Find out how and where to bet on the biggest football events in Nigeria, including the Africa Cup of Nations 2021 which takes place in Cameroon in January and February of 2022 and the European Champions League, right up to the final in Saint Petersburg in May 2022.
This guide will show you the basics you need to know and help you learn how to bet on football using the right strategies, different betting types and which operators you can trust.
Best football events to bet on
After reading this guide you will be better placed to bet on football in general and have more knowledge about how to bet on AFCON if you bet in Nigeria
FIFA World Cup
Probably the most-watched football competition in the world, whose finals are viewed by more than one billion people from all the corners of the globe. It was inaugurated in 1930 and is held every four years. During the FIFA World Cup, 32 countries compete for the title, but Brazil holds the record just now with a total of five World Cup wins.
The 2022 World Cup will be played in Qatar in November and December and not the traditional months of June and July when soaring temperatures will make playing football unmanageable in the Arab state. Nigeria has qualified for the third round of the qualification process in Africa. They must win a playoff tie in March to make the finals.
Africa Cup of Nations
The 2021 Africa Cup of Nations (aka AFCON) tournament is being played in Cameroon from Sunday, 9 January to Sunday, 6 February 2022 and Nigeria are taking part.
The national team is one of 24 participating nations, after making the finals by winning qualifying Group L. It will be Nigeria’s 20th appearance in AFCON, winning the tournament in 1980, 1994 and 2013.
AFCON was first played in 1957 but only Sudan, Ethiopia and Egypt took part. Egypt won the first tournament and have subsequently won another six AFCONs, most recently in 2010 which is a record.
Today, AFCON has grown into one of the biggest football events for betting in Nigeria. The host, Cameroon, will have passionate support and will be many punters’ idea of the winner. They are second behind Egypt for wins, taking the title five times, most recently in 2017.
In normal circumstances, AFCON is played in odd-numbered years, to avoid a clash with the FIFA World Cup. The 33rd renewal takes place in unprecedented times and the organisers had no option but to move back
AFCON to the start of 2022. The holders are Algeria who beat Senegal in the final while Nigeria beat Tunisia in the third-place play-off match.
The table below shows the groups for the 2021 Africa Cup of Nations:
|Group A||Group B||Group C||Group D||Group E||Group F|
|Burkina Faso||Zimbabwe||Ghana||Egypt||Sierra Leone||Mali|
|Cape Verde||Malawi||Gabon||Guinea-Bissau||Ivory Coast||Gambia|
Nigeria meets Egypt on 11 January, play Sudan on 15 January and take on Guinea-Bissau on 19 January. The top two teams in each group qualify for the round of the last 16 where they are joined by the four best third-placed teams. The final takes place at the Olembe Stadium in Yaounde on 6 February, after the third-place match on the same day.
UEFA Champions League
The UEFA Champions League is the most prestigious and lucrative club competition in the world. It brings together the best teams from the main domestic leagues in Europe and smaller clubs from more minor leagues. It is the sports Holy Grail of European football and the most sought after competition by the richest clubs in the continent.
The qualifying tournament begins in July and the final takes place 10 months later. The holders are Chelsea of the English Premier League, after beating Manchester City in 2021 final. Real Madrid has won most Champions Leagues and its predecessor, the European Cup, with 11 titles, most recently in 2107-18.
FIFA Women’s World Cup
There was great excitement for people who bet in Nigeria when after winning the 9th African Cup of Nations, the women’s national team qualified for the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup. Nigeria was one of the best third-placed teams and qualified for the knockout stages. Sadly they were beaten 3-0 by Germany in the round of the last 16. However, qualifying was a great achievement in sports for Nigeria.
The Women’s World Cup was first played in 1991 and has since been staged every four years. The United States have won the title a record three times, including the last tournament in 2019. Will Nigeria’s players qualify for the 2023 finals which take place in Australia and New Zealand for the first time? We can expect more betting excitement if Nigeria qualifies for the tournament again and millions will bet on football at the next Women’s World Cup.
Best Football Betting Sites
The best way to bet on football is to follow your instincts but also do some detailed research. You can choose from the best bookmakers in Nigeria for football betting. The sites offer welcome bonuses and promotions that complement competitive odds and a wide range of markets.
You can refer to the table below for offers and bookmakers with whom to bet on football:
|Rank||Betting Site||Deposit Bonus||Bet now|
|1||Get 100% of your first deposit up to N100,000 + 50% for the casino bonus||SPORTMAX|
|2||Get a 200% of your first deposit up to N100,000||MAXSPORT|
|3||Get a 100% welcome bonus on your first deposit up to N100,000 as a free bet||MAXFREE|
|4||Get 100% of your first deposit up to N50,000||Bet on 22bet|
|5||100% welcome bonus up to N100,000||KEBET|
|6||Win a N200 risk-free bet when you sign up||Bet on Interwetten|
|7||300% bonus up to 500 000 NGN||Bet on N1Bet|
Main football betting markets
We now look at the main betting markets and terms that apply when you bet on football. For this section we will refer to the expected best match odds after 90 minutes (1X2) for Nigeria’s match against Egypt at AFCON in January:
Please note that all odds quoted in this section are only speculations and are subject to change. They are provided as a guide and there are no guarantees the odds will be available when AFCON takes place. We have used the tournament for illustrations but the odds apply across all football leagues and Cup competitions for bets.
There are three potential outcomes in 1X2 betting: Home Win, Draw, Away Win. However, Nigeria’s match against Egypt at AFCON is being played on neutral ground so neither team has a home advantage.
