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How to Bet on Soccer: 5 Tips and Strategies

by June 5, 2020

Whether you’re new to sports betting or a betting pro, our Sports Betting Strategy and Advice page is for you. You can get started with our 101 section — including 10 Sports Betting Tips for Beginners — or head to more advanced strategy — like Key Numbers When Betting Against the Spread — to learn more.

Unlike the four major professional sports, you can bet on soccer all year long. From the English Premier League to Bundesliga, and the MLS to the occasional World Cup, people are always playing soccer somewhere. For the most active sports bettors, this is music to their ears. However, the abundance of soccer that floods the betting market can also get bettors into trouble.

Soccer is a unique sport to wager on, as it features many bet types that are not common to other sports. In this article, we explain soccer’s most uncommon bet types and offer tips and strategies to use these bets to your benefit.

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Three-Way Bets

One of the major differences when betting on soccer as compared to the other professional sports is how the moneyline works. In other sports, the moneyline has just two choices: the favorite and the underdog. However, soccer matches have the potential to end in a draw, and thus soccer moneylines have this third option. Thus, it’s called a three-way bet, since you can bet on either team to win in regular time — or for the match to end in a draw.

Some bettors don’t mind the three-way moneyline, as big favorites can be found at better odds because of the extra choice. However, it is in many bettors’ nature to side with one team or another and not root for a draw. Thus, they leave themselves vulnerable to tie games.

As many soccer matches end in draws, one needs to put any stubbornness aside and wager on draws from time to time. Ties can almost always be found with odds of +150 or better before a match, so at least the odds are enticing.

Draw No Bet

For those who find it risky to place a three-way wager, there are ways to mitigate the odds. In soccer, one could place a “draw no bet” wager. This is a two-way wager similar to a traditional moneyline.

If a match ended in a draw, the bet would be refunded. Therefore, one would only lose if the team they picked lost outright.

The trade-off is that since one doesn’t have to worry about the risk of a draw, these bets offer much worse odds. Here is an example of the difference in odds for a Bundesliga match between FC Koln and RB Leipzig:

Moneyline (Three-Way)

FC Koln +480
Draw +390
RB Leipzig -210

 
Draw No Bet Odds

FC Koln +360
RB Leipzig -600

 

Double Chance

Double chance bets are available for most soccer matches, as three potential outcomes are needed for such a bet. In a double chance bet, one would be wagering on two outcomes at the same time in one single bet. Thus, a bettor would have two chances to win their bet, but only one scenario where they could lose.

Here are the double chance odds for the same FC Koln vs. RB Leipzig match above:

FC Koln and Draw +160
RB Leipzig and Draw -700
FC Koln and RB Leipzig -550

 
Unless you don’t mind paying very heavy “juice” on the bets involving the favorite (RB Leipzig), double chance bets should only involve underdogs. This type of wager allows you to get decent odds on an underdog with mitigated risk.

Thus, if you think an underdog will be competitive and you don’t want to risk betting on only the outright upset, take a look at their double chance bet to either win or draw.

Over/Unders Even the Playing Field

Those that are more familiar with betting on other professional sports may prefer the simplicity of a 50/50 bet. Most other sports have an over/under or totals bet where you can wager on the combined final score. Soccer has a slightly different version of these bets.

In a soccer match, there are multiple over/unders that one can bet on at varying odds. This idea is similar to other sports that offer a standard total as well as alternate totals.

Here are the over/unders and their odds for the FC Koln vs. RB Leipzig match:

Over/Under 0.5 Goals Over: -5000, Under: +2500
Over/Under 1.5 Goals Over: -1000, Under: +630
Over/Under 2.5 Goals Over: -270, Under: +205
Over/Under 3,5 Goals Over: -104, Under: -118

 
Based on these odds, the most “true” total is O/U 3.5 goals. However, bettors are afforded the freedom to choose any of these options provided they agree with the odds. For games that are projected to be higher scoring, more O/U options will be available as well.

Avoid Unknown Soccer Leagues

One of the biggest mistakes a sports bettor can make is overextending themselves or “chasing losses” from earlier. Perhaps a bettor is most familiar with the English Premier League, but they have not been profitable with that league of late. That bettor may attempt to bet on a less familiar league like a league from Denmark or Belarus, just to earn some money back.

This sports betting rule applies for any sport: if you’re unfamiliar with it, don’t bet it. If you can’t put in the adequate research needed to make a comprehensible bet, it’s not worth the risk.

Cold spells and droughts will happen in sports betting. However, have the patience and discipline to ride it out. Do not give up on a league or a sport that you have devoted so much attention to just because a few bets did not go your way.

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Mike Spector is a featured writer at BettingPros. For more from Mike, check out his archive and follow him @MikeSpector01.

Betting 101, Betting Tips, How-To, Soccer