How to Bet on Soccer - A Tutorial
by Nicholas Tolomeo - 2/24/2010
Soccer is the most popular game in the world, but in terms of betting it often takes a backseat to the more mainstream sports in this country like football and basketball. This is for a number of reasons. The most important reason that you don’t hear much discussion about soccer lines is that the sport is just not that popular in this country. The MLS rivals the WNBA when it comes to television ratings and media coverage.
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Another reason why betting on soccer does not compare to the action on other sports is the confusion that comes with betting it. Much like baseball and hockey, point spreads really don’t apply to the low-scoring game of soccer. That is why Doc’s Sports has provided this tutorial on how to bet on soccer for our readers that are interested in this potentially profitable sport.
Instead, money lines are usually put in place with partial point spreads (-.5). With the ongoing UEFA Champions League going on and the upcoming 2010 FIFA World Cup in June, a lot more media attention and wagering attention will be given to the world’s most popular sport.
For soccer tournaments like the World Cup there are often two ways to bet on the game. There is two-way betting and three-way betting. Two-way betting is the more conventional of the two with bettors picking between two teams. For example in the upcoming World Cup in June host South Africa plays Mexico. In two-way betting South Africa is +110 and Mexico is -120. To win your bet on either team the team only has to win.
In three-way betting there are three options, the two teams playing and a draw. Soccer games often end in draws and with three-way betting you can bet on that. For the above game, both South Africa and Mexico become underdogs of sorts with South Africa +205, Mexico +160 and the draw as +217. In this case if the game ends in a tie and you wager on Mexico, the bet is graded as a loss.
The World Cup game mentioned above is in the group stage and a draw is an option. In tournaments when it gets to the knockout stage where one team needs to move on to the next round, there is another option to bet on, what team will advance. This is often the least confusing way to bet on the game because you are just betting on who will advance to the next round, whether it happens in regulation, overtime or in a shootout. If you bet on a team with a point spread of -.5 or -1, if the game goes to a shootout you automatically lose as a shootout win does not count as a goal. If the game goes to a shootout as 2-2, the final result for wagering purposes will still be 2-2, regardless of who wins. In the same case if you take the underdog at +.5 or +1 you automatically win if the game goes to a shootout.
There are also totals just like any other sport with most ‘over/unders’ at 2 or 2.5 in soccer.