Soccer Odds Explained

Last updated: June 14, 2023

Soccer betting has become increasingly popular among sports enthusiasts as it adds excitement to the game and allows fans to potentially profit from their knowledge of the sport. However, before diving into the world of soccer betting, it’s essential to understand soccer odds and how they work. Soccer odds are a representation of the probability of an outcome occurring and the potential return on a winning wager. They indicate how likely the bookmaker thinks your prediction is and can be presented in various formats, including decimal, fractional, and American odds.

Knowing how to read soccer odds is crucial to becoming a successful bettor. Different types of soccer bets offer various ways to wager on the outcome of a match, from predicting the outright winner to betting on the total number of goals scored. By understanding the odds and the various betting markets, bettors can make more informed decisions and find value in soccer betting opportunities.

Key Takeaways

  • Understanding soccer odds is essential for successful betting, as it helps make informed decisions in various betting markets.
  • Different formats of odds representation include decimal, fractional, and American odds.
  • A wide range of soccer bets allows bettors to find value and suit their betting strategies to individual matches.

Understanding Soccer Odds

Implied Probability

Implied probability is the conversion of betting odds into a percentage that reflects the likelihood of a particular outcome occurring. It helps bettors determine the value of their bets by comparing the probability implied by the odds with their own assessment of the chances of an outcome.

For example, if a team has decimal odds of 2.0, the implied probability is calculated as follows:

Implied Probability = 1 / Decimal Odds

In this case, the implied probability would be 1 / 2.0 = 0.5, or 50%.

Decimal Odds

Decimal odds are a simple way to express the odds of a soccer match outcome. They represent the amount you could potentially win, including your original wager, for every $1 you stake. To calculate your possible return, simply multiply your stake by the decimal odds.

For example, if a team has decimal odds of 2.0 and you bet $10, your potential return would be $10 x 2.0 = $20.

Fractional Odds

Fractional odds, commonly used in the UK and Ireland, represent the potential profit that may be earned relative to a $1 stake. To calculate your potential return from fractional odds, divide the numerator (the top number) by the denominator (bottom number) and multiply by your stake, then add your original stake.

For instance, if a team’s fractional odds are 3/1 and you bet $10, your potential return would be ($10 x 3/1) + $10 = $40.

American Odds

American odds, widely used in the United States, convey the amount of money you would need to bet to win $100 (for a favorite) or the amount you could win on a $100 bet (for an underdog).

A favorite team will be represented by a negative number (e.g., -200), meaning you would need to bet $200 to win $100. An underdog team will be represented by a positive number (e.g., +300), meaning you would win $300 on a $100 bet.

To calculate potential returns, follow these formulas:

For favorites: Potential Return = (Stake / American Odds) x 100 + Stake

For underdogs: Potential Return = (Stake x American Odds) / 100 + Stake

For example, if you bet $10 on a favorite with odds of -200, your potential return would be ($10 / 200) x 100 + $10 = $15. Conversely, if you bet $10 on an underdog with odds of +300, your potential return would be ($10 x 300) / 100 + $10 = $40.

Types of Soccer Bets

There are various types of bets that can be placed when betting on soccer matches. This section covers some of the most popular ones, including Moneyline Betting, Point Spreads, Futures Betting, and Over/Under Betting.

Moneyline Betting

Moneyline betting is one of the most straightforward and popular soccer betting options. It involves simply choosing which team you think will win a match. There are three possible outcomes: Team A wins, Team B wins, or the match ends in a draw. Bettors place their wager on one of the three possible outcomes, and if their selection is correct, they win. Typically, the favored team will have lower odds (or a negative number), and the underdog will have higher odds (or a positive number). The draw typically falls in between these odds.

Point Spreads

Point spreads, also known as handicap betting, are a popular form of soccer betting that involves adding or subtracting a predetermined number of goals from a team’s final score. This makes the sports betting experience more exciting, as it provides a level playing field for the underdog and the favored team. In soccer, point spreads typically range from 0.5 goals to 3.5 goals. Bettors need to decide whether the favored team will win by more than the spread or whether the underdog will either win outright or lose by less than the spread.

Futures Betting

Futures betting allows bettors to place wagers on events that will occur in the long-term future, such as predicting the winner of a tournament or league. This type of soccer betting is an exciting way for sports enthusiasts to engage with matches throughout the entire season. In futures betting, the betting odds are typically higher due to the increased level of uncertainty surrounding the outcome.

Over/Under Betting

Over/Under betting is a popular betting option in soccer that involves predicting whether the total number of goals scored in a match will be over or under a predetermined number set by the sportsbook. This type of bet eliminates the need to pick a specific winner and instead allows bettors to focus on the overall performance of both teams. If the total goals scored in a match exceed the sportsbook’s predicted number, “Over” bets would win, whereas if the total number of goals falls below the predicted number, “Under” bets would win.

