Whether you're betting on teams who score week in, week out or teams who pride themselves on their defensive prowess, there's always value to be found in the goal markets. The key is knowing which market to play, and when to play it.
Before the game begins, the goalscorer markets are always tempting. And here, form is the best grounding. But rather than simply looking for a team's top scorer, it's important to identify players on a hot streak. A good example of a form player is Robin van Persie, whose 2012/13 performances saw goals come in batches, with four or five goalscoring performances followed by short droughts. With this in mind, it seems that catching a peak or trough can be profitable.
Also worth noting are players who perform better at home (or away), or who perform well against certain opponents and styles of play. This season, Liverpool's Luis Suarez is proving to be a good example of a man whose form is better at home: 12 of his 17 English Premier League goals up to the 15th of December were scored at Anfield.
Once you've identified a likely prospect, betting on the 'anytime scorer' market is less risky, but better value can be found by moving your money to the 'first or last goalscorer' markets. A bit of digging will show when a player's goals usually arrive, and calling this correctly can boost odds from 10/11 to 4/1 (Paddy Power Sports odds for Luis Suarez, Liverpool vs Tottenham, 15/12/13). Alternatively, odds can be boosted by betting on a striker scoring two or more goals, or even a hat trick: a good option for a striker like Suarez, who bagged a brace or better in 5 of his first 11 appearances for Liverpool in 2013/14.
When looking at teams with less obvious goal sources, it pays to consider more general areas like the 'goals scored' market. In the 2012/13 Bundesliga, for example, every Bayern Munich match ended with at least one goal scored, and 52.9% ended with 3 or more. To decide when to have a punt on these trends, look for additional details like home or away form. At Bayern, 65% of home games ended with 3 or more goals, compared to just 41% of away matches: a helpful contrast.
For bigger odds, punters can take on the 'correct score' market. Though it may seem a risky business, there are trends that can be exploited here too. For example, Paris St. Germain may have dominated Ligue 1 in 2012/13, but despite their prowess the most common score in their games was a 1-0 victory, making up 24% of their results. So keeping an eye on final score trends can be profitable.
For fans of in-play betting, the 'time of goal' market is one of the most promising options. Although it's possible to play this market before a match starts, it offers particular value in-play because you can monitor shifting variables like the score, momentum, set-pieces and substitutions: all of which can really help to land a bet.
To try this strategy out for yourself, head over to Paddy Power Sports today!