Who fears the “Under” on the goals’ market in sports betting?
- Updated: 13th August 2019
A true outcast, nobody likes it, nobody wants it, and nobody bets on it. On the last edition of the Premier League, we have had 54% of the matches finishing with “Over 2.5 Goals” scored and 46% finishing with “Under 2.5 Goals”. In La Liga, 47% of the matches finished with more than 2.5 goals scored and 53% of them finished with under 2.5 goals. On the Italian Serie A, the “Over 2.5 Goals” line was surpassed in 52% of matches, while the “Under 2.5 Goals” line was a winner in 48% of matches. In France 48% of the matches surpassed the Over 2.5 Goals line and 52% of them finished with less than 2.5 goals scored.
The Unders on Goals are the terror of the online bettors.
The Bundesliga is one of the bigger leagues that offers more unbalanced statistics in favour of the “Over”, with 62% of the matches finishing with more than 2.5 goals scored and 38% of them with less than 2.5 goals.
One of the most brutal cases of predominance of the “Unders” is the Brazilian Serie A. The current edition of the competition only has a record of 42% of matches with “Over 2.5 Goals” and 58% of matches having less than 2.5 goals scored.
What do I mean to say with all this summary of goal scoring statistics from the main competitions of football on the planet? That at the bare minimum, the distribution between over and under on these competitions is comparable.
With very rare exceptions, the distributions between “Over/Under” is about 50% for each side on the matches of these domestic leagues.
What makes everything stranger is that, when it comes to observing the behavior of bettors regarding these markets of these leagues, the statistical distribution is very different.
We don’t have exact numbers, but bettor clearly prioritize betting on “Overs” instead of “Unders”.
The difference of betting volume we see on “Overs” when compared to “Unders” is abysmal, which shows that bettors have a special affection or aptitude to look for matches with goals, rather than matches without goals.
My objective here is questioning where this preference comes from.
If statistically that doesn’t make sense, since the distribution of the two outcomes is similar in reality, what would be the reasons for bettors to only have eyes for the “Overs” and practically ignore half of the matches of the top leagues in the world that tend to finish with “Under”?
The nature of football
It sounds like a redundant and obvious argument, but it shouldn’t be ignored. The nature of the sport isn’t finishing the match with a 0-0 result.
Scoring goals is precisely the big objective of football and therefore, that ends up being the focus of the analysis, be it on journalism, technical staffs or sports betting.
It is the techincal and emotional apex.
I’m not saying that the compact defensive systems don’t matter. Far from that actually, they matter a lot.
A lot of the great managers and champions of the past decades stood out precisely for their extremely strong defensive systems and so efficient that they’re capable of driving their teams to very important achievements.
With that said, we can’t deny that those who watch football want to see goals being scored, preferably from their own team, but even if it is an opposing goal, it is still capable of causing admiration even from the opposing supporters.
Goals are what defines football, that characterize it.
Does this seem like obvious information? Yes, it is. But it gains a certain importance when we look onto the sport. Our eyes will always be guided by what football is, and not by what football isn’t.
I want to see goals!
We aren’t born bettors.
As much as this wave of pseudo-professional bettors has took over the scene in sports betting, the truth is that most bettors have amateur methods and that don’t follow analytical trueness.
These betting methods are heavily influenced by the football fans we were before we became bettors. That is to say, before we approached sports betting in an analytical fashion.
This previous experience as football fans, or any other experiences, brings a lot of bad habits for making our analysis as bettors.
One of the worst ones is our vision as passionate fans of this sport and consequently one of the defining moments of the sport: goals!
We guide our betting life by what we were before we even were bettors.
Difficulty to put that into the method!
Thinking the sport according to the logic of it is much easier than going against its own nature. Training our eye, as I’ve said, in terms of building our betting method, tends to be taking advantage of what is more common, from what is more easily understood and not from a global vision of the sport.
Upon so much information that is needed to develop the analytical method on sports betting, it is natural that sometimes shortcuts become the option, prioritizing what we know and is natural instead of investigating something that is unknown and strange for us.
But, sometimes, it is on that quest that resides the difference between profit and loss. Finding out new things might make us find out profitable markets.
My suggestion here is trying to get rid of these preconceived visions and the shortcuts that lead us into thinking only about the Overs when it comes to making our bets.
We should overcome the paths that lead us into only looking at the “Overs” and thinking more about exploring a breach that statistically has almost the same distribution in terms of the outcome of the opposing event.
• Unders & Overs are equally distributed in reality, but not in terms of bets made by the bettors.
• Fear of the “Unders” – lack of ability to “read” the “Unders”
• Against the nature of the sport – of what characterizes football
• Bad habits from when you weren’t a bettor
• Difficulty on applying this when building your method