We all know that soccer is the greatest game on the planet and a joy to watch, no questions asked. Even if you’re not living and breathing with the outcome of your favorite team, you can still feel the thrill of victory and agony of defeat by placing bets on virtually any match in the world.
It’s a great way to make every match mean something and perhaps pocket a little extra cash as well. At first glance, betting on soccer compared to other sports can be a little confusing. However, once you get the hang of it, there’s nothing to it.
A great resource for learning more about betting in the UK is BCUK. In the meantime, let’s go over some of the basics of betting on soccer.
Betting the Moneyline
The most common form of betting on soccer is to bet on the moneyline. To put it in layman’s terms, this is betting on the outcome of a match. The caveat, of course, is that soccer has draws, giving you three possible outcomes for any given match to end.
All three results will have a different moneyline attached based on how likely each outcome is to come true, at least according to the oddsmakers.
The lower the number, the more likely that option will come to fruition in the minds of the oddsmakers. That means the payout will be lower, although it will be considered a “safer” bet.
If a particular result has a higher number, oddsmakers don’t believe the game will end that way, but if it does, there will be a higher payout.
For example, Team A has a moneyline of 1.40, Team B has a moneyline of 8.25, and a draw has a moneyline of 5.50. In this scenario, Team A is heavily favored and is likely to win, making them a “safer” choice. Betting on Team B to win carries a lot of risk but would have a high payout.
Draw No Bet
If you’re thrown off by the possibility of a draw in soccer betting compared to other sports, soccer betting does offer wagers that eliminate the possibility of a tie. Essentially, you bet on one team or the other to win outright as you would any other sport.
If that match ends in a draw, your bet is void, and your money is returned. Otherwise, if the team you bet on wins, you collect, and if they lose, then you lose the bet.
However, making a “Draw No Bet” wager will alter the moneyline for both teams. The moneyline for both teams will decrease in value, meaning there is less of a payout for that result than if you placed the same bet with three possible outcomes.
This type of bet is usually made when the bettor feels confident in picking a team but believes the game will be close and wants some protection if it ends in a draw.
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Double Chance Betting
Another option available when betting on soccer is called the double chance. As the name implies, you’re able to bet on two of the three outcomes. That means you could bet on a specific team winning or the match ending in a draw. You could also place a double chance bet on either team winning, essentially betting that the match won’t end in a draw.
Naturally, placing a bet on two of the three outcomes increases your chances of winning. However, the moneyline for the three outcomes changes with double chance betting, giving you shorter odds and a smaller payout for each option.
For example, a team with a moneyline of 2.50 for a traditional bet might have a moneyline of 1.80 when using double chance betting.
Betting Goal Lines
Similar to other sports, it’s possible to bet on soccer against the spread. In theory, this takes the draw out of the equation, as there will be only two possible outcomes for betting purposes.
Most games will have a spread of 0.5 goals, meaning it’s wise to bet on the underdog if you think a draw is a strong possibility. Of course, more lopsided matchups will have spreads of 1.5 goals, 2.5 goals, and so on. This puts pressure on the favorite to win by multiple goals while giving bettors some leeway if they bet on the underdog.
Betting the Total
One last form of soccer betting is predicting the total number of goals that will be scored in a given match or even the number of goals a particular team will score. This is similar to betting the over/under in other sports.
However, there is often a twist in betting total goals in a soccer match because goals often come at a premium. Goal totals will be set at multiples of .25, and bookmakers will allow bettors to make two bets.
For example, if the total goals line is set at 2.25, half of the money you bet will be on “over 2,” and the other half will be on “over 2.5.”
If the match finishes with two goals scored, the “over 2” bet will be refunded while you will lose the “over 2.5” bet. However, if three goals were to be scored in that game, you would win both bets.
Corners and Cards
In addition to betting on the results in soccer, other types of wages are common. For instance, bettors can put money down on the number of corner kicks in a game, similar to an over/under. There is also a moneyline for what team will earn more corner kicks during the match.
Finally, bookmakers will handicap corner kicks, meaning that one team will be expected to earn more corner kicks, similar to a team having to win by a certain amount of goals to cover the spread.
Also, bookmakers will take bets on bookings during a match. Before the match, a number will be set on the total number of bookings, and bettors will either bet over or under on that number.
Most bookmakers give a value of 10 points for a yellow card and 25 points for a red card, which is important to keep in mind when considering a booking points bet.
It’s also possible to simply bet yes or no on there being a red card in a match, which is a simple, straight-up bet.
Ends at 90
One golden rule for soccer betting that everyone should know about is that betting always ends after 90 minutes. In cup competitions like England’s FA Cup or knockout stage games in international tournaments like the World Cup, games that end in a draw after 90 minutes will go to added time or penalty kicks to decide what team advances.
However, all bets will be decided once the 90 minutes of regulation is over. For example, if you bet on a particular team winning a World Cup quarterfinal game and that team advances on penalties, you will lose the bet because the game officially ended in a draw after 90 minutes.
This is an important rule that anyone who bets on soccer should know about beforehand.