Many bettors will be trying their hand at soccer for the first time next week when the World Cup kicks off because it will be the first time that legalized sports betting will be widely available in the United States. Because of this, soccer is widely regarded as the most popular sporting event on the planet.
Let’s go over the fundamentals first, because the betting options and terminology for soccer are a little bit different than they are for most American sports. After that, we’ll look at a few specifics for the World Cup event itself.
Three-way: This provides odds on (yup, you guessed it) the three possible outcomes: a win for either team, or a tie between the two teams. When teams are evenly matched, you may find that all three of your choices offer a plus-money payout.
For instance, the current odds for the game between the United States and Wales have the United States at +160 to win, Wales at +195 to win, and the draw at +195. Processing three options can take a little bit of time for people who are used to two-way lines, but you’ll get the hang of it pretty quickly.
This line is a spread, just like you’ll find in the National Football League or the National Hockey League, which is a more relevant point of reference. Because there aren’t that many goals in a game of soccer, you won’t typically come across -110 types of goal lines.
Rather than that, the lines are typically tilted in one direction or the other. In the match between the United States and Wales, for instance, the United States is currently favored by a half goal, but the price is +145, whereas the price for Wales +0.5 is -185 because a bet on Wales would result in either a win or a draw for the bettor. There are bound to be matches with larger point spreads than others, such as Argentina’s match against Saudi Arabia, in which they are getting -180 to lay 1.5 goals.
Asian handicap: Some sportsbooks present betting lines in quarter-goal increments, which can be perplexing to first-time soccer bettors because they don’t typically see teams favored by 0.25 goals or points or anything else. Asian handicap betting is also known as “handicap betting.”
If you see a line that includes 0.25 or 0.75, it indicates that you can split your bet between the two half-goal lines that are closest to you. Imagine that you are placing a half bet on each of the two different lines. An illustration is the most straightforward method of explanation
If you place a bet of $10 at even money on Argentina -1.75 goals to win against Saudi Arabia, then you are effectively placing two bets of $5 each on Argentina, one at -2 goals and one at -1.5 goals. If Argentina wins by a margin of three goals or more, you win the full ten dollars. If Argentina wins by exactly two goals, you win $5 from the -1.5 part of your bet, and the other $5 is a push at -2, so you come out $5 ahead overall.
If Argentina wins by more than two goals, the bet is a push. In the event that Argentina wins by a margin of exactly one goal, draws, or loses, you will lose the entire bet. When you are undecided about which regular line to take, Asian handicaps can provide you with a good middle option with odds that fall somewhere in the middle.
This is pretty straightforward; the only difference is that the numbers are lower than in most sports. Over/under wagers typically begin with a starting point of 2.5 goals, and the default betting line tilts slightly toward the over. As a point of reference, there have been 2.8 goals scored per game on average in the Premier League over the past two seasons. Alternate lines are typically available for anywhere from 0.5 goals to at least 4.5 goals, and all of these lines are juiced accordingly. The default line for higher-scoring teams is typically 3.5 goals. You can also place over/under bets on the individual teams, the halves of the game, and combinations of the two. These bets are available to you.
To have goals scored by both teams (yes or no): You are placing a wager on either the outcome that there will be at least one goal scored by each team or that there will not be a goal scored by any of the teams. It’s similar to betting on whether the total will go over or under, but you need a more accurate prediction. And don’t let your own goals cloud your judgment. You are placing a bet on each of the teams to score a goal in their respective scoring column, and it doesn’t matter how the ball ends up in the net.
Draw no bet is an option that is based on the three-way result. If you choose this option, you are taking one team to win the match, and if the match ends in a draw, you will receive a refund on your bet. Therefore, the United States of America has a +160 chance of beating Wales, while the draw no bet line sits at -135 odds.
In exchange for a push in the event that the game ends in a draw, you will obviously win less money if the United States wins. There are a few other variations of the no bet play, but the draw no bet is the one that is most frequently seen.
You are getting two sides of the three-way line, usually one team to win or draw, which is the same as playing a team +0.5 goals. This bet goes by a few different names (like Team and X), but the play is ultimately the same: you are getting two sides of the three-way line, usually one team to win or draw.
There are undoubtedly dozens more markets, the vast majority of which are analogous to those that can be found in other sports. Goals, shots, corners, and cards are some of the more common options for teams and games. There are markets for a variety of different outcomes, including which team will score first, when the first goal will be scored, and many more. Individual players also have options to choose from, and the possible permutations of all of these factors are virtually limitless.
