Bettor Than Average

Guest post written by Ricky Dowling

This guide is going to improve your Over/Under score-line bet selections.

When betting on over/under score-lines in football matches it’s tempting to look for 2 teams with high/low average score-lines. For example, team A hosts team B, over the past 10 games team A has an average score-line of 2.8 goals per game. Team B has an average score-line of 3.12 goals per game.  At first this looks like a good bet for an Over 2.5 goal score line, however there are other things to consider.  What if team A’s last 10 results were as follows:

  • 4-1
  • 1-0
  • 1-0
  • 2-0
  • 1-3
  • 1-1
  • 0-2
  • 1-0
  • 2-0
  • 7-1

We can see that even though the average is fairly high, only 3 games (30%) resulted in more than 2.5 goals, and all of them from team A winning.

It’s a fairly safe assumption that the 7-1 victory was over a team with a fairly week defence, so what about team B?  If team B is consistently shipping 2 or 3 goals per game then the over bet is still good, but what if team B’s high score-lines are also coming from scoring rather than conceding?  You now have 2 teams that concede few goals, so the over bet is not so promising.  So as well as looking at average goals per game we should also consider the percentage of games with an over/under score-line and the number of goals scored and conceded by each team to give you a more realistic picture of why each team has the goal average it does.

It’s also worth considering the same figures for each football team when playing at home or away.  Some teams may play attacking football at home and score freely, but leave themselves open at the back and concede more readily. That same team may shut up shop on the road, concentrating on defence and neither scoring nor conceding many goals.

Another good indicator of score-line variation is the standard deviation from average – a team that is consistently involved in high scoring games will have a low standard deviation (indicating that their results don’t vary much from the average), a team that is occasionally involved in high scoring games will have a greater standard deviation.

The bookie will be well aware of all of these factors so the key is not only finding 2 teams whose outcome you believe you can anticipate, but also finding odds that represent a good value gamble.  You will sometimes find that Under score-line betting has more competitive odds on offer.  People are more likely to want to bet on an Over score-line, it’s a bet that when successful promises a game that’s exciting a goal packed.  Therefore its opposite bet (the Under) may need to be sold at better than expected odds to encourage bettors and balance the books.

Ricky relies on facts and figures to find his selections using a knowledge of player, team and league statistics. Having had to visit multiple websites to get the information he started to compile his own statistics which led to the creation of his website

Michael Wilding

Michael started the Race Advisor in 2009 to help bettors become long-term profitable. After writing hundreds of articles I started to build software that contained my personal ratings. The Race Advisor has more factors for UK horse racing than any other site, and we pride ourselves on creating tools and strategies that are unique, and allow you to make a long-term profit without the need for tipsters. You can also check out my personal blog or my personal Instagram account.

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