The over / under betting guide action

The Over / Under Betting Guide

By Dan Tracey - Feb 10th 2023

Over or under? That is the question that many football fans ask themselves on any given weekend and all you need to do, is predict whether there will be more or less than a certain number of goals in a game. While there are plenty of options when it comes to this market, and they look as follows:

1. Over/Under 0.5

2. Over/Under 1.5

3. Over/Under 2.5

4. Over/Under 3.5

5. Over/Under 4.5

6. Over/Under 5.5

Six examples of how you can bet over under football and you can go even higher before kick-off (depending on the availability of the market from the bookmakers), this half-dozen are the most common offerings that you can find.

With that in mind, we are now going to look at how each of these markets and the best games to back within them.

1) Over/Under 0.5

In this instance, a single goal is the benchmark for the bet to be declared either way. Should you back over 0.5, your hunch is at least one total goal is scored by the final whistle. Back under instead and you are pinning your hopes on a 0-0 draw.

When you consider that almost 95% of Premier League matches avoid the most boring of draws, this is quite an easy bet to win. However, the bookmakers are not in a bid to be overly generous and that is why the odds on offer are considerably low.

The only way you can squeeze any real value out of this bet is by finding the 5% of Premier League clashes that do end up without any goals. Find any of these and the road to profitability can take a huge shortcut.

If we were to look at the upcoming Merseyside derby as an example of how this market works, we can see the odds are as followers:

  • Over 0.5 – 1.04
  • Under 0.5 – 13.00

As you can see the bookmakers believe that at least a goal will be scored, to the point where it is priced as a near certainty. However, they are far less sure when it comes to the 0-0 draw and considering Liverpool’s attack and Everton’s defence this outcome is somewhat unlikely.

2) Over/Under 1.5

The same concept as above but a slightly different set of parameters. Should you opt for over, you believe the game in question will have two or more total goals scored. If you choose under, then you are banking on one or fewer.

With the average Premier League game averaging somewhere in the region of 2.70 goals, this is a market that once again leans heavily towards over being the most logical selection. Once again, this is reflected in the odds that are set.

A Game Finishing With Two Or Less Goals Is A Below Average Outcome

Using the Merseyside derby once more:

  • Over 1.5 – 1.22
  • Under 1.5 – 4.33

There is slightly more in the way of equilibrium when it comes to the prices offered but with that said, the bookmakers are still not prepared to offer much if you are backing over and if you want value, you need to discover the low-scoring encounter.

The way to do this is to look at the teams that are misfiring within any league competition (cup matches can be used, but they offer too small of a sample). Two low scoring teams towards the middle or bottom of the table and this is fertile ground for an under selection to come good.

3) Over/Under 2.5

The most popular over/under bet of them all and the reason for this is because the average goal figure mentioned above. Although there may some variation from league to league, the range of 2.60 to 2.70 goals per game is integral to bet.

Because this figure is much closer to the one that is being used in the market, the odds offered are far more of a balancing act. The first two examples should offer a rather logical conclusion – unless you are going against the grain, the choice in this example is far more difficult.

As always though, risk certainly does offer reward and if we look at the Liverpool vs Everton odds before kick-off, they look like this:

  • Over 2.5 – 1.72
  • Under 2.5 – 2.10

Here there is very little difference between two and the decision of over or under is a far greater test of skill. With that said, you do not necessarily need to make a blind choice and you can take a deep dive into any of the data resources that are available.

If you know that a certain team’s last x amount of matches have ended with over or under 2.5 goals, this can be an excellent steer in terms of your final decision and it can also allow you to squeeze out some decent value.

4) Over/Under 3.5

This market is for those punters who like a bit more entertainment when it comes to football betting. In this instance, you are backing the over which needs four or more total goals or the under which needs three or less.

While with the logic that we know above, this is where the pendulum of likely success swings towards the under option. With an above average number of total goals being required, the value can be in finding the big scoring matches.

Keep An Eye On Top Versus Bottom Clashes

The best way to find these are the clashes where the team at the top of a league plays the team at the bottom and the ideal example of this would be in Serie A, as Napoli are set to play host to Cremonese.

  • Over 3.5 – 1.44
  • Under 3.5 – 2.75

Here you can see that with the combination of top versus bottom, the bookmakers have also leaned into three or more total goals being scored come full time and only a misfiring Napoli would offer any substantial winnings.

5) Over/Under 4.5

This market is often viewed as the mirror image of over/under 1.5. Just a game could end in under two total goals, the likelihood is that it will end in over. By the same token, a game could end in over five total goals, the likelihood is that it will end in under.

This is the market where punters believe a thrashing is just around the corner and again, you are looking for teams that are challenging for the title being paired with those outfits who are hanging on for dear life.

If we take the Napoli vs Cremonese game once again, the odds are as follows:

  • Over 4.5 – 3.50
  • Under 4.5 – 1.30

As you cans see, under 4.5 goals is the far more likely occurrence but when you consider Napoli’s march towards the Serie A title and their upcoming opposition, a look at five total goals (which could even be a 5-0 home win) is certainly worth some consideration.

6) Over/Under 5.5

The market where everything gets really exciting and if you have selected over as your selection, you are asking for six or more total goals. While the choice of under, means you just need five or less to be declared a winner.

The disparity between the two prices on offer is not as wide as over/under 0.5 but there is certainly the reverse logic on offer. It is far more likely that a maximum of five total goals are going to be scored than six or more – but a half-dozen cannot be ruled out either.

Six Or More Goals Certainly Leads To An Entertaining Encounter

For one final time we will go to Serie A’s clash between the giants and minnows:

  • Over 5.5 – 6.50
  • Under 5.5 – 1.11

Here we can see, that there is almost a 90% probability that five or fewer goals will be scored and this where most people will place their football bets. Of course, there is always scope for a hiding to be dished out and if you can find teams with lightning fast attacks, this bet is also worth making.

This article was written by Dan Tracey on behalf of Kick Off, smart betting made simple.

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