Betting on Soccer in Virginia
Soccer doesn’t carry the same reverence in the US that football, basketball and baseball enjoy. But with betting on soccer now live and legal at online sportsbooks, Virginians might find themselves more interested in “the beautiful game” than ever before.
As soccer is the most popular sport elsewhere in the world, you can always find a soccer match to bet on. There are so many leagues, teams and players involved that you can find loads of great betting opportunities 24/7. With a local MLS squad in DC United, you can even find some quite close to home.
If you want to bet on soccer here in Virginia, you’ve come to the right place. Below you’ll find the best info on what to bet, where to bet and how to bet on soccer in-state.
Live MLS & Premier League Odds
Check the live feed below for current moneylines and totals odds for Major League Soccer and English Premier League games. Use the drop-down menu to change between leagues. Click on any odds to go directly to the sportsbook, claim your bonus and bet on the game.
How to bet on soccer in Virginia
Because Virginia has no physical gambling locations yet, sports betting is available, at least at first, as an online-only option. That means you can make your soccer bets at online sportsbooks or soccer betting apps through your iPhone, iPad, Android phone or tablet, or computer.
To open a new sportsbook account in VA, you can click through our secure links anywhere on this page. This ensures you’re eligible for the welcome bonuses and free bets you see listed. Once you’ve reached the landing page, you’ll see download options for both Apple and Android. If you’re using an Android device, set it to allow downloads from unknown sources.
After downloading and installing, you’ll need to register for an account. Look in the top right corner of your display for a button to sign up. Registration involves inputting your personal information into the sportsbook app. You’ll need to have the following information available:
- Email address
- Phone number
- Mailing address
- Social Security number (or last four digits)
- Date of birth
- Username choice
- Password choice
You may also be asked to select a couple of security questions and provide answers for added protection. Note: If there are any bonus codes required, look for the box to enter them as you register. It will be one of the only boxes marked as optional for you to fill.
How to fund your betting account
Once you’ve finished registration, you can jump right to the sportsbook’s lobby to see your soccer betting options or head directly to the deposit page. Most sportsbooks offer several methods for funding your account. You’ll likely see several of the following options:
- Credit/debit cards
- Electronic checks
- Electronic wallets (PayPal, Skrill, Neteller, etc.)
- Online banking transfers
- Prepaid card
- PayNearMe (via 7-Eleven)
In other locations, there would also be options to deposit with cash at the land-based version of the sportsbook. Since Virginia doesn’t have those yet, you’ll have to select an online option.
How to get started with soccer betting
After your account is funded, head back to the sportsbook’s lobby. Most sportsbooks are arranged in a similar format to each other, so you’ll see a version of the following layout from left to right:
- Sports A-Z
- Featured sports
- Live betting
- Betting slip
The left column will contain a list of sports upon which the sportsbook has bets available. You can select soccer from the list, usually, but you can also choose the option that says “Sports A-Z” if you do not see what you want.
The middle section will be the sportsbook’s featured wagers and live betting options that it wants to promote. You may find soccer leagues including MLS or the English Premier League listed here for betting. If you want a complete list of soccer leagues available to bet on, go directly to the soccer tab.
The right side of the display is reserved for the betting slip. This area will auto-populate as you make your selections, but you’ll have to designate your bet size and confirm what you’re betting here before the bet becomes active.
If you press the link to the soccer section, you’ll see all of the sportsbook’s options for betting on soccer matches for that day (and a few days in the future). Usually, each game will only have the most popular types of bets listed in the section — the handicap (spread), the moneyline and the totals (over/under).
If you look in the bottom right of each listing, you’ll probably see a link for “more bets.” Press that button to see the full scope of bets for each match. The technology that sportsbooks use these days allows for betting on almost every conceivable configuration of events.
How does betting on soccer work?
For the most part, betting on soccer is no different from betting on any other sport. Most of the main types of bets are unchanged when applied to the game. There are some variations unique to soccer betting, though.
