Nike official ball is seen over a pedestal with the Serie A logo during the Serie A football match between FC Internazionale and AC Milan at San Siro stadium in Milano Italy, January 5th, 2021. Photo Andrea Staccioli / Insidefoto andreaxstaccioli

How to bet on the goals of a football match?

There are basically two ways to bet on the goals of a match. The traditional betting system and the Asian Handicap betting system.

As this is a beginners’ guide, we’ll keep things simple and exclude the more advanced forms of bets on goals.

Under bets: what this is all about

Let’s suppose that you believe that the upcoming game between Manchester United and Liverpool won’t have more than 2 goals. That is the game could end with scores such as 0-0, 1-0, 1-1, 0-1, 2-0, or 0-2. Any other score would produce more than two goals, such as 1-2 or 3-0.

That said, if you believe a game will produce less than two goals, you need to bet on the under 2.5 lines.

That’s the meaning of 2.5 goals: it is an impossible number of goals, to avoid a draw as a result of your bet.

Therefore, if the game has less than two goals, an under 2.5 bet would win, regardless of the odds. If the game produces more than 3 goals, the bet will lose.

Over Bets: the opposite of unders

The under bets are the opposite of over bets. The line over 2.5 will pay a profit in case the match produces 3 or more goals and the bettor will lose the stake in case less than 3 goals are produced.

Other examples: Over/Under bets in soccer games

Some bets are mathematically equivalent. What does it mean, for example, to bet on under 0.5 goals? It means the same as betting on 0-0. Because if any goal is produced, well, 1 is a bigger number than 0.5, therefore, bookies may display different names for the same bet, but that’s only because the recreational players think different in comparison with professionals. At professional Asian Handicap bookies, you’d only see over/under 0.5.

How to profit with over and under soccer bets

There’s no big secret here, all you have to do is spot the games that are open with both teams attacking and games where there’s one or both teams focusing on defending.

As a general rule, finals tend to be underish games, because the teams tend to be careful when they attack and the tendency is to have teams of similar quality in a tournament final.

Where there’s desperation, however, we have overish games. When a team is losing by just one goal, then usually goals are likely to be produced in the match. 

The over bets are excellent when both teams are attacking, but also facing the risk of the adversary scoring. In other words, an over/under bet is like a handicap against the match, instead of a specific team.


Over bets are ideal for games with the potential to produce lots of goals, especially when they involve teams that are famous for their attack-oriented tactics.

Teams that like to focus on the counterattacks may be rarer to find these days, but the games that involve them are the ones to bet on under selections.