Under 4.5 Goals Betting Market Explained

Written By: Conor Rafter
Last Updated: October 18, 2022

Goals are the heart and soul of football. They are the difference between winning and losing. A good performance can be undone in an instant by a counter-attack, deeming the entire display a thankless endeavour. 

Yet goals are not guaranteed. Some teams struggle to create scoring opportunities and others can’t convert their chances. It’s part and parcel of the magical mystery tour that is the beautiful game. As fans of the sport, all we can do is hope that the team we support finds a way to put the opposition to the sword.

Football matches are notorious for low-scoring affairs. It’s believed that this is part of the reason the sport has found it difficult to take off in the USA, with fans across the pond more familiar with a constant barrage of points. Little do many punters know, there’s plenty of money to be made in games with just one, two, three or four goals.

Under 4.5 Goals Meaning

The phrase ‘Under 4.5 Goals’ means that any bet on this market will win if there are no more than 4.5 goals within a 90-minute match. If five goals or more are scored, bets placed on this market will lose.

As half-goals are not allowed in football, bookies round the threshold up to the following whole number. In this instance, the following whole number is five. Bets on this market will win if four or fewer goals are scored in the match.

The Under 4.5 Goals betting market is tailor-made for bettors that want to see goals, but not too many goals. You can continue to enjoy closely-contested matchups without worrying too much about the number of goals scored. As long as fewer than five (5) goals are on the scoreboard, your bet will win. 

The below”unders” market for betting on goals is the under 3.5 goals market. The one above is the under 5.5 goals market. The opposite market to under 4.5 goals is the over 4.5 goals market.

Moreover, the inclusion of a decimal point eradicates any potential for a ‘push’ bet or a refund where you ‘draw’ with the bookmaker. Only two outcomes are possible: a win or a loss.

Example Under 4.5 goals Winning and losing Scores

Example ScorelineTotal GoalsBet outcome
Example scorelines and their total goals showing whether or not an “under 4.5 goals” bet would win or lose.

Under 4.5 Goals Description

To gain a better understanding of exactly what this market means, we’ve captured a description of ‘Under 4.5 Goals’ from one of the UK’s most popular online sports betting operators: Paddy Power.

The oft-controversial bookie is renowned for early payouts on various markets, which may include ‘Under 4.5 Goals’ from time to time.

Paddy Power’s Description

“You’re betting on how many goals there are in the game in 90 minutes plus any injury time only. Extra time and penalty shootouts do not count.”

Under 4.5 Goals Betting Market Explained - Paddy Power Description

In this case, you’re betting on there being under five goals within 90 minutes of play plus any injury time. Injury time is the time added on at the end of a match by the referee due to in-game stoppages caused by injuries, substitutions or other interferences with play.

Winning scorelines for this type of bet include:

  • 3-1
  • 2-2
  • 4-0

Strategy & Tips For Under 4.5 Goals

Each betting market has a unique set of requirements and strategy ideas that will work. For example, bets on ‘Under 4.5 Goals’ will win under a different set of circumstances compared to sister markets ‘Under 2.5 Goals’ and ‘Under 3.5 Goals’. A specialised strategy for each betting option simply makes more sense than lumping every similar market together.

Here you’re looking for under 4.5 goals within a specific period of time (90 minutes) during a normal football match. This information alone gives us an idea of what type of betting strategy we should try to create. 

1. Strong Teams Are Best Value For Money

This might sound counter-intuitive, but bets on ‘Under 4.5 Goals’ are most profitable when you add big, dominant and quality attacking sides to your selection.

This is because bookmakers publish better odds for this type of team as they’re expected to score bucket-loads of goals every week. You can often tell which teams are best by looking at various league tables and examining squads.

For example, let’s take a quick look at some example matches for Matchday 7 of the 2022/23 Premier League season:

  • Liverpool face Wolves, while Leicester City take on Aston Villa at the King Power Stadium. 
  • The Leicester game is listed at 1.11 (11/100), whereas Liverpool’s home outing is priced at 1.22 (11/50) in the ‘Under 4.5 Goals’ market.
  • A wager on ‘Under 4.5 Goals’ in the Leicester match is probably more likely to come good given the recent form of both sides, yet it is the worst of the two options.
  • Considering Liverpool’s struggles in an attacking sense up to this point (excluding the Bournemouth victory) and the inability of Wolves to score goals, you’d be much better off placing a bet on the Liverpool vs Wolves fixture.

