How to Bet on Soccer

Types of Soccer Bets

There are several popular types of soccer bets including moneyline bets, Asian Handicap (point spread) bets, over/under or total bets, parlays, futures and player props. 

How to Read Soccer Moneylines 

Moneyline bets are simply who will win the match. In soccer it’s a bit more complicated as most moneyline bets are based on the 90 minutes of regulation and not any tiebreakers like extra time or penalty kicks. 

Within those 90 minutes there isn’t always a winner, so a draw (tie) is an option on the moneyline as well. This introduces the concept of a three-way moneyline where you can bet either Team A, Team B or a draw. 

For example, if Liverpool is playing Manchester City, the moneyline might be something like Liverpool +155, Manchester City +170 or draw +230.

A $100 bet on Liverpool would win $155 in profit on top of the original stake, on Manchester City would win $170 in profit, and on a draw would win $230 in profit.

Liverpool would technically be the “favorite” in this match, but the three-way aspect allows the favorite to win to still be at plus odds. If a team is minus odds in the soccer moneyline, it is viewed by the oddsmakers as significantly better than the other since it’s essentially taking the team -0.5 goals in the 90 minutes.

How Soccer Asian Handicap/Point Spreads Work

MLB and NHL run/puck lines are more complicated than football or basketball because of the low scoring, and soccer takes it to a whole new level.

In soccer, it’s relatively common to have a 90-minute game with 0 goals. Rarely are there over 4 scores in a game. Because of this, setting point spreads that are limited to half and full numbers aren’t always sufficient.

Here’s where the Asian Handicap and lines that are unique to soccer come in.

In addition to spreads like -1, -1.5 and -2, soccer Asian Handicaps have -1.25 and -1.75. The way this works is half your money goes to the whole number and the other half goes to the half.

For example, if you bet $100 on Real Madrid -1.75, $50 of that goes on Real Madrid -1.5, and the other $50 goes on Real Madrid -2. 

If Real Madrid wins by 3 or more, you get paid out in full. If the team loses, draws or wins by 1, you lose your entire bet. If Real Madrid wins by exactly 2 goals, you win the $50 on -1.5 and push (get refunded) the $50 on -2. 

How to Read Soccer Over/Unders or Totals

Along with the moneyline and Asian Handicap/spread, betting a soccer total is one of the most popular ways to wager on the beautiful game.

Because there are so few goals scored in soccer matches as opposed to points in football or basketball, the line for the total goals scored almost always falls in the same range. It’s rare to see a total that is not between 2 and 4.

For example, let’s say Arsenal is playing Tottenham. If the over/under is set at 2.5 and the final score is 2-1, regardless of who wins the game has gone over the total of 2.5 with 3 cumulative goals.

On the other hand, if the teams combine for 2 or fewer goals, the game stays under the total and those who bet the under cash their tickets.

In some cases, the total will be set at a whole number like 3 instead of 2.5 or 3.5. In that case, if there are exactly 3 goals scored the bet is graded as a push and the money is refunded. It’s like the bet wasn’t even placed at all. 

As discussed above with Asian Handicaps, soccer bets can be split into two with a total of 2.75 for example. This is also sometimes listed as “2.5, 3.” A bet on this line will split your stake in two with half going to 2.5 and the other half going to 3. This is only relevant if the total lands on exactly 3, meaning you’d win your half bet on the over 2.5 (or lose on under 2.5), and push the half on 3.

How Soccer Parlays Work

Soccer parlays are combining multiple bets into one that pay out at a higher rate than straight bets. In order for a parlay to win, none of the legs in it can lose.

If one pushes (soccer totals can be whole numbers like 3.0 as opposed to 2.5 or 3.5), that leg of the parlay is eliminated and it reverts to a parlay with one fewer leg.

For example, if you have a four-leg parlay and three win while one pushes, you get paid out as if it was a three-leg parlay. To learn more about parlays in general, click here.

Soccer parlays are incredibly popular but also very tough. With random deflections, individual mistakes and potential own goals, any team can beat any other on any given night, which makes winning a soccer parlay difficult. 

