Why it's worth searching for the best odds
When you’re looking for a new betting site, there’s a lot to consider. The bonuses and promotions are just two examples. However, if you’re betting on sub-standard odds, you’re sacrificing potential winnings. That’s why so many punters want to find which bookies offer the best odds for the events and markets they follow. YouGov asked the public what factors were important to them when it came to placing a bet on a football game. The same question was asked of recent gamblers. In a blog post sharing the findings of the survey, YouGov Global Sector Head for Leisure and Entertainment, Oliver Rowe, said:
“For both groups, the recent form of each team came out as the most important factor… But price or odds is also important, and it takes second place amongst both groups.”
YouGov asked the public what factors were important to them when it came placing a bet on a professional football game.
Leicester City’s run to the Premier League title in 2015/16 is the prime example of why you should shop around to find the best price, with the bookies that offered the longest odds of 5000-1 eventually paying out the most to a select lucky few. One lucky punter picked up £72,000 after cashing out in March from a £50 bet. But should he have waited until Leicester’s eventual win at the end of the season, he would have taken home a profit of £250,000. Nonetheless, his win remains the biggest single football bet ever won.
With so many events to bet on and a wide range of bookmakers to select from, it would be impossible to check all the odds and find the most generous pricing manually. So we got to work with our technology team to aggregate odds from multiple top UK bookmakers and serve them up for our visitors.
Use our handy links to visit the bookmaker’s website to view free bets, bonus and offers, or to sign in and place your bet at an existing account.
How to use our betting odds comparison table
Select the sport and competition you’re interested in using the tabs at the top of the page.
Scroll to the event(s) you’d like to bet on, or find the outright market that takes your fancy, and straight away you’ll see the best odds from the bookmakers we monitor on the page in front of you.
To view all the bookmakers and their odds for your chosen event, simply click to launch our comparison sidebar, containing all our odds, sortable for your convenience.
Fractional v Decimal Odds
The Different Odds Formats
When you’re looking for the best odds at a UK bookmaker, you are likely to see the odds expressed in one of two ways. These will be in fractional or decimal formats.
Fractional odds are well-favoured by British and Irish bookmakers and represent the payout ratio of a bet should you win. The number on the left represents the total winnings in relation to the stake, which is the number on the right. So if the odds of Novak Djokovic winning the next Australian Open are 4/1, then you will receive £4 plus your stake for every £1 you bet.
Decimal odds, however, are representative of the total payout on a £1 bet. There are no proportions to worry about here as these odds are as simple as it gets. So if the odds of Wales winning the Six Nations are 3.5, then you will receive £3.50 for every £1 you bet on them to win. Along with your stake, your total winnings will come to £4.50.
Our Top Pick for Betting Odds
While there are a lot of fine bookies out there, we think that for the most competitive odds your best bet is Bet365, and here’s why:
- Excellent range of sports: Bet365 offers customers some fantastic odds across a range of over 40 sports. This includes the most popular options such as football, boxing and horse racing, as well as more obscure options like table tennis and volleyball.
- Acca boost bonus: Football fans at Bet365 can not only boost the price of some already fantastic odds by building an accumulator, but they can also increase the size of their payout should their selections come through. The Soccer Accumulator Bonus rewards customers with a 5-75% cash boost for a winning selection depending on the size of their accumulator.
- Live streaming: Customers at Bet365 can keep up with the best sporting action on offer by watching one of the many live streams available on the site. This feature is great for those who want to stay as well informed as possible when they bet. It’s also a good option for those who are trying to find the right moment to lay on the live market or cash out
Our alternative picks
Has Bet365 not grabbed your attention? Or are you signed up to the site already? Either way, we have some great alternatives for you to try. Novibet is a newer sportsbook that has a lot to offer customers, including over 20 different sports to choose from — some of which contain over 150 markets. You can also try out Coral which provides customers with a fantastic mobile app as well as an accumulator bonus for correct selections.
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Historic Sporting Upsets
Comparing odds before you bet is one of the most important things you can do. It’s no good placing a winning bet only to find that you could have claimed more elsewhere. There have been some huge payouts in sports betting over the years, meaning the slightest decrease in odds can dramatically alter the size of the winnings. Let’s dive into some of the biggest payouts in sports history.
