The over/under 3.5 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 below at how the market works and some strategies for betting on it.
How Does the Over/Under 3.5 Goals Market Work?
Although sounding a little complicated at first, the over/under 3.5 goals market is in fact very simple.
It is basically about the number of goals that will be scored in a soccer match. You can either bet that there will be more than four goals, or less.
Now you may be wondering how there can be 3.5 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 three goals or less, then it is under 3.5 goals. If there are four or more goals, it is over 3.5 goals.
Here are the possible outcomes in table format:
|0-0, 1-0, 0-1, 1-1, 2-0, 0-2, 2-1, 1-2, 3-0, 0-3||Under 3.5 goals|
|3-1, 1-3, 4-0, 0-4, all other scorelines||Over 3.5 goals|
So as you can see from the table above, if we have a scoreline like 3-1, 2-2, 3-2 etc, or indeed anything with four or more goals, it will be over 3.5 goals.
It should be noted that the market does not include extra time and penalties, it is just normal time (i.e. 90 mins + stoppage time).
Advantages of Betting on Over 3.5 Goals
There are a number of advantages to betting on the over 3.5 goals market.
In the first instance, the over/under markets are very popular with punters so you should get good liquidity on the market. Although the over 3.5 market isn’t generally quite as popular as the over 2.5, it is still a good market in terms of liquidity, particularly in the matches with high scoring teams where there is a decent likelihood there will be four or more goals.
At the same time, you generally get good odds on over 3.5 goals. Normally speaking the odds tend to vary between 5.0 for low-scoring teams, up to around 3.5 for an average game and down to odds-on in some instances.
The likes of Man City and Liverpool for example will be closer to the 1.7 mark for over 3.5 goals if they are up against weak opposition.
The over 3.5 goals market can seem a little risky to get involved in with the match needing 4 or more goals for your bet to win, but if the teams are free-scoring it can be an exciting wager as goals fly in one after another and you get closer to winning your bet.
Finally, by selecting the right teams you can have a decent strike rate of winners as you would be surprised how often some teams score over 3.5 goals – but more on that below.
Disadvantages of Betting on Over 3.5 Goals
The main disadvantage of backing over 3.5 goals is that it can have a lower strike rate than backing the over 2.5 goals and over 1.5 goals markets.
The other thing of course is that it can be quite frustrating if you get three goals in a game and you are waiting for the fourth goal to be scored but it never arrives. 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 3.5 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 3.5 goals market and pretty much all bookies will cover the market.
We find that Betfair generally has very good odds for the over/under 3.5 goals market, as does Bet 365.
Over 3.5 Goals Strategies
Below we detail two strategies for betting on over 3.5 goals and how you can use the way the market operates to your advantage.
Strategy One – Looking at the Stats for Over 3.5 Goals
Firstly we are going to look at a straightforward betting strategy for taking on the over 3.5 goals market.
What we are going to do is study stats for the over 3.5 goals market and we are looking for matches where both teams have a high propensity to be involved in games with at least 4 goals.
We want to avoid teams who are solid defensively and/or do not have a potent attack. Even if one team is a good attacking force, if the other has an excellent defence then you may not end up seeing the requisite number of goals to win your bet.
So how do we find the relevant stats when looking for teams to bet on in the over 3.5 goals market?
Well you can use a site like soccerstats to look at statistics for teams who have a high rate of over 3.5 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 table is taken from the Dutch Eredivisie which is a great league for over 3.5 goals. The football played in the Netherlands is very attacking and there are plenty of goals.
As you can see from the table, the top teams for over 3.5 goals were Feyenoord and Willem II, with 50% of the their games over the course of that season finishing with four or more goals. PSV, Ajax and Utrecht also scored highly with 47% of their matches finishing over 3.5 goals.
This is a good starting point for research on over 3.5 goals betting and shows you those teams who have around half of their games finish with the target score, so when these teams play each other this can be a good bet.
However, it can be worth delving down deeper into the stats and looking for a more nuanced approach.
Looking specifically at the away form for example in the table below, we can see that PSV, Feyenoord, Utrecht and Excelsior all had more of their away games finish in over 3.5 goals than home games.
That may be because they play more on the break and hit teams hard with their pace and attacking precision. Often though you would get better odds for the game to finish over 3.5 goals when these teams are away from home, so this kind of detail can be useful when selecting your bets.
Play close attention to the attacking styles of the teams and which ones may be more likely to score goals away than home.
Another thing to pay close attention to is the team news, to be sure any of the key attacking players aren’t missing which would affect the chances of the game finishing above 3.5 goals.
Strategy Two – Backing Over 3.5 Goals In-Play
An alternative over 3.5 goals strategy is to wait for the game to go in-running before placing your bet.
There can be excellent value if you wait until the second half in games before placing your over 3.5 goals bet.
If there have already been three goals in the game then you only need one more for it to become a winning bet on over 3.5 goals. Even when there have just been two goals in a game, if it is a really open game then it can be worth going over 3.5 goals as there will be better odds than just going over 2.5 goals at that stage.
This is where you can lie in wait and pounce. By monitoring the in-play stats – or even better watching the game live – 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 taking place.
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 the tool made £632 profit in a three month review.
The question of when to place your in-running bet is important though. We often think half-time is a good stage because you can asses how a game has progressed over the first half looking at all the stats and how you think the game will pan out in the second half.
But really you should be ready to place the bet at any time if the scanner or your reading of the game indicates it is a good time for a bet. Normally if it is an open game with lots of chances that haven’t yet been taken then it’s a good time to pounce.
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 3.5 goals strategy if used correctly.
The over 3.5 goals market is one of the most popular markets to bet on in football matches.
It has excellent liquidity and the odds can vary hugely between the top teams at odds-on right up to 5.0 or 6.0 for low scoring teams, with the average odds for over 3.5 goals being around 3.5.
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 3.5 goals strategy, please gamble responsibly and only risk money you can afford to lose.