Soccer is the most popular sport in the world, attracting millions of supporters from around the world. Whether it be matches from the English Premier League, UEFA Champions League or domestic Super League, football has also grown hugely in India over recent times, meaning that it comes as little surprise that the sport also attracts a significant amount of interest when it comes to betting.
For those looking to bet on their favourite teams and players, this guide will deliver everything that there is to know about such markets, with our experts discussing everything from odds to competitions. Let’s start by taking a look at exactly what soccer is.
What is Soccer?
Soccer is played by teams around the world, with a match consisting of two groups of 11 players, along with a number of substitutes. Matches last for 90 minutes at a competitive level, with a referee remaining on the pitch at all times in order to deal with any issues such as foul play or misconduct. The ultimate aim for teams is to score a goal in the opponents net, with the team scoring the most amount of goals during the 90 minutes being declared the winner.
How to Bet on Soccer
Due to it now being one of the most popular sports in India, there are a number of different ways in which punters can bet on soccer. Whether it be betting on an individual match or an entire competition, the following bet types are the most commonly utilised by customers today:
Perhaps the most simplistic form of betting on soccer is to back a particular result, whether it be a home win, draw or away win. This differs from money line betting due to the fact that a draw is available, unlike sports such as tennis and basketball.
When there is a clear favourite surrounding a particular match, bookmakers will often introduce a handicap in order to make up for the perceived difference in quality between the two teams. The favourites will often have to overcome a negative handicap in order for bets to be successful, while the underdogs are provided with some form of goal advantage, making things more even.
Double Chance Bets
Customers also have the opportunity to bet on double chance markets, which include a home win or draw, Team 1 or Team 2 to win or away win or draw. However, it is worth noting that such markets do not offer the most attractive of odds.
Instead of betting on the winner of a match, punters here bet on the total number of goals that will be scored during the 90 minutes. This is also regularly known as over/under, with bookmakers offering a range of options in this area, whether it be betting on there being under 2.5 goals or over 5.5.
This form of betting is hugely popular when it comes to soccer, partly due to the sheer volume of matches that take place on a weekly basis throughout the season. Backing multiple teams or outcomes on one bet slip is a surefire method to increase the odds, with some substantial rewards being made possible as a result.
Specials/ Prop Bets
Those looking for something a little different can take advantage of specials markets, whether it be to bet on the first goalscorer, number of corners or a red card to be brandished.
Betting on Soccer: Understanding the Rules
Wagering on soccer matches may appear to be relatively simple, with the rules being well-known to many, however it is important to ensure that you fully understand them before parting with your hard-earned money. While betting rules surrounding soccer will differ between bookmakers, the following are fairly standard across the board:
- All bets are settled on the basis of the total length of 90 minutes (unless otherwise is mentioned)
- Bets that do not meet minimum requirements are considered as ‘void’.
- In case of a match postponed, venue changed, abandoned etc., the bets will be considered ‘void’.
Soccer Betting Markets
The number of betting markets surrounding soccer are increasing all of the time, while the total amount will vary between betting sites. The best betting sites for soccer will offer a range of markets, along with a variety of additional features. However, the standout markets for soccer include the following:
The most popular market when it comes to soccer matches is to simply bet on the winning team, with this form of wager also available to be included in combination bets. There is often a significant difference between the odds offered on the favourite and the underdog, while backing a draw is always an attractive proposition in terms of the potential winnings.
While being easier than with sports such as tennis and basketball, betting on the correct score in a soccer match is still difficult. Whether you fancy a narrow 1-0 home win or an unlikely 4-1 outcome, an increasing number of bookmakers offer this option when it comes to high-profile matches.
Whether an in-form striker is expected to maintain his good run of form in front of goal or punters fancy an unlikely defender to open the scoring, first goalscorer markets have long been hugely popular.
Half Time/ Full Time
Customers are also available to bet on which team will be leading at both half-time and full-time, which is another good option when the odds on one team to win are not that appealing.
Finally, punters can bet upon the total number of goals that will be scored during a match, also known as over/under markets.
Major Soccer Events
Soccer takes place throughout the year from leagues and competitions from around the world, however there are certainly some events that stand out from the crowd. The profile of a match is also likely to determine the number of markets that are available to bet upon, with the following tournaments being the most popular:
FIFA World Cup
Taking place every for years, the FIFA World Cup is the pinnacle of the international game. Nations including Brazil, Germany and Spain have all been successful over the years, with the next tournament taking place in Qatar in 2022.
The Summer Olympics are also held every four years, with soccer having become hugely popular here too. Competing nations generally make use of younger players, along with a handful of more experienced players. This is often an unpredictable competition, with the likes of Mexico and Cameroon having won since the turn of the millennium.
The Confederations Cup is made up of nations who have previously won other tournaments, including the World Cup and Copa America.
Whether it be the English Premier League, German Bundesliga or Spanish La Liga, action from Europe’s top divisions has long attracted fans in India, with the skill and excitement of such matches also making for excellent betting options.
UEFA Champions League
Seen as the pinnacle for club teams in Europe, the UEFA Champions League is one of the most competitive competitions in the world, with the likes of Real Madrid, Barcelona and Manchester United having all won more than once over the years.
Spanish giants Barcelona have attracted fans across the globe thanks to their attacking style of play, while Lionel Messi is widely regarded as the best player in the world. Based at the famous Camp Nou Stadium, Barcelona are the reigning Spanish champions.
Having won the Champions League for the last three years, Real Madrid are undoubtedly one of the biggest clubs in the world. With Zinedine Zidane having returned as manager, fans in Madrid will be hoping that they can return to their best following the departure of Cristiano Ronaldo.
The arrival of Cristiano Ronaldo in Turin has only enhanced Juventus’ reputation, with the “Old Lady” having dominated Italian football over recent times.
Manchester United FC
Despite having not been the same team since the retirement of Sir Alex Ferguson, Manchester United remain one of the best-supported teams in the world, with an exciting group of youngsters hoping to return them to the top of the English game.
Soccer Betting Tips
For those looking to bet on football matches, it is important to take on board the following tips, which will help to maximise winnings and minimise losses.
Set a Limit
No matter how sure you are of a particular bet coming through, it is important to stick to a set budget when it comes to wagering on your favourite teams and players. As well as this, do not place another bet immediately after seeing a bet fall through, as this will potentially only make matters worse.
Set Aside Personal Favourites
While the majority of punters are likely to favour a particular team, it is important to put such preferences aside when betting on soccer. Bet on the team in which you believe will win based on logic and research, casting aside any personal feelings.
With a huge amount of information being available online surrounding upcoming soccer matches, it has never been easier to find out useful information regarding the teams involved. Whether it be looking at their previous meetings, available players or recent form, be sure to carry out the necessary research before backing your favourite.
Go for Online Betting
For gaining better odds, more wagers, larger sports markets, extensive coverage of leagues and competitions, better bonuses and rewards etc., go for online sportsbooks rather than the land-based ones.
Look around for Better Odds
There is nothing to say that customers must stick to one particular betting site, with punters being allowed to shop around when it comes to finding the best odds.
Soccer Betting FAQ’s
Q: Where can I bet on soccer?
A: Almost every online bookmaker offers betting on soccer. To ensure that you are going for a renowned site with a good reputation, you can check out our recommended online sportsbooks that feature soccer.
Q: What happens when a bet is ‘void’?
A: All the placed wagers are returned to the bettors.