Even when I was punting for fun years ago, I always found I had a significant edge on the betting odds offered on the over 2.5 goals markets in certain football matches. Matches I target for the over 2.5 goals are matches where the overs and unders are both priced close to evens. Numerous times per month I see games priced like this for the goal index betting that are in reality (rather than the probabilities suggested by the odds) approximately 70%-30% in favour of hitting the over 2.5 goals. Over many hundreds of football matches now, using this strategy, my results have shown that my estimated probabilities have been extremely accurate, hitting a strike rate of over 71%.
It makes no odds to the bookmakers that astute bettors can take advantage of this as 98% of the betting population will not be able to see that the match severely favours the over 2.5 rather than the under and thus the overround (margin) the odds compilers give themselves and the freedom to move their odds around as the money comes in, almost guarantees them a profit no matter what (Potentially damaging big hitters with a significant edge may have their account limited or closed). This is how the bookmakers operate and the above is a prime example of how both the bookmaker and the bettor can profit on the same markets.(I will write an article in the future explaining bookmaker margin (overround) and what it's all about).
A lot of the prices set by the experts are based largely on stats and this is how I can find an edge. Stats are secondary for me. Logic and variables are the key to successfully finding an edge in betting markets - Not many people will beat the expert statisticians at their own game. Don't worry - STATS LIE. What difference does it make if Fulham havn't scored in their last 4 away games? Were they playing WBA or Wigan in all those 4 games? See what I'm getting at...
I have spent so many hours playing and watching football that I can spot a potentially open match a mile off. There are 4 or 5 key things that I was alluding to above when I mentioned "certain football matches" that I look out for when backing the over 2.5 goals betting markets:
1. Loose Defense - Key defensive players injured, attacking fullbacks, disorganisation and teams who place emphasis on attacking are all factors that lead to gaps at the back. Weak defenders and low confidence are obvious factors.
2. 3 or 4 top strikers on show - An open game is not enough. The over 2.5 goals will not be hit enough times to overcome the odds longterm if there are not enough top quality finishers to put away the chances. This is a very significant point and 1 I learned the hard way.
3. Pace in attack - For plenty of clear cut chances/ one on ones in a game, pace in behind is key. Pace on the wings and in attack also stretches the game and opens it up.
4. Only 1 defensive midfielder - There's nothing worse to stifle a game than 2 teams playing with 2 defensive central midfielders. The quicker Roberto Mancini and the likes leave the Premier League, the better for the over 2.5 goals backers.
5. Emphasis on attack - Managers, how do they set out their teams? Benitez v Mourinho or Harry Redknapp v Pep Guardiola? 2 Defensive minded managers = boring game is the general rule. Watch Spurs this season, 75%+ of their games will have over 2.5 goals regardless of who they're playing.
All these and more are factors I look out for to gain an edge on over 2.5 goals betting odds and you should keep them in mind when sizing up your own bets on the overs.
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