Soccer — or football for our English friends across the pond — is the world’s most popular sport. It’s a high-stakes sport that perfectly blends team tactics and on-the-field individual skill.
From the all-encompassing fever of the World Cup to the high-stakes drama of the UEFA Champions League, down to the electrifying games of the Major League Soccer (MLS) regular season — every match, every goal, could be your golden ticket.
Maybe you’re a fan of the beautiful game but new to soccer betting?
Don’t sweat it. Consider this your personal roadmap to navigating (and mastering) the art of soccer betting. Here’s how to bet on soccer.
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Soccer Betting Opportunities
Soccer is a global game. That means there are a plethora of high-quality professional leagues, and a seemingly endless opportunity to bet on games. The six most notable domestic leagues are:
- English Premier League (EPL)
- La Liga (Spain)
- Bundesliga (Germany)
- Serie A (Italy)
- Ligue 1 (France)
- Major League Soccer (MLS)
Although it’s not a domestic league per se, the Champions League could arguably be placed at the top of the list, seeing as many fans all over the world care about the Champions League. Each year, this all-star competition hosts the top clubs from each European league, making it the most prestigious professional tournament in world soccer.
Types Of Soccer Bets
For any given soccer matchup, bettors will have countless betting opportunities, ranging from the traditional to the exotic. That said, the most fundamental types of soccer bets include:
The Three-Way Moneyline
Betting on soccer’s moneyline is different from most other professional sports. Because games regularly end in a tie score (draw), soccer has three moneyline outcomes you can bet on for regular time—not counting any stoppage time or penalties—which can complicate what is typically considered to be a straightforward bet. The possible outcomes are:
- Team A wins
- Team B wins
- The game ends in a Draw
For instance, let’s say Man City is facing Man United. The moneyline might look like this:
- Bet (Moneyline) — Odds
- Man City Win +110
- Man U Win +225
- Draw +200
Here’s how each outcome would pay out:
- If you bet $100 on Man City to win, and they do win, you would make a profit of $110.
- If you bet $100 on Man U to win, and they do win, you would make a profit of $225.
- If you bet $100 on a draw, and they do draw, you would make a profit of $200.
If you have the option, we suggest taking the two-way moneyline over the three-way since there are fewer variables. Also known as a “draw no bet” wager, how it works is simple:
- Bet on Team A or Team B to win
- If the team you bet on wins, you win
- If the match ends in a draw, it’s a push and your stake is returned
Goal Lines (aka Spreads)
Goal lines are the spreads of soccer. They function similarly to baseball or football, except the spread tends to be smaller since soccer is often a low-scoring affair.
Let’s take a look at a matchup of the France national team vs the American national team.
- Bet (Spread) — Odds
- America (+1.5) +150
- France (-1.5) -200
To cover this spread, France needs to win by 2 goals or more. And, if you bet on it, a $200 wager would pay out $100. Conversely, for the Americans to cover the spread, they simply need to win or lose by a goal. Were you to bet on this outcome, a $100 bet would win $150.
Totals & Over/Unders
Just as in other sports, the over/under market in soccer hinges on whether the total number of goals scored in a game will exceed or fall short of a specified number set by the bookmaker. However, due to soccer’s typically low-scoring nature, sportsbooks often adjust the juice—their commission or vigorish—to maintain a balanced book.
Typically, this will go in one of two directions:
Low-Scoring Games – In matches where few goals are expected (more defensive gameplay), the juice is typically higher on the ‘Under’ option because the probability of fewer goals occurring is higher, and therefore you have to stake more to win less.
High-Scoring Games – Conversely, in games expected to be goal-heavy (more attacking gameplay), the juice tends to be higher on the ‘Over’ option because the likelihood of more goals is higher, so you’ll need to risk more money to win less.
Some bookies will offer a fractional handicap that looks like -1.25 or 1.5. This is what’s known as Asian handicaps, which allow you to split half the stake.
Let’s take an example of a -1.25 Asian handicap. In this case, if you place a bet on the favorite team with a stake of $100, you’re effectively splitting your bet into two parts: half of the stake ($50) is placed on a -1 handicap, and the other half ($50) is placed on a -1.5 handicap.
Possible outcomes include:
- If the favorite team wins by two or more goals, both parts of your bet win.
- If they win by exactly one goal, the -1.25 portion of your bet is a push (refunded), and the -1.5 portion loses.
- If the game ends in a draw or the underdog wins, both portions of your bet lose.
Soccer Betting With Tipico
These are just a few of the ways Tipico lets you bet on soccer. From live bets to prop bets, La Liga to MLS, there are countless opportunities to score.
How can you kick off your soccer gambling?
With Tipico, signing up is fast and easy. Our book is open to residents of Colorado, Iowa, Ohio, and New Jersey. Download the sportsbook app to start betting on soccer today.