Finding the best soccer odds for all of your bets is key if you are serious about your soccer betting. However, at first glance, finding the best soccer odds for today might seem like a difficult and time-consuming task.
Visiting each sportsbook individually is not for everybody, so you will need a reliable way to find the soccer betting odds so you can make the most of every wager without spending so long that you miss a golden opportunity. For this reason, here at TheGruelingTruth.com we’ve put together this one-stop guide to tell you everything you need to know.
If you are a new soccer bettor you might be wondering what the point is in trying to find the best betting odds for soccer, as so far, all sportsbooks look the same. If you are a more experienced bettor, you might have a long relationship with the same sportsbook, and really don’t see the benefit of making the effort to look elsewhere. It doesn’t matter who you are through, if you are not comparing odds, you are potentially leaving money on the table.
Say for instance you place a bet with a potential return of $100 and find out later that you could have got a return of $110 elsewhere, you might not be bothered. But, if the same were true each week, that’s over $500 in a year, which is an amount of money that might be worth noticing.
The problem here though, is finding a quick and easy way to compare odds, which we’ll look at later on – but, first we’ll see how sportsbooks come up with their soccer odds in the first place. As a quick note though, in other countries soccer is referred to as ‘football’ so be aware so you don’t get mixed up with the best football odds.
Contrary to popular belief, sportsbooks do not just pluck figures out of thin air. So, if you are looking at the odds at a sportsbook and wondering how those figures are determined, the answer is that it is a complicated process based on one simple principle – that the sportsbook is there to make money.
To ensure this happens, the sportsbook assigns a probability to all of the possible outcomes for any given market, so that they almost balance each other out (more on that in a moment). This is otherwise known as making a book, and why a sportsbook is often referred to as a ‘bookmaker’. So that the ‘book’ always makes money for the operator, the odds are slightly skewed so that there is a small house edge, and this is how sportsbooks make their money.
Of course, in soccer, this is easier to see as there are only three possible results in the biggest market. However, it might not be so easy when looking for the best f1 odds, or another sport where there might be many winners like a golf tournament.
Given that in the modern age all sportsbooks have access to the same reams of data as each other, it might be reasonable to expect that the odds will not vary between sportsbooks, but that is not always the case for two reasons.
Sometimes it is because the event happens once every few years (like with the best political odds for an election), or the human element in calculating odds might place more significance on one of the stats, and come up with different odds to another sportsbook which does not have the same opinion.
However, the most common reason for varying odds is the amount of money placed on certain markets. Say for instance that in the English Premier League (which we’ll refer to as the EPL from now on), highly rated Manchester City were playing not quite so successful Brentford. There might be so much money going on Manchester City that the sportsbook reduces their odds to make that bet less appealing, and increases the odds to make backing Brentford a more attractive idea.
More money on Brentford would then balance the book and guarantee the sportsbook a profit because of the factor mentioned above, also known as the overground or the ‘vig’.
So far, we’ve looked at how sportsbooks come up with their odds and why they might be different as you go from one sportsbook to another, but there is one more thing to clear up. As you go from sportsbook to sportsbook, you might have seen that not only are the odds different, but they look like they make absolutely no sense whatsoever.
If you are confused by this, there is a simple explanation that, depending on where you are in the world, different formats for showing odds are ‘standard’, and that the odds you are used to seeing in your own country might not make sense anywhere else in the world. Luckily you can use a betting odds converter to overcome that problem, but here is a quick explanation of all three common formats:
Decimal odds are usually the simplest to understand as they give a simple numerical value to the probability of an event happening, with the lower the number, the more likely the result. In Decimal odds (which you might also have seen called European odds) 1 is the lowest possible value, being an absolute certainty, although it is never used. However, if a team is 7-0 up with a minute to play, you will see their odds of winning at 1.01, which is pretty much the same thing.
This simple scale makes it easy to spot underdogs and favorites. In the example used earlier, before kick-off, you might see Manchester City at 1.75, with Brentford at 7.2 and the draw at 4.8. You can see at a glance the sportsbook expects Manchester to win, with the draw also more likely than Brentford winning.
One point of note is that the number you see the total return per dollar you bet, so if you bet 1 dollar on Manchester at those odds, you’d win 75c, and get a total return of $1.75. This is really the only thing to get used in what is essentially a very basic way to place a wager.
At first glance, fractional odds might seem simpler than decimal odds for two reasons. Firstly, because this is the format often used for the horse racing odds for today, you might have seen them elsewhere, or odds in this format quoted in movies or TV programs (which is why they are also known as traditional odds).
Secondly, their format looks very straightforward. You might have seen them written as 7/1 or 7-1 but either way they mean exactly the same thing. In this case, for every dollar you put down, if your bet is successful, you’ll get 7 back, plus your stake. You’ll agree then, that at this level, these odds are easy to work out, However, when you see odds like 13/8 they are not quite so easy to decipher and if you see odds of 13/8 at one sportsbook and 2/1 at another for the same bet, the time it takes you to work out which offers the best deal, the opportunity may have passed you by.
