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Types of Soccer Bets – A Beginner’s Guide (May 2024)

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Soccer is popular the world over. There are leagues and competitions all across the globe, and the top competitions are watched by masses of adulating fans. There is massive coverage of all these top-flight events, and in TV viewership figures alone, no other sports come remotely close. The 2022 World Cup, which was held in Qatar, was watched by over 1.5 billion people. The Super Bowl, held in the same year, drew in TV viewership of up to 150 million. It does not just extend to national-level competitions either. Domestic leagues such as the Premier League, La Liga, Serie A and Bundesliga have large followings worldwide. Then, there are the Champions League, Europa League, Copa Libertadores and other international club soccer tournaments.

Masses of Soccer Betting Possibilities

Where there is high viewership, there are lots of betting opportunities. Sportsbooks are just as interested in these soccer competitions as there are multitudes of fans who want to get a piece of the action. This leads to more betting markets and even better odds, as the sportsbooks have to compete against each other. Here, we will look at some of the essential soccer betting markets that every punter should know.

Types of Soccer Bets

Sportsbooks may offer hundreds of different betting markets on a single game. This may seem excessive, but for the most part, they are self-explanatory. Here are some of the basic soccer bets that punters place frequently.

  1. Outrights
  2. Moneyline
  3. Double Chance
  4. Tie No Bet
  5. Handicaps
  6. Over/Under Totals
  7. Halves
  8. Player Props
  9. Game Props
  10. Live Bets


Also known as a futures bet, this market relates to events that will transpire at the end of a competition or the end of the season. The most commonly found outright market is which team will win the competition. For example, you can bet on Manchester City to win the English Premier League or on Barcelona to win the La Liga. These bets will be made available before the start of the season and throughout the course of the season. The odds will change after each week, to represent how likely the teams are to win the competition. Preferable odds on the favourites can usually be found before the season begins or in the first few weeks.

Outrights are not limited to which teams will win a competition. There may be bets on which player will be the top goal scorer, which goalie will be awarded the golden glove, and similar markets.


This is a bet on the result of a single game. In soccer, games can either end with one of the teams winning, or the game can end in a draw. Other sports usually have a winner and a loser, giving the bettors two possibilities when betting on a game. In soccer, there are three. For example, in a game between Bayern Munich and Juventus, you can bet on Bayern to win, Juventus to win, or on the game ending in a tie.

Double Chance

This is a special bet in which punters can pick two of the three possible outcomes. In the same game, the bets offered will be Bayern Munich to win or a draw, Juventus to win or a draw, or on either Bayern Munich or Juventus to win. The odds are considerably shorter than that of the moneylines, but bettors can cover more possible outcomes, which drastically reduces the risk.

Tie No Bet

Tie no bet also relates to the outcome of a game, but eliminates the possibility of a tie. If the game ends in a tie, your bet is considered void and you will receive a refund. If put in a parlay, the draw will not void your whole parlay. It should just push the bet, and cut it out of your parlay. For example, if you have three selections and one of them is voided, then you will just need the other two to win. The odds from the voided bet do not contribute to the overall parlay odds either.

With this bet, you can bet on your preferred team to win and you have insurance against a draw. This is why the odds are slightly shorter than betting on the same team to win with a moneyline.


Basically, you are betting on a team to win by a certain margin of goals or more. For example, if you bet on Barcelona to beat Sevilla with a handicap of -1.5, then you need them to win the game by at least 2 or more goals. On the other hand, if you bet on Sevilla to win the game with a positive handicap of +1.5, then you will need them to win the game, draw, or to not lose by 2 or more goals. There are three different types of handicap betting. With traditional handicaps, the game cannot end in a draw. There will always be a winner with handicaps of 1.5, 2.5, and so on.

However, there are also handicaps that are full numbers, such as 1, 2, 3. Using these, there is still a possibility that the game will end in a draw, in which case you will receive your money back. Just to give you more options, there is a handicap that combines the two, offering spreads of 1.25, 1.75, 2.25, 2.75, and so on. These split your stake in half and put them on the nearest full number handicap and the nearest “traditional” handicap. For more information on how these can be used, you can check out our guide to point spread betting.

