Soccer Leagues to Bet On
The wonderful thing about betting on soccer is the multitude of leagues around the world. In the United States, there is Major League Soccer, but almost every country has its own domestic league, not to mention lower-level leagues. Some of the most popular leagues to bet on are the major league in Europe, including the Premier League in England, Bundesliga in Germany, Serie A in Italy, La Liga in Spain, and Ligue 1 in France.
Meanwhile, there are also intercontinental competitions that feature many of the same teams from the leagues mentioned above. The most popular is the UEFA Champions League, which features the best teams in Europe, and second to that is the UEFA Europa League.
The Europa League is a similar tournament that features the second-tier of Europe’s elite soccer clubs. There is also the CONCACAF Champions League, which features the best clubs from North and Central America, including some MLS teams.
Finally, there is international soccer. For one week every September, October, November, March, and June, FIFA sets aside international fixture dates for domestic leagues to pause so players can participate in international matches with their home country. Some of these are friendly matches, while others are competitive matches, including qualifying matches for major tournaments.
Most major international soccer tournaments take place during the summer months, although that will change in 2022 when the Qatar World Cup is scheduled to take place from 21 November to 18 December 2022. The World Cup is held every four years, as well as the Gold Cup (the championship of North and Central America and the Caribbean), Copa America (the championship of South America), and the UEFA European Championship (the championship of Europe).
Soccer Betting Types
Compared to other sports, soccer offers a greater variety of betting options. This is largely because matches are capable of ending in a tie, which isn’t common in other sports. This opens up more opportunities to bet on soccer and win.
Betting on Three-way Moneyline
The most common type of soccer bet is the three-way moneyline. This accounts for either team winning a match or the match ending in a draw.
As is the case with most sports, the favorite will have the lowest moneyline, sometimes even a negative number. The underdog will have a higher moneyline with the draw often somewhere in between. For example, an international game between the United States and England might look like:
Betting on Two-way Moneyline
A two-way moneyline in soccer is similar to betting on the straight-up outcome of a game in other sports. In soccer, it’s often called draw no bet.
This allows you to bet on the moneyline of either team winning the game. If the game ends in a draw, the bet is void, and any money you bet is refunded.
However, the payout for winning this type of bet is reduced regardless of whether you pick the favorite or the underdog. For example, the odds on the United States vs. England game might look like:
Double Chance Betting in Soccer
Since there are three possible outcomes of a soccer match, bettors have the opportunity to bet on two of the three outcomes. Typically, you would be on a team you like or the game ending in a draw.
This provides bettors with leeway if they like a particular team but want to guard against a draw. Of course, it’s also possible to bet on both teams winning, which means that you’re betting on the game not ending in a draw.
Naturally, the moneyline changes considerably if you bet on two of the three outcomes. For example:
|England||win or draw||-500|
|United States||win or draw||-100|
Betting on Soccer Totals
You can bet on the total goals scored in a soccer game. Scoring in soccer is less prevalent than other sports, so betting on totals is a little more complicated.
Rather than totals being listed at .5, totals are sometimes listed at .25 or .75. For instance, if the total goals in a game is set at 2.25, half of your bet will be over two and half will be over 2.5.
In this scenario, if the game ends with two goals scored, half of your money will be returned because half of your bet was officially a push. Of course, if three goals are scored in that game, you would win both bets.
Betting on Soccer Goal Lines
Soccer goal lines are akin to betting against the spread in a football or basketball game. This is another way to take draws out of the equation, as there will be two moneylines.
In a majority of games, the goal line will be .5 since most soccer games with a winner are decided by a single goal. However, goal lines of 1.5 or 2.5 are common too.
If you take the underdog in a game with a line of .5 goals, you’ll win the bet if the underdog wins or earns a draw. Meanwhile, if you bet on the favorite in a game with a line of 1.5 goals, that team must win the game by at least two goals.
As is often the case in other sports, the moneyline evens out when there is a spread or goal line. For example:
Betting on Soccer Props
In addition to betting on the result of soccer games, there is an endless number of prop bets available in any given game. There are bets on the number of penalty kicks awarded during the match.
There are bets on whether a team will score an own goal. There are bets on whether a particular player will score. There are over/under bets on the number of corner kicks a team earns. A personal favourite are bets on which players are going to get yellow cards or even sent off.
The list of available prop bets during soccer games goes on.
Soccer Betting Tips and Strategy
There’s a difference between being a fan of soccer and betting on soccer. Even experienced bettors aren’t always sure of the approach they should take when they start to bet on soccer games. However, learning a few tips and strategies can be a good way to get started, regardless of your experience level.
Don’t Bet What You Don’t Know
It may take some time, but don’t bet on soccer just for the sake of betting on soccer. You need to start to gain some knowledge before you start making bets.
Start by watching a number of teams closely and getting to know a specific league. Watch games, look at stats, read articles, etc., and soon enough, you’ll start to understand a particular league enough to start making picks. From there, you can begin to fan out and expand your base of knowledge.
Use Double Chance Betting
When you first start betting on soccer, use double chance betting as a type of safety net. Pick the team you like to either win or draw a game. You’re not going to make as much, even if your picks are correct.
But betting on soccer is not a get-rich-quick scheme, especially if you’ve only been watching the sport for a short period. One good strategy to use in the beginning is to use double chance betting but also keep track of which of the two results you prefer.
Hopefully, you’ll win a few bets while also learning how frequently your first instinct is correct. Once you start to notice your top choice is winning more often, you can start to take off your training wheels and start getting a better return on your bets.
Look at Location (Home/Away)
The location of a game is always something to consider, and soccer is no exception. Teams tend to play better at home, especially in Europe, where fans attend in large numbers to support their team. While this isn’t a universal truth, home underdogs are a good candidate to find value.
This is particularly true for competitive international games. Top-flight international teams can be vulnerable on the road against average teams that fill the stands with passionate fans.
Even if the favorite wins, the margins tend to be small. Of course, before relying on home-field advantage playing a role in your pick, check out a team’s recent record when playing at home or away.
Soccer Live Streaming
Betting on soccer can be great fun so long as bettors remain responsible, but if you want to add extra thrill to your betting experience you will need to be able to watch a match unfold.
But not every soccer fan can make it to the stadium, so many simply watch the beautiful game on their TV, smartphones, laptops and various other devices.
Thankfully, the best bookmakers are always adding live streaming options to their users but there are also specific soccer streaming websites to cater for your needs.