Everyone enjoys a goal-fest when they settle down to watch Match of the Day, but picking and choosing which teams will run rampant and which will stand strong can be a rewarding tactic for football betting too.
If you're a gambler who plays the numbers, the best way to approach the 'both teams to score' (BTTS) market is as a contrarian. Betting against both teams scoring usually snags the better odds, as illustrated in the first weekend of the 2013/14 English Premier League, in which Betfair Sports offer better odds on one side drawing a blank in seven of the ten games. That said, considering that in the 2012/13 season one team failed to hit the net in 43.4% of matches, combining the stats with a little bit of football knowledge could result in a profitable venture.
For a more detailed analysis, keeping track of individual team stats is vital. Last season, for example, Spurs were the team to back in the 'both teams to score' market. They scored and conceded in 71.1% of their games, and by isolating away matches, the figure jumps to 78.9%. At the other end of the spectrum, Stoke proved to be the least fertile hunting ground, with both teams scoring in just 44.7% of their games. Stats like these are useful for determining how likely a 'BTTS' bet is to come in.
Teams at the top of the trend are usually spotted by the bookies, though, so it pays to be a bit more nuanced with your bet. One way of doing this is to spot a discrepancy between home and away stats, or a trend that runs counter to conventional thinking. For example in 2012/13, matches involving Newcastle saw goals for both sides in just 52.6% of home games, but when they were on the road the figure rose to 68.4%. Arsenal, meanwhile, went the opposite way. The Gunners scored and shipped goals in 63.2% of home games, but just 47.4% of away matches.
Large discrepancies like this can make the difference when looking for the best value odds. For example, in the opening weekend of the 2013/14 Premier League season, Betfair priced Sunderland vs Fulham at 4/5 for both teams to score, and 10/11 against. This is despite Sunderland finishing with a 47.4% 'BTTS' percentage at home last season, and Fulham boasting the same stat in last year's away games.
Another great use of this market is when betting in-play. When a match looks done and dusted, or if a bore draw is closing in but a key substitution is made, betting on both teams to score is a valid alternative to both picking a winner at low or risky odds, or to dipping into the less predictable goal-scorer markets.
One problem with the 'BTTS' market is that the odds rarely rise far beyond evens, and that's why punters in search of a big win often decide to bet using an accumulator. Bookies like Betfair Sports sometimes even run promotions that offer money back when one leg of a 'BTTS' accumulator lets you down. When building an accumulator, it's even more important to consider individual team stats, and to judge each game by its merits.
If you think you’ve got an eye for the stats and want to test yourself in this market, visit Betfair Sports today.