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.
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3 months ago
Understanding Soccer Betting Markets & Finding Value Bets
Best Soccer Betting Markets
Soccer continues to have mass appeal, and that is certainly the case for betting on the sport. Week in and week out, fans all over the world can tap into a wide range of markets with ease.
Some of these soccer betting markets will be extremely popular, and the purpose of this guide is to sift the facts from the fiction.
I will run through the markets that will yield value and I will also share my thoughts on some of my personal favourites. So, read on to discover more.
Quick Summary (TL;DR)
Betting markets cover various possibilities that can occur in a match/league/competition, which you can bet on. These include who wins, what’s the difference in points, overall winner, top scorer, etc.
Most popular betting markets include 3-way moneyline, win from behind, both teams to score, various prop bets, and futures/outrights.
Some of the underrated betting markets are totals and spread bets.
bet365 tends to have the most variety when it comes to different betting markets.
What Do Betting Markets Refer To?
Before diving head first into picks for any given game, a thorough understanding of how soccer betting works is vital.
A betting market will see money pass hands between gamblers and the sportsbook, with the operator determining and assigning the prices for two teams before kick-off.
The odds, which will be presented in a variety of ways, will highlight the probability of an event taking place in a game.
If we are to take the 3-way moneyline, for example, there isn’t a big gap in the odds that have been assigned in the Tottenham v Chelsea Premier League game in November.
To learn which betting markets are the best choice for the Premier League specifically, visit my previous page!
Tottenham is trading as marginal favourites at 2.30, while Chelsea is slightly longer at 2.95.
Dividing 1 by the decimal odds and multiplying it by 100, we land on Tottenham having an implied probability of 43.5% of winning, while Chelsea’s implied probability sits at 33.9%.
There are plenty of tools on the web, such as AceOdds, where odds can be inputted, and they can be converted into implied probabilities, saving bettors from having to do the math.
Let’s take another example that should help crystallize things more, and this is an MLS Eastern Conference clash featuring Colombus Crew and Atlanta United FC.
If we are to refer to the moneyline, there is more of a disparity in the odds allocated despite both teams faring well in the table at the time of writing.
Columbus Crew is priced at 1.69 or has a 59.2% chance of coming out on top, while Atlanta United is valued at 4.50 which means their implied probability is a lowly 22.2%.
The eagle-eyed bettor will notice the two implied probabilities add up to 81.4%. A vigour is added to the 1×2 line which means that reputable sportsbooks will take a commission on bets.
Soccer betting lines will be set a few days before a game, but they move sharply in the hours leading up to kick-off. Also, sportsbooks will have calculators to work out potential returns.
I think it is best to keep an open mind and carry out extensive research by comparing prices before choosing which operator to place a bet with.
Popular Soccer Betting Markets to Bet On
It’s now time to run through some of the most popular soccer betting markets advertised at sportsbooks, and the bulk of these can be enjoyed by novice or more experienced bettors.
3-Way Soccer Moneylines
These can also be referred to as the 1×2 line, and with soccer, there are three potential outcomes available, which cover a home win, an away win, and a tie.
At Betano, this betting market is labeled as “Game Result”.
3-way moneylines are alluring to beginners as they entail predicting who will win or whether there will be a tie, and it is one of the more straightforward soccer betting markets.
In another example, Real Sociedad hosts Barcelona on the first weekend of November in La Liga, and at the time of writing, only six points separated the two sides.
With Sociedad’s odds being 3.00, the tie standing at 3.30, Barcelona’s price is shorter at 2.25.
Sociedad would represent the underdog here, and a $20 wager on them would score a win of $40 and a total payout of $60, but a $20 bet on Barcelona would provide an overall payout of $45.
A quick glance at the stats would show that Sociedad has suffered at the hands of Barcelona over the years, including a 6-1 thrashing at home in March 2021.
However, backing the underdog, as shown above, may be risky and bolder, but it will pay off, and upsets happen in La Liga like they do in any other league.
I have briefly outlined the pros and cons of using the 3-way moneyline for facilitating soccer bets.
Simple to understand and execute.
All reputable operators have this line, so it is easy to locate.
Wins on the underdog can be more profitable.
Sportsbooks run lower odds for favourites providing little value for money.
Odds will tend to have little variation between most sportsbooks.
You need to place a higher stake to get a return on your wager.
Win from Behind
The Win from Behind market is virtually self-explanatory as you will be wagering on a team to turn things around after trailing.
In soccer, some teams are notoriously strong starters, while some find it much tougher to get going in matches.
Tempting odds can be sourced at reputable sportsbooks, including bet365, which has good ones for most markets, including Fulham v Manchester United.
Placing just a $10 wager on Fulham to win from behind at 13.00 would generate a total payout of $130 when you include the original stake.
Form guide can provide invaluable insights about a team, but I also believe how a side responds to adversity during a game says a lot about their character and mental strength.
Manchester United have been under par for large chunks of the campaign, but they displayed battling qualities when they rallied from 2-0 down to beat Nottingham Forest in August.