I may have overlooked the most important point here. This article will teach you one thing, and that is how to place bets during the knockout stage of the tournament. All of the bets mentioned above are only for the first ninety minutes plus any stoppage time that may occur during an elimination game. This means that bets are graded at the end of regulation, regardless of what occurs in extra time or penalties, which occur if a knockout game is tied after regulation. Extra time and penalties are both played if a game finishes tied after regulation.
This rule is generally applied to all bets placed on teams and individuals by most books. Therefore, if you bet on Germany to win the World Cup final against Argentina in 2014, it is likely that you did not win that bet, given that Germany needed extra time to win 1-0. And if you had a wager on Mario Gotze scoring at any time, you probably didn’t cash that ticket when he scored the game-winning goal because it was a penalty kick.
This is a mistake that almost everyone who has ever bet on soccer, including myself, has made at some point. It can cause confusion when cashing a ticket or checking an account, as well as misplaced emotions during extra time. Always make sure you are familiar with the rules of the book.
Having said all of that, you are free to place a wager on which team will proceed to the subsequent round, regardless of whether or not extra time or penalties will be required. The names given to these choices typically include phrases such as “to advance” or “to qualify,” and, in the event of a final, “to lift the trophy.” You will also find distinct options for specific scenarios, such as advancing on penalties, winning in extra time, and other similar outcomes.
World Cup Predictions for Each Group
Bets on individual games are available, but tournaments like the World Cup also provide a wealth of futures betting opportunities. The two most straightforward paths for a team to take in the group stage are either to emerge victorious and claim first place or to place among the top two teams and move on to the knockout stage. Due to the fact that soccer is a high-variance sport in which one goal, foul, or bounce can change so much, the majority of the groups have one or two clear favorites. As a result, you can find plus-money odds on underdogs that offer good value.
When it comes to future bets on groups, one piece of advice that can be helpful is to keep in mind that there are often better options available than simply placing a straight bet on one team to advance or win the group. For instance, let’s say that you think Mexico will make it out of Group C, despite the fact that Argentina is a prohibitive -1100 favorite to do so and a -275 favorite to win the group. There may be options that are more appealing than betting on Mexico to win the match at -135 odds. Think about placing a dual forecast bet on Argentina and Mexico advancing to the next round, or an exact order bet on Argentina and Mexico, or a bet on Mexico coming in second place in the group. The first two choices are both basically parlays, which means that the prices may or may not be worth it, but it is always worthwhile to check into them.
Why betting on the World Cup in the United States is a guessing game for bookmakers. The player who is predicted to score the most goals during any competition is consistently one of the most heavily bet upon players. It may sound like a simple play, but it is important to know how your book is defining the bet, such as whether it is on an actual Golden Boot winner or simply on the top goalscorer. The crucial difference is…
Golden Boot: This honor is bestowed by the competition itself and is typically determined by tiebreakers. At the World Cup, the number of assists a player has is used as the first tiebreaker, and the fewest minutes played is used as the second tiebreaker. For instance, Megan Rapinoe, Alex Morgan, and Ellen White each scored six goals during the 2019 Women’s World Cup.
Rapinoe and Morgan tied for the most assists with two, while White was the only player on the team without an assist. However, Rapinoe was awarded the Golden Boot because she played fewer minutes than Morgan. The player or players who score the most goals are counted for the top goalscorer spot, regardless of the award rules for the competition.
In the event that there is a tie between two or more winners, books will typically pay out bets in proportion to the number of winners. That is to say, if you bet on a player to be the top goalscorer at odds of 40-1 and he ends up tying with another player, you will be paid out at odds of 20-1. In the event that four players finished in the same place, the payout would be 10-1, etc.
All of this is to say that you should be aware of what you’re betting on and how your book treats possible ties before placing any wagers. Also, the Golden Boot should not be confused with the Golden Ball, which is an award that is presented to the tournament’s best player and is decided upon by a select committee prior to the final.
The Golden Ball is presented to the winner of the tournament. It is also not necessary for the winner to come from the team that ultimately won the World Cup; the previous six Golden Ball winners did not take home the trophy. These are just a few of the many different types of wagers that can be placed on soccer in general and the World Cup in particular.
Have a good time at the tournament!