In the not-so-distant past, betting on the half time/full time market was considered quite a novel, exciting and detailed wager. But then again, in the not so distant past, Alan Shearer had hair and paying £15m for a striker was not merely “quite a lot of money”, but was in fact a world-record fee. So, times have changed, and nowadays you can bet on so many different aspects of a game of football that punters are often spoiled for choice.
Of the more than 700 markets that the top footy betting sites offer on big games, such as those at major tournaments, in the Premier League or the Champions League, many fall under the umbrella of either cards betting or corners betting. That is what we will look at here, explaining what bets you can make and what strategy you can employ to try and find some winners.
What Is Cards Betting?
This is a wide-ranging term that covers a host of markets that relate to cards in a game of football. It really is that simple. So, these are bets that hinge on the yellow and red cards a referee shows for ill discipline on the pitch or, less commonly, in the dugout (to managers or other staff). You might bet on how many there will be in the match, a half, or even smaller period, as well as many other options. We will look at the main cards bets shortly.
What Is Corners Betting in Football?
This group of wagers is just as simple and, as the name would indicate, involves bets that win and lose based on corner kicks during a game. Once again, a range of bets and markets fall under this umbrella and we shall look at those in due course. One thing to note with both cards betting and corners betting is that unless clearly stated, all bets will be “90 minutes only”. This means they are based on normal time (90 minutes plus injury time) and any cards or corners in extra time will not count.
Corners Betting Markets
Different bookies will offer a different range of options with both cards and corners markets. Below are some of the most common bets you will find at most bookmakers when it comes to betting on corners.
Over or Unders
Even within this general sub-group there are several different markets. The most common bet sees punters bet on there being either over or under a certain number of corners in the whole game. A typical “line” is over/under 8.5, though if the game is expected to be more open that might go as high as 10.5 or maybe even higher. Bookies also offer alternative lines, with correspondingly shorter or longer odds.
This means that if you want a short-price option you might back over 3.5 corners, or for a long-odds bet you could pick over 14.5. Within this market, you can also bet on a team’s corners (rather than both sides in the whole match), as well as in either half, or even a shorter period, like the first 15 minutes. There are also related wagers on the exact number of corners, sometimes within bands, such as 3-6, 7-10, or 11-14.
This is a bet on which side will have the first corner of the game, with some sites also offering odds on the last corner.
Corners Match Bet
Which team will have the most corners in a game, with a tie also usually offered.
Like a match bet but with one side having a “headstart”, so you might back Liverpool +3 to have the most corners in a game against Man City.
There are various options here but one entails predicting whether there will be, for example, a corner in the game between 16 and 30 minutes. This is also available on a team-specific basis, for example, Man City to have a corner in that timeframe and normally the bookmaker offers the option to bet on either yes or no.
This might include wagers such as “both teams to have two or more corners in both halves” or some other fairly specific prediction.
As said, this is just a selection of corners bets. Bookies now offer so many markets that if you can dream up a bet based on corners, the chances are there is a site somewhere offering odds on it.
When it comes to cards betting we see a similar range of options, though perhaps with slightly fewer markets generally available. Betting on cards is often more player-specific, so you might for example back a player to receive a yellow, or even a red. Whilst many of the corner-based wagers we have listed, and indeed a lot of the other cards ones, tend to be at short odds, backing a player to be booked, and especially sent off, tends to offer the reward of very sizeable odds.
Tough-tackling (dirty, if you prefer) midfielders may be priced as short as 6/4 for a yellow but lots of players will be longer than 3/1. When it comes to a red, those prices jump to something like 12/1 and 66/1. Backing any red at all in the game still tends to deliver odds of around 4/1, with a bet on there not being a sending off always a very short odds-on favourite.
As with corners, there are various markets for over and under, including total match cards, team cards and bets related to each half. There are also more specific time-related card bets, as well as the option to back which side will receive the most cards, the player or team to receive the first card, last card and so on. As with corners, there are just so many markets, some of which verge on the silly, such as backing whether there will be an odd or even number of cards.
With so many different markets to discuss there is no single strategy that can be applied to all of them … beyond our usual line of research, research, study, then a bit more research. That said, because some of these markets are niche, to say the least, you may find it easier than normal to find a value bet.
The bookies will generally accept a relatively low value of bets on these markets. Because of this they do not invest great time, effort and money in analysing the data in order to price these as accurately as they possibly could. A lot of the odds for these bets will be based on very generalised statistical data, rather than individualised research of the teams and players.
This means that you might be able to grab some value if you happen to be very well-informed about a change of style, tactics or even player position. If a centre back is being moved into midfield and asked to provide some aggression, their odds for a red might be overly generous. Alternatively if a new manager decides to use a lot more width and overlapping full-backs, a team may gain far more corners than usual.
Cards & Corners in BetBuilders
With so many different options, these bets can offer very variable risk-to-reward ratios. You might opt to go for glory with a double of two players to be sent off in two separate games, a bet that might potentially pay out thousands from a very small stake. Even a double of two players seeing yellow should deliver handsome returns.
However, many of the options we have looked at tend to have odds close to evens, with the possibility of creating bets at odds-on prices too. This is part of the reason why both of these markets tend to be frequent additions to betbuilders. Betbuilders involve adding lots of different predictions about a single game into one bet. They are subtly different from accumulators, principally because they focus on just one match, but work in a similar way to ratchet up the odds.
For example, you might decide to create a builder where you select the favourite to win the game, their main striker to score and both teams to find the back of the net. Typical odds for such a betbuilder might be around 4/1, but you could then add over 5 corners to eke out a slightly higher payout for what you perceive to be a small risk. This might take the odds to 9/2 or maybe even 5/1.
If you wanted even longer odds, you could then also include a cards bet. Adding any named player to get booked would probably double those odds, at least, whilst you could play it slightly safer and include an over/under cards bet. With many top football bookies offering these tools, cards and corners are an excellent option to think about. They give you another way to boost your potential innings and also add extra excitement in terms of the bet, as you now have a greater interest in different elements of the clash.