However, as Fulham is at home, I think it is worth bearing in mind the role that the crowd plays in inspiring the team on the pitch.
There is a saying that Fulham fans can act as the proverbial ‘12th man’, and when at home, the roar of the home supporters can swing things in your favour.
Both Teams to Score
Although the final result won’t be accounted for in this line, the Both Teams to Score, or BTTS market, for short, can also provide some telling insights.
Soccer may not be the highest-scoring game for Canadian bettors to wager on, but there is still plenty of value to be found, especially for those who can identify patterns.
Anyway, bettors will find two options for this kind of line which will be “Yes” or “No”, but those who side with “No” will be backing a goalless stalemate here.
For example, next week will see the resumption of the Champions League group stages.
Check out which betting markets are best when it comes to the Champions League!
The BTTS fixture between Arsenal and Lens is based on the three goals shared as Arsenal won 2-1 in Spain with Gabriel Jesus and Gabriel Martinelli getting on the scoresheet for the visitors.
Intriguingly, the “No” part of the line is marginally longer (1.90) than the “Yes” line (1.83). While going for the “No” segment of the line provides a slightly bigger return, there isn’t much in it.
Indeed, wagering $20 on BTTS will provide a win of $16.60 and a total payout of $36.60.
Ideally, I think it is good to work out what the potential lineups will be and analyze the styles of both teams before making any definitive judgments.
These can be divided into team and individual props, but the latter are worth tapping into and provide some value.
For example, there is a tantalizing game to look forward to in the Bundesliga this weekend, with Borussia Dortmund and Bayern Munich colliding in a Der Klassiker showdown.
The first or anytime goalscorers may be rather enticing, or the multi-scorers market, as shown by bet365.
Given Kane’s form where he has scored 12 times in nine Bundesliga appearances for Bayern, it has been an explosive start for the former Tottenham hitman.
Kane has weighed in with 17 goals in all competitions this term, and it has been a seamless transition for him.
While there is a bit of a disparity between the odds offered for Kane to score a double or to claim another hat-trick, going bigger can pay off.
Yes, a $30 wager on odds of 15.00 to score a treble will secure an overall payout of $450, which will certainly keep a bettor’s bankroll ticking over.
Again, form counts for a lot, and the odds aren’t that outrageous, so for those bettors that aren’t too risk averse, this could be a smart tactic.
I think sometimes being that bit bolder and broadening your scope of bets with props such as these will give you more confidence when tackling other prop markets.
These can virtually be paired together in the same category. Futures or outrights involve bets that entail long-term predictions.
With any of the top leagues, such markets will be priced up months before a new season begins.
In terms of the outrights, the prices will change as the season unfolds, and this will reflect a team’s performance on the pitch.
Yes, bet365 comes into its own here, and that is reflected in terms of the odds for who will win the Premier League.
City may feel like the obvious choice, and off the back of a thumping 3-0 win over Manchester United, they are trading at 1.50.
That said, the short price may seem misleading given City hit their stride and tend to gallop clear of the chasing pack in the second half of the campaign.
Going for an outside pick like Tottenham, who is trading at 26.00, will provide more value. Putting on a $50 wager, for example, will give you a total payout of $1300.
With outrights, I think those who can hold their nerve and be patient will reap the rewards. I mean, whoever backed Leicester City to lift the title in 2016 will know what I’m talking about!
Underrated Soccer Betting Markets
Some bettors will prefer to gravitate toward certain soccer betting markets throughout the season, but there are a couple of niche ones that can yield value, as discussed below.
The total goals Over/Under market probably ought to merit more attention, as it is one of those lines that can be quite challenging.
Well, in much the same way as any other Over/Under line, a bettor will predict how many goals will be scored across 90 minutes.
So, a bet on the Over 2.5 goals section, for example, means that three goals or more must be scored to return a successful wager.
Each team has to be judged on its merit, but there is a divide between the type of odds advertised for Premier League and Championship matches.
The Championship is arguably more competitive than the Premier League.
With more matches played per season, it is notoriously tricky trying to get promoted, but like England’s top-flight, there are no “home bankers” in terms of getting three points.
In the case of Leicester vs Leeds United, both teams are targeting an immediate return to the Premier League, albeit at the time of writing, 14 points separate these two sides.
To a certain extent, the Championship Over/Under Goal odds are fairer or more realistic compared to the Premier League.
Yes, a $20 wager on there to be Over 2.5 goals at 1.70 will supply a win of $14 and a total payout of $34, and I think comparing prices between sites will bode well for bettors.
At first glance, spreads can seem like one of the more complicated soccer betting markets out there for bettors.
While they are more sophisticated, the purpose of them is to show the level of competition between two teams, and so operators will draw a line to highlight a theoretical advantage.
Spreads or handicaps will usually be set between 0.5 and 2 goals, and the team that has a negative line next to it, then they will be the favourite to fulfill the spread.
Learn all about betting on Asian handicaps in soccer here.