The most common type of bet on soccer matches is the humble moneyline wager. Bettors make a determination about which team will win the game and bet accordingly.
Where soccer diverges from other sports is due to the relatively high likelihood of a match ending in a tie. The top leagues in the world usually see between 20% and 30% of their matches draw, in fact. So a tie is a real possibility for bettors to consider.
One way that online sportsbooks in Virginia (and elsewhere) deal with this reality is by offering a three-way moneyline option.
You can choose either of the teams to win, but you can also bet on a draw. This type of bet is known as a 1×2, where the 1 represents a home win, the 2 an away win and the x a draw.
In any case, the sportsbook will assign either a positive or negative moneyline number to each outcome. This number bears information about the potential payout associated with each option and whether the sportsbook believes it to be the likely result.
A negative moneyline means that the outcome is more likely than not to occur. In such a case, the number listed is the amount that you must pay to win $100. A positive moneyline is an outcome less likely to occur than not.
In this case, the number is the amount that a $100 bet will win if it’s proven to be correct. You do not have to bet exactly $100, however. The sportsbook will adjust the payout proportionally to your bet size.
Handicap (point spreads)
Betting the spread is one of the most common bets in all of sports betting. However, a spread bet depends upon the existence of a meaningful score separation in the match. The potential for ties in soccer creates a problem for sportsbooks.
Instead of offering the typical spread bet, bookmakers will assign a handicap to the team perceived to be the underdog in the match. In many cases, this handicap will be in a half-goal increment.
Thus, even if the game ends in a tie, the bet has a winner and a loser.
Consider this example:
Team A is going to play Team B. Team B is expected to win, so the sportsbook assigns a half-goal handicap to Team A.
The bet appears as follows:
- Team A +0.5
- Team B -0.5
Now, let’s say that the game ends in a 2-2 tie. Normally, the sportsbook would have a slew of refunds to issue.
However, because of the handicap, the result of the bet is that Team A prevails over Team B by a score of 2.5-1.5. In such a case, the bet has a resolution, the winners get paid, and the sportsbook happily collects its vig for the bet.
This style of setting a spread is often called the Asian handicap, due to its popularity in that part of the world. The sportsbook may also offer Asian totals bets, although these are functionally no different from normal totals.
Sports bettors usually refer to totals bets as the over/under. They do so because they are betting that the total combined score from the game will either be over or under the sportsbook’s estimate.
Since scoring is sparse in soccer, a sportsbook may offer a host of different totals options with adjusted soccer betting lines. If you’re not sure which is the “true” over/under, or the book’s actual estimate, look for the moneyline pairing closest to -110 on both sides.
Soccer prop bets
Propositions, or prop bets, are bets on events in the game that don’t directly relate to its outcome. Generally speaking, if a bet has several parts to it or seems a bit kooky, it’s probably a prop.
Propositions in soccer are usually about either individual or team achievements. Examples of soccer props include:
- First player to score a goal.
- Whether a player will receive a card.
- Will a team receive a penalty?
Live soccer betting
Live betting is a type of prop betting that has become one of the most popular ways to bet on soccer. As its name implies, live betting, or in game betting, is betting on live games that are already in progress.
Live bets are propositions, of course, and they often deal with the same types of scenarios. However, live betting also allows for the continuation of pregame wagers. You will be able to bet on the moneyline throughout the game, for example.
Live betting is almost exclusively practiced online. The technological and logistical demands of in game betting are too much to manage in retail sportsbooks for the most part.
Soccer betting tips
Now that you have an idea about how to bet on soccer in Virginia, let’s talk about strategy for doing so.
1. Find a niche
The first thing to do when you start betting is to narrow your focus onto a single league and only a few types of bets. Work on mastering a winning strategy in a small corner of soccer betting before you expand your range.
There are a wealth of options for betting on soccer in the world. For a newcomer to betting on the game, there’s too much to do. If you try to wager on everything you see, it’s a surefire way to lose.
Pick a lane and stay in it. There will be plenty of time to bet on other things down the road.
