Odds, Moneyline, Point Spreads & How To Bet On Soccer
What Is Soccer Betting?
There are countless ways you can approach betting. You can bet on politics, TV shows, esports, and essentially anything that has an outcome you can predict. But out of all ways to bet, sports betting is the most prevalent. Check this How to bet on Soccer guide.
With so many sports to choose from, there’s always something for everyone to bet on. As you might have guessed, the most-watched and played sports are also the most popular in the betting world, and there is no sport as loved and played as soccer.
As a sport that is watched, played, and followed by over four billion people worldwide, soccer has also emerged as the most popular sport amongst bettors. And that includes anyone from casual bettors who only wager as a hobby to professional punters who make a living watching, analyzing, and betting on soccer matches.
The appeal of soccer betting is very easy to comprehend, and it mostly has to do with two things – soccer as a game is easy to understand, and there are enough leagues and competitions to always offer something to bet on.
While it’s easy to start betting on soccer, doing so efficiently takes a bit more than just playing a wager when you feel like it. But while it takes a lot of time and dedication to become a soccer betting expert, everyone has to start with the basics, which we will cover in our soccer betting guide.
Why Bet On Soccer?
There are many reasons why anyone should start betting on soccer. And while most are subjective, there are also some benefits of betting on the world’s most popular sport.
The biggest advantage of betting on soccer is that it’s available on all sportsbooks. So unless you register at a bookie that exclusively offers markets on only one sport, you should have plenty of soccer markets to explore and bet on.
That alone is a big positive since you won’t be limited in picking the right bookie for you if you plan to bet on soccer. And beyond the general availability of soccer markets, the bookies generally cover a wide range of leagues, so if you want to bet on the Peruvian second division or on an Indian fourth division league, there is a good chance odds will be available.
Besides the market availability, betting on soccer has other advantages, mainly to enhance your viewing experience. If you’re a soccer enthusiast that watches the game regularly, risking a few bucks on your favorite team can be a great way to make the experience a bit more exciting.
Is Soccer Betting Legal?
Betting on soccer is as legal as you make it, meaning that it’s perfectly legal as long as you do it on a regulated and licensed sportsbook, are of legal age and live in a country where sports betting is not prohibited.
For most of the world, sports betting has been legal for decades, whereas the United States market only recently joined in the fun. In 2018, when the Supreme Court found the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PASPA) unconstitutional, sports betting became technically legal across the entire country.
It took the US a bit longer to join in the fun, and while some states are still in the process of legalizing sports betting, it’s only a matter of time before you will be able to legally bet anywhere.
History Of Betting On Soccer
There is no correct way to sum up the history of soccer betting, and there is no clear answer to when soccer betting began. But it’s safe to assume that soccer betting has been going on throughout the sport’s history in some way, shape, or form.
Ultimately, before the 1960s, betting on soccer was done illegally, so we should focus on the time period after the 1960 Gambling Act was accepted and legalized gambling. Since then, many betting shops have started to pop up, opening up a variety of new betting opportunities to punters.
Soccer betting continued to develop, and in the 90s, when the games were finally encouraged to be televised, betting took off. Since then, betting on soccer has become hugely popular, and while it has most of its following in Europe, there are plenty of punters in the United States who don’t shy away from betting on their favorite soccer teams.
Online Soccer Betting
Throughout its history, soccer betting was mostly done in-person at physical sportsbooks. And while some still prefer to do it the old-fashioned way, the advancements in technology made online betting far more accessible and, as a result, more popular.
Nowadays, it’s hard to find a sports betting provider that does not have an online betting platform, and it wouldn’t be too far from the truth to say that there are no big-brand bookies that don’t operate online. However, that isn’t that surprising.
The introduction of online betting on soccer has not only made it much easier for punters to place a bet, but it also allowed the bookies to expand their offer. And with time also came mobile betting, which is essentially online betting on the go, allowing you to place bets on your favorite soccer match anytime and anywhere you might be.
