Arrigo Sacchi once said that soccer is the most important of the least important things in life, and anyone who’s ever experienced the passion and thrill of watching it will agree.
Those who enjoy betting on it known just how much can happen in a single game. They’re also aware of all things big and small that can decide a winner.
Whether you’re a seasoned bettor or would like to place your first wager, our recommended websites will provide you with everything you need for a smooth betting experience.
Soccer Betting Sites We Recommend
How to Start Betting on Soccer
Anyone can bet on soccer. You visit an online betting site, you place your bet, and you wait. But to bet smart, you need to master a couple of things first.
Learn What Influences the Result of a Soccer Match
First, you need to know a bit (or, ideally, a lot!) about soccer. Understanding not only the rules of the game but what influences outcomes as well is a must.
For one, if you’re an avid soccer fan, you’ll know that the players’ form and injuries can easily decide the game.
To understand the form of each player, you’ll need to look back at their recent results, such as number of goals and assists.
Still, keep in mind that having the team’s top player away due to injury is not the same as missing a player who regularly “warms the bench”.
Whether they play at home or away can influence some teams as well, especially if a dedicated fanbase is something they’re known for.
Next, you’ll want to stay in the know about the players coming to and leaving a team. If the team’s top scorer leaves mid-season, the fact that the team won The Double last year fades in comparison.
Same thing applies to changing a coach.
Even a seemingly small thing such as the date of the team’s previous match can be a decisive factor.
Master Probability, Odds, and Value
Once you’ve mastered how soccer games and outcomes work and what they depend on, it’s time to learn all about odds, probability, and value. After all, those are the terms that will determine how much money you stand to win.
Probability lets you know how likely an outcome is to pass.
For example, if you’re flipping a coin, there’s a 50% probability it will land on either side. Now, tossing a coin is easier than figuring out the probability of a team winning a game. However, there is some data on it.
For example, if a team has a 1-goal lead, they’re 74% likely to win a game. On the other hand, a 2-goal lead boosts their chances to 94%! This is great to know if you like betting live.
Luckily, you don’t need to be a math whizz in order to start betting on soccer. The probability of the team winning a game, scoring a number of goals, or winning a championship is already factored into your main area of interest: odds.
The odds on a soccer game tell you two things:
- How likely an outcome is, and
- How much money you stand to win by guessing it correctly.
When you’re betting on soccer (or any other sport for that matter) just keep in mind that linemakers always factor vigorish into odds. A portion of each wager is going to them — that’s how they make their profit.
That is one of the reasons you’ll find different odds across different online betting websites, as some bookmakers take a higher “cut” than others. In that case, the odds offered will be lower, and so will be your potential payout.
There are several ways of writing odds. However, decimal odds make it easy to calculate payouts, so we’ll work with those.
Simply take the odds and multiply them by the amount you wagered. Let’s look at an example:
|FC Midtjylland||Draw||Silkeborg IF|
When it comes to the away team and the draw option, Unibet has very competitive odds. Meanwhile, the odds for the favourite differ a lot more between the four sportsbooks.
If you bet $100 on the favourite at all four sportsbooks, here’s how much you’ll be getting:
- LeoVegas – 1.78x$100 = $178
- 888sport – 1.80x$100 = $180
- BetMGM – 1.86x$100 = $186
- Unibet – 1.76x$100 = $176
When you subtract the original wager, your winnings are, respectively, $78, $80, $86, and $76. Therefore, for the same match, you could get $10 more if you bet at BetMGM, than by betting at Unibet.
But it’s not all that straightforward. You’ll often see differing odds for different matches and competitions, so the smartest thing to do is to carefully check multiple betting sites before placing your bets.
Now, part of the reason odds aren’t the same everywhere lies in the bookmakers’ understanding of all that goes into winning a soccer match. And that’s where value comes in.
The value of a bet essentially means that you’re playing better odds than is realistic.
If you’re betting on Bundesliga’s biggest derby match, Bayern München vs Borussia Dortmund, dozens of soccer specialists and enthusiasts will be looking into their chances, carefully crafting the odds.
But if you opt for, say, the third Spanish league, not many will be looking into it with so much vigor. With enough knowledge and dedication, you could spot an underdog who isn’t that much of an underdog, place a bet on high odds and win back some decent money.
By following certain teams closely, you’ll be able to spot the best odds and improve your chances of winning.
Once you’re ready to place your first soccer bet, it’s time to decide what kind of bets interest you.
Popular Soccer Bet Types
In soccer, the most common type of bet is a moneyline bet. With a moneyline bet, you’re trying to determine the winner of the game. There are two kinds of bets you can choose from:
Three-Way Moneyline Bet
This is the more common type of bet when it comes to soccer. The “three” in three-way means there are three likely outcomes: the home team wins, the away team wins, or it ends in a tie.
A tie happens quite often in soccer, which is the reason this bet type is common.
Two-Way Moneyline Bet
Meanwhile, a two-way moneyline bet means you can only place a bet on one of the two teams winning. With the draw option removed, the odds are adjusted accordingly.
If you opt for a two-way moneyline bet, in the case of a draw, your original wager is returned to you.
Spread (Goal Line)
With a goal line, you’re betting on whether the total amount of goals will cross a certain threshold.
Because a soccer game doesn’t usually end with too many goals, the goal line is commonly set to -1.5. The exceptions are games with obvious favourites, in which case the goal line is often pushed to -2.5.
