Over 3.5 Goals Betting Market Explained – Best UK Bookies

Written By:Conor Rafter
Last Updated: October 17, 2022

Whether you support a lower league team or a top-flight side, one aspect of football does not waiver; an insatiable lust for goals. Players feel it, managers crave it, and pundits revel in everything that occurs in between. Goals are football’s most important feature.

You can win real money by betting on the Over 3.5 Goals football betting market. Various UK sports betting sites offer a range of odds on this particular selection, including Bet365, SkyBet, and William Hill, with each bookie striving to accrue the most significant number of recurrent bettors each week.

Betting on goals is hugely popular, as opposed to picking a match-winner (or double chance). The opposite bet to over 3.5 goals is the under 3.5 goals betting market. The next “overs” betting market is the over 4.5 goals market, and the one below is the standard over 2.5 goals betting line.

Over 3.5 Goals Meaning

Over 3.5 goals is a football betting market. Bets placed on this market will win if four or more goals are scored. Three goals, or fewer, would see an over 3.5 goal bet lose.

Here’s a helping hand with the first note on that list with a description of the market, taken directly from SkyBet.

SKY Bet Description

You’re betting on: whether the total number of goals in the match will be above or below the stated total.

Over 3.5 Goals Betting Market Explained - Skybet description
Sky Bet’s definition of total number of goals in the match.

This means that to win the bet the match must have four or more goals.

This is because the decimal point ‘.5’ ensures that the number of goals scored must be equal to, or above, the next highest round figure. In this instance, the next whole number is four (4). Half goals cannot be scored in football, therefore eliminating the prospect of a ‘push’ or refund where your stake would be returned to your account wallet.

To make a profit in the Over 3.5 Goals betting market, there are a few things you need to know:

  • What the market terminology means
  • How to pick a bet
  • Which bookie to use

Which Scorelines Win on Over 3.5 Goals?

Winning scorelines include the following:

  • 3-1
  • 4-0
  • 2-2

In each of the above, exactly four goals have been scored. Remember that any scoreline where over four goals are scored will also result in a win for your bet.

Here’s a table with some example scorelines, the total goals in the match, and whether or not a bet on this match on over 3.5 goals would win or lose.

Final ScoreTotal GoalsUnder 3.5 Goals Bet Win or Lose
0-00Lose
1-01Lose
0-11Lose
1-12Lose
2-13Lose
1-23Lose
2-24Win
3-25Win
2-35Win
3-36Win
4-37Win
4-48Win
A table showing example scorelines, match total goals, and whether and over 3.5 goals bet on this match would win or lose.

Over 3.5 Goals Betting Strategy & Tips

There is no better way to all but guarantee a losing bet than the failure to create a strategy. Too many punters fling their money at an unlikely outcome without doing even the smallest amount of research, leading to heavy losses over a number of weeks or months. Such a circumstance is easily avoided by simply doing your research. 

Before all else, make sure you have an adequate bankroll. Betting your life savings on a selection that will not occur 99 times out of 100 is unwise unless you’re solely gambling for the fun of it. Set some money aside and prepare your strategy.

1. Bet On In-Form Teams

This may sound obvious at first glance, and it should. As you’re betting on Over 3.5 Goals, you’re approaching incredibly uncertain territory. It’s hard enough to accurately predict the number of goals in a low-scoring game – so you can imagine that it’s doubly difficult to estimate whether or not four, five, or six goals will be scored.

Teams in a rich vein of scoring form a good bet because the odds for ‘Over 3.5 Goals’ selections are usually quite rewarding. Unlike its sister markets, ‘Over 1.5’ and ‘Over 2.5’, where bookies generally expect two or three goals, few operators anticipate more than four goals to be scored in many matches.

This is not without reason, given that the most popular scorelines in world football are 1-1, 1-0, 2-1 and 0-0 respectively (FootyStats.org).

2-2 is the most common scoreline among games with four goals, with 4.7% of matchups ending in a four-goal stalemate. For both outfits to bag a couple of goals apiece there must be some level of confidence in the attacking quality in their ranks. Hence, form is important. 

A fantastic example of an in-form, goal-ridden team is Manchester City. Of their opening four Premier League matches in 2022/23, City were involved in three games with four or more goals. When you include the Community Shield and a friendly with Barcelona, it makes five of six games that have seen Over 3.5 Goals.

Then there are lesser-quality clubs like Brentford who also take part in goal-laden ties. The Bees first four matches had the following scorelines:

  • 2-2
  • 4-0
  • 3-2
  • 1-1

Again, three of those four matches would have paid out on an ‘Over 3.5 Goals’ bet. Research like this is simple, yet very effective.

2. Find The Best Odds By Comparing Bookmaker Prices

For Matchday Five of the Premier League season, you’d get these odds at Skybet:

Crystal Palace vs Brentford – Over 3.5 Goals at 3.5 (5/2).

Over 3.5 Goals Betting Market Explained - Crystal Palace vs Brentford
Sky Bet odds on an over 3.5 goals bet.

Manchester City vs Nottingham Forest – Over 3.5 Goals at 1.62 (31/50).