Same-game parlays are also popular in soccer, and are parlays within the same game. It’s possible to choose combinations from main markets as well as alternate lines and player props.

For example, in a Chelsea-West Ham match, a same-game parlay might be:

  • 1st Leg: Chelsea To Win
  • 2nd Leg: Christian Pulisic To Score a Goal
  • 3rd Leg: Over 8.5 Total Corner Kicks

How to Bet Soccer Futures

A soccer future is typically betting on a result at the end of the season instead of a specific game. For example, choosing a team to win its league.

Be careful though — especially in European soccer where there are several trophies teams are striving for in each season. 

In England, there is the Premier League (and also lower divisions) season, the F.A. Cup, the Carabao Cup and the top English teams from the year before competing in European tournaments like the UEFA Champions League and the Europa League. 

Be sure you are fully aware of where a team stands in that specific competition before placing a future bet. 

How Soccer Player Prop Bets Work

For each game, there are hundreds of player props ranging from specific players to score a goal at any time, to score the first goal of the game, to register a specific number of shots on goal, to register an assist and even total saves for goalkeepers. 

OddsJam Betting Guidelines for Soccer

Soccer Expert Picks

Here at OddsJam, our team has daily articles breaking down the best bets around hockey for that day. We have you covered on everything from totals and sides to player props: Soccer Betting News Coverage & Analysis.

Soccer Public Betting

In addition to finding value in the odds using the OddsJam perfect line, another way to identify value in soccer is through seeing where the public money is. Public money means the percentage of bettors on one side of a bet.

For example, teams like Liverpool that have a large fanbase and are consistently hammered by the public often force the odds to shift to a worse price. That means their opponent for the day may end up at a far better price than the opening line, and could present value. 

The percentage of bettors on one team is just one side of the equation. The other is the percentage of actual money staked on the teams. If Liverpool have 80% of the bets, but the amount of money is split 50/50, that means that big money is coming in from the 20% of people betting against Liverpool.

This suggests sharp action on the opposing team because the sharps have identified value and risked larger amounts than the typical public bettor. 

Soccer Projections

To find the implied probability of your bet winning based on the odds, head over to the No-Vig fair odds calculator on OddsJam. Let’s say that the over/under of a Colorado Rapids against San Jose Earthquakes game is 2.5. The over is priced at -145 and the under at +125. 

Plugging those odds in gives us this:

As you can see when you remove the juice from the line, the fair odds on the over is -133.16 which gives an implied win probability of 57.11% on an over bet and 42.89% win probability betting on the under. For more on implied probability, visit our article: How to Calculate Implied Probability.

Soccer Betting Data

For a comprehensive look at every market for soccer matches just go to the soccer tab and click on the game you’re interested in. You’ll be able to compare odds from every market including moneyline, total, team total, Asian Handicap, player props and much more.

Within the main markets like spreads and totals, you’ll also see alternate lines at the books that offer them, as well as the OddsJam Perfect Line depending on your subscription tier. 

You can also use all of our tools to help decide if the bet is worth placing. The expected value calculator can determine your expected value in relation to the win probability from the OddsJam Perfect Line. The No-Vig fair odds calculator can also help by showing you the true no-juice odds of the bet at the sportsbook. 

The parlay calculator can also show you the total payout from a series of wagers you are thinking of combining into a parlay.

Where can I bet on soccer?

Now that we’ve gone over the most popular ways to bet on soccer, here are our favorite sportsbooks to place our bets:

How to read soccer odds?

Soccer odds are similar to other sports, but do have that added element of the three-way moneyline. As always, a (-) sign next to the odds means that you have to risk more than your potential winnings, while a (+) sign means that the winnings would be more than your stake.

What are the most popular soccer teams?

All of the most popular soccer teams in the world are European Clubs. Spanish clubs Real Madrid and Barcelona are worldwide giants, as are English clubs Manchester United, Arsenal and Liverpool among others. Bayern Munich is the most popular German club, while Paris-Saint-Germain is the most popular in France.

Frequently Asked Questions