How To Bet On Soccer: A Soccer Betting Guide

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How To Bet On Soccer: Soccer Betting Explained

Soccer is one of the oldest sports to exist with early versions of the game being traced back over 3,000 years. As soccer has developed, it's become one of the most popular sports in the world, particularly in Europe, where it's called “football”. I soccer, there are two parts to the game; club level and national level. At club level, a player represents the club they are signed for, such as Manchester United, however at national level, a player represents their national country, such as England. 

Like the sport itself, betting on soccer has been around for years but has developed and grew in popularity over time. Today, soccer is one of the most popular sports betting options and shows no signs of disappearing anytime soon. With Bovada Sportsbook, there are a number of ways to bet on soccer

  • Spread Betting 
  • Moneyline Betting 
  • Totals 
  • Futures 
  • Props 
  • Parlays 
  • Live Betting 

Soccer Spread Betting

Spread betting is the most popular way to bet on most sports, such as the NFL or NBA, and works more or less the exact same in soccer; the favorites are given a specified number of goals that they have to win by. In Europe, this betting method is called a handicap. Here’s an example of soccer spread betting, for a hypothetical game of Manchester United vs Chelsea: 

Manchester United -0.5 (+115) 

Chelsea +0.5 (-145) 

First off, it is important to note that in soccer odds, the home team is displayed above and the away team is displayed below (the opposite to most North American sports). Also, the spread can differentiate between fixtures, not every game has a spread of 0.5. For the Manchester United -0.5 selection to pay out, Manchester United have to win the game by over 0.5 goals. As there can’t be 0.5 of a goal, Manchester United just need to win the game. For the Chelsea +0.5 selection to win, Chelsea can either win the game or draw. As long as they do not lose the game, Chelsea would cover the spread. 

Soccer Moneyline Betting

The moneyline is the most straightforward, and original, form of betting. This method of betting allows you to bet on the three possible outcomes of a soccer game: Team A to win, Team B to win or a draw. 

Manchester United -110 

Chelsea +200 

Draw +260 

With soccer moneyline bets, you are simply betting on the result of the game. If you select Manchester United, you are betting on them to win the game. If you select Chelsea, you are betting on them to win the game. If you select Draw, you are betting on the game to finish as a draw. These bets only count for the 90 minutes of the game; the bets do not apply for extra-time or penalties. If you are interested in placing some moneyline bets on soccer, then visit Bovada’s soccer section to view the latest odds on the most popular fixtures across the globe. 

Soccer Totals Betting

When betting on totals in soccer, you are betting on OVER or UNDER a certain amount of goals in the game. It is important to know that this is the total number of goals scored for both teams combined. 

Manchester United O 2.0 (+110) 

Chelsea U 2.0 (-130) 

When you bet on soccer totals, it is extremely important to look out for the Over or Under indicators. On Bovada Sportsbook, the Over selection is always at the top and is labelled with an ‘O’, whereas the Under selection is always at the bottom and labelled with a ‘U’. 

In the example above, if you select O 2.0, there needs to be 3 or more goals scored in the game for your bet to win. If you select U 2.0, there needs to be 1 or fewer goals scored in the game for your bet to win. If there are exactly 2 goals scored, then it’s a “push” and all bets are returned. 

Soccer Futures Betting

Rather than betting on the outcome of single fixtures, you have the option to bet on soccer futures. For example, with Bovada’s Soccer Futures, you can bet on who will win the English Premier League; these odds change throughout the season depending on how each of the teams are performing. You can also choose to bet on Top Goalscorer, To Be Relegated and many other markets across a large variety of worldwide leagues and competitions. When you bet on soccer futures, the bets are not paid out until the end of the competition or the end season. The majority of future bets are placed at the beginning of a new soccer season, however, you can place them at any time you like; the odds will change accordingly. 

Soccer Prop Betting

One of the most entertaining methods of betting in soccer is prop betting. Instead of betting directly on the result of a game or the overall number of goals in a game, soccer prop bets allow you to bet on individual moments or players in the game. Here are some examples of soccer prop bets: 

Goals (At Least) - Cristiano Ronaldo 1 (+100) 

Passes (At Least) - Bruno Fernandes 50 (-100) 

Player Performance Doubles - Rashford to score and MUFC to win (+200) 

Over/Under Shots - Werner O 1.5 (-100) Werner U 1.5 (+200)

There are a wide variety of props that are available at Bovada Sportsbook for thousands of soccer games. There has been a huge increase of popularity with prop betting over the years, and it most certainly looks like it is only going to grow even bigger. 

Soccer Parlay Betting

Parlay betting is extremely popular in Europe, where it is known as accumulator betting. This particular type of bet allows you to combine multiple selections to increase the payout, however, all the selections must land for the bet to win. The more selections you add to your parlay, the bigger the payout but the bigger the risk as there are more bets that need to land to win! For soccer parlays at Bovada, you can combine up to 12 selections, however you may only want to select 4 or 5 selections, it is completely up to you. With a soccer parlay, you can mix and match the selections on the bet; you may have a total selection, a moneyline selection and a spread selection too. Here is an example of a soccer parlay bet: 

Manchester United (Moneyline) +145 

Manchester City -2.5 (Spread) +102 

Liverpool vs Brighton O 3.0 (Total) +105 

Parlay Total (3 Picks) +915 

With the 3 selections combined in a parlay, the odds are +915. All 3 of the selections need to land for the bet to win. If 2 out the 3 selections win, the bet still loses. If one of your betting lines ends in a push, that line is scratched out and your parlay reduces in size by one team. There are some limitations with soccer parlay bets as not every selection can be combined with another. Also, at Bovada, there is a $100,000 payout limit so don’t add any extra bets to the parlay if you are already there! 