It offers more impressive odds and, resultantly, better potential winnings.

The reason the odds are of greater value is simple: bookies expect bigger teams to score more goals. You need to take advantage of circumstances such as this one to grab a win.

2. Big Occasions Offer Big Odds

It doesn’t have to be the Champions League Final or World Cup Final. A game becomes ‘big’ when it means a lot to both outfits and the pair have plenty to gain from winning the match. Such occasions often end in stalemates or low-scoring affairs, making it difficult to predict the winner.

There are plenty of statistics going in your favour with regard to big games having fewer goals, too.

According to official statistics, seven of the last eight World Cup Finals have had under five goals.

That’s every Final (bar 2018) stretching back to 1986.

Moreover, all five recent Champions League Finals have had less than five goals, with Real Madrid’s thrashing of Juventus in 2017 being the last time two giants faced off in a high-scoring matchup during Europe’s most elite fixture.

Added to that, the most common scorelines in football (according to FootyStats.org) have fewer than five goals. In fact, the 12 most-seen scorelines all have under five goals, with 3-2 coming in as the first result with five or more goals on the list at 13th. This outcome took place in just 2.5% of all matches accumulated by FootyStats.org.

You have generalised football statistics on your side, as well as the history of big matches throughout Europe and the world. It might feel risky to bet on two talented teams when they take each other on, but the profits are well worth it.

Check out SkyBet’s odds for Under 4.5 Goals when Manchester City meet Tottenham Hotspur on Matchday 7 of the 2022/23 Premier League campaign. The popular UK bookie has the game at 1.25 (1/4), despite strong attacking lineups at both ends of the field.

3. Use Multiples For Better Odds

We all want to get the best value for money when picking our selection. With multiples like doubles, trebles and accumulators, you can get fantastic returns on bets that otherwise wouldn’t offer very much in the way of profit. 

The way it works is simple. You pick a bunch of outcomes in the ‘Under 4.5 Goals’ market and add them to your betslip. The more selections you add, the greater your potential winnings.

Be careful not to go overboard with your picks, as many punters can get caught out by jumping at massive odds on unrealistic wagers.

That’s why we recommend selecting bets that you really have faith in. An example accumulator on the ‘Under 4.5 Goals’ betting market can be found below. We have complete belief that every selection will win. Of course, we could be wrong – but the important thing is that we have a reason for choosing this selection.

Under 4.5 Goals Accumulator at SkyBet

  • Manchester City vs Tottenham Hotspur at 1.25 (1/4)
  • Leicester City vs Aston Villa at 1.11 (11/100)
  • Liverpool vs Wolves at 1.22 (11/50)
  • Fulham vs Chelsea at 1.13 (13/100)
  • Leeds United vs Nottingham Forest at 1.17 (17/100)

The cumulative odds for this selection comes to 2.23 (123/100). This means that a winning £20 wager on this bet would more than double your money by returning £44.56. 

Under 4.5 Goals Betting Market Explained - 5 Fold Accumulator

Best Bookies & Odds For Under 4.5 Goals

In the same way that no market is the best, it’s impossible to place one bookmaker on the throne and determine that they are the greatest bookie in the industry. However, it is possible to compare bookmakers with one another and find out which ones offer the best odds and value for money on certain selections.

For ‘Under 4.5 Goals’ betting, we recommend these bookmakers:

Each bookie is packed to the brim with odds for ‘Under 4.5 Goals’ throughout the football season. Some bookies may outshine their competitors one week, get beaten by others the following weekend, and then sit somewhere in between one month later. Nothing ever stands still in football betting, especially when it comes to pricing.

We’ve collected screenshots from each bookmaker to show you how it looks to bet on ‘Under 4.5 Goals’ across a range of matches and leagues. To experienced bettors, this may feel very familiar. For those of you that have never placed a wager before, this information could prove helpful.

