Soccer, or futbol as they call it, is the world’s game. It is more popular around the world than the four major professional sports – football, baseball, basketball, and hockey – in North America.
Soccer is also a popular sport to bet on. Betting on soccer is a little bit different than betting on other sports like football and basketball. It takes a little getting used to as there are a variety of ways to bet on a soccer match.
Like other sports, you can bet on “goal lines” which is the equivalent of betting the spread in football. The goal line is similar to a puck line in hockey.
A goal line is typically set at -0.5 in soccer. For games with bigger favorites, it could be -1.5 or even -2.5. The goal line for a World Cup match between powers like Brazil and Argentina might look like this.
Argentina -0.5 (+110)
Brazil +0.5 (-120)
Just like a spread on NFL football, there is juice – the +100 for example – involved. In order for a bet on Argentina to win, they would have to win by more than one goal. If you bet on Brazil, they would either have to win or the match would have to end in a draw.
You can also bet on the total in soccer though it does work a little differently than in other sports. Because scoring is scarce in soccer, oddsmakers usually set the total at 2.25, 2.5, or 2.75. Soccer totals are always set in multiples of .25.
When you place a bet on a soccer total, the bet is divided in half. For example, if you place a bet on the Over at 2.5, half of the bet is on Over 2 and the other half is on Over 2.5.
Let’s say a match ends with a score of 1-1. The result of the bet on the Over 2.5 is a loss. The other half of the bet, Over 2, is a push resulting in a refund of the bet.
If the final score had been 2-1, you would win on both bets.
A native of Western Pennsylvania, Rick, a Generation X-er, who now lives just north of the Motor City, Detroit, Michigan. A former high school, college, and professional football player, Rick now spends his time as a high school coach and as a personal quarterback trainer. An all-state high school quarterback, he went on to become an Academic All-American at Division II Indiana University of PA. He later coached at his alma mater helping lead the program to the 1990 NCAA Division II national championship game. Rick has also served as a high school head coach and as an assistant in Pennsylvania, New York, and Michigan.
His passion for sports writing started when he was the sports editor for his high school newspaper and continued when he worked as a sportswriter for the Jamestown (New York) Post-Journal in the early 1990s. A true sports fanatic, Rick enjoys all things Pittsburgh: Steelers, Pirates, and Penguins. The Immaculate Reception, the 1979 We Are Family Pirates, and the ’91-’92 Penguins are among his favorites. After working as an educator and athletic director for several years, he again took up sports writing and has contributed to several websites and publications, including Coach & Player magazine, X & O Labs, American Football Monthly, and many others.
When not consumed with coaching, watching, thinking about, or writing about football and other seasonal sports, he finds himself working out like he was still in college and reading everything from military history to Brad Thor novels. Rick has also been chasing rock god stardom as a drummer who has played with bands that have opened for the likes of Fuel, Days of the New, and Alien Ant Farm. He continues to play with his church worship group. Most importantly, Rick is married to the love of his life, Lisa, and has two beautiful daughters.