How to Bet on Soccer
Bet on Soccer Here!
In the US, gambling interest in soccer has been increasing rapidly in recent years.
While still trailing football, basketball, and baseball in terms of total percentage wagered per annum, Americans are showing more and more interest in both domestic and international soccer gambling.
In this complete guide on how to bet on soccer, we’ll take a deep dive into every aspect of the game and how to bet on it at the best online sportsbooks.
We’ll take you through everything you need to know about how soccer betting works, including:
- All the different kinds of soccer bets and how to make them
- How soccer betting odds and betting lines work and how to read them
- Which soccer leagues offer the best betting action.
You can jump down the page to get to the nitty-gritty of soccer betting or keep reading for a rundown on how soccer gambling is gaining popularity in the US and will soon be legal in lots of states.
Soccer Betting Guide Video
Soccer Betting in the United States
Whether you call it football, soccer, or just the beautiful game, there is no denying the sport’s global popularity is second to none. It‘s played by most people, watched by the most people, and, in terms of global aggregate numbers, it’s bet on by most people.
In the US, however, it’s pretty far down the list on the country’s most popular sports. That’s been changing over the last decade, though.
Three big factors contributed to the sport’s growing popularity:
- America hosted the FIFA World Cup of Soccer in 1994.
- The introduction of Major League Soccer (MLS) in North America in 1996.
- The USA women’s national soccer team won Olympic gold medals in 2004, 2008, and 2012.
Add to that a championship at the 2015 FIFA Women’s World Cup and you can see why the country has gone bonkers for soccer recently.
MLS didn’t exactly take off right away but it’s now a thriving league with 23 teams and dozens of international superstar players like David Beckham, Theirry Henry, David Villa, Sebastian Giovinco, and a wealth of others.
As both passion for soccer and internet gambling popularity increase in America, there is no doubt we will see huge developments in the field of soccer betting in the coming years.
Before we get to the nuts and bolts of betting on soccer, let’s take a quick peek at the current sports gambling landscape in the US and discuss how events that transpired in 2018 will soon make it legal to bet on soccer in lots of US states.
Bet on Soccer Here!
We compare football and soccer leagues to see which is more popular, makes more money, has more fans, and more. Take a look at:
MLS Predictions, Odds & News
Is Soccer Betting Legal in the US?
Right now the answer to that question depends on where in the US you’re located. Before 2018, if you lived anywhere other than Nevada, the answer was a definitive no.
Now, things are different.
In the summer of 2018, the Supreme Court voted in favor of an appeal submitted by the state of New Jersey, to overturn a law called the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act. PASPA basically banned sports betting in all states except Nevada.
Getting rid of PASPA didn’t automatically make sports betting legal but it has given each state the authority to legalize it if they choose.
A growing number of states have already passed laws and started accepting sports wagers while more still are in various stages of legislation. Legal sports betting is now legal in Illinois, Colorado, Indiana, West Virginia, Iowa, Tennessee, and Pennsylvania to name a few.
To find out if betting on soccer is legal where you live, check out our complete state by state guides to legal US sports betting.
The Best US Online Sportsbooks for Betting on Soccer
If you’re wondering which sports betting sites offer the best soccer odds and betting lines, look no further.
WSN.com’s online sportsbook reviews make it easy to compare all the best US soccer betting sites that are available in your state.
Generally speaking, all the major online sportsbooks offer an outstanding variety of soccer betting options. Since many of the brands that now operate in the United States actually come from European and international markets, soccer is already a big part of their sports betting menu.
If you like to bet on the go, take a look at the best sports betting apps for you.
How Does Soccer Betting Work?
While there may not always be a lot of scoring in soccer, there are certainly a lot of different ways to bet.
In this section, we’ll explain all the most popular soccer bets, how they work, and how to make them. In the following section, we’ll dig deeper into how the odds work to teach you how to read all kinds of soccer betting lines.
Moneyline Bets on Soccer
The most basic of bets lets you choose the winning team, or in some cases a draw. This kind of bet is called the money line.
Moneyline bets pay out more when you bet on the underdog to win and pay less if you bet on the favorite.
