Lots of people start betting on soccer without having even the slightest clue what they are doing. This is CRAZY in our opinion. We realize that soccer betting can be a very exciting experience and that it does actually present some genuine opportunities for making money. Still, we can’t understand why people don’t take the time to learn the basics before they jump in and get started.
Anyway, the fact that you’re reading this page suggests that you DO want to learn the basics. That’s precisely why we’ve written this article. It covers everything you need to know to get started with soccer betting. Here’s a quick overview of what’s included.
We detail the initial steps you need to take and explain why you need to take them. We teach you some basic soccer wagers that are easy to understand and offer some advice for choosing what to bet on. We cover the basic skills that need to be mastered as soon as possible. Lastly, we leave you will a collection of useful tips for beginners.
Before we get to any of that, we want to first help you decide whether or not soccer betting is right for YOU?
Is Soccer Betting Right For You?
Soccer betting is incredibly popular, but that doesn’t mean it’s right for everyone. We suggest that you think carefully about whether it’s something you want to get involved with BEFORE learning too much about it. Otherwise, you may just be wasting your time.
A good way to decide whether soccer betting is right for you is to consider its various pros and cons. We’ll take a look at those shortly, but there are a couple of questions we’d like you to answer first.
How much do you know about soccer?
Do you enjoy watching soccer?
You don’t have to be a soccer expert to start betting on the sport: nor do you have to enjoy watching it. These things certainly help though. If you’re knowledgeable about soccer, and a big fan of the sport, then soccer betting IS probably right for you. If you know nothing at all about soccer and don’t like watching the games, you might want to consider betting on a different sport instead.
If you don’t know much about ANY sport, then soccer betting may still be a good option for you. Just make sure you spend some time learning about the sport first. You should start with the rules, which we explain in detail in the following article.
Something else to think about is the fact that betting on soccer involves risk. This applies to betting on any sport of course, or any form of gambling at all. It’s definitely something you should consider though. If you’re not comfortable with the risk of losing money, then soccer betting is not for you. There’s a good chance that you WILL lose, even if you know just about everything there is to know about a sport. Winning is possible, but it requires a lot of hard work and commitment.
Still interested? Great! Now you just need to consider the various pros and cons of betting on soccer.
Pros & Cons of Betting on Soccer
We mentioned earlier that many people enjoy betting on soccer. It’s so popular, in fact, that an estimated 70% of all sports betting is done on soccer. That’s an amazing statistic considering how many different sports there are. So, what is it about soccer that makes it the most popular sport for betting?
It can’t simply be that it’s a lot of fun, as betting on ANY sport can be fun. It can’t be that soccer betting has the potential to be profitable either, as that also applies to betting on any sport. Surely there must be some other reasons too?
There are actually quite a few!
Betting on soccer offers several advantages over betting on most sports. Here’s a list of the most significant ones.
Range of betting opportunities
Variety of wagers available
Coverage of the sport
Availability and volume of data
Low margin at bookmakers
Let’s take a look at these advantages, and explain how each one benefits us when betting on soccer.
Range of betting opportunities
Unlike many other sports, soccer is played in virtually every country in the world. Most of these countries operate at least one professional league, and many of them operate several different competitions. In England, for example, there are four professional leagues and three knockout tournaments.
In addition to the domestic competitions, there are also many continental and international competitions. There’s the Champion’s League, for example, which features the top clubs in Europe. Then there’s the World Cup, which is played every four years on a national level.
With so many different competitions, there’s ALWAYS something to bet on. This makes it easier to find good spots to get our money down.
Variety of wagers available
Not only do we have lots of different competitions to bet on, we also have a wide variety of different wagers we can place. Soccer offers more wagering options than ANY other sport, which is a huge benefit.
Why? Because it gives us a much better chance of finding GOOD wagers to place. We’re not limited to just betting on the final result of games, or the winner of specific tournaments. We can bet on almost any aspect of soccer we want. It’s just finding the right wagers to place that can be difficult.
Coverage of the sport
Soccer games are broadcast around the world on a daily basis. Pretty much every game in the major leagues and competitions is televised, so we can watch as much of the action as we want. This is extremely useful when betting on the sport, as watching games is one the best ways to assess the quality of players and teams. The more games we watch, the better our betting decisions are likely to be.
