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Betting odds are displayed on a board in the sports book at the South Point hotel and casino in Las Vegas. (John Locher)
Betting odds are displayed on a board in the sports book at the South Point hotel and casino in Las Vegas. (John Locher)|Associated Press
Soccer

How To Bet Soccer

(Everything you wanted to know about betting on Soccer/European football but were afraid to ask)

Sean Miller

Sean Miller

HOW TO BET SOCCER
(A condensed version)

Most of the terms used in Soccer/European football are the same as in any of the other big four sports in America. But there are a few notable differences.

MONEY LINE 1x2- You can bet the favorite, the underdog, or bet the draw (tie score). Many times, the favorites will be minus odds, but for matchups against closely matched teams, all three outcomes will have plus odds.

GOAL LINE HANDICAP - Very much like the traditional point spread in football or basketball, the favored team has to cover the goal spread. To bet the top teams in Europe, such as PSG, Barcelona, Manchester City, or Manchester United, often you will have to lay multiple goals to get decent odds, especially when they are playing the bottom teams in their respective leagues.

For most sports books, a line of -1 goal handicap means that a team has to win by two clear goals; a push loses the bet. Often, -1 is thought of as -1.5, so as to be more clear that a team has to win by two or more.

ASIAN HANDICAP - This is where the lines are a little different from other American sports, but many times to the bettors’ advantage. In Asian handicap betting, the team that is favored will be assigned a goal line, such as -.75, -1 or -1.

There are one quarter goal and three quarter goal lines, along with half goal and full goal lines.

Unlike with the goal line handicap, the Asian handicap -1 bet is a push, and your money is refunded. This bet is better if you think a team SHOULD win the match, but are not completely convinced that the team will win by more than two. A push is better than a loss.

Below is an figure that shows what happens with various Asian handicap bets

HANDICAP

YOUR TEAM’S RESULT

BET RESULT                

HANDICAP

YOUR TEAM’S RESULT

BET RESULT

0

win

win

0

win

win

draw

push

draw

push

lose

lose

lose

lose

-0.25

win by 1 or more

win

+0.25

win by 1 or more

win

draw

lose half

draw

win half

lose

lose

lose

lose

-0.5

win

win

+0.5

win

win

draw

lose

draw

win

lose

lose

lose

lose

-0.75

win by 2 or more

win

+0.75

win or draw

win

win by 1

win half

lose by 1

lose half

draw or lose

lose

lose by 2 or more

lose

-1

win by 2 or more

win

+1

win or draw

win

win by 1

push

lose by 1

push

draw or lose

lose

lose by 2 or more

lose

 


For an example, say Manchester United is playing Southampton, and the Asian handicap line is -.75, -1. If you bet Manchester United, and the Red Devils lose or draw that match, you lose your bet. If Manchester United win the game by a goal, you would win half your stake: the -.75 covers, but the -1 pushes. If Manchester United wins by two or more goals, you win the full bet.

In contrast, if you bet the goal line of -1 on most sites, if Manchester United wins 2-1, you lose you bet. The Red Devils would have to win by two clear goals to win your bet.

OVER/UNDER GOALS - Just like in football, you can bet on the total goals for any game.

BOTH TEAMS TO SCORE - Just like it says, you can bet on whether both teams will score in the match. Often a good bet when two high scoring teams play.

PROP BETS - Almost every match has many proposition bets with much higher odds. You can bet the correct score, first goal scorer, anytime goal scorer, and many other bets. But just like the Super Bowl prop bets, they are priced highly for a reason. Most matches have any number of prop bets available.

FUTURES - You can bet on the future champions of various leagues, cups, or tournaments.