Over/under goals betting

over/under goals bettingOver/under goals betting is one of the most popular football betting markets.

How over/under goals betting works

A bookmaker offers odds on a selection of possible final goal totals for a match. As a punter, you predict whether the number of goals scored during the match will be less or more than a total set by the bookmaker.

The most popular goal margin to bet on is 2.5 goals, with bookmakers offering odds on whether the total number of goals scored in the match will be over or under 2.5 goals.

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Example:

Manchester United plays Chelsea in the Premier League. A popular bookmaker like William Hill offers odds of 10/11 on under 2.5 goals being scored, and evens on more than 2.5 goals being scored. If you bet on the match producing over 2.5 goals and the final score of the match is 2-1 to Manchester United – a total of 3 goals, your bet wins and you’ll be paid out at 10/11.

Over/under goals bet types

The margins for over/under bets are most commonly presented as decimal values. The over/under totals are set at 0.5 intervals to ensure that a bet will produce a result. In other words, the total number of goals scored in a match will always be over or under the specified margin.

This avoids 'tied' bets that would basically not produce any result on the bet. For example if the over/under goals total was 2, and 2 goals were scored in the match, the bet would be unable to produce a result as the goal total is equal to the over/under margin rather than above or below it.

What does over 0.5 goals mean?

Over 0.5 goals betting is a bet on a match producing 1 or more goals. There's a good chance of an over 0.5 goals bet winning, but it will pay out at low odds.

What does under 0.5 goals mean?

Under 0.5 goals betting is a bet on a match being scoreless. A bet on under 0.5 goals should be reserved for matches with very strong defences and weak attacks, or high pressure matches like the World Cup final that tend to produce low scores.

What does over 1.5 goals mean?

Over 1.5 goals betting is a bet on a match producing 2 or more goals. When you bet on over 1.5 goals you are betting on a match producing at least 2 goals, which is a statistically likely outcome that will usually pay out at under Evens.

What does under 1.5 goals mean?

Under 1.5 goals betting is a bet on a match producing a single goal or no goal at all. A bet on under 1.5 goals is usually used when two evenly matched teams with strong defences or weaker attacks play each other, and you expect the match to result in a goalless draw or one team to win by scoring a single goal.

What does over 2.5 goals mean?

Over 2.5 goals betting is the most popular over goals betting market. This is a bet on the match producing 3 or more goals. If you bet on over 2.5 goals being scored, you're predicting the match will be higher scoring than usual, typically because a strong attack is up against a weaker defence.

What does under 2.5 goals mean?

Under 2.5 goals betting is the most popular under goals betting market. This is a bet on the match producing 2 or fewer goals. When you bet on under 2.5 goals being scored you're betting on a lower than average score thanks to strong defences or weaker attacks.

What does over 3.5 goals mean?

Over 3.5 goals is a bet on a match producing 4 or more goals. This betting market is popular for matches where a strong attack is up against a weak defence, or both teams have weak defences .

What does under 3.5 goals mean?

Under 3.5 goals is a bet on a match producing 3 or fewer goals. This is a statistically likely outcome for a football match relative to other goal totals, and therefore tends to pay out at near Evens.

What does over 4.5 goals mean?

Over 4.5 goals is a bet on a match producing 5 or more goals. This is a high scoring fixture that is statistically unlikely, with a greater probability of lower scores. However, this kind of score can occur when there are serious mismatches between teams or both teams are very strong on attack.

What does under 4.5 goals mean?

Under 4.5 goals is a bet on a match producing 4 or fewer goals. The majority of football matches will produce 4 or fewer goals, making this a statistically likely outcome, especially if two strong defences or weak attacks are in action. Odds available on this market will be under Evens.

What does over 5.5 goals mean?

Over 5.5 goals is a bet on a match producing 6 or more goals. This is a very high scoring fixture that is statistically unlikely. This type of score requires either a serious mismatch or very strong attacks and weak defences for both teams.

What does under 5.5 goals mean?

Under 5.5 goals is a bet on a match producing 5 or fewer goals. Most football matches will produce five or fewer goals, so unless there is a serious mismatch or outstanding attack and poor defence by both teams, this bet is likely to pay out, but at low odds.

What does over 6.5 goals mean?

Over 6.5 goals is a bet on a match producing 7 or more goals. Matches producing 7 or more goals are very rare, which means that this market tends to pay out at very good odds when a bet is successful.

What does under 6.5 goals mean?

Under 6.5 goals is a bet on a match producing 6 or fewer goals. The majority of football games produce 6 or fewer games, so this bet is likely to win but pay out at very low odds.

Goal line refunds

In some cases over/under goal markets may be presented using whole numbers. such as 1, 2 or 3. When the goal total for a match is presented in this way, the rules for payouts change. If the total number of goals in a match is greater or less than the market total, the relevant bets are paid out accordingly. However, if the total number of goals scored in the match is equal to the number specified in the market, bets are refunded.

Example:

Manchester United plays Chelsea in the Premier League. William Hill offers odds of 1/2 on under 2 goals being scored, and 1/2 on over 2 goals being scored. You bet on the match producing over 2 goals. The final score of the match is a 1-1 draw – a total of exactly 2 goals. As a result, the stake you bet is refunded.

Splits

Split bets are a combination of over/under bets and goal line refunds. These markets are presented with the decimals 0.25 or 0.75 added to the total goals. The goal total for the split market is determined by adding the totals for the two markets and dividing these by two. For example, split bets may take these forms:

  • Over 1.5 goals & Over 2 goals = Over 1.75 goals split bet
  • Over 2 goals & Over 2.5 goals = Over 2.25 goals split bet.

Example:

Manchester United plays Chelsea in the Premier League. Bet365 offers odds on Over/Under 2.25 goals being scored in the match. You bet on the match producing over 2.25 goals. Half the stake you wager goes to a bet on over 2.5 goals, and half goes to a bet on over 2 goals. The final score of the match is a 1-1 draw – a total of 2 goals. The first half of the bet loses, and the second half of the stake is refunded.

When to bet on over/under goals

Over/under goals markets are worth considering when it’s easier to predict whether a match will be a high or low-scoring affair than to predict the winner.

This includes matches between teams for which head-to-head statistics show definitive scoring trends, meaning that matches involving the teams consistently produce high or low scores. It also includes matches for which the attack and defence statistics for both teams have been consistent for several matches.

Many punters also look to the over/under goals markets for matches with a strong favourite. There is little value in backing the favourite in these matches, but they do have the potential to be high-scoring due to the difference in quality between the sides.

Factors to take into account for over/under goals betting:

  • Weather: Wet weather will usually slow down play and reduce the number of goals scored in a game.
  • Head-to-head statistics: Do the majority of matches between the two teams you're considering tend to produce goal totals over or under a specific margin?
  • Recent form: What are the goal-scoring averages for both teams over their last several fixtures? Ensure that you look at their statistics for both home and away fixtures.
  • Match importance: Often the composition of a team is altered based on the importance of a match. In turn, this will affect the team’s offensive and defensive capabilities, influencing the likely final score – and total number of goals – for a match.

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