The over/under betting market is one of the most popular to bet on for football punters. In fact, Betfair state that it’s their second most popular betting market behind the outright result. We would hazard a guess that other bookmakers will likely follow suit.
The process of the bet is pretty simple in that you need to decide if a game is going to have over or under a set line for that match. What you will usually find is that the bookmaker will include .5 results, such as 1.5 goals, 2.5 goals and so on. This is essentially in place for ease, as much as anything as it allows them to distinguish a confirmed result, as no games can ever contain a half goal.
For example, if you were to bet on the over 2 goals in a match and the game finished with 2 goals exactly, bookmakers will often see this as a push and refund your money. By allowing punters to bring in the half goal, it means that the result will always be definitive. So, in an over 2.5 goal match you would need 3 or more goals to win that bet and anything less than that would lose.
The betting strategy below can be adapted for both over and under betting, unless otherwise stated.
Look at the bigger picture
It’s important when betting on these types of markets to look further afield than simply the last couple of games that have played. What you will find is that one or two results can drastically throw off what the ‘true’ statistics are for a certain game.
What we would advise is that you look at least 15 games and if that means that you need to dip into last seasons results, then feel free. It’s likely that most teams wont have changed their strategies that much in this timeframe, meaning these results can still count towards your research. You may need to be a little more careful when it’s newly promoted/relegated teams though, as the step up/down in class can often lead to a change on how a team approaches each game.
By applying a larger sample it will give you a much better idea of how each team might perform in that game.
Check the over/under goals stats, not total goals
A common error that we see regularly with these sorts of bets is when punter look at the total goals scored or conceded by one team rather than the number of times the over/under result occurred. What’s the difference I hear you cry?
Well, the main difference is that the total gaols can be totally skewed by just a few results to paint a picture that is not a fair outcome for the market that we are testing. For example, a team could have scored had 50 total goals in their last 20 games, giving them an average of 2.5 total goals per game. But, three of those games were 5-3, 6-1 and 4-3, respectively, totalling 22 goals in total. This means that the other 17 games averaged just 1.64 goals in total, which is a much lower number.
Instead we need to look at the actual number of times there have been over/under the goals line that we are looking to bet on. Let’s say we wanted to bet on the over 2.5 goals market. We see that they have 75% of their games over 2.5 from the last 20 games, but in fact average a lower number of total goals than the example above.
This is ALWAYS going to be a better bet than the team with a higher total goals number!
Get your stats cap on
There is an unbelievable amount of information on line these days for football punters and it’s these types of betting markets that are perfect to do your research on. Sites like Soccer Stats and Win Draw Win are daily visits for most professional bettors as they look to find as much as an edge over the bookmakers.
These stats based site swill give you an overview of exactly which teams have high percentages of over/under games and even let you know when they are playing net. Heck, some even give you latest odds for each bet, meaning you can form your decision almost immediately or at worst, line up them up for further research.
A good rule of thumb when applying stats such as the frequency in which a team has had over/under the goal line for that bet is to simply use the 65% rule. All you need to do is find 2 teams that match up with 65% or over occurrence of that result and you are likely going to be well on your way to finding a good bet. There is more data that you can apply to that match, as mentioned above, but it’s a great starting point when you find them.
Don’t discount the over 1.5 goal market
There’s little doubt that the most popular market to bet on is the over 2.5 goals market. It’s pretty much a coin toss for most matches and this score line, but that doesn’t mean that the over 1.5 goal isn’t a good bet as well.
The odds for this will be shorter than the over 2.5 goals betting markets because the likelihood that this bet comes in will increase. But, you can combine these shorter priced games into an accumulator bet to make some really strong football bets.
Consider what’s at stake
It’s important to consider what each team is playing for with these types of bets. Generally with league games you are good to go as each team will likely be going to win the game and if not, move on to the next.
The problems start to arise when it comes to cup games or even end of season games as well to some extent. With cup games team may be looking to either hold out for a replay or if it’s the second leg of tie, maintain a lead from the first leg, anything like that. It’s important to understand before placing the bet what each team are looking to get out of the tie, as this can be a really great guide to understand if the over or the under bet is going to be better value.
Don’t be afraid to try new leagues
When you bet on markets such as the outright result, it’s often advised that you should stick to the leagues that you know so you can have a better understanding how each team may approach the match. You might need to tap into that inner-intuition a little more than you would with say an over/under bet.
As these types of bets are much more stats based in your research, don’t be afraid to target games from leagues that you might not be all that familiar with. As long as you have a solid base of the type of stats that you need to pull in – which you should now have – then picking games from more remote leagues can actually work your favour as more often than not, the pricing wont be as strict due the lack of bets placed on that specific bet.