Availability and volume of data
The ability to carry out effective research and analysis is vital when betting on any sport. It helps us make informed judgments about the likely outcome of events, and it helps us make more accurate predictions. Our research and analysis can only ever be as good as the information that’s available to us though, which is why being able to find data that is both reliable and of good quality is crucial.
A big advantage of betting on soccer is the fact that there’s a TON of soccer-related data available. It’s not all high-quality of course, but plenty of it is. Plus, it’s all readily available online. There are literally hundreds of websites featuring detailed game reports, statistics, expert opinion and all sorts of other useful information. Having access to this kind of data can be truly invaluable.
Low margin at bookmakers
The bookmaking industry is VERY competitive, with bookmakers and betting sites all aggressively competing for their share of the action. Because soccer betting is so popular, the bookmakers need to be especially competitive with their soccer markets. This means that they typically operate on lower margins than for other sports, which means better odds and lines for us.
There are other advantages to betting on soccer too, but these are definitely the most important ones. There are also some disadvantages, and we have listed those for you below.
There are three possible results in soccer games
Upsets are more common than in many other sports
The bookmakers pay a lot of attention to soccer
Soccer games can end in a draw (tie), leaving three possible results to consider when placing wagers. Making predictions is, therefore, a little harder than with sports where there are only TWO possible results.
Making predictions is also harder because of the amount of upsets we see. There are upsets in every sport of course, but they’re especially common in soccer. We’re not just talking about individual games either. There have been several occasions when complete outsiders have actually won leagues or tournaments. Greece winning the European Championships in 2004 is a good example, as is Leicester winning the Premier League in 2016.
The final disadvantage is perhaps the biggest one of all. Because the bookmakers take so many wagers on soccer, they work VERY hard to ensure their odds and lines are as tight as they can be. This is offset a little by the lower margins that we already mentioned, but it still makes it hard to find value.
Although these disadvantages are notable, they’re still outweighed by the advantages in our opinion. You do need to consider them when choosing whether or not to bet on soccer though.
Still interested in soccer betting? Then, this article will help you get started.
The First Steps
We said this earlier, but we’ll say it again; having a background in soccer knowledge will help when it comes to betting on the sport. So if you’re not already a soccer fan, your very first step should be to learn about the sport itself. Make sure you read the article we linked earlier about the rules and try to expand your knowledge in other ways too. This is not hard to do, as there’s plenty of information online.
You also need to understand some fundamental aspects of sports betting. If you’re completely new to betting in general, and not just betting on soccer, you should take the time to check out the following section of our website. In fact, you should do this even if you’re an experienced better. We always find a recap of the basics to be beneficial.
Allocating a bankroll is very important. It’s easy too. You just have to set aside an affordable sum of money that can be used solely for betting. This enables you to control how much you spend while ensuring that you only bet with money you can afford to lose. There are also some psychological advantages to using funds that are specifically for the purposes of wagering.
We strongly believe that proper bankroll management can improve your overall chances of winning. We explain how in this article.
Setting goals aren’t as important, but we definitely recommend doing it. It gives you something to aim for, and it’s a good way to measure your progress. At the very least you should decide whether you’re betting purely for the fun of it or to make long-term profits.
The final step on this list is one that should not be taken lightly. Many people assume it doesn’t really matter where they bet, but they’re 100% wrong. It matters A LOT. We suggest using the internet, as there are countless advantages to betting online. You do need to use the right sites though, and that’s something we can help with.
Once these first steps have been completed, you’re well on your way to being able to bet on soccer. There are a few more things to learn though, so keep on reading!
Basic Soccer Wagers
We already mentioned that one of the big advantages of betting on soccer is the wide variety of wagers available. You should learn about them all at some point, as they all have their uses in the right situations. As a beginner, however, you can get by with just a few basic wagers. These two are probably the easiest to get started with.
Total goals (over/under)
The Win-Draw-Win wager is the most popular of all the soccer wagers. Known as the moneyline in the United States, it’s a simple wager on the result of a game. Here’s an example of a Win-Draw-Win market for an upcoming game.
This is for a game between Liverpool and Manchester United, and we have to decide what we think the full-time result will be. We can back Liverpool to win at odds of 2.40, Manchester United to win at odds of 2.95, or the draw at 2.70. If we get the result right we get paid out, and if we don’t we lose our stake.
The following page covers this wager in more detail. We also explain the various other wagers that are based on the results of individual games.
