Soccer is the most popular sport worldwide when it comes to fans and betting. Therefore, the opportunities to bet on soccer have increased more than in other sports over the years. With a whole host of markets available, there are both pre-event, which are bets placed before a match starts, and in-play, which is betting on a soccer match when it is in play.
Before starting out, however, it is important to consider what betting strategy will work best for you.
Soccer Betting Strategies
The first thing to remember is that the bookmakers who decide on the lines/odds of each event will have a large number of years of experience within soccer and are there to make sure the bookies they work with don’t lose money.
Therefore, at least a small amount of research is recommended before you start betting on soccer such as knowing your cities from your units and your ACs from your Inters.
There are so many markets to bet on that unless you have some experience watching football you can feel lost with all the options available.
Most bookmakers will have a stats section that can show information such as the form of each team, their position in the relevant league, which player/s are expected to miss out through injury or suspension, and much more. This is a solid place to begin when thinking about your bets.
Many bettors will only look at the basic markets such as which teams will win, how many goals there will be, who will score first etc.
One of the lesser-used markets is over or under total corners in the match which can depend on how attacking each team is likely to be.
Checking previous corners for both teams can be a good marker for how a team will play, some will look to win corners of the defender when in an advanced position if they do well from set pieces and these teams can be expected to win above average number, especially when at home playing against a team they are expected to beat.
Whilst not that good as a pre-event market due to the reduced odds you will get betting on 2 of the 3 possible outcomes (home win, away win or draw) rather than just the 1, this market can be good when the team you are backing falls behind.
For example, if the home team is a firm favourite before the match but concedes an early goal, the odds of them winning or drawing will be a good bet when they are behind. After all, if they were firm favourites to win and have plenty of time to turn things around, if they score the 2nd goal the odds you will have got when they were behind will be very different.
The odds of an accumulator (betting on the outcome of more than one game) can be considerably better than betting on one match at a time.
If you place a bet on 5 teams to win in one bet, you will be getting much better odds than betting on one team and then using winnings on one more team each time for 5 separate bets.
This also has the added advantage of some sites offering boosted odds for each bet (5 boosted odds are much better than 1) and also offer Acca insurance which gives you your money back as a free bet if one game lets you down.
Yes, you need all events to win in order for the bet to be settled as a winner, but the advantages of this bet far outweigh the negatives, especially as you can normally cash out your bets at any time if you prefer.
Finally, a good market to look at is total goals in a game, if you have 2 sides that like to attack and who tend to score a lot whilst conceding, this can provide you with good returns. Unlike betting on a team to win, you can win this bet after a few minutes if there are early goals, if you bet on over 2.5 goals in the match, should 3 goals be scored in the first 30 minutes, your bet will be declared a winner without the need for the match to finish.
Soccer Betting Tips
Bankroll: Like any form of gambling, bankroll is important. If you have a set amount you are prepared to lose, try and ensure each bet only uses a % of this bankroll as opposed to the full amount as this will increase your enjoyment. There is nothing worse than losing all your funds in the first game and the temptation to then deposit and bet again is likely to be higher.
Only bet what you can afford: At the end of the day, betting should be enjoyable, and if you get to the stage where it isn’t then it is time to walk away. If you feel you are betting too much, some organizations can help you depending on where you live.
Look at futures: If you want to get more for your money, look at long-term bets which last several months as opposed to just one game. An example would be team A winning their league come the end of the season or getting promoted to a higher league. In this type of bet, you cannot lose in just one game but you can cheer your team/s on each time they are playing in the hope of getting closer to the winning line.
Most Popular Soccer Leagues
Whilst there are many different teams you can bet on in soccer, some of the biggest European leagues tend to be the most popular. These are:
Premier League in England
La Liga in Spain
Serie A in Italy
Bundesliga in Germany
Ligue 1 in France
Every 4 years, there is a World Cup that sees some of the biggest countries in the world come together to battle it out for the title of World Champion.
Each continent also has its own tournament such as the European Championships and Africa Cup of Nations.
All of these offer great opportunities for betting on a range of different markets.
Soccer Betting Markets Explained
There is a huge range of markets to bet on when betting on soccer, some of which are outlined below.
