The most common market for betting on football matches is the “money line”, or 1-X-2. However, many bettors, realizing that there is too much of an element of randomness (for example, a crazy goal in the last minutes after a rebound), are looking for more profitable markets. One is over / under betting where you can succeed by adhering strictly to three simple principles.

** Principle 1: Analyze the average performance of both teams **

Let’s make a reservation right away that we are talking about matches of national football championships, since in cup games (including European cups) the fight can go according to a completely unpredictable scenario.

In football, the performance is extremely low in comparison with other team sports, however, there are some nuances here. Thus, in the matches of the Philippine League, the average performance falls slightly short of six goals per game, and in the fights of the Spanish third division, it does not exceed 1.7.

Information about how much an individual team scores on average in the current season or, for example, over the last three seasons, can be easily found on the respective sites on the Internet. At the same time, it is also desirable to know the average performance of the respective league in order to assess the discrepancy between the two indicators.

** Principle 2: Calculate Probabilities **

In a book called “Living at Risk,” renowned sports analyst John Haig provided a table that contains the probabilities of how many goals a team can score given its average per match:

Let’s assume that in a match between teams A and B, the average expected number of goals for A is 1.2, and for B 0.8. Now you need to determine the estimated score, with which two clubs can play, for the outcome “total under 2.5”. Obviously, there can be only six options here – 0: 0, 1: 0, 0: 1, 1: 1, 2: 0 and 0: 2.

Next, we compile a table where we enter the corresponding probabilities for each of the teams from the above Haig table (let’s call it that), and then, multiplying them, we calculate the probability of each of the outcomes:

Now, knowing the probabilities of all possible outcomes for the number of goals less than 2.5, we can determine the total probability of winning the bet “total under 2.5”:

13.5% + 16.2% + 10.8% + 12.96% + 9.9% + 4.2% = 67.56%.

** Principle 3: Determine Betting Rates **

So, we have already determined that teams are expected to score less than 2.5 goals per match. The final step to success will be to identify the odds that are beneficial to us. To do this, we need to convert the calculated probability to a decimal coefficient:

100 / 67.56% = 1.48.

However, in order to place a bet with a positive mathematical expectation, the bookmaker’s coefficient must be higher than this figure, taking into account the margin. It should be noted that the margin of bookmakers on the “more less” market is slightly higher than for “money line”, and will be even higher for less popular leagues.

Is it possible to unequivocally expect to receive a win by placing bets on TB 2.5 or TM 2.5 using the above principles? The answer is no, but now you have a simple, but quite effective strategy, adhering to which, you will be able to outplay the bookmaker in the long run, since you will always have a positive mathematical expectation for your bets.