It seems like it has taken forever to get here, but the World cup is finally less than a month away. The tournament gets underway on June 11 when the host South Africans play Mexico, and Uruguay meets France, and it ends a month later with the gold medal game in Johannesburg on July 11. Avid soccer fans can probably barely sleep in anticipation of the games. Even if you aren’t a big soccer fan normally, though, you really do need to bet the World Cup. It’s the biggest sporting event in the world, and you’ll get swept up in the excitement and intrigue of it all if you let yourself. There’s also a decent chance at making some money, too, because national pride leads to a whole lot of betting being done by the heart and not the head. If you’re ready then that means you can find some nice value.
If you don’t watch or bet on soccer regularly then it can feel overwhelming to get ready for this betting opportunity. It doesn’t have to be, though. Here are six things you can do now to be ready to fatten your wallet once the games get started:
Get to know the field – You can’t make a good bet if you don’t even know who is playing, so now is a good time to get familiar with the field. You can start by seeing what teams have qualified, then move on to the groups that they have been split into. Which teams have an easy grouping? Which teams are in tough? Which teams are legitimate contenders? Which ones are overrated? It won’t take much effort to become reasonably comfortable with the makeup of the field, and that’s the perfect starting place.
Read, read, read, and read some more – There has been a ridiculous amount of virtual ink spilled about this tournament already, and there will be far more in the coming days ad weeks. The more you can read before the tournament, the better off you will be. Reading previews, predictions, and insights into different teams will help you craft your own picture of how the tournament will turn out. If you read from a bunch of different sites then you’ll find information ad predictions that is contradictory, but it doesn’t matter – it’s all stuff for you to absorb and process. All of the big American sites have their coverage going strong, but don’t stop there – European, Asian, South American, and African sources are going to have a different view that will likely be more insightful about the teams from those regions. If you don’t like to read then there is all sorts of video to be found as well.
Get comfortable with the ways to bet – Most soccer betting is done using some form of the moneyline, so if you are typically a point spread bettor then you need to get familiar with this different approach. It’s really not that hard – all you have to do is be focused on value. The key in betting the moneyline for long term profit is not trying to pick which team is better, but which team has odds that are furthest away from what you think are their chances of winning. The bigger the gap between your perceived advantage and the advantage implied by the odds, the bigger your edge, and the higher the value. If you do a good job determining your perceived advantage then you’ll make a long term profit.
Shop for the best book – All sportsbooks are going to offer World Cup betting of some kind, but it only makes sense that the books that will do the best job are the ones tat do the most with soccer all of the time. Your favorite book might be great for football or basketball, but they might not be nearly as strong at soccer – they might not post their lines quickly, or offer the most competitive lines or widest range of props. Making sure that you are at the best book, or that you have funds in a few different books, will give you the best chance of finding profits.
Find the best sources of information – Once the tournament gets underway you are going to want to make sure that you have a good, accurate source of game summaries, meaningful analysis, and injury reports. Chances are that the best possible information isn’t going to come from America sites. Spend some time looking around now to find sites that are already providing good information and seem as if they will continue to. If you are looking for betting advice, make sure that it is coming from someone who actually follows soccer more than one month every four years. Investing a little time here now will pay off big time in the future.
Watch some soccer – The more you watch a sport the more comfortable you get with the pace and flow of the game, and the more you start to see the subtleties and intricacies of the sport – the ones that pay off at the betting window. If you don’t watch a lot of soccer then now s the time to start. If you have cable then you’ll find lots of European soccer on late at night or early on weekend mornings. You can find feeds and video online. You can even go to a game if you live in a city with a decent level available. It really doesn’t matter what you watch as long as you watch as much as you can.