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.
Soccer 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:
- The home team winning
- The away team winning
- 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 – Draw
2 – The away team winning
Here’s an example of an upcoming match between Spain and Norway and their respective soccer betting odds:
We will use this example to explain how to bet on each result.
Betting On The Favorite In Soccer
In this example, Spain is considered the favorite, meaning that the sportsbooks charge a premium on the bet.
In the American odds format, sportsbooks show how much you need to wager on the favorite to make $100 profit. In our case, we must wager $550 to win $100.
If you aren’t using $100 unit sizes, here is how to calculate how much to risk:
Risk Amount = (Favorite Odds / 100) * Amount To Win
For completeness, just ignore the negative sign from the favorite’s odds when using this formula.
For example, if your standard bets are measured in $200 units:
Risk Amount = (550/100) * $200 = 5.5 * $200 = $1,100
Therefore, we would need to risk $1,100 to win $200.
Betting On The Underdog In Soccer
Let’s bring back the odds for reference:
From this, we can see that Norway is considered a huge underdog in this match.
In the American odds format, when betting on the underdog, sportsbooks show you much you will win from a $100 bet. In our case, we stand to win $1,200 from a $100 wager.
If you aren’t using $100 unit sizes, here how you calculate how much you will win:
Amount To Win = (Underdog Odds / 100) * Risk Amount
So, if your standard bets are measured in $200 units:
Amount To Win = (1,200/100) * $200 = 12 * $200 = $2,400.
Therefore, a $200 bet on Norway would win $2,400.
Betting On The Draw In Soccer
Bringing back the odds for the final time:
The calculation on a Draw is the same as the formula for the underdog:
Amount To Win = (Draw Odds / 100) * Risk Amount
So, if you were to bet $200 on a Draw:
Amount To Win = (600/100) * $200 = 6 * $200 = $1,200
Therefore, a $200 bet on a Draw would pay out $1,200 if the match ends as a tie.
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Soccer 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 look like this:
In the case that the final result of a match ends in a Draw, the bet pushes and the original stake is refunded.
Soccer Asian Handicap
Asian Handicap 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 an x-goal handicap while the underdog is given an x-goal 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 Asian Handicap odds for the same match between Spain and Norway:
So, if you bet $100 on Spain Asian Handicap, you would win $137 but they must win by 3 goals or more. If they win by 2 goals, the bet pushes and you receive a refund. If they win by 1 goal, draw or lose, the bet loses.
If you bet $100 on Norway Asian Handicap, you would win $140 from a $100 bet but they must either win or not lose by more than 1 goal. If they lose by 2 goals, the bet pushes and you receive a refund. If you lose by more than 2 goals, the bet loses.
Soccer Double Chance
Double chance betting in soccer involves betting on more than one outcome in the same game. Again, using the same match between Spain and Norway:
However, as this increases the likelihood of a winning bet, the odds are significantly shorter compared to betting on the moneyline.
Sportsbooks will estimate how many goals will be scored in each soccer game. This is known as the over/under line but is sometimes referred to as the ‘totals’ line.
Over/under in soccer is betting if more or fewer goals will be scored than the sportsbooks’ line. The line itself is usually displayed as a decimal to prevent a situation occurring when the number of goals scored equals the line.
Using the same Spain and Norway match, here’s the over/under soccer betting line:
If you think that the combined number of goals scored by both teams will be 2 or less, you would bet on the under. Likewise, 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’.
Sportsbooks that do this include Pinnacle. Here’s an example:
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’.
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.
Some competitions have further outrights to bet on, including the top scorer and a team’s final position.
From 1X2 betting to outrights, this is everything you need to know to bet on soccer.
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