Total Goals: Bookmaker Differences

Just a quick one today. When doing a piece of analysis (which lead nowhere) on the Under-21 UEFA Championship final, I was pondering the vagaries between different firm’s approaches to their Total Goals markets.  Was there consistency of approach across the range of markets (Over/Under 0.5 – Over/Under 4.5)? Did they all use the same calculations/methodology to determine price etc?

Out of interest, I grabbed all of the Over-X lines from the price comparison section of about 30 minutes before kickoff.  After excluding firms that didn’t cover the full range of markets, I plotted them on a simple interactive line data viz:

Fig 1: Under-21 UEFA Championship Final Over-X Goal Odds Comparison*


A few observations:

  • Obviously some firms offer better prices than others.  Whether this is because they have taken a position about the expected goals, or are betting to smaller margins, is neither here nor there.
  • Betvictor are middle-of-the-pack when it comes to the Over 2.5 goals price, but are happy to offer longer odds at the extremes (0.5 / 4.5) than all of the other firms.
  • Some firms – i.e – Betsafe, shy away from the short-price end of the scale, but are increasingly happy to take money at each goal step, ending up with the third best price for Over 4.5 goals.
  • Bet365 seem to be taking a strange position, offering respectable odds on Over 0.5, 2.5 and 4.5, but ducking 1.5 and 3.5.

This is a small sample of firms, on one single match, so probably best not to read too much into it other than:

  1. No there is not a standard industry approach to total goals pricing.
  2. Don’t assume that just because you have found a firm that is top price about one over/under market, that they will be top price about a different total.

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