Understanding Soccer Betting Lines

Soccer, the world’s most popular sport, commands the largest sports gaming market, and as its popularity surges in North America, it garners the same fervour and attention as it does in Europe. With the Premier League and MLS in full swing, now is an exciting time to engage in soccer betting.

Understanding Soccer Betting Lines

To navigate soccer betting lines effectively, a grasp of soccer’s intricacies is crucial. Soccer is a low-scoring sport, played over 90 minutes (split into two 45-minute halves). Unlike many other sports, soccer games don’t always yield a definitive result. In a standard match, there can be a winner, a loser, or a draw when both teams tie.

Most soccer matches are confined to the 90-minute regulation time, with occasional “stoppage time” added by match officials. Consequently, most soccer betting lines are based on the outcome after this 90-minute regulation period.

However, some matches, known as “knockout matches,” require a decisive result. In such cases, if a draw occurs within regulation time, teams play two additional 15-minute halves known as “extra time.” If needed, penalty kicks (a shootout) determine the match’s outcome.

Soccer Moneylines

Moneyline betting is the simplest way to wager on any sport. It involves selecting a winner, with odds assigned to each team based on their implied probability of winning the game. Given soccer’s propensity for draws, the three-way moneyline is the favoured method for soccer betting with many punters looking at the current list of best casino reviews to choose their method of betting.

Three-way moneylines enable bettors to place wagers on the match’s final outcome, including a win for either team or a draw after regulation time. This line typically follows a 1X2 format, featuring odds for Team 1 to win, a draw, and Team 2 to win.

For example:

  • USA: +145
  • Draw: +195
  • Wales: +190

In this scenario, the odds favour the USA at +145 to defeat the underdog, Wales, at +190. The draw carries the longest odds at +195. This indicates that tipsters perceive the United States as a slight favourite, with a draw considered less likely than an outright victory for either team.

When one team is significantly favoured, they usually have minus odds, while the draw becomes the second favourite, and the underdog offers the longest odds.

For example:

  • Belgium: -350
  • Draw: +390
  • Canada: +800

Here, Belgium is heavily favoured to win the match, resulting in relatively low odds, while Canada, the underdog, offers much higher odds. The draw falls in between.

Two-way Soccer Moneylines

Two-way moneylines in soccer betting eliminate the draw option and adjust the odds for each side based on their likelihood of winning or losing. A win for either side results in a payout, while a draw cancels all bets and returns the stakes to bettors. This type of wager is often referred to as “draw no bet.”

In knockout or tournament matches, where a decisive winner is required, the two-way moneyline may be listed as a bet to “qualify” or “advance.” These lines feature odds for Team 1 vs. Team 2, with the draw excluded from the odds calculation.

For example:

  • USA: -135
  • Wales: +105

In this case, bookmakers favour the United States at -135, with Wales as the underdog at +110. If the U.S. wins 2-1 in regulation, bets on the Americans are winners, while Wales bets are graded as losses. However, if the match ends in a 1-1 draw, the “no bet” aspect of the two-way moneyline comes into play, with sportsbooks returning stakes to bettors and grading the bet as “no action.”

Like the three-way moneyline, most matches offer a two-way moneyline for the first half, where the draw is less likely given the limited time available to score.

Soccer Double Chance Lines

Double chance lines allow bettors to mitigate the risks associated with three-way moneylines. Instead of betting on a single outcome, double chance lets you wager on two of the three possible outcomes simultaneously, reducing the risk of selecting the wrong option.

For example:

  • Belgium and Draw: -135
  • Canada and Draw: +105
  • Belgium and Canada: -600

Here, the odds favour Belgium, making the options involving Belgium highly-priced. However, you can place a $100 wager on Canada to either win or secure a draw, and any result apart from a defeat would result in a $230 return.

Double chance bets are particularly useful when betting on underdogs, but they offer little value when betting on favourites, as they tend to have prohibitive odds.

Soccer Spreads

Soccer spreads, also known as point spreads or handicaps, provide another way to bet on soccer odds. Sportsbooks typically set soccer spreads between 0.5 and 2 goals, with variations depending on the teams’ competitiveness. Just like in other sports, favourites have negative numbers (laying goals), while underdogs have positive numbers (getting goals).

For example:

  • Belgium: -1.5 (+109)
  • Canada: +1.5 (-119)

In this instance, Belgium is favoured to win by at least two goals, and a $100 wager would yield a $109 profit if they succeed. Conversely, Canada is the underdog, and a $119 bet would return $100 if they either lose by one goal or win outright.

Goal Line: Over/Under Totals

The Over/Under total, referred to as the goal line in soccer, is similar to total bets in other sports. Oddsmakers set a projected number of total goals for a match, and bettors can wager on whether the combined final score will go over or under that total.