There are two main kinds of money line bets are split: 3-way money line and 2-way money line.
- With 3-Way Moneyline betting, often written as 1×2, you are given three final game outcomes to bet on. You can bet on the home team to win, the away team or you can bet on a draw. In soccer, unless otherwise stated, the bet will be decided by the score after 90 minutes plus any additional referee stoppage time.
In the event that the game goes to extra time, golden goal, or a shootout, the result of your ticket will only depend on the score after 90 minutes plus the stoppage time for an injury or otherwise.
- In 2-way money line betting the draw, the option is not available. You have to pick a winner and be correct. If the game does finish tied the ticket is a push and the bet is refunded.
Point Spreads and Spread Betting
Two other very popular forms of soccer betting are point spread betting and spread betting.
While the words might make them seem identical, in fact, they are quite different. It is very important not to confuse spread betting with handicapping or ‘point spread’ betting which is used often in other North American sports.
- Point spread betting is when oddsmakers set a margin of goal differential before the game where the favorite will need to overcome that amount in order to win the bet. By the same logic, the underdog will need to lose by less than the margin (or win the game, or draw) in order to win the ticket.
- With spread betting the odds are not fixed and the amount you can win or lose depends on the results of the game. Punters choose between buying or selling at posted amounts and depending on the end result will win or lose varying amounts in relation to the set line.
We will go into more detail about point spread and spread betting in a section below.
Goal Line (Over/Under Totals)
Another common form of soccer wager is called goal line betting. First oddsmakers estimate the number of goals for a match and punters need to decide whether more goals or fewer goals will be scored.
This form of wagering is also commonly called totals betting or over/under betting. This doesn’t require choosing a winner. Instead, you’re betting on how many total combined points both teams will score.
Lines are often posted with a full number plus half a goal. This ensures that the total amount will be more or less than the posted line.
If the goal line is a whole number like two or three and both teams score exactly that number combined, all tickets will be a push and all bets are refunded. With some alternative markets, you will see more than one total score on the goal line posted, each with different odds.
We will look at these types of bets in more detail in sections below as well as some other forms of bets like Asian handicap betting and unique wagers called proposition bets.
How to Read Soccer Betting Odds
Now that you understand what the different bet types are, let’s figure out how to read the odds and payouts.
Odds are a key concept to understand because they show you:
- The likelihood of each outcome
- How much you will win depending on how much you wager
No matter the form of bet you want to make, you are going to see odds in front of each wagering option. In the US the most common style of odds is called American Odds but sometimes you’ll see fractional and decimal odds too. You can convert between them using our handy odds tool.
If you’re betting online you can usually choose the kind of odds you want the site to use.
American Odds in Soccer
The odds will be posted as numbers preceded by a plus (+) or (-) and the numbers will start from around 100 and can stretch upwards into the thousands.
Here are the key things to understand about American odds in soccer:
- The plus sign shows you which team is the underdog and the number is how much profit you will win for every $100 you bet.
- The minus sign shows you which team is the favorite and it’s the amount you must bet to win $100 in profit.
Let’s look at a 3-way money line bet on a game between Germany and Italy to show you how it works:
- Italy +325
- Germany -130
- Draw +250
Since this bet is in the 3-way category we know we can either bet on a team to win or a draw.
The odds posted besides each express the payouts for a correct bet.
We can see Germany is favored because of the minus (-) in front of the 130. These odds tell us that a successful $130 bet on Germany will pay out $230. That’s $100 in profit and your original $130 bet.
On the other hand, a $100 bet on Italy would pay $325 in profit and a $100 bet on a draw would pay $250 in profit.
It’s also important to understand that you don’t have to bet $100. American odds just use $100 base units to standardize the numbers. You can bet any amount you want within the sportsbook’s betting limits and the odds will tell you how much you’ll win.
Successful Soccer Betting Strategies
With so many different kinds of soccer bets, the first thing to do is decide what you are most comfortable betting on and, if you have history, what you have done best at in the past.
The bottom line is, no matter how you approach your soccer betting you need to do your research and planning.
In this section, we’ll give you some broad concepts to get you started learning soccer betting strategy.
