Special Bets Betting Term Meaning

A special bet is one that is a bit out of the ordinary. While all sportsbooks are unique in their own way, they each contain the three main types of ‘basic’ wager. These are:

1x2 (Match Result/Moneyline)

This is betting on who will win the match, or betting on the match to end in a draw (where applicable).


This is when the underdog team receives a certain number of points to level the playing field, so the odds will be similar for both sides.


These are the over/under wagers, where you bet on whether an outcome will be over or under a certain number/total. 

Any wager which does not fall into one of those three categories can be classed as a special bet. 

Special Bets in football

A few examples of special bets in football would be: 

  • Both teams to score (BTTS)
  • Time of the first goal
  • Half-time result
  • Penalty (Yes/No)
  • Anytime goalscorer

Despite being called special bets, these are still quite ordinary wagers. Some sports do have more interesting special bets, however, such as these in basketball:

  • Wire to wire (whether the team will be winning at the end of every quarter)
  • First team basket scorer
  • Total points odd or even
  • Player fouls

The bigger the match is, the more special bets will be offered. This is a way for the bookmakers to attract more betting action from the punters. 

For matches and events which will receive marketing and promotional coverage, exotic bets may also be added. These are one step up from special bets and may have nothing to do with the action on the field.

Some exotics from the Superbowl in previous years have included the length of time the National Anthem will last, how many times a certain player’s wife or girlfriend will be shown on TV, and what colour of Gatorade will be poured over the winning coach. 

The key difference between a special bet and an exotic bet is that special bets still relate to the on-field performance of the teams and the statistics of the match, whereas exotics can extend to other factors beyond that.

Should I Bet On Specials?

Some of the best value bets are to be found among the specials, especially if you do your homework on the more niche sports. The deeper you go into the special bets arena, the more you’ll have to research, but that’s where you’re more likely to find the wagers at the best odds.

Special Bets FAQ

What is a Special Bet?

A special bet is a betting market that is not one of the main types of bets.

What are special bets in football?

Some of the special bets in football include Both teams to score (BTTS), Time of the first goal, Half-time result, Penalty (Yes/No) and first goalscorer.

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