One of the most popular markets in football betting is Over/under 2.5 Goals. You’ll see this everywhere you look, at land based bookmakers, online and on all good football betting apps.
But what exactly does over/under 2.5 goals mean? After all, you can’t score half a goal!
Today I’ll explain all about how the Over and Under markets work. You’ll learn how to bet on them, and I’ll give you some tips on when you should (and shouldn’t) use them to help you make the right decisions and (hopefully) make a profit.
What Does Over/Under 2.5 Goals Mean?
Well obviously, you can’t. But that’s exactly the point of this market. This isn’t a bet on “exactly 2.5 goals,” it’s a bet on either more than or less than that number.
- You can score UNDER 2.5 goals (0, 1 or 2)
- Or you can score OVER 2.5 goals (3 or more).
And that, in essence is exactly how this market works. The bet refers to how many goals will be scored IN TOTAL in the match, it doesn’t matter which team scores them, and it has only two possible outcomes. You cannot have a match with exactly two and a half goals, but you can (and indeed, must) end the match with either more or less.
Other Over/Under Goals Markets
The reason that 2.5 Goals is the most popular variation of the Over/Under market is that the average number of goals scored in professional football matches is somewhere between 2 and 3. Obviously this varies in the short term, and depending on many other factors such as the league or country in question, but over time it largely holds true.
However, most good bookies and football betting sites won’t limit you to just betting on the 2.5 goals market. You’re likely to see several other options as well.
Usually as a minimum you would also be able to bet on over/under 1.5, 3.5 or 4.5 goals. You can also bet on Over/Under 0.5 goals, which is basically the same thing as “will there be a goal in this match at all.”
You’ll notice that the odds for over and under are closest together in the 2.5 goals market, because this is where statistically speaking the two outcomes are closest to a 50/50 chance. But if you bet one one of the more extreme and less likely outcomes (i.e. under 0.5 or over 4.5 goals) the odds get quite generous.
Tips For Betting On Overs and Unders
Obviously it is not possible to accurately predict the outcome of a football match in advance. If you could, everyone would be doing it and the bookies would be out of business.
However, you can adopt some general guidelines, do some research and develop a strategy which could mean you win more often than not, and therefore hopefully make a profit in the long term.
When To Bet on Under 2.5 Goals
- Both teams have a low average number of goals scored and conceded in the current season.
- There is a recent history of low scoring matches between the two teams.
- The teams have nothing to play for and no great incentive to win the match.
- Teams are resting players ahead of a bigger fixture, or players are trying to avoid injury (e.g. leading up to a World Cup)
- Key attacking players are injured or unavailable.
When To Bet on Over 2.5 Goals
- Both teams have a high average goals per game (Scored and conceded) in the current season.
- Both teams need to win the match (e.g. to challenge for the title or avoid relegation) and a draw will suit neither team.
- Players are trying to impress national managers ahead of international squad selection.
- Key defensive players or goalkeepers are injured or unavailable.
You can further refine your selections by looking at a team’s individual home and away records, as well as their overall records. Some teams score or concede far more at home than they do away, or vice versa.
It’s usually easy (and free) to get the stats you will need for this method. Some bookies actually provide stats themselves via their website or app, but so do the official sites for each tournament or league. For example, the official premier League website provides a comprehensive stats section that is perfect for this purpose.
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Last Updated on August 6, 2023