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Types of Soccer Bets – Specials & Props

Proposition bets, or props for short, are easily one of THE most popular ways to bet on soccer these days. Also known as specials, these are wagers on events that may (or may not) happen during a soccer game. As a result, these events typically don’t impact the actual outcome of the game.

For example, one of the most popular soccer props is on which player will score the first goal in a game. Bookmakers and betting sites offer odds for every participating player, so you can pick any player you want. If your chosen player DOES score the first goal, you win. It doesn’t matter what the final result is, or how many other goals are scored.

The sheer simplicity of these wagers is the main reason why they’re so popular. Another reason is that they offer so much variety. It’s not uncommon to see 30, 40 or even more props available for a single game. That leaves plenty of opportunities to find good spots to place a wager.

Below you’ll find details of the soccer props and specials that are most widely available at bookmakers and betting sites. The majority of them are incredibly straightforward, so the explanations are quite brief. We’ve also provided examples where appropriate.

We went out of our way to include some useful advice for betting soccer props and specials that we STRONGLY recommend you follow. A lot of people think it’s impossible to make money from props, but they’re wrong. These wagers do need to be approached in the right way though, and our advice will help you do that.

Player Based Soccer Props

A lot of player based soccer props involve picking which player will meet certain specified criteria. Here are some examples.

  • Which player will score the first goal?
  • Which player will score the last goal?
  • Which player will be the first one booked?
  • Which player will score the most goals?
  • Which player will be man of the match?

For each of these props, odds will be available for EVERY participating player in a game. We simply have to choose which player we think will meet the relevant criteria. That’s literally all there is to these wagers.

There are also several player based soccer props that are basically just yes/no questions. These include the following.

  • Will Adam Lallana score a goal?
  • Will Diego Costa get booked?
  • Will Granit Xhaka be sent off?
  • Will Lionel Messi score a hat-trick?
  • Will Cristiano Ronaldo score from outside the box?
  • Will Eric Dier score from a free-kick?
  • Will John Stones score a header?

The first three props on this list are typically available for all the participating players in a game. This means we’re not limited to betting on just one specific player. We could bet that Adam Lallana WILL score a goal, for example, and also bet that one of his teammates will NOT.

The other four props on this list are typically only available for one or two players in a game.

Another type of player based prop involves matchups. Here are some examples.

  • Will Harry Kane or Romelu Lukaku score the most goals?
  • Will Mesut Ozil or Leroy Sane provide the most assists?
  • Will Anders Herrera or N’Golo Kante commit the most fouls?

Here we have to pick which of the two players we think will “win” the matchup. So, if we think that Kane will score more goals than Lukaku in a game, we back Harry Kane. If he does score more goals, we win. If he doesn’t, we lose. If neither player scores, or if they both score the same number of goals, the wager is a push. When that happens, we get our initial stake back.

There’s usually some other player based props available for games too, but these are the most widely available.

Goal Based Soccer Props

The most common goal based soccer props are as follows.

  • First team to score
  • Time of first goal
  • Odd or even goals
  • Goals in both halves
  • Half with most goals

Let’s take a look at how each one of these works.

BasketballFirst team to score

As the name suggests, we have to pick which team we think will score the first goal. We win our wager if we pick the right team, and we lose our wager if we don’t. It’s as simple as that.

A typical market for this wager looks like this.

Manchester United vs Liverpool

You may have been expecting to see just two options here. One for Manchester United, and one for Liverpool. There is, of course, a third option though. It’s possible that NEITHER team will score, which is why “No Goal” is an option in this market.

Please note that some bookmakers and betting sites also offer a LAST team to score prop. This works in the same way, but is based on which team scores the last goal rather than the first goal.

BasketballTime of first goal

With this prop we have to decide WHEN we think the first goal will be scored. It doesn’t matter which team scores the goal, it’s all about which minute it’s scored in. Here’s how a typical market looks.

Tottenham Hotspur vs Chelsea

As you can see, we don’t have to get the EXACT time right. That would be virtually impossible! Instead we have periods of 15 minutes to choose from, which makes things a little easier. Still, this wager is far from easy to get right!

Bookmakers and betting sites that offer this prop will usually offer a similar wager for the time of the LAST goal.

BasketballOdd or even goals

This prop is simply on whether the total number of goals will be odd or even. Zero goals typically count as even, although it’s a push with some bookmakers or betting sites.

BasketballGoals in both halves

This is a simple yes/no wager. We bet on “Yes” if we think there’ll be goals scored in both halves of a game, and we bet on “No” if we think there’ll be goals in only one half (or no goals at all).

BasketballHalf with most goals

Here we’re betting on whether there’ll be more goals scored in the first half, or more goals scored in the second half. A typical market looks like this.

Southampton vs Stoke City

You’ll see that we also have the option to bet on the tie. We’d take this option whenever we thought there’d be the same number of goals scored in the first half as the second half.

