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Over/under betting explained

This is a very popular market for punters to take a look at on football betting. It is basically a goal line bet, where you decide whether a game is going have fewer or more goals than the 2.5 set in the bet. Why is the market set at 2.5 goals, essentially a half goal? It is because it then prevents any “push” outcome, a push being a draw. Imagine backing a team at a -1 handicap, and that team only won 1-0. That creates a push where the punters doesn’t win (stakes are usually refunded) because the backed team matched, but didn’t get over the handicap. That can’t happen with Over/Under 2.5 goals betting, you can only either win or lose.

This total goals market isn’t solely set at Over/Under 2.5 goals because you can also take a look at Under 1.5 goals, Over/Under 3.5 goals and more. But they really only come into play when either two low scoring teams go head to head (so you can look for the game to go under a lower goal line) or when two high scoring teams go against another, or when a high scoring team faces a team who have a terrible defence (more value in a higher goal line).

Research and Stats for Over/Under Betting

Over/Under betting is a market which will really benefit from doing some research and it is research which is pretty straight forward as well. You can simply, at the most basic level, look at the average goals that both teams are scoring in a season. If they are both averaging around only one goal per game then it would indicate that you should expect a low scoring game when they meet. You can also look the percentage of games that both teams have produced over/under 2.5 goals for the season. Some teams naturally have a higher output of lower scoring games than others, be it through having a good defence or a poor attack.

Other areas of research when deciding which way to swing on an over/under bet is to look at the recent head to head meetings between the two teams. Sometimes you will be able to quickly spot a trend where say 80% of the last half-dozen meetings have gone over 2.5 goals. That will indicate a high scoring game, and if you can couple recent meetings with the current scoring form of the two teams, then backing a high scoring game becomes even stronger. Other things which can influence Over/Under betting is checking for teams who are currently undergoing a poor run of away from where they are conceding goals for example, or whether a team is suddenly in hot scoring form at home. Always look at the respective home form and respective away form for teams depending on if they are playing home or away, and not just their overall Over/Under stats for the season combined.

Team News

Staying up with team news is vitally important as well. While the stats may support that Arsenal for example are scoring well at the moment, and have a striker in hot form, if that player happens to be suspended or injured then it may well affect the output of the team. So don’t underestimate the importance of checking on team news. Similarly if a team loses their starting keeper that will affect their chances of keeping a clean sheet.

Pros and Cons

As with any football betting market there are pros and cons about Over/Under betting. One of the clear pros is that you only have two possible outcomes, a win or a loss. That’s one outcome less than having a bet on the match outright (1×2) and another great benefit of going for an over/under bet is that you aren’t relying on a particular team winning. It doesn’t matter who wins or loses you just need the goals (or not if you are going under) to be produced.

As mentioned above you do get different line options (e.g. Over/Under 1.5 goals, Over/Under 2.5 goals, Over/Under 3.5 goals etc). An important thing to understand on Over/Under betting is that the house (the bookmaker) generally runs a high edge (bookmaker margin) on the market because the risk of loss is greater for them on just the two outcomes.