After all, a result of 2-0 is far more expected if Manchester United is playing against Arsenal, than if their opponents are Bournemouth. With the latter, a result of 3-0 or even a higher one is not unlikely, which is why the goal line is often adjusted.
But how does it work exactly?
Imagine you’re betting on a spread of -1.5 on the favourite, and they win by 2 goals or more. In that case, you win the bet, because they won by more than 1.5 goals. If they win by less, draw, or lose, you lose.
If you bet on the underdog on a goal spread of 1.5, they could lose by 1 goal and you’d still win the bet.
Once more, due to the very low goal counts in soccer, this bet is slightly different than in other sports. Namely, it has to be played in multiples of .25 goals, rather than in whole scores. You’ll often see bookmakers setting a total of 2.25 or 2.5.
Here’s how it works:
Imagine you’re betting on over 2.25 goals. In that case, you’re technically placing two bets: one on over 2, and one on over 2.5. If the result is 2:0, it pushed and you’re refunded for the over 2 bet, but you lose the over 2.5 bet. You’d need a 3:0 or 2:1 in order to win both bets.
Here’s a quick overview if you bet on over 2.25:
|RESULT||OVER 2||OVER 2.5|
Proposition bets are among the seasoned bettors’ favourites. You can bet on virtually anything you can imagine: who scores first, in what minute, when the first yellow card will be issued, whether someone will win despite being a goal behind…
For example, you could have bet on tons of interesting stuff for Jurgen Klopp’s first game as Liverpool’s new coach: whether he gets sent to the stands, whether he’ll substitute a substitute, or use all three of his substitutes in the first half.
Derivatives are somewhat similar to proposition bets, in that you’re just betting on one specific part of the game. You can choose to bet on the result in the first 10 minutes, last 5 minutes, the first or the second half…
These are great if a team you follow tends to score early on in the game, or if a coach likes to send in a valuable player later in the game.
Finally, there are the futures bets. The “future” here suggests you’re not betting on an immediate event.
Good examples include placing a wager on the top scorer of the Premier League or Bundesliga, or guessing the winner of the upcoming World Cup (more about that below!)
You can also bet on the top 2 teams, top 4, or the top London club in the Premier League, for example.
What to Look for in a Soccer Betting Site
To choose the right online betting site for your soccer bets, you’ll want to look into a couple things.
League/Tournament You’re After
Finding a sportsbook that covers popular leagues like Premier League or the Spanish Primera is fairly easy. But if you’re after smaller leagues, like say, the third Finish league, you may need to do more browsing.
For example, LeoVegas lets you bet on it, but most other operators don’t.
Among the most important things to check before placing your first soccer bet is which website offers the highest odds. This will likely differ across leagues, and even based on whether you’re betting on the favourite or the underdog.
Therefore, you may end up betting at a few different platforms depending on the event.
Soccer Betting Sites With Competitive Odds
All online sportsbooks legal in Canada need to adhere to certain rules in order to be deemed safe and secure, but some go a step further.
Look for operators that protect your account (security questions, 2FA), and those with extensive resources pertaining to responsible gambling. PROLINE+ is a good example of both.
Finally, you want your betting experience to be smooth, and not a pain in the neck. Website navigation plays a huge role in that.
If you can easily find the league, match, and type of bet you’re after, you’ll have saved yourself a lot of time, and you’ll avoid unnecessary stress.
Betting on World Cup?
If you’re a soccer fan, you’re likely excited about the upcoming FIFA World Cup 2022. After all, Canada has qualified for the first time in 36 years!
Should you decide to set a futures bet on the World Cup, you’ll want to check which sportsbook offers the best odds first.
Brazil, France, and England are the top 3 favorites. Let’s see how their odds compare across different sportsbooks:
Even if you’re betting on the clear favourite, you can still gain more by betting at certain providers. For the lesser favourites, the differences in odds are even higher.
By betting $100 on England at Northstar or BetMGM, you stand to gain $800 (minus the original wager), compared to $750 at 888Sport or Pointsbet.
The upcoming World Cup offers a sea of possibilities when it comes to futures bets. From group winners to who gets to go into the quarter-finals, or who scores the most goals, you can pick and choose as you please.
Most Popular Soccer Leagues and Tournaments to Bet On
While virtually every country in the world has its own national soccer league, some are more popular (and fun to watch) than others. Among the most popular leagues to follow and bet on are:
- Premier League (England)
- Primera (Spain)
- Bundesliga (Germany)
- Serie A (Italy)
Meanwhile, the most popular tournament year on year is the Champion’s League. But once every 4 years, soccer enthusiasts get to follow, cheer, and bet on the European Championship, as well as the FIFA World Cup.
Can you bet on soccer in Canada?
Yes, you can bet on soccer in Canada. In fact, soccer is among the most popular sports to bet on at online sportsbooks in Canada.
Where can I bet on soccer online?
Canada’s online legal betting market is growing by the day. All of the options you find on our website are legal and highly recommended, and you can start betting at these platforms right away.
Which is the best soccer betting site?
It all depends on what you’re looking for. If you’re looking for niche leagues, LeoVegas and 888Sport are a good choice. If you’re after competitive odds, try BetMGM or Northstar Bets.
What is the best bet in soccer?
The most common and most straightforward bet in soccer is the three-way moneyline bet. However, seasoned bettors love proposition bets. Futures bets are popular as well, especially with the World Cup 2022 coming up.