More often than not, if an operator is confident that a team will match the spread, then the level of odds between the two teams is different.
The gulf in odds can be alarming for two leagues, such as Serie A and Serie B.
While both sets of teams are flying high in Serie A and Serie B respectively, there seems to be an over-inflation of spreads for Serie A.
With Atlanta, they are valued at 3.15 for the -0.5 line which means they must win by one clear goal or more to cover the spread. A $20 wager on Atlanta would return a payout of $63. Whereas, Serie B leaders Parma are trading at just 1.63 to cover the -0.5 line against FC Suditorol Bolzanao, and they are 10 points clear of their opponents in the table.
Spreads can be quite intricate, but to get value, compare the odds and go for higher calibre teams at longer prices to achieve success.
Expert Recommends: Favourite Betting Markets to Bet On
To be an adept bettor requires a mixture of patience as well as being able to spot an opportunity to maximize profits.
With that in mind, I have identified a couple of markets that I have had a vast amount of experience in, and I have found them to be extremely useful.
I find parlays very appetizing, especially as I can incorporate multiple selections on one betting slip.
I have used them before on many given matchdays, and I have used them for the anytime scorer markets as well as game results.
For the game results, I have just viewed them as being more advanced 1×2 lines where I have assessed the fixtures and gone for four results rather than just back the favourite.
Betano, for example, is well-versed in parlays, and usually, I will input at least three picks. In my recent betslip, I have included four selections across various leagues.
The odds ended up paying at just over 35.00, and a $20 wager will mean I stand to pocket a return of $705.34.
Of course, all legs of the wager will need to come through for me to win, however, the beauty of parlays is that you can get some surprise results.
Newcastle to beat Arsenal or Borussia Dortmund to beat Bayern Munich as my choices might not represent seismic shocks, but I like to look at head-to-heads and other stats to influence my picks.
Borussia Dortmund goal trends this season
To a certain extent, the Correct Score market can be hard to gauge sometimes for many bettors, but I have found it to be a profitable line.
Although there is an element of luck involved, I’m the sort of person who likes to look for trends.
I will happily trawl through various strands of data to find the answer I’m looking for, but remember, the final result for a payout has to be spot on to get a return.
The Correct Score is perhaps one of the most under-appreciated soccer betting markets out there, but it is available at our recommended operators.
Below, I have used an example of an upcoming clash between AC Milan and Udinese.
The 8.50 line for a 1-1 tie appears to be appealing, and a $20 wager would pocket a total return of $170.
Having noted that three of the past five clashes between these two sides have ended in a 1-1 tie would suggest that this scoreline is a popular result.
I have had some luck with this line, but I would never just pick a correct score at random. No, it would be based on exploring patterns as well as exploring how each side might set up.
Betting Markets Variety at Different Sportsbooks
Generally speaking, most sportsbooks will have a similar variety of soccer betting markets available, and the sharpest ones out there will leave no stone unturned.
Yes, they will incorporate the lines discussed earlier in this guide, and the odds will be assembled well in advance of a match.
After all, bettors want greater choice when it comes to finding pre-match markets that best suit their needs.
For novice and experienced bettors, bet365 stands out as an operator, and the scope of markets available is impressive.
Beginners, for example, can extract value from the 1×2 scoreline or certain props before advancing on to more sophisticated lines.
Of course, each line comes with its own set of advantages and drawbacks, but bet365 usually posts competitive odds, and the site has a brilliant mobile app for iOS and Android users.
Not only that, but bet365 also has a live stream, so players can keep on top of the live action as it unfolds, and it is one of the finest sportsbooks in Canada.
What is the easiest market to bet on in soccer?
The easiest soccer betting market is the 1×2 line, and this revolves around wagering on one of three potential outcomes, which will entail either a home win, away win, or tie.
This type of line is best suited to novice bettors who are dipping their toes into the world of soccer betting for the first time.
What is the most popular bet in soccer?
Ultimately, this is down to personal choice. Nevertheless, futures or outrights can generate a lot of betting volume for sportsbooks.
With this kind of market, bettors can take into account the overall picture of how things are shaping up before the start of a new campaign.
Placing a wager on a team with long odds can certainly pay off if they end up winning their respective Championship, and they can be fun, albeit slightly stressful at times!
What is the safest soccer bet market?
It could be said that there is no such thing as a safe soccer betting market, as all of them have some danger attached.
That said, the 1×2 line is perhaps the safest one out there, especially if staking a small amount on a team deemed the strong favourite to win a game.
Nevertheless, remember that betting on a short-priced favourite won’t generate big returns, so bear that in mind before committing to said market.
Soccerbase – La Liga head-to-head record for Real Sociedad v Barcelona: https://www.soccerbase.com/teams/team.sd?team_id=2192&team2_id=224&teamTabs=h2h
Borussia Dortmund v Bayern Munich preview – https://www.bundesliga.com/en/bundesliga/news/bayern-munich-s-harry-kane-record-breaking-form-ahead-of-dortmund-klassiker-25201
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