For example:

  • Over 2.5 goals: -138
  • Under 2.5 goals: +110

Here, the total is set at 2.5 goals, a common total for most soccer matches. Betting on the Over at -138 means that a $138 wager would yield a $100 profit if three or more goals are scored. Conversely, betting on the Under at +110 would result in a $110 profit if two or fewer goals are scored.

Soccer Futures

Futures betting offers an exciting opportunity to turn your comprehensive understanding of soccer into substantial winnings. These long-term markets are often decided before a season or tournament starts or are adjusted after each matchday or round, reflecting results, injuries, trends, and betting activity.

Common futures markets in soccer include winners of competitions, team relegation, and individual accolades like the Golden Boot winner (top goal scorer). Tournaments like the Euros and the World Cup typically feature these markets.

For instance, oddsmakers may offer lines for teams to win their respective groups and another set of lines for teams to advance. As advancing is more likely than winning, odds for the “to-advance” market are generally less favourable. Oddsmakers also tend to heavily favour favourites, given their higher chances of advancing.

Soccer Props

Soccer prop bets allow you to wager on specific events or statistics during a match, such as which players will score goals, provide assists, or how many corner kicks a team will take. Prop bets provide an additional layer of engagement beyond standard lines and can offer great value to knowledgeable bettors.

Tournaments like the World Cup or Champions League typically offer hundreds of prop bets per match, including in-game events like player bookings, total cards shown, goal types, and shots on goal.

For example, the “both teams to score” prop bet, which focuses on whether both teams will score in the match, offers odds for “yes” and “no” outcomes.

  • Both Teams to Score – Yes: +102
  • Both Teams to Score – No: -128

Here, a “no” bet pays $100 on a $128 wager if one or both teams fail to score, while a “yes” bet pays $102 on a $100 wager if both teams find the net.

Soccer Derivative Odds

Derivative soccer odds enable bettors to wager on specific segments of a match, such as the first or second half, the first 10 or 15 minutes, or the last 10 or 15 minutes. These odds cover various aspects, including the three-way moneyline, match or team totals, and props/specials for designated periods.

For example, you can bet on when each team will score its first goal, regardless of who scores first:

  • USA First Half: +125
  • USA Second Half: +210
  • USA No Goals: +195
  • Wales First Half: +140
  • Wales Second Half: +220
  • Wales No Goals: +160

In this scenario, if you believe the United States will score their first goal in the second half, you would place a wager on “USA Second Half,” with a $100 bet yielding a $210 return if their first goal comes in the second half. If Wales scores first, your bet remains valid because you’re betting on when a specific team scores first, not who scores first.

Asian Handicaps

Asian handicap betting offers a more intricate approach to wagering on soccer spreads and totals, considering the sport’s low-scoring nature. Asian handicap bets allow bettors to split their wagers across two different bets using fractions or whole numbers between standard lines, like 0.25, 0.50, and 0.75 goals.

For example, an Asian goal total of 2.75 splits the wager in half, with one portion placed on over 2.5 goals and the other on over 3.0 goals. If three goals are scored, one half of the bet wins, and the other pushes. More goals result in both portions winning, while fewer goals cause both portions to lose.

Similarly, Asian spread or Asian handicap bets allow you to split your wager between two spreads, like -1.5 and -2.0 for one team or +1.5 and +2.0 for the other.

In addition to standard Asian handicap bets, some sportsbooks offer “alternative Asian spread” lines for bettors who anticipate outcomes closer to or further from oddsmakers’ expectations.

Choosing the Right Betting Site

Soccer’s global popularity ensures a multitude of betting options, but selecting the right platform is crucial. Our expert-reviewed list of trusted soccer betting sites on Covers can assist in making an informed choice.

Understanding Soccer Odds

Reading soccer odds, particularly American odds, is essential for successful betting. For instance, a favourite at -120 implies a $120 wager is needed to win $100, while an underdog at +360 suggests a $100 bet yields a $360 profit. The Draw at +240 means a $100 wager results in a $240 profit.

Implementing Soccer Betting Strategies

Profitable soccer betting requires time, knowledge, and attention to detail. These strategies can help you gain an edge:

  1. Know the rules of each wager: Different books have varying rules for different bets, so understanding them is crucial. Pay attention to details like player props and extra time rules.
  2. Stay informed about injuries and lineups: Lineups can significantly impact odds, especially in player props. Be aware of team news before lineups are announced.
  3. Understand team motivation: Teams have varying motivations in different matches. Recognize when a team needs a win to avoid elimination or if a draw will suffice for advancement.
  4. Analyze tactics: Each team has its own playing style and strengths. Analyze how teams prefer to play and exploit weaknesses in your betting strategy.
  5. Shop for the best price: Different sportsbooks offer varying odds and lines. Take advantage of multiple books and favourable prices to maximize profits.