their PC.
- Customer service – A key component of any successful online gambling platform, and the same is true for the current age where mobile gambling is prevalent. That's why we preferred gambling platforms offering 24/7 customer service.
- Promotion and bonus variety for football matches – The availability of various football-only promotions, such as acca insurance, is the reason many players choose a specific football betting site in the UK.
A closer look at the best football betting sites: bookie by bookie breakdown
bet365 sign up
Bet £10 & Get £30 in Free Bets
New Customers only. Bet £10* & Get £30* in Free Bets. Sign up, deposit between £5* and £10* to your account and bet365 will give you three times that value in Free Bets when you place qualifying bets to the same value and they are settled. Free Bets are paid as Bet Credits. Min odds/bet and payment method exclusions apply. Returns exclude Bet Credits stake. T&Cs and time limits & exclusions apply.
Topping our reviews league table as the best football betting site in the UK is bet365.
The bet365 website and app are the easiest to use, with simple menus and navigation helping punters to find their favourite leagues and bets quickly. The depth of its football coverage is excellent, with pre-match and in-play odds provided for competitions around the globe.
Odds comparison sites confirm bet365 as one of the most competitively priced online football bookmakers, with value lines on the key markets such as match winner, handicap spreads and both teams to score.
Its live-streaming channel is another highlight for football fans. The only gripe about bet365 is that it doesn’t have more football-specific promotions to claim.
- The best website/app
- Lots of live football streams to watch
- Not many football-related promotions
- Not as many player ‘prop’ bets as other bookies
William Hill sign up
Bet £10 get £30
18+ New customers using Promo code H30 only, Min £10/€10 stake, min odds 1/2, free bets paid as 2 x £15/€15, free bets credited after settlement of first qualifying bet, free bets will expire 30 days after the qualifying bet is placed, payment method/player/country restrictions apply. T&Cs
Also featuring highly on our list of the leading football betting sites is William Hill.
Although the William Hill website is quite cluttered, it plays host to a huge range of football betting markets housed behind the ‘competitions’ and ‘coupons’ tabs.
William Hill has its own bet builder tool, plus the #YourOdds Twitter hashtag that enables punters to request the bets they want to put on.
Daily enhanced odds specials can increase the implied value of a bet, and for sheer depth alone, William Hill hits the mark with more than 300 different betting markets and spreads offered for many Premier League games.
Free-to-play games, such as Free or 4, allow punters to play for real-money prizes, and free bets for correctly predicting the outcome of selected fixtures is another major plus for William Hill.
William Hill pros:
- Huge range of football betting markets
- Create bets via #YourOdds on Twitter
William Hill cons:
- Website/app over-crowded and not easy to navigate
- No live streaming on mobile
Spreadex sign up
Get £50 in bet bonuses
18+ only | Place a qualifying £25 fixed odds bet at odds of 1/2 or greater. Qualifying bet cannot be placed in-play or cashed out early. Free bets are credited upon settlement of the qualifying bet. Free bets must be claimed within 28 days of opening. *Full T&Cs apply.
Completing the hat-trick of top-rated UK betting sites is Spreadex.
Spreadex's platform is crammed with value-adding features. Daily specials and ‘odds boosters’ enhance the price of some of the most popular bets on the site, and you can easily switch between pre-match and in-play odds with the tap of a button. The latter, accompanied by live streaming and comprehensive stats, confirms Spreadex as one of the leading sportsbooks for live football bets.
- Unrivalled live football betting experience
- Plenty of ways to boost betting bankroll for free
- Polished and sophisticated app
- Punters new to the site could be confused by the financial trading aspect of it
Whichever betting site punters choose, it’s imperative that a bookmaker offers competitive odds so that their customers are getting ‘fair’ prices based upon the probability of a team winning, scoring, etc. Punters can use an odds comparison service to help with this.
