Updated Updated: June 1, 2021

Football Betting in New Zealand

On this page we've put together a list of the best football betting sites in NZ and an in-depth guide to football betting. Read More

The ever-expanding football betting market has led to an explosion of attractive promotions and offers which Betpal strives to bring you. We recommend only trusted NZ online bookmakers and help you find the best welcome bonuses & free bets.

If you’re relatively new to sports betting, or maybe you are just unfamiliar with certain terms, this guide will help you – we explain the odds with examples and teach you how to bet on football. Moreover, keep reading to get an in-depth understanding of top football bets along with useful football betting tips.

How to bet on football

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The football odds market is one of the biggest in the world. Even in New Zealand, where the sport is not as popular as rugby, placing bets on matches and tournaments is commonplace. Known affectionately as The Beautiful Sport, football attracts the attention of Kiwis, especially during major events, such as the FIFA World Cup or the Hyundai A-League Competition. These and other events provide an ideal moment where fans can bet and watch football live, from the comfort of their homes.

How to bet on football step-by-step:

  1. Choose where to bet – it is crucial that you choose a bookmaker who has a good reputation, supports safe payments and offers good value odds. Take a look at our recommended football betting sites above to find a suitable bookmaker for you.
  2. Sign up, deposit and claim your welcome bonus – most NZ bookmakers offer free bets to new players (you will be able to place a bet completely for free).

  3. Pick your betting market – here’s where you decide on the type of bet you want to make: do you want to bet on a winner of the match, correct score, number of goals…? There are many types of football betting markets you can place a bet on!

  4. Select odds with good value – good value odds are when you find a bet that is paying out at a better rate than it should. We explain odds in-depth further down on this page for your better understanding.

  5. Place your bet!

Most common types of football bets

If you are relatively new to football betting you should first start by understanding common terms and markets which you will find in most sportsbooks. This will ensure that you do not misunderstand any terms and be able to find and place bets quicker. Top football bets jargon includes:

  • Full-time result: This involves betting on either Team A or Team B winning or both teams ending in a tie. Normally, if the result is decided in extra time or with penalties only the tie bet will be deemed to have won.
  • Football accumulator: This bet hedges a potential windfall with bets across multiple teams. These bets can vary from winning to losing teams and must normally number at least four to be considered as an accumulator.
  • Normal time: This is not a bet market but the standard 90-minute playtime of any football match. Bets which must be settled within normal time do not consider results that take place during extra time or penalties.
  • Total goals: This bet considers the total number of goals scored within a match by both teams.
  • Total goals (under/over): A bookmaker offers odds on a choice of possible final goal results and you need to predict whether the actual result will be higher or lower.
  • Correct score: This bet requires you to correctly predict the final score results for both teams.
  • Half time/full time: This versatile bet supports punters to bet for Team A ahead at half time and Team B to win at full time. Alternative options include picking a team to be ahead at both half and full time or that teams will draw at half time and one team will win at full time.
  • First goal scorer: This market lets the punter bet on the team and/or player who will be the first to score during a match.
  • Last goal scorer: This market lets the punter bet on the team and/or player who will be the last to score during a match.
  • Half time result: Predict what the result of a match will be at half time.
  • Draw no bet: This bet pays out if the team you predict will win actually wins. You lose your bet if the team loses and you get refunded if the match ends in a tie.
  • Asian handicap betting: This market forms part of the best football betting strategy for experienced punters. It assigns different teams with handicaps based on their form, requiring better fit teams to score more than normal in order to be considered winners.
  • Scorecast: This is similar to a double bet, where two bets are combined into one. Scorecast bets are only available at select bookmakers under special markets.

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Live football betting (in-play)

One of the top football bets moments is placing wagers during a live game. The thrill and excitement of seeing live results just after placing your bet are second to none. As a result, live bets are commonly available. The best sportsbooks in New Zealand provide a schedule of upcoming events to help you pick your next live game, along with a list of in-play bets.

Certain live bets provide the option to cash out early. In some cases, using this option can form part of the best football betting strategy you have chosen, but you should be careful when activating it. At the point of cashing out, the value of your bet might have increased or decreased based on the results at the time.

Advantages and disadvantages of in-play betting

  • Your bets are flexible and you can easily change your mind during the game.
  • In-play odds are higher than the pre-match odds – you can get much more value from your bets.
  • You can take into account unpredictable factors (it is raining hard on the pitch etc.).
  • If you are able to understand the flow of a game, you can do better at predicting where it’s headed.
  • It is difficult to assess the odds which are rapidly changing and even more difficult to do so in a very short period of time.
  • Emotions play a huge role in in-play betting – especially a new bettor can easily be enticed by ‘attractive’ in-play odds without analyzing the pre-selected match and the probability of such result.
  • Bookmakers offer less betting options on live events compared to pre-match.

