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Over/Under Goals & Total Goals – Meaning, Strategy & Prediction Tips 2024

Over/Under – Total Goals: in this bet you make a prediction on whether the total amount of goals scored in 90 minutes will be over or under a certain amount.


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Over/Under 2.5 goals explained

The essential concept behind this market may be easy enough to sum up in a sentence but to really understand how it works, we are going to provide specific examples so you can see in practise how to bet on over under goals markets. We’ve chosen 2.5 goals as our score line. It’s one of the most popular options for this market as it manages to find the perfect balance between risk and reward for many players.

With a 2.5 score line, the over under goal rules are simple: if the goals at the end of 90 minutes come to 2 or less, then an Under bet would win, whereas and Over bet would lose. If the goals came to 3 or more, an Over bet would win, and an Under bet would lose.

We’re going to use the Manchester City vs Manchester United clash from December 2019 for a specific example. That game ended 2-1, meaning the total amount of goals is 3. Therefore, those who chose an Over bet would win, whereas those who chose an Under bet would lose. It really is as simple as that.

One key thing to keep in mind is that the score line, as is the case with many betting markets, ends in normal play. That is, 90 minutes plus stoppage time. Any extra time or goals scored in penalties will not count.

The 2.5 goals market is, of course, just one example, as you can usually pick both higher and lower score lines than this. A higher score line would make a winning Over bet less likely but have the potential for more generous odds. It would also result in an Under bet being more likely, but with shorter odds.


Why do these score lines end in .5?

The reason these score lines end in .5 is because there cannot be such a thing as half a goal. This makes an exact multi goals prediction impossible in this market and therefore cuts your options from three to two.

There are other Total Goals betting score lines which are whole numbers. In these instances, there are three options. To go back to our previous example, if we had three total goals, and a score line of three instead of 2.5, then that bet would be void.

The use of half goals is therefore to make a result in this market certain in completed games. This versatility is a big part of the reason this market is so popular.


Top Tips for Goals Over/Under Successful Predictions

When it comes to making successful prediction, there are so many different variables that can affect the outcome of a game. Here we are going to look at some specific things to consider when betting on an individual game, and how they can affect the final goal line. For more information on predictions, be sure to check out KickForm for additional advice.

Kick-Form Football Statistics Website - Goals Over Under

Kick-Form Football Statistics

  • Weather – Rain, snow and wind can be a huge downfall on a game of football, not only for the fans but for the players too. It will slow the game up and evidently decrease the chance of there being a lot of goals. Read about Weather Betting here.
  • Form – This tip probably lies in the heart of all our betting terms because it is so important and useful. You must do some research at least in order to see how the teams have done in previous matches and to see if they are a high or low scoring team.
    Head to head – Another bit of research for you to do, simply check to see how these teams have done against each-other in the past. Understandably this isn’t to be relied on, but its definitely something to note.
  • Match importance – In football there are league games and cup games and even friendlies. League games usually consist of the manager playing his strongest squad however cup games vary depending what round they are in and what there current situation is in the league.
    Team news – Be sure to check sports news sites in order to see if the squad is suffering with any key players missing due to injury or suspensions which may cause them to miss the match.


Strategic Advice For Over Under Goal Lines

While we have looked at specific things that could affect an individual bet, there are also general rules of thumb that you’ll want to adhere to whenever you make a bet on this, or indeed, most other betting markets.

  • 1) Choose a good bookmaker

    Finding the best bookmaker for you is, of course, what we are all about and it should be the cornerstone of your betting strategy. A good bookmaker isn’t just one you can trust, although that is extremely important. It’s also one that offers you great odds and a great experience.

    Better odds mean more money if you win, and a good bookmaker should provide exactly that. From a strategic point of view, this is the absolute bottom line.

  • 2) Go with what you know

    Researching form, as we mentioned before, is vital to crafting smart individual bets. But as a more general rule, there’s nothing that makes that easier than by sticking to teams that you already follow. There’s no better research than watching the games and if you’re doing that anyway, then so much of your work is done. This does, however, create another small dilemma.

