Soccer is a widely-bet sport worldwide, and there are a number of different ways to bet an individual game. There are also all sorts of competitions with varying rules, so it’s always good to be informed before placing a bet.
1) Betting the three-way moneyline
As the name entails, there are three options when betting the three-way moneyline:
- Team A wins
- Team B wins
- Team A and Team B draw
Three-way moneyline results are graded solely on 90 minutes of play, also known as ‘Regular Time’. This includes any injury or stoppage time added by the referee’s discretion, but does not include overtimes or penalty shootouts.
For example, Argentina played Germany in the 2014 World Cup Final and the closing three-way moneyline was:
- Germany +130
- Argentina +255
- Draw +230
Argentina and Germany were tied, 0-0, after 90 minutes of regulation, meaning the Draw +230 cashed. Betting on Germany (+130) or Argentina (+255) lost.
2) Betting the two-way moneyline
Another way of betting soccer is taking the two-way moneyline, which is offered in two simple ways: Double Chance and Draw No Bet. Both are graded solely on 90 minutes of regulation.
Double Chance means you’re betting on a specific team to win/draw, or either team to win. The three possible results are:
- Team A wins or draws
- Team B wins or draws
- Team A wins or Team B wins
Here’s an example:
- Germany/Draw -215
- Argentina/Draw -165
- Germany/Argentina -200
For each bet, you’re essentially just eliminating one of the results.
Draw No Bet is a wager that eliminates the prospect of the draw completely, so the only two potential results are:
- Team A wins
- Team B wins
Since the draw is taken out of the equation, these odds are usually inflated on the favorite.
- Germany -200
- Argentina +150
If the game ends in a draw in regulation, then all bets are refunded and considered “No Action”. This was the case in the 2014 World Cup Final since the game was tied after 90 minutes.
3) Betting goal lines (aka spreads)
Similar to betting the Two-Way Moneyline, the Goal Line is a type of wager that eliminates at least one outcome. Goal Lines are similar to Puck Lines in hockey and Point Spreads in football or basketball.
A Goal Line is typically -0.5 goals in soccer, but for games with big favorites, the Goal Line may be higher like -1.5 or -2.5.
Goal Line odds for a World Cup match between Argentina and Iran look like this:
- Argentina -2.5 goals (+110)
- Iran +2.5 goals (-120)
When dealing with goal lines or spreads, there’s always juice associated, just like an NFL spread or NBA spread.
If you bet on Argentina -2.5 goals, then to win the bet they must win by three goals or more. It you bet on Iran +2.5 goals, that means to win the bet Iran can win, draw or lose by one or two goals.
4) Betting totals
Totals in soccer work much differently than they do in other sports and can be shown in multiples of .25 goals. Since scoring is minimal compared to other sports, bookmakers will often set a total of 2.25 or 2.75.
For example, if you bet on the Over 2.25 goals, half your bet is placed on “Over 2” and the other half of your bet is placed on “Over 2.5”.
If the game ends, 1-1, then you lose your bet on Over 2.5, and are refunded your bet on Over 2. If the game ends with three goals or more, you would win both your bets.
Another example is if you bet on Under 2.75 goals. Half of your bet is placed on Under 2.5 goals and the other half of the bet is on Under 3 goals. If the game lands on three, you’d lose half your bet (Under 2.5) and refunded the other half (Under 3).