The English Premier League is the league’s most popular domestic football competition. The league hosts some of the biggest teams in the world, including Manchester United, Manchester City, Liverpool, Tottenham and Arsenal. The biggest payout from a single football bet was placed on the 2015/16 Premier League season, but it involved none of the so-called ‘Big Six’. One lucky punter picked up £72,000 from a £50 bet on Leicester’s infamous 5000/1 title win. This wasn’t the full amount they could have claimed, however, as the bet was cashed out in March. Other top divisions such as Germany’s Bundesliga, Spain’s La Liga and Italy’s Serie A also regularly produce some of the best betting odds.
One of the best places to find some great value is in the Champions League. This competition pits Europe’s best against each other and always provides some exciting results. Ajax’s second-leg Round of 16 win against Real Madrid in 2019 stands out as of the most memorable shocks, but Barcelona’s spectacular victory over PSG in 2017 was one of the most profitable. Barca were subjected to a humiliating 4-0 loss in the first leg, and after conceding an away goal in the second leg, they were priced at 200/1 to progress with just under half an hour left to play. But two late goals from Neymar and a last-gasp winner from Sergi Roberto sealed a famous win for the Blaugranes.
Keep an eye on international football which can often throw up some incredible results too. Greece’s stunning victory in Euro 2004, beating hosts Portugal in the final, stands out as one of the biggest shocks on the global stage as they overcame their 150/1 start of tournament odds to take the trophy home.
Sergi Roberto of Barcelona celebrates after scoring the winner against PSG in the Champions League.
Cricket is a sport where huge swings in momentum happen at the drop of a hat. Lose a couple of wickets in quick succession, and suddenly the batting side has a mountain to climb. What this means, however, is that cricket also becomes a sport for great comebacks and, therefore, can provide excellent value.
There is no better example of this than the Headingley test of the 1981 Ashes series between England and Australia. After Australia set a first-innings total of 401, England were bowled out for 174 and were made to follow on. The odds of recovery were astronomical and by the close on Saturday, England were priced at 500/1 by Ladbrokes to win the match. But courtesy of a heroic 149 not out from Ian Botham and a stunning eight-wicket haul from Bob Willis in Australia’s second innings, England pulled off one of the most extraordinary victories in cricketing history.
Boxing is a sport renowned for thrilling upsets. With so much hype and attention paid to the biggest fighters, complacency and pressure can often prove fatal.
Perhaps the best example of this was Buster Douglas’s incredible victory over the seemingly unbeatable Mike Tyson in 1990. Tyson was the reigning world heavyweight champion at the time and was such a favourite for the match that the odds of a Douglas victory were priced at a long 42/1. But in a stunning tenth round display, a series of resounding punches sent Tyson stumbling to the canvas, shocking the boxing world and making Douglas the undisputed heavyweight champion of the world.
Buster Douglas knocks out Mike Tyson in 1990
Horse racing has been a favourite of punters for centuries now with the speed and unpredictability of the sport making it synonymous with betting. It’s also a sport that has thrown up some of the most unexpected wins in sporting history. Over-wagered favourites and faltering leaders mean that the races can provide some huge payouts.
The longest odds ever to be overturned in British and Irish history was in a low-profile race in Leopardstown, Ireland. He Knows No Fear more than lived up to his name, moving steadily up the pack to win by a head and overcome odds of 300/1. Perhaps what is most impressive is the record that trainer, Luke Comer, took into the contest. He had failed to win a race on the flat in over nine years. Nonetheless, one lucky punter took the bold move of placing a £100 each-way bet on He Knows Fear and came up trumps, claiming £36,000 in winnings.
The end-to-end action of basketball is often the source of some of the world’s most nail-biting sport. With the NBA domestic season culminating in a best of seven playoff series, it’s not uncommon for the championship to go right down to the wire. As such, odds on the NBA are likely to be some of the most competitive around.