  • 3) But don’t let your heart get in the way of your head

    Going with what you know is a great way of reducing that research legwork. However, it does come with one potentially fatal flaw that you need to navigate in order to make a success of that strategy in Over/Under Total Goals markets and beyond. What you know is likely to also be what you love and that means you may be making predictions with rose tinted glasses.

    So, ask yourself before placing your bet, is this what you think will happen, or is this what you want to happen, and be as honest with yourself as you possibly can. While this applies generally, Over/Under Total Goals is great in this regard because you are only predicting the amount of goals rather than who wins, so it doesn’t create the same dilemma in desired outcomes as backing a winner often does when your logic forces you to bet against your team.

  • 4) Consider how well the market plays with others

    One of the best things about over under goals line betting markets is that is can be used alongside other bets in a way that is logical. In other words, you can have multiple bets without any contradicting one another.

    For instance, you could think that Leeds United will defeat Derby County in a close, low scoring game. This means you could back Leeds United to win and also back an Under 2.5 Goal Line bet and have both come out as winners because both those results can occur without cancelling the other out.

    That’s the great thing about the versatility of this market, but also consider how this can work with any other goal line markets you find interesting.

  • 5) Consider the accumulator

    We love accumulators. They represent one of the most interesting and exciting ways to bet and can do so for very low stakes. Responsible gaming with plenty of intrigue is what we are all about, meaning that markets which can fit perfectly in an accumulator, just like this, always rank up there with our favourites.

    Check our extensive guide to Accumulator Betting and Promotions here.

    If you’re thinking of making more than one bet anyway, consider going with an accumulator for a longer, more dramatic and potentially more profitable bet.


Over/Under Goals Statistics

While you’ll be looking up plenty of stats when researching the individual game, more general stats to keep in mind to provide you some more context for your research can really help you craft a smart prediction. It can give you an example of how typical the results you’re looking at are, for instance, and allow you to look at your research in a wider context.

These stats are goal related, of course, but can also be useful for several other markets. Keep in mind that this information is correct as of 2020 and is based on the most recent football seasons.

  • Only three teams scored an average of over 2 goals per match in the Premier League: Leicester, Liverpool and Man City.
  • The latter was the highest scorer, with average goals of 2.43 per match.
  • For context, the highest scoring league is Estonias Meistriliiga, which has an average of 3.60 goals per game.
  • The other top ten leagues include Northern Ireland’s Premiership, Wales’ Premier League, England’s Southern League Central, Germany’s 3.Liga, Holland’s Eredivisie, Austria’s Erste Liga, Holland’s Eerste Divisie and both German and Austria’s Bundesliga. All these average over 3 goals per game.
  • In the Premier League, both teams scored in 69% of Tottenham Hotspur’s games, who had the highest percentage in this regard, and 38% in Watford’s games, the lowest percentage.
  • In the Bundesliga, only one team, Wolfsburg, saw less than 2.5 goals in less than 50% of their games. On the opposite end, Bayern saw more than 2.5 goals in 84% of their outings.
  • However, in La Liga, the majority of teams saw less than 2.5 goals per match, with only six teams going past that average percentage.
  • In the French Ligue 1, every team saw more than 1.5 goals in over 50% of their games. It is still among the lower scoring leagues.
  • Italy’s Serie A saw only one team score an average of over 2 goals per game, which was Lecce.

We hope that these stats give you some idea of what you can generally expect from goal lines across different leagues. However, we know that the football world is huge, and you’ll want to do your own research based on what is most relevant to you.

With that in mind, 1x2stats is a great resource for those looking to expand their research.


Other Goal Markets

Bet9ja Goal Betting Markets On Website

Bet9ja Goal Betting Markets

It’s important to know that Goals Over/Under market doesn’t just exist in a vacuum. There are plenty of other multi goals markets which offer varieties on this kind of betting. Modern online betting is a rich buffet of options and you’d be missing out if you weren’t even to look at what else was on offer.

