Premiership Football Betting — Betfair’s Odds on Liverpool v Villa

Premiership Football Betting — Betfair’s Odds on Liverpool v Villa

Sports betting is never a quiet or dull topic, it has to be said. We’ve covered a little about sports betting in the States in a recent article, but what about turning to a jurisdiction were there are far fewer restrictions, regulations and outright bans — the UK.

Indeed sports betting is something of an institution there, with horse racing, dog racing and football being amongst the most bet-on sports.

Even political events have a thriving betting dimension there!

Let’s take a look at football.

One of the most popular and traditional variants of this was the legendary ‘pools’.

Few working-class families of yesteryear didn’t partake in the pools once a week, and it’s only in the last 20 years since the introduction of the National Lottery in the UK that the pools have seen something of a wane in fortunes.

But they’re still very much there — though with the dawn of the Internet the role of agents who used to go door-to-door to collect coupons is over, as is, more or less, sending the coupons through the mail (which could be subject to delays or oversights of course).

In short, pools revolve around competing for a large prize pool, often in the millions, and predicting scores.

Since there are over 90 teams in the Premier League and Football League in England and Wales, plus the Scottish Premier League and lower leagues, as well as so-called ‘non-league’ games, there are naturally hundreds of games taking place each week and it would be a hard task to predict them all accurately!

Thus, one of the most popular methods, often called the ‘Classic’ was to select just 8 games which players tip to be score draws of 2-2 or more. Which happens far less frequently than you might think.

There are and were many other variants revolving around score draws, home and away wins and other permutations so there was never a dull moment with the pools!

But what about straight sports betting on, for instance, individual matches. This is also highly popular.

Unlike the US system of NFL betting where some of the main varieties of gaming include betting on total points scored at fixed odds (usually 10:11) in UK football betting you get truly variable odds, and not just on the outcome of the game.

Case Study

Let’s take a look at a forthcoming game this weekend, Saturday, 13 September, 2014.

Liverpool play host to Aston Villa, at the later kickoff time of 17.30.

Both teams have got off to a good start, with Villa, whose players include Dutch National defender Ron Vlaar, lying in 3rd place, Liverpool a couple of places below.

The latter are clearly favorites at the bookies in spite of this: at the time of writing, top UK casino Betfair have them at 3:10 to win, with Aston Villa at 52:5.

So if you bet £100, you’d get 30 winnings in the event of a Liverpool win, or, if you bet on it, £1,040 on a Villa win!

A draw seems much more likely than a Villa win in the view of Betfair, at 23:5.

But there’s more… When you visit Betfair you’ll find that they have betting options for first goalscorer (Liverpool have England striker Daniel Sturridge and Ricky Lambert on their books, with Villa boasting Austrian national Andi Weimann who has been somewhat on form for his club lately).

However, the man everyone is going to be talking about this weekend is Mario Balotelli — one of the most colorful characters to have emerged in international football in recent years.

Balotelli had shone in the English Premier League (EPL) before and had played an instrumental role in a resurgent Manchester City, including their FA Cup win in 2011, though he was largely absent from their clinching the EPL title a year later, largely due to his outspoken nature and off-field antics.

He then went to Milan in his native Italy (previously having played for arch-rivals Internazionale), before returning to English shores with Liverpool for a sum of £16m (something of a snip compared with Welsh International Gareth Bale’s reported fee of around £80m to Real Madrid a year ago).

In any event Balotelli is favorite to open the scoreline at 7:2 with Betfair, with the aforementioned Lambert second at 4:1 and England attacking midfielder Raheem Sterling, also for Liverpool, at 29:5.

Betfair’s favorite for exact scoreline is in fact ‘any other score’ at 3:1, meaning a score other than those quoted, but their favorite ‘real’ scoreline is 2-0 to the hosts at 32:5.

Conversely you’d get price of 33:1 for a Villa 2-1 victory!

There are many other options at Betfair including half-time score, man of the match, even total number of corner balls taken — but they all paint a similar picture in favor of Liverpool!

Gaming companies have a strong link with football teams, on both sides of the fence, appearing as kit sponsor in many cases.

But betting on the simple outcome of a single match continues to be the bread and butter of sports betting, and looks set to be for the near future.

There are other types of football betting as well, most notably spread betting and handicaps, which we’ll take a look at in a future article.