In 2019, the Toronto Raptors overcame odds of 23/10 to beat two-time reigning champions Golden State Warriors and claim their first NBA title. But that result comes second to the Detroit Piston’s record-breaking championship win in 2004. Detroit, featuring just one All-Star in the form of Ben Wallace, dispatched a star-studded Lakers team in six games. Their unlikely victory against the dominant Kobe Bryant and Shaquille O’Neal duo meant that they became the biggest underdogs in NBA history to win a championship, with pre-season odds of 5/1.
Golf is a sport all about patience and picking your moment and the same can be said when you wager on it. The biggest names in the sport inevitably dominate the headlines before each tournament, but it’s well worth keeping an eye on the more unknown competitors.
A great example of an underdog taking the rest of the competition by storm happened in 2016 when Danny Willet won the Masters. He was priced at pre-tournament odds of 55/1 in March of 2016, but thanks to a fabulous display on the green and a late collapse from Jordan Speith, he was able to claim the famous green jersey. His victory was also only the second time an Englishman had ever come away from Augusta with the title.
Using our betting odds comparison tool is a great way to find the best value wagers and means there’s no need to use an external odds comparison site. But if you’re placing a bet blind then you won’t be making the most of your better value odds. That’s why we’ve put together some top tips you can follow for each major sport so that you make the most informed decisions.
Before you place any football bet, make sure you first look at how well a team or player has performed in the past. If they take some good form into their next fixture — in the shape of a couple of wins or a few goals — then you can bet they’ll be playing with confidence.
The footballing calendar is one of the most heavily-packed in all of world sport. As such, teams playing in a number of different competitions at the same time may be low on energy. This can cause a few upsets throughout the season and is one of the reasons why football betting odds are far from predictable.
Look into the mangers’ comments
What the manager says in their pre-match conferences can often be a solid indication as to how their team will approach a match. Whether they plan to park the bus, go on the attack or rest their star names, the manager will be sure to give something away.
Read up on the statistics
Cricket is a sport in which statistics play a central role. As such, it would make sense that you read up on them before you place a bet. You can check out batting and bowling averages if you’re looking for how consistently a team or player performs. You can also see whether a particular player is chasing any personal milestones, and therefore will come into a game with something to prove.
Check form in various formats
Cricket is played in three main formats, and while the rules of the game are generally the same across them all, there are subtle differences that should be taken into account. T20 and one-day games are more about scoring quickly and so suit an aggressive style of play. First-class cricket, however, is played over five days and requires more patience and timing. As such, just because a player scored a century in their last T20 game doesn’t guarantee the same success in a test match.
Look at the team schedule
With so many different formats to the game, cricket players will often have some pretty heavy schedules. As such, fatigue can be a real factor. This is why it can be a good idea to check out how much cricket someone has played before you wager on them putting in a stellar performance in their next match.
See who a fighter is scheduled to fight next
While you may betting on a fighter to claim victory over their current opponent, looking ahead to who they face next is a good way to get inside their head. If they’re up against a more formidable challenger in their next bout, then complacency could set in. Every opponent is a test of a fighter’s mentality as well as their physicality, so if they don’t prepare properly for each then an upset could be on the cards.
Look at the difference in styles between fighters
Each fighter’s style will naturally differ from their opponent’s. Understanding how these will play out in the ring is pretty important when you’re wagering on the next big fight. One fighter may be more athletic than the other and so will land more punches. But if their opponent has a good reach then there’s every chance they’ll land a knockout blow.
Research their trainers
Boxing isn’t just about the fighters in the ring, it’s also about the trainers that get them there. Look into who their trainers have worked with in the past, how much success they’ve had against similar opponents and whether they’ve got something to prove. Each of these factors can give you a real insight into how a bout may pan out.
Check the conditions
Always keep an eye on the condition of the turf before you lay a wager on the horses. Different horses prefer racing in different conditions and will therefore perform better if the turf is to their liking. Some horses prefer harder ground so they will be the challengers to back in the summer months, while others favour the softer ground more commonly found over winter.
Pay attention to the draw
The draw determines which stall each horse will start the race from and it can have a big impact on how the contest finishes. Different racecourses are thought to have what’s known as a draw bias, which means that there are sections of the track which are faster than others. In some cases, the middle of the course is thought to be quicker than the rest, meaning that the horse drawn in the central stall could put in a quicker time than their competition. The draw is randomly selected so there won’t be any instances of intentional bias. Nonetheless, it could be worthwhile doing some research into the course before you wager.