The total goals wager is equally simple. All we have to do here is predict whether the total number of goals scored in a game will be higher or lower than the total posted by our bookmaker or betting site. Here’s an example to show how it works, from the same game we mentioned above.
Liverpool vs Manchester United
Over 2.5 Goals
Under 2.5 Goals
The posted total here is 2.5. This is pretty standard for soccer games. A “half goal” is used so that wagers cannot be a push. Obviously, there can’t be exactly 2.5 goals scored, so a wager will always win or lose. If we back the over, we only win if there are three or more goals scored in the game. We lose if there are two or less. It’s the other way around when backing the under. We lose if there are three or more goals, and we win if there are two or less.
We explain more about this wager on the following page and also provide details of other wagers based on goals scored.
Choosing which soccer competitions to bet on is a BIG decision. Unfortunately, it’s not an easy one. There are so many options, it’s almost impossible to know what to focus on. Should we bet on leagues or knockout tournaments? Should we bet on the major competitions or the lesser known ones?
These questions don’t have “correct” answers. There’s no right or wrong here, as it depends on a number of things. We do have one piece of advice that you should definitely bear in mind though.
It pays to focus on the competitions you know most about.
This is common sense really. We stand a much better chance of making good decisions when betting on leagues and tournaments that we’re familiar with. The more we know about the teams and players involved, the more accurate our predictions are likely to be.
What should you do if you’re not especially familiar with ANY leagues or tournaments though? Or if you’re only familiar with one or two and want to broaden your focus? The decision of what to bet on becomes a lot harder then. And there are other considerations too, such as which competitions are easiest to make money from.
We can’t tell you exactly what you should be betting on, but we CAN help with the decision. The article listed below will explain what you need to be thinking about.
Most people who bet on soccer focus on trying to make predictions. They then bet on what they think is going to happen. As logical as this approach seems, it’s NOT the right way to go about things.
The key to betting on any sport successfully is to find value in the odds. This means we have to go way beyond simply predicting what we think is going to happen. We have to make judgments about how likely each possible outcome is, and use those judgments to identify value.
Not sure what we mean by “identify value?” That’s no problem. We explain everything you need to know in the article listed below. This is essential information, so PLEASE take the time to read it.
The fundamental concept of value is not too difficult to understand. Actually finding value in the betting markets is quite the challenge though. We have to be able to analyze all the information that’s available to us and use that information to assess potential outcomes. Although this may sound simple, it can be pretty hard to do in practice.
It’s easy to say that a soccer player is “good,” “excellent,” or “average.” Such terms are essentially meaningless though. They don’t really tell us anything useful when it comes to making betting decisions. The same applies to teams too. We might rate one team as good and another as excellent, but that’s not nearly enough to help us find value. Our analysis of teams and players has to be far more in-depth than that.
Feeling a little overwhelmed? Don’t worry! We know it’s a lot to take in, but it’s important to recognize what’s involved in betting on soccer if you want to approach things properly. You have to understand that making good betting decisions on a consistent basis requires a few basic skills. The good news is that we can teach you those skills.
The following two articles will help you learn how to analyze soccer teams and players effectively. They’ve been written with the beginner in mind, so they’re not overly complicated or too advanced.
Once you know how to do the necessary analysis, you’ll find it much easier to assess the likely outcomes of games and competitions. It’s not ONLY the quality of the teams and players that affect these outcomes though. There are other factors that need to be taken into consideration too, and we’ve addressed those in the two articles listed below.
Most people who bet on soccer just dive straight in without really knowing what they’re doing. We don’t want you to do that, which is why we’ve provided so much information and advice on this page. There’s a lot more you’ll want to learn as you go along, but we’ve given you a good head start for sure. We have to warn you though!
You’ll almost certainly still lose money at first.
While we doubt this will bother anyone who is only interested in having fun, our hope is that it won’t bother anyone who is trying to make a profit either. Even the most talented soccer bettors in the world probably lost money as beginners. It’s just the way it is. It doesn’t matter how much you learn before getting started, successful soccer betting will always take time and experience.
There’s no need to lose more than you have to though. If you can form good habits from the outset, and keep the mistakes to a minimum, getting started won’t be too costly at all. And you all need to do is read the following article. We’ve provided some excellent beginner tips that will help you start out in the best possible way.