Recent polls show that the popularity of soccer continues to grow, overtaking hockey and even making advances on baseball. While what the English call “football” has a long way to go before it rivals American football, there are still some great betting opportunities.
There is a variety of betting options in soccer, including the Asian Handicap (based on current form) and different kinds of prop bet. Accumulators (such as parlay bets) are also popular.
Picking the Golden Boot winner (the player who scores the most goals throughout the entire season or tournament) is popular. It’s a simple bet, but make sure that you look at both the player and their team. Many bettors have a favorite striker, but scoring the most goals is much more likely when the team as a whole plays as many games as possible.
Group stages in tournaments can also offer up opportunities. The drawing system for the World Cup tries to balance the groups by spreading the very best teams. The chances of the favorites to progress further is therefore greater than if the draw was random. However, look deeper into the groups to identify potential upsets that could offer up worthwhile underdog odds. Even a top-seeded country may be vulnerable to a particular playing style or might be fielding a weaker team than usual for a number of reasons.
A less popular but growing form of soccer betting is the “both teams to score” market. It’s a simple idea where the overall result doesn’t matter – as soon as both teams have scored at least one goal, you know that your wager is going to pay out. The most successful teams can be the least attractive, as while they’re likely to score, they’re also much more likely to keep a clean sheet themselves. In matchups between less polished teams and successful teams, the chances of both scoring are higher.
Whatever soccer betting strategy you use, team news will be incredibly important. If a star striker is injured and the team relies on them to score goals, then that will have a major impact on their overall chances and the likelihood of a “both teams to score” result. The return of a previously injured player who holds the team’s defense together could swing results in a similar way.