A good way to understand how well a horse may perform in an upcoming race is to look at their temperament. A horse that has a history of faltering at the jumps may do so again and so won’t represent the safest wager come race day. A good idea will be to look into how each horse has performed in their previous races before you lay your wager.
Do your research
As basketball is a sport played predominantly in the US, keeping up to date with the latest unfolding events is crucial when it comes to making an informed bet. There are a number of great websites you can access, from ESPN to the Bleacher Report, that will give you the lowdown on player form, the coach’s mindset and who their tips are for the upcoming gameweek.
Head to Heads
Head to head records take on a particular importance in basketball, especially when it comes to the NBA. Teams in the same division will play each other four times over the course of the regular season so understanding how they’ve fared against each other in past meetings can be really important when placing your bet. One side may want to get back at their opponent for a heavy defeat the last time they met. Or one side may have a particularly glaring deficiency that their opponents have exploited in the past and can do so again. Either way, match ups are an integral part of basketball so getting a handle on them before you bet is vital.
Check Team News
The NBA season is played out across a mammoth 82 games over the course of the season. As such, not every player can be expected to play so as teams undertake vital load management, they will often be forced to rest their best players. This can give their opponents a greater chance of stealing a win because an LA Lakers team without LeBron James in it, for example, is a completely different proposition.
Research their skillset
Not every golfer will have the same skillset, with some performing better driving from the tee than putting on the green. These different skills will have an impact on how they perform on the day. A poor start for a player who struggles in the rough may just put them out of contention, while a player comfortable in the sand can afford to take it a little easier.
Keep an eye on the conditions
It’s important to keep an eye on the weather conditions before the players tee off. Warmer weather is ideal for golf as less energy is required to hit the ball. In cold weather, however, the energy transfer when you hit the ball is less efficient and therefore it becomes difficult to play as accurately. Also, pay attention to the direction and strength of the wind on the day as this can have a huge impact on how a player chooses their shots.
Look at who their caddy is
The golf caddy is an indisputably important role as they are the ones who will be able to provide direct assistance and guidance to the competitor. As such, look into the history of that caddy and see how much success they have reaped in the past. The right advice on one hole could just mean the difference between winning and losing.
Popular Betting Markets
When you’re looking for the best betting odds, it’s key to understand the markets available for each sport. The most standard bets across all sports are those placed on the match-winner, while you can also wager on the outright victor of whole competitions. Let’s delve into some of the other markets available to old and new customers alike.
In this market you’re betting who you think will score in a match. These bets can be placed on a player finding the back of the net any time, or in the first or second half. More specific bets will come with longer odds, however, so make sure you’ve done your research.
Both Teams to Score
The Both Teams to Score (BTTS) market is a great option for those looking for better odds than those available on the match result market. If you can see both sides hitting the back of the net, then you can bet that both sides will score. If you don’t think there will be goals at both ends, however, and can only see one team scoring — or neither for that matter — then you can wager ‘no’ on the BTTS market.
Another market based around the scoreline, here you’re wagering on the total goals in the match. The most common market is over/under 2.5. Betting on the under means you think there’ll be two goals or less in the match. For the over to win, there needs to be at least three goals in the match. Some bookies offer other markets, from 0.5 through 6.5, as well as total goals betting for individual teams.
First Innings Lead
In test cricket each team bats twice, so the first innings lead market is for which team you think will have the advantage going into the halfway point. Taking a lead into their second innings can be a real advantage for a side, but the pressure of defending it can also be a poison chalice.
Runs at Fall of First Wicket
This betting market is great if you’re looking for some good value. If you think the batting side haven’t got what it takes, then you can wager that the first wicket will fall either within the first few overs or after only a few runs have been scored — depending on which site you bet at. If, however, you believe the fielding side are the weakest side, then you can bet on them taking their time to claim their first set of poles.
Top Batsman / Top Bowler
Cricket matches are often defined by individual performances and you can bet on who the best bowler and batsman will be after the first innings or come the end of the match — depending on which format the game is played in. The top batsman or bowler will be decided on who has scored the most runs or taken the most wickets, respectively.
