How to Bet on World Cup Soccer: a Tutorial
by George Monroy - 4/18/2014
The soccer world is about to reach a fever pitch in a few months when the FIFA World Cup begins its group-stage play in early June. And while the sport enjoys massive popularity across the globe, it's not until the World Cup comes along every fourth year that America begins to pay attention. Even then, the sport may only be a blip in the radar for most U.S. fans. However, the World Cup is an excellent opportunity to find value and make some money, even if you know very little about the sport.
The sheer volume of games alone should be enough to get the serious bettor's attention-during the opening stages of play, games begin as early as 6 a.m. and continue into the afternoon. Wagering on soccer is similar to other sports, and many of the concepts that bettors have mastered directly translate into betting on the World Cup.
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How to Wager on World Cup Soccer: Futures Bets
The first, and simplest, way to wager on the World Cup is through futures betting. The most common of futures is usually betting on the team that will win the entire event. Brazil is currently receiving the best World Cup championship odds at +300, while Argentina and Germany are +400 and +500, respectively, according to Sportsbook.ag. A bettor can also wager on which two teams will make the finals, the top scorer in the tournament and the winners of each group stage.
The bet is a great way for novice gamblers to ease into the world of sports betting without having to worry about betting on a large number of individual games. A bettor can make a futures wager and be in action for most of the tournament on a single bet.
How to Wager on World Cup Soccer: Moneylines, Goal Lines and Draws
Soccer moneylines are set up with three wagers to choose from. The two teams who are playing-both wagers usually provide positive payouts because ties are a huge part of the sport, unless of course one of the teams is a massive favorite-and draws. So in a potential matchup between Mexico and Cameroon, the moneyline would be +115 for Mexico to win, +235 for Cameroon to win, and +220 for a draw.
Soccer goal lines are similar to baseball's run lines and hockey's puck lines. The main difference is that with hockey and baseball the lines are always set at 1.5 scores, while soccer lines can range from .5 to 1.5. The goal line is essentially a very small spread, but the favored team will usually receive a positive payout while the underdog will have a negative moneyline for taking the extra goals.
How to Wager on World Cup Soccer: Totals
Soccer also has a standard totals wager or "over/under" bets where a gambler must decided on whether the total goals for the game will either go over or under. The total number is usually set in the 2.5-goal range but can creep into the four-goal range depending on the teams that are playing.
Wagering on World Cup soccer is a simple proposition and very similar to the betting structure of the other major sports. The handicapping part is another story. But do not be afraid to wager on the upcoming World Cup just because you have not done it before. There will be too much value and too many games to wager on to skip the event. Remember to bet wisely, and may the odds be in your favor.
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