Finding Value in Soccer Odds

Comparing Betting Sites

To find value in soccer odds, begin by comparing several betting sites or sportsbooks. These platforms offer varying odds for the same matches, so you can maximize your potential returns by identifying the best odds available. Some factors to consider when selecting a site include:

  • Range of soccer leagues and events covered
  • User interface and ease of navigation
  • Quality of customer service
  • Security and legality

Identifying Mismatches

Another aspect of finding value in soccer odds involves identifying mismatches between teams. When Team A is significantly stronger or more skilled than Team B, it’s more likely that Team A will win, providing potential value to the bettor. In these situations, consider using betting strategies that capitalize on these disparities, such as betting on a handicap, where Team A must win by a specific margin for a successful bet.

Considering Injuries and Other Factors

Finally, always consider team injuries and other factors that could influence match outcomes when examining soccer odds. Injuries to key players may lead to weaker team performance, which can create profitable opportunities for bettors when not factored into the bookmaker’s odds.

Additionally, factors like team morale, form, weather, and public opinion should also be accounted for when evaluating soccer odds. These elements may not be as obvious when reviewing odds but can provide useful insights for bettors looking to maximize value or identify upsets.

By comparing betting sites, identifying mismatches, and considering injuries and other factors, you’ll be better equipped to find value in soccer odds and make informed choices when placing bets.

How to Read Soccer Odds

Understanding Different Formats

There are three main formats for displaying soccer odds: American/moneyline, decimal, and fractional. Each format represents the probability of an outcome and the potential payout for a winning bet but may appear differently.

  1. American/moneyline: Here, the favorite is shown as a negative number (e.g., -200), while the underdog is presented as a positive number (e.g., +300). A negative number indicates the amount you need to bet to win $100, and a positive number shows how much you will win if you bet $100. For example, you would need to bet $200 on a team with -200 odds to win $100, while a $100 bet on a team with +300 odds would yield a $300 return.
  2. Decimal: The decimal format represents the odds as a single number (e.g., 3.00), which indicates the total return you will get on a successful bet. To calculate your winnings, simply multiply your stake by the decimal odds. For instance, a $100 bet on a team with 3.00 odds would result in a total return of $300, including your original stake.
  3. Fractional: In fractional odds, the potential payout is expressed as a fraction (e.g., 2/1). This format indicates the profit you will make for every unit you bet. In the case of 2/1 odds, a $100 bet will yield a $200 profit, plus the initial stake.

Calculating Potential Winnings

To determine potential winnings using different odds formats, keep the following calculations in mind:

  • For American/moneyline odds:
    • If the odds are negative: Stake = (100 / absolute value of odds) * potential profit
    • If the odds are positive: Profit = (Stake * odds) / 100
  • For decimal odds, calculate the total return by multiplying your stake by the decimal odds: Total return = Stake * odds
  • For fractional odds, calculate the profit by multiplying your stake by the odds fraction: Profit = Stake * (numerator / denominator)

Using these calculations, you’ll be able to better understand the various betting options and read soccer odds to make informed decisions when wagering on matches.

Popular Soccer Betting Markets

World Cup

The 2022 World Cup is one of the most anticipated soccer tournaments featuring international teams. Betting markets for the World Cup include:

  • Three-way moneyline: Punters predict either the winner, loser, or a draw.
  • Group winner bets: Bettors can place wagers on which team will top each group during the group stages.
  • Tournament winner: Predicting the team that will lift the trophy.

Premier League

The Premier League is England’s top-tier soccer competition, with 20 participating clubs. Common betting markets include:

  • Match result: Choose a winner, a loser, or a draw from a specific Premier League fixture.
  • Top goal scorer: Bettors attempt to predict which player will finish the season with the most goals.
  • Relegation: Punters can place bets on which teams will be relegated to the Championship.

Champions League

Europe’s elite club competition, the Champions League, offers soccer betting markets such as:

  • Match result: Similar to the Premier League, bettors choose a winner, a loser, or a draw from a particular fixture.
  • Group stage: Bettors can wager on which teams will progress from the group stage to the knockout stage.
  • Tournament winner: Punters can bet on the club they think will win the Champions League title.


The Major League Soccer (MLS) in the United States offers various betting markets, including:

  • Match result: Choose a winner, a loser, or a draw for a specific MLS fixture.
  • Total goals: Betting on whether the total number of goals scored in a match will be over or under a specified number.
  • Season winner: Bettors can predict which MLS team will win their respective conference, or the MLS Cup overall.

Advanced Soccer Betting Strategies

Live Betting

Live betting is a popular option for sports bettors, as it allows them to place bets on soccer matches while they are in progress. This strategy helps bettors take advantage of the changing dynamics of the game, such as team form, player performance, injuries or red cards. Oddsmakers constantly adjust the odds, which can offer bettors a chance to capitalize on their knowledge of the game and understanding of the teams’ current form.