This market is different from the match result betting option as you’re wagering on how you think the fight will end. This can be via knockout, technical knockout, disqualification, technical decision or decision. As this option is more specific than the match result market, the odds will be longer.
On the round betting market, you’re wagering on when you think the bout will end. This market can even be combined with the match result market12.
Will the Fight go the Distance
This market is pretty simple and revolves around a ‘yes/no’ answer. If you think the match will last the full 12 rounds, then you bet ‘yes’, and if not then you wager ‘no’. It’s as simple as that. Keep an eye on how well matched each fighter is, as well as their stamina levels, as these can be great indicators of a full-length bout.
Placing an each way bet is essentially wagering on two outcomes: your chosen horse to finish either first or to ‘place’. You won’t need to add to your betslip twice, but you’re placing two bets here. This means you can receive a portion of your winnings even if your horse doesn’t win. Place usually refers to finishing 2nd or 3rd, but this varies depending on which bookie you choose. It is one of the most common horse racing bets available to punters.
The place only market is simply for wagering on where you think a horse will finish. It can be placed on the horse finishing first, but it can also be second, third, fourth etc. These bets may be simpler to understand than each-way bets, but the odds will almost always be shorter.
Forecast and tricast bets aren’t placed on single horses, but on who the top finishers will all be. The forecast bet is for which horses you believe will finish in first and second place, while the tricast is all about predicting who will take the top three spots.
In this market, you’re simply wagering on whether a game will finish over or under a certain number of points. You can also bet on individual teams scoring over or under a set number of points during a game.
Basketball games can often be high-scoring affairs which is why the handicap betting market can be so valuable. The option can also offer up some of the best odds in basketball. If you think one team is going to win, but the odds on them doing so aren’t very favourable, a wager on how much they will win by can be a great alternative.
If you fancy adding a bit of variety to your betslip, then the quarter/half betting markets could be the option for you. You can wager on the points total or result of each quarter, and you can really add some value to your potential winnings by combining these bets into an accumulator. But be warned that bigger potential payouts also mean longer odds.
Similar to the each-way bet commonly found in horse racing markets, here you’re placing two stakes on a particular player to finish either first or place. Again, the big benefit of this market is that you’ll be able to claim some cash even if your chosen player doesn’t win. But how much you claim will depend on the odds of them placing.
Top 5/Top 10 Finish
If you’re betting on this market, you’re simply wagering on whether you think a player will finish in either the top 5 or the top 10. This market is a bit of a compromise to the match result or each-way market, and as such the odds will be shorter meaning that the payout won’t be as big.
If you’re struggling to find much value in the match result market, then the victory margin option might be your best bet. This market allows you to bet on how much you think a particular player will win a game by which will usually be priced at longer odds. As such, the potential payout will increase, while the likelihood that you’ll win will decrease.
Bonuses can often be the difference between a good site and a great site, with the best sportsbooks offering generous bonus amounts with minimal wagering requirements. Wagering requirements can have an impact on which odds you are able to wager on so let’s look at the key promotions available to you.
Matched deposits are an incredibly popular form of welcome bonus offering punters the ability to increase the size of their first deposit up to a certain amount. Matched deposits will often look something like ‘100% up to the value of £100’, doubling the size of your bankroll when you enter the correct promo code. Wagering requirements will often be attached to these promotions and minimum odds will most likely be a part of them. If a bonus comes with min odds, then only wagers over a certain value can contribute to the fulfilment of the wagering requirements. As such, punters should always read the full T&Cs of a matched deposit in order to understand all the withdrawal restrictions.
Free bets are a classic betting bonus and can be claimed by both new and old customers. By claiming a free bet, you can give your bankroll a boost and wager on a selection of markets decided by the sportsbook. Free bets can be claimed as standalone bonuses, or they can come rolled into larger promotions like matched deposits. You may even receive free bets after laying a qualifying bet of £10, for example. In order to claim and use the free bet, however, some bookies will require you to use your first bet and free bet on odds of a minimum value.
