When most punters think of having a stab at the footy, they often run straight to the Premier League, Champions League or other major competitions.
However, there is a case to be made for lower league betting. Betting in the lower leagues is a challenge, and you may not know much about the teams or the players involved.
It can be a risk worth taking, though, as the potential dividends can be far greater than you’d get with a typical Premier League bet.
How so? Throughout this article, we will look at lower league betting.
We’ll tell you why having a stab at betting on so-called “Mickey Mouse teams” can be worth your while.
Let’s begin then, by introducing lower league footy betting to you.
Top 10 Bookmakers Where You Can Bet On Lower Leagues  - Updated List
Why Should I Bet on Lower League Football?
The first significant difference between top leagues and lower league football is that you’re unlikely to know too much about the latter. You may be aware of the Salahs, Kanes, Rashfords and Agüeros of the Premier League, but not be so knowledgeable about those rising stars in the basement divisions of league football. Lower league football betting is going to take a bit of homework on your part. Here you can learn more about how to make money betting on football.
Top divisions, such as the Premier League have their share of big, goliath teams, and a few underdogs. Apart from the odd seasons (such as when Leicester won the title), it is relatively easy to predict who will end up where in the table, and which team will nab a result against whom. As a result of this, the odds tend to be somewhat petite.
Drop down into the depths of league football, and you can get quite long odds on matches. In the lower divisions, the teams are far more evenly matched. There is a severe air of unpredictability about these divisions, and this means that lower league betting chucks out some long and juicy odds.
If you do your homework or follow a team in the lower divisions, there is every chance that you’ll have the knowledge to predict matches correctly. Moreover, you may even know more about a lower league side than the bookies, and that gives you a slight advantage.
Bookies still do their due diligence, but not as thoroughly as they would for Premier League matches, as they are what most punters will have a crack on.
A Step Into the Dark: Betting On Unknown Leagues
You aren’t limited to lower league soccer betting on the Championship, League One, League Two or even the National League. Many regional leagues also spring up at bookies. So, too, do the lower echelons of other countries’ football leagues. Serie B, Ligue 2, 2. Bundesliga and Spain’s Segunda División can present exciting odds for the knowledgeable punter.
We wouldn’t stray too far from home and what you know, though. The further into obscurity you go, the longer the odds become, but the less likely you are to know anything about the teams in question.
You can get odds of 10:1 or more on lower division football in Thailand or Iceland, for instance, but we wouldn’t recommend straying too far from home. At least, not in the beginning.
Understanding Lower League Betting Options
There is a plethora of different lower league betting options out there for you to go with. Most of these will be familiar to punters to have wagered on Premier League or Champions League games before. If you haven’t, you needn’t fret. We’ve covered the basics below:
- Over 0.5 Goals: A bet on over 0.5 goals is essentially a bet on there being at least one goal scored in a match.
- Over 1.5 Goals: The over 1.5 goals bet requires there to be at least 2 goals scored in a game.
- Under 1.5 Goals: Betting on under 1.5 goals or under 0.5 goals means that there must be no more than 1 goal, or no goals scored, respectively.
- Under 3.5 Goals: A popular bet, the under 3.5 goals bet means that your chosen game must have 3 goals or less scored.
- Win to Nil: Win to Nil is a dual bet. You are betting that a footy team will win (known as a back bet) and that the other side will fail to score. Both wagers must be placed, and your team must keep a clean sheet while the opposition must have no clean sheet and lose the game.
- Handicap Betting: Handicaps are a way evening out the odds between a giant and an underdog. For instance, big teams must win by a certain margin to win a handicap bet (be it an Asian handicap bet or a European handicap bet), while losing teams must avoid defeat by a predetermined number of goals.
- Double Chance: With a double chance bet, you are essentially covering two out of three possible outcomes in a football match. For instance, a home team win and a draw (1X) or betting against a draw to happen (1 2 bet). A double chance 12 bet is the exact opposite of bet draws.
- Half-Time/Full-Time Scores: Another double bet, you are essentially betting on the score at half-time and the score at full-time. This is different from a standard first or second half bet, which could see you win in either half. There is very similar to a double result bet.
Unique Factors Which Can Affect Lower League Results
There are several things which can happen that can affect results when betting in the lower leagues. Take note of these lower league betting tips to ensure that you are prepared for any eventuality:
- Bad Weather: In the lower leagues, not every stadium has under-soil heating. Games can be called off for water-logged pitches or snow. This can cause fixture congestion, which may mean that a side is not as well-prepared when the match is replayed.
- Fixture Congestion: Speaking of fixture congestion, there are many matches in lower league football in England. Throw in the surplus of cup competitions, and matches can be postponed, and players can tire.
- Fatigue: It is relatively easy for players to tire with so many games. Throw in the fact that not many lower league teams have decent squad depths and you’ll find that performances are not at their peak. Moreover, injuries are more common due to the poorer quality conditions of the pitch.
- Transfer Windows: Rising stars can depart to top clubs in the transfer windows, and many bigger clubs loan out their players to lower league sides. This can affect the balance in a team, and either benefit or hinder it.
- Cup Runs: A cup run is hugely important for lower league football teams. They desperately need the revenue from a good cup run. Some may prioritise a cup run, which may see them perform worse in the league.
- The Playoffs: Unlike the Premier League, the lower divisions in English football feature a playoffs system. This gives teams lower down the table a reason to fight and can spur on performance. Similarly, relegation battles can also dramatically alter results. Many European leagues also feature playoff systems or even split into two mid-way through the season. These, too, can affect the performances of teams and that will naturally adjust the odds.
Learn to Use the Unpredictably of Lower League Betting to Your Advantage
As you will no doubt have noticed, there is a low of unpredictability when betting in the lower leagues. Many sports bettors consider this a risk not worth taking. However, if you know your onions, then there is a reasonable chance that you can turn this unpredictably into a success story.
As mentioned, though, you’re going to need to get up to speed quickly, if you’re going to have a punt on betting in the lower leagues.
If you do your homework, watch matches, learn about the players and recognise the pitfalls (such as those mentioned above), then you may be able to turn unpredictability into an advantage against the bookies.
Frequently Asked Questions About Lower League Betting
You may still have questions about lower league betting, and we’ll try to answer them as best as we can in this guide:
Not in the major leagues. Lower league soccer betting in far-flung countries may experience match-fixing. But in the lower leagues of major footballing countries, this is seldom ever an issue.
You could do that, but the chances are that most other sports bettors have the same knowledge, and the bookies will arguably have more. Bookies (and especially your average sports bettor) are not so knowledgeable about the basement divisions. Betting on lower league football may (if you know your stuff) give you an advantage then.
Lower league betting essentially means any division below the top one. In England, this means the Championship, League One and League Two. However, to some it can mean anything which is not strictly speaking “league football”, so the National League, Northern Premier Division and others, for instance. The further down a country’s football pyramid you look, the more “lower league” the competitions are.
Yes. You should avoid betting on any lower league competition that you know nothing about. The odds are often very attractive for these competitions, but you’re essentially betting blind. Always learn a thing or two about a lower league before having a punt on it.
Get Started Betting on Lower League Football Today
If you fancy your chances of getting on over on the bookie, then we’re ready to help. We’ve got plenty of leading sportsbooks which we can recommend on this site. All provide lower league betting options for you, and some have quite a range to choose from.
Just remember to pick wisely and do your homework before starting out. Once you’re ready to go, select one of our bookies to start betting on lower league football today.