Soccer Betting Basics: Common Soccer Betting Mistakes

Our soccer betting guide is packed full of useful tips and advice. We recommend the best betting sites to use, along with what wagers to place. We go over the all the different soccer betting markets, and focus in on their pros and cons. Plus, we explain everything you need to know about making predictions, including all the different factors that need to be taken into consideration.

We provide this information in order to help you do what’s right. Our goal is not to tell you exactly what to do though, but instead to give you the tools you need to make good betting decisions on your own. Our hope is that by following our advice, you’ll become a successful and profitable bettor.

Success requires more than just learning the right things to do though. You also need to learn what NOT to do. Any mistakes you make when betting on soccer can directly cost you money, which is never a good thing. You want to avoid making mistakes as best you can. Even if you’re getting a lot of things right, making a few simple mistakes can undo all your hard work.

It’s important to come to the realization that you ARE going to make some mistakes. That’s a fact. Even the most successful bettors in the world make mistakes from time to time. What sets them apart from the rest is that they learn from those mistakes, so that they don’t repeat them time and time again. They also avoid making the basic mistakes that so many others make.

The purpose of this article is to make you aware of these basic mistakes. We want you to learn from them without making them yourself, so we also offer some advice on how to avoid them. For the most part, this advice is quite straightforward. By following it, you’ll already be on the right path to making some money.

Misunderstanding Value

We want to point out that these mistakes aren’t listed in any particular order, but we’re starting with one of the most common mistakes that all sports bettors make. This also happens to be one of the costliest mistakes. If you don’t properly understand value as it applies to betting, then your chances of success are going to be very limited.

Let’s start with a quick test, to see if you’ve fallen into the same trap as many other bettors. Take a look at the following two statements.

  1. High odds are good value.
  2. Low odds are bad value.

Do you think these statement are true? If you answered no, congratulations. If you answered “it depends,” even more congratulations. You understand at least some aspects of value in the context of betting.

If you answered yes, then you unfortunately misunderstand the concept of value. Don’t worry though. You’re not alone. As we’ve already stated, misunderstanding value is a very common betting mistake, and we’re here to explain it properly. First, we want to make the following point very clear.

It’s VITAL that you fully understand the concept of value.

Honestly, this is no exaggeration. The concept of value really is that important when it comes to betting. It’s something you should think about every single time you place a wager.

Let’s go back to the two statements we made earlier. The reason we listed them is due to the fact that many people believe this is all that value is about. They think betting at high odds automatically represents good value because of the potential for big payouts. Likewise, they think betting at low odds automatically represents bad value because of the low potential payouts. This is a vastly simplified view that can be very damaging.

In the context of betting, value does relate to the odds available of any given wager. However, value can’t be calculated by looking at the odds alone. It can only be calculated by comparing the estimated chances of the wager winning with the odds of that wager. It’s basically about determining the risk versus reward ratio. When the potential rewards outweigh the level of risk, then positive expected value exists. This presents the perfect opportunity to get some money down.

There’s a bit more to it than that, but that’s the general idea. We won’t get into the detail right now, for the simple reason that we’ve explained all about expected value here. If you don’t understand the concept, please take the time to read through that article. It will help you avoid one of the biggest betting mistakes you can make.

Betting With Emotion

Most people who bet on soccer are fans of the sport first and foremost. They bet on soccer because they enjoy following it, rather than the other way around. And there’s nothing wrong with this. We’re soccer fans ourselves, and it’s estimated that about 3 billion other people are too. This is no surprise, as it is a very excited sport.

When you follow a particular team, this excitement increases drastically. A team that loses horribly one week and then turns it around next week for a shocking win can really take its toll on our emotions.

Investing emotion into watching soccer is understandable. Investing it into BETTING on the sport is not. Emotion should never affect betting at all. All decisions should be made rationally, and based on logic and sound reasoning. At a push, instinct can play a part too. However, all emotion should be removed from betting decisions, which is something diehard soccer fans struggle to do.

A classic example of fans betting with emotion is when they bet on their favorite team to win, even when they know deep-down that they shouldn’t. In this situation, they’re betting on what they WANT to happen instead of what they think WILL happen. This is not a recipe for success.

