Soccer Betting Sites
As a soccer fan in the US, you may be in the minority but globally you are in the majority.
However, this can have it's advantages when it comes to betting on soccer in the US, as it has been the European and Asian sports betting markets that have led the way over the past two decades. Until last year online sports betting had been banned in the US, which meant that sportsbooks had focused their efforts on soccer over football, baseball, basketball or ice hockey. Because of this, when it comes specifically to online betting, soccer, along with horse racing, provides the widest and most sophisticated level of betting.
Now, the US market has opened up, American punters will be able to get in on the fun. Not only will you be able to enjoy a huge global selection of bets on the European, Asian, African, Latin American and Australasian soccer but also the MLS, the North American league that has been exponentially growing in popularity.
Homegrown talents mixed with an increasing number of big stars from across the pond, such as Ibrahimovic and Rooney, have made the MLS one of the most exciting leagues to watch and bet on.
Big names have been moving to the MLS in recent years.
How to bet on Soccer
Betting on soccer requires both an in-depth knowledge of the sport, but also a good understanding of all the types of bets available to you.
Soccer is generally not a high scoring sport, which means that the best value bets are not always found as a moneyline bet.
The sportsbooks, especially the international ones, will have decades of experience with soccer betting and will have developed many of the bet variants with soccer in mind. They also often use the same odds suppliers. These suppliers, driven by global demand, will often focus their efforts on soccer.
This means that it can be hard to find value for the big games. At bettingscanner.com we love to bet on soccer, especially our European staff members, but we don’t often place a moneyline bet, at least not in a big European Champions League game or a World Cup match. These matches will have been cross-analysed by countless algorithms and experts and beating the sportsbook in the long run with these bets would be hard.
Instead, we use a lot of Asian handicaps, a betting form explained below, to find the best odds. We also like to bet on matches that don’t attract a huge global audience but are still big enough for the sportsbook to offer a wide selection of bets and odds for. Again, this is where fans of the MLS are in luck. Major League Soccer hits that sweet spot. With the MLS you can expect the full range of bets available to you, that will include, Asian handicaps, corners, cards etc but at odds that still offer some real value.
Soccer betting moneylines explained
Moneylines are the simplest form of betting and simply require you to back a team to win a soccer match.
The favourite will be marked with the minus symbol (-) and the underdog will be marked with the symbol (+). If the teams are considered to have an equal chance of winning, both teams will be assigned the minus symbol. After this symbol, your sportsbook will provide you with the juice, or odds.
The simplest way to think about a positive moneyline bet is to think of it as the amount you will win if you stake $100. A minus moneyline, on the other hand, will be the amount you need to stake to win £100.
Let’s break it down in this example:
Let’s say LAFC will travel across town to the Dignity Health Sports Park for the famous ‘El Tráfico’.
LAFC are currently leading the Western Conference and are the favourites to win the match.
LAFC to win has a moneyline of -200 and LA Galaxy to win has a moneyline of +150.
Ibrahimovic is just back from injury and has ramped up the fighting talk. After looking through their head to head you can see that Galaxy usually comes out on top. You think there is some value in backing Galaxy as an underdog.
You put $50 down on Galaxy as you’re feeling confident
There are two potential outcomes for your bet:
- LA Galaxy win. You receive your $50 wager back and $75 in profit ($125 total).
- The game ends in a draw or LAFC win. You lose.
If you are new to reading moneylines then we suggest you take a step back and think about how they work. If math is not your thing, then this could seem a little tedious but short term pain for long term gain. It’s important to understand the value of the juice, so we suggest buckling down and reading the following formulas.
Let’s use the same example as above where you place a $50 wager at moneyline odds of +150
To calculate this you can use the following formula:
- Winnings = (your stake x plus moneyline odds) /100
- Winnings = ($50 x 150) /100
- Winnings = 7500 / 100
- Winnings = $75
Now let’s say you went with the favourites, LAFC, and they won. How much would you win then?
To calculate this you can use the following formula:
- Winnings = (your stake / minus moneyline odds) x 100
- Winnings = (50 / 200) x 100
- Winnings = (0.25) x100
- Winnings = $25
Soccer draw no bet explained
As you will see when we explain Asian handicaps, the idea of removing a draw from the outcome of a game is an attractive prospect for experienced bettors.
With a moneyline bet, there are three potential outcomes to the game but only two potetnial outcomes for your bet.
Two of the match outcomes will result in you losing your wager and only one in you winning. However, with a ‘draw no bet’ you’ll get your wager back if the match ends as a draw.
Let’s use the following example:
Barcelona are hosting Real Madrid in La Liga. You decide that Barcelona, in their current form and at home should win this match but you still think this will be a close one.
