How To Bet On Soccer

Soccer is enjoyed all over the world, and it stands to reason that betting on this globally loved sport is among the favorite pastimes of soccer fans. With the sport becoming more popular in America, soccer fantasy leagues and sports NFTs are also experiencing a spike in popularity. 

In this guide we’ll go over some soccer betting basics, from covering the spread to understanding moneylines. We'll look at the circumstances that affect the odds and how to place your bets logically and with forethought.

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How To Bet On Soccer

Soccer is enjoyed all over the world, and it stands to reason that betting on this globally loved sport is among the favorite pastimes of soccer fans. With the sport becoming more popular in America, soccer fantasy leagues and sports NFTs are also experiencing a spike in popularity. 

In this guide we’ll go over some soccer betting basics, from covering the spread to understanding moneylines. We'll look at the circumstances that affect the odds and how to place your bets logically and with forethought.

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Most Common Soccer Betting Types

Moneyline

Moneylines, also often referred to as "soccer betting lines," come in two varieties: the two-way moneyline and the three-way moneyline. A moneyline sets a "numerical weight" for each team in the competition as either a negative or positive number. We'll explain what the numbers and the plus/minus sign mean in a little bit.

Two-way moneyline

A two-way soccer moneyline indicates the two teams set to play, and either a positive or a negative number goes alongside each team name. A positive number indicates the amount you can win if you bet $100 on that team. A negative number describes how much you need to bet to win $100.

Three-way moneyline

Most sports only allow you to bet on which team will win and which will lose. However, many bookmakers and soccer betting sites offer a three-way moneyline, which operates similarly to the standard two-line moneyline, except it offers odds for betting on a draw. Draws aren't uncommon in soccer, which makes them a viable condition worth betting on.

Over/under totals

With over/under betting, the sportsbook posts an expected total score. You put up a stake on whether the total score between both teams will be more (over) or less (under) than the posted score.

Futures

Futures betting allows you to place wagers on the upcoming season. You can bet on whether your team will make it to the World Cup, which players will score goals in which games, or how many total goals your team will score in the season. 

Futures betting runs throughout the soccer season, but the odds continually shift as each team wins or loses and players do better or more poorly than expected. Changing odds won't affect the payout of bets you’ve already placed. Once you make a futures bet, your wager is locked in at the odds as they were when you put down your stakes.

Prop Bets

Prop bets are wagers on specific events that may occur during a game. Bookmakers offer many prop bets you can make on a given game, such as the number of penalty goals a team will make, what the score will be at the end of the first period, or even how many penalties a team receives.

Spreads

A point spread indicates the number of goals the favored team needs to win by for a bet to pay out. If the favored team wins by fewer points than the spread—or if they lose altogether—the payout goes to those who bet on the underdog.

Derivatives

Derivatives allow you to lay wagers down on specific game segments. You can bet on parts of the game, such as the first ten minutes, the last ten minutes, a half, or a specific quarter of the game. Derivatives let you place all sorts of bets, like the point spread by the end of the first twenty minutes of a game or the total goals in the last five minutes. 

You may be able to place bets on specific conditions throughout the match, but the odds will change as the game progresses.

Same game parlay

A same-game parlay is a collection of related bets on an individual game. Rather than placing individual bets on an over/under for the game, plus a team to win, plus a props bet on goals scored in the first period, you'd place all the bets as a parlay bet. Each condition you place in a parlay bet is called a "leg.” 

The benefit of a parlay over individual bets is that the collective odds of winning all the legs of a parlay wager are much higher than the odds of multiple individual bets collectively—offering a much nicer payout if you win every leg of the parlay.

You have to win all the legs of the wager for it to pay out. If you hit the over/under, and your team wins, the parlay won't pay out if you lose your props bet on goals scored in the first period. If you were to make three individual bets on the same conditions, two would pay out, and you'd lose out on the props wager.

How To Read Soccer Odds

Soccer betting guides and sports books show odds in different ways, depending on how you wish to bet. Below, we show you the most popular betting odds styles and how betting sheets most commonly present them.

Two-way moneyline:


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In this example, if you wager $100 on France, the bet returns you $200 if France wins. Say you decide to place a bet on Italy, and decide to put up $150. If Italy wins, the wager returns you $100. In each case, you also receive back your initial stake—$100 if you bet on France and $150 if you bet on Italy. This means no matter which way you bet, you walk away with $250 total if you win.

Three-way moneyline:


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In this case, the same payout conditions apply as in the two-way moneyline. However, if you bet $100 on a draw and the game ends in a tie after 90 minutes, you walk away with an extra $110—plus your initial $100 stake.

In both styles of moneyline betting, the payouts scale relatively easily. In the case of France, if you bet $10, the payout would be $20. If you bet $10 on a draw, the payout would be $11, and if you bet $15 on Italy, you'd put an extra $10 in your pocket.

Over/under totals:


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The scores are presented in fractions to prevent a push in the case of a draw—often referred to as the "Asian handicap" in soccer. A push means the bookmaker returns all stakes, and nobody wins the wager. In this instance, a bet that is “over” wins if the total number of goals is two or more. An “under” wins if the combined scores are less than two. If the sum of both scores equals two, then the bookmaker wins all stakes from both sides of the wager.

Soccer spread betting:


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In this example if you bet on France to win, they'll need to win by three or more points for the wager to pay out. If you bet on Italy, you win if France wins by fewer than two points or if Italy wins the match. If France wins by two points even, the bookmaker keeps all stakes, and no bettors win.

Most Common Soccer Betting Mistakes

Betting based on emotion

One of the most egregious errors people make in betting is basing their wager on how they feel about a team while ignoring statistics and playing history. Some people will bet against a team they dislike, no matter how well the team has been performing, just because they feel that betting on them would be akin to supporting them.

Ignoring alternative betting options

To make money with betting, don't put all your eggs in one basket. Take a look at all the options available when wagering on a match. If Team A has a better-than-average history of scoring in the first period, consider laying down a prop bet that Team A will score in the first period.

Even if you're betting on Team B because they're favored to win, adding the prop bet to your sheet increases your chances of putting more cash in your pocket.

Only betting the favorites

If you're looking to win a soccer bet, it's best to leave your preferences at the door and go with what's going to work. If you put money on a match with the intention of winning it back with a profit, compare your favorite team's recent performance with their competitor's. Consider the mathematics of the situation before choosing who to bet on.

If you're betting for the fun of making a soccer match more exciting, there's nothing wrong with putting down a wager based on your gut or your personal preferences. However, if you're betting for the sake of turning a profit, it's best to approach it logically and methodically.

Soccer Betting Tips

Look at how a team is performing. If they're on a winning streak or experiencing a slump due to a lack of talent, consider those circumstances when you plot your betting strategy.

Some teams excel in home games while executing below average on the road. Dig into the deeper statistics of a team's performance and consider how strongly the home field advantage applies.

It's a hard pill to swallow, but sometimes our favorite players get injured and have to sit out a game. Know who will be on the field during the match ahead of the game. A lack of key players will dramatically impact a team's performance during a game.

Different teams tend to implement different strategies. Some are aggressive and go hard against their competition, while others might be more thoughtful and strategic in their approach. Weigh each team's approach to the sport and how they'll work against each other when plotting your betting strategy.

Leading up to and during a match, soccer odds continually change. Look at upcoming matches and jump on the ones with the best chances of winning. Keep your eyes open and follow the odds as they fluctuate. Your vigilance might just pay off when the odds turn in your favor.