Handicaps do not always just relate to goals. For example, game statistics such as corners, cards and shots can also provide interesting betting opportunities. You may bet on Barcelona to register more shots than Sevilla with a handicap of -5.5 or Sevilla to be given more cards with a handicap of -2.5.

Over/Under Totals

The most commonly used totals bet is on how many goals will be scored during a game. It does not matter which team wins the game or whether the game ends in a draw, you will only need a certain number of goals to be scored. You do not need to pick the exact number of goals scored in the match, instead totals work with betting lines. Say the line is 3.5: this means you can bet on the game to end with 4 or more goals, or for the game to end with 3 or fewer goals. In the total goals markets, there will be many betting lines offered, and the odds on each bet will relate to how likely that bet is to come through.

For example, if you pick a line of 4.5, then the difference between the odds will be quite large. The chance that two teams will score 5 or more goals during a match is not great. There is a much better chance that the game ends with up to 4 goals scored. However, if you pick a betting line of 2.5, the odds on either bet will be far closer. This is because games may usually end with 2 or 3 goals, which makes it far more difficult to predict.

Totals are the same as handicaps, in that there are lots of different aspects of a game that you can bet on. You may find bets for the total number of cards, shots, fouls, freekicks, and other intriguing match events. These may not necessarily relate to the stats of both teams either. There may be total goals bet for only one team, in which case it does not matter how many goals the other team does or does not score.


Halves markets are bets that relate to a specific half. You can bet on this half as if it were a separate game from the other half. For example, there may be moneylines, handicaps, totals and all other types of wagers that only relate to the first half. You bet can pay out at half time, and it does not matter what happens in the second half. If you bet on the second half, then you will only be betting on the score or result in that half. The scoreline does not carry from the first half into the second half.

This gives bettors lots of possibilities, as they may bet on one team to win the first half but then the other team to win the second. There is a lot of research that helps bettors with halves bets, especially if a team usually starts out well, or the other may have a better squad and therefore can make a bigger impact later on in the game.

Player Props

Players props are bets that relate to the performance of individual players. In soccer, the main player markets are for goals. Which player will score the first goal, will a certain player score 2 or more goals, will another player score the last goal of the game, and other similar types of bets. Player bets are hugely popular, especially when a team has world-class attackers. Then, there may be other props that relate to the shots a player takes or whether they will be booked during the game.

Game Props

A lot of things can happen in a game of soccer, and the best bookmakers will give you a massive supply of interesting props. A lot of props are yes or no bets, in which you bet on whether something will happen or not in a game. You may bet on whether a team will win and keep a clean sheet – or not. Then, you may find bets such as will both teams score, will there be goals in both halves, will a team go behind and then win the game, will there be a penalty in the game, and so on. There is no shortage of interesting bets, and none of these are difficult to understand. Predicting them is the tricky part, but if you have done your research, the world of game props will be your oyster.

Live Bets

Live betting can be extremely fun and sometimes punters can find better odds during the course of a game. Once a game begins, the pregame betting markets are closed and then the live betting markets open. These are bets that are available throughout the course of a game, and the odds constantly change. They will change drastically after significant events in a game, such as a goal is scored, one player receiving a red card, or a penalty is given. Then, there are also live betting markets which cannot be offered as pregame bets. For example, which team will score the next goal, will a certain player score the next goal, will there be another goal in the game, and many more.

The beauty about live betting is that new offers can pop up at any time during a game. A team may be behind, and then suddenly the bookmaker offers a number of bets on whether they can climb back up or whether they will fall apart. The odds change all the time during the game, and so do the cashout offers. Your bet may be close to winning,  and then the bookmaker offers you a large cashout. Rather than waiting out the game, you may choose to pull the plug on your bet and collect the offer. This way, you avoid any nasty surprises at the end of the game.


Finding a good bookmaker is not difficult, as soccer is so popular throughout the world. Most bookmakers offer all of the bets listed above and far more. With so many betting markets, you will never have to settle for a bet you do not want to place. The important part is to spend only as much as you can afford to lose and to only bet for fun.

Lloyd is passionate about online gambling, he lives and breathes blackjack and other table games, and he enjoys sports betting.