Best NZ Football Betting Sites (2022)

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Football Betting in NZ

Mention “football” in Aotearoa New Zealand and sports-mad Kiwis will ask: “What? Rugby, league, or soccer?” That’s because the term is used just as much with rugby as any other ball-kicking codes in the Southern Hemisphere. Just as it is in the United States, football isn’t definitive when gridiron (AFL) is the other popular code using the same term.

However, our preoccupation here is with the “beautiful game”. Yes, it’s soccer in this part of the world, but the influx of Europeans and an increasing number of New Zealanders playing overseas have been causing confusion. What is beyond doubt is the popularity of “soccer football” despite mainstream media’s lack of space and air time for it.

As much as rugby’s officially New Zealand’s No 1 sport, thousands of Kiwis play soccer football at many levels, mostly during winter weekends. Not even the famous All Blacks will deny soccer football’s global team sport status. The Men in Black often swap their oval-shaped rugby ball to juggle soccer ones while training during the FIFA Men’s World Cup year. The same can be said of the country’s official No 1 summer sport, cricket. In fact, New Zealand is co-hosting the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup with Australia, so countless pigtailed girls will want to play the beautiful game, too.

That said, the interest in soccer football goes beyond rival codes when Kiwi punters surface on the virtual playgrounds. Online football betting sites tend to hit fever pitch when the men’s national team, the All Whites, qualify for the world cup. Kiwis pick their global favourites even if their national team doesn't make the cup. The All Whites had qualified for the 2010 South Africa tourney but had missed out by a whisker to the 2018 Russia one, after stumbling at the final hurdle of the qualifiers. A win against Peru and Costa Rica during the final qualifying matches in June 2022 will send the All Whites followers into a frenzy for the Qatar 2022 World Cup in November/December.

However, the New Zealand gamblers’ fascination with soccer football doesn’t start and end with the All Whites. The Yellow Fever faithful is renowned for wagering on the success of its Wellington Phoenix men’s team competing in the Hyundai A-League in Australia during the summer months. The Wellington-based franchise had also fielded a women’s team in the W-League for an inaugural 2021-22 season.

With more Britons and Europeans either emigrating to New Zealand or working here, the English Premier League (EPL) is the front runner in wagering. The German Bundesliga, Italian Serie A, and the Spanish La Liga also draw punters, albeit not as many as the EPL. The purists also follow the Major Soccer League (MLS) teams in America.

How We Pick Our Best NZ Footballing Betting Sites

Now that we have a better understanding of what makes New Zealand gamblers tick, we have come up with a checklist of what constitutes excellence for making our best online betting sites. It’s important to comprehend that what is “best” for you isn’t necessarily ideal for other Kiwi bettors. It boils down to what an individual gambler wants and needs.

In establishing our pecking order, we have considered certain variables (in alphabetic order rather than importance):

  • Accept kiwi dollars
  • Bet Builder, cash-out and other such special features.
  • Customer Support
  • Decimal system of wagering as opposed to the fraction odds system, or the American plus/minus format.
  • History and track record of running a reputable operation.
  • In-play betting.
  • Live streaming.
  • Mobile site/apps. Even big brands can stutter.
  • Odds is the name of the game. It’s a pointless exercise if Kiwi gamblers can’t make a decent profit.
  • Online sportsbooks must offer a spectrum of soccer football markets, including Kiwi ones.
  • Payment providers, including PayPal.

Events & Tournaments

If online football betting is the succulent roast, then the FIFA World Cup is the gravy worth waiting for every four years. As the biggest team sport in the world and involving most inhabitable continents on the globe through its qualifying stages, the world cup entices billions during its month-long duration. Even its younger sibling, the FIFA Women’s World Cup, puts a few other male codes to shame in viewership and wagering.

Legions of global punters try to cash in on the world cups, especially the men’s one. A snapshot of the 2018 Russia World Cup shows it had a $NZ223 billion turnover from betting alone, according to a survey FIFA had conducted in conjunction with Sportradar. The Croatia versus France final also becomes a great indicator of how the betting odds work. The Croats had become the bookies’ delight, claiming the highest odds for most cup matches as rank outsiders.

