With over 3.5 billion fans worldwide, soccer is the most popular sport in the world. If you want to learn to bet on soccer, you came to the right place. First off, one of the most important aspects about soccer betting is that the best sportsbooks will display odds in decimal odds format (1.20, 3.40, etc.), instead of whole numbers used in American Odds (+140, -220, etc.) and fractional odds mostly seen in racetracks and racebooks (1/3, 2/4, etc.). Decimal odds are primarily used in Europe and sometimes Canada, while American Odds are used in the US.
A lot of online sportsbooks use decimal odds when it comes to soccer since a considerable number of bets will be placed on popular European leagues and competitions using European betting principles (such as: English Premier League, UEFA Cup, Champions League, etc.), and as such, throughout all of our soccer articles and points, we will mostly use decimal odds to explain the different types of soccer betting.
One of the easiest ways of making wagers on this popular sport is over/under betting. This form of betting is based on the total number of goals scored by the two teams playing against each other. In over/under betting you are simply betting if the total scores of the two teams will be higher or lower than a the sportsbook’s estimated number. Similarly to baseball (see our previous Online Baseball Over/Under Betting article), soccer does not have many goals in a game. Most games will have about 2 goals, so 2.5 over/under is the most widely used odds that you will see throughout many online sportsbooks.
Let us say Manchester United is playing against Chelsea in the English Premier League. The over/under odds are listed as:
In this case you are betting that the total score in this game will be over or under 2 goals. That is, if the score is 1-0, then the total goals scored is 1 and the ‘Under’ bet wins. If the total score is 2-2, then the total goals scored are 4 and the ‘Over’ bet wins.
The Use of 0.5 in Over/Unders
The 0.5 is used to make sure that the results need to be either 2 or lower for the ‘under’ bet to win, or higher than 2 for the ‘over’ bet to win. The 0.5 is used to avoid a “push” happening, where a sportsbook would have to return the bets to the bettors. However, sometimes the 0.5 is dropped and the odds are adjusted, so be prepared for that as well.
Strategies and Tips for Soccer Over/Under Bets
One of the enticing things about soccer over/under betting is the ability to place live bets. Live betting is when you can bet on the outcome of the game after it has already started. For example, Chelsea is playing Manchester United, its 10 minutes in and Chelsea has just scored a goal. The over/under prediction is 2.5 for the game and it is (2.1) for the ‘over’ and (2.5) for the ‘under’ bet respectively. It is early in the game and you can see that Chelsea is pressing to score more goals and that Man U is playing aggressively as well for a comeback. Thus, there are more chances that there will be more than 2 goals. However, the pay back will also be much less, going down as much as (1.1) for the ‘over’ and (1.5) for the ‘under’.
Strategy/Aggressiveness of Teams
Within the over/under betting tips is the one where you have to consider how aggressive or defensive the teams are playing the match. For example, if both of the teams are known for their aggressive goal-scoring strategies then it is likely that the score will be high. If they are known for being defensive, then it is likely that the score will be low. Sportsbooks consider these factors, as well as the players within the team, are the forward strong (like Messi) or not so much? The best solution is to always pay attention to the teams, their players and strategies to be in the loop so you can make your winning soccer over/under wagers.