As the old saying goes, there’s more than one way to skin a cat, with betting customers never having so much choice when it comes to placing football bets.
In the past, you had the opportunity to bet on the 1X2 market along with a couple of other options such as First Goalscorer and Correct Score, although there’s a fair degree of randomness about both of these options and clearly markets that the online bookmakers love to offer as a result.
Now betting customers have become more demanding and one of the most popular pre-match and In-Play betting markets involves punting on the number of goals that are scored during the course of a game.
In the past, this market was known as Over / Under 2.5 Goals although this is now just one of several two-way markets where customers don’t have to worry about the actual outcome of the game but pay more attention to the number of times that the ball hits the net before the final whistle blows.
It’s a simple case of looking at a football match and predicting whether the total goals in the game will be more or less than a particular number. So if the market gave you the choice to bet on Over 2.5 Goals or Under 2.5 Goals, then you’re effectively betting on three goals or more (Over 2.5 Goals) or two goals or less (Under 2.5 Goals).
If you bet on Over 2.5 Goals before kick-off and there are three goals scored before half-time, then your bet would be settled as a winner straight away, although an Under 2.5 Goals bet would only be settled at the full-time whistle if two or less goals are scored in a particular game.
In addition to Over / Under 2.5 Goals, then there’s the option to bet on similar markets. If there’s a particularly high-scoring match in prospect, then you might find that the Over / Under 3.5 Goals market offers more value, or even the Over / Under 4.5 Goals if you’re fancying at least five to be scored in the game.
Several top online bookmakers offer a range of Over / Under betting markets and it gives you the chance to place a bet on a football match should you have a strong opinion about how the game could play out.
If you feel that Manchester United are going to visit Anfield and park the bus, then you can go as low as Under 0.5 Goals which is effectively the same as betting on No Goalscorer or the 0-0 correct score. You will find bigger odds about Under 0.5 Goals for a match like this compared to Under 1.5 Goals, simply because the latter gives you the chance to win on a 0-0, 0-1 or a 1-0 scoreline.
The same applies if you’re expecting a high-scoring encounter between two clubs. If you anticipate goals being scored by both teams but want something more than a Both Teams to Score market, then Over 3.5, Over 4.5 or even Over 5.5 Goals gives you a chance to punt on a goal frenzy.
Yes, these markets are commonly available for most of a football match. Towards the end of the game, expect In-Play betting on Over / Under Goals to be taken down as the prospect of many more goals being scored becomes more remote.
Expect a bookmaker to offer several lines when it comes to Over / Under markets and you can also bet on Over / Under for the first half and second half. There is also the chance to Cash Out where you can decide to come away with a profit by sitting in a strong position.
For example, you might bet on Over 2.5 Goals and the game is 1-1 with thirty minutes left to play. So you would need one more goal to be scored in order to profit, although there could be a chance to make some money without having to wait for that final goal to be scored.
In addition to Over / Under, several bookmakers also give you the chance to bet on Exact Goals where you can bet on a specific number of goals to be scored. You can literally choose whether there will be 0, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7 or more goals to be scored and this is a chance of being able to back a selection at bigger odds than a two-way market.