The absolute most important aspect of online soccer betting is understanding the intricacies of the sport. Knowing the various types of formations and playing styles, as well as each of their strengths and weaknesses, will be the backbone of your soccer betting strategies. When handicapping each team’s playing style and strategies, also consider these free soccer betting tips to help you place more bets in the win column.
Importance of Schedule
Not many things are more frustrating to a bettor than handicapping a game to the point where you feel you have a great grasp on it, betting it accordingly, and having your side have an uncharacteristically awful day. It can be a painful reminder that even the world’s top athletes are only human. While “off days” can’t always be foreseen, being sure to check each team’s schedule before betting a game could help you spot some red flags.
Is the team you are planning on betting on coming off a huge game, or have one coming up in their next game? This is a prime spot for a let-down game. A team coming off a huge game, especially against a hated rival, will rarely be able to match the same level of intensity they had in the previous game since they left it all on the field for 90+ minutes. Or if that big game is next up on the schedule, some players might be looking ahead and lack the focus to put their best effort forth in this one.
Similarly, general fatigue can play a role. If one side is well-rested and hasn’t traveled much lately, they are more likely to have their legs under them than a team that has played multiple games over the last week without much rest. Finding teams in big let-down spots makes them easier to pass on; or find value in betting against.
Look For Strong Road Teams and Weak Home Teams
Home advantage is big in just about every sport, but it doesn’t get much bigger than soccer. Crowds are notoriously loud and boisterous, and road teams are often overwhelmed and forced to play more conservatively than usual. Because of this, sportsbooks almost always slant lines quite a bit to favor the home team in every game.
This leaves an opportunity to find some great value on teams that play poorly at home or well on the road. Bookmakers don’t want to be left vulnerable on a team playing at home, so even if they are aware of favorable road splits or unfavorable home splits, they will often still keep the odds slanted in the home team’s favor.
Some teams play more nervously at home, focusing more on not losing the game instead of winning it. Teams like this are great to bet against, especially against an aggressive and fearless road opponent. Strong road teams aren’t negatively affected by hostile crowds, and some even feed off their energy. These types of teams make great bets, especially as large underdogs.
Try to determine what you think the odds on a game would be if it were played at a neutral location, and see how big of a difference there is from the actual odds. If you think the line is slanted way too far in the home team’s direction, don’t hesitate to bet the road team.
Don’t Be Afraid to Bet on Draws
Many bettors simply don’t like betting draws; they believe it is more fun to root for a team to win than root for a stalemate. But winning money is the most fun you can have when betting online, and ignoring draws just because they aren’t “exciting” would be a big mistake.
Two evenly-matched teams will not often provide great odds on the draw since many will be expecting it. The best spot to find value on draw bets are in games where an inferior opponent is matched up against a powerful opponent, but the inferior opponent has shown the ability to play strong defensive and possession soccer.
Most of the public will be betting on the money line or point spread, falling in love with the popular favorite or the big odds on the underdog. The draw will pay very handsomely if it hits, and usually the money you earn in these spots will far outweigh the money you lose.