Bet Types and Odds Changes

Different bet types can also help improve a soccer bettor’s strategy. The most common types of soccer bets include the three-way moneyline, double chance, and draw no bet. These bet types offer various betting markets, which allows bettors to choose the best option based on their knowledge and expectations of the game.

Odds changes can occur due to factors such as team news, injuries, and even weather conditions. Sports bettors should keep an eye on odds changes as they might indicate something important about the game. Tracking these changes and understanding the reasons behind them can significantly improve a bettor’s chances of winning.

  • Three-way moneyline: In this betting market, bettors can place bets on either of the two teams to win or the match to end in a draw.
  • Double chance: This bet type allows bettors to wager on two of the three possible outcomes (team A to win or draw, team B to win or draw, or either team to win) in a single bet.
  • Draw no bet: Bettors can pick one team to win, with the bet being void if the match ends in a draw.

Utilizing Bonus Bets

Many sportsbooks offer bonus bets to new and existing customers, providing an opportunity for bettors to enhance their betting strategies. Utilizing bonus bets can boost potential payouts and minimize potential losses by providing free bets or enhancing odds. Bettors should keep an eye on available promotions and carefully consider the conditions attached to each bonus bet. This strategy can help soccer bettors maximize their bankroll, allowing for more bets and better chances of winning.

Soccer Odds and Regulations

When it comes to understanding soccer odds, it’s essential to be familiar with the specific regulations that govern betting in different regions. This section focuses on the legal betting landscape in the United States and Canada, as well as UK and European betting laws.

Legal Betting in the United States and Canada

In the United States, sports betting has seen significant growth in recent years, particularly after the Supreme Court’s 2018 decision to allow individual states to legalize sports betting. Not all states have opted to legalize sports betting, but several have, providing regulated markets for soccer betting. Some popular operators in these regions include Wynnbet and various casinos that offer sports betting.

Canada has also seen a progressive shift in its sports betting regulations. The country recently passed a bill that legalizes single-event sports betting, including soccer. This move should open up the market for both domestic and international operators, providing more opportunities for bettors to engage in legal soccer betting.

UK and European Betting Laws

In the UK and Europe, soccer betting is very popular and widely regulated. The sports betting industry in these regions has developed over many years, offering various markets and betting options. Bettors can place wagers on the goals scored, final score, and other outcomes related to soccer matches.

Some key regulations governing soccer betting in Europe include responsible gambling measures, age restrictions, and anti-money laundering requirements. Additionally, operators in these regions are required to hold licenses from reputable gaming authorities, such as the UK Gambling Commission or the Malta Gaming Authority.

It’s important for bettors to familiarize themselves with the regional betting laws and regulations before participating in soccer betting activities. This can ensure a safe and enjoyable betting experience, allowing you to focus on analyzing odds and making informed decisions about your wagers.

Frequently Asked Questions

How do soccer odds work?

Soccer odds represent the probability of a particular outcome or event occurring in a match. The most common type of soccer betting odds is decimal odds, which represent the amount of money you will win for every $1 you bet. For example, decimal odds of 2.00 indicate that for every $1 you bet, you will win $2.

How to read 1×2 odds?

1×2 odds are a popular way to bet on soccer matches, reflecting the possible outcomes: home win (1), draw (X), and away win (2). To read 1×2 odds, you simply have to look at the odds given for each outcome and decide which one you want to bet on. For example, if the odds for a home win are 1.80, a draw is 3.50, and an away win is 4.00, you can choose the outcome you think is most likely to happen and place your bet accordingly.

What is moneyline in soccer?

Moneyline betting is a simple wager on which team will win a soccer match outright, without considering the point spread or any other factors. In moneyline odds, a plus (+) sign indicates the underdog, while a minus (-) sign represents the favorite team. For example, a moneyline bet of +200 on the underdog means you would win $200 on a $100 bet if the underdog wins the match.

How to bet on soccer and win?

There’s no foolproof method for consistently winning soccer bets, as luck and unpredictability are always factors. However, some general tips include doing thorough research on teams and players, considering factors such as form and injuries, and learning about various betting types, such as live betting and prop bets.

What is over/under betting?

Over/under betting involves predicting whether the total number of goals scored in a soccer match will be over or under a specified number set by the bookmaker. For example, if the over/under is set at 2.5 goals, you would bet on whether the match will have 3 or more goals (over) or 2 or fewer goals (under).

What is spread betting in soccer?

Spread betting, also known as handicap betting, involves assigning a virtual advantage or disadvantage to one team, creating a more balanced betting market. Unlike moneyline betting, where you simply bet on which team will win, spread betting considers the margin of victory. For example, if