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How to Bet on Soccer

We all like things our own way. After all, it’s nice for things to be custom made, just for us. Everyone from car manufacturers to fast food restaurants have capitalized on our desire to put our own little personal touch on the things we buy. Hell, even Frank Sinatra sang about doing things his way. It is natural for many of us to want our own style, taste, or type of leather on our car seats. That has never been disputed by anyone.

When it comes to betting on soccer, there are so many markets out there. Yes, the FIFA World Cup only comes around once every four years, but there is also the UEFA Champions Leagues, the English Premier League, La Liga, Serie A, and a number of smaller leagues everywhere from India to Nigeria. This gives us a great chance to pick and choose from hundreds of games that are happening every single day.

Options are a good thing. Even though we have so much choice, the basic principle still applies – regardless of whether you are wagering on the Copa Libertadores final or on a small league game in Georgia – smart betting is the way forward. Even if the thought of not doing things your way is hard to fathom, there is always more to learn about betting on soccer from others who have been doing it for years.

Is there a right way to bet on soccer? Yes, there is. Depending on who you ask, there are probably hundreds of “right ways” to wager on the world’s most popular game. At the end of the day, the right way is the one that works for you.

Below, I will take you through the most important things to consider when betting on soccer, including a look at some hints and tips on how to develop the right strategy for your bets.

Find the Right Betting Sites

Before you even dream of choosing a team in the top of the table clash between Finland’s best two teams, you need to find a betting site. Now, there is a lot more to choosing the right betting site than getting a sweet bonus. You will often find that there are many online betting sites out there that believe a bonus is more important than a solid, high-quality site with good odds and nice markets. It is not, so don’t be fooled.

The most important thing you need from a betting website is assurances that it is safe. You can have the greatest odds, incredible markets, and bonuses to make your eyes water, but if you don’t get paid, what’s the point? A safe site should always have information relating to licenses and regulation compliance, and will almost always have a favorable reputation to back it up.

A strong and safe site is a must for anyone thinking of betting on soccer. In order to have fun, you need to feel safe and secure that the site you are doing business with is legitimate. Additionally, you should be comfortable using the site and navigating around it. Customer support should be strong, too, just in case you need help or assistance at any point. These things certainly outweigh an attractive looking bonus, that’s for certain.

Of course, there are other things you need in a strong betting site. You want the best value you can get and this is where good odds come in. Sometimes, you might find that one site’s soccer odds might not be as strong as those of their competitor. You are always free to shop around when betting, so why not exercise this right?

Compare Odds

If you want the best odds you can get, you will need to do more than take a betting site’s word for it. By comparing odds, you figure out who is the strongest betting site when it comes to soccer. While odds will rarely differ significantly, you might be surprised at how much of a difference you can find if you shop around. These days, things are made even easier for bettors with the presence of so many odds comparison sites.

Sometimes, a betting site will have better odds for certain games but shorter odds for others. A site will not always consistently be the best so it pays to frequently compare odds before you place your bets. Even a small difference can go a long way in the long run.

Compare Markets

Now, depending on the betting site, you should have various games and leagues to choose from when it comes to your bets. Almost every betting site worth its salt will have numerous fixtures on the biggest games and tournaments. The FIFA World Cup, for example, is just about as big as it gets in soccer and betting sites will cover every single game. If you have a taste for obscure leagues, such as the Korean K-League, you might find some bookmakers don’t cover them.

It is always a good idea to compare the markets of different betting sites to find the ones that will cater to your needs. Some bookmakers will offer a wider array of bets on games, too, so never be afraid to find out what is on offer.

One of the greatest things about betting on soccer is all the different types of bets that you can place on a game, league, or tournament. A huge part of betting the right way is understanding the various types of bets on offer.

Learn About the Various Types of Bets

If you’re looking for a sport to bet on where there will be tons of bets at your disposal, soccer will be right up your street. From basic bets to props, futures to in-play opportunities, you are bound to find a wide array of markets that will keep you happy. Given the choice, it can be tempting to try your hand at different bets. In order to ensure that you are not just wasting money, learning about these bets before wagering on them is the smart move here.

For the most part, soccer bets are fairly self-explanatory. In soccer, there are three possible outcomes of each game: a home win, an away win, or a draw (tie). This makes it pretty easy to understand bets in soccer, as the majority of markets for a game are based on these three outcomes. However, some of the more complicated bets will take a little more time to understand compared with a simple punt on Manchester City beating Bayern Munich, for example.

