On the factors that influence betting on the number of goals

Thursday, 21 March 2024

After the final result, the number of goals scored is the bet most valued by players. In this case, it’s under/over 2.5 goals, the most sought-after of all the goal-scoring bets in a football match.

The outcome of a football match is influenced by a lot of factors. Some are quantifiable, others even go beyond the estimates made by artificial intelligence (AI). As there are also many variables related to the psychology and emotions of the players, the behaviour of the supporters in the stands or even certain gestures by the coaches. The point is that there are factors that are subject to intense analysis, but also factors (that can be decisive) that are more often overlooked.

photo source: derbytelegraph.co.uk

In terms of under/over 2.5 goals (a common bet at any bookmaker), recent form, the history of direct meetings, injured and unavailable players, weather and stadium conditions, motivation and game strategy, the refereeing brigade (especially the “central”), the dynamics of the game, betting trends and odds dynamics are considered among the most important factors influencing the outcome, the game and, by implication, the evolution of the odds and of the bets placed.

7+1 factors influencing bets on under/over 2.5 goals

Recent form

A team’s recent form doesn’t win matches but it influences the odds quite a lot. Confidence in own strength is quantified and statistically rendered in odds. For this reason, false impressions and prejudices can arise, often leading to less justified bets.

It is also among the most analysed indicators (last 5 games of a team) and leads to a quick choice of a bet. The colour green matters enormously and influences us visually.

In Serie A (on 20.02.2024), Atalanta is coming off 5 consecutive wins and has 45 points and is in the 4th place ( leading to Champions League). It is 7 points behind AC Milan who is 3rd but with the same number of points as Bologna. Among the best offenses in Serie A, it is natural to see slightly depreciated odds at 3+ or GG.

The history of direct meetings

Some matches have a history of goals, open games, spectacular duels. Whether they are traditional rivalries or matches with immediate stakes, they are games where (usually) more than 3 goals are scored.

In the Premier League 2023-2024, the second half of the season is characterised by a very high number of goals scored. Given the specifics of the world’s biggest league, we can expect this trend to be sustained until the end.

betting on the number of goals

A very suggestive picture, Liverpool 59 goals, 57 points, Arsenal 58 goals, 55 points, Manchester City, 57 goals, 53 points. City with one game less and 6 points clear of 4th place occupied by Aston Villa. Any of the top 3 teams make a real claim to win the championship. The pressure is on Liverpool, with Klopp announcing this is his last season on the Cormorants’ bench. It seems logical that Guardiola will make the most of any opportunity for another Premier League title, as will the over on Citizens games.

Injured and unavailable players

It’s the players who affect teams’ performances when they’re not on the pitch. Whether it’s the top scorer, the main passer or the team leader, these are players who define a game mechanism. Also the coach missing from the bench or even the stadium can be taken into account here.

In 21.02.2024 there were over 2.5 goals scored in Newcastle’s last 7 games and also over 2.5 goals scored in Manchester United’s last 7 games (in the Premier League).

Above is an impressive series but:

  • Bookmakers tend to drop the odds to over 2.5 goals in both teams’ next games;
  • Injuries and cards could dramatically affect the following results.

Quite clearly that under 2.5 goals becomes an interesting bet to watch and place in these cases.

Weather and grandstand influence

Weather influences both teams in the same way, the crowd at the stadium acts differently. Home-field advantage is a hard to dispute indicator, and its importance matters enormously when placing a bet.

The stadium and fans of each team are an important point of support. The pace and quality of a match can be influenced by the behaviour of certain segments of the crowd. At the same time, they can also be a pressure factor on the home team, with fans’ expectations of victory and goals.

Centre referee

Each referee has their own style of conducting the game. Even with the influence of line referees and the help of VAR, the final decision remains with the central. And some are more demanding, others prefer to leave the game freer, errors of observation or interpretation can occur.

At the same time, referees’ statistics can be interpreted more accurately. Because there is only one person acting and, refereeing style, concepts and approach cannot be changed.

Motivation, game strategy and team relationships

On 18.02.2024, Bayern Munich lost away to Bochum, a game in which they scored 2 goals but conceded 3 (and a red card). 4 days before, the Bavarian team lost in the UCL away to Lazio in Rome (score 1-0 and a red card for the Germans). And this came after the Bundesliga defeat by no-score, Bayer Leverkusen – Bayern Munich 3-0 (of course, another game in which Bayern picked up a red card).

In all these games Bayern were (big) favourites: @1.37 with Leverkusen, @1.73 with Lazio and @1.37 with Bochum. All games were over 2.5 goals confirming the Germans’ offensive appetite but also problems within the team. The results obtained correlated with the statements of some players showed that there are problems in the dressing room, that nervousness is manifesting itself on the pitch.

These are factors that are more difficult to measure or interpret, but exploiting them can bring excellent results for bets against the favourites. It is clear that 3+, even 4+ is a bet not to be missed when Bayern Munich plays, but 1 or 2 singles does not bring satisfactory results.

Match dynamics

The goals over (over 2.5) is the spectacle of football but the Under (under 2.5) is the normal trend of every match.

Even though they say every game is different, I agree that the ball is round. Most often, these sayings tend to emphasize more than is the case. In fact, every football match fits into a pattern of play, a mathematical pattern. And the scenarios are, however, quite limited when it comes to 0-2 goals or 3+.

There are many games where 3 goals are scored without much excitement. In other cases, the over goal comes at the end of the game (with emotions). Of course, there are also plenty of 0-0, 1-0, 0-1, 2-0, 0-2 or 1-1 games. Clear cases where it comes down to a draw or a narrow win, one team takes 3 points or 1 point each.

The bet at over 2.5 goals leads to high expectations and chances completed. The bet at under 2.5 goals comes with the jitters given by any misses that could mess up the bet.

Betting trends and odds dynamics

There is a certain trend in 2024 towards more goals scored. Against the backdrop of offensive strategies and increasing match lengths, the inclination towards 3+ appears natural in many big leagues.

This Premier League season, there have been over 2.5 goals scored in 162 out of 249 games played. That’s 65.1% of 3+ matches. However, bookmakers adjust the odds by lowering the over and (not necessarily) lowering the under.

Any goal scored is reflected (with great accuracy) in the odds listed. The first goal makes the odds drop for over 2.5 goals and (logically) increase the odds for under 2.5 goals. The same is true for the second goal. The only reserve is the time interval. The first goal scored until the 30th minute has a totally different impact than the first goal scored after the 70th minute. The closer the game gets to the end, the smaller the variations in the odds.

The main conclusion would be that any factor taken into account by a punter can be important. Even if the xG indicates an imminent goal, the indicator is indicative and does not guarantee the figures shown. The ability to choose is a defining trait of a punter. Analysis provides support and backing for the ability to choose. And choices can also be based on indicators or factors that are more difficult for the crowd to observe. It’s the details that make the difference, a well-interpreted news story, a social media announcement, a phrase from the coach at the press conference or simply a spark based on the inspiration of the moment.

Author: Editor

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