The excitement of Qatar 2022 has sent everybody soccer-crazy, even those who do not ordinarily consider themselves big sports fans. What’s more, they have been doing more than just watching. Industry experts predict that $160 billion will be wagered on the tournament. The thing about soccer betting, however, is that you don’t have to wait for a World Cup to come around to give it a try.
In fact, fun though it is to get behind your nation with a small wager, World Cup betting is a terrible idea from an odds perspective. Bookmakers set odds based on the probability of the outcome but also on the number of bets placed. So if millions bet on Ghana to win, the odds will inevitably shorten, just to cover the bookmaker’s exposure.
As the most popular sport in the world, there is always a football league or tournament going on somewhere. Thanks to the internet, it is possible to follow the action online and to choose from dozens of reliable real money gambling sites to place a bet - click for more information. But what sort of bet should you place? Here are three of the most popular choices.
This is the most popular type of bet, in which you simply predict which team will win. There are variations on the moneyline, such as the draw no bet. Here, a draw is considered a push, so your bet is returned.
The moneyline is fine if you are simply betting on your favourite team as an act of support. But pragmatically, it’s not always a very attractive bet if there is a strong favourite. Backing the underdog almost certainly means you lose, and backing the favourite brings little reward. For example, if you had placed $10 on Portugal in Ghana’s opening World Cup group match, you would only have collected about $3 in winnings.
Over / under bet
With an over/under, you are not betting on the result but on the number of goals. The bookies give a figure, which in the case of the Ghana / Portugal match, was 2.5. In the event, five goals were scored, as Portugal won 3-2, so those backing “over” would have won even money, subject to a 10 percent commission for the bookmaker.
Bookies offer over/unders on other things too, not just goals. For example, you can bet on the number of yellow cards, corners, free kicks and more.
This type of bet is popular with professional gamblers. Like the over/under, it is a good alternative to the moneyline when one team is stronger than the other. Effectively, the bookmaker places a handicap on the game, such that the two teams are evenly matched. Again, using Ghana vs Portugal as an example, the spread was “Portugal -1.5”. It meant Portugal had a 1.5 goal handicap, so anyone backing Portugal on the spread needed them to win by two goals.
A bet on Ghana required them to either win, draw or lose by only one goal. So in this case, backing Ghana on the spread would have resulted in a win.