Football Betting in 2024: A Beginner’s Guide to Not Losing Your Shirt

Football betting has become a multi-billion dollar industry, especially with the rise of online sportsbooks. With the 2024 Euro and World Cup fast approaching, novice bettors may be enticed to try their luck. However, football betting is not as easy as just picking your favorite team. To avoid leaving the sportsbook naked, here are some tips for beginners on how to bet on football and maybe even win in 2024 through the Yesplay bookmaker, review available at the link

Know Thy Odds, Understand Thy Bets

The first step is understanding the cryptic hieroglyphics that are betting odds. Fractional odds, like 5/2, are common in UK books while decimal odds, like 2.80, are popular in Europe. For beginners, American style +250 odds are easiest to understand. The + means you profit $250 on a $100 bet. -250 odds mean you need to bet $250 to profit $100. 

Once you can read odds, know the main bet types. There’s moneyline (pick a team to win), spread (pick margin of victory) and total (over/under points scored). Then dive into more exotic bets like correct score, both teams to score and first goalscorer which offer bigger payouts but are harder to predict.

Pro tip: Don’t just bet on your favorite teams. The bookies set odds to tempt fans into backing their teams blindly. Be objective and bet the value.

Trust the Experts, Be Wary of Touts 

Serious bettors spend hours analyzing team formations, weather forecasts, player injuries, historical trends and more. Novices don’t have that kind of time, so following experts can give you an edge. 

But beware tipsters who promise 70% win rates. In football betting, a 55% win rate is considered elite. Before following a tipster, check their long term record in detail. Avoid any who only highlight wins and never losses or push “once in a lifetime” 100/1 shots.

Pro tip: The best experts explain their reasoning, not just give picks. Understanding why they pick teams helps novice bettors grasp the fundamentals of handicapping games.

Manage Thy Bankroll, Keep Records

Bankroll management is vital. Experts recommend having 50-100 units to bet, with 1 unit being 1-2% of your bankroll. So if you have $1000, bet $10-20 per game and avoid parlays that risk your entire bankroll. 

Meticulously track every bet in a journal or app. After each week, calculate your profit/loss, ROI and record against closing lines. This helps you analyze mistakes and improve over time. If you’re losing over many weeks, reduce your bet size.

Pro tip: Set a weekly or monthly loss limit and stop betting if you reach it. Don’t chase losses by betting bigger out of desperation. Stick to your system.

Line Shop for Best Odds, Promos

The same match will have slightly different odds at each sportsbook. Line shopping at odds comparison sites can help you maximize the value on your bets. Some books also offer appealing bonuses like reduced juice on certain bets. 

It’s good practice to have accounts at 3-5 reputable online books. But don’t put money on sketchy books with slow payouts and bad reviews. Read the fine print on bonuses and rollover requirements before claiming them. 

Pro tip: Use peer-to-peer betting exchanges like Betfair for better odds and to hedge or trade positions on live bets.

Stay Sober, Bet for Fun 

There’s a reason Las Vegas pumps booze at the sportsbook. Drinking impairs judgement and most alcohol-influenced bets are sucker bets. Keep a clear head and gamble responsibly, setting a budget for entertainment rather than as a get rich quick scheme.

While upsets, injuries and bad beats are part of football betting, resist blaming losses on “bad luck.” Accept both wins and losses with detached equanimity rather than emotional outbursts. Staying calm and rational is the path to long term profit.

Pro tip: If you feel yourself tilting and chasing losses, take a break to reset mentally before you dig a deeper hole.

Conclusion: Bet Smart, Have Fun

Football betting is unpredictable, so have reasonable expectations. A 3-5% long term ROI is considered respectable for an avid bettor. There are no magic systems that always win but using the right information sources, having a strategy and staking plan, and constantly analyzing results separates winners from perennial losers.

Most of all though, remember that football betting is entertainment. Have fun, enjoy the big games, don’t go broke, and you’ll have a blast whether you’re just dabbling or want to grind out steady profits.