Soccer is responsible for the lion’s share of traffic going through most major online sports betting sites, so it shouldn’t be all that surprising that virtually every online bookmaker has prepared an excellent offer for the 2014 World Cup.
As 32 national teams are going to try to reach for the most prestigious championship in the soccer world, sportsbooks will be competing for new customers by spicing up their bonuses and odds. As you’ve probably already guessed, this is an excellent opportunity for an active bettor, as comparing the odds between different sites is almost guaranteed to provide you with plenty of opportunities to place profitable sure-bets.
Money Line Betting
Money lines or 1×2 bets are the most popular type of soccer wagers, so you’re guaranteed to have plenty of markets of this kind to choose from throughout the entire World Cup. When you place a money line bet, you have to put your money on one out of three options: home (1), draw (x) or away (2). The odds for bets of this kind are universally expressed on a $100 basis. The most likely outcomes are always marked with a minus symbol, which means that you’ll have to wager the amount set by the bookmaker for a chance to win $100. The less likely outcomes, for example the underdog winning, are always marked with a plus symbol. This means that you’ll be earning more than you’ve paid if you win the bet, so you have to wager $100 for a shot at winning the amount listed on the site. For example:
In this case Brazil is the favorite, so if you were to put your money on this team, you’d get $100 for each $150 you put at risk. A draw on the other hand would provide you with a $200 return on every $100 you invested. Finally, if you bet on Spain and your team managed to win the match, you’d get $250 for every $100 you wagered.
Over/under bets are yet another excellent way to wager on World Cup games. Unlike money lines, bets of this kind don’t require you to guess the winner of the match – in fact, whether one of the teams wins, loses or draws is completely irrelevant in this case. When you place an over/under bet, your goal is to predict whether the combined score of both teams will be higher or lower than the total posted by the sportsbook. For most games, this total tends to be set at 2.5. In such a case, winning an over bet would require both teams to score at least 3 goals, while winning an under bet would be possible only if the number of goals scored by both teams was equal to 2 or lower.
Parlays are advanced combination wagers that allow you to link two or more traditional bets like money lines or totals. The most common parlays are called doubles and trebles, since they’re composed of two and three bets respectively. Parlay betting is very different from placing each wager separately – the odds offered on parlays are significantly higher, but if any of your predictions is wrong, you lose the entire combination. For example, if you place a two-team parlay and you bet that your team will win the next match and that the total will be higher than 2.5, but your team wins the match 1-0, you won’t be getting any money. All things considered, parlays are best suited for seasoned bettors and high-rollers who enjoy the high-risk, high-reward action that wagers of this kind provide.
Virtually every die-hard soccer fan has an opinion as to who will actually win the World Cup, so it shouldn’t be all that surprising that virtually every sportsbook offers plenty of World Cup futures markets. The odds on bets of this kind are usually very high, but keep in mind that any futures bet is a long-term investment, so you won’t be seeing your money for a while even if your predictions prove to be right. Furthermore, most sites require you to place those wagers before the tournament actually starts. However, if you end up being late, some sites might still allow you to put your money on one of the teams with adjusted (and lower) odds.
The term “proposition bets” or “props” refers to wagers that don’t really fall into any of the categories listed above. Consequently, props tend to be rather gimmicky and usually deal with the performance of specific players instead of whole teams. Popular props offered by many bookmakers include first team to score, first player to score and total number of goals scored by soccer superstars.