In a situation like this, you should consider a draw no bet. Your sportsbook is offering:
- Barcelona DNB + 120
- Real Madrid DNB - 200
Here you can see that the value in betting on the favourite is lower than it would be if you were to bet on a moneyline. In effect, you are reducing your potential winnings by insuring yourself against a draw.
You place a $50 bet on Barcelona to win with a DNB
This bet could have three potential outcomes:
- Barcelona win. You get your $50 wager back and $60 in winnings. $110 in total.
- The match ends as a draw. You get your $50 wager back.
- Real Madrid win. You lose.
Soccer points spread betting explained
Congratulations, if you are learning about points spread betting then you’ve reached the next level of sports betting!
This form of betting, which began in the Asian betting markets, took soccer betting by storm almost a decade ago. The concept simply gives a team a goal handicap at the beginning of the match.
This form of betting can be useful if one team is a strong favorite and is expected to win by more than one goal.
When this is the case, the value in an outright winner bet won’t bring you that much in return.
Let’s look at the following example from the Premier League:
Man City are playing Newcastle at home. They are clear favourites for the game. De Bruyne, Aguero and Sterling have been on fire recently and you think they’ll thrash Newcastle on game day. The juice for a Man City win doesn’t bring you that much value. This is the perfect occasion for a points spread.
Your sportsbook is offering -100 Man City for a -1.5 points spread
The best way to understand this concept is to think of Man City starting the match with -1.5 goals whilst Newcastle start with 0 goals. This means that Man City need to win by two goals or more, for this to count as a win.
You place a $10 bet on Man City -1.5 goals.
There can be two potential outcomes to this bet:
- Man City win by two goals or more. You get your $10 wager back + $10 in winnings. Total $20.
- Man City win by one goal, the math ends as a draw or Newcastle win. Your Sportsbook wins.
Point Spreads are not always available. If it is a big match, like the Champions League final, a World Cup game or something similar, you are almost guaranteed that point spreads will be offered. Otherwise, it will depend on your sportsbook. You can bank on the majority of reputable sportsbooks offering points spread on most games.
A points spread could be a good idea if you are betting on Man City during the 2019/2020 Premier League season
Soccer totals betting explained
This form of betting could be a good option if you believe a certain match will be high scoring or low scoring. It doesn't matter who wins this match, as you are betting on the total amount of goals scored by both teams.
Most sportsbooks will offer this form of bet, especially for the big soccer games.
However, remember you’ll be up against computer algorithms, who will have thoroughly analysed the goalscoring records of both teams. This means that you might not always find real value in the juice offered by your sportsbook. For example, if two teams who have a terrible defensive record play each other, the odds offered on an over 2.5 goals, for example, won’t be of great value.
Here is an example:
Let’s say Philadelphia Union are playing LA Galaxy. You have analysed their head to head records and both teams' recent performances. It’s a tough game to call, but you do think it will be a high scoring game.
Your sportsbook is offering odds of +200 on over 4.5 goals. The juice looks good, but it is unusual for a match to produce five goals or more. In the MLS there is an average of 3.22 goals per game.
You are still confident, so you place a $30 wager on over 4.5 goals.
This means there could be two potential outcomes:
- There are five goals or more in the match. You get your $30 wager back plus $60 profit. $90 in total.
- There are less than five goals in the match. You lose.
There is an additional twist to the over/under bet and that is the existence of quarter over/under bets.
This type of bet is in effect two bets in one. Let us explain:
If you were to place a bet on over 3.75 goals using the same game as above, you would be betting on both over 3.5 goals and 4 goals. This can end in three outcomes:
- The match ends in five goals or more then you win.
- The match ends in 4 goals, half your bet wins and the other half will be refunded.
- The match ends in three goals or less. Your sportsbook wins.
Best Sportsbooks for betting on the MLS
The MLS is growing in popularity around the whole globe and with the recent changes in US betting legislation, betting on the league looks likely to rapidly increase. Until this year, the majority of bets on the MLS have come from Europe or Asia, where online betting has been legal for some time.
As expected most of the soccer bets in Europe have focused on the major European leagues, The Champions League and the international tournaments. Despite this, the MLS, with a slightly more gung-ho, unpredictable vibe has tempted a number of experienced bettors to become involved. The fact that MLS games are on at a different time, proved convenient for bettors who like to bet at all hours of the day.
Now though, what was a popular fringe sport to bet on, looks to become a staple part of the American soccer fans season. As the US states open up their restrictions on online betting, expect a surge in the variety and quality of MLS betting on offer.