Soccer football had mustered a staggering total of $NZ2.5 trillion (€1.5 trillion) from the global betting markets in 2020, according to a 2021 research statista.com had published on its website. The EPL, the study had revealed, had claimed the pole position on the European markets in generating $NZ112 billion (€68 billion) from worldwide bets during the 2019-20 season. That season, punters throughout the world had placed almost $NZ68 billion (€41 billion) on the Spanish equivalent of La Liga. Worldwide bettors had wagered $NZ2.65 billion) €1.6 billion in Italy’s Serie A matches in 2020.

Outside these leagues is the Asian League that is gathering momentum every season:

  • AFC Champions League
  • Chinese Super League
  • I-League (India)
  • Indian Super League
  • J1 League (Japan)
  • K League Classic (South Korea)
  • Malaysia Super League

Working Out The Football Odds

Bookmakers are in the business of devising equations to hatch the outcome of events, based on their beliefs. Those predictions are called betting odds. In the online casino sportsbook channels, bookies use three methods to display odds. So you didn’t excel in school mathematics. We get that. We’ll break it down, so you can, too.

Most New Zealand bettors will be familiar with the decimal system. Also referred to as the “continental”, “digital”, and “European” odds, it also finds traction in former British colonies such as Australia and Canada. The Britons are partial to the fraction odds system (2/1), while the Americans prefer the plus/minus format (+ underdogs; - favourites). The latter also is referred to as moneyline. Kiwi gamblers must understand all three in case they opt for a non-European online casino sportsbook.

In soccer football, probability is pivotal. It’s an “odds-on” bet if something is more likely to happen. The alternative is “odds against”. It pays for Kiwi gamblers to know that odds-on yields less because it’s a predictable outcome. Bold bettors make a killing from rewards-versus-risks wagers. That’s why Croats had raked in money for bookmakers during the Russia World Cup, in light of France’s favouritism.

Money New Zealand bettors place is referred to as “stake”. The decimal system’s beauty is in exposing the favourites via the odds, which denote how much Kiwis can win for every $NZ1 stake. It represents the total payout, rather than the profit. That means calculating the payout is straightforward because the decimal digits include the stake.

Decimal odds

Here’s a simple equation to workout profit from a stake:

  • Stake x decimal odds = total payout
  • Now apply that to a Wellington Phoenix versus Perth Glory match in the A-League:
  • Phoenix: 3.5
  • Glory: 1.3

Let’s assume a New Zealand gambler places $NZ10 on the Phoenix to win. That bettor stands to receive a total payout of $NZ35 ($NZ10 x 3.5). That total factors in a $NZ10 stake, so the profit is $NZ25 on an odds-against result.

Conversely, Kiwi gamblers who place $NZ10 on the Glory to triumph will pocket a total payout of $NZ13 ($NZ10 x 1.3), should Perth prevail. It’s a net profit of $NZ3, once you subtract the $NZ10 stake.

The bigger the sum of the total payout, the lower the probability (riskier) of a soccer football team winning. The higher the probability of a side winning means the smaller the sum of the total payout.

Fractional odds

For those New Zealanders who enjoy the likes of Ladbrokes and William Hill, it’ll pay to get up to speed with the fractional system in smart time. Also known as the “British”, “UK”, or “traditional” odds, this method is a little more complicated and banks on punters working out the bookmakers’ probability first. The bookies tend to denote their odds with the use of a forward slash (/), or hyphen (-).

Kiwi gamblers, on coming across an 8/1 (eight-to-one) odds stand to claim $NZ8 for every $NZ1 bet. That’ll be on top of the stake money wagered. That translates to the ratio of profit earned on the initial sum of money Kiwis bet. In other words, using the example above, the $NZ1 stake plus the $NZ8 profit equals $NZ9 total payout. Bump up the stake to $NZ10 and it looks like this:

  • $NZ10 @ 8/1 = $NZ90 total payout ($NZ80 profit + $NZ10 stake).
  • To workout the potential returns from fractional odds, it’ll help Kiwi bettors to figure out the probability percentage. Here’s a simple probability equation, where the odds have been converted to letters:
  • B/(A+B) = probability (%)
  • Using the 8/1 example:
  • 1/(8+1) = 1.2% (rounded off to the nearest 10).

