Over 2.5 goals
Over 2.5 goals is a type of over/under bet, whereby a bettor is betting that the total number of goals scored in a football match will be over 2.5.
For an over 2.5 goals bet to win, a match must finish with three or more goals.
The opposite of an over 2.5 goals bet is an under 2.5 goals bet, whereby a match must finish with two goals or less for a bet to be successful.
The term 'over 2.5 goals' is used as opposed to 'over 3 goals' to avoid confusion, as there could be ambiguity if a match finishes with exactly three goals. Whereas with over 2.5 goals, it is clear that if a match finishes with exactly three goals, the bet has been successful.
Is over 2.5 goals a good bet to place?
An over 2.5 goals bet is popular as it does not require a bettor to predict the winner in a fixture. The selection can be successful regardless of the result: it just requires a certain number of goals to be scored.
Additionally, an over 2.5 goals bet is different from 1x2 related sporting bets, as there are only two outcomes: yes or no. When betting on the full time result in a match, there are three possible outcomes: win, lose or draw. With an over/under bet, a bettor has a 50% chance of being successful, as opposed to just 33.3% when betting on the result.
Factors to consider before placing an over 2.5 goals bet
There are a of multitude factors to consider before placing an over 2.5 goals bet that could influence the outcome.
Previous goalscoring record
It's a relatively simple one, but a bit of research into the goalscoring and conceding statistics of both sides is a good place to start prior to placing an over 2.5 goals bet.
How many goals per game have both sides been scoring on average this season? How many goals per game have both teams been conceding this season? How many goals per game have they been involved in across their last five matches?
Injuries and team news can play a part in whether there are over 2.5 goals in a fixture. For example, if a team has been involved in an average of 2.60 goals per game this season, but their top goal scorer is injured, this reduces the likelihood of over 2.5 goals being scored.
Similarly, if a team has been involved in an average of just 1.40 goals per game this season, but have suffered an injury crisis to their defence, then over 2.5 goals may be more likely than usual.
Home or away
It is worth taking into account how the two sides' goalscoring and conceding records differ depending on whether they are playing home or away.
If a team is scoring for fun at home, but struggles in front of goal on the road, then backing them to be involved in over 2.5 goals in a home match is a more sensible bet than backing them to be involved in over 2.5 goals in an away fixture.
The magnitude of the fixture
High flying Real Madrid could be regularly scoring three goals every weekend against sides in the lower reaches of La Liga. However, this does not mean they will be as free scoring in front of goal when they play rivals Atletico Madrid in a top of the table clash.
Consider sides' previous goalscoring records against fellow top sides in crucial fixtures when placing an over 2.5 goals bet in table topping matches.
How to use over 2.5 goals in betting
Research is key when placing an over 2.5 goals bet. Instead of studying form as you would with a result based bet, study the goals for and against column in the league table.
When placing an over 2.5 goals bet, using implied probability is a great way to find under/over bets with value.
For example, if bookmakers are offering odds of 2.00 for over 2.5 goals in a clash between Atletico Madrid and Valencia, this would have an implied probability of 50%. However, if you believe that the likelihood of over 2.5 goals is closer to 65% - perhaps due to the form of the Valencia strike force, injuries to Atletico's backline or Atletico's strong scoring record at home - then this would be an over 2.5 goals bet worth placing.