Accumulator bonuses give customers the ability to add to their larger potential payouts by rewarding them with cash prizes or free bets for correct selections. There will be some stipulations to be aware of. Your acca may have meet a minimum number of selections, while the cumulative odds of your various bets may have to be above a certain amount. Nonetheless, by wagering using an accumulator, you are boosting your odds and therefore your winnings.
Boost Your Potential Winnings with an Accumulator
Accumulators are an incredibly popular way to bet, with punters able to combine various odds into one wager and therefore multiply the size of their potential winnings. Accumulators can be placed across various games, across different days, and sometimes even across different sports. Because the odds of each bet are multiplied together, you have the opportunity to claim some sizable winnings from a potentially tiny initial bet.
One of the biggest accumulator bets ever won was by a roofer from Staffordshire in 2001 who correctly predicted the winners of all four English professional divisions, the Conference (now The National League), the winners of the Rugby Union and County Cricket Championships and a selection of other football games. Against odds of 1.6 million to one, he eventually came out victorious when Bayern Munich beat Valencia in the Champions League final, earning him a payday of £500,000 from a 30p bet.
Withdraw Your Winnings Early
How to Keep Your Gambling Safe
Gambling is should only ever be a form of entertainment. So in order for gambling to remain a fun pastime, we’ve put together a few tips you can follow so that you can gamble responsibly.
Time and Deposit Limits
All gambling companies licensed by the UK Gambling Commission (UKGC) are legally required to make several tools available that help players stay on top of their gambling. Chief amongst which are the time and deposit limits you can set up on your account. These allow you to choose how long you want to spend at a particular site and how much you’re willing to deposit in a 24 hour period. Once you go over your deposit limit, you won’t be able to add any more money to your account. And once you go over your daily time limit, you won’t be able to open the site or app.
If you feel that your gambling habit is getting out of hand, then you can opt into a self-exclusion scheme. These schemes exclude you from all online gambling activities for a period of up to five years. GAMSTOP are the key provider of this scheme in the UK, and what’s more, it’s free to sign up to.
If it gets to the point where your gambling habit has become an addiction, then there are a number of excellent charities you can get in touch with who can help. BeGambleAware.org is one of the best options for problem gamblers as the charity not only provides a lot of helpful resources but also runs the National Gambling Helpline 24 hours a day 7 days a week. Gamblers Anonymous is another excellent option for those who are looking to share their issues and seek advice in the experiences of other problem gamblers. Gambling addiction is now also recognised as a genuine medical condition so help can also be provided by the NHS.
Sign Up to Your Favourite Site and Compare Odds
Now that you have all the information you need about how betting odds work, why it’s important to shop around and how to best place your cash, you simply need to find the site that’s right for you. So have a look at our odds comparison tool, see what the best options are, sign up and lay your wagers.
Yes it does. Just as with fractional odds, your initial stake is included in your winnings should your bet come through. So if you win a £5 bet with odds of 5.0, then your net profit from the £25 payout will be £20.
It’s not just wagering requirements and min odds that apply to bonuses, as other T&Cs apply may also apply. Bonuses claimed after laying your free bet stake will likely come with expiry dates which means that you must fulfil the wagering requirements by that date otherwise you will lose any bonus winnings you may have made. You may also run across min deposit requirements. This means that there is a certain amount you must first lay in order to claim bonuses such as matched deposits. Some payment methods also won’t be accepted as eligible deposit methods for certain bonuses. These will predominantly be for e-wallets like Skrill, Neteller and, to a lesser extent, PayPal.
Absolutely. It’s not just sporting events that you can find the best odds for but politics, music and TV specials are also available to punters. And if you shop around in the same way you look for the best sports bets, you will be able to find the best value for your money.
There is no definitive top bookmaker when it comes to odds comparison. Some bookies may offer the best odds on the market for a certain period of time, but that won’t last forever. If there was one sportsbook that always offered the best odds, then there would be no need for any competition. As such, it’s always best to keep an open mind when looking for the best value odds.
You will know that a sportsbook is safe to play at if it is licensed by the UKGC. By holding such a license, the bookmaker is required to provide its customers with tools to help them stay in control of their gambling such as time outs and deposit limits. Fully-licensed casinos are also held to strict advertising standards which means that the strategies used to attract new customers to a site are always above board.