Soccer is often called “the beautiful game” and it is easy to see why. Whether you are watch the amazing ball control as Lionel Messi dribbles past several defenders, or Cristiano Ronaldo firing a 20-yard thunderbolt into the top corner, soccer is full of beautiful moments.
Betting on soccer can make watching the beautiful game more exciting than ever before, but you need to make sure that you are armed with the correct information about the different bet types you can make and the statistics you should pay attention to if you want to make money betting on soccer. This is where we come in!
Which Soccer Matches Can I Bet On?
The great thing about soccer is that it is a global game and that means almost every country in the world has a professional league taking place throughout the year.
Most major sports betting sites, such as Bovada, offer soccer betting odds from dozens of countries around the world. While it can be tempting to start betting on the Uruguayan third division matches, it makes more sense to place soccer bets on games taking place in the major leagues and competitions as there is more information available to you that you can use to make a good bet.
For this reason alone, we would suggest sticking to wagers on the German Bundesliga, Italian Serie A, Spanish La Liga, English Premier League, Major League Soccer, the Champions League and Europa League, although, as always, the choice is entirely yours.
How To Bet On Soccer
Soccer bets usually come in two guises: Futures and Game Lines. We shall cover futures bets first because there are fewer you can make.
Futures bets, as the name suggests, are bets you make where the outcome is decided at a future date; the end of the current season if we’re talking about soccer futures.
Popular Futures Soccer Bets
The most popular soccer futures bets are the winner of a competition and the competition’s top goal scorer.
Using the English Premier League as an example, you may believe that Liverpool are going to be crowned champions this year. If this is the case, you can make a futures bet on Liverpool winning the Premier League.
Your bet, which is usually placed before the season starts, although you can place a futures bet at almost any point in the season, will only pay out once your selection (Liverpool in this case) has won the title in the current season. Should your team finish in any place other than first, you lose your bet.
Similarly, with the top goal scorer market. The player you choose as scoring the most goals in that season’s competition has to finish top of the leaderboard otherwise you lose your bet.
Be aware that your money for a futures bet will be tied up on the betting site until the competition ends and factor this into your bankroll management as making a big futures bet at the start of the season could leave you short of funds to wager on the game lines.
Soccer Match Results Bets
There are literally dozens of game lines soccer bets you can make, especially with online bookmakers.
Betting on the match result is by far the most popular soccer betting market, thanks in part to it being the most straight forward. You can bet on the home team winning, the away team winning or the game ending in a draw. Usually, the home team has a major advantage and will have much shorter betting odds than the traveling team, although this is not always the case.
Another popular soccer game lines bet is using the spread. This is sometimes called handicap betting in the United Kingdom and Europe. Betting the spread is bookmaker’s way of making the match a more even affair. Like in horse racing where the better, faster horses often have to carry extra weight, bookmakers often give a team a head start.
For example, Manchester City may be playing a weaker team such as Newcastle United, a a game that City would be expected to win comfortably. The standard win, lose, draw betting market would see City start as short-priced favorites, but Bovada may offer a -2 spread on them. This means, for the purpose of your bet, Man City start the game losing 2-0 and have to win the game by three clear goals for your bet to win. On the flipside of the coin, Newcastle will likely be +2 meaning they are two goals to the good before the match starts.
In this example, should City win the actual game 2-0 and you had bet the -2 spread, you would not win your bet because it would be a 2-2 draw in the eyes of the bookmaker.
Betting the spread will make the odds more attractive to bet on, but you have to be confident that the team you are betting on is capable of winning by a margin larger than the spread is offering.
Draw No Bet and Over/Under Soccer Betting
The Draw No Bet is a good bet to make if you are unsure of how a game will pan out or if the match looks set to be closely fought. If the games ends in a stalemate, you have your stake returned to you. Do be aware, however, that the betting odds in this market will be much shorter than the spread or standard game betting markets.
One market that can yield a lot of value is betting on the correct score. Here, you must correctly predict the scoreline of the game. It has to be exactly that score for you to win your bet. Obviously, this is a difficult market to predict, but it is one that can be very profitable because the odds are almost always long, giving you a better return on your investment.
The final soccer bets we are going to look at today is the Over/Under Goals market. This is hugely popular and relates to how many goals you think a match will see scored. You will often see the market offering bets on decimal places, with over/under 2.5 goals.
While initially confusing, bookmakers do this so the bets either always win or lose and do not end in a stalemate. If you bet the over 2.5 goals market, the game must see more than 2.5 goals score. As it is impossible to score half a goal, there must be at least three goals scored. If you bet on under 2.5 goals, there must be two or fewer goals scored for your bet to win.
See below the top sportsbooks where you can wager online and choose the best one for you: