If you’re planning to bet on soccer, you might be wondering how exactly soccer betting odds work, and how you can create a betting strategy around the odds. Understanding soccer odds can greatly help you make smarter bets in the long run, and a few simple calculations can provide some extra insight into how your bets might pan out. Many beginners to sports betting don’t go the extra mile to understand soccer odds, even though it proves to be helpful in the long run.
With so many soccer leagues occurring at once, you will usually have plenty of betting options on professional soccer games. These betting options will have odds that will fluctuate before the game, based on aspects that could affect the game (like injuries or all the bets being placed on one side).
While many soccer bets are placed in Europe and use decimal or fractional odds, in the United States we are more used to American odds.
American odds are usually presented in a positive or negative three to four (sometimes more) digit number like -125 or +350, with the negative meaning that the team is more likely to win, and the positive meaning that team is more unlikely to win. The higher the number on either side the more or less likely the team is to win.
With several professional soccer leagues being played each year, with each team playing roughly 34 to 38 games in a regular season, you are looking at over 600 games per league each year. There are so many soccer betting opportunities to capitalize on, and we are going to help you do just that.
How to Read Soccer Odds
As mentioned above, American odds is the main odds format in the United States, so we will focus on that specific odds format for the sake of explaining how odds work. When looking at the positive number in soccer odds, a good trick to remember is that it represents how much you would win on a $100 bet.
Conversely, the negative number is how much you would need to wager to win $100. This is just an easy way to look at American format soccer odds, and to quickly calculate your winnings - you can obviously bet any denomination.
If you have Valencia at +300 and Real Madrid at -120, that means Real Madrid is favored to win that game, and Valencia is the underdog. A bet on Real Madrid wouldn’t pay out quite as much as Valencia because the sportsbook oddsmakers are already predicting that they will likely win the game, but a bet on Valencia would provide much more value if they did pull off an upset and beat Real Madrid.
In this case, a $100 bet on Valencia would pay out $300, and a $120 bet on Real Madrid would pay out $100. Of course, your initial stake is returned to you as well, so you’d come out with $400 and $220 respectively.
The difference with a moneyline in soccer is that there is a third option - the draw. So you will have a third option with even higher odds (usually a higher positive number than the underdog’s odds) to consider as well.
Soccer Betting Odds: Calculating the Probability of Winning
A helpful step to take is calculating the probability of a soccer team to win a game. There isn’t a rule yet for American odds because it is one of the newer odds formats, so to calculate your probability of winning your soccer bet, you will need to convert your odds to decimal.
- For positive odds (underdog team's odds) let’s say +300: 1 + (odds / 100) = 1+(300/100) = 4.0
- For negative odds (favored soccer team’s odds) -300: 1 - (100 / 300) = 0.6
Once you figure out your decimal odds, we will go through and calculate the implied probability of that team winning.
Decimal Soccer Betting Odds
Decimal soccer odds have always been popular in Europe for decades, and really - everywhere else until American odds were introduced. There have been no advancements for probability calculations, so we need to convert American odds to decimal.
To calculate your potential winnings when using decimal odds, you take your decimal soccer odds, multiply them by your stake, and then subtract the stake.
- 8.0 odds would be calculated as (8.0 * $10) - $10 = $80 in winnings
- 1.4 would be (1.4 * $10) - $10 = $4
To calculate your implied probability of winning, you will need to divide one by your decimal odds which is 1/ 8.0. This gives an implied probability of 12.5%. Implied probability is an important part of your soccer betting strategy and can help you determine whether your bets are worthwhile in the long run.
Fractional Soccer Betting Odds
When looking at fractional betting odds, you may be looking at a fractionated number, like 10/1 on the soccer odds board, this means the team has a ten to one chance of winning the game. This way, you can also calculate their probability of winning - from the fractional odds.
The formula looks like this: B/(A+B) = %
For example, if the soccer odds are set for a game and the team has 8/1 odds to win, there is an 11% chance they will win the game. 1/(8+1) = .11 (11%)
Or, if a team has 1/4 odds to win the match, that can be calculated like so - 4/(4+1) = 0.80 (80%) This team is favored and with an 80% chance of winning - we like those odds.
So, how much will you win on fractional soccer odds? All you need to do is look at the fraction: for every value on the right side of the fraction you wager, you will win the left.
So 7/1 odds - for each $1 wagered, you will win $7. 1/6 odds - for each $6 wagered you win $1.
Top Soccer Betting Options
Finally, we can get into all of the top soccer betting options that are available on your online or retail sportsbook. These can be found for almost any professional soccer game, in any of the leagues in the United States and Europe.
Soccer Three-way Moneyline Odds
The moneyline bet is the easiest betting type to understand for any sport, and many beginners rely on this type when starting out. But in soccer, there is a third option to consider- the draw. It doesn’t change the difficulty of this bet, it just gives more options to bet on. You will decide who you think will win the game, or if you think it will result in a tie.
Soccer Spread Odds
While called point spreads in pretty much every other sport, the point spread in professional soccer is actually called a ‘goalline’. There is no real difference, it’s just that soccer has goals versus points on the scoreboard so they took the opportunity to make it their own. The NHL has a similar situation - theirs is called a puck line.
Soccer goal line bets give the underdog an imaginary lead before the game even begins. This will level the playing field a bit and give the underdog an opportunity to cover the spread.
The goalline entails how many runs a team must win or lose by, depending on which side you’re betting on. If you choose the favorite, their spread will be a negative number, and they must win the game by that amount. If you chose the underdog, they must lose by less than that number or win the game.
Soccer goalline odds can be calculated like any other wager, most times the odds will be relatively low, as you took some of the risks out by choosing the point spread.
Soccer Totals Odds
If the game is getting closer and you aren’t necessarily leaning toward either team, you can always bet on the totals. Betting the over/under on a soccer game is relatively easy, but is different from other professional North American sports.
When betting on soccer totals, the oddsmaker will set the line, and your job is to try to predict the total number of goals scored collectively by both teams. In soccer, the totals usually are listed in denominations of .25. So a total could be 2.75 or 3.25 - and your job is to determine whether the total will be higher or lower than that listed number.
Soccer Odds for the Main Competitions
Visit the pages below in order to get fresh soccer odds for the main competitions.
Top Online Sportsbooks for Soccer Betting Odds
Now that you have an idea of how to bet on soccer odds, we can start hunting for the perfect online sportsbook for you to place your wager at. We offer a great selection of online sportsbook reviews you can peruse before you sign up at a betting site. Sportsbooks are all very different and some offer better soccer betting odds than others.
Offshore sportsbooks shouldn’t scare anyone, there are many betting sites with superior softwares and interfaces compared to even your local retail sportsbooks in your state (if sports betting is even legalized yet) and the convenience of betting from your smartphone or laptop can be a huge plus.
Make sure you only sign up at an online sportsbook that has the best soccer odds, especially if you plan on betting on a certain league. Do your research and make sure you choose only the best for your soccer bets.