How to Read Soccer Las Vegas Spreads
Soccer can occasionally have rather high money line prices, with heavy favorites, either due to a lopsided matchup based upon the competition in top-flight leagues or tournaments. Heavy favorites are commonplace, making the money-line wagers particularly risky. It is required to risk quite a bit for a very small return.
Fortunatley for bettors, many legal sportsbooks offer a spread betting market or what's known in soccer as the goal-line. This is similiar to a Two-Way money line wager where the Draw is eliminated in this market.
All you have to do is pick Team A or Team B but the difference is that a margin involved that one team must win by or the loser must stay within the spread or better put goal-line.
A typical goal line in soccer is listed as -0.5 and +0.5. However, you could see that margin grow to -1.5 or 2.5 with very heavy money line favorites in soccer. When you get to international tournaments like the Word Cup, seeing one country lay -3.5 or -4.5 isn't uncommon, especially in the Women's World Cup where the talent gap is extreme.
The favorite will be laying the goals, defined by the minus (-) while the underdogs are receiving goals and they have a plus (+) symbol next to them.
How to Bet Soccer Spreads
So in some cases, goal-line wagers can be a much better value, as you will bet on a favorite to win by a spread and you don't have to risk as much as you did on the money line. And in some cases, you can receive a better return and that usually happens when the money line odds are close to even.
Money LineFrance -250
United States +500
Goal LineFrance -1.5 (+100)
United States +1.5 (-120)
In the example listed above, France is listed as the heavy favorite (-), while United States is considered a long shot underdog (+). If you were to select the French national team on the money line, you would have to lay $250 to win $100. The goal line on France is -1.5 and a $100 wager would return $200, which includes your stake. You would lose this wager if France loses outright to the United States or if they won by exactly one goal.
Selecting the United States for the outright upset would net a 5/1 return (Bet $100 to win $500) and while stunners do happen in all sports markets, its highly unlikely. However, taking the US team to keep it close and grabbing the 1.5 goal line would give you the ability to win the wager even though it could still lose. By taking the goals, bettors would have to risk $120 to win $100 on the US in the above example.