If betting on goals appeals to you, you should know that there are several other goal based soccer wagers too. Some of these are a LOT easier to get right than the goal based props we’ve just discussed, so they’re well worth learning about. Feel free to read through the following page for more information.

Other “In Game” Props

There are many other props that are typically available for individual soccer games but don’t fall into the two categories already covered. Here are some common examples.

  • Over/under total corners
  • Over/under team corners
  • Over/under total cards
  • Winning margin
  • Penalty to be awarded
  • Method of victory

Now here’s a quick explanation of how each of these works.

BasketballOver/under total corners

With this wager, we must predict whether the total number of corners will be higher or lower than the total posted by our bookmaker or betting site. A typical market for this prop would look like this.

Manchester City vs Watford

You’ll notice the posted total here is 9.5 corners. A half corner is included to prevent a push. There obviously can’t be EXACTLY 9.5 corners in a game, so a wager in this market has to either win or lose.

If we bet on over 9.5 corners, for example, then we need there to be at least ten corners for us to win. If there are nine or less, we lose. The opposite is true is if we bet on under 9.5 corners.

BasketballOver/under team corners

This is very similar to the above prop, but it’s based on the total number of corners for a specific team. Again, we have to predict whether the number of corners will be higher or lower than the total posted by our bookmaker or betting site. ONLY the corners won by the relevant team count.

BasketballOver/under total cards

This is also very similar to over/under total corners. Instead of betting on the total number of corners, however, we’re betting on the total number of yellow and red cards shown during a match.

BasketballWinning margin

With this wager we’re betting on how many goals we think the winning team will win by. Please note that we DON’T have to pick a team. All that matters is the margin of victory.

Here’s an example of a betting market for this prop.

Burnley vs Everton

A bet on a zero goal margin is effectively betting on the game ending in a tie. If we bet on one goal, we’d need EITHER team to win by exactly one goal. If we bet on two goals, we’d need either team to win by exactly two goals. And so on.

BasketballPenalty to be awarded

This is another yes/no prop. We simply have to decide whether we think a penalty will or will not be awarded. If we think there WILL be a penalty, we bet on yes. If we think there WON’T be a penalty, we bet on no. That’s all there is to it!

BasketballMethod of victory

This prop is only available for soccer games that can go to extra-time and/or a penalty shoot-out. We have three choices. We can bet on a team to win in regular time, a team to win in extra-time or a team to win by a penalty shoot-out.

It doesn’t usually matter which team actually wins for this wager. All that matters is that we get the correct method. However, there’s sometimes a combination bet where we can choose the winning team AND the method of victory. For these wagers, we need to get both selections right in order to receive a payout.

Alternative Props

All the props we’ve explained so far have been based on events that happen within an individual soccer game. There are also some soccer props that are based on other events. These include the following.

  • Will {player} be called up to the national team?
  • Which Premier League manager will be sacked next?
  • Who will {club} appoint as their next permanent manager?
  • Which club will {player} play for next season?
  • Will a Spanish team win this season’s Champions League?
  • Will a South American team win the next World Cup?

We’ve only listed a few examples here, but there are many others too. We’d be here forever if we tried to list them all! It’s hard for us to wrap our mind around the sheer number of soccer props available. Just visit any of the top soccer betting sites and you’ll see what we mean. Most of these sites offer hundreds of different props.

Advice & Strategy for Soccer Specials/Props

Most of the props we’ve discussed on this page are very straightforward. As a result, our advice for betting soccer props is also very straightforward.

Only bet when you have a good reason to.

We’ve shown you that there are LOTS of different options for betting soccer props. This doesn’t mean that you should be placing dozens of these wagers on a daily basis though. It can be tempting to, primarily because they’re so simple, but this is absolutely not the right approach. You need to be selective, and choose your wagers carefully.

It’s particularly important that you bet the right type of soccer prop. Many of the props we’ve listed above are designed to attract recreational bettors, and not serious bettors. They’re not the kind of wagers that you can properly handicap, or make informed judgements about. They’re basically just for fun. There’s no real harm in betting them for entertainment purposes, but they’re also not likely to be wagers that earn you a large payout.

Could you honestly make an informed judgement about whether Cristiano Ronaldo is likely to score a goal from outside the box in a game? Or about whether the total number of goals in a game would be odd or even? These sorts of wagers involve little more than guesswork, and guesswork is NOT going to lead to profits.

Now, this doesn’t apply to ALL soccer props. There are definitely a few that you CAN handicap and make informed judgments about. It’s these ones you should focus on, as you can apply proper strategy when making your betting decisions. This will give you a much better chance of making some money.

Reading the following article will improve your chances even further. We’ve highlighted the best types of soccer prop to concentrate on, and explained some good strategies for finding value in these betting markets.