2. Avoid propositions and live betting for now
Prop bets and live betting can be exciting options for sports bettors. They are often more fun and inventive betting items than the average moneyline or spread.
However, they are also much more difficult to pin down. There are usually many variables at work that decide the outcomes of these types of wagers.
Live betting even adds the element of time pressure to the mix. So, until you feel at home with betting on soccer, it’s probably a good idea to avoid the props and the live bets.
3. Stay on top of news and line moves
On the other hand, pregame wagers can often be researched and analyzed for their value. Between news reports, injury reports, weather reports and expert opinions, you can get a much better idea about where to place your money on a particular game.
You should also watch the lines on the game to see how they move. A sharp movement indicates that bettors are feeling a certain way about the game. It might be a sign that you need to do the same. Or it might be a sign that there’s profit in going the opposite direction.
Betting on MLS soccer games
While Europe is packed with several top-rated soccer leagues, the highest level of play in the US occurs in Major League Soccer. Players from both this country and abroad populate the rosters of the league’s teams.
The MLS team nearest to Virginia is also one of its most successful. DC United, which plays in our nation’s capital, has won the MLS Cup four times since the league’s inception in 1996.
Needless to say, MLS games are commonly featured on sportsbooks for wagering. You can bet on DC United or one of the other teams as easily as you can place a soccer bet on the English Premier League, La Liga or one of the other major leagues overseas.
Other teams in MLS are:
- Atlanta United FC
- Austin FC (New expansion team for 2021)
- Chicago Fire FC
- Colorado Rapids
- Columbus Crew SC
- FC Cincinnati
- FC Dallas
- Houston Dynamo
- Inter Miami CF
- LA Galaxy
- Los Angeles FC
- Minnesota United FC
- Montreal Impact
- Nashville SC
- New England Revolution
- New York City FC
- New York Red Bulls
- Orlando City SC
- Philadelphia Union
- Portland Timbers
- Real Salt Lake
- San Jose Earthquakes
- Seattle Sounders FC
- Sporting Kansas City
- Toronto FC
- Vancouver Whitecaps FC
Additionally, the league will add three expansion teams to the MLS by 2023. The expansion will bring the total number of teams to 30. One of those teams will be located in neighboring Charlotte, North Carolina.
Why soccer is worth a bet
There are some very good reasons why you should give soccer betting a try:
- Less precision: Bookmakers are staffed by human beings, and even though they use algorithms to set their lines, there is a limit to the level of accuracy that a sportsbook can produce.
- Availability: Soccer’s worldwide popularity means that there are wagerable games almost every day of the year. Even if MLS is out of season, some other professional league will just be getting started. You don’t have to wait for the right time of year with soccer like you do with many other sports.
- Novelty/enjoyment: There’s also the chance that you might find yourself appreciating soccer much more if you make a point to study it for betting. Soccer players are some of the greatest athletes in the world, and you might just find yourself rooting for the game when you would not have given it the time of day otherwise.
Soccer Betting FAQ
Yes. Betting on soccer has been legal in Virginia since April 2020.
Whenever you see “PK” in soccer betting (or any other type of sports bet), it is short for “pick ’em.” To the oddsmakers, there is no discernible difference between the teams, and the game could go either way.
However, if you see “PK” in a soccer box score, that means there was a penalty kick during the game.
A draw is when the game ends in a tie. Because draws are so common in soccer, moneyline bets are usually three-way, and you can bet on a tie occurring as easily as you can bet that one of the teams will win the match.
1×2 is a way that sportsbooks and bettors might express the three-way moneyline bet that is unique to soccer. The 1 means that the home team won, the 2 means that the away team won and an x means that there was a draw.
GG is short for “goal goal” and is a prop bet that you can make on most soccer matches. You are betting that both teams will score a goal in a given timeframe. You can also bet that one or both sides will not score, or go NG — “no goal.”
A corner kick in soccer is a play that occurs when a team kicks the ball out of play over its own goal line (without going into the goal). A corner bet is a prop bet about which team will win the most corner kicks.