Online sports betting is hugely popular in South Africa, and the main sport that punters bet on is undoubtedly soccer. This is not just a South African thing, as soccer is the most popular sport in the world, but in South Africa, it takes centre stage, heads and shoulders above all other sports. Most people grow up following their favourite league and players and it’s only natural to want to put that knowledge to the test by placing bets on the outcome of these matches. Not only do you want to beat the bookie, but you also want to beat your friends and have bragging rights.
Which soccer leagues are popular?
The most popular soccer league that players bet on is the English Premier League. It is one of the most followed leagues in the world, as well as having hundreds of matches to bet on. Plus it is extremely easy to find a TV station showing the games due to its popularity. A close second is the South African Premier League, which beats out other top European leagues. The PSL is extremely popular and would, in fact, be more popular than the EPL for betting, if there were more matches. Following the PSL, it skips back to the other international leagues, like Bundesliga, LaLiga and Ligue 1.
Which markets do players bet on?
When did players bet on soccer games, which markets do they typically bet on? Well, the most popular market is always 1X2 (home, draw, away) purely as it’s the easiest to understand and play. Other popular markets include Over/Under, with both teams to score, Double and Draw no bet. Although players often bet on individual bets, they also find making multi bets very attractive as it enables them to maximise their potential profits. If players don’t feel comfortable making their own multi bets, they can also bet on soccer pools, like sportstake, soccer 13 and soccer 6.
No Soccer, No problem
Given that soccer, and all sport, has been shut down due to COVID-19, there has been no live soccer to bet on for some time and it looks like this might be the case for a while still Even if sport resumes, it will be few and far between and there will be no one allowed in the stadiums. A very sad state indeed. So what have soccer punters been doing to get their bets in, with no traditional games being played? They have been punting on 2 different types of soccer games, namely Simulated Reality League and FIFA eBattle.
Simulated reality-league was developed by a company called Sportradar and it takes their database of 50 000 soccer matches and then creates a virtual soccer game between the teams. The virtual game plays out over the full 90minutes, and punters can follow it in real-time to see how it turns out.
The second product which has become popular during the shutdown is FIFA eSoccer. This is where one player from each soccer team is nominated to play PlayStation FIFA against another player from another team, and punters can bet on the FIFA game. It is popular but one of the main drawbacks is that punters are not able to watch the gameplay out due to data costs.
Although these two products are popular now, they will not replace the popularity of traditional soccer betting, which will come back massively hopefully in the next 3 months.