In the 2020’s, the trend was for American gambling firms – in the wake of widespread legalisation of betting in the country – to double-down on their efforts by acquiring British bookmakers.
That was the case when Caesars Entertainment forked out £2.9 billion to buy the intellectual property of William Hill, and why MGM Resorts turned to Entain (home of Coral, Ladbrokes etc) to help them get their betting site and app off the ground.
But the American sports betting sector has given back to the UK market by inspiring a range of new ‘prop’ bets in football. With firms like bet365 and Ladbrokes, you can wager on pretty much anything these days – corners, cards, throw ins, tackles, shots… odds are offered for pretty much anything that can happen out on the pitch.
And betting on offsides in a game is just the latest development.
How to Bet on Offside In Football
A number of different firms are offering odds on offside, so have a scout around if this is something that might interest you.
Bet365 were one of the first to offer prices on total offsides in a game, and they let you bet on the number of offsides you think there will be for either team or combined.
Ladbrokes, meanwhile, offer player offsides in some cases, but both firms generally only price up the biggest games, such as the Premier League or La Liga contests involving Real Madrid and Barcelona.
You’ll often find the offsides market listed under a website’s Bet Builder tab. You can back over/under too just as you would with goals, cards and corners, and bet on combined tallies or offsides per team.
Do Bookies Go with VAR When Settling Bets?
Offside is one of the rules of football most impacted by the addition of VAR technology.
With the use of video technology and the lines they use to determine offside calls, these days a striker can be deemed offside when a curly knee hair is in front of the last defender – the days of giving the attacking team the benefit of the doubt are long gone.
The key thing to note from a betting perspective is that all UK bookmakers settle their bets based upon the official OPTA stats, and they, in turn, will update their statistics accordingly when an offside is given by VAR after initially being missed by the on-field officials.
So the bookies will ultimately bow down to VAR when settling bets, which could be good news for backers of the ‘overs’ in the offsides market.
Offside Betting Tips and Strategy
Like throw ins, free kicks and the like, offside is one of those betting markets where there’s more logic and reason to it than you might think. Here is what we mean.
Using data from the excellent resource fbref.com, we can see which Premier League teams (for the period August-November 2022) have been offside the most, and which have triggered the most offsides.
Most times offside:
- Newcastle United – 34
- Manchester United – 33
- Aston Villa – 31
- Liverpool – 29
- Chelsea – 27
For context, the likes of Bournemouth (12), Southampton (18) and Crystal Palace (18) show that there is a clear difference between teams caught offside often and those that aren’t.
These team stats are franked by the fact that they have individual strikers who play on the shoulder of the last defender, and will occasionally mis-time their runs in behind. Kai Havertz (12), Mo Salah (11), Callum Wilson (10) and Aston Villa duo Danny Ings (8) and Ollie Watkins (8) show why their respective sides feature highly in the offsides count.
Now, let’s take a look at offsides against:
- Fulham (45)
- Arsenal (38)
- Newcastle United (31)
- Leicester City (30)
- Crystal Palace (29)
Another excellent resource, markstats.club, confirms that Fulham, Arsenal and Newcastle rank inside the Premier League’s top seven teams for the average height of their defensive line – the higher the line, the more likely you are to catch an opponent offside.
See… we told you there was some logic to offside betting.