1. SkyBet – Leeds vs Nottingham Forest 

Under 4.5 Goals Betting Market SkyBet - Leeds vs Nottingham Forest
Sky Bet’s under 4.5 goals odds on a Premier League fixture.

2. Paddy Power – Under 4.5 Goals Long List

Under 4.5 Goals Betting Market Paddy Power - Under 4.5 Goals Long List
Paddy Power’s under 4.5 goals betting market and odds.

3. Bet365 – Bayern Munich vs Barcelona

Bet365 - Bayern Munich vs Barcelona
Bet365’s under 4.5 goals market, found under “alternative total goals”.

4. William Hill – Burnley vs Norwich City

Under 4.5 Goals William Hill - Burnley vs Norwich City
William Hill’s under 4.5 goals odds.

Any of the above-listed bookmakers are excellent choices for bets on the ‘Under 4.5 Goals’ market. Just be sure to stay within your bankroll, follow a strategy, and most importantly, enjoy the entire experience.

Terminology For Under 4.5 Goals Markets

Understanding the terminology for this type of bet is imperative to knowing how and when to bet on ‘Under 4.5 Goals’. Despite being a simpler market compared to many others listed on gambling platforms, you should not be fooled into thinking every selection is easy money. 

This is especially true for new bettors. Winning a bet is easier said than done and there is far more to it than just entering a stake, pressing ‘Place Bet’, then waiting for your winnings to roll in. You need to know exactly what it is you’re investing in before diving head-first into a wager. By the end of this section, you’ll have a good idea of the ‘Under 4.5 Goals’ market and the way in which it operates.

Let’s start where it makes the most sense – the beginning. The word ‘Under’ comes before all other terms in this market and serves a vital purpose. It tells us that the statistic we’re about to bet on should occur fewer times than the amount stated. At this point, we’re unaware of the statistic in question, nor do we know the number of occasions that it should take place. 

Next up is a number with a decimal point – ‘4.5’. As there is no such thing as a half goal/booking/shot in football, the statistic we’re hoping to fall ‘under’ cannot precisely match the noted threshold. To account for this, bookmakers round up to the next whole number. That’s the number ‘5’ in this instance. So, rather than the market requiring that the statistic falls ‘Under 4.5’, we actually need fewer than five occurrences of this statistic for the bet to win. Here’s a clearer description of what this means in a couple of sentences:

Bookmakers round up to the next whole number – 5 in this case – when there is a decimal point included in the market. Therefore, our bet wins if the statistic occurs fewer than five times. 

The final piece of this puzzle is the word ‘Goals’. This is the ‘statistic’ we’ve been talking about thus far. With this crucial phrase included in the market’s title, we know significantly more about this bet type. 

Now we know that the statistic we’re betting on is goals. Importantly, this tells us that up to four goals can be scored within a 90-minute football match for a bet on this market to see a return. If more than four goals are scored, or ‘over 4.5’, the bet loses. Hence the market title of ‘Under 4.5’. 

To sum up in one sentence: a bet on this market wins if under five goals are scored in a 90-minute football match.

What Are ‘Goals’ In Football?

Much like other sports, football teams are required to score points to win. In football, points are called ‘goals’ and they are ‘scored’ by any player on the pitch – even goalkeepers. When a goal is scored, one point is credited to the attacking team. The greater the number of goals, the more likely it is that the attacking team wins.

The scoreboard is updated when the ball crosses the opposition goalkeeper’s goalline. The ball does not necessarily need to nestle in the back of the net. With the introduction of Goal Line Technology, goals are more easily recognised by the referee as the official will receive a notification on his wristwatch if and when the ball crosses either goalline. Before such technology was available, decisions as to whether or not a goal was given in circumstances where the ball had not obviously crossed the line were at the referee’s discretion. 

Penalties do not count towards the under 4.5 goals betting market, nor do goals scored in extra time. The bet applies to a standard ninety minutes of “normal time” plus added injury time at the end of each half.

A bet on ‘Under 4.5 Goals’ wins if the ball crosses the goalline fewer than five times in a match. 

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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