Here, we’ll be going through some of the most popular goal-line based markets so you can see just how much is available to you, and so you can start to make sense of the huge amount of options available on the best betting sites.


  • Multi Goals (Goal Range)

    The idea is fairly simple, it’s the element of being able to predict the group in which the total final score, once added together will fall in. For example if the bet you make is within 3-5 goals in the match, the final score must be 2-1, 2-2, 2-3, etc. These all total to number between 3 and 5. Multi Goals aka Goal Range is not the most popular type of betting, but still a form of it and way to make some profit if used in a smart way.

  • Asian Goal Line

    This gives team’s a goal handicap based on their perceived weaknesses and strengths, which in theory, should reduce the gap in ability to create an even betting field. So, for instance, if you have a particularly strong team, they may have a handicap of plus 2 goals, meaning they would have to win by 3 in order for the bet to be successful. This is considering one of the more complicated betting markets, so be sure to check out our dedicated article on Asian betting markets for more.

  • Total Goals Exact

    You can pretty much figure out what to expect here from the title. Instead of predicting the over under goal line, here you have to give the exact number and be correct for your bet to be a winner. In other words, our example would require you to predict that exactly 3 goals would be scored. Naturally, this is a great option for those who want a market with long odds. Note that this betting market is sometimes called "Number of goals (in a match)".

  • First/Last Goalscorer

    Another relatively straightforward example: here you choose who you think will score first, or who will score last from either team. This is very much like the Over/Under – Total Odds in the sense that it is very easy to understand but poses plenty of tough questions from a strategic point of view. Check out our main article about First/Last Goalscorer here.

  • Half with Most Goals

    This is an intriguing one because you are pitting one half of the game against the other, as though each 45 minutes were its own team. As is the case with so many of these markets, it’s very easy to understand. You simply tally up the multi goals scored in each half, and if the side you backed has the most, you win. However, there’s more than meets the eye with this one, so do be sure to check out our dedicated article on Half with Most Goals subject for more.


Goals Over/Under in Other Sports

While this market is most commonly associated with football, it can of course be on any points-based sport – like American football, basketball, rugby and, at least in theory, most sports you can think of. One of the key differences between football and many of these other examples is that football is a much lower scoring game than most, which will affect your strategy when betting on this market in other sports.


Over/Under Goals & Total Goals FAQs

What is the Over/Under – Total Goals market?

This is a market where you make a prediction as to whether the total number of goals scored in a game will be over or under a certain amount.

Why do the score lines end in .5?

A goal line of .5 means that the final score line must be over or under that amount because there cannot be a half a goal. In other words, it guarantees a result either way.

Can I use this market as part of an accumulator?

Absolutely! In fact, the versatility of this market makes it ideal for accumulators.

What is the effect of picking a higher score line?

If you are choosing an Over bet than a higher score line, then this will mean longer odds and shorter odds for Under bets. The effect of a lower score line would be the opposite of this.

What are some other goal line based bets?

Some popular examples include Goal Range, Multi Goals Exact, First Goalscorer, Half with Most Goals and more. You can get more information on these in the other goal markets section above.

SoccerBetting365 Final Say

What makes this one special is that most markets force you to often go against what you want to happen and what you think will happen. For example, you might want your team to win, but think it’s unlikely. This means that you can either make an unwise bet or you can only half enjoy a game because winning your bet means a result you don’t want emotionally.

This market doesn’t do that: all your backing is how many goals are scored. The way in which this comes about – in other words, which team wins – is irrelevant, so long as your numerical prediction is correct. There are other markets which also achieve this, like corner betting, but for many, nothing provides the same excitement as goal markets.

That’s why I think the Over/Under Total Goals market can stack up to any when it comes to both versatility and emotional engagement.

Hello there! I'm Ben, Yorkshire based copywriter with eight years professional experience. Passionate about sports, cooking, writing and collecting vinyl. Work is brought to you by the power of countless cups of tea.



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