Compare Specific Team Matchups
If you can identify where one team has a significant advantage then you might be able to predict either a specific goal scorer or make a wager on that team getting on the board with a goal – in particular in the second half when defenders might be fatigued.
Compare each team’s individual history, how they’ve done against this specific opponent and how they’ve performed in similar situations to the game you’re looking at. These criteria could include whether they’re coming off a win, their recent win/loss record, if they’re playing at home, key players who may or may not be on the roster and tons more.
Analyze all the information you can get your hands on and see if you can spot valuable trends that you can use to guide your betting decisions.
Compare Sites and Shop for Value
This applies to all gambling wagers at all times. It pays to spend time shopping for the best betting lines.
Be patient and diligent enough to see if the same bet you are making is offered at a better price somewhere else. Just like regular shopping, would you spend more on an item if it was available for cheaper next door? Of course not.
The key is being willing to put in the work and compare bets from site to site.
An added benefit of signing up for lots of sites in order to shop for lines is that you’ll be eligible for lots of bonuses and promotions too.
Avoid Personal Bias
Said another way, bet with your brain over your heart.
If you find yourself wagering on what you want to happen more than what you think will happen, you are setting yourself up for a fall. It may work out well in the short term but in the long term it is a recipe for disaster. You want to put your emotions to the side and bet with logic and strategy.
To make a long story short, the real strategy for successful soccer betting is to have a plan based on logic and reason and to verify these notions with data and statistics. You can throw caution to the win and bet blindly but if you want to be successful in the short and long term, our advice is to do your homework and bet with a plan.
Soccer Betting in Las Vegas
Watching a game at a Las Vegas sportsbook can be a great experience, especially if it’s a big match and there are a lot of fellow supporters in the room. If you plan to get in on the betting action but are a little intimidated or unsure how it works, no problem. We’ll help you through it.
The first thing to know is that the people at the desk are always available to help or answer questions. No need to be shy. It’s their job and they are normally quite friendly.
Take a look at the betting board. First identify the soccer section. The teams playing each other will be posted one under the other with the home team on the bottom.
Most books will have the following choices listed:
- Handicap or point spread bets are often shown as pk or sometimes as ‘pk and -0.5’ for the favorite or ‘pk and +0.5’ for the underdog. The pk or ‘pick’ portion means you just have to pick the winner. If it is shown with the 0.5 next to it, it means your ticket is split into two parts with the second part needing them to win by that much for your bet to win.
- Moneyline or 1×2 bets are really straight forward. Choose either the home team to win, the visiting team to win, or the game to finish in a draw. The corresponding American odds will be posted next to each selection to show you how much you can win and how much of a favorite or underdog that team is.
Remember, these results are only for 90 minutes plus referee stoppage time.
- Over/Under totals, also called the Goal Line is a line set by the oddsmakers that predicts the total number of goals scored. You can bet on the over if you think more goals will be scored than the sportsbook’s line, or under if you think it will be less.
If you are looking for more complex bets or prop bets, they will either have their own section or their own sheet of paper. The proposed lines can vary a lot but the overall idea on how to place the bets and how to read the odds are the same.
If you wish to combine bets into a parlay, simply tell the person at the betting window and they will do it for you.
After you place your bets and pay, the cashier will give you a betting ticket that will clearly list your bets and show the potential payouts for a win.
Best Kinds of Soccer Bets in Detail
We’ve touched on lots of different kinds of bets you can make on soccer and in this section, we’re going to dig even deeper.
We’ll show examples of all the kinds of soccer bets to show you how they work in practical terms.
Soccer Prop Bets
Since soccer is the most popular game in the world it stands to reason it’s going to have some of the most creative and most extensive betting options.
The most unique wagers are called prop bets, short for proposition bets. Here are some of the most popular prop bets in soccer:
These bets are a subset of the earlier mentioned 3-way betting options where you can choose either the home team, away team, or a draw.
With double chance bets, you can bet on two of the three possible outcomes, like one team winning or it being a draw, for example.
Pick a precise end-of-game score. Keep in mind, you are selecting a specific score for each team.
This is the same bet as the correct score but applies to the result after the first half. Halftime bets usually just ask you to pick which team is winning at halftime but some props will offer a precise score option too.
