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A Beginner’s Guide to Soccer Betting

Stefan Budur in Soccer Betting Strategies 30 Jun 2023

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This article aims to help you understand your wagering options, the most used soccer betting terms and, how to use them when you place a bet.

When it comes to placing soccer bets, you’ve got to consider two things: futures and individual match betting.

Futures

Futures bets, as you might have guessed, involve predicting outcomes that could occur, like betting on the team that will win the league title, the top goal scorer in a competition, or the winner of the best player award in a tournament.

When placing futures bets, the best soccer odds are typically available before the competition begins. As the event draws closer, the odds will adjust based on ongoing results. For example, if you wait until the semifinals of a tournament to pick the winner, the odds will be lower compared to a pre-tournament bet when all teams are still in contention.

Individual Match Betting

If you prefer not to wait for the outcome of long-term bets, individual match betting may be more appealing as you can wager on specific matches or particular aspects within a match, adding excitement to games that may not be inherently compelling.

Keep in mind that individual match betting can be challenging because standalone games can yield unpredictable outcomes. However, this unpredictability is part of the excitement of sports betting.

Understanding Soccer Odds

The odds reflect an outcome’s likelihood and whether the potential risk outweighs the potential reward. It’s not just about predicting the outcome; it’s about finding value in the odds as well.

Odds are presented in different formats depending on your location, including American odds (plus/minus), slash odds, and decimal odds. These formats convey the same information but are presented differently. Choose the format you find most convenient and disregard the others.

Converting between Odds Formats

If you need to convert odds from one format to another, remember that all odds, regardless of format, are fractions.

For plus American odds, simply place the number over 100. For example, +120 odds are equivalent to 120/100. Simplify the fraction to obtain slash odds (6/5) and convert it to decimal odds (2.20) by adding “1.”

For minus American odds, flip the fraction. For -120 odds, the corresponding fraction is 100/120 (or 5/6 simplified). Convert this fraction to decimal odds (1.83) by adding “1.”

How to bet on soccer – Summary

  1. Choose a bookmaker that operates online or has a street shop.
  2. Check the soccer matches available for betting and select a match you will bet on.
  3. Now it’s time for you to see what markets (match result, goals market, cards market, etc.) the bookmaker offers and pick the one that interests you
  4. Once you select the market, you will see different odds for different outcomes. Place your stake (the amount of money you bet) on what you think is the most probable outcome.
  5. Repeat steps 2, 3, and 4 if you want to add more picks to the same bet.

 What is a soccer bet?

When two teams face each other in a soccer match, the bookies will calculate the odds and will place them on their betting markets for that specific match.

You will analyze the odds and determine how much you will stake for one or more events to happen.

Placing a single soccer bet – explained

In the image above, you can see all the terms of a single soccer bet.

Silkeborg vs Midtjylland was the event, I chose the market – half-time result, stake £50 on Midjylland at odds 2.40, and I got a return of £120 with a profit of £70.

Soccer Match Bets and Markets

The betting companies offer you a wide range of markets where you can place your bet: from full-time results, goals, and goal scorers, to handicaps, corners, cards, and specials.

Below I will explain the most used football betting markets and their meaning using a very competitive match between Chelsea and Tottenham, two of the most valuable teams in the Premier League.

Full-time result

In this market, you will pick the result of a soccer match and it is the most used one in soccer betting tips. You can bet on the home team to win, draw, or the away team to win. The result of the bet is only valid for the 90-minute time of play, excluding penalties or the extra time that may occur in some situations.

If the match result after 90 minutes is a win for the home team, then the winning bet is a home team win.

   Chelsea vs Tottenham full-time result market

Double chance

It is usually used to make a more secure bet, giving bettors the chance to pick 2 out of 3 outcomes from a full-time result. The odds are significantly lower compared to the full-time result market so the potential profit will be smaller.

However, you have a 66% chance to win when you place a double chance bet. The market applies for regular 90-minute gameplay.

Chelsea vs Tottenham double chance market

You can see clearly how much the odds dropped for each pick compared to the full-time result where we had 1.70, 4.00, and 4.60. Selecting 1X means Chelsea to win or draw for the bet to turn out a winner.