Soccer Live Betting

Live betting, or in-play betting as it’s known in Europe, is extremely popular among soccer bettors. This method of betting allows you to place bets on a game whilst it is live, or in-play. With Bovada, you can bet on a range of markets live, such as the next goalscorer, the next team to score, who will win the game and much more, right while the game is being played in front of you. If you head to Bovada’s soccer betting page, you will be able to view all of the current soccer games that are available for live betting. 

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English Premier League Betting

The English Premier League is the highest level of the English soccer league system; home to some of the biggest clubs in the world: Manchester United, Liverpool and Chelsea. The EPL is the most popular soccer league in the world, with millions of fans from across the globe tuning in to experience, and bet on, the thrilling action each week. 

Usually, the Premier League begins in August and concludes in May, after each team has played their 38 games. As the EPL follows a single-league system, depending on the results, the title winners have normally been determined before the final day of the season.

If you are looking to bet on the EPL, then you have come to the right place. At Bovada Sportsbook, you can bet on every English Premier League game throughout the season. There are a variety of ways you can bet on the EPL, including:

  • EPL Spread Betting
  • EPL Moneyline Betting
  • EPL Totals Betting
  • EPL Props Betting
  • EPL Live Betting


Are you interested in EPL betting but not sure where to start? Head over to Bovada’s EPL Betting Guide to learn how to bet on the English Premier League.


Major League Soccer Betting

The MLS is the United State’s professional soccer league and the highest playing level of the sport in the country. Major League Soccer is the second most popular league for soccer betting in the US, behind the EPL. 

As with most North American sports, the MLS is split into two conferences: Eastern and Western. Each team plays every team in their conference twice, home and away, and will also play some teams from the other conference too. The league usually begins in late February (sometimes early March) and concludes in November, before the MLS Cup begins to determine the champions. 

When it comes to MLS betting, Bovada is the best place for it. There a number of betting methods for Major League Soccer available at Bovada Sportsbook:

  • MLS Spread Betting
  • MLS Moneyline Betting
  • MLS Totals Betting
  • MLS Props Betting
  • MLS Live Betting

To get started with Major League Soccer betting, take a look at the Bovada MLS betting guide.


Champions League Betting

With this competition featuring the 32 of the best soccer teams across Europe, the UCL is one of the most prestigious trophies a soccer club can win. Naturally, with the biggest and best teams in Europe competing, the Champions League is one of the most-watched soccer events in the world. 

The UCL action begins in September with a round-robin group stage system; the 32 teams are split into 8 groups of 4. The teams in the same group play each other twice, home and away. Once all group matches are complete, the two teams with the most points advance into the Round of 16. To determine the fixtures for the Round of 16, a live draw takes place. The two teams who are drawn against one another, go head-to-head in a double-legged knock-out stage. The overall winner of the two games advances into the quarter-final and then the semi-finals, which follow the same knock-out format. The two winners of the semi-final games proceed to the Champions League Final that takes place in late May. The winner of the UCL final are crowned the ‘Champions of Europe’. 


The Champions League is one of the biggest soccer events in the world for betting. At Bovada Sportsbook, you can enjoy betting on every single Champions League fixture and event. Take a look at Bovada’s Champions League betting odds to see what is available:

  • UCL Spread Betting
  • UCL Moneyline Betting
  • UCL Totals Betting
  • UCL Props Betting
  • UCL Live Betting


World Cup Betting

As you would expect, the Fifa World Cup, one of the world’s biggest sporting events, is extremely popular for betting. Nations from all across the globe come together to compete in the biggest soccer event in history. With the event only taking place every 4 years, the excitement and anticipation for the World Cup is like no other. 

The World Cup format works the same as the Champions League, explained above. To begin with, 32 nations are split into 8 groups of 4; each team plays each other once and the two teams with the most points proceed to the Round of 16. For the Round of 16, Quarter-Finals and Semi-Finals, teams play in a one-legged knockout game. The two remaining teams play in the World Cup Final to determine the winners. There is also a third place play-off for the two teams that lost the Semi-Final matches. 

If you are looking to bet on the World Cup, then you are in the right place. At Bovada Sportsbook, World Cup betting is available, including a large variation of betting methods such as:

  • World Cup Spread Betting
  • World Cup Moneyline Betting
  • World Cup Totals Betting
  • World Cup Props Betting
  • World Cup Live Betting

Do you enjoy other sports as well as soccer? At Bovada Sportsbook, you can bet on a huge variety of sports including NFL, NBA, NHL and more. Head on over to the Bovada Sports betting page to see all of the latest odds and bets available. Still looking for more? We've got you. With Bovada Casino, you can enjoy hundreds of your favourite casino games at home or on the go. 

Soccer at Bovada

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