Exact Goals Betting Market Explained – What It Means

Written By: Conor Rafter
Last Updated: February 22, 2023

Exact Total Goals Betting Market Explained

Have you ever had a gut feeling that a match would end with one, two, three, four, or more goals? With the ‘Exact Total Goals’ betting market, you can put your instincts to the test by wagering on the precise number of goals.

Best of all; it doesn’t matter which team wins the match, nor is the winner of the affair taken into account. All that counts is the total goal count within normal time (90-minutes). If your selection is correct and the number of goals in your betslip matches the amount scored in the game, you’ll make a profit. 

This is a fantastic market for beginners as it keeps things simple as you don’t need to make any decisions specific to the outcome of the match. Just pick an exact number of goals and enter a stake, then wait for the fixture to conclude. 

Exact Total Goals Meaning

This market has a few different names depending on the bookmaker you choose to bet with. At William Hill, ‘Exact Total Goals’ is known as ‘Total Match Goals’. At SkyBet, the market is titled ‘Total Goals’.

Here’s a full description of the ‘Exact Total Goals’ market, taken from both sportsbooks’ Help pages.

William Hill

Select the total number of goals scored in a match from the following options (0-6 or more)

Exact Goals Betting Market Explained - William Hill Total Match Goals

Sky Bet

You’re betting on: how many goals exactly will be scored in the match, eg. No Goals, Exactly 1 Goal, etc.

Exact Goals Betting Market Explained - Skybet Total Goals

For example, let’s say you were to bet on a game between Manchester United and Arsenal. Prior to kick-off, you feel that the match will have exactly three goals. You don’t know which team will win and you’re unsure of the correct score – but your instincts are telling you that no more and no fewer than three goals will be scored.

You head to your favourite bookmaker’s website and select ‘3’ from the options available in the ‘Exact Total Goals’ market. Once the bet is placed, you wait until the end of the match to find out whether or not you’ve won. If the game ends 2-1 or 3-0, you win money. 

Exact Total Goals Terminology Explained

This being one of the more basic markets in the world of online sports betting makes it significantly easier to understand. This is especially true for those of you unfamiliar with football wagering. 

That said, we’ve done everything we can to break down the terminology associated with the ‘Exact Total Goals’ betting market. New bettors should find this section helpful when trying to work out what the market means, while experienced punters can use it as a refresher. 

Starting from the first of the two words, we have ‘Exact’. With this word included before anything else, we know that the statistic we’re betting on must precisely match the number we pick. If there are more occurrences of the statistic or fewer occurrences of the statistic, the bet simply will not win. You need a like-for-like number of goals in your betslip and in the match itself.

The word sitting in the middle is ‘Total’. The ‘total’ number of something can be read as the ‘maximum’ or ‘whole’ number, and the listed figure should not be exceeded for bets to win. This market hones in on the ‘Exact Total’, whereas others are centred around the ‘Exact Time’ and ‘Exact Score’. Hence, the word ‘Total’ is vital for the title of this market.

The following term, ‘Goals’, tells us which statistic we’re betting on. Other markets may include shots, corners, bookings, or shots on target – but this one focuses on the most important aspect of football. The more goals scored by one team, the more likely they are to win. 

By merging the words ‘Exact’, ‘Total’, and ‘Goals’, we get ‘Exact Total Goals’. If we were to lengthen the market’s title into a couple of sentences, it would read something like this:

  • Bet on the precise number of goals in a 90-minute football match. If the number of goals scored in the match exactly matches the selection in your bet, your wager wins. 

That’s all there is to it.

Strategy & Tips For Exact Total Goals Betting

There are a couple of things you can do to improve your chances of winning in this market. Before we cut to the case and detail our recommended strategy, we first implore you to edit and add to these ideas in your own time. 

Developing a betting strategy is arguably the most efficient method of grabbing a win in any market. Placing a wager without a strategy is like swimming in the ocean for the first time without a life jacket; it’s a surefire way to get into trouble. 

It won’t take long to create a unique and personalized strategy either. All you need is access to relevant football statistics for the league and teams you want to bet on, as well as a real or virtual notepad. Anything that you find and deem necessary should be written down. This will help you to grow as a bettor by learning from mistakes and analyzing where you went wrong. 

Analyze Recent Match History

In many ways, the past is an eyehole towards the future. History repeats itself time after time and football is no different. Often, we see games where the commentator tells us that “X goals have been scored in the last 4/5/6 matches between these two sides”. This tends to fly over the heads of most people. 