Here’s a simple way of working out a total return:

  • Stake x numerator/denominator (that is, fractional odds) + stake = total payout

Now let’s look at the example of the All Whites’ probability of qualifying for the 2022 Qatar FIFA World Cup against Peru and Costa Rica:

  • All Whites: 13/5
  • Peru: 9/2
  • Costa Rica: 8/1

What hits you first up is that the bookmakers rate the All Whites favourites. Peru and Costa Rica offer longer odds. That means the All Whites will earn Kiwi punters a smaller profit margin based on their favouritism when compared with the latter teams’ lower probabilities.

Here’s the numbers fed into our fractional odds equation based on a $NZ100 stake for each team to win:

  • All Whites: $NZ100 x (13/5) = $NZ260 profit + $NZ100 (initial stake). Total payout = $NZ360.
  • Peru: $NZ100 x (9/2) = $NZ450 + $NZ100 (initial stake). Total payout = $NZ550.
  • Costa Rica: $NZ100 x (8/1) = $NZ800 + $NZ100 (initial stake). Total payout = $NZ900.
  • Moneyline odds: To use a probability most New Zealanders would be familiar with in sporting circles, a coin toss has a 50% chance of a heads or a tails outcome. That’s determined to decide which cricket team captain should have the chance to elect to bat or bowl first. Now, in the “American”, “Moneyline”, or “US” odds context, that coin-toss probability is expressed in -100 and +100 terms. That means, the bookmakers’ minus sign indicates a team’s favouritism while the plus sign is an underdogs designation. In each scenario, the winning Kiwi gamblers will reclaim their initial stakes on top of the profit. Put another way, the chances of a favourite team winning increases with the widening of the gulf in the odds, when compared with the underdogs.

Here’s an example for Kiwi bettors to have better understanding of the US odds, using MLS teams:

  • Chicago: +585
  • Philadelphia: -760

The bookies are saying the table-topping Philadelphia Rattlesnakes will make short work of their MLS opposition. Therefore, Kiwi bettors who wager on the predictable outcome will need to part with $NZ760 to claim a $NZ100 profit, assuming the Rattlesnakes prevail. They’ll pocket a turnover of $NZ860 (+ $NZ100 initial stake).

On the flip side, Kiwi gamblers who risk wagering on bottom-placed Chicago Fire will reap a $NZ585 windfall in placing a $NZ100 bet. Their total turnover will be $NZ685 (including $NZ100 initial stake placed).

Here’s a simple equation to follow:

  • (Initial stake/US odds stake) x US odds winnings

Having covered all three types of soccer football odds in online betting, Kiwis who are mathematically challenged will agree the decimal system is the easiest to grasp. However, it pays to have some understanding of the other two methods, especially if you enjoy entering those domains. 

Live Football Betting

Also referred to as in-play betting, wagering on live matches (in real time) will be an adrenaline rush for Kiwi sports gamblers. Mobile devices enable bettors to ride the waves of emotion, based on the flip-and-flutter of the odds. Having hedged their hedge bets before the kick off, New Zealanders can switch their punts to maximise profits or narrow the margins of losses. What bettors need to be mindful of is bookmakers adding more “juice” or “vig” to the live lines to protect their interests to counter punters hedging bets both ways. No doubt, astute Kiwis will know when to bail out.

Here are two basic live-betting tips:

  • Be there or be square: Don’t try to hedge your bets if you aren’t following the game in real time. The body language of players, the temperament of match officials, the coaches’ mood swings, changing weather, to name a few variables, can influence outcomes. Bookmakers, for the record, will watch games like a hawk.
  • Snooze, you lose: A smart bet is a quick one. Odds have a mind of their own, so when you spy an opportune moment go for the jugular.

Best Soccer Football Betting Strategies

If you’ve been reading our post up to this point, you’ll have figured out one crucial thing in online sports betting. That is, swim against the tide. It’s pointless playing it safe because the bookmakers will make their cut regardless. Take a punt on the underdogs if you want to maximise your profits. Sportsbooks compete against each other for Kiwis’ money. Conversely, gamblers want the bookmakers’ money. Let the games begin.

