Goals Over/Under

As I mentioned yesterday picking the winner of League Cup games can be especially difficult, as you can’t be sure how seriously the teams are taking the competition.

The good thing with football is you’re not restricted to just betting on the result of the match. Another popular bet type is Goals Over/Under. The good thing about this type of bet is that it doesn’t matter which team wins the match for you to win your bet.

The most popular bets are Over/Under 2.5 and Over/Under 1.5. With the 2.5 market you’re betting whether you think there’ll be 2 or less goals (Under 2.5) or 3 or more goals (Over 2.5). Similarly with the 1.5 market you’re betting whether you think there’ll be 1 goal or less (Under 1.5) or 2 or more goals (Over 1.5).

You can also bet on Over/Under 3.5, 4.5 etc, plus some bookmakers offer Over/Under 0.5. So if you have a strong feeling there will either be very few goals, or plenty of goals, one of those markets may suit you better.


You can see in the above image (from the Coral web site) how they set the odds for the various different Goals Over/Under markets.

So if you think Arsenal and Southampton will manage to score at least 3 goals between them you’d bet on Over 2.5 Goals at odds of 3/4. If you feel they’ll score 2 or less goals you’d bet on Under 2.5 Goals at 21/20.

What I particularly like about the Goals Over bet is you either win during the game, or at least it keeps you interested throughout the game, as there’s always a chance of some late goals. I’ve had situations where a team has scored in the 95th minute to win my bet.

I like the Over 1.5 Goals, but as you can see from the Coral screenshot above, the odds are always pretty short for this type of bet, 1/4 for the Arsenal match and 1/5 for the Man Utd game. If you don’t feel comfortable backing at such short odds, you can combine matches into an accumulator. For example if you were to bet on there being over 1.5 goals in both of tonight’s matches, combined odds on the double would be 1/2. Still pretty short, but when there’s more matches being played you can combine several matches to increase the odds.

Another way you could bet on Over 1.5 Goals would be to set yourself a profit target. Say to win £50 from a £10 bet. You could then build to this profit over the space of a week. For example starting tonight you could bet £10 on Over 1.5 Goals on the Arsenal v Southampton match @ 1/4. If 2 or more goals are scored your bet would return £12.50. You’d then carry the money over to your next match and bet £12.50.

Personally 1/4 (1.25 decimal) is the minimum odds I like to take on this type of bet. You’d need to have 8 winning matches in a row in order to exceed £50. Ideally you’d be looking for odds of 1.31 or more, which would take your £10 stake to just over £50 with 6 winning bets, reaching your target with 2 less chances for the bet to lose.

Weekends are great for this type of bet. With live football meaning you get games kicking off at lunchtime, mid afternoon and evening you can accumulate your stake throughout the day. The top European leagues often have matches kicking off a different time to those in England, so they can be combined to make your stake grow quicker.

One site I find useful in helping decide if a team is worth backing for Goals Over/Under is statarea.com. If you go to their predictions area you’ll see they produce probability ratings for all matches.


Their predictions for Goals Over/Under (the yellow section) show an 81% probability the Arsenal v Southampton game will see at least 2 goals, which then drops to 55% for at least 3 goals and 32% for at least 4 goals.

Statarea is a good starting point. In future blog posts I’ll be taking a look at other information to help you with this type of bet.