It is the match result after 90 minutes and stoppage time but does not include extra time and penalties. Egypt should be favourites to win this fixture (possibly 2.25) and Nigeria the underdogs (say 3.40) while the Draw may be backed at 3.30.
The double chance combines two outcomes in one bet so you have two chances of winning. Based on the 1X2 betting, here are the double chance odds:
|Egypt or Draw||1.25|
|Nigeria or Draw||1.62|
|Egypt or Nigeria||1.33|
The odds are short for each option because you are covering all but one of the three possible results. In betting on Egypt and Nigerian options, you are betting on a definite outcome after 90 minutes.
In correct score betting, you are trying to predict the final score after normal times but before extra time and penalties. There are many variables so this is a speculative bet that can deliver a nice win for a small stake.
The favourite in this market is 1-1 6.0. Egypt is 6.5 to win 1-0 while Nigeria is 9.0 to win the match by the same score. Bookmakers are offering about 101.00 for a 3-3 draw. However, a more realistic bet is a 2-2 draw which is on offer at the time of writing at 15.0.
The stake is the amount of money you place in a bet. Some bookmakers have maximum stakes but they will accept high staking bets for the AFCON fixture that brings together Egypt and Nigeria. The return from a winning bet with a stake of 2,000 NGN on 2-2 at 15.0 is calculated as follows:
2,000 x 15 = 30,000 (28,000 profit + 2,000 stake)
The stake is returned to the bettor who has had a winning bet on football.
Teams at AFCON and in all other football competitions can be bet in singles, doubles, trebles and accumulators, which have four selections or more. Each leg must-win for a winning bet, unlike system bets whereby you can afford to include losing selections and still receive a return.
A popular accumulator at AFCON will be the winner of the six groups. Here are the expected odds for the favourites:
Assuming the stake is 200 NGN, the bet is calculated as follows:
(1.80 x 1.40 x 1.60 x 2.00 x 1,70 x 1.30) x 200 = 3564.20 NGN
This return equates to a profit of 3364.20 NGN (3564.20 – 200)
However, please bear in mind this is a speculative bet, reflected in the return and profit.
A handicap bet is designed to attract two-way money when there is a big favourite and big underdog in a match. It is in effect a head start for the outsider. Some handicaps are expressed in half goals to eliminate the tie. However, most websites quote full goal markets so there are three possible outcomes, including a tie.
Based on the expected match odds, the handicap betting for the Egypt vs Nigeria match at AFCON should be as follows:
|Egypt minus one goal||3.33|
|Nigeria plus one goal||1.62|
|Egypt minus one goal||3.75|
Here are some potential match scores and handicap outcomes:
|Egypt 2 Nigeria 0||Win on the handicap|
|Egypt 1 Nigeria 0||Handicap draw|
|Egypt 1 Nigeria 1||Nigeria wins on the handicap.|
Handicaps can be from 1 to 3 goals or more, depending on the strength of the favourite.
Half Time/Full Time
The Half Time/Full Time (HT/FT) market is in effect a double on the result at half time and the end of the match. There are nine potential live outcomes and here are the expected odds when Nigeria play Egypt at AFCON in January:
|Egypt HT Egypt FT||3.50|
|Egypt HT Draw FT||13.0|
|Egypt HT Nigeria FT||41.0|
|Draw HT Egypt FT||5.00|
|Draw HT Draw FT||4.33|
|Draw HT Nigeria FT||7.50|
|Nigeria HT Nigeria FT||6.00|
|Nigeria HT Draw FT||14.0|
|Nigeria HT Egypt FT||26.0|
The favourite in this market is a draw at half time and a draw at full time (4.33). The outsider in this market is Egypt winning at half time and Nigeria winning at full time.
You can bet on over or under a specified number of goals. The odds are quoted in half goals to eliminate the tie. The most popular goals quote is 2.5. The odds when Nigeria meet Egypt at AFCON should be as follows:
|Over 2.5 goals||2.25|
|Under 2.5 goals||1.57|
Bookmakers offer Over/Under odds for 0.5 goals to up to 8.5 goals. You can also bet on the individual team and first half Over/Under goals.
Football Betting Strategies
When you bet on football, the best strategy is to research the betting markets and bookmaker offers and analyse the following factors before making a prediction:
Recent results after 90 minutes of matches between the two teams, including scoring and conceding records.
Each team’s results and goals scored and conceded over their last six matches.
AFCON is being played in Cameroon so only the hosts will have home advantage but this is a significant factor. Egypt and Nigeria will meet on neutral ground in January.
Injuries, suspensions and loss of form contribute to team selections and the players on the substitutes’ bench.
The weather affects pitch conditions. After the rain, the pitch is slow and heavy which favours some teams. Dry conditions make for a fast pitch, to the advantage of others.
A team may need the points to avoid relegation or win promotion while their opponents have little to play for in a match. However, this could work in two ways. The team in need of points could be motivated but the team that don’t need the points could be relaxed and play with no fear.
FAQ – Football betting in Nigeria
Here are the answers to some common questions about football betting in Nigeria:
All the major Nigeria-facing bookmakers have a bonus or promo code that activates the welcome bonus during registration.
Online football betting is legal in Nigeria. It is regulated and licensed by regulatory bodies based in Nigeria and overseas.
Our ratings suggest Betwinner should be your first betting site when you want to bet on football in Nigeria.
There are no guarantees in betting but the 1X2 market is probably the easiest in football betting as there is the least number of variables.