World Cup Betting Guide: How To Bet On The World Cup

World Cup Betting Guide Header


How To Bet On The World Cup

The Fifa World Cup is one of the biggest sporting events in the world, with billions of viewers from countries all across the globe tuning in to watch the action. With the World Cup only taking place every 4 years, the anticipation and excitement for the event is huge; even for those who aren’t regular soccer fans. 

Similar to the Olympics, every World Cup event has a host nation, meaning all the games during the tournament are played at stadiums across the country. The host nation is granted automatic qualification for their event. 31 other nations have the chance to qualify during the World Cup Qualification phase, which takes place across the 3-year wait between the tournaments. 

During the World Cup, the 32 qualifying nations compete in a tournament to determine who is crowned World Champions. The tournament opens up with a group stage; 8 groups of 4 teams. After playing each team within their group once, the top 2 teams from each group proceed into the knockout stages. Following the knockout stages are the quarter-finals, the semi-finals, and then, last but not least, the final. 

Soccer betting is extremely popular on an everyday basis, and so, when the World Cup comes around, it gets even bigger. Due to the busy schedule of the event, there are a huge variety of World Cup odds and bets available. With this World Cup betting guide, Bovada provides you with all you need to know to start betting on the World Cup.

Bet On The World Cup In 3 Simple Steps

If you are looking to learn how to bet on the World Cup, then all you need to do is follow these three steps:

1. To get started with betting on the World Cup, the first thing you need to do is create a Bovada account. Be sure to check out all of our latest welcome offers to make the most out of your first bet! For those who already have an account with us, head on to step 2.

2. Once you have a Bovada Sportsbook account, head on over to our World Cup odds page. Here you will see all the latest World Cup betting odds.

3. After deciding the selection you want to bet on, add the amount you want to wager and click 'Place Bet'. You will be required to make a deposit if your balance is $0.00 or lower than the amount you wish to wager.

That is all! After completing these three steps, you will have successfully placed a bet on the World Cup. Now, all you need to do is wait for the bet to settle!

World Cup Spread Bets

Spread betting is the most popular way to bet across most sports, particularly the NFL, NBA etc. However, when it comes to soccer, spread betting (known as handicap betting in Europe) is not as common as you might think. 

A spread bet attempts to even out the odds between the two teams by requiring the favorite to win by a specified number of goals. Here’s an example:

Brazil        -1.5 (+115)

France      +1.5 (-115)

As Brazil have a -1.5 spread, this basically means they start the game with -1.5 goals. If you placed a wager on Brazil, your bet will win if they win the game by over more than 1.5 goals (in soccer, as there can’t be 0.5 of a goal, Brazil have to win by 2 goals or more). Even if Brazil win the game by 1 goal, your bet would lose because, although they won the game, they have not beaten the spread by winning by over 1.5 goals. 

If you were to choose France as your selection, your bet would win as long as they do not lose by over 1.5 goals (again, as there can’t be 0.5 of a goal, France can’t lose by 2 goals or more). Your bet wins if France win the game, the game is a draw or France 1-0. 

To get started with World Cup spread betting, head on over to the Bovada soccer odds page. Once the World Cup comes around, you will be able to view all of the upcoming fixtures and place wagers on any spread bets you like.

World Cup Moneyline Bets

When it comes to soccer betting, moneyline bets are the most popular, perhaps because of how basic they are. With a moneyline bet, you are betting on the outcome of the game: Team A to win, Team B to win or a draw. Let’s take a look at another example.

Brazil        -115

France      +115

Draw         + 260

In this example, Brazil are the favorites to win the game, hence their -115 odds. Unlike with spread betting, there are no specific amount of goals they need to win by, they just need to win. Soccer moneyline bets only refer to the score at the end of 90 minutes; if the game goes to extra time, the result is considered a draw for this bet. 

World Cup Total Bets

As opposed to betting on the outcome of the game, with total betting you can bet whether there will be over or under a certain amount of goals for both teams combined. An example of a World Cup total bet would be:

Brazil        O 3.0 (+110)

France      U 3.0 (+115)

The most important element of this bet to look out for is the Over or Under selection. At Bovada Sportsbook, the Over selection is always displayed at the top, represented by the letter ‘O’, and the Under selection is always displayed at the bottom, represented by the letter ‘U’. 

For the example above, if you place a wager on the top option, you are selecting Over 3.0 goals for both teams combined. There needs to be 4 or more goals scored in the game for your bet to win. If you place a wager on the bottom option, you are selecting for Under 3.0 goals for both teams combined. There would need to be 2 or fewer goals scored for your bet to win. If there are exactly 3 goals, then it is a push and all bets are returned. 

World Cup Live Bets

Live betting has become more and more popular during recent years as it allows you to directly bet on soccer games whilst they are in progress. Whilst you can bet on the spread, moneylines and totals live, there’s a wide variety of other bets that you can place during a soccer game, including:

  • Next goalscorer
  • Next team to score
  • Player to be booked
  • Team to keep a clean sheet
  • Half-time/Full-time score

Whilst you are watching a game of soccer, you can often read what is going to happen next; one team could be dominating the opposition and therefore are likely to score. In this scenario, you might want to place a bet on the dominating team to score next and with live betting, you can do just that. Head on over to Bovada’s Soccer odds page to see a full list of all the live World Cup games that you can bet on.

World Cup Futures Bets

Futures betting in soccer works the same as it does for every other sport; as opposed to betting on individual games, you bet on the outcome of a tournament or event. The most common World Cup futures bet would be the outright winner.

Brazil       +550

France     + 600

England   + 700

For the example shown, Brazil are the favorites to win the World Cup and so they have the shortest odds. If you place a futures bet on Brazil to be the outright winner and they go on to win the World Cup, then your bet would win.

Although futures bets are usually placed prior to the competition starting, they can be placed right the way up to the final. However, the odds will fluctuate as the tournament progresses to reflect the favorites etc. Get started with futures bets by taking a look at Bovada’s World Cup winners odds.

World Cup Betting Guide Footer

Payment Methods


Gambling should be entertaining. Remember that you always risk losing the money you bet, so do not spend more than you can afford to lose. If you think you may have a problem, click here.