At its origins, football betting was all about outrights – which team will be able to bring home the trophy, the victory, the points.
These were the only kinds of bets accepted, and people would flock in high numbers to back their favorites. We’re talking ancient times here: more than 100 years ago.
Nowadays, betting sites offer hundreds of options on a single game, around all kinds of events like winners, goals scored, cards, corners, special events, you name it. One of the most widely-used options is betting on the number of goals scored in a game, and the most common value to pin the number against is 2,5. Let’s detail this option and talk about strategies below.
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What Does Over/Under 2.5 Goals Mean?
The standard number where bookmakers choose to begin with over/under bets is 2,5. In translation, if you want to bet “over,” you’re backing the fact that the game will see 3 or more goals scored by both teams. If you choose an “under” bet, you’re betting on the opposite – that 2 or fewer goals will be scored.
There are many more numbers which have over/under bets around them: 0,5 to bet that a team will or won’t score, all the way up to 5,5 or 6,5. Of course, seeing 7 goals in a game is not very likely, which is why an over 6,5 bet carries immense odds.
There are lots of strategies revolving around each and every number in the over/under table, but today we’ll be focusing on the most common and obvious one: over/under 2,5 goals.
How To Bet? The Strategy.
First of all, we want to hand out a few general ideas about the over/under strategy, which we will then follow up with ideas about how to pick the best games for both sides of the bet. Here are the things you should pay most attention to when looking for over/under 2,5 goals games:
Statistics is your friend. Lots of sports betting related websites (like Flashscore), as well as most bookmakers now offer you all the in-depth statistics you need for a duel between two teams. You can see exactly how many of their games saw 3 or more goals this season, and answer a big number of questions.
Were those games played home or away?
Do they concede a lot against bigger teams?
Are those games a rule, or more of a form issue?
Were most goals scored by a specific trio?
All these questions have their answers in statistics. Of course, you need a sharp mind to take advantage of these statistics, because whatever piece of information you find, be sure your best bookmaker found it first and adjusted their odds.
Carefully consider motivation.
A team’s motivation can sometimes be the difference between a 4-4 game and a 1-0 one. More often than not, if one team desperately needs a win and the other can live without it, we are in for an action-packed game. If both teams are content with a draw, look for an under 2,5 goal bet rather than an over one.
Motivation is a tool which goes both ways, and even in surprising ways. It’s a known fact that in order to become a great team, you must win even if you don’t play very well – these short, 1-0 wins are great if you can learn to spot them.
Learn about team/coach personalities.
Manchester United this season is a perfect example of this rule. They’re scoring 3 – 4 goals at home consistently, and their attacking players are all in great form, but we have to remember one thing: Mourinho is coaching the team.
And we know that Mourinho’s belief is that you need to defend during derbies and beat the small teams in order to win the league. The result? Despite great offensive powers in other games, United experienced under 2,5 goals games in all their derbies so far, against Liverpool (0-0) and Tottenham (1-0).
Understand that Over/Under bets contain a bit of luck.
Most realistic over/under 2,5 goal bets have odds between 1,70 and 2,20. These are extremely good odds, which we usually recommend being played single, as opposed to in a system or accumulator. That being said, understand that you might have done all the planning correctly, but something just doesn’t click and you have bad luck with your bet.
A team might have 9 or 10 games with less than 3 goals scored so far this season, and get a red card + penalty against them in the 3rd minute of a fixture, which then ends 6-2 for the adversaries. Learn to deal with this.
Those are a few things which you must know when considering the over/under 2,5 goals betting strategy. We strongly recommend running these bets as single, because the average odds are around or over 2,00 – which means that you have to be correct just over half the time. Next, we will give a few pieces of advice as to which games have the best chances of being over or under games.
For over games, consider the following:
– Games where a team’s defensive line has 1-2 changes / first team players missing.
– Games where both teams are equally or almost equally adept in scoring.
– Matches where big teams are expected to win comfortably, but the smaller side can score at least once.
– Fixtures with little to no pressure or meaning can sometimes prove spectacular – less concentration and pressure usually leads to more goals.
Also, there are a few things which are good signs of an under 2,5 goals game:
– High stakes games where no team really wants to lose. Winning is nice, granted, but if both sides want to avoid defeat as much as possible, the most probable results are 0-0 1-0 and 1-1.
– Big teams playing away from home against tough opposition. We’re talking about those smaller teams which are in-form and which won’t lose heavily – but they won’t manage to score a lot either.
– Cup ties. When people use the cup to rotate their squad, we can’t really see lots of offensive battles going on.
To sum up, betting on the number of goals scored in a game is indeed a different way to look at betting on football, although still very viable. Consider this strategy either as a full-time one, or a pocket strategy to use when you just can’t seem to decide on an outright bet. If you fancy large accumulators, slip in an over/under bet or two, so that you don’t rely on nailing too many winners on a single ticket. That being said, remember to bet responsibly and enjoy the ride.