It’s one of the most popular new markets in football betting. We explain the ins and outs of under/overs.
What exactly is the under/over 2.5 goals market then?
It’s a market where you bet on the number of goals in a football match – in other words, whether there will be more or fewer than 2.5 goals.
That makes sense, but why 2.5 goals?
A team can’t score 2.5 goals! Exactly – by setting the ‘goalline’ (as it’s known) at 2.5 goals, the bookies allow you to take a view on every possible scoring outcome. You canbet on whether there will be two goals, three goals, or so on. Remember, you’re not betting on there being 2.5 goals in the game, you’re betting on more or fewer than 2.5 goals.
Okay. So is this a popular market?
Increasingly so. The four most popular football markets are 1 X 2 (the outcome of a match), correct score, half-time/ full-time (a double where you bet on the result after 45 minutes and after 90 minutes) and first scorer. Even though some of these markets offer poor value they’re still the biggies, but the under/over market is catching up.
Is there any value betting on it?
Yes. Certain teams, for example, are regularly involved in low-scoring matches. Chelsea are a good example – they may be the finest side in England but that doesn’t mean every match is a goal-fest. They concede few goals, so they’re usually good value to be under 2.5 goals. Some people say there’s absolutely no correlation between how many goals occur in one match and the next, although we Edgers believe trends exist if you look hard enough.
Fine, you’re winning me over. What research should I be doing?
The first step is to study how many goals occur in matches involving the two sides in the game you’re betting on. Take Chelsea again – last season 23 of their 38 Premiership matches had under 2.5 goals, which means the true odds of a Chelsea game finishing ‘under’ were around 4/6. Produce similar stats for their opponents on a given day and you will be able to calculate what the true odds are when the two teams meet. You may wish to build in other factors – previous results between the two teams, for example – but looking at under/over stats for both teams over a long period of time is an excellent starting point.
Is the goalline only ever set at 2.5 goals?
No. Some booies will set the goalline lower if a league is particularly low scoring. In the French league, for example, you will often see the goalline set at 2/2.5 – this means half your stake is placed at under/over two goals and half at under/over 2.5 goals. If the game ends with two goals, the part of your stake placed on two goals will be returned to you. However, the betting exchanges allow you to be on under/over 2.5 goals on every game. See www.betfair.com or www.betdaq.com to check out prices.
Any other tips for me?
Remember that you’re not betting on a team’s scoring record – you’re betting on how many goals will occurin the match. That means defensive strengths or weaknesses are as important as goals scored. Don’t overestimate the importance of a leading goalscorer being absent – defenders are just as likely to have a bearing on the number of goals.
What do I do now?
All major bookies offer prices on the under/over 2.5 goals market across most English and European divisions, so there are plenty of betting opportunities that you can get stuck into today. Visit the odds comparison section at www.inside-edge-mag.co.uk to check odds on upcoming matches, and always take the best price available.