What's that mysterious foreign game that's suddenly boomed in the USA since the turn of the millennium? That's right, it's soccer, and it gets bigger and better every year. I honestly think that the USA could be leading the way in this sport in a few decades, and it's time for you to get involved too.
Want to know how to get started with soccer betting? Read this in-depth guide, and you'll soon be taking on the sport with the same sharpshooter prowess as Cristiano Ronaldo.
As you may have noticed, soccer is becoming more popular in the USA by the year. It can't reasonably contend with the giants of football, baseball, and basketball yet. Still, there's an argument to suggest it could boom over the next few decades.
Still don't believe me? I'll present you with a few facts that might change your mind. You may be surprised that seven percent of Americans said soccer was their favorite sport. Don't forget there's been a massive 27 percent rise in viewing figures for Major League Soccer since 2012.
The USA is certainly leading the way in the rise of women's soccer alongside the men's game. They've won the World Cup on four occasions. No, that wasn't a typo! That record number of victories was achieved in 1991, 1999, 2015, and 2019, and their success has helped boost the sport's popularity in the country.
Now is the perfect time to get into the world of soccer betting. The World Cup is coming soon, and this will be one of the country's most significant events for the betting industry - ever. In 2026, the USA will host the major soccer competition alongside Mexico and Canada, and millions of people worldwide will be flocking here to watch the games. Pretty exciting, right?
While soccer may not be the biggest sport in the USA, it has the largest fanbase worldwide. It should come as no surprise, then, that soccer is also the most popular sport for betting. Naturally, online bookmakers are looking to stand out from the competition with a substantial selection of offers and promotions, which are your best areas of opportunity due to the potential value. Currently, only nine percent of people surveyed in the country said they'd bet on soccer in the past.
Because soccer can be broken down and deciphered using statistics, making it a hot prospect for betting. Through thorough research at sites like ESPN and FOX Sports, you can easily decide which teams and players are worth a bet on. For example, you may notice that New York City has been collecting many bookings and conceding a disproportionate number of chances down their left flank. That information could help you decide to back right-wingers to score or assist against them.
There are plenty of reasons for betting online, but here are two of the best.
Nearly every betting site worth its salt has a welcome bonus for players. I've scoured some of the top ones in the USA right now so you can get an idea of what's available. PointsBet is one of the top-rated sites for US bettors, and it offers "risk-free" bets worth up to $2000 in total. Another top option is BetRivers, which has a similar offer valued at $250.
The great thing about soccer betting is that there are so many different markets, so a range of statistical metrics and data sets can be used to find value. Sites such as FBref and American Soccer Analysis are a great starting point. Some bookmakers also provide stats when looking at the markets for a specific match, which you can use as a starting point. If you want to bet regularly, I'd advise opting for a betting site with every major league worldwide to maximize this area's potential.
It's a great idea to familiarize yourself with all the bet types before you get started. I've compiled a few of them here for you.
A moneyline bet is where you simply bet on the team you think will win. At betting sites, the bookies assess who they think has a better chance of winning. The odds can vary significantly between two teams if one is the heavy favorite.
Over/under bets are a fantastic option in soccer because it makes for a more exciting watch. You could bet on whether you think there will be a certain number of goals, corners, fouls – you name it. If there's a clear favorite in a match and you feel it isn't worth a moneyline bet, staking on over/under could be the way forward.
If you think you've got a good idea about who might win a league or cup, you could go for a futures bet for the season. These bets are versatile as they give you something to keep an eye on for the whole season, and you can even use this market before the season if you feel brave. You could just go for a straight bet on who you think will win the MLS, or you could back the top goal scorer.
Other international leagues, such as the Premier League, offer more thrill. You can stake on which teams you think will get relegated, who you think will make the top four spots and duel forecasts such as who will finish in the top two places. You'll usually find futures in their own section, but they are sometimes listed as specials as well. Sometimes it pays if you can guess who the loser will be!
Parlay bets in soccer are a bit like a lottery because it is hard to win on them. This is where you bet on several different games, and you can win big due to the small probability of all the results coming in. The odds of each market are multiplied against one another to give you enhanced odds if you win. Parlays aren't just restricted to one market; they can cover various ones such as moneyline, over/under, and correct score, providing plenty of options.
Many online betting sites now offer live betting, so you can stake on events in the game as you are watching it. Have you got a hunch that Carlos Vela is about to bag the next goal? You could quickly hop onto a betting site and make a stake in the next player to score market. This can add another element to the viewing experience, and it's a popular way to bet.
Some betting sites offer the option to create a parlay on just one game. For example, you could combine over/under goals in a match, the first player to score, and the eventual winner. The online betting site will then calculate the odds for if these events all come to fruition. This is called a Same Game Parlay to be distinct from the general term. Sometimes betting sites will create their own pre-built same game parlays, so keep an eye out for those.
So, you know about all the different bets. Now, you just need to find some matches and competitions to stake in. If you want to stay close to home, the MLS is a highly competitive league many people love to bet on. The season starts in February and runs until October, with every 27 teams playing 34 games. This adds to a lot of fun, meaning there are plenty of betting opportunities.
Other significant leagues and cups worldwide are consistently well represented on online betting sites. The English Premier League is hugely popular in the USA, meaning that it's easy to bet on matches and then watch them see if your predictions come true. You could also stake on Spain's La Liga, Italy's Serie A, or France's Ligue 1. Then, there's the ultimate club tournament – the Champions League. It restarts in February with the knockout stages, with some juicy matchups such as Real Madrid against Paris Saint Germain or Manchester United against Atletico Madrid.
My final advice would be to do a lot of research before betting and always give yourself a limit. Good luck – you've got this!