How to Bet on Soccer 2020

The biggest game on the international stage is a growing part of the menu at regulated sportsbooks here in the US.

There is almost always a soccer match going on somewhere in the world. That makes the sport unique as you can legitimately find action round the clock with games and lines from leagues in numerous countries across the globe.

Due to current circumstances, soccer is also one of the only pro sports in town. That makes it a great time for those new to the game to learn the ins and outs of soccer betting.

For seasoned bettors, it’s a chance to hone your skills even further with the world’s most popular game. Regardless of where you land on the spectrum, here’s what you need to know about betting on soccer in the US.

Which Soccer Leagues can I bet on right now?

belarus premier league soccerThe sports betting landscape is returning to some level or normalcy after the wide spread cancellation of leagues and games due to the pandemic.

As for soccer, which has resumed in full across the world in most cases, there’s a growing list of options for soccer betting in the US including:

  • English Premier League
  • Bundesliga: Germany’s top soccer division
  • La Liga: Spain’s top league .
  • MLS: North America’s top soccer league
  • UEFA Champions League
  • Serie A: Italy’s top soccer league

Premier League Live Odds

The English Premier League is an international phenomenon and the go-to for most sports bettors from Toledo to Thailand. Check the live odds for EPL games in real-time at US online sportsbooks below. Click the odds to head right to the sportsbook and make your bet. Use the drop-down menu to change your state.

Bet on MLS

Full MLS betting markets are open for the 2020-21 season at US online sportsbooks. See the table above for Live MLS odds look in real-time. Click on any odds to jump directly to the sportsbook; use the drop-down menus to change your state.

Major League Soccer is the top professional soccer league in North America. The league’s inaugural season took place back in 1996 with 10 teams competing for the MLS Cup.

After the shutdown in early March, 26 squads finished out the 2020 season with a World Cup-style tournament in Florida. The Portland Timbers emerged as the 2020 MLS champ and got the coveted spot in the 2021 CONCACAF Champions League.

MLS Teams

mls soccer bettingAs mentioned there are now 26 MLS teams that compete in two conferences — Eastern and Western — and four more clubs are expected to join in the next few seasons. Here’s the current list of MLS teams:

  • Atlanta United FC
  • Chicago Fire FC
  • Colorado Rapids
  • Columbus Crew SC
  • DC United
  • FC Cincinnati
  • FC Dallas
  • Houston Dynamo
  • Inter Miami CF
  • LA Galaxy
  • Los Angeles FC
  • Minnesota United FC
  • Montreal Impact
  • Nashville SC
  • New England Revolution
  • New York City FC
  • New York Red Bulls
  • Orlando City SC
  • Philadelphia Union
  • Portland Timbers
  • Real Salt Lake
  • San Jose Earthquakes
  • Seattle Sounders FC
  • Sporting Kansas City
  • Toronto FC
  • Vancouver Whitecaps FC

Here are the approved expansion teams for MLS with the year the club is scheduled to begin play.

  • Austin FC — 2021
  • Charlotte — 2021
  • Sacramento Republic FC — 2022
  • St. Louis — 2022

The Seattle Sounders are the current defending MLS Cup champions. The LA Galaxy have the record for most cups with five, followed by the DC United with four.

2022 World Cup odds

The next edition of the FIFA World Cup will take place in Qatar in November and December 2022. In the interim, qualifying tournaments will be held for the six continental confederations of FIFA, and the end result will be the top 32 national teams on the planet squaring off.

This event always attracts tons of interest from both a viewing and betting perspective. While it’s still a ways away, you don’t have to wait until 2022 to make your predictions.

The futures betting market for sports is quite active, and picking the winner of the next World Cup is one of the featured attractions. Here’s what the current odds look like for the top 20 teams on the board.

NameDraftKingsFanDuelBetMGM
France+600+700+650
Brazil+700+625+650
Germany+700+800+700
Spain+750+800+900
England+1000+800+900
Belgium+1100+1200+900
Argentina+1200+1000+900
Netherlands+1400+1400+1100
Italy+1600+1600+1200
Portugal+2500+1600+2000
Croatia+4000+4000+2200
Chile+5000+5000+4000
Columbia+5000+5000+4000
Switzerland+5000+10000+8000
Uruguay+5000+5000+4000
Mexico+8000+8000+6600
Bosnia & Herzegovina+10000+14900+15000
Denmark+10000+11900+10000
Serbia+10000+11900+8000
USA+10000+9900+6600

Once the final tournament gets underway, the 32 teams are split into eight groups. The group play portion is played in round-robin fashion, with the top two finishers from each group advancing to the knockout stage.

France is the defending World Cup champion after taking down Croatia in the final in 2018. Brazil is the all-time leader with five World Cup trophies, followed by Germany and Italy, which are tied for second place with four crowns each.

Bet on women’s soccer

For women, the most attention from a betting perspective comes with the big international competitions such as the Olympics and World Cup.

