How To Bet On Soccer – Soccer Betting Explained

How To Bet On Soccer - Soccer Betting Explained

Soccer is the most popular sport in the world, with over 3.5 billion people watching the 2018 World Cup Final.

This popularity has created a huge soccer betting market, with many different ways to bet on it.

This article will show and explain how to bet on soccer matches, as well as defining relevant terminology.

3-way Moneyline

There are many different competitions to bet on soccer, each with their own rules. League matches cannot enter overtime while tournament matches, like the World Cup Final for example, can and may sometimes end in a penalty shoot-out.

This means that the final result of a game can end in a Draw and so there are three different outcomes from a soccer match to bet on:

  1. The home team winning
  2. The away team winning
  3. A tied game

The 3-way moneyline is also known as ‘1X2 betting’. This is where the above scenarios are represented by:

1 – The home team winning

X – A tied game

2 – The away team winning

Read this article for information about 1X2 betting.

Here’s an example of a fictional match between Brazil and Italy. The odds may look something like this:

Brazil -115

Italy +110

Draw +210

In this example, Brazil are considered favorites, meaning that the sportsbooks charge a premium on the bet.

You must wager $115to win $100 when betting on Brazil, whereas you would win $110 from a $100 wager when betting on Italy.

For bet sizes different to $100 per wager, there are other formulas to use.

When betting on the favorite:

Risk Amount = (Favorite 3-way Moneyline / 100) * Amount To Win

So, if you were to win $50 from the Capitals winning:

Risk Amount = (-115/100) * $50 = -1.4 * $50 = -$57.50

Therefore, we would need to risk $57.50 to win $50 from betting Brazil.

On the other hand, if we were betting on the underdog:

Amount To Win = (Underdog 3-way Moneyline / 100) * Risk Amount

So, if you were to bet $50 on Italy winning:

Amount To Win = (110/100) * $50 = 1.1 * $50 = $55.

Therefore, a $50 bet on Italy would pay out $55 if they won.

The calculation on a Draw is the same as the formula for the underdog:

Amount To Win = (Draw 3-way Moneyline / 100) * Risk Amount

So, if were to bet $50 on a Draw:

Amount To Win = (210/100) * $50 = 2.1 * $50 = $105

Therefore, a $50 bet on a Draw would pay out $105 if the match ends as a tie.

For the best soccer bets, read this article.

Summary: selecting the result of a match: home team win, away team win or result ends as a tie.

2-way Moneyline

Another way of betting on soccer is by taking the 2-way moneyline, which is betting on the outcome of a game without a Draw. This is also known as a ‘Draw, no bet’.

However, the betting lines will compensate for this by inflating the soccer odds on the favorite and deflating the soccer odds on the underdog.

Going back to the previous example, the 2-way moneyline odds may look something like:

Brazil -190

Italy +102

In the case that the final result of a match ends in a Draw, the bet pushes and the original stake is refunded.

Summary: selecting the winner of a game.

Goal Lines

Goal line soccer betting works in the same way as betting on the puckline in the NHL or the point spread in the NFL.

The favorite is given a x goals handicap while the underdog is given a x goals advantage.

However, the goal line in soccer will change based on how heavy the favorite is. Most matches will have a 0.5 goal line but for heavy favorites, this can increase to more than 2.5.

For example, here are the goal line odds on a fictional match between Argentina and USA:

Argentina -1.5 +160

USA -1.5 -150

So, if you bet $100 on Argentina on the goal line, you would win $160 profit but they must win by 2 goals or more.

If you bet on the USA on the goal line, you would profit $100 from a $150 bet but they must either win or not lose by more than 1 goal.

Summary: like the 2-way moneyline except either the favorite must win by x goals or the underdog must not lose by no more than x goals.

Double Chance

Double chance betting in soccer involves betting on more than one outcome in the same game. For example, in a match between France and Switzerland, you could place a bet on:

  1. France to win or Draw
  2. Switzerland to win or Draw
  3. France or Switzerland to win

However, as this increases the likelihood of a winning bet, the odds are significantly shorter compared to betting on the moneyline.

Summary: betting on more than one outcome.


Sportsbooks will estimate how many goals will be scored in each soccer game. This is known as the total betting line but is also referred to as over/under betting.

For this bet, you wager if more or fewer goals will be scored than what the sportsbooks are showing. Totals lines are usually displayed as a decimal to prevent a situation occurring when the number of goals scored equals the line.

Going back to the previous example, let’s imagine your sportsbook thinks that the totals line between Argentina and USA is 2.5 goals.

If you think that the combined number of goals scored by both teams will be 2 or less, you would bet on the under.

Alternatively, if you think that the combined number of goals scored by both teams will be 3 or more, you would bet on the over.

However, totals in soccer work differently than other sports. Some sportsbooks will display the totals line as ‘Over 2 and 2.5’.

This means that half of your bet is placed on ‘Over 2’and the other half is placed on ‘Over 2.5’.

In this event, if the total number of goals scored is 2, your bet would push on the ‘Over 2’ half but would lose on the ‘Over 2.5’ half. If there are 3 goals scored in the match, both bets win.

The same applies to ‘Under 2 and 2.5’ totals. Half the bet is placed on ‘Under 2’ and the other half is placed on ‘Under 2.5’.

Summary: the combined number of goals scored by both teams is either over or under the number set by the sportsbook.

Read this article to learn more about over/under betting.


Outright bets in soccer wager on the outcome of an entire league or competition rather than an individual match. Outrights are available at the start of the season but the odds will change as the season progresses.

Successful predictions from outrights can result in high payouts and as such prove popular with soccer sports bettors.

There is more than just betting on the winner of the competition available, including the top scorer and a team’s final position.

Summary: outcome of a league or competition.

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