Removing emotion from the equation is difficult if you’re a committed fan. It’s something you need to work on though. Otherwise, you’ll simply end up making far too many bets for all the wrong reasons.

Following the Crowd

A lot of soccer bettors like to follow public opinion. The theory is that it makes sense to bet on the same results or outcomes as the majority, as there’s a good chance that the majority will be right. This is a terrible approach to betting, for these two reasons.

  1. Most people who bet on soccer lose money.
  2. Heavily backed favorites rarely offer any value.

There’s a reason why there are so many bookmakers and betting sites in existence. Their customers lose money. It’s a simple fact that most people who bet on soccer lose more money than they win. The same is true for any other sport too. Keeping this in mind, it should be clear that doing what everyone else is doing will not lead to success.

It’s also worth noting that the odds in betting markets are affected by how much money is going on those markets. When the masses are betting on a particular result or outcome, the odds for that result or outcome will go down. Even if there was any value to start with, it will be long gone by the time you decide to follow everyone else.

Although there’s no single correct way to approach soccer betting, there are a few key rules to follow. For starters, you must make your own betting decisions. If you just try to copy what everyone is doing, then you’re destined to fail. Your goal should be to spot good betting opportunities early, and take the value before everyone else starts putting their money down. It’s even better if you can find opportunities that most other people won’t even spot.

Being Lazy

We shouldn’t really have to explain why this is a mistake. Throughout our sports betting guide we repeat time and time again how it takes hard work and lots of effort to be successful. Anyone who thinks that profitable sports betting is easy is mistaken. Not to mention, they are setting themselves up for failure.

Sadly, there are lots of soccer bettors who do think this way. Those who are knowledgeable about the sport tend to think that their superior knowledge will be enough to ensure they beat the bookmakers. Even though soccer knowledge is useful, it’s not enough by itself.

No matter how much you fundamentally know about soccer, it’s vital that you continue to put in the effort to stay on top of things. You should be watching games, reading match reports, reading fan blogs and forums, and doing anything else that might help improve your betting decisions.

Soccer News Outlets

There’s really no excuse for not continuously improving your knowledge of soccer. All the information you need is readily accessible. It’s not easy to assimilate all the information and analyze it effectively, but you must try your best. If you want to be successful, you’re going to have accept one irrefutable fact.

You HAVE to work hard to make money from betting on soccer.

Not Considering Key Factors

This is a really basic mistake. It’s an easy one to make though, especially for beginners. Soccer bettors often think that predicting results is a simple matter of working out which teams are the best. They assume, perhaps naturally, that the best teams are always more likely to win. Although there is SOME truth in this, things aren’t quite that straightforward.

There are several factors that affect the outcome of soccer games.

If the best teams always won, soccer wouldn’t be so exciting. One of the reasons it’s so popular is because of its unpredictable nature. Upsets are common, and there are very few games that are genuinely easy to predict. This is precisely why making money from betting on soccer is so challenging.

So how do we overcome this challenge? There are several ways we could answer this, but one relatively simple solution is to learn about all the key factors that affect the outcome of soccer games. This is vital information that really helps when it comes to making predictions. By knowing the most important factors, it becomes easier to assess the likely outcome of games. It will not only help you place better wagers, but it will ultimately lead to you making more money too.

Recommended Reading

We’ve written a detailed article that explains all about the important factors that affect the outcome of soccer games. It also offers some advice on how to assess those factors. We don’t want to sound arrogant, but in our opinion this is an extremely useful article that we wouldn’t recommend skipping over.

Ignoring Alternative Betting Options

This is one of the easiest mistakes to avoid making, and yet it’s still very common. There are numerous types of soccer bets, and it isn’t hard to learn about them all. Learning when the best times to use each type is a little more difficult, but that will come with experience.

Here are a few of the alternative betting options you should consider using.

