Football is by far the most popular sport in Asia, and interest has been heightened in recent years due to the rapid growth of the Chinese Super League. China has ambitious plans to become one of the leading football nations in the near future, and there has been sustained heavy investment into domestic football clubs over the last few seasons. Players such as Carlos Tevez, Hulk and Oscar have captured the headlines after sealing big-money moves to clubs in China, and the future could be very positive not only for Chinese football, but for Asian football on the whole.
It is also very beneficial to those of us who like to bet on football because we can watch world-class players while making a profit! Online betting is now available at the touch of a fingertip to people who like wagering on sports. The instant nature of internet and smartphone technology also means that bets can be placed within a few seconds, even while the match is being played. Keeping up to date with live football scores has never been more important as it gives the bettor lots of opportunities to beat the bookies by snapping up great value odds.
Due to football’s popularity in Asian countries, it is not difficult to find odds for almost any international competition with most trusted bookmakers. This includes major international tournaments like the World Cup, the AFC Asian Cup, the European Championships and the Copa America; and also top domestic leagues such as England’s Premier League, Spain’s La Liga and Italy’s Serie A.
Asian national teams which qualified for the World Cup in Russia in 2018 were Iran, South Korea, Japan and Saudi Arabia. Australia (whose defection from the OFC to the AFC remains controversial) also qualified after a two-legged inter-confederation play-off against Honduras from the CONCACAF region.
European leagues, in particular, the Premier League, are widely supported in Asian countries. Clubs such as Manchester United and Liverpool have huge followings in this part of the world, and many top English teams benefit from Asian investment. La Liga is also a popular league for betting with Barcelona and Real Madrid attracting massive support, partly due to world famous players Messi and Ronaldo.
Domestic football is well covered by most trusted online sportsbooks, and it is often in these leagues where more value can be found for the serious gambler. The Chinese Super League has caught global attention because of the sheer level of money being ploughed into the game, but there are many competitive leagues throughout Asia that we should follow. These include:
The Japanese J-League officially launched in 1993 and experienced its own boom as foreign managers and players came to be part of an ambitious project. The league has had many changes since the early days, but is now one of the more successful leagues in the region with three professional divisions.
Known as T1 and sponsored by Toyota, the Thai League was inaugurated in 1996 as the Thailand Soccer League. It became the Thai Premier League in 2009, but was rebranded as the Thai League in 2017.
Vietnam’s national league was established in 1980 but didn’t turn professional until 2000, when it allowed clubs to sign foreign players. The season runs from January to September.
South Korea’s K-League features two divisions, the K-League Classic and the K-League Challenge. Three of the twelve teams in the league qualify for the AFC Champions League.
The Malaysia Super League is the top tier of football in Malaysia, formed in 2004. The season runs from February to October with a month break for Ramadan.
Singapore’s S.League was created in 1996 and 25 clubs have competed in it since then.
Also known as the Taiwan Enterprise League for sponsorship purposes, the Taiwan Football Premier League was established in 2017 to replace the Intercity Football League. That first season saw eight teams compete, with no relegation.
Some of these leagues may not have the glitz and glamour of Champions League or Premier League matches, but this is exactly why they are great for betting. The bookmakers take very few chances with their markets on high-profile games, and odds can quickly become contracted on favourites who attract lots of bets. Using your own knowledge of domestic games to spot the areas where bookies have taken their eye off the ball and are offering value odds, is a great way to win money.
Using football live scores as a betting tool is something that not many bettors have latched onto. With the right strategy, you biggest problem might be working out the best withdrawal methods to get your winnings paid out faster! We’ll look at that strategy shortly, but first here are some of the more popular football bets.
Similar to European accumulators, parlay bets are single bets which include a number of selections. Each selection must win for the bet to be a winner and the reward is that returns are much higher. If just one of your selections loses then the entire bet is a loser, but successful parlays with several selections can return huge sums of money.
The classic win-lose-draw bet, where 1 = home win, X = draw, and 2 = away win. This is a simple bet on the outcome of any given football match.
Each team in a match is given a ‘goal handicap’, often +/- 0.5 or +/- 1.5 goals. This eliminates the possibility of a draw as one team will always have ‘half a goal’ extra when the handicap is added to the final score. It also means that odds can be represented more evenly in a game which features a strong favourite and an unfancied underdog.
The bookmakers set a line on a particular market – the amount of goals, corners or cards for example – then you bet on whether there will be under that amount or over that amount. A typical example is ‘over/under 2.5 goals’ – If there are two goals or less a bet on under will win, but if there are three goals or more a bet on over will win.
The growth of in-play betting means that we can use live football scores to our advantage, by taking account of what has happened during games in real-time. You could be watching a match where a team scores against the run of play and your knowledge tells you that they will struggle to hold on to the lead. At this time bookmakers adjust their odds to reflect the circumstances of the game, and us bettors can often find very attractive odds by backing the losing side to come back for a win or a draw.
The bookmakers use reams of data to set their odds based on statistics and probabilities, but that can never beat being at the ground or watching on TV in terms of truly assessing the game. This is one online betting strategy that many successful gamblers have used to make considerable profits.