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Total Goals football betting tips

Bet on how many goals will be scored in each game. (credit: Roni Rekomaa/AFP/Getty Images)
How to win on Over / Under 2.5 Goals with the bookies

Football betting used to be limited to the Win-Draw-Win market although there are now many betting customers who swerve the match odds every week and instead look to bet on Total Goals instead.

Every self-respecting bookmaker offers markets on the number of goals scored in a match, with the most common one being Over / Under 2.5 Goals although this largely depends on how many goals are anticipated in total.

Naturally, there is no such thing as half a goal, so when you bet on Under 2.5 Goals, you are backing the prospect of there being 0,1 or 2 goals being scored in a match. Similarly, when you bet on Over 2.5 Goals, you are backing three or more goals being scored.

Why bet on Total Goals?
Firstly, it doesn’t involve having to predict which team will win the match, while there is no prospect of the draw happening if you bet on Over / Under 2.5 Goals. You can go through the weekend coupon and work out which matches you think will be low-scoring and which will have three or more goals.

Naturally, you can effectively use the stats at your disposal before placing any Total Goals bets, with many bookmakers now providing data relating to this market. That will allow you to see the teams who are involved in high / low-scoring encounters before going ahead with any wager.

You should also look out for team news when placing this sort of bet as a side with most of their first-choice defence missing might be prone to conceding a few goals, while the same applies when a team has a full array of strikers at their disposal. 


Will Jose Mourinho's return to Chelsea lead to more games featuring Under 2.5 Goals?

Can I have a Total Goals accumulator?
Yes and it’s a great way of boosting your overall odds. Rather than bet on a 5/6 or 10/11 chance for the Total Goals market (which means a big stake for a limited return), you can select a multiple bet and go for much bigger returns. 

You can also mix and match. For example, you might place a four-fold where two of the matches are Over 2.5 Goals and two of the matches are Under 2.5 Goals. 

What is Goal Line betting?
This is similar to Total Goals although rather than have Over 2.5 / Under 2.5 Goals, you might instead have the choice to bet on Over 2, 2.5 or Under 2, 2.5 with the latter market being more in line with the Asian Handicap variety. It means that you would get half your stake back if there are two goals scored using the above example, while the other half of the stake would either win or lose on the bet.

What about Alternative Goal Line?
Naturally, customers aren’t restricted to betting on Over / Under 2.5 Goals, especially if they feel that the game will be low or high-scoring to the extent that there might be Under 1.5 Goals or Over 3.5 Goals. Alternatively, punters might feel as though they want to go for a more ‘certain’ bet and back Over 1.5 Goals where they would make a profit if there were two or more scored.

A bookmaker such as bet365 will offer a wide range of Alternative Goal Line odds and many of them will be Asian Handicap style odds. Typically you might get odds of 5/1 for Under 1 goal and 7/2 for Over 3.5 Goals.


Lionel Messi and his Barcelona team-mates regularly reward backers of Over 3.5 goals.

Bet In-Play on Total Goals
Some punters like to wait for a match to kick off before placing bets on the action. This allows customers to work out whether we’re in for an open football game or if both teams are looking to defend stoutly instead.

Naturally, you might also want to get the best possible price about Over 2.5 Goals and if there is no goal in the first twenty minutes of a game, you might find that the odds get significantly bigger so it’s often about choosing your moment to strike that winning bet.

There are several Total Goals markets available throughout the match, with odds changing according to how much time has elapsed and how many goals have been scored. You can also have a bet at half-time where the odds remain largely the same so you have a chance to contemplate a wager rather than place it while the action unfolds in front of you.
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