Football is one of the biggest sports on the planet for fans and punters alike. In particular, many fans closely follow the action in European football, with many of the best players competing in the top leagues on the continent.
It is therefore unsurprising that football is the biggest sport for UK bookies, and the choice available to punters is quite staggering.
We examined 26 UK bookmakers to find the best bookmaker for football betting. We looked at how many different markets they offered and compared the odds for the most important market of all, match outcome.
For this comparison, we researched what was available with the following bookmakers:
We collected data for two different matches across a weekend from each of Europe’s top five football leagues: England’s Premier League, Germany’s Bundesliga, France’s Ligue 1, Italy’s Serie A and Spain’s La Liga.
The matches in question were Everton vs. Manchester United, Manchester City vs. Liverpool, Borussia Dortmund vs. Bayern Munich, RB Leipzig vs. Freiburg, Lazio vs. Juventus, Parma vs. Fiorentina, Paris Saint-Germain vs. Stade Rennais, Nice vs. Monaco, Valencia vs. Real Madrid and Barcelona vs. Real Betis.
From there, we scored bookmakers based on their commission takings and the number of markets they offered across the leagues. These factors helped us to decide the best bookmaker for football betting. The results presented are based only on the data collected during the period November 2 to November 4.
Overall best bookmaker for football betting
No site came close to being named the best bookmaker for football betting without having good odds and a wide variety of markets in each of the five leagues. Football is an international sport with fans across the world, so bookmakers needed to perform well across the five leagues and three stood out from the pack:
Marathonbet came out on top across the board. Much of that was down to its incredibly low commission rates, which averaged just 0.73% across the five leagues. For some matches, those margins dropped as low as 0.15% (the Nice vs. Monaco match).
It also offered by far the highest average number of markets compared with the rest of the bookies we analysed. Marathonbet offered odds on an average of 417 different markets across the 10 matches. That’s over 130 more than the site in second place.
That site was EnergyBet. EnergyBet deserves credit for offering a wide selection of betting markets (285) and for taking an average commission of only 4.23% across the five leagues.
In third place was Betsafe, which landed this spot based on its low commission rates, which averaged just 3.77%. It was well in front of EnergyBet in this respect but couldn’t quite compete with the second-placed operator on the number of markets offered, with Betsafe averaging 233. Betsafe took just 3.19% in commission for the Lazio vs. Juventus match, the second-lowest of any bookmaker.
Best betting markets selection
Most sites did well in this category, with an average of 144 markets to choose from across the 10 matches. But there were three bookies that topped our search for their selection of betting markets.
Once again, Marathonbet came out on top here. It offered odds on an average of 417 different markets across the 10 matches. The highest number was in the Borussia Dortmund vs. Bayern Munich match, in which it offered odds on 432 markets. That was the highest number we found in the entire survey across the 10 games.
There was a sizeable gap between the first and second operators in terms of the number of markets offered. Again, EnergyBet came in second here, with an average of 285 markets to bet on across the 10 games.
William Hill rounded off the top three with an average of 278. Notably, it offered 307 markets for the Premier League matches, which wasn’t the highest figure we saw, but what separated William Hill from the sites below it in the rankings was its consistency across the five leagues.
Best bookmaker for 1X2 odds
This is without a doubt the most popular and easiest way to bet on football. We had some clear frontrunners in this crucial category:
Marathonbet came on top once again. It was the best bookmaker for 1X2 betting by far, taking an average commission of just 0.73% across the 10 matches.
This was well clear of every other site we looked. For many games, Marathonbet ran a special offer that saw the commission rates plummet even lower than the average. For example, for the Everton vs. Manchester United match, the average commission was just 0.22% and for the Nice vs. Monaco game it was an even lower 0.15%.
Betsafe came in second overall in our search for the best bookmaker for 1X2 betting. Its average commission rate of 3.77% put it well behind Marathonbet, but a reasonable distance clear of every other site. The lowest amount it took for one of the matches was 3.19% for the Lazio vs. Juventus game. The average for the rest of the sites for that match was a much higher 6.05%.
EnergyBet rounded out the top three. Its average commission rate of 4.23% was well below the overall 1X2 average of 5.81%. In particular, EnergyBet stood out for its Bundesliga odds, taking 4.12% for both games, far outperforming the average of 5.84% for Germany’s top flight.
Our search for the best bookmaker for football betting looked at 26 different sites across five of Europe’s best leagues. Marathonbet came out on top, but credit must also be given to EnergyBet, Betsafe and William Hill.
Marathonbet was the best bookmaker for football betting by a clear distance in our research. It topped every single category by providing the best odds in every single league and the largest selection of markets to bet on. The commission of just 0.15% for the Nice vs. Monaco game in Ligue 1 was particularly impressive.
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