How to bet on soccer

Profile Picture: Jason Ence

Jason Ence

February 24th, 2020

Soccer is the world’s most popular sport, and over the past decade, Europe’s top leagues have exploded in popularity in the United States. That boom coincides with increased viewing options, both on television and online, as well as tours in the summer that give fans a chance to see some of the best players the sport has to offer.

Given that there are matches nearly every day between August and May, soccer provides one of the most plentiful options to bet. While the beautiful game is simple to learn, it can be daunting to bet. That’s why we are going to break down some of the basics, as well as a few special wagers, to help you place your bets!

Betting on the three-way moneyline

With moneyline bets in soccer, you have three options—a home win, a draw, and a road win. Wednesday’s match in the Champions League, between Real Madrid and Manchester City, is fairly even. All three options have positive odds, with Manchester City the road favorite. In soccer moneylines the home side will always be the first team listed.

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The match will be played with two 45-minute halves. At the end of regulation, if the match ends in a draw, only the "draw" will pay out on the moneyline. Under certain circumstances—such as a cup tie or the second leg of this match in a few weeks—the match can continue in extra time if it is tied, however the "draw" moneyline bet would still win.

Betting the Asian Handicap

The Asian Handicap is similar to a spread in American football. The team with better form will be expected to win by a certain amount.

If the teams are even enough, as Madrid and City are, the Asian Handicap will be zero. If you took Real Madrid +0, and the match ended in a draw, your bet would push, but if Madrid won, you would be paid out +106. The payout for the win is not as high as picking the moneyline, but your risk is reduced.

If you want to avoid the push, you could instead take Real Madrid +0.25 goals, and a draw would still pay you at -131.

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Betting on the total

Totals are a great way to bet a match if you're unsure about the result but have a good feel on the action. The base over/under for soccer is typically 2.5 goals per match, but in matches with higher- or lower-scoring teams, that can fluctuate to three or two goals. TwinSpires Sports gives you the option to buy a fraction for a higher price, or give a fraction if you want a higher payout.

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You can also bet on totals within the first half, if you have a better feel for how the action will start but don’t want to worry about the effects of fatigue and substitutions later. You can also bet the second-half total, if you have a better feel for how those factors will impact the match.

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If you’re not sure what the final score will be, but you’re confident in the number of goals that will be scored, then going “goal crazy” might be your play. You can bet on a range of goals, or go for a higher payout if you feel more goals will be scored than usual.

In this match, if you believe there will be five or more goals scored in the contest, you can wager and get paid at +300 if you’re right. If you believe there will be two or three goals, take 2-3 goals at -115.

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Betting the final score

If you’re able to properly predict the final score of a match, you can win big. This is an area where you can bet multiple lines and still come out ahead, if you are correct. If you’re convinced both teams will score but it will be a draw, you could bet 1:1 at +625, 2:2 at +1075, and 3:3 at +3650, and you would win back at least three times the money risked if the match ends with any of those scores.

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Betting individual scorers

Betting on teams is not your only option. If you believe an individual player will score, you can wager that he will either score a goal any time, or you can go for a higher payout and wager that he will be the first or last player to score a goal. If you believe Sergio Agüero will score a goal at any time, you would get paid at +105 on your wager if he finds the back of the net.

If you believe a match will end in a scoreless draw, betting “no goalscorer” at +1200 is a sneaky way to come away with a bigger payday than betting the 0:0 final score, which pays at +1075.

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Betting soccer futures

One last popular way to make some cash on soccer is to bet futures. You can bet futures for the Golden Boot and for the winner of the Champions League. Manchester City is the favorite at +375 to win the entire competition. As we progress into the competition, teams will fall off and odds will change, so timing is important to get the best odds.

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How to watch soccer

To watch professional club soccer in the U.S., you have multiple options. English Premier League matches air on NBCSN, and Champions League matches can be found on B/R Live and TNT. Bundesliga matches can be found on Fox Sports, while Serie A and MLS matches are on ESPN and ESPN+.

There are multiple other options and leagues, as well, so find a good match, place a bet with TwinSpires Sports, and settle in for the action!