Guide To Soccer Betting: How To Bet And The Odds Of You Winning

Deborah Gan

Deborah Gan

Last updated 06 December, 2022

New to sports betting? It isn’t as difficult to understand as you think. But winning big is another story altogether.

Now that it's World Cup season, everyone seems a little more on edge knowing that the team they’re supporting is underperforming, or seeing the underdogs playing exceptionally well.

Whether or not you’re a football fanatic, placing bets on a team makes the experience more interesting, especially since your money is on the line. And cheering with the crowd when your favourite team scores just bring out a new sense of camaraderie with people you don’t even know.

If you’re new to soccer betting, here’s a guide for you to understand the different types of betting and the probability of winning. However, it is important to ensure that you don’t go overboard with sports betting and keep your stakes low to enjoy the game.

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Betting on a match winner — 1X2

If you’re new to sports betting, then this might be the easiest and most basic type of bet at the Singapore Pools. You can either bet on the home team, the away team, or a draw.

Source: Singapore Pools

Making reference to the Japan vs Crotia Round of 16 World Cup match, every S$1 bet gives you a S$1.97 payout if you placed your bets on Croatia winning the match. Likewise, betting on Japan winning the game or a draw will give you a payout of S$3.05 and S$3.40, respectively for every S$1 put in. From this, you can tell that the odds of Japan winning is the lowest.

To calculate the odds of Japan winning, you can use the formula below:

1/(Japan’s odds) = 1/(3.05) = 0.328

This means that the probability of Japan winning the match is 32.8% while Croatia winning and a draw comes down to a 50.8% and a 29.4% probability. But you may realise the math just ain’t mathing. If you add up these percentages together, it adds up to 113% — more than 100%. Why is this so?

The extra 13% is known as the “bookmaker margin”, which is what Singapore Pools earns. So the best case scenario would be for every S$100 that is put in, Singapore Pools makes S$113. They have to find a way to make guaranteed profits regardless of the outcome of the match to sustain their business.

So now that you’re playing with a 113% possibility, the chances of Croatia winning just became slimmer, making every successful bet even harder to materialise.

Giving the underdog a headstart— Asian Handicap 

This betting type has been increasingly popular among Asian countries and aims to eliminate the chances of a draw in a soccer match. This is why you’ll see numbers like +0.25 or -1.5, because, in the real world, there’s no way you can score half a goal.

Asian Handicap is designed to give the stronger team a virtual disadvantage or the weaker team a virtual advantage so the starting score of one team will not be 0, so the playing field is evened out.

For example, you can place your bets on Portugal winning while being at a -0.5 goal disadvantage because they have stronger form. Choosing this bet will mean that Portugal starts with a score of -0.5, while Switzerland starts at 0. 

Conversely, you can also bet on Switzerland winning the match after being given the +0.5 goal advantage.

Whatever the final result, you’ll have to factor in the virtual advantage/disadvantage to the final scoreline to see if you won the bet or not.

Assuming you bet on Switzerland winning, and the final scoreline is 0 - 0.

  • Portugal’s final score is -0.5
  • Switzerland's final score is 0

You won your bet because Switzerland’s final score is still higher than Portugal’s. And since it requires at least a score difference of 0.5 to win, you won S$1.97 for a S$1 bet. In this case, for Portugal to win, they’ll have to maintain at least a one-goal lead.

But in certain cases where the score difference is only 0.25, which is half of 0.5, you only won half your bet. For a full outcome list, you can refer to Singapore Pool’s Asian Handicap guide.

With all these said, you’ll always have to keep in mind that the handicap goals and odds are all carefully calculated by Singapore Pools to maintain profitability in the long-run.

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Betting on the match's outcome — 1/2 Goal 

Half goal (1/2 goal) works similarly to Asian Handicap, just that all their virtual advantages and disadvantages are either in whole numbers or have decimal places of 0.5. This means that there’s no such thing as winning half your bet.

In this case, the stronger team, Spain, has to maintain a two-goal lead to win, while Morocco has to, at most, be one goal behind Spain to win.

Betting on the match score — Pick a Score

Betting on the final scoreline is definitely one of the hardest bets to win because you have to be extremely precise about both teams’ scores. However, the returns are much higher than other betting types.

The highest payout with the lowest odds would be S$400 for every S$1 bet, with a 4-4 draw between Morocco and Spain.

You’ll just have to remember that the final scoreline stops once the 90-minute match is over. If the game advances to the 30-min extra time, your bet is no longer in play. However, you can place an additional bet for the extra time, and the final scoreline does not spill over to the penalties.

Other bet types

Here are the other bet types that can be bought but are fairly self-explanatory:

  • 1st goal scorer — betting on the player who makes the first goal of the match
  • Halftime 1X2 — betting on the match outcome after halftime
  • Halftime total goals — betting on the total goals scored by both teams after halftime
  • Halftime-Fulltime — betting on the team leading after halftime and fulltime
  • Last Goal Scorer — betting on the player who makes the last goal of the match
  • Team to Score 1st Goal — betting on which team makes the first goal of the match
  • Total Goals — betting on the total number of goals scored by both teams for the match
  • Total Goals Odd/Even — betting on whether the total number of goals scored is an even or odd number
  • Total Goals Over/Under — betting on whether the total number of goals is over or under a specific number (2.5)
  • Will Both Teams Score — betting on whether or not both teams will score a goal

How to bet on Singapore Pools?

Smply head over to Singapore Pools’ website and make an account before you can start betting. You can also download the app on the App store to make your bets on the go! For android users, you’ll need to follow this step-by-step guide.

Here’s how to make your bets:

  1. Create an account or log in
  2. Menu > Football
  3. Choose the bet type
  4. Select the dates
  5. Pay

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A mahjong addict with an undying love for dogs, Deborah is always on the hunt for cheap deals because she is always broke. That is why she is attempting to be more financially savvy to be.. less broke


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