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While American football dominates the betting markets here in the United States, across the pond and frankly across the globe, soccer rules the day when it comes to sports betting. Unlike American football which in comparison has a complex rule system and a plethora of gear, padding, and scheming, soccer is a much more straight forward game that most of the rest of the world has at one time played, and can follow with ease. Like American football, however, sports betting drives the sport’s popularity and the ways in which you can get down action can vary. Let’s take a look today at some of the most common strategies to betting on soccer.
While point (goal) spreads are certainly prevalent in soccer betting, the most common type of bet is the money line “three-way” betting. Like a standard money line in any sport, the favorite in a given match is more costly to bet on while the underdog provides plus money odds and a chance for the bettor to wager less to win more. Unlike most American sports, however, soccer offers a third option in addition to betting on either team; a draw.
To use an example of an upcoming match, Chelsea is -127 favorite to beat AFC Bournemouth who is a +322 underdog, and the option of a draw is currently set at +256. Unlike most American sports, the majority of soccer games don’t have overtime, and a draw at the end of regulation is as far as the game goes, making it quite common in the sport. One strategy bettors can utilize if they think an underdog has a chance to win a match, they can put a portion of their overall bet on the draw option. In the example just mentioned, if you think AFC Bournemouth has a chance to compete with Chelsea, betting on both their side and the option of a draw, protects you in the event they let one in late and finish the game in a tie.
Just about every sport has the option of betting on the “total”, which is simply both team’s score at the end of a game or match, combined. In the case of soccer, betting on the total, or over/under is no different. One strategy that bettors can use when looking at soccer totals is related to the weather. While the same could be said about the American rendition of the game, soccer provides an especially different focus on field conditions because of the importance placed on the goalkeepers. By looking at certain goalkeeper’s history in playing in muddy and sloppy conditions, you can tailor your total bets accordingly. When you have two goalkeepers that have proven shaky playing in downpours, as you would assume most goalkeepers would, you can identify totals that haven’t adjusted accordingly.
By combing through Twitter the morning of a match, you can often find small tidbits from local reporters about specific field conditions that bookmakers might not have picked up on and baked into their numbers. As it goes with most sports, those with the most information have the slightest of edges; what it takes to win long term in any sport.