In terms of sports betting, soccer is king. No matter what online sportsbook you go to, there will undoubtedly be some soccer betting options. In most cases, there will be a plethora of soccer betting markets and props. Some folks may laugh when soccer is referred to as “the world’s game,” but when you consider that there are often multiple professional leagues in just about every country on earth, you realize that this is more a statement of fact than it is an opinion.
With that being said, just because soccer betting is offered on most every online sportsbook does not mean every sportsbook is the same. In fact, there are a lot of things the prospective soccer bettor must take into account to ensure that they are picking the sportsbook that most closely aligns with their soccer betting preferences. The following will walk you through everything there is to know about betting on soccer at online sportsbooks, from the types of bets offered, to leagues covered, and so much more.
It is true that soccer betting is available on most every sportsbook out there, but the types of bets able to be placed are almost never the same from one site to the next. As such, you must identify the differences between sportsbooks in order to know if the site in question will serve your needs.
Something that you must look for when comparing and contrasting different sportsbooks is not only the number of soccer wagers available, but the type of wagers, too. If you took two random sportsbooks and compared them as it relates to their soccer betting options, there is a strong likelihood that both sites will offer spread, moneyline, and over/under betting options. These are standard wagers and included most anywhere. Beyond that, however, is where things start to get interesting.
The sportsbooks that really put an emphasis on their soccer selections are those that offer a number of different bet types. Not only will they have the standard betting options, but they will also have segment propositions (1st/2nd half bets), player propositions, and so much more. Bovada, for example, is known for offering a wealth of betting options on soccer matches. From guessing the player to score first to combination props that roll two bets into one (player to score AND team to win), Bovada does not skimp, especially when it comes to the more high-profile leagues, matches, and competitions.
The selection of in-game, or live, betting options is another thing that quickly differentiates one sportsbook from the next. Once again, the devil is in the details when it comes to this. Most modern online sportsbooks are going to offer live soccer betting, however only the most detail-oriented sites are going to have dozens of propositions available at any point in a given match.
Something else to note is that, in almost all cases, there are going to be more in-game betting options for the bigger leagues/tournaments than there will be for lower-level leagues. For example, any given match from the English Premier League—arguably the most popular league in the world—will have more live betting options than a game from the Polish Ekstraklasa.
Bets on individual games are great, but there are plenty of people who also like making futures bets, or wagers regarding some event that might happen in the future. Perhaps the most popular type of future bet in the soccer world is with regard to the eventual winner of a given league. At BetOnline, you will find a wide variety of soccer futures, covering anything from the winner of the Dutch Eredivisie to the winner of the famed UEFA Champions’ League.
Propositions are another spin on soccer betting that you might not find at every site. Wagers such as who will be the top scorer in a given league, or the nationality of the team that wins the UEFA Champions’ League competition are just two examples of the different kind of prop bets you will find. Places like BetOnline and Bovada offer a wide array of prop and futures bets, while 5Dimes is somewhat lacking in this regard.
The number and type of leagues covered is essential knowledge for any aspiring soccer bettor. Once again, almost every sportsbook worth mentioning is going to have betting options on the most popular leagues. In other words, you can go just about anywhere and you will find wagering options for leagues like the English Premier League, Ligue 1, La Liga, and the Bundesliga. With that being said, you will not find betting options for leagues in places like Slovakia, China, Japan, and Saudi Arabia at every site.
If you want to see a site that does not skimp on their coverage of global leagues, look no further than Intertops. The site not only offers a large number of individual wagers, the quantity of leagues available to bet on is astounding. Most people might not even know the Cypriot 1st Division exists, but at Intertops you can place wagers on just about every fixture that takes place.
If you are planning on being a passive soccer bettor that wagers on only the most globally recognized leagues, most sportsbooks have you covered, but for those looking for more variety, you should turn to sites like Bovada and Intertops.
Something most bettors regularly ignore is the lines offered for the same game on different sportsbooks. In the minds of most, a moneyline wager on hypothetical Team A on one site will yield the same payout as the same moneyline wager made via a different sportsbook. In reality, nothing could be further from the truth. A real life example of this would be a moneyline wager on Bovada versus a moneyline wager made on a site like BetOnline. Because Bovada tends to juice favorites harder than any other site, you will find a situation where the odds for a favored soccer team on Bovada are -170, while the odds for the same team on BetOnline will sit at -147. Though the difference between the two may not be astronomical, the higher vig charged by Bovada will eat away at your winnings over time.
By putting in even just a few minutes of research, you can quickly identify the sites that offer the most competitive odds.
Something else to take note of are the betting maximum and minimums at different sportsbooks. For bettors who are not going to risk objectively large sums of cash, 5Dimes is hands-down the best site out there. While sites like Bovada force you to wager at least $1 on all soccer matches, 5Dimes regularly offers the opportunity to place wagers—especially parlays—where you are risking less than $1.
In terms of betting maximums, Bovada caps soccer bets at differently. Instead of one solid maximum betting limit, their soccer limits range from $500 up to $3,000. MyBookie, on the other hand, limits online wagers to $1,000 but offers no maximum at all for wagers made over the phone. At BetOnline, they too offer limits that vary. Typically, however, BetOnline caps most soccer wagers at $5,000. If a sportsbook does not explicitly state what their soccer betting limits are, a quick call or email to customer support should yield an answer in a timely fashion.
Nowadays, an increasing number of bettors are moving from a laptop or desktop setup to wagering on the go, on mobile devices. With nearly all sportsbooks offering some sort of mobile betting option, this should come as no surprise. In our opinion, the best mobile betting option is Bovada simply because their mobile site is highly functional, looks great, and is filled to the brim with betting options; especially live betting options. A series of drop-downs allows you to easily navigate from one part of the site to another. Adding multiple selections to a single bet slip does not cause any issues, and placing multiple wagers at once (ie. Placing a single wager in conjunction with a parlay) does not complicate matters at all.
Bovada tends to juice favorites more than other sites, but with a mobile-facing site as great as their’s it is almost worth enduring the smaller payouts. The live betting at Bovada’s mobile site is as good as it gets online, and other sportsbooks would do well to mimic what they have to offer.
At most of the sportsbooks mentioned, the best ways to deposit funds into an account is by way of credit card or virtual currency, such as Bitcoin. Credit cards are great to use because it is a familiar way of doing business, but deposits made with credit cards tend to carry fees that exceed 2% of the transaction amount. This is true on Bovada, BetOnline, and many other sportsbooks. 2% may not seem like a lot, but over time the fees add up and really end up costing you.
Bitcoin, Litecoin, Ethereum, and other virtual currencies are sweeping the online sportsbook sphere due to the lack of fees and speed at which deposits are processed. Virtual currencies are also quickly becoming the preferred method of cashing out winnings too, and the reasons are more or less the same. Though most sites do charge some small fees for Bitcoin withdrawals, the fees pale in comparison to those applied to check or bank wire withdrawals. What’s more, Bitcoin withdrawals are processed in hours and even minutes, while other methods of cashing out may see weeks pass before any cash is in your possession.