What are the Odds? with Darryl - An Introduction to Soccer Betting Odds

What Are the Odds with Darryl -  An Introduction to Soccer Betting Odds.jpg

If you’re a regular listener of our podcast, you will not be surprised to find that we dedicated space on our website to discuss “the numbers.” What numbers you ask? Odds.

I love sports, and grew up around gambling and casinos. I still fondly remember when my uncle taught me the ins and outs of casino games at a young age. But the part of the casino that I was immediately drawn to was the Book, and I’m not talking about Pride and Prejudice. I’m talking about the magical Sportsbook. I was one of those kids that could recite the stats on the back of baseball cards, so the sportsbook is heaven for people like me. Plus, there are enormous
TV screens showing every sport you can possibly imagine. It’s the best. I knew immediately that it was a place that I wanted to hang out in.

At the time of my awakening, the laws in our country required you to be 21 years of age to gamble. It was an age that I unfortunately had yet to hit. But my uncle, being the bad influence that he was, would grab all the parlay cards and league betting lines he could get and would share them with me. He taught me how to read the lines, one of my greatest achievements. I couldn’t wait to turn 21.

I like to watch sports from that position: what are the odds? Why do they want me to feel like that team is the favorite? Can the dog cover? Can the dog win outright? Where does my dollar get the most value? This is the stuff I live for.

Let me be clear: anytime we post our picks or reasons why we like a team, it’s just for entertainment purposes. We love watching LigaMX and we do occasionally have real dollars on the matches. If we win, we’re ecstatic. If we lose, we don’t want to talk to each other for a while. The point is, these are just our opinions. If you throw some on any of the games because of our advice, don’t hold us responsible. We’re just some dudes on the Internet.

On a related note, the three of us play in a LigaMX Pick ‘Em pool each week and enter one entry. It’s really fun, and run by @DonTical_Futbol. Give him a follow and check out the pool. We were fortunate to win the pot a few times during the Apertura. Think you can beat us? Give it a shot in the Clausura.

Okay let’s get to the odds. Below you will find our picks for today and tomorrow’s matches. From this point on we are going to post our picks for the weekend’s games with a budget of $100 imaginary dollars on each game. I will post the latest LigaMX odds available and see how we would theoretically end up.

Queretaro v Cruz Azul 2.png

So here is an actual example of current betting odds for the second leg Liguilla matchup between Querétaro and Cruz Azul. If you’re unfamiliar with how to read these odds I’ll provide a quick tutorial for you here. Lets start with the first line.

Querétaro FC +.75 -120

This line means that Querétaro is a .75 goal underdog in this matchup to Cruz Azul. The book is giving you .75 goal cushion. This means that if you placed a bet on Querétaro using this line you would push (draw with the casino for a refund of your wager) if Querétaro were to lose by exactly .75 goals. I don’t know about you, but to me that seems like a impossibility. I’m not aware of any fractional points awarded in soccer. Conversely if you decided to back Cruz Azul with your money you would push if Cruz Azul were to win by .75 goals but lose if they won by .74 and win if the won by .76 or more. Again, pretty sure fractional points are still not awarded since I started this blog post.

So what does that -120 number mean? These are the odds that are behind that available wager. I like to think of odds in terms of dollars. So in order to make a $100 dollar profit on -120 odds, you must bet $120 to win $100 back. If you see a + sign in front of a number it’s the exact opposite. For example if the odds were +120, for every $100 you wagered you would win $120 back. More on that later.

Lets look at the next column of numbers:

Queretaro v Cruz Azul Moneyline.png

The second column is called the Moneyline. The point spread doesn’t come into play with these odds, so this is the least complex bet in all of sports betting. You simply pick the result you think will come.

Let’s take a look at Querétaro’s Moneyline odds. They are currently +425. The book sees them as a heavy underdog. If you were to place a $100 wager on Querétaro and they came through with the win it would net you a $425 profit. Not too shabby. Do any of us have the guts to make that wager?

Cruz Azul’s Moneyline appropriately suggests that they are the favorite of this match with odds of -143. In order to make a $100 profit on this match you would have to risk $143.

Also, in soccer, there is that pesky draw possibility. If you think this one is ending in a draw this is the bet for you. The draw Moneyline odds are +245. $100 bet on the draw would net you $245 profit.

Queretaro v Cruz Azul Totals.png

In the last column we have the totals. The oddsmakers have this one at 2.25. To make this bet you have to decide what the total amount of goals by both teams will be. If you think there will only be 2 goals scored or less, you would want to take the under. If you think the total goals will be 3 or more you would take the over. In both cases the odds are set as -120. So, you guessed it, you would have to lay $120 to make $100 back regardless of the bet.

In this blog feature moving forward the guys and I will primarily focus on picking winners and losers, but you may see us occasionally pick a total here and there.

Okay, onto our picks. Lets see how the three of us do with our theoretical $400 allotment betting on the different games today.

Game 1: Querétaro vs. Cruz Azul

Queretaro v Cruz Azul.png


Have to take Cruz Azul -.75. Cruz Azul should be able to handle a desperate Queretaro team that will get destroyed on the counter.


Also taking Cruz Azul -.75. Volpi is going to be under siege.


As much as I want to say Fuck Cruz Azul I don’t see Queretaro having enough to pull of an upset. Cruz Azul -.75

Game 2: Santos vs. Monterrey

Monterrey v Santos.png


Santos are the defending Clausura champions but I have to take the star studded Rayados. Taking Monterrey Moneyline +200


Santos is the most solid team in the league. Taking them Moneyline at home +135


Taking Santos at home Moneyline +135

Game 3: Tigres vs. Pumas

Tigres v Pumas.png


Tigres have won this tournament 3 times in a row. I look for trends. 3 in a row is tough to ignore. I think Tuca and company will pull this one out to advance. Tigres Moneyline +120.


Pumas have surprised me all season and continue to play solidly. I’m taking the home underdog Pumas Moneyline +215


In Tuca I trust. Tigres Moneyline +120

Game 4: América vs. Toluca

Toluca v America.png


What is the pitch going to look like a day after Cruz Azul hosts Queretaro? Feels like some weird things are going to happen in this matchup but I think the edge is with the hosts. America Moneyline -125.


I can’t bet against America. America Moneyline -125.


America should handle business. America Moneyline -125.

Check back next week to see how much we’re up or down. Good luck to you all!

Darryl Lopez is the host, producer, and sound editor of the El Three Podcast. He is passionate about watching the game with a statistical bend,  and you can count on him to have something at stake on a sporting event near you.