Over / Under 2.5 Goals Tips & Predictions For Today’s Football

Like BTTS, the over/under 2.5 goal market is a popular binary bet. The aim is to simply choose whether you think there will be more or less than 2.5 goals in a match. Other options also exist (such as over/under 0.5, 1.5 or 3.5 goals) but the 2.5 goal bet seems to be the sweet spot that attracts the most punters.

Here you’ll find out predictions for the upcoming matches. As with our both teams to score tips, we give you a simple list for the over/under market. We mainly stick to the 2.5 goal market but occasionally throw in some 1.5 or 3.5 bets where they offer better value.

Over / Under Tips & Predictions

TBD - Tips are added shortly before the start of each match. Please check back nearer the time.

Recent Over / Under Tips

Leeds v Tottenham
Over 2.5 Goals @ 1/2
Leicester v West Ham
Under 3.5 Goals @ 1/2
Everton v Bournemouth
Over 3.5 Goals @ 7/4
Southampton v Liverpool
Over 2.5 Goals @ 2/5
Manchester United v Fulham
Over 3.5 Goals @ 6/5
Chelsea v Newcastle
Under 2.5 Goals @ 11/10
Brentford v Manchester City
Over 3.5 Goals @ 6/4
Arsenal v Wolves
Over 2.5 Goals @ 1/2
Coventry v Luton
Under 3.5 Goals @ 1/5
Borussia Dortmund v Mainz
Over 4.5 Goals @ 13/10

How Does Over/Under Betting Work?

Plus and Minus Icons Balanced

When we talk about over/under betting we mainly mean betting on whether there will be over or under a set number of goals in a given game. The most common number, or line as it is sometimes called, is 2.5, but other lines are usually offered on all but the smallest of matches. To avoid the possibility of a tie, the totals offered are usually expressed in half goals, with 2.5 meaning that three goals or more scored means a win for overs, whilst two or fewer is a win for unders, with no chance of the bet being a push or void.

In this article we will focus on over/under goals betting and in particular over/under 2.5 goals. However, we will also look at other over/under bets, including the different lines you might see for goals.

As betting on goals is by far the most popular option we will explore that area first, before considering the alternative over/under markets that are also quite widely available at the top football betting sites.

What is an Over/Under bet?

This may be self explanatory but for the sake of clarity, this is a bet where some sort of stat is central and you have the option of betting on over or under a certain number with regards to the metric in question. The fundamentals of these bets are the same whether it is goals, corners, bookings or anything else.

Betting on Over and Under 2.5 Total Goals

BetVictor Under/Over 2.5 Goals Betting

Goals are what football is all about in many ways and betting on them is hugely popular. There are so many bets and markets that centre around them, including the correct score of a game, which player(s) will score those goals and, as with this market, how many goals there will be. As said, when it comes to betting on over/under a certain number of goals, most of the focus, in terms of tips, forum chat, availability of odds and the exposure offered to the market, is on whether a game will see over or under 2.5 goals.

This is because the vast majority of games in modern times, in most leagues, see either two or three goals scored. For example, since the Premier League began, the average goals per game each season has not been lower than 2.45 and nor has it been higher than 2.82. In addition, one website has analysed almost 300,000 games, the equivalent to more than 770 seasons of the Premier League, across a range of leagues and competitions and their data shows that the most common score is 1-1.

That occurs around 11% of the time but when you look at all the various scores that have either two, or three goals, we can see that around 44% of matches ended this way. Perhaps even more tellingly, over 48% of games ended with two goals or fewer. In other words, the split between overs and unders, in terms of the 2.5-goal line, is around 48.1% (under) and 51.9% (over). Given these stats, it is clear why the focus is on over and under 2.5 goals.

Rules to Note

Football on Open Book

As with almost all football matches, when it comes to bets, wagers are “90 minutes only”. This means that your prediction of over or under 2.5 goals is valid for normal time only, including stoppage/injury time at the end of each half but excluding extra time and penalties if they are required. Obviously this is not relevant to league games or matches during the group or league phase of a cup, where extra time and penalties are not used. However, if a cup game ends 1-1 after normal time but then 2-1 after extra time, the winning bet is under 2.5 goals, not over.

