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Studying the “Both Teams to Score” Market Betting Tips and Predictions

To detect value odds, it is necessary to study thoroughly, and this method is fundamentally based on the statistical study.

To let you know about my method, I believe it is easier to explain it through an example.

With that said, the example that I will use is the match Marítimo – Paços de Ferreira of the last round of the 2011/2012 edition of the Portuguese League (Liga ZON Sagres).

To determine the probability (or to assign a probability, so to speak) of both teams scoring in a match, we have to find the likelihood of each team scoring a goal. With that said, here is how my method starts:

1 – Calculation of Marítimo’s (hosts) probability to score a goal against Paços de Ferreira (visitors), by pure statistics

I’ll repeat once again that the probability obtained on this first step is solely based on pure statistics.

To calculate these first odds, I look closely into two aspects: the percentage of matches in which Marítimo has scored goals on at home and the percentage of matches where Paços de Ferreira conceded goals away from home.

Calculation of Marítimo’s (hosts) probability to score a goal against Paços de Ferreira (visitors), by pure statistics

Analysing the table above, Marítimo has scored in 79% of the matches they’ve played at home (100-21) and Paços de Ferreira has scored goals in 86% of the matches away from home on the Liga ZON Sagres.

To calculate Marítimo’s chances to score in this match, I’ll then calculate the average between both the probabilities mentioned.


Marítimo’s (hosts) probability to score a goal against Paços de Ferreira (visitors), by pure statistics: 82.5% [(79+86)/2 = 82.5]

2 – Determination of the probability of Paços de Ferreira (visitors) scoring a goal against Marítimo (hosts), by pure statistics

This step is equal to the 1st, so:

Paços has scored in 57% of the matches they’ve played away from home and Marítimo has conceded in 71% of the matches they’ve played at home. That way:

Paços’ (visitors) probability of scoring a goal against Marítimo (hosts), by pure statistics: 65%

Of course that the reliability of these two first steps will be higher with the higher amount of matches each team plays on the competition in question (law of large numbers), as well as it has to be considered the kind of opponents that each of the teams faced.

Since we are on the last round, this is a perfect example to verify the probability of “Both teams to score” only considering each team’s results at home and away from home, respectively, over the course of the season.

Therefore: 0.825 x 0.65 = 0.536 = 53.6%

Probability of both teams scoring, by pure statistics:53.6%

Calculated odds, by pure statistics, of both teams scoring a goal: 1/0.536 = 1.865

3 – Analysing other variables

From here, things start to be more subjective. Obviously, looking at the standings and the statistics isn’t enough to draw practical conclusions about the teams and therefore we need to study the variables that can affect our prediction.

On the goals’ market, the most important ones are:

 Absences or returns of important players

If a team is affected by injuries, and those players are important players on the team’s offensive line, then the team will probably have a worst offensive performance, and that way, their chances of scoring in the match in question will be lower.

In case the team also has important absences on their defensive line, then the opposing side is expected to have higher chances of scoring. There can also be situations where there is a return of important players that were absent for a long time, which might also improve the performance of the team that we’re studying.

On this case, Paços de Ferreira has everyone available while Marítimo, despite having called-up all their available players, has Roberge (important starter), Fábio Felício and Pouga injured.

 Teams’ moments of form

Despite having made a long-term analysis to both teams, the short team analysis is as much or even more important.

A team might have an excellent record when it comes to goals and however, being on a crisis of results or goals, and when that’s the case, the probabilities determined on steps 1 and 2 will lose its value.

For this match, Marítimo has been having consistent performances, so the short-term analysis of the islanders adds up with the long-term analysis. However, the same thing is not true for Paços de Ferreira.

Since Henrique Calisto took control of the team, the “Beavers” have been presenting a much more confident football, and despite Paços de Ferreira only having scored in 57% of their matches played away from home, the fact is that most of those negative results were before the arrival of their current manager, back when Paços de Ferreira was in last place of the league.

Despite not being able to score on their last match away from home, Paços was able to score away from home on their previous 4 consecutive trips.

 Weather and state of the pitch

If there is any information about the state of the pitch, the worse it is, the less chance there will be of goals being scored. In case a lot of intense rain is forecasted, that might make the grass heavier and that way it will be more difficult for the players to score.

Extremely negative temperatures or extremely high temperatures might also provoke a low playing rhythm (and, on the first case, maybe even a frozen pitch), which should also result on less goals.

The good pitch conditions and the weather forecast for Madeira also don’t seem to be too relevant to have an impact on this particular match.

 Teams’ disparity

If the difference of quality between the two teams is too high, then the probabilities of the strongest team scoring, either increase, or stay the same. However, the probability of the weakest team scoring might be lower. This parameter, in my opinion, only makes sense if we analyze meetings between a very strong team and other team that is weak (whose most recent matches were against teams of a similar level), or on encounters between teams from different teams and with significant differences in terms of quality.

Despite the differences on the standings, I don’t think there is a huge disparity between Marítimo and Paços.

 Managers, players and boards’ statements

They might not mean much, but many times the statements of the parties involved on the match might reveal what are their expectations and the way they will approach this match.

Henrique Calisto has told the journalists that he expects an “open” match, so I think that we can deduced from his statement that the probability of occurring goals will increase.

 Players’ motivation

If the teams are fighting for objectives or not, if the match is decisive or if they need to score several goals to change their position on the league table due to Goal Average, of if the draw favours both teams for example. The least important a match is, the higher the chance of goals being scored there will be.

Since both teams are not fighting for any objectives, both teams will be relaxed, so the probability of them scoring goals will increase, for both sides.

 Other fun or important facts

4 – Combining the statistical analysis and the theoretical analysis (subjective) and assigning odds

The objective of this step is assigning a percentage that we find fair for the occurrence that we are studying, through the combination of the 3 previous steps.

Here, the weight each person attributes to those steps is relative, and the more accurate we are on our “estimation”, the better we will perform on the long-term.

Since I’m not very experienced on this matter, I will do things my way and if you don’t agree with my method, leave a comment please. Beware that this is the most important step but also the most debatable one:

  • Roberge is unavailable on Marítimo, piece that was fundamental on defence for most of the matches Marítimo has played. That way, I’ll increase Paços’ probability of scoring by 1%;
  • Paços’ recente form leads me to increase their probability of scoring by 5%;
  • Paços de Ferreira’s manager statements lead me to believe that the probability of Marítimo and Paços scoring increase by 2.5%, due to the fact that this is not a very important match for neither of these teams.

That way:

Probability (assigned by me) of Marítimo (hosts) scoring a goal against Paços de Ferreira (visitors): 85%

Probability (assigned by me) of Paços (visitors) scoring a goal against Marítimo (hosts): 73.5%

Probability (assigned by me) of both teams scoring: 62.5%

My odds: 1 / 0.625 = 1.60

5 – Checking if there are odds with value for the occurrence that we studied

In case we have weighed all the facts right, which means, if we feel that the percentage for both teams to score that we’ve determined is far (here it gets really complicated, because only with a lot of knowledge and experience will we be able to know if our predictions will be right or not), the next step is finding odds with value on several bookmakers.

If the odds offered by the bookmakers are similar to the ones that we’ve determined or lower, than it isn’t worth it to bet because the bet has no value. But if the odds offered are higher (preferably considerably higher, because we might have some judgement errors on our calculations) then we take those odds and place our bet.

Of course that we will not always be right, but I’m convinced that if we use this method correctly, we will have profit on the long-term.

Back then, Bet365 was offering 1.80 odds for the mentioned occurrence. Since the odd that we determined that was fair was 1.60, then, through my analysis, I consider this bet has value.

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