Tottenham to win or draw is priced by the bookies at 2.10 (if you bet 10£ you get 21£ in return). The 12 choice with the odds 1.22 means that either Chelsea (1) or Tottenham (2) should win for your bet to make a profit.

Goals Over/Under

This is the most famous goal market and it is used for bettors to pick if the base number of goals offered by the bookies will be over or under. This market is only valid for the regular 90 minutes played during a game of football.

Chelsea vs Tottenham goals over/under market

The most used number as a base is 2.5, like we have in the example above, which means you will bet on 3 or more goals in the game or less than 3 goals. The reason why the bookies use the 0.5 margins is because there can only be 1 of the two outcomes for the bet, as a team cannot score 0.5/half of a goal.

For the Chelsea – Tottenham match we have the base 2.5 with the odds of 1.80 for the under result (meaning 0-2 goals scored in the game), and 2.00 for the over result (3 or more goals scored in the game).

Both teams to score (BTTS)

This is the second most famous goal market after the Over/Under, but still very popular and used by many bettors.

The bookies set up the odds for each outcome and they give the opportunity to choose between Yes or No, therefore you have a 50% chance to win your bet.

Chelsea vs Tottenham both teams to score market

Things are very clear here and you only have 2 options. You can see the bookmaker favors the Yes pick, meaning both Chelsea and Tottenham to score, with odds of 1.75.

If you pick No and you bet 10£, you will win the bet only if one of the two teams scores in the 90-minute regular time. Looking above at the Over/Under market, you can notice the bookmaker is favoring a match with at least 3 goals being scored.

Result/Both teams to score

This is a special market where the bookmaker has grouped two events giving you just one odd. The benefit of this type of bet is the high potential return thanks to the odds being very high. The downside, which I believe to be greater than the benefit, is that your chances to win are just 25%.

Chelsea vs Tottenham result/both teams to score market

The odds are very high but of course, the chances of winning are low. For this bet, you need to make 2 picks. The first one is to decide what will be the full-time result, and the second one, is if both teams will score or not.

For example, if you pick Draw and No it means the only result that will make you win the bet is 0-0. Quite difficult for that to happen since even the bookmaker doesn’t favor that at all giving such big odds: 13. The lowest odds 3.00, the event that the bookmaker favors, is for Chelsea to win at nil.

Draw no bet (DNB)

This is another market where you can make safer bets and protect your money. The same as with the double chance market you have 2 outcomes from which you can pick.

There are some differences as well. The first thing you can notice is that the odds are a bit higher when compared to a double-chance bet.

The second one comes from the name itself – draw no bet – meaning that if the final result of the match is a draw, your bet cancels and you get your stake returned.

Chelsea vs Tottenham draw no bet market

If you pick 2 that means draw no bet Tottenham. At the odds of 3.50, a 10£ stake will return you 35 £ if Tottenham wins, and a refund of your stake if the 90-minute full-time result is a draw. If Chelsea emerge as winners, then you lost your bet.

Half time result

This bet is similar to the full-time market, but as the name suggests you will pick one from the 3 possible outcomes to occur until the half-time whistle is blown by the referee.

You have a 33% chance of winning your bet and you can choose for the home team to lead at halftime, draw after 45 minutes of play, or the away team to lead at halftime.

Comparing odds, half-result market vs full-time result, we see clearly that half-result picks have higher odds for one of the teams to lead at half-time but, significantly lower for a draw. This happens when the tie is close to even.

Chelsea vs Tottenham half time result market

You have the same odds for a draw or Chelsea to lead after 45 minutes played, with Tottenham being clearly the underdogs.

For this type of market, especially when the teams are at the same level, it is very difficult to predict an outcome. Selecting X (draw) with a stake of 10£ gives you a potential return of 23£.

Asian Handicap

This is the margin of goal differences between two teams that give a theoretical advantage or disadvantage to the selected team before the match starts.

The same as for the goals over/under market you will have a base, which you will notice to have the smallest odds and several other margin variations from you to pick from. You can only pick one team for your selection.

Chelsea vs Tottenham Asian handicap result market

In the first case if you bet on Chelsea (-1) you give the Blues a one-goal handicap.

What does this mean?

Well to put it simply, you take away one goal from whatever Chelsea will score, so they need to win at least by a 2-goal difference for your bet to be a winner.

