Free Football Bets to Profit From

What’s better than sports betting? Sports betting without risking a penny of your own money. And one of the simplest ways to do this is with the free bets that bookies offer new and existing players. The increasing popularity of gambling has also intensified the competition between bookies, making special offers, including free bets, increasingly common. Even better, these can be used to guarantee a profitable outcome.

Tip One – Get the Free Bet Cheap

Free bets usually require a qualifying bet beforehand. Bet a tenner, get a tenner in a free bet, or something similar. But if your qualifying bet fails and you lose £10, then you start off with a relatively large dollop of red in your ledger.

The way around this is to have a corresponding, opposite bet in an exchange for this qualifying bet. That might yield a tiny guaranteed profit or a small guaranteed loss (pence rather than pounds). In effect, you’re buying a £10 free bet for a few pence.

Tip Two – Matched Betting

Traditional bookies face stiff competition from betting exchanges. For those unaware, an exchange is where gamblers come together and place (or accept) their own odds, the exchange itself only creating the markets, not the odds. The profit for the business comes from a small percentage taken from the winner. An extra advantage for gamblers is that this means the profit doesn’t come from the exchange balancing a book (the way a bookie works), so the odds tend to be a little longer.

For bookies, this is a big challenge (some have branched out with their own exchanges). For punters, it’s an opportunity. Matched betting with free bets can be a means to a guaranteed profit. Probably sounds too good to be true, but it’s just a matter of numbers.

Say you get a free bet from your bookie. Check the eligibility of the markets for your free bet, then compare the odds with an exchange. Because the bookie bet is free, you don’t even need to try and find an arb (arbitrage is where the odds are long enough to back both options and come out ahead whichever occurs. More on that below). Just back the bookie odds with your free bet, and the opposite outcome on the exchange with actual money. Whatever happens, you should be able to finish ahead (obviously check the numbers for yourself to make sure they stack up, but it shouldn’t be a problem).

Sports betting with free bets is pretty cool, and no deposit bonuses are another way to cash in without risking any of your own cash.

Tip Three – Long Term Memory

Betting on sports, including football, can take various forms, from in-play live betting to wagers on matches, and season or even longer-term bets. In Formula 1, for example, a year ago there was a market on Lewis Hamilton to beat Schumacher’s win record (likely to come good next season).

If you’re the type of gambler who likes a long term bet, then betting on a/the alternative option (in football this could be a season title winner or top goal scorer) can be a good way of increasing the chances of finishing ahead. In a binary market, you can even guarantee a profit. One plus for long term bets is that the odds can change dramatically, which sometimes means you can even back both sides with the same bookie and finish ahead whatever happens (this was possible with a number of recent political markets, such as having another EU referendum. In footballing terms, it can happen with a title contender having a string of very good, or bad, results, altering their title odds rapidly).

Another advantage of a long term bet is that the odds can be tasty because there’s a lot of time and greater uncertainty involved. The downside, besides having to wait for the result and keep track of where you stand, is that you start having to take into account inflation eating into your profit margin. Bet on something that takes two years (the Hamilton bet, if it comes off) and you could easily be looking at losing 6% or more just because of the inflation rate. Because of this, I’d personally advise against short odds long term bets.

Whether you’re betting on a short or long term basis, getting the right odds is critical in gambling, both the standard way and with the matched betting approach.

Tip Four – Other Opportunities

A number of bookies have free-to-play games that involve predicting football goals. With no stake involved it’s a quick and easy bit of fun to see if you can forecast goal scorers in forthcoming matches. Even better, there are some hefty prizes on offer. It’s a risk-free way of having a chance at profits ranging from a £10 free bet to a cool £2 million.

Signing up with a new bookie can also mean getting welcome bonuses. Sometimes these include free bets. Another type of newcomer promotion is deposit matching, whereby the sportsbook matches your initial deposit, at a certain rate (usually 100%) up to a ceiling.

Arbitrage doesn’t appear too often, but it’s a gambler’s dream. Back both options in a binary choice (with different bookies, possibly accepting long term bets at different times) and finish ahead whatever happens. It’s almost printing money (in such a case stake limitations might affect things, and read the rules very carefully as these can differ from one bookie to another.

If you do find such an opportunity it’s worth backing with your own cash, but if you happen to have a free bet too, feel free to lump that on and make a bit more.