In addition, all goals count in normal time. It doesn’t matter if it is an own goal, a penalty, a 35-yard screamer or a shin from inside the six-yard box. All that counts is the official score. In addition, it doesn’t matter how the goals are split between the teams, nor does it matter how many goals are scored aside from whether the total is under or over 2.5. So, for example, if you back under 2.5 goals, there is no difference between the game ending 0-0 or 1-1 or 2-0. Likewise, should you opt for over 2.5 goals, 3-0 is as good as 5-5, which is as good as 2-1.

Back under 2.5 goals and you will win if the final score after 90 minutes (plus injury time) is:

  • 0-0
  • 1-0
  • 0-1
  • 1-1
  • 2-0
  • 0-2

Any other score at all, in other words any score of 2-1 (or 1-2) or 3-0 (or 0-3), or higher, will mean that over 2.5 goals is the winning bet.

The only other thing to be aware of is that there may be a number of similar markets. The main bet that we have discussed so far is more thoroughly described as “Total match goals”. It is important you do not inadvertently make a wager on the goals of just one team, or for just one half, whilst it is also crucial that you get the number of goals right, so do not mistakenly click on the 3.5 goal market if you mean 2.5.

Over and under Different Goal Lines

Football Hitting Net Against Blue Blurred Background

On any major game, and in fact on almost all matches aside from the most obscure, you will find that you can back not just over or under 2.5 goals, but over or under various other numbers of goals too. Because most normal league matches between reasonably even sides are likely to end with around three goals in total, there is typically around a 50% chance of over 2.5 and a 50% chance of under 2.5. By “around a 50% chance” we mean that it is unusual for that to fall beyond a 60/40 range. Consequently the odds for both options are not too far away from evens, though typically a little lower because, of course, the bookmakers factor in a margin for themselves into their odds.

If we look at a round of Premier League matches the odds below are certainly fairly typical:

Under 2.5 goals odds Over 2.5 goals odds
Evens 8/11
4/5 10/11
4/5 10/11
11/10 4/6
7/10 21/20
Evens 8/11
8/11 Evens
11/10 4/6
6/5 8/13
11/8 8/15

Such odds are great if you want to place an acca or are looking for a bet with a good degree of certainty but some punters often prefer to opt for a little more bang for their buck. On the other hand, a different type of punter may want something at even shorter odds, whether to qualify for a free bet with as great a chance as possible or to try to create a really huge acca of bets they hope are bankers or just because they like to bet at very low odds.

This is where moving to a different line, or number of goals, is perfect. Only around seven or eight per cent of games end 0-0 and so the odds on over 0.5 goals are very short. Conversely, if you decide to back under 0.5, you will be rewarded with big odds. Equally few games see more than five goals, so if you fancy a goalfest, there is a good chance you will be rewarded with big odds on over 4.5 goals, whilst most games will have under 4.5 at a very short price.

The table below shows how the odds change with various different lines. To provide a thorough comparison we have chosen one game where over 2.5 goals was deemed very likely and another where it was perceived to be unlikely. Below you can see an odds comparison for the former.

Goals Under Over
2.5 11/8 8/15
0.5 12/1 1/50
1.5 15/4 2/13
3.5 6/10 5/4
4.5 1/4 11/4

In a game in which over 2.5 goals being scored is far less probable we can see how the odds differ.

Goals Under Over
2.5 7/10 21/20
0.5 13/2 1/14
1.5 2/1 4/11
3.5 1/4 11/4
4.5 1/12 6/1

Betting on Under 0.5 goals

Green Digital ZeroBetting on under 0.5 goals is not a bet too many punters will place and it is not one we would recommend. This is because you may well find a better deal backing no goalscorer in the first (or last, or anytime) goalscorer market. Backing under 0.5 goals is the same as backing 0-0 and it is largely the same as backing no goalscorer in the markets mentioned. You may well find the same odds for all of these options.

