Numbers are the key to every football match. Managers analyze games using numbers, statisticians utilise numbers to make a point, players focus on numbers to achieve personal goals, and fans gloat about numbers to one-up their rivals. Football is, for all intents and purposes, a numbers game.
Generally speaking, whether the numbers are odd or even is irrelevant. Most supporters will laugh in the face of anybody who claims their team is better than another simply because they’ve scored an “even number of goals”. This type of statistic is useless, as it points towards nothing in particular.
But where odd and even numbers matter is in the betting market. Here, trends in favour of a certain type of number can be crucial. A pattern edging in the direction of an even or odd number can be the difference between a profit and a loss on a wager.
The ‘Odd/Even Goals’ betting market is easy to use but difficult to win.
What does the odd/even goals betting market mean?
Bettors are required to put money on there being an odd number of goals in a match or an even number of goals in a match. If there are zero goals in the affair, most sportsbooks will consider the outcome as an ‘even’ number of goals.
This market is less focused on actual statistics and more on trends. If one team has scored an odd number of goals for three games on the bounce and their opponents the same – then you can hold a relative level of confidence that odd numbers will make up the scoreboard in their meeting. The opposite is also true with regard to even numbers.
Odd/Even Goals Meaning
Top UK bookmaker, William Hill, defines the ‘Odd/Even Goals’ betting market as the following:
Select whether the total number of goals scored in a match will be odd or even.
The bookie outlines the following rules concerning this type of wager:
- Bets are settled in normal time.
- If no goals are scored, winning selections will be settled as ‘even’.
You can opt to bet on the ‘Odd/Even Goals’ pre-game betting market or live betting market at William Hill. In the ‘pre-match’ state, you add selections to your betslip before the start of the event. Wagers chosen under the ‘Live’ section must be selected while the event is in-play.
Terminology For Odd/Even Goals Betting
As long as you know the difference between an odd number and an even number, you should be good to go with this market. The numbers you were taught at school apply in the same way here, as every other number is either even or odd.
For those of you that need a refresher, here’s how odd and even numbers work:
- Even Numbers are numbers that can be divided by two (2). Examples of even numbers include 4, 6, 8, 10, 20, 50, and so on.
- Odd Numbers are numbers that cannot be evenly divided by two (2). Any attempt to divide an odd number by two will be left with a remainder. For example, seven (7) divided by two (2) equals three (3) with a remainder of one (1). Therefore, the number seven is not even.
Other examples of odd numbers are 3, 5, 9, 11, 13, 23, 51, and 101.
How Odd/Even Goals Markets Work
In the ‘Odd/Even Goals’ betting market, there are two options for you to pick from. First, you have ‘Odd Goals’, which refers to bets on there being an uneven number of goals in a football match. This means that bets on ‘Odd Goals’ will win if there are exactly 3, 5, 7, etc, goals within a normal game. Scorelines that would win in this scenario include the following:
In the case of ‘Even Goals’, you’re betting on an even number of goals being scored. As such, any amount of goals scored in the match must be evenly divisible by two – so scorelines like 2-2, 1-1, and 3-3 would see profitable returns.
There are two key things to remember when betting on this market. The first is that you are wagering on the match as a whole, not just one team. Therefore, if one team scores an even number of goals (ie, 3) and the opposition bags an odd number of goals (ie, 2), bets on ‘Odd Goals’ win. Some bookies do offer prices for ‘Team Odd/Even Goals’, which would see you bet on one team to score an odd or even number of goals within 90-minutes.
Be aware that there are some incredibly rare circumstances in which both teams score an odd number of goals but the outcome is an even number of goals. One such instance is a 7-7 scoreline, which would see the two sides hit the net an odd number of times. However, by adding their goals together we get the number 14. This is an even number.
The second important factor is that 0-0s are treated differently depending on where you bet. At Bet365, SkyBet and William Hill, zero goals would count towards a victory for ‘Even Goals’ wagers. Other sportsbooks may see this outcome differently, so you should read the market’s rules before jumping into a bet.