Live streaming football games

You might not realise this but you can bet and watch football games live directly using the live streaming feature at one of the recommended sportsbooks:

  • 888 Sports lets you stream a variety of football matches around the world. In order to qualify for this service, you must register an account and placed a wager in the previous 24 hours.
  • LeoVegas is another online bookmaker which gives you access to live streaming on your computer or smartphone. All you need to do is register an account and place a deposit. In addition to the sportsbook’s welcome offer, watch out for special football betting promotions available exclusively during streamed events.
  • Betway is one of the world’s largest bookmakers and provides New Zealanders with access to hundreds of football and other sporting events live. In addition to letting you bet and watch football wherever you are, Betway rewards members of its bet club with up to NZ$ 10 every week. Moreover, the platform supports Build Your Own bet options and offers cashback during special football betting promotions.

Football betting odds explained

Understanding what odds are is an important step in creating the best football betting strategy for you. Although they might sound complicated, odds are nothing more than a numerical representation of the likelihood of something happening. In the case of football odds, this could be a particular score at half time, a tie at full time or the need for penalties to decide the winner.

Odds can be represented in a number of different ways. Fractional odds are displayed as 8/1 or 1/5, whilst decimal odds would be shown as 0.11 or 0.83 respectively. 8/1, or 0.11 means shows that the likelihood is around 11%, whilst 1/5, or 0.83 shows that the likelihood is 83%.

A practical example of football betting odds

Bookmakers will provide you with a selection of markets for each football match. These markets will have assigned odds based on what the bookmaker believes will likely happen. The following example illustrates how you could go about placing a wager.

Imagine you’d like to place a wager that Leeds United will beat Southampton during the upcoming Premier League game. You might visit different bookmakers and notice that the odds on offer vary by platform. Since you are confident in the result you choose Betway since it is offering odds of 2.15.

Rather than opt for this simple bet you decide to choose a Betway Bonus “Leeds United to Win To Nil” since it has odds of 5.00. You can even set more odds in order to trigger a multi bonus offered by Betway. Your odds are now 7.15.

If you wager NZ$10 on each of the two bets and they prove to be correct, you will receive a total of NZ$71.50. Let’s consider, however, that you wagered NZ$5 on the Betway Bonus and NZ$15 on the match winner bet. Considering, yet again, that the bets are proved correct, you will receive a total of NZ$25 + NZ$32.25 = NZ$57.25 for your NZ$20 staked.

Apart from pre-game bets, you can also activate one of several in-play bets whose odds change continually as the game progresses. In some cases, it can be worth it to wait for the game to start before placing certain wagers as you will be able to get even better payouts if you’re right.

Top football betting tips

  1. Shop around – The football sports betting market in New Zealand is full of competition amongst sportsbooks so you should look around for the best odds before choosing your platform.

  2. Start small – It is better and far more rewarding, in general, to place smaller bets of around NZ$10 rather than one, major bet. Football is unpredictable, so even if all the stars line up for a particular team to win or to score first, anything can happen.

  3. Activate bonuses – Be sure to make full use of any welcome bonus or ongoing promotion offered by the sportsbook. This will help you to increase your bankroll, allowing you to spread your bets around without increasing your spend.

  4. Stay familiar – Football odds span the entire world, but it is almost impossible for anyone to be very comfortably familiar with all teams and players. Stick to the teams and championships you know and seek to improve your knowledge on these.

  5. Use specials – Some of the best online bookmakers provide special odds or bets for particular football matches. Be sure to become familiar with these and try them out to see if they fit within the best football betting strategy you have adopted.

Most popular leagues & championships NZ punters bet on

As a resident of New Zealand, you will have access to top football tournaments held around the world. Since some bookmakers do not support a great choice of events you should always opt for the bigger platforms, such as BetWay or LeoVegas. Some of the most exciting and popular football championships available to you include:

  • English Premier League: The top-level English football club league.
  • A-League: The top-level New Zealand and Australia football club league.
  • UEFA Champions League: European football competition featuring the continent’s top-division clubs.
  • FIFA World Cup: An international association football competition that includes both qualifiers and finals.
  • UEFA Euro: European national football team competition.

These are just a few of the competitions you can look forward to betting on. In addition to other events and matches, the best online bookmakers in New Zealand provide you with a selection of other sports disciplines, including cricket, rugby, and basketball.


Placing a wager on a football match is very simple. Sign up with one or more reputable bookmakers and browse their upcoming or live football matches. Pick the more favourable odds based on your predictions and place the wager.

Whilst there are hundreds of online platforms, the best bookmakers in New Zealand are Betway, 888, and LeoVegas. These offer the best odds and overall benefits.

You can get free football bets in New Zealand when you sign up for reputable online bookmakers, including BetWay and 888.

No, football is a sport that is followed and enjoyed by millions in NZ and around the world. It only takes basic knowledge of the sport and betting in order to place a bet.

There is no hard and fast rule for building your betting strategy. It’s a good idea to start small and to research past statistics of teams and players to give you an indication of what the future holds.

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