Over 3.5 Goals Betting Market Explained - Manchester City vs Nottingham Forest
Sky Bet odds on an over 3.5 goals bet.

3. Weak Defenses Are Your Best Bet

While most punters look to the best teams in the league for bets on this market, you should take a look at the odds offered on matches between sides with poor defensive structures. Bournemouth, for example, shipped a whopping 16 goals in just four games at the start of 22/23’s Premier League campaign. Scorelines in their first few matches (including one EFL Cup game) were:

  • 2-0
  • 4-0
  • 0-3
  • 2-2
  • 9-0

Similarly, half of Leicester City’s four opening league outings ended with four or more goals scored. The Foxes sat bottom of the league standings heading into Matchday Five with ten goals conceded. They welcome Manchester United towards the end of August, with odds on ‘Over 3.5 Goals’ in that fixture sitting at 2.63 (13/8) with SkyBet.

4. Find fixtures with both strong attacks and poor defences

So, you should keep an eye out for fixtures where a strong attacking team faces off against a weak defensive system. The side boasting a good forward line does not need to be one of the best teams in the league, but this obviously helps.

One game we’re keeping tabs on is Fulham vs Bournemouth. The Cottagers have one of the league’s most potent attacking threats in Aleksander Mitrovic and two of their four league matches have concluded with four or more goals. This meeting takes place in the middle of October, with decent odds expected.

Update, 17th October 2022. The above fixture finished Fulham 2 – 2 Bournemouth. Turns out our advice was solid!

Best Bookies & Odds For Over 3.5 Goals

The best bookmaker is the one you feel most comfortable playing with. To say there is one all-encompassing winner sitting on the throne as king of bookmakers for one market would be unruly considering the rapid changes to odds on a daily basis.

That said, some sportsbooks operate on a level above others in the industry. They are heavyweights that pack a punch in virtually every category of the respective site, with every selection an uppercut thrown at competitors in the field.

The bookies we’re talking about include:

  • SkyBet
  • Bet365
  • Paddy Power
  • William Hill

Each of the above four bookies has excellent odds for Over 3.5 Goals markets. To give you an idea of what we mean, we’ve listed the odds for ‘Over 3.5 Goals’ in a match between Tottenham Hotspur and Fulham in the Premier League. Potential returns from a £20 stake are also outlined.

SkyBet – Over 3.5 Goals at 2.63 (13/8)

SkyBet - Over 3.5 Goals at 2.63
Sky Bet’s Over 3.5 goals market.

Bet365 – Over 3.5 Goals at 2.62 (81/50)

Bet365 - Over 3.5 Goals at 2.62
Bet365 will have the over 3.5 goals market listed under “Goals” and “Alternative match goals”.

Paddy Power – Over 3.5 Goals at 2.55 (31/20)

Paddy Power - Over 3.5 Goals at 2.55 (31_20)
Paddy Power’s over 3.5 goals betting market.

William Hill – Over 3.5 Goals at 2.50 (6/4)

William Hill - Over 3.5 Goals at 2.50
William Hill’s odds for an over 3.5 goals bet in the English Premier League.

SkyBet just edges it to be the best in the business for this game, with a £20 wager paying out around £52. The greater the amount in your stake, the more pronounced the difference in payouts will be when shopping around and examining odds across the market.

Terminology For Over 3.5 Goals Betting

Getting to grips with a betting market can be difficult if you’re unsure of the exact terminology associated with it. This is especially true for newcomers to the online gambling scene, where the plethora of fractions, decimals, numbers and market options can be overwhelming. 

That’s why it’s best to examine the market you want to bet on and break it down, piece by piece. For ‘Over 3.5 Goals’, let’s start with the very first word in the market’s title: Over.

Over’ is commonly used in place of ‘more than’ to describe something that is greater in value compared to another number. Bookmakers utilise ‘Over’ in markets where you bet on a certain number of occurrences within a football match (bookings, cards, goals, shots, etc). These in-game statistics must amount to a figure of more value compared to the one stated in the market.

Specifically concerning this market, the word ‘Over’ is a way for the bookie to tell us that the minimum amount of goals required for our bet to see a return is four. We know this because the next whole number after ‘3.5’ is four, and half-goals are not possible in football, as earlier discussed.

3.5’ is the threshold at which, when beaten, your bet wins. If fewer than 3.5 goals are scored in the game and you wagered on ‘Over 3.5’ at a sportsbook, your bet would not payout. However, if four or more goals are scored – thus ‘Over 3.5’ goals – you’ll earn maximum returns. 

The final piece of the puzzle in this market is the word ‘Goals’. This part of the market terminology lets us know which particular statistic we’re looking out for. Other markets may focus on corners, shots on target, or bookings, but the one we’re honing in on today is ‘Goals’. 

Goals are scored when the ball crosses the goalline, defending by the opposition goalkeeper. Contrary to what some new football fans may believe, the ball does not need to hit the back of the net for a goal to be scored. A point is credited to the scoring team each time the ball crosses the goalline. If more than 3.5 ‘points’ are added to the scoreboard, a bet on ‘Over 3.5 Goals’ wins.

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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