Betting on the performance of both teams is very popular among bettors, which is designated by the bookmakers as OZ (“both will score – yes” or “both will score – no”). Today we will look at it in more detail.

Bets on the effectiveness of both teams in football are so widespread primarily because the rules for placing them are quite simple, and the winning directly depends on the outcome of the match. In total, in 52.5% of matches of the last five seasons of the leading European football championships, both opponents managed to score at least one goal. But is it worth limiting the analysis of the “both will score” betting market to the fact that both teams score at least one goal about half of the time? And if not, what other additional information can you use when making forecasts for this market?

What is “both to score” bet?

By definition, the “both will score – yes” bet is a bet that both teams participating in a football match will be able to score at least one goal against each other. For example, if the match ends with a score of 1: 1, 3: 2 or 5: 5, the bet on the performance of both teams will win. If the match ends with the score 0: 0, 1: 0 or 5: 0, such a bet will lose, but the opposite one will play “both will score – no”.

The above statistics for 52.5% of matches played with OZ Yes may give the impression that a bet on the performance of both teams can be compared to a bet on heads or tails on a coin toss or any other bet an event with a probability of occurrence of approximately 50%. However, when placing bets on the performance of both teams, it is possible and necessary to take into account such factors as the composition of the teams, the results of their performances, both quite old and completed recently, as well as the style of play of each of the opponents.

Performance statistics for both teams

Table 1 summarizes the performance statistics of the top five European football leagues in the last five seasons:

If we consider the statistical data on the performance of both teams – participants in individual matches played during the specified period, then they are very different. So, in the 2018/19 Bundesliga season, both teams managed to score at least one goal in 82.35% of matches with the participation of the clubs “Hoffenheim” and “Werder Bremen”. On the other hand, in the 2016/17 French Ligue 1 season, both teams scored only 23.68% of Nancy’s matches – while, as we can see, the French championship is the least productive of the top.

In general, an analysis of statistical data on a single team over longer periods of time shows that the proportion of matches with its participation in which both teams manage to score at least one goal remains approximately the same. To support this thesis, in Table 2 we provide statistics on the 13 teams that participated in each of the last five Premier League seasons:

As you can see, 11 teams out of 13 provided performance within 5% of the overall Premier League average of 51.25%. The average proportion of matches involving these 13 teams in which both teams managed to score at least one goal was 53.05%, which in practice means 20.15 out of 38 matches played in the Premier League.

Taking this into account, we can conclude that the leading English clubs, constantly participating in the Premier League championship, will play 18 to 22 league matches in one season, in which the bet “both will score – yes” will play. Be that as it may, betting market players should take into account, first and foremost, reliable statistics on matches, which show when it is more likely that a team will score at least one goal and concede at least one goal of an opponent. This, of course, requires some additional data.

Additional information required to place bets on the performance of both teams

To assess the relationship between the performance of both teams and various statistics over the past five Premier League seasons, we use the so-called Spearman rank correlation.

The strongest correlation with the performance of both teams is the number of goals (0.616) scored in matches with the participation of one or another team. In other words, the likelihood that a team will play a match in which both teams score at least one goal is rated higher if an average of five goals are scored in matches with that team’s participation, and lower if an average of five goals are scored in such matches. two goals.

On the other hand, if one of the participating teams or both of these teams often play unsuccessful matches (the indicator here is -0.471), we can assume that the probability that both teams will be able to score at least one goal falls below the average. At the same time, the indicators of the goal difference (0.032) and the place in the league standings (0.021) demonstrate an almost complete lack of connection with the performance of both teams.

If we talk about the 2018/19 Premier League season, then the impact of the performance indicators of both teams in the previous match of one of these teams on the probability that both teams will be able to score at least one goal turned out to be minimal. In 48.68% of matches this season, at least one team has not scored a single goal. If in the previous match of any team both teams failed to score at least one goal, in 51.38% of cases at least one of these teams failed to score a goal in the next match.

However, if both teams were able to score at least one goal in their previous matches, they did the same in 54.62% of the following matches, which is slightly higher than the overall league average of 51.32%. This shows that when placing bets on a match, information about the outcome of the previous match can be used to some extent, although, of course, not all clubs obey this trend.

Indeed, only three league teams failed to play a series of at least three matches, in which both teams managed to score at least one goal. At the same time, all teams faced a series of three or more matches in which at least one club did not score a single goal. Arsenal and Manchester United have had the longest winning streak for both teams, with eight such games each. Everton, on the other hand, had a league record streak of 12 matches that were unsuccessful for at least one of their opponents.

Even though 51.32% of league matches were scoring for both teams, for nine teams the longest streak in which at least one side failed to score a single goal was longer than the longest scoring streak for both sides of matches. Only six teams managed to achieve the opposite result.

Curious data allows you to get and analyze data on the start time of matches. If, out of 380 matches played during the same Premier League season 2018/19, we isolate the percentage of matches that became productive for both teams and distribute these matches by their start time, then we get the picture displayed in Table 3 :

So, only 45.83% of the matches that started at the standard time for the Premier League (15:00 on Saturday) turned out to be effective for both teams. This figure is noticeably lower than the overall league figure of 51.32%. The league’s overall score was boosted by matches that started before or after that point, with both teams scoring at least one goal each in 55.22% of 67 meetings starting before 15:00 and 55.86% of 145 matches starting after 15:00.

At the same time, the largest number of meetings that turned out to be productive for both teams fell on the evening: such matches began at 19:30 and later. Teams have scored at least one goal in 56.96% of 79 night games, more than 10% more than matches that started at 15:00. This shows that kick-off data is also worth considering when placing bets in the both-to-score market.

Excessive optimism when placing bets in the market “both will score”

As we have noted more than once in our materials, when placing bets on any market, a bettor should not allow cognitive biases to influence their own judgments and assessments of the outcomes of sports events. This is especially true for placing bets in markets where one random ricochet or one referee decision can lead to a goal – and the market “both will score” in football is undoubtedly one of them.

Excessive optimism among players when placing bets on “both scores – yes” is often observed in fights in which teams are fighting for survival. By definition, such teams are the weakest in the league, and a priori they are expected to score fewer goals, which makes it less likely that their matches will become profitable for players who risked placing such a bet.

However, recent events have shown that there are exceptions to the rule. Before the pause of the 2019/20 season, Bournemouth, Aston Villa and Norwich City were among the top three weakest teams in the Premier League. And if of the total number of Norwich City matches, only 48.28% of meetings were effective for both teams, then for Bournemouth and Aston Villa this figure exceeded the league average – 55.17% and 64.29%, respectively. matches were productive for both opponents. Therefore, the assessment of such judgments must be approached carefully.

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