Player-Themed Soccer Betting in Emerging Markets

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Over the last 10 years, soccer betting has been experiencing an explosive growth in emerging markets. Africa has emerged as the new frontier of sports betting and gaming. If you believe the narrative that Africa is a place filled with nothing but poverty, then you would find it hard to imagine how the sports betting industry over there could be worth billions of dollars.

Three countries alone are responsible for a large chunk of the billions of dollars in annual turnover in sports betting in Africa: Nigeria, Kenya and South Africa. In these countries, one sport stands over and above the rest: soccer or association football.

Bookmakers, some of whom are less than a decade in business, are already household names as they deepen their soccer product offering to a hungry market. You can visit here for In-depth reviews about Bookmaker companies.

What is it that attracts so many punters to soccer? The main reason is the innumerable number of events, games and outcomes that the punters can bet on. This is a function of the following factors:

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  1. It is a team game made up of 11 players on each side. This provides a player pool of 22 for every game, allowing bookmakers to provide different player-based bet types on each player. You cannot get such variety with a sport like tennis or table tennis, where you principally have 2 competitors (or 4 in doubles maximum).
  2. There are usually three result-oriented outcomes: a win, draw or a loss. Several bet types can also be spun out of each of these outcomes.
  3. The sport is played in virtually every country of the world. That is at least 20 countries, each with an elite league, lower leagues and various cup competitions. There are also regional and continental competitions that feature nothing less than 20 teams in each continent. This provides so many games and outcomes that translate into opportunity for soccer punters.

What this means is that football is not simply a sport to bet on result-oriented outcomes. You can bet on player-themed outcomes, as well as gameplay themed outcomes. For instance, if you are not sure of whether Liverpool will beat Red Star Belgrade, you may decide to bet on an outcome that says that at least two goals will be scored in the game. If you bet on such an outcome (at least 1.5 goals) when both teams met in last season’s UEFA Champions League tie in Belgrade, you would have made some money for yourself.

How Profitable Are Player-Themed Wagers?

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It is usually more predictable to bet on player-themed outcomes as from the mid-point of a season. You would probably know the striker who scores in virtually every game (like Ciro Immobile was doing for Lazio late in the 2017/2018 season), or the defender who is more likely to get in a headed goal (like Virgil van Dyke was doing for Liverpool from set pieces in the 2018/2019 season).

These player-themed soccer bets usually have larger payouts because the odds are higher. A single successful payout can compensate for any losses you may have made from accumulators or other bet types. So why are many soccer punters not using such bets? It is because the punters either do not know that these bets exist, do not know so much about them, or do not take time to do some research before punting.

I remember placing a bet on Virgil van Dyke scoring against Newcastle with a headed goal as the 2018/2019 season was drawing to a close. I had 6 bets on that day, but this bet was one of the two winners I had, as van Dyke scored very early in that game with a header from a corner. This secured me a 10.0 odds outcome. The other was a goal-themed bet where I predicted that more than 2 goals would be scored in that match (over 2.5). So even though my other bets fell to pieces, I walked away with some quid in my pocket for the weekend.

Remember, the only way to take the gamble out of a sports bet is to do your research properly and never to wager on a hunch. But if you can do your homework and can back up your wagers with your funds, the bookmakers for the emerging markets will welcome you with open arms.