Strategically, you might find that more goals are scored in the latter portion of games where players are more physically spent and therefore more prone to error.
These bets are similar to halftime bets except you also must accurately predict who will win after full time as well. It’s a bit like a parlay where you must get both parts correct to win.
First and Last Goal Scorer
This one is pretty self-explanatory. If you think you know who is most likely to score first and last, this bet is for you.
Bets like these are long odds bets that you should go after when you are trying to get lucky and win big.
As if predicting the final score or the first goal scorer wasn’t hard enough, this bet requires you to accurately hit both. It’s a long shot but it always comes with huge odds and big payouts.
Both Teams to Score (BTTS)
This bet asks if you think both teams will score at some point in the game. It doesn’t matter how many goals there are or what the point differential at the end of the game.
Some sportsbooks will offer this bet in conjunction with picking the game’s winner. You might see this posted as “To win and BTTS”. BTTS means Both Teams To Score so the bet requires you to pick the winner and whether or not you think boths sides will register a goal.
There is a long list of specials bets that fit into this subset of props. Most of them are exactly what they sound like. Common specials bets include but are not limited to:
- First team to score
- Time of first goal
- Specific player to score (y/n)
- Will there be a penalty? (y/n)
- Will there be a red card? (y/n)
- Will there be goals on both halves? (y/n)
- Number of bookings
- Number of corners
These bets extend past the current game at and instead focus on results in the coming weeks/months. These are most often about who will win their league championship and which players will win special season-long awards.
Handicap betting and point spreads are basically the same thing in soccer. The handicap and the spread refer to the expected margin of victory for the better team.
- The better team is assigned a number of points they must win by in order to “cover the spread”.
- The underdog team can lose by that number of points, or win the game outright, in order to cover the spread.
- Point spreads and handicaps are a way for the sportsbooks to level the playing field when it’s obvious to everyone who is most likely to win.
- By using a point spread a sportsbook can attract action on both sides of the wager.
- Since the point spread accounts for the skill difference between the two teams, the payout odds are usually even for both sides of the bet. -110 is the most common odds you’ll see for point spreads which means you must bet $110 to win $100 in profit.
For a soccer match a typical point spread will be somewhere in the range of 0.5 to 3.5 goals. Point spreads can be whole numbers but they more often use half goals to avoid the possibility of bets ending in a tie (called a push in gambling parlance).
Let’s look at an example. A typical point spread example might look like this:
- Portugal (-1.5) -110
- Mexico (+1.5) -110
In this case, Portugal is favored by 1.5 goals. This means if you bet $110 on them to cover the spread your ticket would pay out a $100 profit if they win by 2 or more goals.
Conversely, if you bet $110 on Mexico to cover +1.5 it means your ticket would win $100 profit if they lost by 1 goal, tied, or won the game outright.
Handicap betting includes alternate point spreads, each with different payout odds. The odds get better when you choose a bigger handicap for your team and they get worse when you choose a more favorable point spread.
Spread Betting in Soccer
The words make it look similar to point spreads and handicap betting but in soccer, spread betting has more in common with the over/under point total bets you see in other sports, with a few big twists.
Oddsmakers set a spread for the game’s outcome and, similar to over/under betting, punters need to choose between two options.
You can choose the buy option or the sell option.
Each will have a number listed next to it. These numbers are not to be confused with odds, rather they represent how many goals the sportsbook expects in the game.
- Buy means you think the match will exceed the number listed.
- Sell means you think the match will have fewer than the number listed.
- The amount you win or lose is determined by the game’s final outcome and how many points were scored by each team.
Let’s take a look at an example to show you what we mean:
Canada vs USA – Total goals
- Sell 2.40
- Buy 2.60
The difference between the two numbers is called the spread, hence “spread betting”.
If you think the match will have less than 2.4 goals than you sell. If you think there will be more than 2.6 goals than you buy.
At this point you also choose an amount to stake. It is important to realize you may lose more than the stake you choose.
Three things determine how much you can win or lose:
- The number of goals you choose to buy or sell
- How much you wager
- The total number of goals in the game
If you staked $100 and bought at 2.60 you would win if there were more than 2.6 goals in the game.