The Most Common Soccer Bets

A solid sportsbook will have a number of options for you when it comes to markets. The popular bets will be the ones that are advertised first and are typically located towards the top of the page.

The most common soccer bets include:

Full-time Result – This is a bet on the moneyline. In order to win this bet, simply select the team you believe will win. If you don’t believe either team will win, you can opt for the draw.

First Goalscorer – Another very easy bet. Simply select the player you believe will score the first goal in the game.

Half Time/Full Time – This is one bet on two different outcomes. If you believe Manchester City will be losing at half time only to come back and beat Bayern Munich at full-time, your bet will be Bayern/Manchester City. If you believe the game will be tied at half-time with Bayern triumphing at full-time, your bet will be Draw/Bayern Munich.

Parlays – Parlay bets, if you are not already aware of them, are bets with two or more selections.  You can really mix these up in soccer, with many opportunities available to you. A common parlay bet would be predictions on three games on a weekend, such as Manchester City to beat Liverpool, Bayern Munich to beat Borussia Dortmund, and Celtic to beat Rangers.

Over/Under Bets – Many bookmakers offer several Over/Under bets. The most common, by far, is the number of goals scored in a game. For example, bookmakers may believe that there will be 5 goals scored in the game. They will almost always add half a goal to the odds, which takes away the chance of a tie.

For example:

Manchester City vs. Bayern Munich – Over 5.5 Goals +110/Under 5.5 Goals +110

Asian Handicap

Depending on your experience and preferences, you might prefer some of the more advanced types of bets out there. The one type of bet that I strongly encourage every soccer betting enthusiast to try is the Asian Handicap bet. This type of bet removes the possibility of a tie outcome, making it a truly excellent way to wager on soccer.

You can check out a detailed breakdown of Asian Handicap betting here.

Watch More Soccer

It is that simple. If you want to understand anything in life, paying attention to it and dissecting everything there is to know about it are the best ways to get there. There is a chance that you are reading this and are already a soccer nut. If that is the case, good for you! If not, then you can’t really expect to make the right choices without having a frame of reference, or experience of watching a soccer game play out.

If you are a complete novice when it comes to the sport, even a foundational understanding of soccer will help you make the right bets. You should have as much information at your disposal before you even think of placing bets for a lot of money. Try watching as much soccer as you can, even if it is clips of old games online. Get to know how the game works, even at a basic level.

Now, anything can happen in sports and soccer is no exception. Sometimes, however, teams do tend to follow patterns. For example, some teams start off very well before capitulating as a game goes on, maybe because the pressure of holding a lead is too much. Other teams will play for the full 90 minutes, meaning that they always have a chance of turning the game around (I’ll cover more of this in the strategy section, below).

Basically, the more soccer you watch the better an understanding of the sport you will have. The more understanding of soccer you possess makes for a better chance of you betting the right way. Cutting out mistakes or simply opting to go for a team based on a hunch or an exotic name is not the right way to bet. If you want consistency and results, be smart and learn more about the sport.

Use a Soccer Betting Strategy

A sound betting strategy can help you make the right choices when it comes to your bets. Simply put, a betting strategy should be the best approach you have to minimize your chances of losing. There is no surefire way to win when it comes to betting on soccer, as if there was, bookmakers would soon go out of business. However, by using statistics and betting smart, you stand a better chance of walking away with a profit over time.

There are many different aspects of soccer betting systems that you can use as part of your greater strategy. You can adopt several points and modify them to your liking, too. Your own strategy should consist of things that you believe to be helpful to your chances of becoming successful at soccer betting and can be tweaked as you see fit.

Let’s take a look at some simple betting strategy tips, below:

Does the Game Matter?

I believe that this is one of the most obvious – yet perhaps the most overlooked – factors for a soccer bettor to consider. Does the game matter (i.e is there something at stake) or is it simply a friendly (exhibition match)? Naturally, a game with something riding on the line (a FIFA World Cup quarter-final, an EPL league game etc) will rouse the players up more in comparison to a game where there is nothing really to play for.