Soccer Bet Types
There are plenty of different bet types you will come across when betting on soccer, including some of the most basic bets in moneyline, point spread, and totals. In many ways, bet types you will find when betting on soccer are exactly the same as the bets on any other sport, so as long as you have a basic understanding of different bet types, learning to bet on soccer should come naturally.
Moneyline is the most common and most straightforward bet type you will find when betting on soccer. It’s widely used across all sports betting and is a simple “who will win” bet.
It’s important to note that there are different types of moneyline bets, namely the two-way and three-way moneyline.
The three-way moneyline offers you to bet on three different outcomes – Team A wins, Team B wins, or a draw, meaning you can bet on all three possible outcomes of the game.
Meanwhile, the two-way handicap presents you with two alternative ways of betting on a soccer match. Those include double chance and draw no bet.
Points spread betting is slightly different from moneyline, since you’re not predicting who will win but rather by how much.
The points spread in soccer betting shows the number of goals the favored team needs to win by. On the other hand, the underdogs mustn’t lose by more than the spreads number.
So if you’re betting on Barcelona on a -1.5 goal spread against Arsenal, they need to win with at least two goals for your bet to hit. You could also bet on Arsenal on a +1.5 spread, and your bet would hit if Arsenal win, draw, or lose by no more than a goal.
Points spread essentially try to level the playing field between two unevenly matched teams, and the bookies choose the number based on the perceived strength of the teams.
Totals (or over/under) is a single bet on whether or not a number of a statistic in a game will exceed the number presented by the bookmaker. Although totals can be used to bet on many different things in soccer (corners, cards, fouls, shots), it’s most commonly used to bet on the total number of goals in a game.
Over/under is one of the most popular bet types in soccer betting, largely because it’s a simple wager. You just need to predict whether the total number of goals in a match will exceed the number the oddsmakers set or not.
Most commonly, the totals line will be set at 2.5, so you will be picking whether the match will end with more or less than two goals.
Proposition bets (or props) are wagers that can add a bit more excitement to your soccer betting endeavor as a unique bet made regarding the occurrence or non-occurrence of an event. Unlike other bet types, props are rarely affected by the game’s outcome.
The best part about prop betting is that you don’t need to be an expert to use them efficiently, although that’s not to say that experienced soccer bettors don’t use them.
The best part about props is that there is technically no limit to what they can cover. From betting on whether the game’s first goal will be scored with a header to whether there will be an injury in the first 15 minutes – props provide you with endless betting possibilities.
Futures are bets made on an event that is set to happen or finish in the future and are most commonly used to predict which team will win a league or tournament. Beyond that, a future bet is also “which player will win the Golden Boot” or “which player will end the league as the MVP.”
A parlay bet is technically not a bet type, but it does offer you a different wagering option. Parlays are wagers that combine more than one event into one ticket, where you need to predict all bets correctly for the parlay to win.
So with parlays, you can combine two moneyline bets on different games into one bet to increase the potential payout. However, if only one of your moneyline bets loses, the whole parlay will result in a loss.
Round Robin is an upgraded version of a parlay bet, as a wager made up of a series of parlays. For example, you can choose from three to 15 events and pick how many you want in the parlays.
The Round Robin bet then consists of every single possible parlay combination of the events you choose. Although not one of the most popular bet types, Round Robins are often used by bettors who are seeking higher payouts with a single wager.
A Teaser bet combines multiple totals or points spread bets into one, and it works the same way as a Parlay bet. The only difference is that a Teaser allows you to move (or tease) the points in your favor in exchange for lower odds.
Note that while you can add up to 15 soccer games into one teaser, you can not combine soccer and hockey or any other sport. Therefore, the teaser must consist of only bets on one sport.
Soccer Betting Odds
Before you start betting on soccer, you need to learn to read the betting odds. While it may seem like a tedious task, that process is straightforward and shouldn’t take you longer than a few minutes to understand.