So, overall, fractional odds have their benefits, but like decimals odds there are a couple of quirks you need to get used to, to be able to use them effectively.
The chances are, this is what you thought odds looked like all along, and while it’s useful to know about those other formats, you are likely to do most of your soccer betting using odds in this format. As you probably know, the favorite in any soccer game is easy to spot as their odds will be preceded with a minus sign, and a number which is a simple representation of how much you would have to wager to win $100.
The less likely outcomes will be preceded with a plus sign, so in the example above Manchester city would have odds preceded by a minus sign, and a Brentford win and the draw would both have plus signs in front of them. In case you wanted to compare American odds to either fractional or decimal odds, it is possible, but there are enough online calculators available that it is much easier to do it that way. Alternatively, a sportsbook may have the option to change the visible odds format, either using a toggle somewhere on the page, or in the settings section of your account details.
If you have been betting on soccer for a while, you might have come across various betting strategies or pieces of advice online mentioning the phrase ‘expected value’. Now, if all you want to do is place a soccer bet then this might seem like pointless jargon, but it can be useful, even if you only bet occasionally, as you can use it to work out whether you are getting a good deal or not.
Basically, it’s to work out if the odds on a bet are better than the data might suggest, like if the odds for Manchester City in the example were 3.5 instead of 1.75, or of somebody gave you better odds than 50/50 for a coin toss:
Say for instance that you were offered double if it came down heads, but even money if it was tails. That means if you bet $100 on heads you might win $200, and on tails $100. If you placed a bet on heads time and time again, you should have won 50% of the time, meaning on average you would have $50 profit for each bet you placed. This means that this bet has an EV (expected value) of +$50.
If that all seems a little daunting to work out manually, don’t worry, you can always use a betting odds calculator to do all the math for you!
By now, you’ve probably realized that betting at the same bookmaker time and time again might not be (ironically) the best bet. You might love your bookmaker, know where everything is and have your ‘usual’ stakes set up so you can bet quickly, but unless there is a very good reason why you are betting at worse odds (more on that next) you are obviously losing out. For that reason, there are some things you can do to make sure that if you missed out on a great bet today, you don’t miss out on the best soccer odds tomorrow.
As we mentioned earlier, going around each sportsbook checking the odds every time you want to bet is not everybody’s idea of fun, but using odds comparison can really make a difference to your overall winnings in the course of a year. That way, you’ll never miss out on any enhanced odds that a specific sportsbook has on offer. One possible solution is to have accounts with more than one sportsbook, with a balance in each, so that you can move between them easily and they are all ready to go should the odds there be better than your ‘usual’ sportsbook.
It might sound an odd thing to say at this point, but while nearly always, shopping around for the best odds is the best option, there are a few occasions when this might not be the case. One common example would be betting with the same sportsbook because you are at such a high level in their VIP club that the rewards you get, far outweigh any of the profits you would make from winning the same wager at better odds, but the are also others:
Free bets can make up part of a bonus, and as such can only be used at the sportsbook who gave it to you. So, while you won’t be keeping the stake, the profits will be all yours regardless of if the odds are better elsewhere.
If you have to bet through a deposit match bonus by a given deadline, it’s usually best to concentrate all of your effort in one place to meet the target in time, rather than possibly sacrificing a large bounty for the sake of some slightly better odds.
You might have thought that comparing odds would not be practical for live betting as the prices move very quickly and by the time you’ve looked in more than one place, the original odds will have moved anyway. In most cases you would be right and comparing best soccer odds in fast-moving games like soccer is not the best idea.
However, there are times in a soccer match when it is not so fast-moving. Half-time is the most obvious, but there are other events. The first one that springs to mind (especially in the EPL) is when a decision is referred to VAR, but on this occasion, markets are usually suspended until the matter is resolved. However, when a player is injured but no card is issued, the play will stop, as it might when there is a free kick, and the defense is rearranged a dozen times.
While here at TheGruelingTruth.com we are all about finding you the right sportsbook, at the same time it can be just as important to make your EPL or MLS bets at the best soccer odds possible. While looking around might take extra effort, you’ll soon find that the extra profits from a successful wager will usually make it seem worthwhile.
Finding the best soccer odds can take a little practice and preparation, and as we’ve pointed out, there are rare occasions when it’s not the best move, but once you are ready to go, either betting before or during a match can be made better by finding the best soccer odds for today.
Soccer is a fast-moving sport, with a huge number of factors that affect the odds, so it’s quite clear that you need to compare the different odds to make the most informed wagers. This is not always easy, but by using the tips in our free soccer betting odds guide, you should find what you need.
You might think that the odds for upcoming soccer matches, especially the big games in the EPL or the MLS would be the same wherever you looked. However, this is not always the case and by reading our free Soccer betting odds guide, you will find out why and, more importantly, you could find how this works to your advantage.
While soccer might not always be headline news in the US like the NFL or the NBA, some sportsbooks are likely to have some EPL markets. However, this might not be the case everywhere, so by checking out our latest reviews you will be able to find the sportsbook that covers the most EPL markets for upcoming matches, and also the best soccer odds.