It can be frustrating to use websites or apps that crash or take an eternity to load, so that’s another consideration, and it’s always welcome when a bookmaker offers bonuses, spreads or promotions that genuinely improve the betting experience – whether that’s through stake refunds, profit boosts, and so on.
Live streaming is of increasing importance. In the UK, leagues such as the Bundesliga, La Liga and Serie A can be streamed via some top-rated bookmakers’ websites or apps, and this is a great way to watch elite-level action on your phone or tablet.
How popular is football betting in the UK?
It’s widely accepted that football is the most popular sport in the UK, and so it stands to reason that the beautiful game is also the most bet upon.
As a guide, FIFA claimed that around $155bn (£131m) was bet on World Cup 2018 around the globe – more than some countries’ annual GDP.
What are the most popular football competitions to bet on in the UK?
Competitions such as the Premier League, the Champions League and La Liga are the most interesting to UK punters, while major international tournaments such as the World Cup and European Championship also see bets being placed in abundance.
Those who prefer to place accas may drop down the divisions to find value and use odds comparison sites to get the best prices.
What are the most common football betting markets?
There are plenty of football betting options you'll find on betting websites. Sports bets such as moneyline, point spread, over/under, parlays, teasers, futures, props, and in-play wagering are the most common football betting markets, offering a wide variety of options to choose from, especially when you combine them with football-specific bets.
- Match result – This is the most straightforward betting market, where you simply bet on which team will win, or if the match will end in a draw.
- Over/under goals – In this market, you bet on whether the total number of goals scored in the match will be higher or lower than a specific number.
- Both teams to score – Here, you bet on whether both teams will score during a single event or not.
- Correct score – This involves predicting the exact scoreline of the match, which can be challenging but also potentially rewarding.
- First goal scorer – This market involves betting on which player will score the first goal of the match.
- Half-time/full-time – In this market, you bet on the result of the match at both half-time and full-time.
- Handicap betting – This involves giving one team a virtual goal advantage or disadvantage to even out the odds.
- Outright winner – This market involves betting on the winner of a competition or tournament, such as the Premier League or the World Cup.
How to actually select a football betting site and get going
Once punters have determined what they actually want from their football betting site, they can begin to make their selection and get started.
- To begin, punters should navigate to their betting site of choice and register their account. There’s a quick form to fill in, which asks for some personal information, identity verification and to confirm login details.
- Once their account is live, punters can make their first deposit using one of the many accepted payment methods, which include debit cards, e-wallets such as PayPal and Skrill, bank transfer and, in some cases, mobile payment platforms such as Apple Pay.
- Deposits are normally processed immediately, which means that punters can get started as soon as the payment has gone through.
What payment methods are available at UK football betting sites?
The most common method for paying is through debit card payments, which are widely accepted at betting sites in the UK. There are usually no additional fees associated with this method. Keep in mind that there are payment restrictions for UK residents, and you aren't able to use credit cards to place a sports bet or gamble in general.
E-wallets are popular also since they offer an added layer of security, as they do not require you to share your bank details with the sportsbook. Instead, you can simply transfer funds from your e-wallet account to your betting account, and vice versa. Furthermore, these offer fast withdrawal options for users.
Final remarks on the top UK betting sites
With so many of the top betting sites offering generous welcome bonuses and ongoing promotions, there has never been a better time to get started with football betting in the UK.
The bookmaker reviews in this article have identified a number of bookies that provide a first-class user experience, with competitive odds, unique promos, rapid deposits/withdrawals and live streaming just some of the features that set them apart from the rest.
It’s quick and easy to register for an account, and who knows, maybe you will place your first winning football bet on England or Wales at the World Cup?
A responsible gambler is someone who:
- Establishes time and monetary limits before playing
- Only gambles with money they can afford to lose
- Never chase their losses
- Doesn’t gamble if they’re upset, angry or depressed
- Gamcare – www.gamcare.org.uk
- Gamble Aware – www.begambleaware.org
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