But while it’s easy to learn how to read the odds, you should know that the bookies can use three different ways to express them. Depending on which bookie you bet on and which part of the world you live in, the odds will be either American, Decimal, or Fractional.
American odds (or moneyline odds or US odds) are very common in the United States, but not so much in Europe, Asia, and the UK. Still, they’re very easy to understand, and anyone can learn them.
The American odds’ main difference to other odds is that they are shown with a negative (-) or positive (+) sign, where the favorites’ odds will always be accompanied by minus and the favorites’ odds with a plus.
But the plus and minus signs serve another function. A minus sign shows how much money you must bet to win $100, while a positive sign shows how much money you can expect to win with a $100 bet.
The best way to explain the odds is with an example:
- Barcelona -150
- Arsenal +200
In this instance, Barcelona are the favorite, priced at -150, meaning you will need to wager $150 to win $100 betting on them.
Meanwhile, Arsenal are priced as +200 underdogs. In this case, the +200 indicates that a $100 bet on Arsenal can potentially earn you $200
Decimal odds (or European odds or continental odds) are used primarily in Europe, Asia, New Zealand, Australia, and Canada. Although it might sound like a completely subjective opinion, decimal odds are the easiest to read out of the three, mainly because they are expressed in digital numbers.
The decimal odds represent the amount you will win for every $1 wagered. So instead of showing the profit, the decimal odds represent the total payout – because your stake is already included in the number.
To calculate a potential return on a stake with decimal odds, you can use a simple calculation:
- Stake x Decimal Odds = Total Payout
So let’s look at an example match from above, between Barcelona and Arsenal:
- Barcelona 1.67
- Arsenal 3.00
The decimal odds also make it very easy to see which team is the favorite by simply checking which number is lower. In this case, Barcelona are the favorite (1.67 < 3.00) because the bookies are offering lower number (odds) on them.
The odds in this example represent the amount you could win by betting $1; therefore, a $1 bet on Barcelona (1.67) will earn you $1.67, whereas a $1 bet on Arsenal can potentially net you $3.00.
Note that the potential payout is not the same as the total profit. For example, a $1 bet on Barcelona, while it will net you $1.67, is only 0.67$ profit. Meanwhile, a $3.00 payout on Arsenal is a $2 profit since you have to deduct the initial wager ($1).
Fractional odds (or British odds or UK odds) are mostly used by the Irish and British bookies and are typically written with a hyphen (-) or a slash (/) to show a fractioned number.
An example of a fractional odd is 6/1, which may seem complex, but it really isn’t. The easiest way to understand fractional odds is to understand that they show the ratio of the amount of profit you can win to the initial bet.
So in this example (6/1), you will win $6 for every $1 wagered in addition to receiving your initial bet back. So a $1 bet on 6/1 will earn you $6 plus your stake for a total $7 payout.
If we go back at the previous example, the odds on Barcelona and Arsenal will look as follows:
- Barcelona 4/6
- Arsenal 2/1
From what we have learned above, we know that a $6 bet on Barcelona (4/6) will earn us $4 profit and a ($4 profit + $6 initial wager) $10 total payout. Meanwhile, a $1 bet on Arsenal will earn us a $2 profit and a ($2 profit + $1 initial wager) $3 total payout.
If you want to calculate how much money will you get by placing a $100 (or any other amount) wager on any of the two teams, you simply need to multiply the wager with the fraction.
So assuming you bet on a team priced at 10/11, a $100 wager will earn you a $90.91 profit and a $190.91 payout.
$100 x (10/11) = $100 x 0.909 = $90.91
So if we draw a line, fractional odds might seem like the most complex out of the three, but they’re very easy to read and understand, making them very popular on all soccer bookies.
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How To Bet On Soccer FAQs
The sport that is watched, played, and followed by over four billion people worldwide.
The biggest advantage of betting on soccer is that it’s available on all sportsbooks.