From casual fan to savvy bettor: How to make informed sports bets

Soccer is the world’s most popular sport and has around 3.5 billion fans globally. While it might have taken a while to catch on in the US, it has now taken off in popularity around the country.


The rise of the MLS in recent years coupled with the investment that has been made into this competition has helped soccer pick up more US fans in the last decade or two. It is also likely that the greater inclusion of soccer as a sport which is played in schools, colleges and universities around the US has helped it grow over time nationally.

The popularity of global leagues and tournaments such as the English Premier League and UEFA Champions League within the US alongside some big-name US players emerging on the world soccer stage have also contributed to the sport’s status in the states.

Sports betting also key for soccer’s popularity

It is also key to point out how legal sports betting in the USA has enabled sports such as soccer to find new fans and attract a new audience. Many states now allow sports gambling within their borders, which has led to the US sports betting scene growing significantly since 2018. A result of this has been an influx of interest into soccer from sports bettors and a new level of interest in the game.

When you also factor in the extra spice betting on soccer matches brings to watching games and how it brings you closer to the sport, you can see why gambling on games has taken off so much. If you plan to get involved with this though, it is crucial to know how to make informed bets as a savvy gambler. If you do not do this, you will be merely relying on pure luck to win and acting in a much more casual way.

Here are some of our top tips for betting like a pro on soccer games:

Team news

The simple fact is that properly researching your bets before you make them is the main way to bet in an informed, smart way. If you put some effort into doing this, you stand a much better chance of any soccer wager you make being successful. One key thing to look into before backing any team is the latest team news.

This is because who is playing for each team makes a huge difference to what might happen in the game. If team A has four top players out but team B is at full strength, you can see why you might want to think twice about backing team A!

There are several key pieces of team news any savvy bettor should consider. Perhaps the major one is injuries, as this will show you any key players each team has missing for that game. It can also show you how long they might be missing for when it comes to future bets involving the same team.

It is also worth checking suspensions for the same reasons. A lot of modern coaches now like to rotate their players for certain games — especially in domestic cup matches or when playing a team they think will be easy to beat, and this could result in them leaving a lot of star names out.

Head to heads

Just as anyone who wants to keep up with world soccer might watch top Serie A goals from 2022/23 or highlights of the La Liga season from Spain, anyone fan who wants to bet like a pro on this sport should pay attention to head-to-head data.

This basically refers to looking at how the last few games between the same teams panned out. As with a lot of the other soccer data on our list to consider, this is pretty easy to find with a quick online search.

Although you may think this would not provide any useful information, head-to-head stats can actually be very surprising at times. Although you may think team A is much stronger and in better form, head-to-head records might show that team B has won four out of the last five games they have played against one another.

This is certainly something to factor into your betting and can help you identify value for money bets on the underdog which you might not spot otherwise. Looking into head-to-head stats is also great for picking out bogey teams who seem to haunt certain teams in the world’s top leagues!

Recent form

Most sensible guides to soccer betting will advise you to check the recent form of both teams before making any wager. This is very good advice and is certainly worth doing. Just remember not to go too far back, as their current form may have changed from 15 games ago.

It is generally best to look at the last five games for each team to see how these have gone. Although winning five out of five does not mean another win is guaranteed for the team in question, it does show that they should be full of confidence for the game to come.

Looking into recent form can also be worth doing for individual players. This is especially true if you like to look into more exotic markets, such as a certain player to score in the match. If you look at their last five games and note that they have scored in the last four, you can see they are in the zone and might be likely to score again in the next game.

Home advantage

This is another factor any savvy sports bettor will investigate and cuts across every sport you could wager on. It just seems that playing at home inspires most teams to perform better, which may be due to their vocal home support. This can be seen in soccer teams that normally excel at home, such as Liverpool, Borussia Dortmund, PSG and Real Madrid.

When you also factor in the familiarity playing at home offers to players and the travel time that opposing teams have to endure, you can see why this can give teams a real edge. As a result, looking at which team is playing at home and considering if this gives them an added advantage is wise.

This is a tip to be cautious with though, as not every single team in world soccer likes playing at home. Some seem to wilt under the pressure of their own fans. In addition, some teams excel when playing away and actually count being on the road as an edge. This makes it key to look into these factors also when looking at any potential advantage the home team has in a soccer game.

Weather conditions

Soccer is a sport which can be played in a variety of weather conditions — from sun to wind and rain. These weather conditions can have a massive impact on the eventual result and how both teams and individual players perform. Teams who like to play a passing game, for example, might be hampered by a very wet pitch where the ball does not carry properly on the ground. Certain players may not enjoy very cold or very windy conditions, which could lead to them having a poor game.

Savvy bettors need to think about what weather conditions the game will be played in and how this could impact the performances of players and their team. Bad weather conditions can often level the playing field somewhat and allow poorer teams to spring a surprise result against better ones.

Importance of game

Although you may think that all games are important in soccer, some are more valued than others by teams within the sport. An end of season game between two mid-table teams will not carry as much weight as a match between two teams to decide the title.

Looking at how important the game might be to both teams is essential for better soccer betting. If team A has nothing to play for but team B must win to avoid relegation, it is easy to see how team B will be more motivated to do well. This might be even though team A would usually be the stronger team and the most obvious one to back. By taking factors like this into account, you are able to bet on soccer in a more professional way.

In-play betting

Although the above are all great ways to research soccer bets before placing them, you still never really know how things will go until the match starts. One way to be extra sure is to get involved with live betting markets. These are now offered at most top sportsbooks and allow you to place wagers once the action is underway.

The most obvious advantage with live betting is that you are able to see if your research has paid off and the bet you plan to make is still worth placing. It can also give you an idea of whether the team you plan to back is having an unexpected off night and you should steer clear!

Informed soccer betting for savvy gamblers

If you are a fan of soccer, you know how exciting games are to watch and the scintillating drama they contain. Betting on games can ramp up these excitement levels even more and is a great way to get closer to the sport. It is key to know what you are doing first though and using our tips above to bet in a more informed way is a great place to start.

Time Soccer
Time Soccer is a collective of individuals who are united by a passion for football.Our goal is to provide you with insightful analysis, engaging video highlights and up-to-date coverage of matches.


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