Win amounts are equal to the difference between the total number of goals and the purchased amount, multiplied by the stake.
- If there were 3 total goals you would win $40 profit because 3 – 2.60 = 0.4
Multiplying 0.4 times your $100 stake equals $40.
- If there were 4 goals scored your profit would be $140 because 4 – 2.6 = 1.40
Multiplying 1.4 times your $100 stake equals $140.
As you can see, the amount you can win increases if the teams playing score a lot of goals. This is why we say the payout is not fixed.
But what happens if the game is low scoring?
- If there was 1 goal scored you would lose $160 since 2.6 – 1 = 1.6
Multiplying 1.6 times your $100 stake equals $160.
- 0 goals in this game would lead to a $260 loss.
To reiterate, spread betting does not have a fixed stake since you can lose more than your original stake amount.
The principle is exactly the same in reverse if we choose to sell instead of buy. You get paid more with fewer goals being scored and have to pay a higher stake if there are a lot of goals that exceed the spread.
It may seem that taking the sell-side holds more risk since you would have to pay a large amount in a high scoring game, but the truth is that sportsbook are taking a fair shake of the risk here since soccer in inherently a low scoring game, historically.
Asian Handicap Betting
Asian handicap, often posted as AH on sportsbooks, is a form of betting that is similar to point spread betting in the sense that it’s designed to level the playing field between a more skilled team and a less skilled team.
Just like point spreads, it gives an advantage to the underdog while handicapping the favorite.
One of the main characteristics of Asian Handicap betting is that it eliminates pushed bets from draw results. So instead of having three possible outcomes (which is 3-way moneyling; 1×2 betting), this market only has wins and losses.
What famously distinguishing Asian handicapping from regular point spread markets is the addition of 1/4 goals to go along with the standard 1/2 goal. We have seen before that 0.5 goal margin is used to eliminate tie bets but the 1/4 goal opens up even more possibilities.
Essentially it breaks every bet up into two separate wagers with separate point spreads.
Let’s look at some examples. These lines might look confusing at first but they’re easy to understand once you learn the basics. Assume all of the below examples pay -110 to both sides. We’ll focus more on how the bets work as opposed to the odds and payouts.
Asian Handicap 0.25
Brazil vs Portugal AH – 0:1/4
- In this example, we know that Portugal is the underdog based on their side having the 1/4 goal advantage. If Brazil were underdog it would be written as 1/4:0
- Let’s say you bet $100 on the favorites Brazil to win -1/4 AH. This means that half your bet ($50) is on them with a -0.5 line and the other $50 of your bet is on them with a 0.0 line.
- If Brazil wins the game you win on both bets.
- If the game ends in a draw your -0.5 side loses and your 0.0 side is a push. You get $50 refunded.
- If Portugal wins you lose both bets.
Asian Handicap 0.5
With half goal differentials in AH, we can just think of the ticket working in the same way as point spread betting. Since we are already familiar with how that works, let’s skip to 3/4 AH bets
Asian Handicap 0.75
Just as we saw with 1/4 AH betting, your ticket is split into two possibilities. The only difference this time is the ticket will be from 0.5 to 1.0 whereas with 1/4 went from 0.0 to 0.5.
Goal-line betting also called over/under or totals betting, is a fun way to cheer for goals (or against them) where your bet isn’t concerned with which team wins the game.
Oddsmakers set a line for the total number of goals scored in a match and your job is to predict whether there will be more or fewer goals scored than the sportsbook’s prediction.
In some forms of this betting, you can bet on one particular team’s total goals rather than the combined scoring. Either way, the system works the same. Generally speaking, the odds will be close to -110 on both sides of the bet.
Most lines will have a half goal added rather than a whole number. This is done to stop tie bets.
Let’s look at a simple example match between Argentina and France:
- Over 2.5 (-110)
- Under 2.5 (-110)
In this example, if there are less than 3 goals scored, the under wins. If there are 3 or more goals, the over wins.
Parlay Bets in Soccer
If you like to live dangerously in pursuit of big payouts, betting parlays in soccer might be perfect for you.