Odd/Even Goals Strategy & Tips
The first thing ever bettor should do before throwing money at a bet is to create a strategy. This will improve your chances of winning in the future hugely, by showing you where you went wrong in the past and evidencing areas you could improve in later wagers.
In the ‘Odd/Even Goals’ betting market, there is very little you can do to tell whether or not the bet is a good one. Most matches are difficult to predict – especially those in the Premier League – so you may find that it’s better to follow a general idea than a hard and fast rule.
The main thing to keep an eye out for is a pattern in results. It’s ostensively meaningless from an outsider’s point of view, but there is something to be said about repetition in football results. Some teams score more even goals than others and vice versa. You need to pounce on these facts.
Odd & Even Patterns
A great example of such a pattern is Arsenal at the start of the 2022/23 season. The Gunners participated in six games between the end of August and mid-September, of which five had an odd number of goals. Funnily enough, each of the matches with ‘odd’ goals had precisely three goals on the scoreboard. Three 2-1’s, two 3-0s.
Crystal Palace’s opening few week’s results could not have been more different compared to Arsenal’s, with every single one of their matches in all competitions boasting an even number of goals. The scorelines were as follows:
- Crystal Palace 0-2 Arsenal
- Liverpool 1-1 Crystal Palace
- Crystal Palace 3-1 Aston Villa
- Oxford United 0-2 Crystal Palace (EFL Cup)
- Manchester City 4-2 Crystal Palace
- Crystal Palace 1-1 Brentford
- Newcastle United 0-0 Crystal Palace
If you’d bet on all of The Eagles’ first seven matches to end with an ‘Even’ number of goals, you’d have made plenty of money. This is the exact type of pattern we’re imploring you to look out for.
Head To Head Records
Similar to the patterns you’ll find in the form of recent teams, there is plenty of information available pertaining to historical meetings between two sides. The past tells us more than we may think, with bettors too often overlooking the importance of previous outcomes when two clubs face off.
Here are some examples:
- Five of the six Manchester derbies ended with an even number of goals between March 2020 and March 2022.
- Four out of five games involving Liverpool and Brighton had an even number of goals spanning from July 2020 to March 2022.
- 66% of North London derbies had an odd number of goals from July 2020 to May 2022.
- From October 2020 until January 2022, all five games between Arsenal and Manchester City had an odd number of goals.
There is a clear trend towards the same type of results occurring time and time again when it comes to Premier League outfits. It should be noted, however, that this is just a selection of results and many fixtures do not carry the same patterns.
For instance, the biggest game in the Premier League since 2017 has been between Liverpool and Manchester City. Between early 2017 and spring 2022, 17 matches were played against one another. Of these, 9 had an even number of goals and 8 had an odd number. We can gather virtually zero information from this, as the outcomes have been more or less 50-50 every time. Avoid patterns – or lack thereof – such as these at all costs.
Best Bookies & Odds For Odd/Even Goals Betting
Bookmakers are in constant competition to try and deliver the best experience for all users on their platforms. It’s thanks to this competition for customers that bettors are given the best possible prices, offers and selections across a range of markets.
The ‘Odd/Even Goals’ betting market is just one of many available on industry-leading websites. Such is the unpredictability of the market and its lack of popularity amongst punters compared to other offerings, some bookies only upload odds for a select number of events. SkyBet, for instance, is usually on the pulse in terms of publishing prices for next week’s games. We went on the bookies’ website three days before a Premier League weekend was due to begin and failed to find ‘Odd/Even Goals’ for any of the upcoming fixtures. This is something you need to be wary of, as some sportsbooks may leave this market unattended until very late in the week.
That’s not to say we don’t recommend SkyBet for this type of bet. There are simply more efficient alternatives out there.
Below is a list of bookmakers that provide the best experience for bettors planning on using the ‘Odd/Even Goals’ betting market, along with examples of the market in action:
All three of these bookies publish their odds early, serve competitive odds to consumers, and make it easy to use their respective platforms.