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How to bet successfully on over/under!
We have already explained what an over/under bet is in our article on special bets. How many goals are scored in a game? Is it three or more? Is it less than three? The notorious over/under bets are certainly one of the most interesting and exciting markets that the world of betting websites has to offer. But what betting strategy should you use to win?
The best betting sites offer statistics and direct comparisons before a duel between two teams or athletes. In most cases, however, they do not go far back into the past and leave the bettor with rather superficial information.
Generally, you can find statistics for the last five direct duels, as well as the last five games of the respective teams very quickly. Of course, the form of the day is important and also the last direct duels are not insignificant; but a tendency of how likely a high or low number of goals has occurred in previous match, is not necessarily left behind through these information.
To find out the actual scoring potential of two teams, you have to dig a little deeper. You should not only use the last few weeks as a benchmark, but a longer period of time! Of course, it can happen that a team has had a run in the last few weeks, but that doesn’t say much about the actual potential of this team.
Thus, we have to take a larger sample than the one suggested by the best betting websites in our reviews with their rather superficial statistics. Nonetheless, we shouldn’t make the mistake of calculating an average value. Rather, we should count how high the rate of over or under games was.
Do not be blinded by the average
Let’s take a closer look at the matter: We decide to find a team that we think is a good candidate for an over 2.5. Let’s take AC Milan’s Serie A home games between December 2015 and November 2016 as an example.
There was a total of 18 games, so it’s a representative sample. A total of 46 goals were scored in these 18 games, which corresponds to an average goal of 2.55 per game. We are already above the magical limit of 2.5. In those 18 Milan home games, there were an average of three goals rather than fewer than three goals.
However, there were some results that falsified this average because they were well above the 2.5 goals. For example a 3-3 against Frosinone, a 3-2 against Torino and a 4-3 against Sassuolo.
If we take a closer look on these 18 games and pick out those that actually noted three goals or more, we only get seven. Even if the average looks promising at first glance, you would have only won 39% of your over 2.5 bets if you had bet on it at each of these 18 AC Milan home games. This is how the average amount of goals can harm you instead of benefit you, when looking to bet over/under successfully.
Take a closer look at the number of over/under games
It makes sense to count the number of overs and unders – but not to calculate the goal average. This can also be applied to home games, away games or all games. In addition, it makes perfect sense to consider these counts in relation to the competition. For example, when Celtic hosts one outsider after the other in the Scottish Premier League, it is a different situation than when they have to play against FC Barcelona in the UEFA Champions League Betting.
Depending on the sport, you should take a set number of games as a sample. It also depends on how stretched the period is. If you use two whole seasons as a benchmark in football betting, this can also be counterproductive, especially if the squad of a team has changed.
We generally suggest a sample of 15 to 30 games. To be even more precise, it could be narrowed to 20 to 30 games.
In addition, it is advisable to stick to the standard amount for over/under bets – i.e. over 2.5 or under 2.5. Of course, there are always situations or games where you can find a decent value in an under 1.5 or an over 4.5, but in reality, these are the bets that online bookmakers are very fond of making money with. As with all other bets, the following applies: compare the odds, try to assess whether an odd is fair and then you will find enough value bets with the over/under 2.5 variant.
Secure your over/under bet
As always, the same applies here: if you want to be even more secure with your live bets, then go deeper. In the case of over/under bets, you can achieve this, among other things, by evaluating shots in relation to goals.
- Number of shots by a team
- How many of them went on goal?
- What is the conversion rate?
But other statistics or observations can also help you with your over/under bets. For example, the question of how a team approaches a game. Do you try to score the first goal and then maintain the result in the best possible way? Or does a team go straight for the second goal once they lead 1-0. Of course, it also makes sense to consider the current shape of a team and to take into account runs or phases of weakness; but, a closer look at the larger sample shows whether the team generally has the potential for many goals – towards the one direction or the other!
The “safe” over/under games
Chelsea FC hosts Burnley FC at home and have won the last seven home games. The online bookmakers offer an average of @ 1.15 for a win for the Blues. Well, nothing can go wrong here.
However, you wouldn’t want to bet a lot of money on this game. The reason is relatively simple to explain: it can’t practically be a value bet. Let us now quantify a Chelsea win, for example, with a probability of 92%. There is no one hundred percent bet, because something unpredictable can always happen. A stupid goal conceded from a set piece and then a deep-laying opponent. An early red card. Or, one of those days when the ball just won’t go in.
Not really interesting, isn’t it? Not even after we put the value into the Kelly formula to calculate the ideal percentage bet from our bankroll:
According to this calculation, you should bet 38.6% of your bankroll, and with that high probability you would break your concept and your betting ideals. If you also consider now that 38.6% of your bankroll multiplied by a win rate of @ 1.15 – you would noticed that a really large bankroll is required in order to get decent profit. Eventually, you will inevitably reach the conclusion that you are losing significantly more, than you can actually win.
But what if I combine a few of “these” games?
A typical rookie mistake is to combine several games from this category. Win Chelsea, win Bayern, win Barcelona, win Real Madrid, win Juventus … and in the end you get odds of around @ 2.20; however, will all the combined bets go well when so many stadiums around the world are concerned?
In reality, with such a bet you only increase the bookmaker’s profit margin. No matter how many “safe bets” you combine, they never turn into value bets.
Think in a different direction: find a good over, an interesting under, maybe a handicap bet that you probably believe in. Never stop analyzing your bets, calculate their value, do not deviate from your bankroll management. There is no such thing as a favourite accumulator bet that you can practically “only win”. On the contrary: these are the bets that will crush you sooner or later.
Limit yourself to the essentials, analyze thoroughly, do not overdo it with types of bets or the number of combined games. The secret to accumulator and system bets is that absolutely every pick you put in is a value bet.