Here are some tried-and-true strategies we think Kiwi bettors can benefit from:

  • Start smart: Pick a football online betting site or sportsbook that not only explains the odds but has archives that offer the statistics on individual players and teams. Even if you’re a statistical nerd, it’ll be foolish to wager like you know more than the bookmakers.
  • Reputation: Ignore the bells and whistles to pick sportsbooks that have built trustworthy platforms based on offering punters a fair chance of winning back their money.
  • Self-appraisal: Take a hard look at yourself. Are you in it for fun or do you intend to make money? Either way, map your journey while keeping an eye on your bank account. As soccer fans, Kiwis know that no reputable team ever goes into a match without a plan. Make yours.
  • Knowledge: Become familiar with not just your team but every opposition. Home-and-away records, coach-and-player depth, line-up on each fixture based on injuries/transfers, temperament of referees, etc, all add to success.
  • No blinkers: Be objective. If your team is in a slump, then don’t let emotions cloud your judgement. Be brutal. A team that makes the playoffs may decide to field an under-strength line up against a weaker opposition. Don’t let your heart dictate terms to your head.
  • Low risk/high returns: Make sure you consider value in picking odds. If the bookmakers are offering 1.70 on Phoenix to win but you objectively rank them at 1.20, then the risk-to-reward ratio is in your corner. Go hard!
  • Let it go: If you’ve registered a few losses, don’t immediately try to turn the tide. It’s a fatal mistake of punters. Like a purple patch, losing streak is also a thing. Ride it out.
  • Serious stuff: If you want to take it to a higher level of online sports gambling, find savvy punters you can follow on the internet. Do your homework on over-under, Asian handicap, Kelly, Martingale, Value, and other such strategies.

Who Makes the Cut for Best Online Betting Sites?

It’s no secret that establishing a bookmaking operation on New Zealand soil is illegal. However, overseas online betting sites are permitted to ply their trade in Kiwi cyberspace. That means the virtual iGaming ground is open to cowboys/cowgirls to infiltrate at will.

That’s why we’re highlighting our list of reputable online betting sites to ensure fly-by-nighters don’t catch Kiwi gamblers on the hop. It’s human nature for New Zealanders to gravitate to a site that offers generous welcome bonuses and promotions. Our advice is to do your homework by visiting our sports betting sites. Reading our pivotal points may be the difference between agony and ecstasy.

Here’s our pick of 10 trustworthy online casino sites that have slick sportsbooks:

  • Bet365: It has an amazing range of odds markets compared with rivals. Watch live-streaming matches while you bet. Ideal for accumulator betting and pre-matches. Accepts kiwi, Aussie dollars, as well as British pounds. No requirements on turnover. Great app, cash-out options, and live statistics.
  • LeoVegas: Tidy $NZ50 matched free bet offer and requirements but places a ceiling on 1.80 odds. It has a slick app. Live-streaming options are narrow, but the odds on New Zealand fixtures are among the best.
  • Betway: Up to $NZ60 free bet to establish itself as the king in that department, including a 1x bonus amount on turnover, but comes with a 1.75 minimum on odds. A lion’s share of Kiwi football markets with daily odds boosts. Multi-builder and cash-out options.
  • Royal Panda: Covers most marquee football markets. In-play, pre-match betting, and live-streaming features. No requirements on turnover but a minimum of 2.00 odds.
  • Guts: In-play betting with a daring 93% to 96% rating on odds. No live streaming of matches and little evidence of A-League and Kiwi competitions. A 12x bonus amount on turnover and a 2.00 minimum odds. Doesn’t accept kiwi dollars.
  • Ladbrokes: It has all the benefits of odds and markets. Kiwis can use PayPal, but it only accepts Aussie dollars. Live betting only via phone.
  • Neds: Kiwis can be excused for thinking Ned is related to Ladbrokes. All of the latter’s benefits as well as wagering on Aussie dollars. Bluntly, it’s not a familiar site for NZ punters.
  • 888sport: A $NZ10 welcome bonus with $NZ30, subject to wagering requirements. All the other benefits, including PayPal. It’s unclear if it covers NZ soccer competitions.
  • Rizk: A compact, business-like platform but no live streaming. The sign-up offer doesn’t apply to its sportsbook, but Rizk offers other bonuses. Parent company GiG operates Guts NZ. No PayPal.
  • Mr Play: Soccer football platform that covers some Kiwi competitions. More than 200 global leagues. In-play, pre-match betting, and cash-out options. Generous welcome bonus but no live-streaming matches.

Note: The Totaliser Agency Board (TAB), a subsidiary of the New Zealand Racing Board (NZRB), administers online gambling. In a nutshell, the TAB doesn’t cut the mustard, so the online betting sites provide an unrivalled service. Go to New Zealand on our website for details.