Anyone interested in betting on the ‘Exact Total Goals’ market should pay close attention to such statistics. They are the gateway to profit. If three goals have been scored in the last three matches between two sides that regularly face-off, then it’s quite likely a similar number of goals will be seen this time around. 

For example, let’s examine Everton’s history of results against West Ham United. The pair go head-to-head in mid-September during the 2022/23 Premier League season, with four games against one another having been played since January 2021. 

Three of those four outings have ended 1-0. Two in favour of West Ham and once going the way of the Toffees. Going into this game, Everton have scored a total of four goals all season, while The Hammers have hit the net just three times. Neither side is in a rich vein of scoring form. Moreover, recent history suggests this fixture is a poor watch if you’re after goalmouth action.

Yet SkyBet is offering ‘Exactly 1 Goal’ in their ‘Total Goals’ market at 4.50 (7/2). A £20 wager returns up to £90, making a £70 profit overall. This is the type of fixture you need to keep an eye on if you want to be successful in this market.

Exact Goals Betting Market Explained - Exactly 1 Goal

Team Form Matters Most

You must pair this bit of research with the above-mentioned strategy to formulate a fully-fledged and solid framework for bets on this market. If Everton and West Ham had been unstoppable in front of goal all season long, then the history of 1-0 results in recent months would have mattered little. Only when these two elements come together can you decide on the perfect wager.

You should look for teams with low-scoring form before deciding on a punt. If there are two sides that have recently competed in several matches that have finished 1-0, then a bet on ‘Exact Total Goals – 1’ should be considered. 

A good example of this comes in the form of Fulham vs Newcastle United in the opening weeks of September 2022. Between August and September, The Cottagers went through a patch where three games on the bounce ended 2-1 (three goals). Similarly, two of Newcastle’s four matches during this time came to a close with three goals each. 

The moral of the story is this:

  • Look out for teams with patterned scorelines or patterns in the number of goals scored. If everything matches up, add the selection to your betslip. 

Best Bookmakers & Odds On Exact Total Goals Betting

The best bookmaker is the one you feel most comfortable betting with. If there was one out-and-out winner, we would tell you. But there isn’t, so we can’t.

The reality of the situation is that online sports betting is a highly competitive industry. Bookies across the world go up against one another each week to offer the best odds, most rewarding loyalty programs, biggest prizes and the most user-friendly experience. The last thing any bookmaker wants to do is alienate newcomers and/or force customers elsewhere due to a lust for more money by worsening price listings.

When it comes to the ‘Exact Total Goals’ market, we can recommend almost every top bookmaker. Virtually every bookie offers this bet type in some way, primarily due to the simplistic nature of the wager. That said, we know some bookmakers are more reliable than others in terms of refreshing and uploading prices for games further down the line. 

Those betting sites are as follows:

  • William Hill
  • SkyBet 
  • Bet365
  • Betfair

It should be noted that Betfair’s version of this market differs slightly compared to the other three bookies listed. Rather than offering prices for ‘Exactly 1 Goal’ or ‘Exactly 2 Goals’, the bookie lists selections in this market as ‘Exactly 2 Or 3 Goals’ and ‘Exactly 0 Or 1 Goal’. The only difference is that there are two outcomes within one selection, but this makes the odds on this bookie quite unique compared to competitors. 

Here are some example bets on ‘Exact Total Goals’ with each of our recommended bookies.

William Hill – ‘Exactly 3 Goals’ on Liverpool vs Ajax at 4.00 (3/1)

Exactly 3 Goals - Liverpool vs Ajax

SkyBet – ‘Exactly 4 Goals’ on Newcastle United vs Bournemouth at 5.50 (9/2)

Exactly 4 Goals - Newcastle United vs Bournemouth

Bet365 – ‘Exactly 2 Goals’ on Chelsea vs FC Salzburg at 4.33 (333/100)

Exactly 2 Goals - Chelsea vs FC Salzburg

Betfair – ‘Exactly 2 or 3 Goals’ on Sporting Lisbon vs Tottenham Hotspur at 1.91 (91/100)

Exactly 2 or 3 Goals - Sporting Lisbon vs Tottenham Hotspur

Conor Rafter
Conor Rafter

I’m a freelance writer who loves all things sports & betting related. Having worked in this field since 2018, I’ve experienced a wide range of intriguing bookmakers and online casinos. With this expertise, I strive to create helpful, honest articles. My primary goal is quite simple: to guide and inform readers using facts and analysis.

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