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My Favorite Ways to Bet on Soccer Matches

| October 24, 2020 3:19 am PDT
Top Soccer Betting Markets

I don’t know about you, but I love betting on soccer.

In this day and age, the top online betting sites allow us to wager on hundreds of different leagues from around the world.

From the bright lights of the EPL to the third tier of Slovakian soccer, the thrill of placing a bet and waiting for the outcome remains the same.

But there are some markets I like more than others.

Of course, we are all familiar with the common win/draw/lose bet. But with countless markets to choose from, it pays to stray away from the obvious options and explore different – and often more lucrative – avenues.

Join me as I discuss my favorite soccer betting markets.

Double Chance

Double chance is definitely one of my favorite soccer betting markets.

Granted, it may not be the most profitable option out there. But if you’re looking for a relatively low-risk market, I highly recommend giving it a try.

Basically, double chance enables you to cover two of the three possible full-time results. Instead of simply backing a team to win, you can either back a team to win or draw, or you can bet on either team winning.

Here are the three options within the double chance market.

  • Home win and draw
  • Away win and draw
  • Home win and away win

With each of the options combining two outcomes, double chance odds are always going to be lower than the regular match odds. But if you choose the right games, this market has the potential to be very lucrative.

If a team is priced at roughly 1.50 to win, there is no real point in backing them to avoid defeat, as the double chance odds will only be around 1.10. However, if a team is priced at 2.50 to win, the double chance odds are likely to be around 1.50, making it far more worthwhile.

Of course, the price drops significantly when you use the double chance option. But this market offers a level of protection that most other markets don’t, and that is what makes it one of my favorites.

Anytime Goalscorer

A lot of bookies seem to promote the first goalscorer market, but in my opinion, predicting the first goalscorer in any game is risky.

With so many variables in soccer, the smallest thing can ruin a bet. An own goal or an unfortunate deflection could easily see the most unlikely player open the scoring, so I usually steer clear of the first goalscorer market.

However, I really like the anytime goalscorer market.

It is no secret that strikers tend to score goals in bursts. Unless you are Cristiano Ronaldo or Lionel Messi, scoring in every game just isn’t possible. But for the majority of forwards, a three or four-game scoring streak is pretty common.

Take Dominic Calvert-Lewin, for example. The Everton striker scored against Tottenham on the opening day of the 2020/21 EPL campaign before netting a hat-trick against West Brom the following weekend.

Given that Calvert-Lewin scored four goals in the first two games of the season, the chances of him hitting the target again on Matchday 3 were pretty high, right?

Sure enough, Calvert-Lewin ended up scoring in each of Everton’s opening five Premier League outings.

Ultimately, keeping an eye on the scoring patterns of players makes it far easier to predict an anytime goalscorer. If an in-form striker has netted in their last two or three appearances, it is surely worth backing them to score in their next game.

Half Time/Full Time

It often feels like there is very little money to be made when one team is the overwhelming favorite to win a matchup.

For example, if defending EPL champion Liverpool is hosting newly-promoted Fulham, the odds for the home win are going to be very low. The bookies are only going to price Liverpool at around 1.20, meaning you will have to put down a huge stake just to make a small profit.

But if you back Liverpool to be winning at half time as well as full time, the odds will jump to somewhere in the region of 1.70, making the bet a lot more attractive.

The half time/full time market is especially useful for fixtures where one team is the clear frontrunner to win. The likelihood of a team like Liverpool leading a side of Fulham’s ability after 45 minutes is pretty high, so it makes sense to opt for the more lucrative choice.

Like every market, it pays to do your own research before backing a team to win half time/full time. Some managers like their side to dominate possession and attack their opponents early, while other teams sit back and bide their time.

FlashScore offers a feature that allows you to look at which teams have the highest percentage of half time/full time wins in any given league. I suggest using a handy tool like this before placing your half time/full time wagers.

Both Teams to Score

Both teams to score (BTTS) is undoubtedly one of the most popular soccer betting markets, but it can also be one of the most profitable.

You don’t need me to tell you how this market works. Obviously, there are only two possible outcomes – yes or no. But while less experienced bettors tend to use the “yes” option, the odds for both teams not to score are frequently higher.

When it comes to backing both teams to score, a team like Atalanta is perfect. The Italian side plays a frenetic brand of attacking soccer and nets over 2.5 goals in almost every game. But the team’s carefree approach invariably leaves their defense exposed.

Remarkably, 26 of Atalanta’s 38 Serie A games in 2019/20 saw both teams hit the target. That is almost 70%! Gian Piero Gasperini’s men were the top scorers in the division last season (98), but they also finished the campaign with the poorest defensive record in the top four (48).

You can make a tasty profit from this market by choosing teams that rely on outscoring their opponents to win games. But you can often win more money by going in the opposite direction.

If a low-scoring team is facing a side that doesn’t concede many goals, backing both teams not to score can be very beneficial. Generally, the odds for both teams not score are higher than BTTS, so that is worth bearing in mind.

Clean Sheet

For those of you who are unfamiliar with soccer, a clean sheet – or shutout – is when a team doesn’t concede a goal.

Admittedly, clean sheets are hard to come by nowadays. But with so many goals being scored, the odds involved in the clean sheet market are normally very appealing.

In every league around the world, there are still teams that pride themselves on preventing their opponents from scoring. So, if you study the fixtures and find matchups that pit a low-scoring side against a team with a solid defense, you stand a high chance of making some money.

On their way to winning La Liga in 2019/20, Real Madrid managed to keep a clean sheet in 50% of their league games. Zinedine Zidane’s side even achieved five consecutive shutouts towards the end of the campaign.

When a team of Real Madrid’s caliber is closing in on a title, the likelihood of the team attaining a shoutout is much higher.

At the end of the day, waiting for sensible opportunities is key. If you pick the right moments, the clean sheet market can be one of the best ways to gain a profit from betting on soccer.

Closing Thoughts

You can bet on almost every aspect of a soccer game these days. From predicting how many corners and throw-ins will be awarded to forecasting the exact scoreline, the possibilities are endless

However, there is no denying that some markets are far more profitable than others.

I personally enjoy researching trends and figuring out logical ways to get the better of the bookies. To me, using markets such as double chance and half time/full time make a lot more sense than trying to predict the number of yellow cards in a game.

Hopefully, this post will help you to improve your soccer betting strategies! And you can always turn to the regular soccer betting picks we provide for some further guidance in choosing your wagers.

Ben Morris
Ben Morris

Ben is a sportswriter and tipster who specializes in soccer. Currently based in the UK, he has traveled all around the world watching – and betting on – his beloved sport.

Alongside his regular soccer content, Ben publishes blogs and picks for cricket, Formula 1, Aussie rules, darts, and various other sports.

Ben is a diehard fan of Nottingham Forest and England, so he hasn’t had much to cheer about in recent years!

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