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Soccer Betting Basics: Learn About Bet Types and Tips

Cover image for post Soccer Betting Basics
Soccer Betting Basics
Soccer Betting Basics: Learn About Bet Types and Tips

Betting on soccer is quite popular in Canada, with only basketball having more bets.

In this guide, you’ll learn about common bet types, which ones are better for novice bettors, what differences there are among the popular leagues, and you’ll learn some betting tips to get you started.

Quick Summary (TL;DR)

Bet99 Review – Dennis
  1. Three-way moneyline (choosing the outright winner) bet is easy to understand and the right choice for beginners.

  2. Spread/Goal line bets often sit at 0.5 or 1.5, but can be pushed to 2.5 with clear favourites. This bet largely depends on luck, but it does offer a higher payout.

  3. Over/Under (also known as Totals) bets also work in increments of 0.5, sometimes even 0.25.

  4. Futures bets require patience but also come with a decent payout.

  5. Parlays are among the most popular soccer bet types.

  6. Prop bets, whether team or player props, are also quite popular, but should be left to those who aren’t beginners.

  7. When betting, make sure to know the intricacies of each league and to follow news and conferences before betting.

Meet Our Experts

Our soccer content is written and improved by the top soccer names in Canada and wider. They’ve spent years honing their skills and placing numerous bets, and they’re happy to share their inside knowledge with you. Find their top tips below!

Jason Ence
Expert Quote
Jason Ence
About Author
Jason Ence has been giving betting and fantasy advice for nearly a decade, and is extremely familiar with the Premier League, Serie A, and the Champions League. He is a strong advocate for responsible betting and bankroll management, and always recommends utilizing multiple sports books in order to shop for the best lines in order to maximize your bankroll.

Manage your bankroll by staking additional units based on confidence and edges.

Charles Perrin
Expert Quote
Charles Perrin
About Author
Charles has been operating as a freelance sports betting content writer for roughly 5 years. Prior to that, he was the overnight digital sports editor of the Daily Express where he presided over online coverage including breaking news and live blogs as well as boosting traffic levels. He boasts an in-depth knowledge of most sports and is adept at reviewing sportsbook brands in Canada. Away from sports betting content, Charles is a keen tennis player and he is a huge Tottenham Hotspur fan.

Start on basic lines before advancing to more sophisticated betting markets.

Read more about:

Soccer betting sites
Our recommended websites will provide you with everything you need for a smooth betting experience
Betting on goals
Find out which leagues are top options for betting on goals and where not to hold your breath waiting for players to score
Live soccer betting
Our expert guide gives you the full lowdown on the mechanics of live soccer betting + some tips

This is the more common type of bet when it comes to soccer, and the simplest for new bettors to understand.

The “three” in three-way means there are three possible outcomes: the home team wins, the away team wins, or it ends in a tie.

Similarly, the other way to write it, 1×2, refers to the three possible outcomes: the host winning (1), tie (x), or the guest team winning (2).

A tie happens quite often in soccer, which is why this bet type is more common than its two-way counterpart.

Here’s how it works in practice.

Three way moneyline example at Betano
Three-way moneyline example at Betano

In the upcoming Premier League match between Wolverhampton and Burnley FC, betting on 1×2 means you’re choosing one of the three possible outcomes:

  • Wolverhampton wins with odds of 1.87
  • Burnley FC wins witg odds of 4.15
  • The game ends in a tie with odds of 3.65

Unlike with a two-way moneyline bet, you can bet on each of the three outcomes.

Two-Way Moneyline Bet

Meanwhile, a two-way moneyline bet means you can only place a bet on one of the two teams winning.

With the draw option removed, the odds are adjusted accordingly.

If you opt for a two-way moneyline bet, in the case of a draw, your original wager is returned to you.

You will find this option under Tie No Bet/Draw No Bet. Here’s the same example from Betano, with adjusted odds now that the tie option has been removed:

Two way moneyline bet option at Betanp
Two-way moneyline bet option at Betano

Here’s how the odds differ once you take out the tie option:

  • Wolverhampton: 1.87 vs 1.38
  • Burnley FC 4.15 vs 2.90

Since now you’re choosing among fewer options, both odds have been adjusted and are consequently lower than when you’re taking a tie into consideration as well.

To learn more about reading and understanding soccer odds, visit our dedicated page.

Spread (Goal Line)

With a goal line, you’re betting on whether one of the teams wins or loses by a certain margin.

In other words, you’re betting on whether or not they cover the spread (hence the bet name).

Much like with baseball, since a soccer game doesn’t usually end with too many points, the goal line is commonly set to -1.5.

The exceptions are games with obvious favourites, in which case the goal line is often pushed to -2.5.

