How to bet: Understanding the Over/Under Market

How to bet: Understanding the Over/Under Market

Understanding the world of betting tips is more than just than knowing which team is going to win a given game. The 12X market is traditionally the most popular market for punters due to its accessibility. For those who want to become shrewder tipsters, it’s worth examining other markets in detail to look for value.

The over/under market is a good example of a betting market used by professional tipsters, and is one of the most consistently profitable on ProTipster. Understanding the over/under market – and how to find value is a surefire way of improving your betting return. Here are some tips to improving your sports betting.

Form is temporary

It’s a given that form should be taken into account when studying teams for a bet. However, the amount of form that is taken into account is crucial. It’s too easy to look at a team’s past three or four results as a guide to what they’re going to do in the next week.

For example, if a team might have scored three times a game for the last three games but does that give an accurate idea of a team’s scoring potential? The answer to the question is no – the sample size is just too small. It’s easy to be seduced by an especially good or poor run of form but to make money in the long term in the over/under market then 20 matches or more need to be considered. Bookies bank on punters to make knee-jerk reactions like this and price accordingly; having a more tempered outlook should ensure you can take advantage of value.

Averages are just mean

When tipsters quote statistics like average goals per game for a team, is this an accurate measure to consider? The bigger the sample of data, the more likely a mean average is going to be accurate – particularly if there are no huge variances within the sample set. However, in a small sample it only takes one or two strange results to skew statistics and cause an average to be false.

The key is to differentiate between the mean average and a mode average. A mean average is a mathematical formula – the sum of all the outcomes divided by the number of outcomes. A mode average is different; it tracks the amount of each individual outcomes, with the modal average being the outcome that is most frequent.

What does that mean in simple terms?

Imagine Chelsea had played 15 home games with a total 45 goals scored. That’s a mean average of 3 goals per game – so over 2.5 goals is going to look tempting.

Now imagine that two of those games were particularly high scoring – say one was 4-3 and the other was 5-2. That’s 14 goals in those games, but in the other 13 there would only be 31 goals – 2.38 per game. That over 2.5 goals bet is looking a lot less tempting now, right?

Therefore it makes sense to keep a tally of how many games have 1 goal, how many have 2 goals and so on and see where the numbers lie in comparison to the mean average. Doing that should help rule out any skewed data.

Keep it simple

To make consistent long term profit its worth sticking to where the even money line is for a match. In football, this typically tends to be between 2 and 3 goals, depending on the league.

The simple fact is this is where the value is.

Bookmakers might offer tempting odds for irregular goal total markets – but those odds are designed to bring in naïve punters and are a skewed reflection of what the actual odds should be.

That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t go for a bigger line if you’ve done your research and there is obvious value in a certain fixture. In the main however, it’s easier to go with the normal markets – particularly as it’s easier to find historic odds data on the less exotic markets.

Don’t disregard the situation

When analysing data for over/under markets it’s worth looking into individual quirks for a league to see if there is something else that skews the figures. Instead of just looking at club trends, look at league-wide trends – for example, are matches higher scoring at the start of the season or the end? Do teams at the top look to thrash lower opponents or do they go through the motions to conserve their strength for the end for the end of the season?

Understanding those kinds of lines of analysis will help to give you an edge and an angle that Joe Public isn’t aware of – and it’s that edge that separates the ordinary tipsters from the Pro Tipsters.