How to Win in Over/Under Markets?
Considering that a large number of football bettors consistently seek markets that are more profitable compared to the regular 1x2, where a late equaliser or lack of score can convert even the best betting decisions into losing bets, we’d like to take you through a simple and easy-to-understand betting guide that’ll teach you how to score consistent profits in the over/under goal markets. This is a must-read for every football bettor.
If you compare it to other popular sports, scoring a goal in football is a very infrequent event. This results in the knockout games and short tournament format games becoming highly unpredictable. As a result, league performance becomes a major indicator of the actual strength of a football team.
When it comes to football betting and a fair assessment of the offered odds for over/under betting markets, sports bettors and bookmakers often turn to the average number of goals scored per match by the teams.
So, in the event that a bookmaker such as Bet365 is seen providing odds of 1.925 for the over 2.5 goals market in a certain Premier League match, while some other bookmaker offers the exactly same bet at odds of 1.80, you’d know that you’d be better off placing a bet at Bet365. But, how do you figure out if it’s actually worthwhile betting money on this specific betting market at all?
Following is an easy to understand step-by-step guide that’ll tell you how you can calculate the chances of the number of goals expected to be scored in the given match, and how you can convert that information into betting odds. As a result, you’ll know which odds will give you the maximum bang for your buck, and which odds must be avoided.
Step #1 – Find out the average number of goals scored per game
Considering that the Tercera Division of Spain has an average of 1.71 goals scored per game, while the United Football League of Philippines has an average as high as 5.75 goals scored per game, it’s a very good indicator of the fact that the average number of goals scored per game depends greatly on the league under consideration. Hence, the ideal place to begin is finding the average number of goals scored per game by both the sides in the match that you’re interested placing bets on.
You can find these statistical figures easily on the Internet. In order to give you a fairly good idea of the differences between the average goals scored per game in the Major European Leagues, Spain’s La Liga has 2.85 goals scored per game, Italy’s Serie A has 3.21 and the Premier League witnesses 2.4 goals scored per match.
Step #2 – Calculate the probability
The reason why statistics follows Poisson Distribution in the form of a simple and predictive model for the over/under bets is because of the random nature of the goals scored. Let’s find out what this means in actual practice.
John Haigh, in his book titled ‘Taking Chances,’ drafted a table which calculated the probability of a team scoring 4, 3, 2, 1 and 0 number of goals depending on the average number of goals scored per game by it.
Goals scored / 0 / 1 / 2 / 3 / 4 or 4+
Avg. = 2.00 / 14% / 27% / 27% / 18% / 14%
Avg. = 1.6 / 20% / 32% / 26% / 14% / 8%
Avg. = 1.2 / 30% / 36% / 22% / 9% / 3%
Avg. = 0.8 / 45% / 36% / 14% / 4% / 1%
In a football game wherein the home side holds an average expectation of scoring 1.2 goals, and the visiting side 0.8 goals, you can easily work out the probabilities before placing your bets on the under 2.5 goals market, using the above provided table.
To begin with, we must figure out the correct scores which will result in a winning bet for the under 2.5 goals market (0 – 2, 2 – 0, 1 – 1, 0 – 1, 1 – 0, 0 – 0). Thereafter, we must figure out the respective chances of every team in the table above, and then figure out the chances of every score by multiplication.
Exact score / Home side’s probabilities / Visiting side’s probabilities / Exact score probability
0 – 2 / 30% / 14% / 14% x 30% = 4.2%
2 – 0 / 22% / 45% / 45% x 22% = 9.9%
1 – 1 / 36% / 36% / 36% x 36% = 12.96%
0 – 1 / 30% / 36% / 36% x 30% = 10.8%
1 – 0 / 36% / 45% / 45% x 36% = 16.2%
0 – 0 / 30% / 45% / 45% x 30% = 13.5%
Under 2.5 goals scored = 67.56%
As we are aware of the chances of every potential score which can result in under 2.5 goals, we can add them all up for arriving at the probability of this match ending up in under 2.5 goals, and as a result of a winning bet on the under 2.5 goals market. That calculation would look like following, for the above-provided example:
4.2% + 9.9% + 12.96% + 10.8% + 16.2% + 13.5% = 67.56%
Step #3 – Figure out the exact odds which are worth placing bets on
Now that we’ve managed to establish the statistical chances of the match ending up in 2.5 goals or less, the only thing we need to find out is the exact odds we must accept.
The probability can be converted into decimal odds using the following formula:
Decimal odds = 100 / probability
Hence, in case of the above example, we can work out the 67.56% probability corresponding to = 100 / 67.56 = 1.48
This implies that you should bet on under 2.5 goals market only and only if you’re able to find a bookmaker which provides you odds over 1.608. Does it imply that you are in possession of a formula which guarantees a winning wager? The short answer to that question is ‘No.’
However, what you are definitely in possession of is an easily applicable betting strategy that provides you with positive expected value, guarantees long-term profits, if you aggregate the profits and losses made by you in the long run.
Therefore, carry out comprehensive research well ahead of the betting weekend, locate all the value bets and then simply sit back and enjoy the sport, being aware of the fact that you’ve secured long-term profits for yourself.