The Olympics were slated for summer 2020 in Tokyo, but that has been pushed back a year. The dates are currently set for July 23 through Aug. 8, 2021. Germany is the defending champion from 2016, having taken down Sweden in the final. The United States holds the record for most titles with four.

The next edition of the FIFA Women’s World Cup is scheduled for 2023 at a venue to be determined. Hosting bids have been submitted by Australia and New Zealand, Brazil, Colombia and Japan. The US is the defending champion, defeating the Netherlands in the 2019 final, and leads in all-time titles with four.

Is it legal to bet on soccer online?

Yes. The good news is that online sports betting has been legalized and regulated in a number of states.  Here’s the current list of states that have legal sports betting in some form.

State Online / MobileRetail
New JerseyYesYes
PennsylvaniaYesYes
ColoradoYesYes
IndianaYesYes
IowaYesYes
West VirginiaYesYes
New HampshireYesNo
IllinoisYesYes

Numerous other states have at least introduced legislation to legalize sports betting.

In the meantime, those in the legal states can begin taking advantage of all that soccer has to offer. From the incredibly popular English Premier League betting to the relatively obscure Belarusian Premier League and all points in between, you’ll have plenty of choices to consider.

The same applies for bet types, which range from the standard wagers all the way through to live betting.

Can I bet on European soccer games in the US?

Yes. One of the great things about soccer betting here in the US is that you can have access to all of the top leagues in the world right from your sports betting account.

That includes the UK’s Premier League, Germany’s Bundesliga, La Liga in Spain, Serie A in Italy, the UEFA Champions League and scores of other small and large international leagues and competitions.

As mentioned, there’s almost always something going on on the soccer front, so you’ll have little problem finding opportunities to take advantage of. Even better, you can expose yourself to leagues featuring all of the top players from across the world.

How does betting on soccer work?

If you’re familiar with betting on other major team sports, then you’ll notice some similarities once you start digging into soccer. However, there are some distinct nuances that you need to be aware of. Here are the main bet types you’ll come across and some examples for each.

Moneyline

The moneyline bet is perhaps the easiest to understand on the entire betting menu. You’re simply choosing the winner of the contest, and that’s it.

For soccer, the story is a little different.There are three choices on the moneyline in soccer:

  • Draw no bet
  • Two-way
  • Three-way

Draws, or ties, are fairly common in soccer. The draw no bet choice removes that from the equation. You’re simply choosing the winner of the match between the favorite and the underdog. If it winds up as a draw, that’s considered a push and the bet is refunded.

  • Arsenal FC +110
  • Liverpool FC -130

The two-way moneyline bet covers you for a team win or the match ending in a draw. You can also place a wager on either side coming out victorious.

  • Borussia Dortmund/Draw -125
  • Bayern Munich/Draw -145
  • Borussia Dortmund/Bayern Munich -105

For a three-way moneyline, you pick either side to win, or settle on a draw as the most likely outcome.

  • Real Madrid +100
  • FC Barcelona -120
  • Draw -105

Point Spread

Point spread bets attract tons of action for football and basketball, but for MLB betting or NHL betting, it’s the moneyline that attracts most of the action.

Point spread bets are also offered for soccer matches. When it’s a league-based competition featuring two squads in the same neighborhood of talent, the spread is typically set at 0.5 goals.

If it’s a paper mismatch on the international circuit or elsewhere, the number could be set as high as 2.5 goals. Both sides of the equation will have odds attached that may rise or fall based on betting volume. Example:

  • Inter Milan +0.5 (-110)
  • Juventus FC -0.5 (-110)

Totals Betting in Soccer

The total number of points scored in a contest is a big focus for many team-based sports, and it’s no different with soccer. Even though the sport is typically low-scoring, these wagers attract plenty of action.

As with other sports, there’s a range to keep an eye out for that can point you to potentially low- or high-scoring games. On the low end of the spectrum, the total could be a minuscule 0.5 goals. At the opposite end, it could be as much as 3.5.

Odds are attached to the benchmark set by sportsbooks on both sides, and bettors then decide if they expect the total goals scored to be over or under that number.

  • Over 2.5 (-110)
  • Under 2.5 (-110)

Props

The prop betting menu can be quite vast for leagues such as the NFL or NBA. In soccer, the offerings will vary depending on how popular the competition is.

For major events such as the World Cup or the most popular leagues, you should see a good range of choices. Contests that attract less betting volume will naturally have fewer offerings, but you’ll still find a decent number of choices.

Prop bets offered will vary, but there are some standard ones that appear quite often.

  • Team to score first goal in the match.
  • Who will be the first player to score a goal?
  • How many goals will Team A get in the game?

As with tackling any new sport, soccer betting can take a little getting used to. However, once you get a handle on the basics, you’ll find that it’s really not all that difficult to understand.

Live soccer betting explained

Interest in sports betting continues to grow by leaps and bounds. The evolving legal landscape only helps in that regard, as does the fact that folks can bet online and via sports betting apps safely.

draftkings live bettingAnother big driver in the growth is innovation, and the emergence of live betting is at the top of the list in that regard. Live betting takes the sports viewing experience to a whole new level.