I would suggest never betting on friendly games, as the results can be a little all over the place. In addition to players often not trying their best, team lineups can often be weaker as managers will try to blood young players or give other players a chance to earn a cap (international appearance). Players with nothing to motivate themselves with can understandably underperform. This is never something you should risk your money on.

Observe the Stats

Statistics are a bookmaker’s friend. As such, they should also be your friend. Bookmakers use stats in order to produce the odds they offer to gamblers. When you place a bet on soccer, you are essentially trying to predict the outcome of a game. By using stats, you can build up a picture of what has happened on every occasion two teams have met in the past.

In soccer, statistics can also give you an idea of any trends that might occur when two teams meet. In some circumstances, you might find that a particular fixture is almost always high scoring or low scoring. Stats will also show if a team tends to score more goals at the beginning of the season, or if they become more attack-minded away from home. The principle here is that history has a habit of repeating itself in sport and you could profit from doing your homework.

Home and Away Form

In soccer, there are those teams that play like Brazil in the 1970s at home only to look like a completely different team away from home. In some cases, playing in front of home fans is like playing with 12 players and visiting teams seem to get affected by the atmosphere. Sometimes, a team can just have a great run of form at home and create a fortress-type reputation at their own stadium that other teams struggle with.

Regardless of the reasons for some teams performing better at home – or vice versa – it does tend to happen a lot. The same principle applies to international games, you might be happy to learn. A study conducted by Jim Albert and Ruud H. Koning on 9,000 international matches played between 1993 and 2004 showed that home teams won 50.5% of games, with 24.5% going to the home team and 25% ending in a draw.

Avoid Betting on a Game in Advance

Unlike futures bets – where you predict a team to win a season, for example – a bet on a game is a one-off. It is much different to picking a team to win the league or the World Cup, as there will be more than one game involved. When wagering on a team to win a single game, you should consider waiting as close to kickoff as possible. The reasons for doing so are quite simple.

The most important thing to consider here is injuries. If a team is weakened by the loss of a Lionel Messi, Cristiano Ronaldo, or Eden Hazard, their chances will also suffer as a result. Additionally, waiting until you have all the information on a team’s lineup may prevent you from betting a lot of money only to find out that the manager has fielded a weakened team in order to rest players for a key clash in Europe.

Check the Weather

Yes, the weather can have a huge effect on the outcome of a match, in many ways. For example, a UEFA Champion’s League game played between an English team and a Spanish team in winter can favor the former, if it is raining heavily. This is due to the English team being used to playing in these conditions while a team from Spain may not have as much experience on a wet pitch.

The weather can affect lower league games even more, however. This is because heavy rain can waterlog a pitch, making it more difficult to pass the ball. As teams in lower leagues – or where there is not as much money – will not have the technology or quality of a pitch to withstand these conditions. As such, it can lead to a lottery where the most physical team can use their advantage in strength to gain the upper hand.

Always Consider Form

As the old soccer axiom goes, “form is temporary, class is permanent.” This is absolutely no use to someone who has just lost out on hundreds of dollars due to an absence of the latter, however. Yes, performances can differ from week to week, but form is something that should always be studied before betting on a game. More importantly, the form of individual players should be looked at when betting on Scorecast bets, for example.

These days, you can find detailed breakdowns of a team’s form on many betting sites. A simple Google search will also yield results that you can use in order to get a picture of how a team or certain players are performing. A star striker in red-hot form is something to pay attention to, as is a goalkeeper suffering a major knock in confidence. A team punching above their weight heading into a key clash may also earn you a nice few dollars for your efforts.

There are many “betting experts” out there that will insist on there being one way to do things. According to these guys, the right way is their way. While others will tend to disagree with adopting someone’s attitudes and habits when it comes to betting, it is always important to keep an open mind. By doing so, you might learn a couple of things along the way to help you become more successful when betting on soccer.

Is there a right way to bet on soccer? There are certainly things to do to avoid making unnecessary mistakes. Betting smart is as close to a universal right way to bet, but what works for one person will lead to another becoming disinterested and uninspired. When it comes to a betting strategy, for example, you can adopt some things and tailor them into your own personal system for betting on soccer.

The great thing about betting these days is the choice that we have as punters. For the most part, we get to say when we bet, how we bet, and what we bet on. With trial and error, good judgment, and smart betting practices, we can create our own way of betting on soccer. It is a learning curve, and we all need to start somewhere, even if our goals are pretty big.

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