Soccer is the world’s most popular sport. In the world of sports betting, with over 3.5 billion fans worldwide, it is also one of the most betted on sports in the world. Leagues like the Premier League, Champions League, or any major FIFA tournament are a bettors paradise to make wagers and picks.

So why is soccer so easy to bet on? It’s free flowing and the variables are simple during the course of the game, unlike the NFL, a goal counts as 1 point, so it’s easy, with the proper research to predict an over/under or 90 min score line. The usual suspects are the players who usually come up big for their teams. Barcelona will almost certainly try to find Lionel Messi during a game and his chances to score are always huge.

Soccer allows the bettor to gradually become an expert, most bets are done with outright winners, who can score the first goal, an over/under, and the futures are very simple. Let’s review some key things to keep in mind when betting on soccer.

Learn to read the game like Marcelo Bielsa. (Getty)

Research the game

Mario Hermoso of Atletico de Madrid is tackled by Lucas Vazquez of Real Madrid (Getty)

Wagering on any sport requires a bit of research and knowledge. For example, if you are going to bet against Real Madrid in La Liga, it is important to understand how the team’s current form is. Who they are playing against, and if you feel that a team can upset Real Madrid, then make sure the variables are in your favor? Don’t bet on a team who is on a massive losing streak or has a poor history against Real Madrid. Betting on soccer is about understanding how to bet and choosing wisely.

Use the props 

Diego Rossi and Carlos Vela (Getty)

Betting props are fun because you don’t have to pick an outright winner and can use intuition to win some good money. Example if LAFC is playing you can bet that Diego Rossi or Carlos Vela are sure to score the opening goal for the team. Both are healthy and consistent goal scorers for the club so it would only be natural to bet on them. Another good prop is the over/under, by studying how a team is performing this season you can determine if a game will be over/under 2.5 goals. If it’s Barcelona who has been decimating the opposition during the year, it's always a safe bet to bet on the over 2.5 goals. If they are two tight defensive teams betting the under would make the most sense.

Be realistic in your betting

Christian Pulisic (Getty)

Once again don’t pick Christian Pulisic to score for Chelsea if he is not even getting off the bench. Or pick the San Jose Earthquakes to win MLS Cup in a future if they are one of the lowest spending teams in the league. Usually in European soccer, most of all the top 4 to 5 teams of each league, usually end up winning the title.

The key to success in betting on any sport, especially soccer, is common sense. Choosing wisely and researching the game. As you become more and more familiar with the variables of the game then you will be able to identify good picks and take smart risky bets.