While bettors once had to have all of their action in before a game got underway, that’s no longer the case. The fast-moving live betting market provides opportunities to consider throughout a contest.

For your average soccer match, let’s just say that this helps to kick the enjoyment levels up substantially. Live betting can be used as a complement to bets you have already placed, but you can also hedge your initial thoughts or take advantage of new situations as they develop.

As with prop bets, offerings are going to vary, but here are some common examples you may have to consider.

  • What will be the outcome of the next possession?
  • Which team will have the halftime lead?
  • How many goals will be scored in the second half?

The odds and markets move fast, so discipline is a key. In addition, to fully take advantage of all that live betting has to offer, a mobile app is the best way to make that happen.

As you settle in to watch the game, just log in on your device and see what develops. Live betting opens the door for potentially even more profits with soccer betting, and it can also make the viewing experience that much more exciting.

Soccer betting tips

It can be a little intimidating when looking to bet on a new sport, but starting with the basics of betting and mastering them can help to cut down on the learning curve immensely.

When it comes to soccer and the sheer number of matches that are available to be wagered on around the clock, that’s especially true. Here are some key tips to keep in mind as your journey begins.

  • Specialize to start: Instead of trying to immerse yourself in every league available, start with one to hone in on. Learn the teams and all of the ins and outs, and use this league as the focus for your initial bets. Once you have a handle on the sport and a good sense of the league you’ve keyed in on, you can expand your horizons and look toward betting on other leagues and competitions.
  • Follow the news cycle: The sports news cycle moves fast, and there’s often lots of information that gets bandied about that really doesn’t move the needle all that much. However, there are important nuggets to be found. For soccer specifically, news conferences in advance and after games can be especially telling, so pay close attention to quotes that emerge.
  • Study line moves: The odds board is essentially a free research tool just waiting to be taken advantage of. One quick glance lets you know which teams are favored to win and what kind of contest may be at hand. Movement in the odds from their initial release can help point you toward which sides are seeing the most action, which can be especially helpful for obscure soccer leagues you’re gaining familiarity with.

After you have mastered these three simple steps, start expanding the repertoire and dig even further into the individual matchups while paying close attention to recent form for both teams.

Why should I bet on soccer?

Soccer is a sport with an incredibly loyal and passionate following, but not everyone has climbed on board just yet. If you’re among those who fall into the latter category, here are some factors that’ll help you get off the fence.

  • Wide range of available markets: Unlike other major team sports, the action is very spread out with soccer. There are a number of different leagues you can bet on, so games are going on regularly. You won’t be lacking for action when it comes to soccer.
  • Understand what all the fuss is about: If you don’t understand why they call it the beautiful game, a little additional exposure to competitive soccer matches will help you get it. A back-and-forth and low-scoring affair between two top teams can be incredibly exciting.
  • Develop a new passion and area of specialty: There’s always the possibility that you’ll fall in love with the game. Soccer can quickly become one of your favorite pastimes, and it can also be a great complement to the sports you are already comfortable with betting on.

In short, taking the time to get familiar with soccer will be well worth the effort. After all, there’s a reason why the sport inspires so much passion across the world.

Soccer Betting FAQ

What does PK mean in soccer betting?

When a line for a soccer match is set at PK, this means a pick ’em. Oddsmakers have deemed the game to be a veritable toss-up. On the field of play, PK stands for penalty kick, which means that a player gets an undefended shot on goal with only the goalie standing in the way.

What is spread betting in soccer?

Oddsmakers install a spread on each matchup, which is essentially an estimated margin of victory. You can bet on the favorite minus the spread, or choose the underdog plus the spread. To cover, the favored side must win by a margin greater than the spread. The underdog can cover by winning the game outright or by keeping the margin closer than the spread. Soccer spreads can range from a low of 0.5 goals to higher ranges such as 2.5.

What is a draw in soccer betting?

Soccer matches can end in ties, which are also known as draws. It’s a relatively common occurrence and a fixture as a choice on the betting menu as a result. The draw is among the choices on two- and three-way moneyline bets, while a draw no bet means that you are expecting one side to win outright.

What does 1x2 mean in soccer betting?

This refers to one of three outcomes that can happen for a match: home win, away win or draw. The 1 refers to the first outcome on that list, the 2 is for an away win, while the X represents a draw. You can combine two of the three outcomes in three-way moneyline or double chance bets, such as home team win or draw.

What is GG in soccer betting?

GG stands for goal goal. In soccer betting, this means that both teams will score a goal in the game. The opposite would be NG, which means that you expect neither side to score in the match, or no goal.

What are corners in soccer betting?

Corners generally refer to one of two things: a corner kick or a corner match bet. The former refers to a game situation. When the ball goes out of play without a goal being scored, the corner kick is used to put the ball back into play. A corner match bet gives you the opportunity to place a wager on which side will win the most corners during the game.

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