Who will win a league or cup? These tournaments can last up to 9 months so are normally considered long-term bets but can lead to very good odds. When Leicester City won the Premier League in England in the 2015/2016 season, for example, you could have backed them at 5,000 to 1 at the start of the season – a $10 bet would have won you $50,000!
Who will win a specific match – The home team, the away team, or the match ending in a draw?
Most popular in play when one team leads, this bet gives you 2 of the 3 options of a Moneyline – so home team or draw, away team or draw, or home team or away team.
Draw No Bet
This essentially makes the 3-way Moneyline into a 2-way market, voiding the bet if it ends in a draw in return for much lower odds.
Over/Under Goals Market
The normal amount is over or under 2.5 goals in a game – if you bet over, 3 or more goals after 90 minutes mean you win, 2 or fewer goals give you a win if you bet the under. You can also bet over/under 1.5 goals, 3.5 goals, etc depending on how brave you are feeling.
This is a simple bet on the final score of a match, such as 1 – 1 or 2 – 0 to the home side. Remember there are a lot of potential scores before a match begins so you are less likely to win this bet than if you simply predict the outcome on a 3-way Moneyline, but the odds you get reflect this.
The player that will score the first goal of the game. You can also bet on the last goalscorer – who will score the final goal, or an anytime scorer, so a player that will score a goal at any time during the match.
Half-Time/ Full Time
Correctly guessing the outcome at both half time and full time, an example would be a draw at half time with the home side winning at full time.
Over/Under Corners Market
The same as the Over/Under Goals Market but with corners
Player to be Carded
The player you choose will need to be shown a yellow or red card during the match for this bet type to be a winner.
Guessing the outcome of a match when a specific team has some goals added or removed. An example would be a home favourite winning with a handicap of -1.5 – They would need to win the match by 2 goals for this bet to be a winner. You can also bet on the away side with a handicap of +1.5 – this bet would win if the home side wins by one goal, the match ends in a draw, or the away side wins.
Both Teams to Score
A bet that wins if both teams score at least one goal irrespective of the final result. You can also bet that both teams won’t score which wins if either side keeps a clean sheet.
Match Result and Over 2.5 Goals
This is a combination bet on who will win the match and that there will be at least 3 goals scored by both teams combined. You can also bet on the match result and both teams’ scores.
Total Team Goals
This relates to a specific team within a match rather than both teams combined, an example would be the home team scoring 3 or more goals which will win if they score 3 goals or more on their own but not if they only score 2 and the away side scores 1.
This is a bet on 2 or more matches where the outcome of the bet needs all legs to win in order to be settled as a winner. The more matches you bet on, the higher the odds, it is worth keeping an eye out for sites that offer boosts that increase the odds on each game, or Acca insurance which sees you getting your money back as a free bet if one leg lets you down.
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What are the different types of Soccer bets that I can place?
There are quite a few different bets that you could place on soccer. The obvious one is to bet on the outcome of the match, and which club will win. But, you could also place an over/under bet, you could bet on a spread, and you can also place a “prop” bet.
In Soccer betting, how do I place an over/under bet?
The most common over/under bet in soccer is placed in regards to the amount of total goals scored during the match. So, you could place a bet saying that both teams will score a total of goals that exceeds a certain number. You could also place a bet saying that the total number of goals will be below a certain number.
In Soccer betting, what is a prop bet?
A prop bet (or proposition bet) is any bet that doesn’t include the final score. So, a prop bet can include how many penalty shots will take place during the match, how many fouls, how many hat tricks, etc. Anything that doesn’t relate to the final score of the game could fall under the category of “prop” bet.
What is a money line bet in Soccer?
Money line refers to a simple bet, wherein you place a wager on the outcome of the match. In soccer, the money line is a 3-way line between “win”, “lose”, or “draw”. So, you could place a bet on a winner of the match, a loser, or whether you think the game will end in a draw.
What is the smartest way to bet on Soccer?
There really isn’t something as simple as a “smartest” way to bet. There are, however, certain things that you can do in order to improve your betting. Namely, keep your bankroll in mind, study the odds and the favorites, pay close attention to the teams, and especially pay close attention to the lineups. A degree of luck is also, always involved.
What is the safest bet to make in Soccer?
The safest bet that you can place on any sport is the “double chance” bet. The double chance is a bet that allows you to wager on two separate outcomes of an event. This, naturally, increases your chance at victory.
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