If you were to ask a manager what scoreline they would most enjoy, a lot of them would say ‘anything to nil’. That is because goals change games and win matches, so keeping things tight at the back whilst getting on the scoresheet is ideal. When you’re betting on how many goals will be scored in a game, you want to avoid getting too involved in exact numbers and instead look at the Over / Under market. Over 2.5 Goals means you think there will be more than three goals scored, whilst opting for the Under 2.5 Goals market says you think it will be a relatively tight match.
Over 2.5 Goals: Betting on Three or More Goals Being Scored
Betting on the Over 2.5 Goals market means that you think there will be at least three goals scored during the course of the match. This is on account of the fact that bookmakers know that there can’t be half goals scored in a game, so they remove the possibility of there being any pushes on your bet; it has to be either won or lost. With this in mind, two goals would be under 2.5 goals, whilst three would be over it, so three or more goals scored will result in a winning wager. The goals can be scored by one team or both combined and any player, including own goals.
Over the course of ten Premier League seasons, here is how many times a bet on Over 2.5 Goals would’ve been a winning one:
|Season||Games with Over 2.5 Goals||Percentage with Over 2.5 Goals|
During the ten seasons that we’re looking at, 3,800 games were played. Of those, 1,990 saw Over 2.5 goals, which is 52.36% of all matches. In other words, it is close, but the Over market just about shaves it.
To make things a little clearer, here is a look at a series of scores that would have been winners in terms of the Over 2.5 Goals bet:
As long as the match that you’re betting on has seen three or more goals scored, your bet would be a winning one. There is no need for the goals to be scored by a specific player or just one team, with own goals being just as valid as absolute screamers. All that matter is that the total number of goals scored in the match amounts to more than 2.5. 1-1 or 2-0 would both be losing bets, whilst 3-0, 2-1 or others would be winning ones. The goals have to be scored in the 90 minutes of a normal match, with extra-time and penalty shootouts not counting.
Under 2.5 Goals: Fewer Than Three Scored in Total
For bets on the Under market, you’re assuming that the match will either see one team being relatively dominant or the two sides being close in a low-scoring encounter. When we look at the ten Premier League seasons that we’ve already been working with, we can see the following happened each season in terms of the number of games with Under 2.5 goals being scored:
|Season||Games with Under 2.5 Goals||Percentage with Under 2.5 Goals|
Over those same 3,800 games during the ten-year period that we’re looking at, then, there were 1,810 that saw Under 2.5 goals being scored. That is 47.63% of the matches, so a little under half of them that would’ve seen your bet be a losing one.
It is always helpful to have a look at some specific examples to get a sense of what it is that we’re talking about when it comes to this specific market. Unlike in the Over, where there are loads of potential scores that would be winners, there aren’t that many in the Under market. As a result, we can write all of them out as follows:
As you can see, these are close games that we’re talking about. Neither team has absolutely run away with it, even in cases when one team has won by two clear goals. They say that 2-0 is the most dangerous scoreline in football, but as far as your bet is concerned it would be a winning one if it finished like that.
One thing to bear in mind is that the scoreline has to happen in the 90 minutes of normal time. If you’re betting on a cup match that ends up going to extra-time or a penalty shootout, for example, it is only the score at the end of the 90 minutes that will count towards your bet. Similarly, if you’re betting on a match in a European competition then only the score from that leg matters, with extra-time and penalties being ignored.