After all, a result of 2-0 is far more expected if Forge FC is playing against Cavalry FC than if their opponents are FC Edmonton.

spread bets

With the latter, a result of 3-0 or even a higher one is not unlikely, so the goal line is likely to be adjusted.

But how does it work exactly?

Imagine you’re betting on a spread of -1.5 on the favourite, and they win by 2 goals or more.

In that case, you win the bet because they won by more than 1.5 goals. If they win by less, draw, or lose, you lose.

Betting on goal lines

If you bet on the underdog on a goal spread of 1.5, they could lose by 1 goal and you’d still win the bet.

Here’s an actual example (same one as above) to help you better understand spread betting in soccer.

Bet99 spread betting example
Bet99 spread betting example

Because the difference between the two teams isn’t drastic, Bet99 is offering only +/-0.5 and +/-1.5 spread bets.

But if we take a look at the game between Luton, who will be fighting to stay in the league, and Arsenal, which is one of the teams favoured to win it, the spread options include +/-2.5 as well.

Bet99 spread betting example with a clear favourite
Bet99 spread betting example with a clear favourite


The description of this bet is in its name: you’ll be betting on whether the total amount of goals (which is the second name for this bet type — Totals) is above or below a certain threshold.

Once more, due to the very low goal counts in soccer, the Over/Under bet is slightly different than in other sports.

Namely, it has to be played in multiples of .25 goals, rather than in whole scores. You’ll often see bookmakers setting a total of 2.25 or 2.5.

Here’s how it works:

Imagine you’re betting on over 2.25 goals. In that case, you’re technically placing two bets: one on over 2, and one on over 2.5.

If the result is 2:0, it pushed and you’re refunded for the over 2 bet, but you lose the over 2.5 bet. You’d need a 3:0 or 2:1 in order to win both bets.

Here’s a quick overview if you bet on over 2.25:

Example of a bet over 2.25

Let’s look at the upcoming Luton v Arsenal game again. Bet99 gives you the option to bet on over/under 2.5, 3.5, or 4.5 goals.

Bet99 over/under example for soccer
Bet99 over/under example for soccer

You’ll notice that there’s no 1.5 — since Arsenal are quite big favourites in the game, the sportsbook offering you the option to bet on just 2 goals being scored wouldn’t be profitable for them.

Prop Bets

Prop bets are among the seasoned bettors’ favourites in all sports. Basketball, golf, or soccer, it’s always fun to bet on virtually anything you can imagine.

In soccer, such bets include who scores first, in what minute, when the first yellow card will be issued, whether someone will win despite being a goal behind…

examples of soccer prop bets at Betano

While these bets are less predictable and are largely dependent on luck, they tend to have higher odds and consequently offer a better payout should luck be on your side.


Finally, there are the futures/outrights bets. The “future” here suggests you’re not betting on an immediate event.

Good examples include predicting the top scorer of the Premier League or Bundesliga, or guessing the winner of the UEFA European Cup.

You can also bet on the top 2 teams, top 4, or the top London club in the Premier League, for example.

Futures bets for the Premier League at Betano

Betting on outrights makes most sense at the start of the league, which is also why this bet type requires most patience.

Parlay Bets

While not a separate type of bet per se, a parlay bet is still a popular betting option for seasoned soccer bettors.

It allows you to combine different betting markets into a single bet. Granted, having several bets makes it harder to get them all right; however, if you do, the payout is better.

And in the case of same-game parlays, you can even combine different betting markets of the same game.

What’s more, bet365 has something called Parlay Bets+, allowing you to combine several single-game parlays into one big parlay bet!

You can also learn about Asian handicap soccer betting by reading LBC’s recent expert guide.

Soccer Betting Tips

While each league has its specific betting tips (here are some beginner tips for the Premier League, for example), some of them can be applied no matter what league or competition you bet on.

Play Responsibly.

This is the number one tip we always have.

No other tip matters unless you’re making good use of responsible betting tools, you have good bankroll management and use betting limits.

Know Not All Leagues Are Equal.

Betting on the Bundesliga isn’t the same as betting on, say, Serie A.

good to know

While in the former you can expect a dynamic play with lots of goals, the second is known for its defensive playing style.

This makes late-game twists and plenty of goals a lot less realistic.

Ensure you know the ins and outs of each league you’re betting on to improve your odds.

Follow the News.

If you plan to bet on a team that just announced their top player will sit out the next game, you’ll want to know about it beforehand.

Following the news and press conferences before games, whether on the leagues’ official websites or on social media like X is crucial to improve your winning chances.

Know the Statistics.

While there are leagues where statistics may not always mean much (such as MLS), for the most part, knowing how a team or a player has been performing lately can give you a pretty good idea of what to expect from them in the next game.

There are plenty of websites you can use, such as Soccer Stats.

We also invite you to follow our experts on Twitter, as they often tell you about clubs and players to watch out for!



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