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Over the past 10 years, football betting in emerging markets has seen explosive growth. Africa has emerged as the new frontier for sports betting and gaming. If you believe the story that Africa is a place marked only by poverty, you can hardly imagine how the sports betting industry there could be worth billions of dollars.
Three countries alone are responsible for a large portion of the billions of dollars in annual sports betting in Africa: Nigeria, Kenya and South Africa. In these countries, one sport takes precedence over the other: soccer or club soccer.
Bookmakers, some of which have been in business for less than a decade, are already household names as they add to their range of football products for a hungry market. You can find detailed reviews of bookmaking companies here.
What attracts so many players to soccer? The main reason is the innumerable number of events, games, and outcomes that players can bet on. This is a function of the following factors:
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- It is a team game that consists of 11 players on each side. This provides a player pool of 22 for each game, so bookmakers can offer different types of player-based bets for each player. With a sport like tennis or table tennis where you mainly have 2 participants (or a maximum of 4 in doubles), you cannot achieve such variety.
- There are usually three results-oriented outcomes: a win, a draw, or a loss. Several types of bets can be spun from each of these results.
- The sport is played in almost every country in the world. That’s at least 20 countries, each with an elite league, lower leagues and various cup competitions. There are also regional and continental competitions with no fewer than 20 teams on each continent. This offers so many games and outcomes that are proving to be an opportunity for soccer players.
This means that football is not simply a sport to bet on results-oriented results. You can bet on playful results as well as on playful results. For example, if you are unsure whether Liverpool will beat Red Star Belgrade, you can bet on a result that says at least two goals will be scored in the game. If you had bet on such a result (at least 1.5 goals) when the two teams met in last season’s UEFA Champions League match in Belgrade, you would have made some money for yourself.
How profitable are player-themed bets?
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It is usually more predictable to bet on playful results from the middle of a season. You probably know the striker who scores in practically every game (as Ciro Immobile did for Lazio at the end of the 2017/2018 season) or the defender who tends to score a header goal (as Virgil van Dyke did) at Liverpool of standard situations in the 2018/2019 season).
These player-themed football bets usually have higher payouts as the odds of winning are higher. A single successful withdrawal can make up for any losses you may have made through accumulators or other types of bets. Why don’t so many soccer players make such bets? This is because the punters either don’t know these bets exist, don’t know that much about them, or don’t take the time to do research before the trick.
I remember placing a bet on Virgil van Dyke, who scored with a header against Newcastle as the 2018/2019 season came to an end. I had 6 bets that day, but that bet was one of the two winners I had as Van Dyke hit with a header from a corner very early in the game. This secured me a result of 10.0 odds. The other was a goal-themed bet where I predicted more than 2 goals would be scored in that game (over 2.5). Although my other bets fell to pieces, I walked away for the weekend with some cash in my pocket.
Remember that the only way to get the gambling out of a sports bet is to do your research properly and never bet on a clue. But if you can do your homework and have your money backing your stakes, you will be welcomed with open arms by emerging market bookmakers.