Soccer Betting Strategy

Written by: Joseph Falchetti, Editor-in-Chief, Pro Sports Bettor and Casino Expert
Last updated:
5 minute read

Betting soccer or football as they call it in most of the world isn’t something that is of particular interest as an American. However, that is changing as the top European leagues, international contests, and competitions like the Champions League become more popular stateside. Major League Soccer (MLS) is also immensely more popular today since the league’s inaugural season in 1993.

Soccer certainly has its parallels to American sports when it comes to betting markets, but there are some key differences to understand between the two sports. We go over the different betting markets for soccer wagering, various soccer betting strategies and delve deeper into MLS markets. In this article, we will cover general strategies for betting soccer. These can apply to all leagues and events, but clearly, there are specific betting considerations for each football league.

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Soccer Betting Strategy – Being Contrarian

As we’ve mentioned several times across many different pages at Safest Betting Sites, betting on more underdogs and unders, rather than favorites and overs has shown to be historical profitable. This trend continues when it comes to soccer betting markets.

Many say that we love a good underdog story, and while that might be true, most don’t show it with their wallets. They’re much more likely to bet on a large favorite than an underdog. The betting public loses, so following their habits is not advisable.

Research the History and Trends When Peaking A Soccer Bets

The same can be said for soccer. Historical betting trends indicate that betting on the game to draw and away underdogs have been excellent wagers. Betting on these markets more than sides or favorites won’t assure you of profits, but more often than not you will find yourself with the best of it.

The reason for this is straightforward. A moderately priced favorite at home may seem too tempting for the casual bettor. They want a “sure thing”, and an underdog with long odds doesn’t fit that criterion. It’s s similar situation with betting the draw, compared to picking a side to win. Most recreational gamblers don’t want to root for a low scoring affair, or they only want to choose a side to root for in the match.

Similar to betting the under on an NFL football game, rooting for a draw isn’t exactly what soccer fans want to do when they sit down to watch a game. Remember, most bettors aren’t line shopping or actively handicapping the bets they make.

Watch for Soccer Line Movement

The majority of gamblers bet for fun. Of course, there is nothing wrong with that. However, these bettors often move the line and make certain markets more attractive. Few are eager to sit down a root for a draw while watching a match on their weekend off from work.

This doesn’t mean you should avoid betting favorites as a strategy, but looking for value in contrarian spots should be your first priority when taking a look at the betting board.

Asian Handicaps – Soccer Betting Strategy

We cover Asian Handicaps extensively, and we highly recommend readers click that link if they’re unfamiliar with the market. All things equal, they’re usually a better option that 1X2 betting markets. The biggest allure with Asian Handicaps is two betting options with equal probability of winning and the low bookmaker’s advantage.

These days, sportsbooks accepting Americans more often than not have Asian Handicap markets available. Every international bookmaker worth depositing at these days has Asian Handicaps for all the matches they offer.

At First, Narrow Your Focus

Jumping into soccer betting can be intimidating. There are hundreds of leagues to choose from across the world. These days, many online sportsbooks have odds on just about a domestic league in the world. Then there are competitions like the Champion’s League, and international, like the World Cup and Euro Cup.

When you’re learning the betting markets and the game, shift your focus into learning one league extensively. We recommend this be one of the premier leagues in Europe, such as the English Premier League, Spanish La Liga, or German Bundesliga.

Best Football League To Bet On

The EPL has the most popularity in the states and also shares the common tongue with Americans, so that is probably the easiest way to get into betting soccer. Once you get to know the managers, players, and tactics of one league, move onto another.

There are many punters across Europe that make most of their money following one or two leagues and learning them inside and out. Jumping in immediately and trying to bet everything under the sun is an excellent way to burn out quickly. Eventually, bettors should aim to follow 3-4 top leagues extensively, which would garner the majority of their betting action.

Consider Soccer Propositions

Soccer betting markets have more options than just about any other sport at some bookmakers. Props can have high juice, but in many cases, they are priced fairly and are much more vulnerable to sharps than sides and totals wagering.

Familiarity with the teams and their tactics, size of the pitch, and the weather should open up some betting opportunities with props. Many sharps have had success betting on the number of corners and cards issued in matches. If you know the game well, there’s likely an advantage to be found with most bookmakers when you look at the sheer number of markets available. They can’t keep track of every market like hawks and at some bookies, matches have 100 different betting markets.

Betting these markets may get you banned or limited, but that is likely going to happen eventually anyway if you’re a +EV bettor.

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About the Author

Joseph Falchetti

Joseph Falchetti

Editor-in-Chief, Pro Sports Bettor and Casino Expert

Joe is the author of the majority of sports betting pages on SBS and he serves as a gambling consultant to our content team. He's been mentioned on as a gaming analyst, and his articles have been linked by larger publications, such as the New York Times.

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