How to Read Soccer Odds

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Wagering bets on sporting events can add a shot of adrenalin to a quiet night in as you cheer your team (and your money) onto victory. Soccer is one of many sports you can wager bets on via online betting sites (outside the U.S.) or through regulated betting shops. However, soccer odds typically have a different format than other events, so can take a while to master.

  • Check the numbers written alongside your team’s name. These are usually given in fractional forms such as 2/3, 6/1 or 5/4. Soccer is one of the few sports that presents numerical odds in this fashion. Odds for other sports such as basketball and ice hockey are usually given in decimal points such as 2.25 or 1.5.

  • Work out the fractional number’s value. For instance, if your team are given odds of 6/1 of winning a game, this means for every dollar you bet on your team, you will get six back in return (plus your initial $1 stake).

  • Pay attention to which side of the line the numbers are. The number on the right side of the line represents the figure you need to invest to receive the number on the left side of the line. So if your team odds were 1/6, you would need to invest six dollars to make a single dollar profit. Odds such as these occur when a strong team is matched against a weak one.

  • Check if your betting shop or website has “accumulator” soccer betting options. Accumulators are when you bet on the outcome of more than one game. So, if you had a $3 profit from predicting the first result, these winnings would then be wagered on the next result. If that result came in too, the winnings would be wagered on the next game. Accumulator bets can achieve massive payouts for small stakes, but predicting the outcome of several games can be difficult.

  • Wager bets on the number of goals by using over/under betting options. Odds here sometimes use fractions but also can include whole numbers, and instead of betting on which team wins, you bet on the number of goals scored by both teams in the game. These bet types are useful if you can’t predict a winner but know that both teams are likely to attack and score goals or defend and neutralize one another.

  • Learn the ins and outs of moneyline bets. Moneyline soccer bets appear as plus (+) and minus (-) figures alongside each team in a soccer match. For instance, if LA Galaxy was listed as minus (-) 160, you would need to place a $160 bet to win $100. If they were listed as plus (+) 160, placing a $100 bet would yield you $160 profit. The minus figure therefore represents what you would need to invest to win $100, wheras the plus figure indicates what you would get in return for a $100 bet. Odds also are listed for a tie, or draw, in the same fashion.

  • Learn how spread betting works in soccer matches. Spread bets involve betting against a bookmaker's decision on various elements of a game. For instance, if a bookmaker predicts there will be 11 to 12 corners in a game, the spread will be set at 11-12. If you think there will be more, you can buy a corner at, for instance, $5 per corner. So, if there are 16 corners, you make a $20 profit (4 x 5). However, if there are only 7 corners, you will lose $20. The spread offered by bookmakers usually changes often depending on how the soccer match is progressing (if the first half hour passes without a corner, for instance, the spread will be reduced.) Spread betting can be a lucrative way to make money on soccer gambling, but is riskier than simply betting on the outcome.

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