Guide to Football Spread Betting

Football is the most popular sport on the planet. Every day there are dozens of matches taking place, offering myriad opportunities for football punters to profit, and one of the most interesting and dynamic ways to bet on football is spread betting.

What exactly is Spread Betting?

Spread betting is a dramatically different kind of football betting to traditional options such as the Match Outcome market. With a spread bet, instead of taking fixed odds on one outcome, the punter opts to bet either side, higher or lower, of a range given by the bookmaker. The result is a bet in which profits and losses can be unlimited.

How does it work?

In a spread bet market, the company will offer what is known as a spread. For example, in the Total Goals market, the bookmaker may make the spread 2.0 – 2.4. Punters than have to decided whether they will bet higher or lower than that range, which is also sometimes called ‘buying’ or ‘selling’ and what sized stake they are prepared to risk on each point of the spread, which in this case will be goals. The size of your win or loss is calculated by multiplying the difference between the outcome and the spread by the size of your stake.


Goals feature in many of the most popular football spread betting markets. The spread in the Total Goals market will usually be in the range of 2.4 to 2.6 goals. So if you were looking at a match that you thought was going to be low scoring, you might decide to ‘sell’ total goals at £10 per goal.

Spread betting odds soccer
Fig.: Spread betting odds soccer

If the game were to finish goalless, you would win £24. Along with the Total Goals market, other popular football spread betting options include Total Goals Minutes and Goals Supremacy, which focuses on the goal difference between the teams.


In traditional football betting, corners don’t usually attract much interest, but football spread betting offers punters a chance to profit from this overlooked aspect of the game. The most popular corners market is Total Corners, where the spread is often given as 10-11 or 11-12. Other interesting corners markets include Corner Supremacy, which focuses on the difference in corners won between the two teams and Multi Corners, which is a more exotic market based around multiplying first half corners by second half corners.


Red and yellow cards are part of football and can provide drama in even the dullest games. If you think the match you are studying is going to involve several disciplinary issues, you can turn this opinion into profit by looking at Total Bookings Points market, in which a red card is worth 25 points and a yellow card counts for ten.

For example in a Premier League match between Chelsea and Arsenal, the Total Bookings Points spread might be 38 – 41 points. If you think there will be plenty of foul play, you might want to ‘buy’ at £10 a point. If there were two straight red cards in the match, the Total Bookings Points score would amount to 50 and your profit would be £90. On the other hand, if there were no bookings, you would stand to lose £380.

Trade out to spread the risk

As you can see, football spread betting can be risky. The more you are right about an event, the more you will profit, but the more wrong you are, the more money you will lose.

That’s why many football spread betting punters try to minimise their risk by trading out, which is easier to do on the longer term markets, such as a team’s Total Season Points. For example, it one team has some easy fixtures lined up at the beginning of the season, you could decide to ‘buy’ against their Total Points spread.

Assuming they do well in those games, their Total Points spread will rise, allowing you to ‘sell’ against the spread before they face tougher games later in the season. Although this can potentially reduce your profits, it has the attraction of ensuring a guaranteed profit whatever the eventual outcome.