Legal Soccer Betting Guide
In the United States, every bettor knows that football is king. But did you know that football betting is also the most popular kind in the rest of the world, too? Of course, we’re talking about a totally different kind of football, here – the sport Americans know as “soccer.”
And while soccer betting lags behind NFL, NCAAF, MLB, and NBA betting in the US, it is much more popular than NHL betting, and it’s the fastest-growing market for US wagering in general.
That said, soccer betting is still predominantly an overseas thing. For this reason, legal online sportsbooks tend to have far more soccer lines than domestic online or land-based US books.
You might find plenty of robust MLS odds or World Cup odds at domestic books, but if you want comprehensive coverage of the international pro soccer betting scene, you’ve got to join a reputable offshore betting site.
Best Soccer Betting Sites 2019
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Is it legal to bet on soccer in the US?
Yes. There are no federal gambling laws that prohibit betting on soccer. In addition, there are a growing number of states with legal sports betting in the US, but most people who want to bet on soccer simply have no local options to do so.
Alternatively, legal online soccer betting is possible for residents in most US states if they opt to use an offshore betting site instead of a domestic option. In terms of legal soccer betting, these websites are safe to use, even if they operate in an international region.
Because they operate outside of US jurisdiction, and because most states have no sports betting laws prohibiting anyone from placing real-money bets with these sites, they are not illegal to use as long as they are operating legally within the industry, such as the ones you see on this page.
There are two exceptions, though: Washington and Connecticut. These are the only two US states that expressly forbid online gambling. However, even if you live in these states, our recommended sportsbooks will accept you as a member, but you’d be doing so at your own risk.
5 Most Popular Soccer Leagues For US Bettors
Major League Soccer
Major League Soccer (MLS) is the top-tier US soccer league, established in 1996. While it isn’t on the competitive level of the major European leagues, for American bettors, the MLS is usually the best entry point for legal soccer wagering.
It’s more accessible, and for US viewers unfamiliar with the game, MLS announcers and broadcasts are always geared towards introduction and explanation. The MLS has 24 teams, and the LA Galaxy has won the most MLS Cups (five). Legal MLS betting options are a growing niche within the gambling market for US bettors.
English Premier League
The English Premier League (EPL) was founded relatively recently, in 1992. Given its status as the top soccer league in the world, that represents a fairly meteoric rise.
Most estimates suggest that roughly 4.7 billion people watch the EPL globally, which makes it the most wagered-on soccer league, as well. The EPL is comprised of 20 teams, and Manchester United is the most frequent champion with 13 titles to date.
Spanish La Liga
La Liga is the top soccer league in Spain and was founded in 1929. Real Madrid has the most titles in the league’s history with 33, and global superstar Lionel Messi (or just “Messi,” for those in the know) is the all-time leading La Liga goalscorer.
When it comes to betting on La Liga soccer, the league commands a respectable share of the market and is consistently around third in betting volume behind the EPL.
Italian Serie A
Serie A is the tier-one Italian soccer league, founded in 1898 (which makes it one of the oldest sports leagues in the world, on par with the US’ MLB). In terms of betting action, Serie A is roughly equivalent to its Spanish counterpart, La Liga, and trends behind the EPL.
The Italian Serie A has 20 teams, and Juventus currently holds the most titles at 35. Betting on Serie A soccer is available at all the major online betting sites.
The German Budesliga is the fastest-growing European soccer league in terms of betting handle. While the Bundesliga was founded in 1963, over the last couple of years, it has rocketed up the betting boards to its position just behind the Premier League.
More and more sportsbooks are offering Bundesliga odds, so you should have no trouble finding these soccer lines. The Bundesliga is made up of 18 teams, and Bayern Munich is the team to beat with 28 titles and counting.
Popular Soccer Championships To Bet On
Below are the Soccer Championship tournaments and games that are popular to bet on from around the world.
- 2019 MLS Championship: November 10th, 2019
- 2019-2020 Premier League Championships:
- English Football League (EFL) Championship: March 1st, 2020
- FA Cup: May 23rd, 2020
- UEFA Champions Cup: May 30th, 2020
- 2019-2020 La Liga Championship: April 18th, 2020
- 2019 Serie A Championship: April 20th, 2020
- 2019-2020 Bundesliga Championship:
- DFB-Pokal: TBA
- DFL-Supercup: TBA
Other Soccer Leagues To Bet On
In addition to the major leagues above, there are many others to bet on at offshore sportsbooks. Coverage for these varies depending on the mobile soccer betting sites you use, but if soccer’s your game (especially if you insist on calling it football), then these leagues might be for you:
- Australia A-League
- Belgian First Division A
- Brazilian Championship A Series (Brasileirao)
- China Super League
- Czech First League
- Dutch Eredivisie
- English League One
- English League Two
- Liga MX (Mexico)
- Ligue 1 (France)
- Ligue 2 (France)
- Primeira Liga (Portugal)
- Russian Premier League
- Superliga Argentina
- Turkish Super Lig
- Ukrainian Premier League
Betting On Major International Soccer Tournaments
In addition to the standard leagues above, soccer betting enthusiasts turn a huge handle betting on all the biggest global soccer tournaments.
The FIFA World Cup is the largest of the major international events, and the UEFA Champions League is the biggest annual soccer tournament in the world.
World Cup betting sets volume records every time the tourney is held (the next one’s in 2022), but tens of billions of dollars are spent on these tournaments every year, and you can find World Cup futures several years in advance.
- Copa America (est. 1916, intermittent)
- Copa del Rey (est. 1903, annual)
- Copa Liberatadores (est. 1960, annual)
- FA Cup (est. 1871, annual)
- FIFA World Cup (est. 1930, intermittent)
- Summer Olympics (est. 1900, intermittent)
- UEFA Champions League (est. 1955, annual)
- UEFA Europa League (est. 1971, annual)
- UEFA European Championship (est. 1960, intermittent)
Soccer Betting Guide: Basic Soccer Bets Explained
The basic soccer wager types should be familiar to any sports betting fan, though the names might be different from the terms you’re used to on this side of the pond. As long as you familiarize yourself with these soccer betting concepts, you should be ready to start wagering on real football.
How To Read Soccer Betting Odds
There are three ways that sportsbooks will present soccer odds (aka football odds) to you. Most US-facing offshore sportsbooks will use the American moneyline format, though you will sometimes come across fractional soccer odds, too. Decimal odds are not commonly used in the US or major international betting markets.
Remember: Betting odds do not show the mathematical probability of any event actually happening. Instead, they should be viewed as the price tag for a given wager.