Soccer continues to be one of the most watched sports in the world, with millions of fans all over the world hoping to watch their favorite team or player show out on TV. International friendlies are yet another way fans can watch their favorite players and see what new players have joined their team.
International Friendlies have been going on since 1872, with age-old rivals England and Scotland competing in the first that November. The first match drew 4,000 fans and since neither team scored a goal, the game ended in a draw.
Friendlies serve as a chance for teams to test their players and prepare for international competitions, and therefore are a little different than competitive matches. While many International Friendlies offer the opportunity for teams to develop chemistry and thus don’t put too much on the line deeming them “pointless” by some, some football federations have created leagues to foster a little competition.
In 2018, the UEFA launched the Nations League, meaning European teams could play one another in every FIFA window in a more competitive way. Portugal won the first competition in 2019. Similarly, CONCACAF introduced their own competition of international friendlies in 2019 after seeing the success of the UEFA model. The United States won the first CONCACAF Nations League in 2021.
Though not all international friendlies are of the same competitive nature, FIFA does use the results to help determine the World Rankings. However, an international friendly needs to be either a Tier 1 or international A match in order to affect the rankings.
As it is with most soccer events, fans can also bet on international friendlies, with various betting options given. At BetUS, fans can bet on the moneyline, handicap bets, draw no bets, prop bets and first-half bets. If you are just starting out in soccer betting, moneyline and first-half bets are the best options.
Moneylines are one of the most common types of betting in soccer, wherein the bettor decides what team will win the game. There are both two- and three-way moneyline betting, with three-way offering the option of the game ending in a draw at the end of regulation.
In first-half bets, bettors are deciding either what team will be up at halftime or if the game will be tied at that point. A first-half bet or halftime bet is pretty similar to a moneyline bet, except that it happens in the middle of the game.
How International Friendlies Odds Work
It’s relatively easy to understand soccer odds once you get used to reading them. The team that is favored will have a negative number while the underdog is given a positive number. In the case of a two-way moneyline, there’s only two options, however a bettor can bet the game will end in a tie if they choose three-way moneyline betting.
For instance, say the United States is playing Jamaica in an international friendly. If the USA were coming off some big wins and Jamaica was struggling recently, oddsmakers would have the United States favored to win the match. A three-way moneyline bet for a matchup like that may be the United States (-150), Jamaica (+175), Draw (+150).
If someone placed a $100 bet that Jamaica would win, they would win $175 if Jamaica came out victorious. However, if a bettor decided that the United States were going to win, in order to win $100, they would have to bet $150.
Most Important Teams
The top teams in international friendlies can switch up as teams win or lose throughout the year. While England and Scotland are the two oldest teams to partake in international friendlies, they currently rank fifth and 39th in the world respectively. Brazil is currently the number one team in the world as of the most recent rankings, followed by Belgium and France.
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