A draw or win by just 1 goal difference will make you lose the money you bet. Tie (Tottenham +1) basically means that you back Spurs to win by exactly 1 goal difference, winning by 2 or more goals will lose your bet.

The smallest odds, 2.10, are in favor of Tottenham which you give them a 1-goal advantage. If Jose Mourinho’s team draws or wins you win the bet.

Total Corners

The bookie will set up a base number and give you 3 different opportunities for you to pick. The biggest odd by far is the selection of the exact number of corners in the match during the 90-minute time play.

The other 2 picks you can make are under or over with most of the times having a small difference in odds between them.

Chelsea vs Tottenham total corners market

The odds are attractive but predicting the outcome of corners is not an easy task. The results will be based more on the first eleven, how the teams are set up to play, weather and pitch conditions, and sometimes even the referee.

Number of cards in the match

You will see in this market a lot of similarities with the goals over/under. The bookies will set a base for the number of corners during the 90 minutes of game time and you will have to choose between over or under.

In this case, you have 50% chance of winning the bet, but the odds are not so great.

Chelsea vs Tottenham number of cards market

The base set by the bookmaker is very good considering this soccer match is not just a London derby but also a direct battle for the 4th position in the league. The bookies favor the Over pick with the Under seen as a less probable outcome.

What type of bet should I use?

That is a good question.

You can either choose a single bet, a double, a treble, or an accumulator (Acca). A single bet means you bet only on 1 event to happen, double if you choose 2 different events to occur, and treble on 3 events.

You will have a much higher chance to win a single bet, but the odds sometimes are too small. Accumulator bets can bring you high profits but they are much more difficult to win.

When you make an Acca, you select more events on the same bet slip, and we all know that the more events you have the lower your chance to win. If you decide to make an accumulator don’t add too many picks for your bet, keep it to 4-6.

 Where to place your bet?

You have 2 choices when you decide to bet: online or offline.

With today’s technology betting online is much more simple, convenient, and attractive. Moreover, at SoccerNews you will find a list of reputable bookmakers that will offer great odds and a variety of betting markets. 

Offline betting requires you to travel to the street shop of the betting company in order to place your bet.

Of course, this makes it inconvenient because not only do you lose time but also because the company operates only between specific hours of the day.

Now that you read our beginner’s guide to soccer betting let’s set you up and show you the steps you need to follow in order to open an online betting account.

How to start betting online

Before you open an online betting account you need to research what are the best bookmakers

. You should look for a well-established bookie that offers you a variety of sports, multiple betting markets, regular offers and promotions, and, maybe the most important aspect of online betting is a large number of events that feature live video. Live video is crucial for in-play betting.

To make things easy for you I broke down the process of opening an online betting account in a few simple steps.

How to open an online betting account in 4 steps

  • Step 1: find and online bookmaker

Navigate to the main page of the bookie’s website and click the button register.

  • Step 2: personal details

Fill in the personal details form and press continue.

  • Step 3: selecting the country and language

Select your country and language. If the country you reside in is not on the list, it means that the bookie doesn’t have a license to operate in your country.

In this case, you have to look for another bookmaker that has a valid license and can operate legally in your country.

  • Step 4: fill in the remaining personal details

This is the last step to set up your account. Here you have to fill in the remaining personal details, tick the ‘I agree with the terms and conditions” and press join.

You will receive a welcome email from the bookie and before you make a deposit and place any bet, you will need to upload a photo ID that shows your age and residence address.

This step is crucial since betting is both age and location-restricted. Once your documents are checked and approved you will be able to deposit and make your first bet.

You are all set now. Good luck!

Now that you are more familiar with the betting terminology and its markets, all you have to do is to set up your bankroll and a good betting strategy.

Remember, responsible betting is crucial, and it’s essential to set limits, gamble within your means, and enjoy the process responsibly. Get as much information about the football match before you place any bet.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Stefan Budur


Former owner of Betting Mojo, experienced bettor and former punter at Betadvisor, Stefan has done it all when it comes to soccer betting. With more than 15 years of experience in the gambling industry, he gained a lot of knowledge that he'd like to share with SoccerNews.com readers so you can position yourself better every time you place a bet.

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