The Goal Line Bet Explained: How To Turn Goals Into Cash

Have you ever visited a sports betting website and wondered how a team could score 2.5 goals? You wouldn’t be the first! And just to clarify, referees have not started awarding half-goals for good behaviour.

What you were probably looking at was a goal line market, more commonly known as the Over/Under.

By the time you finish reading this article, you’ll know:

  • What is a Goal Line or Over/Under market
  • When is the best time to place a Goal Line or Over/Under bet
  • How to place a Goal Line or Over/Under bet
  • How to reduce your risk using the Asian Handicap market
  • What to do when the Over/Under is a whole number

Once you’re up to speed, the next time you suspect a goal-fest or a snore-draw, you’ll be ready, and can head over to one of our UK Betting Companies that accept goal line bets, with confidence.

What Is A Goal Line Bet?

Most decent Premier League betting sites will include goal-line bets. Not to be confused with an actual goal-line, the goal-line bet focuses on the number of goals/points scored in a given match.

A “line” in regards to betting refers to the separation of two opposing selections — such as “Will Team A win the league?” or “Will Player X score twenty goals this season?” The line is between “Yes” and “No” outcomes.

For goal line betting, the bet concerns how many goals will be scored in a game. What does over one goal line mean? In short, it means that two or more goals will be scored in the game; although as we’ll see later, an over one goal meaning a small return for your bet makes it a less popular market for bettors.

However, of course, the sides of the goal line bet explained, in that case, would be “more than five goals” or “fewer than five goals”. This leaves a big question mark over what would happen to payouts if the game ended 3-2 – with exactly five goals scored, what happens then? If the game has an over 2.0 goal line, meaning that at least two goals must be scored to win the bet, what happens if it finishes 1-1, or 2-0?

For this reason, goal line bets tend to centre on whether there will be more or fewer than 2.5, or 3.5 goals. As there can be no such thing as half a goal, there will always be more, or fewer, than that total.

Given that, statistically, the vast majority of games have three goals or fewer, you’re unlikely to see a goal line bet example on “more/fewer” than anything over 3.5. That doesn’t mean you can’t make a bet on that, but you may need to contact the bookmaker and ask them to quote you specific odds before you can make that bet.

When Should You Place A Goal Line Bet?


Some teams have a reputation for a powerful attack that almost always scores at least twice in a game, and there can be real value in a correct score bet when the score gets higher than 2-0 or 2-1. However, correct score betting is always in the lap of the gods to some extent.

We’ve all seen the games where a team is leading by two goals, and are keeping their opponents’ late, desperate attacks at bay. One ricochet, one counter-attack, one goalkeeper coming up for a corner and a cheeky 3-1 correct score bet gets ruined by a cheap fourth goal for the winning team.

Alternatively, those great entertainers may be leading 3-0 and looking for more to build up their goal difference. As you’ve backed them to win 4-0, you’re roaring them on to go for the kill. With the match won, their concentration can slip, and they let the opposition in for a consolation goal.

With an over/under goal line bet, you don’t need to worry too much about the late, coupon-busting goals that happen so often in football.

How To Place A Goal Line Bet: Example

Football goal

If you want to place a goal line bet, you’ll need to find some bookies that offer Over/Under betting.

If you feel like there will be a lot of goals in the match you intend to bet on, try finding a bookie that offers a range of Goal Line bet options. The higher the goals total, the longer the odds are likely to be; if you’re confident of a goal-fest, bet on the higher total.

Equally, if a match is upcoming between two teams whose strikers have been struggling to hit a barn door at six paces, look for an over/under of 2.5 or lower if possible. 1-0 is the most common score in all of football, so if you can find an over/under of 1.5, take it.

When betting online, make use of the live streaming and early cash-out opportunities to make sure your bet doesn’t go wrong. In the event that you have played for a low score, and it’s currently 1-0 or similar late on, keep an eye on the game. If it suddenly opens up due to one team chasing a goal, you might want to cash out just in case a late goal ruins things.

If you’re looking for a speculative bet, it’s worth knowing a few things about more obscure leagues. Of the European countries, Russia’s top league has the stingiest goal totals with about 43% of games featuring fewer than two goals.

On the other hand, about 40% of games in Turkey and Austria’s top divisions often average four or more goals in a match. From a single 4-0 result to a thrilling 2-2 draw, those leagues are the ones to watch.

This can help you pick a tempting over/under selection.

Covering Your Bet: The Asian Handicap Half Bet

The Asian Handicap market is a form of goal line betting that allows you to cover two outcomes with one bet. It involves splitting your stake to cover the two selections but gives you a single price in which you can calculate your potential winnings.

To do the same using the traditional goal line market would require you to place two separate bets at two different prices. An Asian Handicap bet may also be referred to as an “alternative goals” market.

In this goal line bet example, you could place a half bet where one half is for fewer than 2.5 goals and the other half for fewer than 3.5. Let’s say you placed £10 on the handicap overall, then £5 would go on the first eventuality (2.5), and £5 on the safety bet (3.5). If there are just two goals, then you have the payout for the full bet; if there are three, you receive the winnings for only half of your stake.

Occasionally you may see an alternative goal line over 1.0, 1.5 meaning you’ll get some payout if there is just one goal, but a full payout will require a second goal to be scored. You’re unlikely to get long odds on this unless you’re betting in play and the game is relatively close to being over.

And don’t forget that using an unusual wager like a corner bet is another fun way to boost your football betting knowhow.

The best operators for goal-line bets


When The Over/Under Is A Whole Number

With some bookies, the over/under for a goal line bet may be a whole number. The basic principle of your wager remains the same – if the bookmaker has set the goal line at 3, you must decide whether you believe there will be more or fewer, than three goals. This type of goal line bet example is admittedly rare, but different bookmakers have different practices.

Say that you decide there will be more – it’s an Austrian Bundesliga game between two goal-happy teams and you expect at least four goals. You go for the “over” option, you’ll get a payout if there are four or more goals. If the sides cancel each other out and it ends 1-1, you lose and forfeit your stake. If, however, there are precisely three goals scored, you won’t win anything but you will get your stake back.

Here is one of the many football betting tips for you: given the frequency with which top teams meet in pivotal, table-topping clashes and fight their way to an honourable 1-1 result, you may be well-advised to look out for an over 2.0 goal line, meaning that if they finish 1-1 again, you lose nothing. If anyone wins 2-1 or above, you’ll win something and, given that the top teams tend to find a goal from somewhere, even against robust defences, this is a good bet to make.

Do Goal Line Bets Just Apply To Football?

Goal line bets are intrinsically associated with football, but in reality, can be made in most sports where goals are scored; ice hockey, handball and GAA sports, among others.

They are less prevalent with bookmakers, and you may have to shop around to find the best odds, but they do exist, and the principle remains the same.

The same concept may also be found in sports such as rugby, where you can find odds on total tries in a game, and in most sports where the competition aims to score the most points.

Sports betting has evolved to the point where if a sport has enough mass appeal for people to want to bet on it, then Betway will include plenty of markets to accompany the football betting promotions on offer.

In Conclusion

So, goal line bets are a popular way to bet on football and other sports, as they allow a bettor to back the hunch that there will be a wealth of goals in a game without the jeopardy of betting on a correct score.

Most of us will agree we can be confident that a game will have a few goals in it, but guessing who will get them and when is more a matter of luck; and while that’s fun, it helps when you feel like you have an aspect of control.


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