Parlays let you combine multiple bets into one ticket. The payouts multiply but you have to get every bet right for the parlay to win.
The exact payouts depend on the odds for each bet you include in your parlay. If you’re betting online, just enter how much you want to bet and the site will tell you how much you can win.
There are two very important things to keep in mind when placing parlay bets. The first is that, when possible, you want to find outcomes that are correlated such that if one thing happens it is likely that the other result will happen.
Outcomes that are obviously correlated can’t be combined in the same parlay but there are a few clever ways to increase your chances of winning.
A second important consideration with parlay betting is when the games are playing out.
If you want to bet on two matches and they are at different times, you can get more value by putting your winnings from the first match all into the second match.
By “letting it ride” you’ll get a bigger payout than you would if you put them into the same parlay ticket. If the games are happening at the same time, however, you have to combine them in a parlay.
Soccer Betting Rules for Overtime
Unless otherwise stated, every type of bet in soccer, whether it’s 3-way moneyline (1X2), 2-way moneyline, Asian Handicap, over/under or any other prop wager, the extra time never counts in your bet.
In terms of live betting opportunities, some sportsbooks will offer bets into overtime and shootouts if they game has gotten to that stage. You just need to be quick to find the offers before they kick off the extra time play.
Also, some prop bets will be specific to games going into extra time or shootout, especially in tournament play. That being said, regular bets in tournament play are still decided after 90 minutes of play plus referee stoppage time.
What Are the Best Soccer Leagues to Bet On?
Soccer is played in all corners of the globe and you’ll find multiple teams and leagues everywhere you go. When it comes to gambling on these events most of the focus is place on the elite level top tier leagues.
The following are some of the biggest leagues on the planet and why we think they are the best place to find quality action.
Major League Soccer
MLS was founded in 1996 and despite a somewhat slow start, it’s grown into a big league with 23 teams all over North America.
The bigger franchises have attracted a number of older superstar players and the fanbase for watching and betting on MLS is growing steadily.
UEFA Champions League
This annual tournament is a battle for European supremacy and pits the top teams from all the major leagues against each other. This tournament proudly holds claim to being the most-watched sporting event worldwide and had a record 360 million viewers in 2012.
The current format starts with a double round-robin structure between 32 teams and offers punters endless opportunities for juicy lines and an even longer list of proposition bets.
Also commonly called the English Premier League, the Premier League is the most watched soccer league in the world. With 20 teams that each play a 38-game schedule, top-quality play combined with an abundance of weekly betting lines makes it a favorite for soccer gamblers.
The pinnacle of Spanish football, La Liga is the top division of the Spanish football league system and, for the past 5 years, has ranked first in all of Europe in a UEFA-based league ranking system.
The league is comprised of 20 teams and each season the bottom three teams are relegated to a lower league. This bottom end pressure is excellent for punters because it puts pressure on every team to play well even late in the year when things haven’t gone well.
Similar to the UEFA Champions League structure, La Liga runs through a double round-robin regular season that earns them 3 points for wins, 1 point for a draw, and none for a loss.
Knowing who is in contention to win the league or get relegated near the end of the year makes for tons of betting opportunities.
World Cup Soccer Betting
Honestly, when it comes to soccer, does it get any better than the FIFA World Cup? Even if the quality doesn’t always match the hype, the event itself is so grand it literally brings the world together to an extent only matched by the Olympic Games. In fact, it’s arguably even bigger.
For gamblers, the World Cup is a glorious month of footy. While the early group stages can have some disparity in terms of team skill level, the importance of each goal and each game is so large that the tension becomes palpable.
When tournaments are this large oddsmakers pull out all the stops in terms of different bets and props.
Other Big Soccer Tournaments
There are several other important tournaments to pay attention to in terms of gambling, including:
Copa Del Ray
The Copa Del Ray is a yearly tournament put on by the Royal Spanish Football Federation. It is a fantastic tournament to bet on because all the games leading up to the finals are home-and-away knockout matchups.
This makes for fantastic betting opportunities because you literally see the managers and the players adjusting their strategies depending on the scores and the circumstances. It makes a huge difference in betting both before games and during the game with live betting.
