Whether you choose to admit it or not, soccer is arguably the most popular sport on the planet. With people from every country of the world playing, and hundreds of leagues happening at any given time, there is no shortage of soccer matches and tournaments. As far as sports bettors are concerned, this means that there is literally always going to be soccer matches you can bet on.
Even though there are hundreds of leagues, there are a handful that rise above the rest and position themselves as the most popular. The top domestic leagues of England, France, Spain, Germany, and the United States are not only some of the highest-quality in the world, they are also where a lot of wagering attention is placed. With that being said, the many hundreds of other, smaller, and less popular leagues also present bettors with plenty of wagering opportunities. In the following few sections we will introduce you to the different types of bets that can be placed on soccer matches and explain how they function, how much you stand to win, and any other pertinent information that you may not be aware of. For those who have never wagered on soccer matches before, this piece will be extremely informative.
Even if you are not familiar with wagering on soccer matches, you can rest-assured knowing that it is not entirely different from betting on racing, baseball, basketball, hockey or just about any other sport. Many of the same bets are featured, however they will look and function a bit differently than what you might be accustomed to.
The first and most simplistic type of bet that you can make is a bet on the moneyline. When it comes to moneyline betting, you are doing nothing more than placing a wager on the team which you think will emerge victorious. In basketball and other similar sports, the moneyline bet usually features only 2 options, and those are the 2 teams playing in the game. When it comes soccer, however, the moneyline will feature a 3rd option—the draw. Whether you are aware of it or not, there always exists the possibility of a draw in just about every soccer match played. Because of this, soccer moneylines are actually comprised of three different betting options.
When you view the moneyline, you will see each betting option (Team 1, Team 2, Draw) with odds directly beside them. Before the numerical odds you will also see either a (+) or a (-). In terms of moneyline betting, and sports betting in general, the (+) typically denotes an underdog while the (-) typically denotes the favorite. On occasion, however, you will come across a line that lists both teams with a (+). In so many words, this is the oddsmakers being unsure as to who the likely victor will be.
The following will be an example of a moneyline bet you might see:
Hull City +315
Leicester City -110
For simplicity’s sake, let’s say that you plan on placing wagers in terms of $100. In this example, a winning $100 bet on underdog Hull City would yield you $315 in winnings. You come to this figure by taking the +315, moving the decimal two places to the left, and multiplying your $100 wager by 3.15. If you place a winning $100 bet on the draw, $235 in winnings will be yours.
A bet on Leicester City at -110 for $100 would win you just shy of $91 if Leicester did emerge victorious. This winning amount can be calculated by dividing your $100 by 1.10 (-110 with the decimal place moved 2 places to the right).
In addition to simply betting on Leicester City or Hull City to win, you can also make a bet on the margin of victory (or loss). This type of bet is a spread bet and is a bet saying that a specific team will either win by a specific margin or lose by no more than a specific margin. Keeping with this example, the spread for the aforementioned games might look something like this:
Hull City +.5 (-120)
Leicester City -.5 (-110)
In this example, a bet on Leicester is saying that Leicester will win by at least a half-goal. A bet on Hull City is saying that this team will either win, or lose by less than a half-goal. Immediately, you might be confused as there is no such thing as a half-goal in soccer. The reason for the half-point spread is to ensure that there is no opportunity for a push. No matter the final score of the match, there is always going to be a winning and losing spread bet. An easy way to understand the spread is by thinking about the team you bet on in terms of their spread. If you bet on Leicester, imagine that they are beginning the match down by .5. In order for you to win, they must overcome that half-goal deficit (ie. Win by at least one goal). Conversely, Hull City is starting the game .5 goals in the lead and all they need to do is either build upon that hypothetical lead or, if nothing else, preserve it. If they can do that, you will emerge victorious. It must be noted that the spread is not always going to feature a half-goal. Sometimes it will be an even number, and in these instances there exists the possibility of a push, or a situation where you neither win nor lose, but are simply given your money back.
The last type of popular wager able to be placed on soccer matches is an over/under bet. Quite simply, an over/under bet is a wager saying that the combined total number of goals will either be over or under a preset amount. Continuing with the example above, the over/under for this hypothetical match is going to be 2 goals, with over 2 goals listed at (-140) and under 2 goals listed at (+115). If the final score is Leicester 2 – 1 Hull City, the over would be the winning bet. Should Hull City eek out an unlikely 1-0 victory, the under would be the winning bet. If the match ends in a 1-1 draw, however, neither bet will win and all bettors will be given their wager back. Just as there is not always a half point in the spread, over/under bets are not always even numbers. You will often run into over/unders that feature a half-point.
While the different bets above account for many of the most popularly chosen wagers, there are still so many other types of bets that can be placed. Prop betting, or proposition betting, is amongst the most popular. These types of bets can best be described as random and are usually centering around the performance of a particular player or team.
For example, you might see a prop bet relating to the number of goals a player will score in a specific game, the total number of goals a team will score in the first half, and even bets where you must pick the match’s first scorer.
You can even place bets on which team you think will win a league or competition. These types of bets can be placed before or during the competition, but the most profitable odds tend to show themselves before the competition kicks off. As matches take place and the stronger teams separate themselves from the weaker ones, the odds are adjusted to account for this.
Another type of betting that you can take advantage of is live betting. This is the act of placing wagers on events or players while a specific match is happening. Naturally, the odds on these types of wagers w
If we were to sit here an list every single one of the world’s soccer leagues, we could spend days and still not be done. Depending upon the sportsbook you use, there is almost an endless number of leagues upon which you can wager.
As was mentioned before, the top domestic leagues in England (English Premier League), France (Ligue 1), Spain (La Liga), Germany (Bundesliga), and the United States (Major League Soccer) are consistently the most bet-upon leagues in the world. With that being said, there are top leagues in just about every other country as well, and odds for their games can be found on most sportsbooks. In fact, places like France, England, and Spain have more than 5 different leagues, all of which are somewhat popular.
In addition to domestic leagues, there are also competitions that take on the look of tournaments. The European Champion’s League takes top-billing in this department, too. The Champion’s League is a tournament running from late August until early May featuring the best teams from all of Europe. Games are played at different points in the year and feature matchups that you will simply not be able to see anywhere else. There is no shortage of excitement and it is consistently one of the most popular betting sporting events of the year, not only for sports bettors but for sports enthusiasts in general.