It seems that non-league football is getting more and more popular with every passing season nowadays. This is due to the teams that are participating; with clubs such as Leyton Orient, Wrexham and Salford City all drawing in massive crowds for their games. The latter of those three have rose through the divisions sharply due to the contingent of ex-Manchester United players that are owners at the club. And this coming season offers to be much of the same, with the relegation of Notts County likely to be the National Leagues gain.
Betting on Non-League football is incredibly lucrative should punters be willing to put the time into their research. The ante-post markets could provide a possible route since teams who would be unfancied could have a chance of being promoted into the Football League due to the competitive nature of the division. Punters should be aware that the options in markets below the National League are more limited, but it is still possible to place 1X2 bets and add teams into your weekend accumulators.
Non-League games to bet on
When people think of betting on football, they are obviously drawn to the glitz of the Premier League. However, all non-league games are available for punters to place a bet on. With companies such as Bet365 offering the most extensive markets. The latter of which has over 60 markets for each game, including the ability to build your own bet. This has become a popular way to bet for football gamblers nowadays, but very few bookmakers offer the ability to create your own bets on the fifth tier of English football.
The division consists of 24 teams, with each of these playing against every opposing team twice; meaning that teams play a minimum of 46 games throughout the season. Should you be a fan of one of these teams, then you can expect to bet on your side every game. While the prior mentioned bookmakers have the most extensive selection markets; all bookmakers do offer at least the possibility of betting on the outcome of the match.
The playoffs are when divisions below the Premier League come alive, and that is no different with the National League. While most bookmakers don’t offer a variety of markets of regular season games; the playoffs are when all bookmakers offer broader markets such as first goalscorer, number of booking points and the total number of corners. The playoffs consist of an extra five games in total. The first two fixtures are elimination games between teams that finished the season fourth, fifth, sixth and seventh. The winner of these two games then moves onto face the teams that finished second and third; with the winners of the semi-finals facing off at Wembley for a place in the Football League.
In general, the betting markets for all non-league games are growing, but at present, they are still limited in the main to the 1X2 markets and correct score markets. However, they still present an incredibly lucrative market for punters willing to do their research. The 1X2 markets are the only possible way for punters to bet if they are looking to bet below the National League. However, as the progression of National League betting has shown, this could develop in the future.
Non-League betting markets
As we have touched on previously, the markets that you can expect to find for a particular non-league fixture purely depends on which bookmaker you are betting with. The most popular markets that you can expect to find on these include match result and score. While this may be enough for some punters, those that are looking for more extensive markets shouldn’t look any further than Bet365. The amount of National League markets far exceed the amount that you can expect to place when you go below the fifth tier. The National League North and South, Premier league North and South and Division One of the North and South all don’t have the array of selections, and punters can only wager money on the 1X2 markets.
This bookmaker has over 60 markets for punters to choose from. But the most exciting aspect is their build your bet function. Here the punter can combine different markets into one big bet. Gamblers can expect to include the 1X2, first goalscorer, the number of yellow cards, under/over total goals and amount of corners all into one bet. This could be an incredibly lucrative way of betting should research be thoroughly conducted.
Other markets that are popular among punters include the ante-post options. Ante-post betting is simply betting a stake on a longer term bet. These markets are typically open one year prior to the event concluding. The most common of these is the ability to bet on the team that the punter believes will be winners of the National League. This could be a lucrative option for punters since the division is competitive, and only one team can win the division. Meanwhile, the promotion market is also available, but the prices aren’t as competitive since the division houses ten sides that could compete for that honour. The final of the markets is the relegation option. Here, the teams that were recently promoted into the division will be among the favourites.
Bet365 will also give punters the ability to place a bet on the player that they believe will finish the season as the top goalscorer. This could be a great chance to win a lot of money should punters do their research; with the leading teams in the hunt for promotion likely to be the club that this player plays for. Disappointingly for punters the leagues below the National League aren’t covered in the ante-post markets.
Types of betting
The most common way for any punter to bet on football is by putting a team into a longer-form bet such as a four-fold, five-fold or a larger accumulator. Of course, the more teams that the punter wants to include in the bet makes for more lucrative returns. These types of bets require that all the chosen teams win for the bet to be winning one. Non-league bettors can include any of the fixtures from the fifth tier and below into this type of bet.
The second type of bet is more commonly used in horse racing, but has become a popular way of ensuring returns in football is by placing a Lucky 15, Yankee or Patent. This works along the same kind of lines as an accumulator, except that you’re guaranteed returns as long as one of your teams wins. For instance, bestbetsfree.com explains that if you place a lucky 15; this consists of 15 bets. This is made up of four singles, six doubles, four trebles and one fourfold. It is an excellent way of ensuring your selection; with 10% added to returns should all the selections win. It is a smart way of betting on non-league football.
Away from longer bets, the most common type of bet is a single. This purely means that the bet consists of one selection; this could be for the goalscorer, scoreline or match outright market. It is the most straightforward way of betting, but not the most lucrative by any stretch.
Researching Non-League football
Like we have mentioned throughout, the most crucial aspect that must be followed to bet smartly and efficiently on non-league football is research. Fortunately, there are many tools out there that can help make this task less tedious.
Of course, the most critical factor that should be taken into account is the recent form of the two teams that you are looking at betting on. The most suitable tools for this include Flashscores; who have all the previous results of National League teams and include the players that have scored in games and players that have been yellow carded. Both of these factors can be incorporated into your bet to maximise returns.
Away from recent form; news is also an essential factor that should be considered. If a team has recently come under the new management, or the current manager is under pressure, then there is likely to be a reaction. Along with this, transfers are another factor that can take a toll on a team, and all the latest news of this genre can be found on our website. It is the most up-to-the-minute website dedicated to the division, and they miss nothing. If it is worth talking about and beneficial to punters, you will find it there.
Latest Non-League team news
One of the most critical factors that punters must consider before placing a bet is what the most recent injury and suspension with the club is. Of course, the best place to find this information out is through the individual clubs official social media pages. All of the clubs in the National League and below will have Instagram, Facebook and Twitter pages; with the latter two, the best chances of finding the most noteworthy news. The official websites will also have more in-depth news about the squad’s condition and should be looked at before placing any bet.
There are also dedicated websites that find recent news concerning injuries such as Transfermarkt. Here they have the latest injury news available for all 24 teams in the division. If a player is included as injured on this website, then they will tell you what the injury is, and how long they are expected to be on the sidelines for.
The official website for the Football Association is the best place to find out the latest suspensions. On this website, they will have all the players that are serving a ban or due to serve a ban from all of the top 18 English divisions.
Can players place bets?
The official FA disclosure on this issue is straightforward. No player can place a bet on a match or competition that they can influence or have a connection with. For instance, no player in the National League can place a bet on a fixture in the division or on any ante-post market for the National League. The general guideline would be that it isn’t worth placing a bet if you’re a professional football either because the consequences could be enormous. Paul Scholes and Joey Barton have both been found guilty of breaching betting regulations by the FA over recent seasons and were handed significant fines.
Should a player be found guilty of breaking the rules, then the repercussions could be huge. For example, Wayne Shaw was found to be guilty of breaking FA rules for eating a pie during an FA Cup fixture with Arsenal. The Sun Betting bookmaker opened a market for him to be eating a pastry during the game, and as soon as he complied, he was always in danger. He later admitted to breaking the law and was fired from Sutton United. He was banned from the game for three months and fined £375.