A Winning Strategy For Betting On Soccer - We Have The Scoop
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How to bet on Soccer

• Soccer
• Sports Betting

How To Successfully Bet On Soccer

For bettors of all experience levels, betting on soccer can be a great untapped resource. While sports like football, baseball, and basketball are largely limited to teams from the United States, there are high-level soccer leagues all over the world, not to mention matches between international teams.

Of course, the caveat is that not enough bettors are familiar with soccer, at least not to the point of being comfortable placing money on it. However, once you start to grasp the ins and outs of soccer betting, you will be able to start placing bets and making money on soccer matches. Let us help get you to that point with a proper guide on how to bet on soccer.

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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:

England-150
United States+350
Draw+200

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:

England-200
United States+275

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:

Englandwin or draw-500
United Stateswin or draw-100
England/United Stateswins-300

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:

England-1.5+120
United States+1.5+110

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.

How to Bet on Soccer FAQ

What happens if a soccer game goes to extra-time?
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During most soccer games in domestic leagues, games end after 90 minutes, even if the score is tied. However, during the knockout stages of international tournaments like the World Cup or continental cup competitions like the UEFA Champions League, games will sometimes require extra-time and possibly penalties to determine what team advances to the next round.

However, unless otherwise noted, all bets become official at the end of regulation. That means everything that happens in extra-time is meaningless as far as betting is concerned — unless the bet clearly states ‘AET’ or ‘after extra-time’.

Is it better to bet on club soccer or international soccer?
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Choosing to bet on club soccer or international soccer can be a matter of preference. But if all other things are equal, betting on club teams is usually easier, especially if you’re new to soccer or new to betting on soccer.

The results of international games can be more difficult to predict, as the players are less familiar playing with one another. During international breaks in the spring and fall, players usually only have a few days to practice with one another before playing a game.

Even during international tournaments, players aren’t always accustomed to playing with one another or under certain managers, which can sometimes make a team’s play erratic and inconsistent from one game to the next.

Meanwhile, club teams train together for most of the year and play one or two games per week. To some extent, it’s easier to analyze and evaluate a team’s strengths and weaknesses and determine whether or not they’re in good form of they’ve been struggling.

That doesn’t mean picking the results of club soccer is easy. But you are more likely to find consistency in the performance of teams, which in theory makes it easier to project the outcome of games.

What are the best soccer leagues or tournaments to bet on?
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The easy answer to this question is the league you’re most familiar with and follow most closely. The more you know about a particular league, a particular team, or even a specific player, the better your chances are of making accurate betting choices.

If you’re only beginning to become interested in soccer or betting on soccer, the UEFA Champions League and the English Premier League are the best competitions for bettors. For starters, these competitions feature some of the best teams and best players in the world.

These competitions also receive the most attention from both bettors and oddsmakers. As a result, there are a lot more betting options and a lot more betting action.

Public bets tend to sway moneylines more than in other leagues that receive less attention, which allows bettors more opportunities to find value and make smart bets.

How does soccer betting work?
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Thousands of soccer matches and markets are available to bet on every week. Every bookmaker will provide odds on the probability of the outcome of the match, including the result, the number of corners and cards.

Some bookmakers will provide special offers and competitive odds in attempt to give you the best value soccer bet, so be patience picking your preferred bookmaker and check out the odds from your favourite soccer markets.

Once the outcome of the event is confirmed and your bet is a winner, you will be paid out of your original stake plus the winnings from the odds.

What does PK mean in soccer betting
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When a line for a soccer match is set at PK, this means a pick ‘em.

You will see PK offers from bookies when two soccer teams of equal strength play each other.

However, this is not to be confused with a PK, which on the soccer field stands for a penalty kick.

How to make money betting on soccer?
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The first step to make money from soccer betting is to be responsible. If you have made a profit, do something to enjoy your earnings, but chasing losses can result in the bookies earning from your hard earned cash.

Understanding the odds and the bets in soccer betting: This probably sounds a bit obvious, but a basic grasp of how the markets work will set you in good stead to earn money. Keep an eye out for popular markets when bookies choose to narrow the odds for a favoured soccer team, decreasing the value of the bet you have made.

Value in soccer betting: It’s the beautiful game so have a bit of fun! You are not going to earn a lot of money by simply backing the favorites every week. The bookies are smart and they’re in it to take your money, not to lose theirs. This is where your knowledge of different soccer leagues comes into play as you seek value in the markets.

Set yourself soccer betting limits: It’s always best to allocate a sum of money that you are going to spend across markets. When you reach this limit it’s time to wait for the soccer results to come in.

What is GG in soccer betting?
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GG in soccer betting stands for goal goal.

This means both teams will score a goal in the soccer match. The opposite would be NG, which means you expect neither side to score in the match, or no goal.

How to win big in soccer betting?
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Soccer is the most popular sport in the world and with a bit of research and homework you could be on your way to some big wins against the bookies. Matched betting is always a good way to increase your winnings in the betting field. Keep a record of your winnings and losses and evaluate over time if the profit is worth the betting risk.

Take advantage of the fact bookmakers are always looking to welcome new customers. Check out what soccer promotions are available because some bookmakers off risk-free bets, albeit under certain conditions. It’s a good time to use one of these if you are not sure about the outcome of the soccer match.
Watch out for bookmakers who are known to limit accounts when they see you’ve started winning often, however, that usually only applies to the less-known bookmakers.

Also remember to never bet with your heart when it comes to soccer. Sometimes your favorite soccer team will lose!

What does 1X2 mean in soccer betting?
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1X2 betting, also known as three-way betting, refers to backing or laying a home win, draw or away win. The 1 refers to a home win, the X the draw and the 2 the away win.

What is a draw in soccer betting?
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As soccer fans will be aware, matches can end in ties, which are also known as draws.

Draws occur frequently in soccer and if you’re good at predictions you will be able to spot a soccer match that has drawn written all of it. The draw is among the choices on two- and three-way money line bets, while a draw no bet means that you are expecting one side to win the soccer match outright.

What is the most important stat for soccer when betting?
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There’s so much soccer data for betting and it can be extremely time consuming, so How To Bet will help explain the best methods:

The fundamentals like recent form (usually the past six matches) and the head-to-head (H2H) record between the two soccer teams are the best places to start to evaluate the most likely outcome of a match.

Every soccer team seems to have bogey sides, a lesser side who gets the better of them occasionally, so maybe it’s psychological at times. You could also get a clash of playing styles, managers with differing approaches to soccer.

For instance, Tottenham have a poor record against Chelsea in the Premier League (England).

Average goals scored and conceded are also important elements of the soccer betting markets. Keep an eye out for how many goals the soccer teams you bet on are averaging in most games and check if their defence has renowned for keeping clean sheets.

The same applies for bookings in soccer matches. Some soccer players build unwanted reputations with match officials and can be prone to yellow cards, or worse, red cards which leads to three-match suspensions in most cases.

There’s also existing soccer data that is best ignored when betting. It doesn’t matter if a team keeps the majority of possession in each game if they’re losing every week. For example, Leicester City won the English Premier League in 2015/16 by averaging just 44.8% of possession. Only West Brom and Sunderland had a lower percentage.

Another trend worth keeping an eye out for is when a soccer team announces a new manager as it often gives a club under pressure a much-needed boost.

Photo credits: Alex Menendez / GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA / Getty Images via AFP

About this author

Dale O’Donnell author profile

I am a freelance football writer based in Ireland, with a wealth of experience writing about European football.

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