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Soccer is, without a doubt, the biggest sport in the world. However, despite its dominance in Europe, Asia, Australia, Africa and even South America, where soccer is not just a game but a way of life, it has not really taken off in North America. In Canada, many of us share common tastes and traditions as our European ancestors, yet we have never really warmed to their sport.

Still, there is a growing number of soccer fans in this country. In 2006, FIFA actually counted the number of people playing the game, arriving at a total of over 2,5 million, a number that has since, undoubtedly, increased.  The national soccer team in Canada has has limited success in recent years, but thanks to the European games that makes their way onto our televisions, and thanks to the recent World Cup in Brazil, that won the hearts of Americans across two continents, it seems inevitable that this sport will grow in Canada and that we will get better at it once it does.

Due to its popularity worldwide, there is more money gambled on soccer than any other sport. If we’re going to start playing this game a little more, if we’re going to get better at it and take on the world, then we should learn all we can about the gambling markets that attract so many punters every day. That’s what this article is about, as we strive to show you the best ways to bet on soccer markets here in Canada. We will focus on BetFair, as they offer the biggest markets, the best odds and the most choice.

The good thing about soccer is that there is always a game being played somewhere around the world, and on sites like BetFair, you can gamble on that game.

Win/Lose/Draw

The beauty of soccer is that it is one of the few sports where you can bet on the outright markets for a single game, without needing the assistance of a spread. This is because draws are more common and that, along with the fact that elite soccer games tend to be more evenly matched than other sports, creates decent odds across the board.

Usually you can pick up odds of around Evens for a favorite to win, but a heavy favorite will be much shorter than that. As far as draws go, you will often get at least 2/1, which means a $10 bet will return a profit of $20, even for those games that have “draw” written all over them.

Handicaps

In the event a big team is playing a rank outsider, which happens in some national leagues, the early rounds of domestic cups and the group stages of big events, then you might need a handicap bet. Although worded differently, this is the same as the spread that you will find in football, hockey and other sports. Basically, the heavily-favorited team will begin with a deficit (for the purpose of the bet). This can take the shape of -1, -2, -3, etc., If it is -1 then it means that they will need to win the game by 2 or more. If they win 1-0, then the bet loses; if they win 2-0, 3-1, etc., then it wins.

There is also an Asian Handicap which involves bets such as -1.25, -1,5, -1,75, etc., Obviously, you can’t score a quarter or a half goal in soccer, so whilst a 1-0 win will cause all of these to lose, a 2-0 win will cause them all to win. The recent they are different bets and the reason they have different odds is that some of them will give you your money back if the team wins 1-0, and therefore the handicap leads to a draw. These are a little more complicated though and if you are new to betting you are advised to look into other markets discussed in this article.

Accumulators

One of the most popular ways for soccer fans to use their knowledge of the game to turn a small bet into a big profit, is with an accumulator. This involves basically stacking up your bets, and it is used in all sports. As discussed above though, standard win bets are common in soccer, so that increases the odds and makes for a better priced accumulator. If you fancy several teams to win on any given day or weekend, then add all of them to your bet slip on BetFair, and then click the “multiple” option. Two bets is known as a “Double”, three is known as a “Treble”, and all others are suffixed with the word “fold” — “4-fold”, “5-fold”, etc., Bear in mind that you can not do this on the exchange, as you will be betting against different “bookmakers” for each bet, but you can do it on the BetFair sports book.

Other Outrights

There are more markets on a single soccer game on BetFair then you will find for any other sport. You can literally bet on anything, and if the win/lose/draw market doesn’t appeal to you as an outright market, then others may do. One of the most popular is the Goals Scored market, where you bet on whether there will be Under or Over a certain total. This usually begins at 0.5 Goals (where an Over bet will win if there is just 1 goal scored, and an Under bet will lose if any goals are scored) all the way up to 7.5 Goals (where an Over bet needs 8 goals for a win, and an Under bet is safe with any amount up to 7). The total that offers Even odds is usually 2.5, as the majority of games have 2 or 3 goals, but when two high-scoring teams are playing then this will increase to 3.5 and even 4.5.

You can also bet on how goals will be scored in the first or second half, how many goals will be scored by each individual team, many corners there will be, how many cards will be shown and more.

Correct Score and Goalscorers

One of the bets that will return the best odds, but is also very hard to predict, is the Correct Score market. This requires some knowledge of the sport and of the teams playing, but as nothing is certain, it also requires a little luck as well. Still, many soccer experts stand to make a lot of money by using their knowledge of the game to place several bets on this market. The fact that each one should return at least 7/1 means that if any of those bets land, they will make a nice profit.

You can also bet on the first goalscorer, with higher odds for midfielders and defenders, but with decent odds for the strikers as well. All sports books, including the one on BetFair, will also offer you a combination bet. In this you can pick who will score the first goal and what the final score will be. If you land a bet like this then you are looking at a very healthy return.

Tips

The best advice we can give you is to find a league and watch as much of it as you can. Those who make big money from betting on soccer know all there is to know about La Liga or the Premier League. These leagues change all of the time, teams get better and worse, players come and go, so it pays to follow the games every week so that you can make educated predictions about future outcomes.

It also helps to get the best odds, and as we said above, you really can’t beat the BetFair exchange. It can be difficult to get to grips with at first, and it may seem daunting, but it’s very simple to navigate once you get going and it will reward you in the long-run.

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