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Total Goals Expert Betting

Total Goals Expert Betting blog

Total Goals is a simple and popular betting strategy available for many sports today. Also called a goal line bet, it features on the betting platform of any noteworthy sports bookmaker.

What Is Total Goals?

The total goals bet is exactly as it sounds. In this bet, the punter gambles on the number of goals likely to be scored in a match. It is not necessary to predict who wins or loses. In the case of soccer, for which the total goals bet is most popular, goals are usually counted for normal time of the match. This means 90 minutes plus injury time but not extra time. Different bookmakers present this bet in different ways, and sometimes a bookmaker may present it various ways. Let’s look at those.

Exact Total Goals Vs Range

A bookmaker can ask the punter to predict the exact number of goals that will be scored in a match. That’s an exact total goals bet. On the other hand, they may ask the punter to choose a range. For example 0-1 goals, 2-3 goals, 4-6 goals, 6+ goals, etc. Let’s take for an example, a game between Arsenal and Everton in the Premier League ends 3-1 in favor of Arsenal. A exact total goals bet would require the punter to predict exactly 4 goals scored to win the bet. There’s no margin for error in this bet. Predicting 2, 3 or any other total except 4 would lose the bet. When it comes to range, on the other hand, the punter just needs the total number of goals scored in the match to be within the goals bracket they choose. Using the Arsenal 3-1 Everton example, 4-6 goals would be a winning pick. So too would 4-5 goals. Clearly, predicting a goals scored range is easier than picking a specific total. For that reason, odds for the latter, and therefore potential profits, are usually higher. This is in tandem with any aspect of sports betting, really. The harder an outcome is to predict, the higher it will be priced. Same goes for narrower vs wider total goal ranges. If a bookmaker narrows a range from 4-6 to 4-5, for instance, the odds will also increase.

Over/Under Goal Line (Decimal vs Whole)

Here, the punter has to predict whether the total goals scored in a match will be below or above a certain line. The bet can be presented in two ways – a decimal goal line or a whole goal line. Let’s use a soccer example for illustration. With a whole goal line of 2:

Match Outcome Total Goals Line Verdict
0-0 Over 2 LOSE
1-0 Over 2 LOSE
0-1 Over 2 LOSE
1-1 Over 2 NULL
2-1 Over 2 WIN
1-2 Over 2 WIN
3-1 Over 2 WIN
1-3 Over 2 WIN

A goal line of 2 means that for the bet to win, the goals scored have to total 3 or above. 1 goals scored or 2 goals scored loses the bet. With some bookies, exactly 2 goals scored also loses. However, the more common practice is to refund punters their stake if the goals scored are equal to the goal line. In this case, if exactly 2 goals are scored. The situation above, where goals scored equals the goal line, can be eliminated by using a decimal goal line. For example:

Match Outcome Total Goals Line Verdict
0-0 Over 2.5 LOSE
1-0 Over 2.5 LOSE
0-1 Over 2.5 LOSE
1-1 Over 2.5 LOSE
2-1 Over 2.5 WIN
1-2 Over 2.5 WIN
3-1 Over 2.5 WIN
1-3 Over 2.5 WIN

Over 2.5 is a decimal goal line. Sure, it’s not possible to score to be scored in soccer. But with such a goal line there’s no possibility of a null bet. Over 2.5 (which is actually the most popular goal line) means 3 or more goals wins the bet. The punter can only lose if the match finishes with a total of 1 or 2 goals. Any other total wins the bet.

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