The over/under 2.5 goals market is one of the most popular to bet on and offers some great opportunities to make a profit. We will take a look at how the market works and some strategies for betting on it.
How Does the Over/Under 2.5 Goals Market Work?
Despite sounding quite complicated, the over/under 2.5 goals market is actually remarkably simple.
It is all about how many goals are scored in a football match. What you are doing is betting on whether there will be more or less than three goals in a game.
Interestingly, 2.5 is actually the average number of goals scored in football matches across the world, although this obviously varies somewhat by league.
Now you may be wondering how there can be 2.5 goals in a football match – how can half a goal be scored?
Well in fact the market is not suggesting half a goal will be scored, but rather it is setting up a binary outcome – your bet can only win or lose, it cannot draw.
If there are two goals or less, then it is under 2.5 goals. If there are three or more goals, it is over 2.5 goals.
Here are the possible outcomes in table format:
|0-0, 1-0, 0-1, 1-1, 2-0, 0-2||Under 2.5 goals|
|All other scorelines||Over 2.5 goals|
So as you can see from the table above, if we have a scoreline like 2-1, 2-2, 3-0 etc, or indeed anything with three or more goals, it will be over 2.5 goals.
Advantages of Betting on Over 2.5 Goals
There are lots of advantages to betting on the over 2.5 goals market.
Firstly, as we mentioned above, it is one of the most popular markets for punters, meaning there is excellent liquidity. In fact, generally speaking only the match odds market tends to attract more liquidity. So you should have no problem securing good value on your bets.
At the same time, you are generally getting good odds on over 2.5 goals. Generally speaking the odds tend to be close to evens, although this can vary greatly depending on the teams.
The likes of Barcelona and Real Madrid for example will be closer to the 1.3 mark a lot of the time, where as teams in low-scoring leagues like Greece and France may be closer to 2.5.
It can also be a fun market to bet on as you don’t have to worry about who will win the match, just that there will be at least three goals. So every time a goal goes on, you can cheer and celebrate getting closer to winning your bet.
Particularly when you are watching high-scoring teams, it can be thrilling to watch an end-to-end game with lots of chances and goal-mouth action.
Finally, you can expect a reasonably high strike rate of winners with backing over 2.5 goals as around 50% games will finish with overs. However, this will of course vary by league and team.
Disadvantages of Betting on Over 2.5 Goals
The main disadvantage of backing over 2.5 goals is that you won’t win as many bets as backing the over 1.5 goals market or even the over 0.5 goals market.
As we mention above, approximately 50% of games have over 2.5 goals, so only half your bets will win.
The other thing of course is that it can be quite frustrating if you get two goals in a game and you are waiting for the third goal but it just doesn’t arrive. Particularly if the teams are firing in shots on goal, hitting the woodwork and the keepers are having a blinder, it can be very tough to take at times.
Best Bookies for Over 2.5 Goals Strategy
As it is one of the most liquid markets around, you should have no problem obtaining good value for your bets on the over 2.5 goals market and pretty much all bookies will cover the market.
We find that Betfair generally has very good odds for the over/under 2.5 goals market, as does Bet 365.
And new customers can get up to £100 in free bets with Betfair (T&Cs apply, 18+).
Over 2.5 Goals Strategies
Below we detail two strategies for betting on over 2.5 goals and how you can use the way the market operates to your advantage.
Strategy One – Looking at the Stats for Over 2.5 Goals
The first over 2.5 goals strategy is to look for teams who have a high consistency rate of games that finish with 3 goals or more.
There are some teams who will be involved in a game five goals in one match and then only one in the next – so having an average of six goals scored but only 50% of games with over 2.5 goals. These are the kind of teams we want to avoid.
What we are looking for is teams that consistently get over 2.5 goals, even though that may not necessarily have really high scoring games with six, seven or more goals. The point is we don’t need them to score that number of goals – we just need three goals per game.
The great thing nowadays is that there is a wealth of information available to the punter at the click of a mouse via the internet that simply wasn’t there 10 or 15 years ago.
You can use a site like soccerstats to look at statistics for teams who have a high rate of over 2.5 goals.
If you go to the site, you can then select the league you are interested in at the top and then you can select the statistics option and “over/under total goals.”
This will give you a table as below, which shows the various over/under statistics for all the teams.
This gives you a snapshot of teams that tend to get over 2.5 goals. From the table we can see that Arsenal, Chelsea and Manchester City all average close to 70% of games with over 2.5 goals.
This is a good starting point for looking at the market but it is worth delving down further into the individual team stats to give ourselves an edge.
If we have a look at Chelsea in the 2016/17 Premier League season, they had an excellent 68% of games with over 2.5 goals.
However, their home stats are even more impressive, with an astonishing 89% of games with over 2.5 goals.
If you compare that to over 1.5 goals, it is only 6% less games with over 2.5 goals being hit yet you would get much better odds for the over 2.5 goals. So it shows the potential value of backing over 2.5 goals in Chelsea’s home games.
Looking at Manchester City, we can see again that they have a very good ratio of games finishing with over 2.5 goals, with 71%.
Contrary to Chelsea however, with Manchester City it is the away games that were more high-scoring, with 79% of games finishing with over 2.5 goals. This is a very high number and shows the potential for profit.
It is also worth checking the team news before placing your wager, just in case key attacking players are not fit or eligible for game, which could affect the prospects of there being more than two goals.
Strategy Two – Backing Overs In-Play
An alternative over 2.5 goals strategy is to wait for the game to go in-running before placing your bet.
There can be excellent value to wait until the second half in games where there are two goals. As you approach the 70 minute mark, the odds on over 2.5 goals will often approach evens.
This is where you can lie in wait and pounce. By monitoring the in-play stats, you can see how open a game is and how likely it is that there will be more goals. You can see how many shots are going in on goal, how many corners there are and how much attacking play is going on.
Using a tool such as the In-Play Scanner will identify opportunities when they arise. It uses a rating system to quantify all these stats and give you a number – the higher that number is, the more likely there will be a goal.
It has proved to he a highly accurate predictor and a trial we ran of alerts based on tool made £632 profit in a three month review.
Now of course you don’t have to wait so long in the game before placing your bet – you could do so earlier in the second half.
Or if a game is looking really open, you could even place your bet in the first half, perhaps when there is only one goal so far, meaning you will get good odds.
It is amazing though how many games are cagey in the first half and then open up in the second half, with more goals being scored. So you can plan your bets by watching the stats carefully as to the best entry time. But this is a good over 2.5 goals strategy if used correctly.
The over 2.5 goals market is one of the most popular markets to bet on in football matches.
It has excellent liquidity and the odds will tend to be between 1.5 and 2.5 in most cases, excluding the most attacking teams in the world who may be a little below this.
Through the use of statistics and looking at home and away form as well as in-play statistics, you can give yourself an edge over other punters in your betting on the market.
It can be a fun market to bet on, as you cheer on goals whilst not minding who will actually win the game.
As ever though, if you are going to use an over 2.5 goals strategy, please gamble responsibly.