Similar to the FIFA World Cup, the Confederations Cup happens every four years. Tournaments that don’t come around very often tend to automatically carry a heavier weight when it comes to gambling.
While a smaller tournament in size, usually featuring 8 teams, the competition offers a lot of great value as it is a lead in to the World Cup and most of the teams are willing to be more aggressive in play and strategy.
If you like tradition mixed with winner-take-all drama, this is the tournament for you. The FA Cup is the oldest national football competition in the world and it features England’s most elite talent.
Unlike most other tournaments, the FA CUP takes months to complete as literally hundreds of teams compete in elimination-style qualification rounds beginning in August and run all the way through to the “competition proper” rounds that end in May.
As such, the futures betting market runs hot for this one. As a word of advice, stay clear of the longest of underdogs since only one non-league team in England has ever advanced to the quarter finals.
UEFA European Championship
Next to the World Cup, the Euros are arguably the most anticipated and hyped soccer tournaments that people get excited for. Taking place every four years (staggered with the World Cup), and having expanded to 24 teams, there are few things more exciting to bet on than the group stage matches where the results required are known going into the game.
Then the elimination rounds and the potential for extra time and a shootout where entire nations are glued to their tvs! Who wouldn’t want to get in on the action?
How Does Live Soccer Betting Work?
Live betting, as the name implies, is when punters get bets in after the game kicks off and the action is in full swing. This in-game style of betting on soccer is growing as fast in popularity as it is in complexity.
Thanks to the speed of the internet and the efforts put forth by sportsbooks to post as many live lines as possible, options for making in-game wagers are getting more common all the time.
Once a game is underway, a sportsbook will offer an adjusted line (usually different from before the game) that corresponds to how the game is developing. The oddsmakers are watching the game and making adjustments, to be a winning live bettor, you should be doing the same.
Due to the fact that oddsmakers have less time to set accurate lines (compared to before a game) they are more prone mistakes. This opens the door to finding good value.
Here are some tips to think of when making live bets on soccer:
- The two most important factors are how much time is left and whether or not there have been any goals. A goal in a soccer match changes everything because the managers have to adjust accordingly and decide if they want to change their formations to protect the lead if they are up or take more risk in order to score the tying goal if they’re down.
- Know the pre-game lines and compare them to the new ones posted during the game. This will show you not only the value changes from the new odds lines but also how the oddsmakers think the game is developing.
- Make note of any bookings to key players or injuries.
- What sort of attack and formation have the managers applied? Is it something unexpected or is it in line with their regular strategy?
- What are the field and weather conditions? Is it impacting the players? Can this help you make informed live bets? Use all the information you can find to your advantage.
Live bets will have all of the usual types but aside from those standard bets, there will be several different forms of in-game wagers offered. Different sites have a variety of live betting options.
Popular live soccer bets include:
- First team to score
- Total number of goals
- Precise score at half
- Precise score at full time
- Score at half (if live bet is in first 45 minutes)
- Double chance bets (as explained above)
- Will there be a goal in the half?
- Next team to earn a corner
- Will there be a booking in the half?
- Total number of shots on goal (for a specific team)
Soccer Betting Resources
Doing your homework is the biggest factor in your success or failure betting on soccer, especially over the long run when luck and variance tends to even out. Lucky for you, there are tons of great soccer betting resources you can use for free.
Some of the best places to find data, we’ve found, come from these sites:
In today’s modern world the data is so in-depth you really do have your choice of trends and angles to dissect. Put in the time researching your bets and it will pay off in bigger profits.
In addition to sites like these, be sure to explore gambling and sports forums and check out bloggers and vloggers who post free daily content.
Start Betting Soccer Now
If you love following soccer and you live in a state that has already legalized sports betting, putting a few bets on the next game can be an awesome way to enhance your sports experience.
Check out our state by state guides to find out if sports betting is legal where you live.
If it is, make sure to go over this soccer betting guide a few more times and then start researching the teams and games you want to bet on.
If you decide to bet on soccer online, compare all the best online sportsbooks using our expert reviews, and then sign up through our links to make sure you get the best possible bonuses and deals.