  • Double Chance
  • Draw No Bet
  • Handicap Betting
  • Asian Handicap
  • Over/Under Goals
  • Both Teams to Score
  • Live Betting
  • Specials/Props

Even though there all these options available, many bettors stick solely to the most common type of wager. They just try to pick the winner of each game they bet on. Although this might seem like a logical approach, it means missing out on all the additional opportunities that the alternative options present. That would be verging on crazy.

Our main goal when betting on soccer is to find the right opportunities to get some money down. Why would anyone want to limit their chances of finding those opportunities? There’s absolutely no good reason to do so. So ignoring the alternative betting options is clearly a mistake. Make sure it’s one that you don’t make.

Using the Wrong Betting Sites

No mistake listed on this page is easier to avoid than this one: not once you’ve already discovered One of our primary goals is to help our readers find the very best places to bet and play online, and we do a very good job of meeting that goal.

Our website features rankings of the top gambling sites in a variety of different categories. These rankings are carefully compiled by our experts, using a combination of extensive research, testing and personal experience. They are updated on a regular basis to ensure that they genuinely reflect the best options for online betting at any given time. So to avoid using the wrong betting sites you simply have to check out the following rankings and sign up with one (or more) of our recommendations.

You may be wondering why your choice of site matters so much. Aren’t all betting sites pretty much the same? Categorically not. Most of them are of a reasonable standard, but there are some that aren’t much good at all. You obviously don’t want to use those. It’s not a disaster if you use one of the average sites, but there are several advantages to using the very best ones. The top three advantages are listed for you below.

  1. Better bonuses and rewards
  2. More competitive odds
  3. Wider choice of betting options

All of these advantages can directly lead to more money in your online account. So please trust us when we say it’s important to use the right soccer betting site. You’ll have a much better all-round experience, and your bankroll will probably grow too.

Trusting the Pundits

This mistake is entirely forgivable. It’s very easy to put your faith in what the pundits are saying, especially when they’re presented as experts. The problem is that the word expert is thrown around too often. There are some genuine experts who share their views in the media of course, and they’re worth listening to. On the other hand, there are a lot of pundits who get media time solely for entertainment purposes rather than because they actual have real expert advice to offer.

Now, let’s be clear here. There’s no harm in listening to what the pundits on TV have to say, or reading the views of pundits online or in print. It can be very helpful to consider the thoughts of others when forming your own opinions. We do this all the time ourselves, as it sometimes provides us with a different perspective. Other times, it reaffirms something that we already thought.

What can be harmful, though, is blindly trusting the pundits. You shouldn’t automatically take everything they say at face value. Sometimes they’ll air opinions simply to be controversial, and sometimes they’ll simply be flat out wrong. So it’s a mistake to trust them just because they’re in the media. And it’s certainly a mistake to make betting decisions based solely on their opinions.

Sticking with Losing Systems

This may surprise you, but the final mistake we’re going to talk about here is actually really hard to avoid, which may surprise you. After all, it’s easy to recognize that a system or strategy isn’t working? And just as easy to stop using it? You’d think so, but that’s not always the case.

No system or strategy works ALL the time. There are times when even the very best strategies let us down for one reason or another. You’ll never be successful if you gave up on every system the first time it didn’t return a winning wager. You have to persevere, and remember to focus on the long term rather than the short term.

Don’t be afraid to change a system that isn’t working.

That’s clear, and you’ll do well to remember this. You also have to be careful about giving up on systems too early. This is a hard balance to get right. To some extent, it’s something that will only come with experience. Over time you’ll learn how to assess the effectiveness of your strategies and act accordingly. Just make sure you’re always conscious of the risks of sticking with losing systems for too long.


Congratulations! You’re now fully aware of the most common soccer betting mistakes that people make. You also know how to avoid making them yourself. If you can learn from this article, and manage not to make the mistakes we’ve discussed, you’ll immediately be headed in the right direction to start making some money.

Unfortunately, the mistakes listed on this page aren’t the only ones you need to avoid. There are several more that apply to betting on all sports, including soccer. Don’t worry though. We can teach you how to avoid those too. Our sports betting guide includes an article on betting mistakes made by beginners. By reading through this article, you’ll learn even more basic mistakes to avoid.