If you, then backing no goalscorer is always the best option. This is because if the game has any goal at all in the 90 minutes plus injury time, bets on 0-0 or under 0.5 goals will, for fairly obvious reasons, lose. In contrast, for reasons that are less obvious, a bet on no goalscorer might still win. This market, unlike the other two, excludes own goals. As such, in the unlikely event that the only goal, or even less probably, goals, are put in at the wrong end and are on own goals, no goalscorer will win.

It is also worth noting that few recreational gamblers will have a punt on over 0.5 goals either. This is simply because the odds are invariably so low. In our odds comparison above, the second game, which was expected to be low scoring, still priced over 0.5 goals at odds of just 1/14. Few punters want to risk £140 to win just a tenner and so it is easy to see why it is rarely used.

One possible exception to this is where an offer requires a paid bet in order to earn a free bet or bonus. If there are no minimum odds attached to the qualifying bet then backing over 0.5 can be a potentially simple way to try and gain the freebie. Note, however, that whilst it is certainly low risk, there is still the danger you might lose. After all, as we have seen, 0-0 occurs around 7% of the time.

Variations on the Main Over/Under Goals Bet

As well as the core market that might fully be described as total match goals, where you can bet on anything from over or under 0.5 goals up to over or under 4.5 (or more) in the whole game, there are further variations of this bet available. The best football bookmakers will also offer, for example, over/under goals for the first half only and the second half only.

In a game in which it is thought there is a decent chance of goals you might see over 2.5 total goals at short odds of, say, 4/6. You could try and get more bang for your buck by opting for over 3.5 goals but an alternative option, great if you think there will be a fast start to the clash, is to back over 2.5 goals in the first half. Based on 4/6 for match goals, you might get a price of 11/2 for three or more strikes in the first 45.

BetVictor Under/Over First Half Goals Betting

Alternatively if you think the clash will be a thriller but take a bit of time to come to life, backing over 2.5 goals in the second period might be an option. In this instance you might get odds of 5/2 for that, or 4/5 for over 1.5, the odds slightly lower for the second period as more goals tend to be scored.

Another option concerns backing one of the two sides to score over or under a certain number of goals. This market relates to a specific team and once again you can opt for under or over a range of goals. Equally, this is another market where you can choose to wager on the whole game, the first half, or the second 45 minutes, the odds again being largest for the first 45 minutes and smallest for the whole game (assuming you are backing over the goal line).

BetVictor Team Over/Under Goals Betting

Other Over/Under Match Bets

Yellow Football Corner Flag

In general, when tipsters, friends in the pub or anyone else talk about over/under betting, they are generally referring to goals and the markets we have already discussed. However, there are many other bets that use the same idea and you can bet over/under on a range of stats or areas of the game.

One option is to bet on the number of corners in a game and this is a popular addition to a bet builder. You may see odds offered for 4.5 corners, or sometimes even lower, up to 15.5 or more. Back over 15.5 and you might be rewarded with odds of 10/1, with under that number a huge odds-on shot at 1/100 or similar. Opt for the 4.5-corner line and those odds are reversed, with under perhaps out at 14/1and over 1/200. In most games the “standard” option, where the odds will be closest to evens for both under and over, is typically around the 9.5 mark, or more broadly between over/under 8.5 and over/under 10.5.

You can also make a similar bet when it comes to bookings, often listed as over/under cards. This market usually starts at 0.5, essentially a bet on whether or not there will be a card in the game at all. At the upper end, you might opt to back over 8.5 cards at long odds of 8/1 or, alternatively, add under 8.5 cards to a bet builder or acca at very short odds of perhaps 1/25.

Once again you may find that some bookmakers offer such stats that are specific to a team, a half or both, whilst other online betting sites may stick to match totals for these more niche markets. As well as betting on over or under goals, corners and cards, you may also find bookies that allow you to bet on other overs and unders, such as booking points (where yellow and red cards are assigned points values), shots, shots on target and even throw-ins. In short, if there is a measurable action, you might well find a bookmaker prepared to take bets on it.